1. The story that most affected me was definitely the story of the Admiral and his eviction from company property. This man, the Admiral, could have ended up squatting on the company’s property for countless reasons, but all we know is that he’s there and living with the basest habitable standard. Here were people that Fortune had already not treated kindly, and yet they had to be evicted from the company property and dropped off in the middle of nowhere. “…like the Admiral and his wife we are all going into the dark. Some of us hope that before we do we have been honest enough to scream back at the fates. Or if we never did it ourselves that someone, derelict or poet, did it for us once.” (109). Hugo was the poet that screamed back at the fates for the Admiral. I really thought this showed what poetry was about—finding your voice, or giving voice to the voiceless.
3. Obsession struck me as an important topic that Hugo talked about, and it’s one that I certainly had not thought about much before. Hugo mentions obsession in relation to triggering subjects, and vocabulary or sounds. “All good serious poems are born in obsession,” (7). A poem has to want to be written. Throughout this course I’ve found that sometimes I will get my mind stuck on a subject, and I literally can’t write anything but what my mind is stuck on. Alternatively, if my mind doesn’t stick on something, or if I choose to write about something my mind isn’t stuck on, my writing generally stinks.
"If you are a private poet, then your vocabulary is limited by your obsessions,” (15). Here Hugo says our vocabulary is the sum of the sounds and words we are obsessed with. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, either. I believe that keeping your words within your obsession results in poetry that you are more proud of. But I think it also shows that we need to pick words that we like and find our obsessions with language so we can use them. Then there’s the interesting notion that one person’s obsessions will vary from another’s, so when two people write a poem, their own distinct obsessions will show through even if they’re writing on the same subject. I just found it interesting that infinite poems could be written on one thing, and they'd each be like a unique snowflakes.