Cathedral and Girl Powdering her Neck
The narrator and his wife seem to be living in two different worlds. He has difficulties in understanding his wife’s thoughts and feelings. This explains why, instead of welcoming his wife`s old boyfriend (Robert) to his house, he narrowly views Robert as a part of his wife’s past life (Carver, 1989). The narrator fails to recognize the significance of Robert’s visit to his wife and does not even consider the role Robert played in helping his wife overcome her suicidal thoughts and divorce. He also fails to understand his wife’s poems and regards them as a leisure activity.
The fact that each comment the narrator makes to his wife appears to annoy and anger her is enough evidence that he does not intimately know his wife. He is not sensitive to his wife’s feelings and perhaps has no idea of who his wife is. It is because of this that his wife turns to Robert for comfort through audiotapes, because Robert listens and understands her (Carver, 1989). The fact that the narrator can recognize his wife on sight does not imply that he knows her intimately. Their relationship is likely to change after this experience because, when the narrator closes his eyes and draws the picture of a cathedral, he realizes, for the first time, that looking inwards constitutes the best way to gain a greater understanding and knowledge not only of himself, but also of others. The significance of Robert`s lack of vision is that true sight lies in the ability to see beyond the physical surface; it involves seeing the true meaning that lies within.
Girl Powdering her Neck
In this poem, Cathy depicts a world in which women have traditionally been forced to do things that please their male counterparts. She demonstrates how this has compelled women to transform themselves into what men want, and as a result, the women end up submerging their true selves. The woman in the poet`s world is not allowed to be anything else other than beauty made for the pleasure of men (Song, n.d).
The poem characterizes a capitalist world full of gender-based inequalities; the girl in the poem belongs to a lower social class, and she is forced into prostitution by her circumstances. The capitalist system transforms individuals into moneymakers, and one is forced to look for a means of earning a living at all costs. The girl is forced into prostitution, but her male counterparts remain free, while she suffers. Song depicts a world in which a prostitute cannot enjoy both her social and professional life.
This explains why the woman, for the first time, opens his mouth in an attempt to express her dissatisfaction with her professional life as a prostitute, but, aware of the social realities that will follow, she remains silent. Song demonstrates the postmodern characteristics of combining fiction and non-fiction by describing more than what is in the print. She gives a description of things not contained in the print, such as a pair of slippers placed outside, and describes how the girl kneels at a low table in the room, and the woman’s desire to speak (Song, n.d). She, equally, interprets aspects present in the print using her own thoughts, the eyes narrow in a moment of self-scrutiny. The vivid colors put in the poem also help to emphasize that in the world of print, appearances are all important.
Carver, R. (1989). Cathedral. S.l.: Vintage Contemporaries Edition.
Song, C. (n.d). Girl Powdering Her Neck. Retrieved on 21 December 2013 from: <http://www.angelfire.com/poetry/youngcarer/girlpowdering.html>
CATHEDRAL AND CATHY SONG 4
Running head: CATHEDRAL AND CATHY SONG 1
Changing Faces is a poem that reflects on the plights of a father concerning his lost daughter. This poem recounts the number of times the daughter and the father met in and the fact that her whereabouts were only an imagination to the father. The poem ends with the father suggesting his greatest desire with a personal assurance that he will one day embrace his daughter just as he did previously. This poem and other poetries motivated my into poetry. Currently I revel at the fact that I create poems. Perhaps most of you are inquisitive of where my ability to articulate, abridge and make sense out of intricate issues came from. Poetry has stood as my desire. I loved poetry especially listening to other poets recite their works. The rhymes I read and listened to were an inspiration into loving poetry. The question of interest may be to focus on how I became a poet that celebrates his own works.
Brenda was a young woman that I met in the first event I attended as a freshman in my friend’s house. In the house, there were several individuals some those, I had never seen before. There were remarkable happenings. For example Stephen, one of my friends, drunk a lot of beer and he was chanting a tongue he insisted to interpret. There was also Annette; an imminent hip-hop artiste who wanted to demonstrate that here genre of music was conceivable in Spanish. The impressive of all proceedings was Mary, a young woman of African origin. I had wanted to know more about Africa and clarify some rumors that I had heard about African. She was jovial and outgoing. I learnt that she was from East Africa in a country called Tanzania. The solitary thing I recognize about Tanzania is a mountain, mount Elgon, I said. That is in Kenya, she made an amendment. That was disgraceful since until I after the event, I still thought that she was mistaken on the whereabouts of Mount Elgon.
My conversation with Brenda became a strategy of impressing her with the wealth of knowledge I had gathered. I spoke of how better I understood poetry and the numerous poems that I had composed. The truth was that I had not composed any poem. Please recite one of your shortest poems? She requested. I picked on Sara Teasdale’s Dreams of my heart. I narrated the poem with a lot of superiority as though it was mine and all this time Brenda looked entertained. At the conclusion of the poem, I kept wondering whether she had noticed my lie. You are a pronounced poet. I hope to fashion such poems by the completion of my studies here. If you do not mind, can you narrate an extra poem? she said this while illuminating what I supposed was a sarcastic smile. I had to confess.
It is not my poem. It is a composition of my favorite poet, Sara Teasdale, I confessed. If you had not told me, I would not have noticed, she replied. What was the smile about? I asked. She admitted that she was an international student from a college in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. She was interested in literature. She treasured poetry but she had certainly not composed any poem. Our interests were similar or so I assumed. Let us make this evening remarkable, she requested. Let us deliver our own arrangement to everybody in this event, she added. How could this be possible when we had never composed any poem? Brenda left and went for the microphone. She had great courage and though surprised by her move and not knowing the words she would say, I had liked her. My new friend and I would like to make our debut as poets. The poems we shall present here today are our own composition. Please help me welcome my friend and fellow poet. She announced. She never knew my name but that was okay.
Everyone was applauding as I assembled courage and walked to the stage. She started narrating some rhyme and I was to follow by performing the subsequent stanza freestyle. I could not identify what to say. I could not even plagiarize a poem. She ended up narrating as I conjured to listen. At the end of the night, I felt confronted and humiliated. I resolved to study and compose poems and every poem I composed, at least for the first ten, Brenda was the first one to receive and listen to me recite.
Brenda was an inspiration and a lesson that if I loved poetry then I should demonstrate that passion by not only reading but also learning the art of composition. Over-recurrent modules on poetry, I now can streamline difficulties, advance sense and understanding out of the problematic. Reading and writing poetry other than improving my understanding, it has enhanced my ability to conceptualize the world and present it in writing to others.
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Compare and Contrast Three poems The Road Not Taken & Fire and Ice by Robert Frost and an athlete dying young by AE Houseman
In Robert Frost’s poem of “The Road Not Taken” the fundamental character or Robert Frost is constrained to pick between two ways, with both the ways almost very similar that makes it very hard for him to make a clear selection on which one to use. In the wake of deciding to take one way over the other, he says to himself that the following time he comes into this part again he will take the other road which he had not used. A major theme cutting across this poem is that of making important decisions as the poem seem to provoke critical questions like; how in the first place did the author discover that he had selected the right road? What made him claim that the path he had taken was that less travelled road? Suppose it is possible that he truly took the higher way?
Fire and Ice by Robert Frost, then again has a correlation to the Road less taken in that it rotates around two key things; what Frost contemplated the first world war, as the poem was composed during a time when the world war was almost coming to an end. In the poem, Frost was constrained to pick between two ways: fire and ice. A general imagination is that fire and ice resembles good and evil/bad. Fire might represent warmth yet it additionally may be the source of devastation or heck, while ice might speak to frosty or an icy heart. The poem on fire and ice might additionally be contrasted with The Road not Taken in view of the diverse decisions that have to be made between two critical choices, of taking one road versus the other and in this case, between fire and ice. At the close of Frost’s poem on “Fire and Ice” the fundamental subject that had surfaced was that there are numerous decisions that individuals have to keep making all through their lives, some of which may be tricky as some situations present two dilemma perspectives. “Fire and Ice” is a much more minimized poem than “The Road Not Taken,” yet is in a few ways more memorable. The most widely recognized elucidation of it is that the alternatives laid out in the title and the poem speaks to the high temperature of enthusiasm and the frosty of disdain, two methods for wrecking the world during the time of its composition.
