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Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Off Season


It starts in the spring. Trees are blooming, the sun is shining.
The perfect time to start tennis.
The game has rules that most don’t know. I learn those rules, so I can compete.
Competing is what makes it so fun.
Warming up is the chance to intimidate.
Intimidate your opponent so they choke.
Once you get in their head, its over before you even start.
The first toss is in the air. You keep your eye on the ball. Nothing can distract you.
The next thing you know, your arm is flying as high as it can go.
You meet the ball in your strings, and your wrist snaps down.
The perfect serve.
The ball goes into your opponent’s body. The underrated shot that no one can stop.
You continue to dominate the first game.
It is the time to switch sides, and see what the other man can do.
The first serve is a fault. You move in closer for the second serve. The ball goes in, you smash it back.
The first rally of the game begins. This is a test of the mind. You work your opponent back and forth, wearing him down.
The ball goes where you want it. Corner to corner until you trick him and hit it on the same side.
He trips trying to switch directions. You make him look like a fool.
You dominate the rest of that match, and the rest of the regular season.
After that is where the real competition begins.
You start at districts. You are challenged at first, then you realize you can win.
Your team cheers you on, wanting you to go your farthest.
You win districts and head for state.
The first match is a struggle, barely pulling off the win.
Second round. It is close the whole time, but now you lose.
Congratulations go to your opponent. You tried your best.
There is always someone better than you,
But that is why you have the off season.

Byron's Club


Byron’s Club is a very colorful blog that immediately grabs your attention.  Authors Athena Proctor, Austin Bell, Baily Copeland, and Alejandra Garcia do a fantastic job at making sure you are properly entertained, while still expanding your knowledge. Their blog is about Lord Byron who is a historical romantic poet. They show great interest in their research, which always helps make a blog livelier. I really enjoyed different pictures they used to help you get a better idea about who Lord Byron really was. Most people don’t know a lot about him, but by reading this blog, anyone can learn loads of information about him, his life, and his poetry. They go into great detail in describing the meanings of the poems, and face it; analyzing poems can be difficult at times. It is even more difficult when the person is from a different time period and their way of speech is different. You really will never get bored reading this blog. In random spots there are some funny posts and pictures, which help give comic relief to such a serious topic. Sometimes reading long paragraphs can get boring and repetitive. On any page you look at you can find some great quotes by Lord Byron. This also helps to shake things up, and if you are looking for some hints to help your life, these quotes are great! When you feel that you have learned all that you can about Byron, they have links to other pages where you can learn more about Byron, or other historical romantic poets. These other sights are good as well, and will lead you to learn wonderful information. This blog is very important to those who know nothing about poetry, or Lord Byron. Most people don’t even know who Byron was, and if that is you, check out this blog! People should know about romantic poetry because it helps you understand things in life that you may not have understood before. So please do your self a favor and check out this blog. You will benefit greatly from it, and you wont regret it.

Reading Response #3


The Revolutionary Vision of William Blake by Thomas J. J. Altizer is an article that focus’s not only on Blake’s theories and ideas, but also his vision of Christ. Blake is a hard man to understand when trying to figure out what his poetry is getting at. “Thereby he is deeply unknown to us all…” (33). This is the whole point of Altizer’s article; to help us understand Blake. His main focus, however, is on Blake’s view of Christ and Satan. Blake finds contradictions in the Bible, which he uses to create much of his poetry and artwork. By doing this, he makes people question what they have once learned. One of Blake’s main ideas was that God is equal to Satan. This goes against everything that the Christian society has been taught. In doing this, he uses the basic idea that God and Satan are opposites of each other. He then goes on to point out that there has to be opposition in all things in order for us to exist. When these two ideas are combined, he can say that because we have to have opposites, and because God and Satan are opposite, they are really the same. With out one or the other we could not exist, which makes the statement possible, that God equals Satan. Blake then can further continue this idea, or theory by saying that if God or Satan dies, then the other must die too. Once this seed has been planted in your mind, you begin to ask questions. Blake did not believe in organized religion for many reasons, which are discussed in this article. Altizer is able to make Blake’s ideas more clear to us, thereby expanding Blake himself. He talks about how Christianity started as an apocalyptic faith, but then completely reversed itself. How could today’s Christian society be correct in their teachings, if they have reversed their whole ideas from the time that Christ was on the earth? