Monday, March 31, 2014

2004 A rainy Day in Powell, OH

2004 A Rainy Day in Powell, Ohio
Flo Freeman

As my eyes open and I slowly sit up, 
my room is immersed with gloomy grays 
angry growls from the sky, and sad distressed 
raindrops falling upon my windowsill.

I don’t like rainy days much. 

I hear the screams of my parents
bickering back and forth with 
bold cracks of thunder playing 
an aggressive tune in the background. 

I don’t like rainy days much. 

And when I have to take out the trash
and I’m not wearing any shoes. I have
to pitter patter my way to the can as fast as 
possible so my tippy toes don’t freeze off. 

I don’t like rainy days much.  

10 years later as my eyes open and I
blissfully sit up, my room is captivated 
with tranquil transparency, peaceful aqua, 
and a reviving drizzle upon my windowsill. 

I never used to like rainy days much. 

I hear the whisper of “I love you” while your
whiskers tickle my cheek with harmonious 
downfall playing an elegant melody in the 

I never used to like rainy days much. 

And when it comes time to take out the trash,
we do it together. Not wearing any shoes we
dance and kiss in the rain making time
rather insignificant compared to our bliss. 

Now that I think of it rainy days just might be my favorite 

          if that means they’re spent with you. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ammar's workshop poem

Ammar Elmahdy

I have committed a crime,
When I was in my prime.
I killed a man,
Packed him up in my van.
No one caught me for a while.
I felt invincible .
But eventually the guilt compiled.

I went to the sheriff's office,
I made sure to be cautious.
I confessed my wrong doing.
Told them I had killed a human being.
I was instantly convicted of the crime,

Now I’m rightfully doing the time.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ammar's workshop poem

Ammar Elmahdy

Observing Nature

Down the hiking trail I go
Observing, looking around, listening
The birds are chirping
The sounds of nature are priceless
The sun is providing infinite brightness

We look around and can't help but notice
The tree falling near by
Such a big thud provided
Our attention towards it was undivided
We stand  amazed
As nature is working right before our eyes
We soon realize,we’ve been enslaved
By modern world advancements

And we’ve ignored true beauty

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Jana's Explication

The Wood-Pile

Out walking in the frozen swamp one gray day,
I paused and said, 'I will turn back from here.
No, I will go on farther—and we shall see.'
The hard snow held me, save where now and then
One foot went through. The view was all in lines
Straight up and down of tall slim trees
Too much alike to mark or name a place by
So as to say for certain I was here
Or somewhere else: I was just far from home.
A small bird flew before me. He was careful
To put a tree between us when he lighted,
And say no word to tell me who he was
Who was so foolish as to think what he thought.
He thought that I was after him for a feather—
The white one in his tail; like one who takes
Everything said as personal to himself.
One flight out sideways would have undeceived him.
And then there was a pile of wood for which
I forgot him and let his little fear
Carry him off the way I might have gone,
Without so much as wishing him good-night.
He went behind it to make his last stand.
It was a cord of maple, cut and split
And piled—and measured, four by four by eight.
And not another like it could I see.
No runner tracks in this year's snow looped near it.
And it was older sure than this year's cutting,
Or even last year's or the year's before.
The wood was gray and the bark warping off it
And the pile somewhat sunken. Clematis
Had wound strings round and round it like a bundle.
What held it though on one side was a tree
Still growing, and on one a stake and prop,
These latter about to fall. I thought that only
Someone who lived in turning to fresh tasks
Could so forget his handiwork on which
He spent himself, the labor of his ax,
And leave it there far from a useful fireplace
To warm the frozen swamp as best it could
With the slow smokeless burning of decay.

     The Wood-Pile by Robert frost is about a man walking walking somewhere it doesn't really tell us where he is going or where he is at. However this man in the poem is walking  and his far really far from his home and he see's a bird. This bird approaches him caution like it doesn't want to close to the guy in the poem about also it does. Its almost like it wants to show something, This poem was written in a first person point of view as if the speaker was their and I think that how its was. He is talking about the swamp he had to go through and this journey he's taking that is far away from his home.  He later then comes across a pile of wood that's set neatly and its in a perfect size. He was surprised by it because who would go through the time to do such a thing and let it decay.
    When you first read The Wood Pile you may think its actually about a pile of wood but once you reread it and try to comprehend what its saying then you'll notice what its actually talking about. When the speaker came across the pile of wood its not any normal wood one just see's in the swamp, its maple wood and that is expensive and its rare to find in that area. My per-knowledge on Robert Frost tells me that he loves to write about nature a lot. 