The author says that “From what I’ve tasted of craving / I hold with the individuals who support fire,” likely demonstrating Frost’s inclination to enthusiasm over disdain as the lesser of two choices presented. Both the poems use first person narration. The third poem on a dying athlete is about a young person who dies at the peak of his career, when fame and glamour are still evident in his life. The young man won various medals for his town and was highly praised. Again, similar to the first two poems, this focuses on two options in the lives of mankind, that of dying early when still famous so that the world remembers you, verses the option of living up to an old age and dying when all the fame and glory acquired during the youthful years are gone. The author seems to prefer the first option of dying while still young and famous as people are more likely to remember celebrities and historical figures that died. The poem is different in that it uses the second person perspective of narration, characterized by the wordyou.
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Symbolism, Paradox and Tone in Not Waving but Drowning’
Not Waving But Drowning is a poem about a man who is lost at sea, symbolically and literally. Deep into the waters, the man is crying out for help by waving to the people ashore. However, they think that he is only saluting them and thus do not come to his aid. He drowned eventually. Stevie Smith wrote the poem almost half a century ago. Despite the many years, it is still popular amongst poetry enthusiasts. This paper discusses how the poet used symbolism, tone, and paradox in the poem to emphasize his message and how these three influence the emotional responses of the reader.
Symbolism, Paradox and Tone in the Poem
Smith has extensively used symbolism in the poem. Therefore, a reader must look beyond the literal portrayals to decipher what the poet is trying to put across. For instance, the words And not waving but drowning should not be taken literally to mean that the man was actually not waving but drowning. Symbolically, the man is losing his self on the inside because of depression and unrelenting sorrow. In the same breath, the placing of that line in the first and last stanzas symbolizes that the man has been suffering from the beginning of his existence up to the very end. The man’s long suffering is explained in the line Oh, no no no, it was too cold always (Regan, 2009, p. 248).
Another instance of symbolism appears in the phrase It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way (Regan, 2009, p. 248). Literally, this phrase suggests that the temperatures around the man were too cold for him to live. Figuratively, the phrase means that the man’s sadness was simply too great. Therefore, long standing sorrow led to his death. The people around him did not help at all in his struggles. The people thought that his wave was a salute when in fact it was a call for them to save him from drowning (Brown et al., 2011).
Stevie used symbolism to emphasize the sorrowful life of the drowning man. The man had a habit of walking aimlessly just to interact with anyone he could come into contact with. However, it seemed that no one was willing to understand him. As a reader, one cannot help but notice the sorrowful life this man was leading. The symbolism showed his never-ending suffering that led to his death (Hamalian, 1987).
Another literary aspect that is apparent in the poem is the use of paradox. For instance, the lines nobody heard him, the dead man and but he still lay moaning are paradoxical (Regan, 2009, p. 248). This is because the first line acknowledges that he is dead yet the second line suggests that he was moaning as he lay down. How can a dead man moan? Taken literally, this is not possible. However, the poet might have used these lines to show that the man was undergoing so much suffering and was so helpless such that he was as good as dead even before he died physically. Even in his cry for help in that helpless state, there was still no one to come to his rescue (Brown et al., 2011).
Stevie understood that using paradoxes not only confuses readers but it also compels them to put the words into perspective for them to gain a deeper understanding. The use of paradox also helped him to gain the reader’s attention to the plight of the man. Stevie used the two phrases in the first two lines of the poem to explain the man’s situation perfectly. If a reader fails to read beyond the two lines, he/she may fail to understand the poem. In essence, the two lines give meaning to the poem.
The tone of the poem is cold and indifferent, and precisely depicts how other people viewed the dying man’s situation. The lines, It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way and They said show how the people had no real compassion for a drowning man (Regan, 2009, p. 248). These people are not guilty for the fact that they failed to notice that the man was in deep trouble. In fact, they blamed the cold water for his death. To further show their cold attitude towards the dying man, they only reminisce his love for larking.
The cold tone used by the poet draws the reader’s attention to the negligence and indifference of the society. In the first instant, they thought that he was saluting them when in fact he was calling for help. After he drowned, they did not show any remorse for their actions. A reader can only empathize with the misunderstood man, whom the society could not save from a foreseeable death.
