Reflection

English 106 has been such a wonderful class. I am going to go over how the reading objectives really helped me be successful in this class.  They   overall really helped me to improve my overall literary skills.

1. Demonstrate the reading skill required for the student of literary text.

This class has really been beneficial to me. It has allowed me to understand and comprehend Old English poetry and to be able to translate it to modern day English. I am now able to do a deep reading of a poem and it helps me a lot to understand that is almost always a deeper meaning within a poem. I am able to pull out many different elements like signs of feminism, irony, symbols, imagery, theme, and setting.  All of these things helped me now to better understand the  poems that are in other time periods because it gives you a background.

2. Identify and/or describe some of the varied characteristics of literary texts.

I think i have mastered this element. I learned many of these elements in high school but i forgot how important they are to a piece of literature. Reading lenses during this course helped me to remember some of the terms but also taught me some new ones. The poetic analysis i did on Author’s Dreame and Fantasy really have showed me how much i have improved since the beginning of this course because i had no idea  on how to analysis a poem properly. Not only did this exercise help me to analysis poems but it also helped guide me into writing a few poems of my own.

3. Demonstrate orally, in writing, or by some other means, a fundamental ability to use some of the techniques and/or methods of literary analysis.

This portion of this class was a little difficult for me because we weren’t just looking at poems anymore we looked at songs, and other types of genres. When I analyzed the song, Just a Dream, it took me a couple of days to dig really deep into the lyrics to find a theme, a rhythm, repetition, and other aspects of poetry. I really struggled with this part because i feel like i need to use the skills i have learned this semester towards other things besides poetry and it hard when you haven’t done this before.  When i was looking at the song all i could do was sing it in my head and couldn’t focus on the actual lyrics. This is why it took me a couple of days to fully analysis this song but i think my end result turned out very good.

4. Identify and/or describe some of the various social, historical, cultural, and or theoretical contexts in which literary texts have been written and interpreted.

This section of the course was probably my overall favorite because it really gave the history of the authors and there poems. I found it very interesting that a lot of the poems we did were about a god during the mid evil period. When doing research for the authors and the period it really taught me the origins of poetry and how most of our literature was developed. During my spotlight poem analysis i really tried hard to provide all the information about the time period and the poems. I also thought it would be very relevant to do a post on the two first women in poetry, Anne Bradstreet, and Phillis Wheatley.  After doing this blog post on these to very important women i came to realize that during this time period many women didn’t known how to read and write. I also found it quite fascinating the Phillis was a slave and that she was taught how to read and write and her owners allowed and also financially helped her publish her first book. These post i thought were very important for my entire blog because not only am i providing you with poetic elements but also with some background behind everything.

In conclusion i feel i have greatly benefited from taking this class and having the chance to create my own blog . I will be recommending this class to all my friends because you really do learn a lot  about poetry and its origins. This blog really allowed me to explore and analysis poems on my own. I believe that i learned a lot more due to the fact that i had to use the skills i acquired in class on my own. It showed me a lot about my learning skills and how i can use them in the future with other works of literature. By doing this blog it has made me want to create my own personal blog and use all of my new acquired skills in writing.

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Lost

Lost

There I was all alone,

In the dark with nowhere to call home.

Stranded it appeared,

where am I? I teared.

The struggle I face,

Where am I? what is this place?

Stranded with nowhere to go,

What do I do? I don’t know

As I awake from this horrible place,

There is more I have to embrace.

By: Katherine Sammons

What if you Slept?

What if you slept?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

What if you slept
And what if
In your sleep
You dreamed
And what if
In your dream
You went to heaven
And there plucked a strange and beautiful flower
And what if
When you awoke
You had that flower in you hand
Ah, what then?

What do you think this flower symbolizes? Do you think it means you can pick your angel/guardian to watch over you or is it just a flower?
Why do you think the writer said its a strange but beautiful flower? (use of irony) Is there something wrong with this flower?
– This author uses irony and symbolize throughout this poem. There is repetition of the phrases, “What if” it occurs four times in this twelve line poem.  This writer was talking about heaven and god. I think when he referred to the flower he was talking about an angel or a lost love one that you can  have when you wake up. The writer i think is testing the reader on his/her religious beliefs because what if this happened would you believe now that heaven exists?

Dream/Vision

Yesterday, I pondered all day long.
The dishes stacked higher and higher
Clothes accumulated everywhere
No effort to set things in order
While dreaming I lingered why bother

Today, I walked in vision.
Effort to set things in order was established
The dishes were washed and stacked in there place
Clothes were cleaned and fit in their space
While walking in vision all lack was erased

By: Albert Reed

This poem has a shift between the two stanzas the first stanza the speaker appears to be awake and in the second one they are sleeping and having a dream vision. I think this poem is free verse but also has a few rhyming couplets. There are a few words are repeated throughout both stanzas. I think the stacking of this dished are showing how much things the speaker has to do or could also mean anxieties that he/she has but cant face. In the vision all the dishes are back in place and everything was lifted and clean. I think this poem is mostly about internal anxieties that people struggle with and have a problem facing  because everyone has something they struggle with in life.  I think the dishes and cloths are used to symbolize the speakers anxieties and problems. There is also a lot of imagery that is used through out this entire poem. I thought this poem was very different and i think it has many different out comes depending on how you read it.