     The speaker was fascinated by the pile of wood. I think the pile of wood means more then just a simply pile of wood, like for example I noticed the speaker was also fascinated by the bird that flew by him. Robert Frost loves to talk about nature in his poems and he made his poem and the speaker in the poem be really into nature to. The speaker loved the bird and wanted to know more about it and why it flew away probably because of it was afraid of the speaker trying to take its feather. Then again the speaker was also afraid of being far away from home and walking in the in this frozen swamp. Then I realized the guy could have left but decide to stay and continue his journey somewhere and doesn't say where because he is curious on what is ahead of him. He is just like the person who have chopped the wood and left it there. This poem is a whole mystery like you can think about why the speaker or aye man did what they did, and its about nature too just as Robert Frost intended it to be.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Suffocating Carcass- Poem for Workshop

Suffocating Carcass 

It's hard to catch my breath sometimes,
knowing that the same air I
has been 
by people who tell me to stand with my legs apart,
and my stomach sucked in
so that my ribs show and there's a
mockery of a gap between my perfectly healthy thighs.

It's hard to catch my breath sometimes,
knowing that the same air I
 has been 
by people who tell me to splatter maquillage
upon my face because natural beauty
isn't eye-catching enough. 

It's hard to catch my breath sometimes,
knowing that the same air I
has been 
by people who convinced me that my bare self
is better with my stick like waist and 
my self made barbiesc features. 

And upon a sigh. and a gasp. 
With acceptance I breathe my own 
air. Only caring that it's my breath
that is being exhaled out. 



Her Web

Spirit of the ratio
one above and one below,
she takes figures in a script
that haunts the cryptic willow.

Spoken in the dialect
known to every architect,
her cathedrals made of string
hold the stirring circumspect.

The web, a clock stitched from will,
chronologs which hours to kill;
when she rests, it's just a clause
in her gauzy codicil.

And when readying her bed,
she feels a pulse down the thread
current through a living weave,
she pins her sleeve to the dead.



"Her Web" by Erin Belieu allow viewers to experience a day in the life of a spider. The spider referenced in the poem is a female, due to the title "Her Web" and several pronouns, she and her, used in the piece. The structure Belieu uses in her poem contains four sets of quatrains. Each with a unique rhythmic structure of rhyming lines one, two, and four.

Upon reading "Her Web" one calculates a reference to mathematical characteristics. Diction like, ratio, one, figures, cryptic, clock, chronologs, hours, pulse; all equal the outcome of achieving numbers. The poem's “she”, in line three, "takes figures in a script" as one might collect data for a document. This portrays how she, the spider, captures insects amidst her web.

A second thematic reference to a seamstress is also attached throughout Belieu's work. Word choice such as, string, stitched, gauzy, thread, weave, pin, sleeve; all lace together this idea of sewing.
The beginning lines of the poem do this very well. "Spirit of the ratio/one above and one below" is the process of inserting a needle into fabric to create a garment. This ratio shares similarity to how spiders spin their intricate webs.

Another point of interest to address is the shift of action that occurs within the pairs of stanzas. In the first two stanzas, lines one and two set-up the scenario while the action element is found in lines three and four. However, in the final two stanzas, the opposite action shift takes place. The event happens in the first and second lines while the third and fourth lines paint the scene.

Location plays a neat role in Belieu's poem. "Her Web" does not include a time reference, but informs the reader "that, her web, haunts the cryptic willow". The odd term codicil appears in stanza three with a similar role to location. A codicil is an addition or post-script, also known as an appendix to a will. Beginning at line eleven "when she rests, it's just a clause/in her gauzy codicil", has a unique literary reference. A clause is a portion of a sentence, a phrase, which makes up the structure, completing an idea. The location at which she rests "in her gauzy codicil" is just that. Most spiders
either remain idle in the center of their web or among a small appendix to the exterior of the web, or the sentence. Her gauzy codicil is a clause structuring a much larger sentence, her web.

