Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The four poems tonight consisted of several themes. All of the poems seem to have some focus on human interaction. In Langston Hughes' "Theme for English B" the speaker is writing an assignment which involves reflection. Through this reflection we learn the history of the speaker, his living situation and what he feels about his teacher. The language of this poem flows very nicely. He references all of his interests such as eating, sleeping, reading. He tries to tie everything together by expressing that the essence of veing American is being different. That although his teacher is older white and "somewhat more free", they both can learn equally from eachother. And it is through this forced interaction that America thrives. "this morning (for the girls of eastern high school)" by Lucille Clifton seems to be more about self-recognition. Clifton repeats "i met myself" several times throughout the poem. She speaks of realizing herself as a "bright jungle girl", "a tall tree girl, a me girl" these seem to exude a certain amount of pride from the speaker. The language helps with the short lines and rhyme scheme. She speaks of surviving which could mean the school day or life in general. This poem is dedicated to female high school students possibly speaking about the troubles of being an adolescent, and facing the problems and realizations that all adolescent probably go through in one way or another."Queens, 1963" Julia Alvarez addresses the neighborhood she immigrated to in Queens NY in 1963. It seems very diverse by the names of the families that she mentions. Also she speaks of the interactions the families had with eachother. How the Jew on the block wanted more diversity, but was worried about the declining value of her house. The little German girl who was taken from her home while the rest of the block pretended not to look as she was driven away. It seems that the interaction between the neighbors was awkward. "Fork" by Jeffery Harrison is from the perspective of a student addressing a former teacher. He speaks with dislike towards his teacher. He questions her commitment to the students and implies that she does not really want to teach does not like to teach and is harsh. It was this harshness that drove him to steal the fork from her house. It was that fork that reminded him of her, it was that fork that seemingly inspired him to become a writer. So in a way he needed her negativity and the hatred he had for her to inspire him, to prove her wrong. All of these poems focus on interaction, some with lack thereof. The fact that humans are social beings makes us interact with all different types of people and it makes us better because of it.