Anne Bradstreet & Phillis Wheatly

Anne Bradstreet was the first English writer in North America. She was born in Northampton, England on March 20, 1612. Anne was the daughter of Thomas Dudley a steward because of her family’s position Anne was able to become educated. She was tutored in history, several different languages and in literature.  Anne married at 16 years old and not long after her family decided to migrate to America. She is a well known puritan during this time period in American literature. She was the first female writer in the British North Americans colonies to have a published works. The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, was her first volume of poetry to be published in 1650. The first book she wrote was about the struggles she went through as a puritan wife. Anne was a very devoted mother and wife but also had a deep commitment to her faith and religious beliefs you can see this in some of her poems.  Anne died on September 16, 1672 she was 60 years old.

http://www.annebradstreet.com/

Phillis Wheatley was the first African American women to have a published piece of literature. She was born in West Africa on May 8, 1753 and was sold into slavery at only the age of seven. As a slave she was transported to America where she was sold to the Wheatley family. This family decided to teach her how to read and write which was very uncommon most slave owners did not do this Phillis was very lucky. She was intended to be a servant to the John Wheatley’s wife . Phillis was of poor health and Susan(wife) as a result did not train her to be a servant and decided to help her gain more intelligence. Susan gave her lessons in theology English, Latin and Greek, and also teaching of ancient history about mythology and literature. They began to recognize her talent in poetry and encouraged her to do more. At age 12 she published her first poem. In 1773 she published her first and only book called, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. Phillis’s work was first printed in the Newport Mercury, later other poems were also added.  Susan helped her with the fiances.  When her book was first published she had 17 Boston men to sign in the back of the book to prove that she indeed wrote this poems as an African American Women. Later in her life she became a free slave and got married but had many problems with money. She struggled on poverty. Phillis died on December 5, 1784.

Phillis Wheatley

http://www.biography.com/people/phillis-wheatley-9528784

I decided to give a brief history on these women because they are an important part of our development of literature. I also wanted to know  more information about them because they are very important women that many people do not know about.

Just a Dream

The Definition of a dream vision is usually a medieval poem. Which will have a framework in which the poet pictures himself as falling asleep and envisioning in his dream a series of allegorical people and events.

This song used to be one of my favorite songs about five years ago and this was only because i really like the rhythm  it had to it. When i was younger and this song became so popular i really didn’t realize the meaning of this song. It is a dream vision this man was dreaming of this girl he had falling for in this wonderful place, but when he woke up he realized it was only a dream it didn’t happen.

This song has many different rhyming couplets throughout the entire song. There is three different sets of versus with one course that is repeated five times through out the whole song. This poem has not very much imagery at all and i think that is because it is a hip-hop song. The entire song is talking about how he lost his girl and what he should have done to keep her. When i was doing research about dream images it is very common to dream about people and falling. I talked about this in a previous post and i think it ties into this dream vision/ song because he was struggling and he lost his opportunity to make things work between him and this girl. The man s regretting everything and talking about all the things he should have done.

Looking more into poetic elements i found one simile and it in the first line of the first set of versus, “I was at the top and now its like i am in the basement”. There is a lot of repetition of the certain saying and words like, “Just a Dream”, “now”,”but” and also the last stanza the line end in “up” or “everything”. When starting the line with the word “but”,  is compacting what he wants and what this mystery girl wanted.  Many of the words in this song are in past tense talking about the past and how he feels to this present day. i really couldn’t find a good rhyming scheme besides having a few rhyming couplets i think it is a free verse.  I think the theme of this song is regret and hopelessness that he will never have his love again.

I wonder if he knows this girl in real life? Has he ever physically meet her or seen her? I think this song is a very good explain of another way dream vision can be used besides in a poem.

Gwendolyn Bennett

Fantasy

Gwendolyn Bennett
I sailed in my dreams to the Land of Night a
Where you were the dusk-eyed queen, b
And there in the pallor of moon-veiled light a
The loveliest things were seen … b
A slim-necked peacock sauntered there c
In a garden of lavender hues, d
And you were strange with your purple hair e
As you sat in your amethyst chair e
With your feet in your hyacinth shoes. d

Oh, the moon gave a bluish light  f
Through the trees in the land of dreams and night. f
I stood behind a bush of yellow-green  g
And whistled a song to the dark-haired queen … g

Gwendolyn Bennett is a well known poet during the Harlem Renaissance.  She is one of the first African American women to be noted for such wonderful literary pieces. She was a teacher, writer, and a visual artist she never published her collected work. Although many of her poems, short stories appeared in literary journals. I love this poem i think it has a wonderful meaning and i feel that is came from her heart. This poem has a exceptional amount of imagery. I think the theme of this poem is hope and passion but then again i see it as something she doesn’t want to become. I think she choose to use all these colors that i highlighted because she is a person of color,and maybe she is trying to get the attention of the reader by presenting things by there color. The one reason i think she may have envied this character was because of all the different tones of purple that she decided to use. Purple is a universal color that represents royalty and wealth.  While i was doing a deep reading of this poem i started to noticed certain words that should me that maybe the speaker didn’t want to be anything like the queen. Words like, strange, dusk-eyed, dark, told me that she was admiring the queen but did not want to be in the queens hyacinth shoes in her amethyst chair.

The dark red letters to the right of the poem represent the rhyming scheme that was used for this poem.  There are three sets of rhyming couplets in the three stanzas, was this done on purpose? The setting of this dream vision is in a garden of purple hues. There are many symbols that Gwendolyn decided to use and they mean different things to each reader. For example some symbols would be, amethyst chair, hyacinth shoes, slim-necked peacock, trees, song, whistled, i found all of these to be very important to the meaning of this poem. I think the speaker could have been spying on the queen in her land of dreams because why did she whistle the song? Can she not sing? Why was she hiding behind a bush within the trees? Why did she point out her shoes does she want to be in them? Whats so special about the dark hair queens amethyst chair? Is she scared of the queen?

This poem is a very neat one and has so many different elements that still are being discovered. I love the fact that this poem leaves you questioning your analyses. It really allows you to look at all the different opportunity’s and possibility’s.

Poetry 106