Thursday, May 17, 2012

missing me one place search another...

 Studying Whitman and his poetry wasn't what I expected when I accidentally sat in the wrong class the first week of the spring semester. Things happen for a reason and I couldn't be more pleased for this accidental twist of fate. Through this  class I have become much more familiar with American poetry and its roots. I hadn't heard of Walt Whitman, Gertrude Stein, Carl Sandburg or Allen Ginsburg before this class; shameful, I know, but I wasn't an English major till this semester so pardon my negligence.

The hybrid format of this class definitely influenced me to work with various types of media for the assignments. The diversity of assignments helped me stay focused and facilitated my adaptation to social and digital media, which is constantly becoming more relevant to communication and work in any industry. This class was definitely a great success for prof. hanley's, students and the class as a whole.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wow talk about a graphic portrayal of the American youth. Ginsberg, to me, seems to really capture the messy, dirty, young and beautiful hipster experience in Howl. The young love getting fucked, fucked up and creative; Ginsberg captures this lifestyle perfectly along with all the violence, withdrawals and side effects.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My work experiences hasn't ever been particularly dull or exciting. Generally, work is something that isn't fun while it's happening and is exciting when it's over. I've had had many odd jobs and those are usually the closest to being fun.

When I lived in London I used to work as an admin and a librarian alongside the Dean. He went by numerous names ( dr. Jambi, dr. Johnson, dr. Allen etc.) it was part of my job to memorize these named according to how other people knew him. He was an odd character, to say the least, a man of a very heavy built and poor hygiene. His weight made trips up and down stairs to the restroom a feat. As a result the mugs in the staff room were used at greatest peril, due to their frequent use for relief. Dr. Johnson was a married man and despite the fact that his wife was the bursar, the staff weren't allowed to acknowledge this or pay any attention to any of their intercom fights. This overview is definitely a euphemism of my most odd job thus far.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I find that Rukeyser is directing the tragic event at Hawk's Nest towards the public and is asking
for people to recognize and reflect on those who suffered. Rukeyser works on putting the readers into the danger that the workers at Hawk's Nest faced, and depicting the feelings that lingered during the event. Whitman, on the other hand,  is using a much more personal  and distanced tone in "When Lilacs Last..." he is talking about how the event of Lincoln's death effects him personally rather than directing it at anyone else. Whitman does seem to focus on himself and his own feelings more than on anyone's, yet this trend in his writing doesn't stop him from successfully and beautifully communicating with others, it actually helps to draw people in.  Despite the difference I find both poets equally effective in depicting how the tragedy will permanently be a scar on American history.

I feel that both poets come to a similar conclusion in the end. Both speak of a future much different from the past, yet they both acknowledge that the memory of the past will stay with them wherever they go. I feel that this type of ending is most fitting for a poem that serves as a memorial, since there isn't much that people can do to honor the dead besides remembering them. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Poems of 9/11

The poems of 9/11 and Whitman's 'When Lilacs Last..." capture two tragic events that have occurred in our countries history. Walt Whitman portrays Lincoln's death as an event that has cast a permanent shadow on America's history, just like spring and stars return so will Lincoln's death keep coming back to haunt him for the rest of his life. Whitman stresses the permanence of the tragedy, the impact it has had won't go away with time and will always come back to haunt him. The writer's of 9/11 poetry also recognize that September eleventh will forever carry with it a tragic memory of the loss America suffered on that day.

Walt Whitman's style uses metaphor's which appear to act as simple melancholy euphemism's for the tragedy of Lincoln's death, however, after a closer reading the words take a much more grievous form; his implications are quite haunting. A poem by Frank Bidart titled "Curse", had a similar haunting affect on me. Although, "Curse" was a lot more explicit about the anger and the terror of the event, with no metaphors of flowers or the night. Whitman's methodology in comparison to Bidart's has shown me that euphemism's can have a strong and even stronger affect than blunt exposition of emotions.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


For my project I plan on researching how Whitman has influenced culture, specifically the influence he's had on artists and writers of the 20th and 21st centuries. This portion of my project will be written I will also add pictures. The second portion of the project will be a short video in which I will ask random people to read their favorite Whitman lines, explain their interpretation of them, as well as the effect Whitmans poetry has had on them.

I believe that this will broaden my knowledge of Whitman's poetry by presenting me with new perspectives for looking at his work. In addition, the ways in which Whitman has influenced other people will demonstrate the ways in which he continues to influence society.