Not Waving but Drowning is one of the most popular poems composed by Stevie Smith. This is because it depicted a scenario that is so prevalent in the society. To emphasize her message, the poet used symbolism, paradox and a cold tone not only to show the plight of the man but also to show the indifference of the society towards the man. The use of these three literary features gave meaning to the poem.
Brown, S., Perreault, J. & Wallace, J. O. (2011). Not drowning but waving: Women, feminism and the liberal arts. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press.
Hamalian, L. (1987). William Saroyan: The man and the writer remembered. Rutherford [N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
Regan, J. (2009). The dance of learning: On encounters in adult second-language learning. Bern: Peter Land.
NOT WAVING BUT DROWNING 2
Running head: NOT WAVING BUT DROWNING 1
Self-hate and Reflections of my Daughter by David Mura
As one reads the reflections of David Mura, a poet and passionate writer, a dominant tone of confusion appears in the background. The works majorly dwell upon his choice of marrying a white woman. In one of his poems, he shows a misunderstanding for his choice of getting married to a white woman. He feels that the marriage was a means of escaping from something in him that he cannot fathom. He later fears that his daughter may have to encounter racist contempt because of her mixed backgrounds. Ideally, David is not alone in such retrospections as many people have the notion of interracial marriage as a controversy between love and the need to escape from identity crises. From such controversial cultural insinuations, two paradigms exist, that is, traditional beliefs versus popular cultural ideologies.
Traditional Versus popular culture beliefs
Traditional beliefs vary from popular cultural affiliations of any society. Traditional beliefs emanated from dominant behavior with a root in the origin and homogeneity of a society or class. Traditionally, many societies believe in homogeneity as a form of lifestyle. Such beliefs are informed by ancient norms that dictated associations and unions through vital institutions like marriages. Therefore, traditionally, many people still believe that people should maintain their social and ethnic lines by sticking to their backgrounds in making vital union decisions.
Such are the cases of ancient aristocrats and high social class citizens who still believe that the flavor of marriage and continuity of societal traditions lie in intra-ethnic marriage. Therefore, many tradionalists still believe that it is absurd for men of color to marry outside their race. Such beliefs harbor the thought that people have a unique tradition and pride in their race. Such pride, they believe, should remain pure. Any decisions to marry outside their racial norms means that such people are escaping from their cultures. Such escapes from their cultures mean they have identity crises that hinder them from accepting their selves.
In the 20th century and emerging 21st century, several ideas have changed and are still changing regarding to such unions. Due to the intermingling of people and the global associations, many ideals of ancient traditions have long begun to break and beliefs in unilateral races and ethnic ties have faded. Perspectives have ceased to dwell upon homogeneity but on a more rational and accommodative approach to society and life. Popular culture involves the sum of memes and outlooks emerging inside a typical culture, which often emanates from the western world. Such popular cultures inform new beliefs especially influenced by the mass media and metropolitan association in the society. From such cultures, ideas like love and interracial marriages thrive. Idyllically, popular culture believes that marriage outside one’s race for colored men is not a form of identity escape but a means of expressing love with unlimited boundaries.
Whether based on popular culture or traditional beliefs, marriage between colored men and other races has become a controversial issue. This paper presents a variety of cases of such marriages with an aim of conducting a comparative nuance of the two beliefs. The analysis focuses on black people as a culture block.
While many believe that a black culture exists among black people, the contrary is true. People take for granted the fact that black people have a unified culture that binds them together. Looking at African countries where all black population inherently originated, there are as many cultures as there are tribes out there. Looking at Nigeria, for instance, the country has over 200 tribes with unique cultures from one another probably just sharing the skin likeness (black) (Kluegel & Smith, 123). Culture is in no account the skin color, but a way of life of a people.
The way of life dwells upon facts of languages, dialects and such factors that bind a tribe or group together. On this fact, many blacks living in a society even in America have diverse backgrounds. This weakens that concept of a black identity, which emerges just as an illusion in tradition. From this premise, it emerges that if tradition were to gain ground, then a black tribe would remain within its confines. This is absurd because the contemporary policy of free movement hinders associations with fellow tribes’ people. I know of certain black people who have different diverse origins and only share the skin color as a form of resemblance.