A timely metaphor, found in line nine, develops a comparison of the web to a clock that ticks and tocks to the personification which I find to be the most outstanding line. Using freewill the seamstress has crafted her web, a clock, a killer. The spider is not the villain today, "The web, a clock/chronologs which hours to kill" is the assassin. I find amazement in this portion of Belieu's poem since the fact she uses the punctuation mark semi-colon. I envy the semi-colon and have yearning for its use; just as the clock, "chronologs which hours to kill;"

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Flo's Explication of One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

One Art
Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing farther:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the evoking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

First I would like to start off by pointing out that the poem is done in tercets other than the last stanza which is done in a quatrain. To me this really shows the importance of the last stanza. Elizabeth Bishop starts the poem with the eye-catching phrase "the art of losing isn't hard to master". She repeats this line a couple more times throughout the poem. She makes it seem as though losing material things aren't a big deal, almost like they're intended to be lost. She used the example of keys. As human beings we accept that we lose things. We accept the "fluster" and the hour spent looking for them.

Elizabeth Bishop goes on to say, but what about if we lose things "further" such as the names of people or places we've been. Losing these things still wouldn't bring great "disaster" to our lives. It's still not that big of a deal. She lost her mother's watch and even had a greater lose to houses that she owned. Losing a house seems as though that's a pretty big lose, but Bishop just continues to write as though it's not a hard thing to master at all. Because losing these things didn't ruin the speaker. Of all the things she wrote about in the tercets, of course she misses them, but it doesn't cause a disaster.

Finally, in the last stanza, the quatrain, there is a tremendous shift. The speaker now says that losing a person very dear to her heart isn't hard to do, but it looks like a disaster. This meaning that this lose had great effect on her life and that it still kind of effects her now and that she's not completely over the saddening lose. Throughout the poem the suspense grows all the way up to the last stanza. Elizabeth Bishop creates this suspense by adding greater loses in every stanza.

On another note the elements that Bishop used in her poem really stuck out to me. Her use of punctuation made the reading of the poem so much most brilliant. She uses an explanation mark when she says "And look! my next or last-to-next, of three houses went." This punctuation just yells and hey! Yeah! I lost my houses but it didn't kill me!. I love that she put the little insert (write it!). It really allows the reader to connect with the poem because everyone has had great loses in their lives and are able to fill in the blank with how those loses effected them.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Brian's poetry exp

          -Kathy Fagan-
            An hour before dusk on a Tuesday, mid-November— (she sets a time)
            sunstruck clouds with winter in them
            beeches, sycamores, white with it too.
            Blue sky.  Also
            an aroma of blue
            sky, bell-clear, hard as a river
in your lungs, which is why you’re
breathless again, grateful,    (This is all the things in life we take for granted)
as if it were the banks of the Siene         (Siene a large canal in Paris)
you strolled on and not
the mastodon back of the Midwest,
gray, unraiseable thing like a childhood
slept through, and past.                               (to be forgotten)
On the horizon now a kind of golden
gate of sunset.  To visit
means to both comfort and afflict,              ( a feeling of release, but also pain)
though neither last long.
That charm of finches lifting from a ditch
can surprise you with a sound like
horselips, and paddle towards the trees
beautifully, small,
brown, forgettable as seeds,
but they, too, must sing on earth unto the bitter death— ( all things must chnge life is a cycle)

I have personally had the honor of meeting the author of this poem on the Marion campus.  Kathy is a member of the main campus faculty, and one of the reasons I would like to attend main campus as a grad student. Visitation, Kathy Fagan’s poem, is similar to several of her other pieces - it’s detailed and paints a vivid picture for the reader.  She is able to set a time and environment for the reader, and at the same time open the readers eyes to things in life that we take for granted.  She is able to observe to the smallest details and express them in a larger light.   The descriptive nature of the poem allows the reader to quickly go through the step–by-step process of death.  She is able to express the sadness of life, but in the same breath express the beauty as well.    

Her use of enjambment is well placed, and makes the piece stand out even more.  She is able to control rhythm - each section of the piece develops and then slowly dissolves.  I feel that Hugo would find Kathy’s writing style refreshing, she truly writes for herself, but finds ways of making dark moments surreal and speaks to the reader.  The syntax and word choice allow the reader to experience the concept that all things must come to an end, yet embraces the idea of to transition in peace and to accept the fate which awaits you.

