Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Meggie Girardi

Reading Analysis

November 7, 2007

In the poem “End of April” the theme is the understanding of reality when losing a loved one and using nature as a cognate and the theme in “B. Traven is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca” is that people need to recognize the good things in life that are right in front of them instead of searching for something bigger and better.

In the poem “End of April” by Phillis Levin the speaker of the poem is most likely the author of the poem. The poem compares a “broken but not shattered” robins egg to the torn heart of the speaker. The egg shell is described as “glistening, hallow” similar to hallow or empty heart. It seems as though the author is talking about losing a loved one because in lines4-7 she states, “I had been thinking of you, and was kneeling in the grass among fallen blossoms.” These lines portray the image of the speaker kneeling, meditating, or praying at a cemetery or simply capturing a moment of reflection on the life of the one who has passed. The use of the robins’ egg shell which is so delicate reflects the speaker’s delicate heart. The author is obviously mourning and struggling with the death of someone she loved, “What had been there is now gone and lives in my heart.” People die unexpectedly every day. It is Gods will that people are called to heaven from “time to time” without our approval.

The short story “B. Traven is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca” by Rudolfo A. Anaya the speaker of the story is a writer who is traveling to Cuernavaca to visit a friend while searching for writing material. The author Anaya does choose his words carefully because some of the words are in English while others are in Spanish. The author calls Justino “jarinero” instead of gardener. The author uses the Spanish language to give the reader a real sense of the Mexican environment and location. The speaker is telling the story in English but for some words there is no better translation than the Spanish. The tone of the poem is also unique as if the speaker is having a one on one conversation with the reader about his trip. He tells the story in first person, allowing the reader in on intimate details that no one else knows besides himself like when he peers into the back of the car and Justino is with two women.

There is a paradox throughout the story “How did she know that B. Traven had come to haunt my thoughts?” B. Traven seemed to be an in convince for the protagonist but really B. Traven is what fuels him to keep writing and keep searching for the story. When small seemingly insignificant things keep popping up like meeting the widow of B. Traven, the letter for B. Traven, and the book lying on the bench are all trivial things that are actually important. The speaker should notice that what each small detail was also a factor in his story. The speaker continues to look for possible writing material but neglects to see some of his closes acquaintances as anything substantial.

Finally an outside had to inform the speaker of what he was missing out on right before his very eyes. “They [Justino and others like him] are willing to share the adventure with us. You seek fame and notoriety and you’re dead as a writer.”

Seeking fame was definitely not what Galen Sampson, top rated chef and graduate from the Culinary Institute of America and wife Bridget, writer and social activist who had in mind when they made a life changing decision. This article shows that two heads are better than one because even though Galen is a master chef he probably had no clue in the beginning how to deal with people who are marginalized or making sure justice is served. The article also shows that the respect and trust people give one another really shape a person’s character.

The couple decided to start a deli, combining Galen’s food expertise with Bridget’s involvement with the social justice issues in Baltimore. The Dogwood deli is unique in that is supplies jobs to those who are recovering from addictions and want to get on a new track in life. Making a difference and helping others through the Sampson’s collaborative talents has provided men and women recovering from addictions to feel like what they say and do really does matter.

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