From the analogy above, it emerges that in the ancient times, free movement was not easy. People often interacted with their tribe’s people and societal groups with whom they shared all the norms together. Technology and other factors like bilateral relations opened doors to have free associations where people intermingled and scopes widened. The intermingling became magnanimous especially with issues like slave trade that saw mass movements of black people to the Americas and Europe (Foreman & Teresa 546). They formed new communities and created new niches adopting their new location’s languages and norms to an extent. Logically, these people did not have tribal ties at this stage but just a color unique from their hosts. Inadvertently, interactions took the form of exchanges. From such associations, free cultures emerged to define love and marriage. Therefore, it becomes baseless to stick to traditional insinuations of homogeneity in a black culture when there was never one in the first place.
Traditional versus popular culture beliefs differ based on the orientation of the personality. Kluegel & Smith observe that most traditionalists have a conservative stance and have developed complacency in similarity. Such people still find it right to maintain a breed in identity. Conservative mindsets have a limitation in terms of interactions and free associations. Stereotypes and prejudices are bound to exist despite having antiracial bills. Such stereotypes have a tendency to rely on past injustices and evils. From a traditional perspective, many people would still feel ill at ease when in the presence of a black person and would choose to mingle with fellow Caucasians.
The sentiment is regularly felt at the colored plane too. As Foreman & Teresa (550) note, research had it that black men would often date white women to ease their inferiority complexes. They would often pursue and marry white women as a way of asserting their position in the society. From a traditional perspective, this fits immensely because a difference between these parties exists. One partner would, therefore, be in defiance of the traditions and marry the other race. The tradition sets tags for the colored men as inferior and unworthy of white marriages and the colored men defy this through such marriages. Research shows that such marriages often end in tears and frustrations.
Popular culture presents a different ideal from the traditional inferiority index. Love in the contemporary sense grows from two partners with similar tastes in worldviews. These emergent beliefs tend to advocate for respect and mutual understanding between partners in love regardless of their race or origin. A cultural gap depends on people’s orientations, as the key things to love in a marriage are the sharing of values and ideals. Buckley & Carter assert that real love has no barriers in color or race (p. 46). David Mura, in an interview shares that the secret to the marital success with his white wife lies in the same taste that they have in common. The ideals of popular cultures speak for a unified means of unions in marriages.
Ideally, the nature of global interactions is fast becoming homogeneity of diverse associations. Therefore, traditional implications still stand strong but have a weak score in matters such as marriage. Still, adoption of such perspectives depends on individual preference as issues of marriage and love are tricky and depend entirely on two parties involved. As explained in the paper, the traditional mindset has an inclination to racial trends as it insists on homogeneity when there is diversity. Homogeneity no longer exists, at least not in issues of marital affairs where a partner is for life. The secret to a healthy marital life lies not in traditional beliefs but popular cultures of love and respect for one another. Tradition and race will always be a factor in interracial marriages and relationships, the choice lies with partners in love to focus on stereotypes or look beyond traditional prejudices to real love and understanding as professed by the popular culture.
Buckley, Tamara R., and Carter, Robert T. “Biracial (Black/White) women: A qualitative study of racial attitudes and beliefs and their implications for therapy.” Women & Therapy 27.1-2 (2004): 45-64.
Foeman, Anita K., and Teresa Nance. “From miscegenation to multiculturalism: Perceptions and stages of interracial relationship development.” Journal of Black Studies 29.4 (1999): 540-557.
Kluegel, James R., and Smith, Eliot R. Beliefs about inequality: Americans’ views of what is and what ought to be. Transaction Publishers, 1986.
Evening by James Wright
James Wright in his poem Evening tries to elaborate the concept of how darkness and light take turns to bring out changes on the times of the day. In his poem, the character is outside somewhere exploring as the day turns to become night. As the character watches the evening approach, it first happens in places that are darker: the bushes. The light gives it a push as it also gives way for the darkness to take over- The light gave him a push.