            Kathy gothic poet style extends further then just a restrained box.  She intertwines lines like “an aroma of blue”,” sky, bell-clear, hard as a river” allowing the reader to be a part the environment making the setting a personification.  Then using lines such as, “means to both comfort and afflict”; the mix of dark and relaxing plays with the readers’ emotion, but uses words to make it seem majestic.
She is a dark writer that uses structure and tools to establish a solid piece.  The use of a twenty three-line stanza allows the piece to flow well.  Kathy could have used stanzas to separate rather then punctuation, but like life it came and went with little delay.   This poem is a metaphor to life, its complex surroundings, and its brutal but peaceful end.   

Sam's explication of My Arms by Paul Guest

My Arms
Paul Guest

My arms are mostly cosmetic. When I say this
to a stranger, often he’ll wince
like he wants to hide inside his eyes.
Vanish from the day. I shouldn’t laugh,
should be tired twenty-one years
into the telling of a poor joke,
made of pain, nerves snuffed like wicks.  Back
then, I was a boy. No secret
that I fell through that
summer like a star. And here I am
wanting spring and birdsong
after tedious winter. Once I prayed
my arms might serve me
again, roll toothpaste from the tube,
dump rice into boiling water,
swat dead the mosquito
drilling its derrick face
through my skin. That symmetry,
left and right, one and one—
it’s not math I know,
not anymore. There are days I want
to lament broken glass
or put my fist through the door
or throttle the blue sky’s silent
throat. There are nights
full of ache, full of nothing nimble.
No music but smashed guitars
would be enough. How many clasps
and how many buttons
did I try with my teeth
until her hands did for me what I could not?
Untrue to say I lost count
Of what I never hoped to keep.
A lie to say that when
she held my hands to her hips
 and her body above mine,
I loved such need, I did not hate us both.

My Arms- a poem versed in pain and hate.

    This is a poem about a man who has lost the use of his arms. The poem begins with a joke, the speaker makes fun of his condition saying that his arms are mostly cosmetic. This is his guard mechanism to make other people feel more comfortable, but fails and actually makes them feel worse. However the speaker says he laughs, though he shouldn’t, at the “twenty-one years/into the telling of a poor joke.” Then we see exactly where this joke comes from, “made of pain, nerves snuffed like wicks.” This brings to mind the saying, “A life snuffed out too soon.” For the speaker, it’s been the life of his arms, we know it was too soon, also in the next line. “Back/then, I was a boy.” He continues explaining the tedium of his not-so-new condition saying, “And here I am/ wanting spring and birdsong/ after a tedious winter.” Only for him, that tedious winter doesn’t end. Even though he’s prayed that his arms would work again, even so he can do the most menial tasks like brushing his teeth (11-18). These lines showcase the burning desire numbed over time to be able to use his arms again. We go from this ache in the inability to use his arms to anger.
   The speaker wishes he could lament broken glass, put his fist through a door or throttle the blue sky’s silent throat, (21-25). He previously mentions praying for the use of his arms, now he wants to choke out the sky, I can’t help but wonder if that’s directed toward the heavens, wanting to strangle God for an answer. There is clear anger in wanting to punch a door and choke out God. Understandably so, living in a world where you have arms that should work, that should allow you to do things and don’t work. Yes they are cosmetic at that point. How frustrated the speaker of this poem is how much he hates his arms for failing him, but it doesn’t stop there.
    As we go on in the poem he describes moments of intimacy with a woman, a worse frustration. Trying to undo claps and buttons, failing, and her undoing them for him (28-31). What’s interesting is the next set of lines. “Untrue to say I lost count” When this is coupled with the previous question asking about how many clasps and buttons he failed to undo, this could be read that he had indeed counted each time, or even each button and clasp. Though if read with the next line, says, he didn’t lose count of what he had never hoped to keep. I really wondered what this was. Perhaps he’s referring to the ability to have these intimate moments with this women, despite the loss of the use of his arms.  I read the last four lines to be the speaker saying that he did hate “us both.” He hated that he couldn’t undo her claps and buttons, hated her for doing these things for him, hated that she held his hands to her hips and held herself above him. Even something that is supposed to be pleasurable brings out hate in him due to his inability to use his arm, which are only cosmetic, only bringing him pain.