The character explains how things change as the evening comes to the surface of the earth; the grass seems to move in a shadowy manner and the mother of the evening, the night, calls out in a faint sound. The character is standing in front of a house where the light from the house dances behind his shoulders, but the front is filled with a much darker scene just before the character hears the voice of a child. Frightened by the dark, the character starts to hallucinate, and sees scary images forming in the dark. A huge figure, which scares the character, appears in front, with big ears and one hand becomes a bird. The character is quite startled and can barely breathe, and just keeps quiet to wait for any sound.
The character realizes that he could no longer trace the crying boy because of the dark. It is hard to see things clearly and he decides to find the boy who was crying after some bees attack him. He did not know whether it was really a human or untamed animal, but still wanted to see it in the light and hold it. A few moments later, the dimness takes over and everything is concealed from a distance. The trees are out of sight, the birds are silent and there is no trace of the sun. He then leaves with the hungry boy for the house where his mother made them dinner.
Homer and Hesiod
Among the frustrating things of Homeric studies is its limited literary material found outside the Homeric Corpus is available to enlighten scholars on the cultural landscape of its period. Indeed, diverse and large poetic tradition lay behind Homer but it is only little of it survives. In fact, there is little continuity written in Greek for one more century. The only exception is Hesiod, who has two extant poems, Works and Days and Theogon, and probably others such as Catalogue of Women and Shields of Heralds. While Hesiodic poetry lacked specific heroic themes, it formed part of the formal tradition of epic. It shared with Homer major dialectal, metrical and dictional characteristics (Hesiod 2008). This paper will focus on the similarities and differences between the two in their respective mythologies
Many reasons abound beyond chronological proximity to enhance connections between Hesiod and Homer. Both poets were composed in the traditional meter of Greek epic, dactylic hexameter and also in an oral formulaic tradition. Same as Homer, Hesiod dealt primarily with transmitting materials that is traditional, into oral performance. In addition, a comparative analysis of Hesiodic and Homeric diction shows that, the two poets were dependent on a common traditional formula.
It is probable that, in both poets, epic was guided by Panhellenic impulse, (a desire to possess an appeal to many cities), according to the way in which, this heritage manifests itself in the two poets. With theme and language alike, thus, Hesiodic and Homeric poetry illustrates a movement that is away from compositions that are epichoric. They are towards performance which is meaningful and intelligible virtually in any place in Greece.
In fact, the latter formal and linguistic similarities made ancient critics to classify both poets as one of the unified traditions called epos (meaning Epic’ in poetry). However, the contrast in the two works in subject matter, length and self-presentation of the author has challenged the modern idea of the epic genre. Mostly, we take epics as poems such as Homer’s long narrative poems, that has heroes who are most of the times in war (Homer 2004).
Conversely, Heriod’s poems are short. For instance Theogony’ has 1022 lines while, Works and Days’ has 828 lines. Moreover, they do not deal with heroes; they are also not much concerned with wars especially among human being. For example, Theogony talks of divine battles and human beings have little roles in the latter. In fact, Works and Days and Theogony themselves are different from each other in many ways. Each appears to have its features to different and distinct poetic sub genres (didactic-wisdom’ and theogonic’ traditions, respectively) suitable to different occasions.
Furthermore, the differences in homer and Hesiod existed in pressure with the amalgamated poetic tradition of epos. The latter tradition is when the two works belonged at the largest level (Janko 2007). By putting into consideration how Hesiod and Homer positioned themselves within this broader tradition of Hexameter epos as well as in relation to one of them, people comprehend their generic self-consciousness, their erudite poetic culture and the subtleties of inter-textual composition contained in archaic poetry.
In recap, Hesiod and Homer have some connections in terms of meter, dialect, composition and diction technique. Nevertheless, all audiences of Hesiod and Homer have been struck by the various differences between the two in terms of moral vision and subject matter. However, cautious attention to their poetics suggests that each was self-conscious to their place within a diverse poetic tradition. More so, each could articulate his poetic identity his audiences as well as to himself.
Hesiod, Homer. Works of Hesiod and the Homeric Hymns. London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
Homer, Hesiod. Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica. New york: Digireads.com Publishing, 2004.
Janko, Richard.. Homer, Hesiod and the Hymns: Diachronic Development in Epic Diction. New york: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Cinderella by Anne Sexton is an Act of Revenge Ever Justified?
Revenge as it is, is usually looked at, as a vice in many societies. Indeed, it stands to be unacceptable especially as shown and emphasized by the religious acumen. Most religions are against the act of revenge since it is looked at as an act that solely belongs to God the Most High. It is believed that only God should revenge against any form of evil done by anyone in the society. However, in some cases, the act of revenge has been justified by a few people in the society. This seems to contradict the societal norms, which has always raised the question, is an act of revenge ever justified?
The poem Cinderella by Anne Sexton seems to affirm the fact that revenge is justified in some cases. This is revealed by the story line in this poem. One girl Cinderella, who lost her mum to death, finds herself in the arms of a stepmother. She has no control over this since life has to move on after her departed mum. Therefore, after the stepmother gets two beautiful daughters, Cinderella is oppressed by the stepmother in favor of her two daughters. Seemingly, Cinderella is made to do the donkeys work while the two daughters enjoy their comfort zones under the security of their mother. Instead of defending her, Cinderella’s father seemingly also turns against her by favoring the two daughters more. This is evident by the fact that he buys goodies for the two daughters while Cinderella receives nothing or the terrible things only.
The writer seems to suggest that, at such a circumstance, the societal norms against revenge should be thwarted. In such a case, revenge should take effect. The author strongly brings out this point by justifying revenge as she develops the plot. After Cinderella suffers a lot, she receives some supernatural intervention, which is enhanced by a white dove that stays on a tree that she had planted on the grave of her long time, deceased mother. In this case, it can be argued that, it is her mother, who takes revenge against the two daughters, who are favored more, and not God per se. The revenge comes in the form of supernatural favors that Cinderella gets when she makes any wish. Her wishes were made to come true by the dove, each time she wished something would happen to her as she watched the segregation she received from her own family.
Cinderella continually receives the supernatural privileges until she manages to get married to the prince at the expense of her two-step sisters. This seemingly appears to be an excellent opportunity for Cinderella, and her time to enjoy as her stepsister suffers. This is expressly emphasized by the state that the poet makes when she says, Cinderella and the prince lived happily ever after. This indeed is a way that revenge has been openly justified.
Anne Sexton, therefore, seemingly suggests that in such a case that Cinderella found herself in, revenge is justified. This is also supported by the fact that the dove pecks the two sisters are right in their eyes. This means that if they were to live n, then they will be blind the rest of their livelihood. This seems to be a punishment, which Cinderella’s deceased mother inflicts on the two girls, through the dove. Therefore, it can be concluded comfortably from Anne Sexton’s poem, Cinderella that revenge is justified as a necessary lesser evil when there is a superior evil.
Wheeler, David. ‘Cinderella’ by Anne Sexton. London: Kindle Edition, 2011.
Review of Grahn: The Common Women’
Judy Grahn was an active feminist during the 1960s and used poems to change the way with which the society viewed women. For instance, she did not want people to consider them pathetic or superhuman. To achieve this, she developed a different perception of women by composing a variety of poems such that each presented a different version of ordinary women pursuing their daily tasks. In passing her points across, she used free verse poetry.
Free verse poetry is characterized by the absence of a rhythm or set pattern even though it still has a unique way of conveying feelings and ideas fluently. The lack of rules makes it extremely loose, giving the composer full control of how s/he would like to fashion the message. However, they are free to use alliterations, similes, and metaphors among other techniques. The benefit of using the free verse style is that composers have the freedom to use any conventions they deem fit without being limited to one technique of poetry writing. Grahn used this liberty to express herself freely.
Consequently, the public easily understood her works. In the same breath, she used shorter lines so that not to disrupt the reader. Considering that she wanted the people to alter their views regarding women, her mode of poetry was effective in this regard. Grahn wanted her readers to appreciate women for who they are and in their normal setting. Two of her most acclaimed poems are Ella and The Common Women. These poems are easy to follow if they read in between the lines. Had she used other genres, this would not have been the case since she would have been forced to use additional rules and extended sentences.
Thelonious Monk’s “Ruby, My Dear” of 1988
Ballads are short poems written with an aim of singing, they mostly rely on things that passed, happenings, and many other past things. For instance, they may represent death, love, supernatural happenings, or a combination of the three. Modern rock, pop, and country songs are sung in a slow manner but they do not fit in jazz ballads because they are not in ballad forms. Ruby My Dear, is a song composed, and recorded in 1988 by Thelonious Monk, and falls under jazz ballad in jazz music and the name comes from Thesolonious first love. In this case, it is a type of song under Jazz Music has several characteristics, such as; the song often tells a story, or they have a few characters, dramatic sections, and they may include conversations, and at times action (Proefrock, 2013).
In addition, the songs mostly reflect on love songs that are slow, corny, and dear, and most times in 32 bar form. Jazz ballads gives performers and jazz musicians a chance to express their lyrics and it is the most appropriate way to find a way into someone’s heart. Although this type of jazz does not feature in the modern way of music, traditionally, it has been the testing basis for ballad performers. The other unique aspect of jazz ballads is in its performance.
Performers have the ability to create inspired performances. In addition, jazz ballads have well selected tunes, possibilities for modifications, and rhythm ideas for ballad playing. Jazz ballads also have options during the introduction of the song and its endings, whereby there is a systematic start and end of a song.
Thelonious was a great pianist in the history of Jazz Music; in addition, he was also the most creative composer during the bebop era. Most of Monk’s songs left a mark on the advancement from swing to bebop. Thelonious is also known for his strange way he played the piano leaving the audience confused. This particular style did not follow any Jazz cultures, the tune was brief, and emphasized pauses instead of the rhythm, crowded chords together instead of linear development. His recordings reflected a higher standard of music levels not seen in the jazz music, employing classical aspects, silence, and dissonance in the piano sextet.
In addition, though people found Monk’s pianism confusing, they later embraced the styled and crowned him the master composer, icon, and a modernist artist. . He was creative, and independent in the music, which is visible in his own compositions. The monk is said to have received a piano from a certain woman when he was 10 years old, and that is when he set off to practice how to play the piano. However, his interest in music made him learn more about the piano and develop his own peculiar way of playing the piano (Givan, 2009).
Ruby My Dear is rated among the most sentimental and influencing love songs, which had several records and many solo performances by Monk in the early 1959. His piece of music catches the attention, and he has it in control to keep it central in his performance selection. The recording incorporates a combo and an unaccompanied solo. His arrangement reveals verdant and a systematic playing of the piano. In his performance, Monk incorporates a series of acts resolving the well-composed stanzas with rhythmic styles. Something notable is the love sick pinning that is well distributed evenly in the paced stanzas, constructing a solo that catches the attention to each note as it precedes the previous note. Another notable thing is the outrageous hats, splayed fingers, and the spastic dancing he delivers in his performance.
Jazz music in the early times faced a lot of rejection, particularly where the blacks took part in the composition and performance. This makes it known why Monk often faced a lot of mock from other pianists, and rejection because of his strange style of playing the piano. Although Monk did not follow the norm in Jazz music, he was a conventional musician who used his own ways to compose and perform his music. Unlike other early jazz musicians, Monk is a modernist artist and his uniqueness in playing the piano, boosted his reputation as a composer mainly because the piano influenced the pitch of his sound (Givan, 2009).
This particular piece, Ruby, My Dear, is specifically addressed to his lover Rubie Richardson, and during his performance, the pain of sour love reveals itself. The song represents the mystery around love, and the pain associated with the emotion. The monk is an influential musician in the music industry and his innovations of his own style in the jazz music raised eyebrows from the people. However, they later accept him and his music, and in 1964, he was on the cover page of a very famous magazine, as the third jazz musician to find favor in the Times Magazine. This one of the characteristics discussed into the artistry of jazz ballad. Artists use the art to express what they feel about a certain issue, and Monk clearly demonstrates this.
Proefrock, S. (2013). The Music of Thelonious Monk: Jazz Piano Essentials. All music.com.
Retrieved June 18, 2013 from http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-music-of-thelonious-monk-jazz-piano-essentials-mw0000110745
Givan, B. (2009). Thelonious Pianism. Journal of Musicology, 26 (3), 404-422.
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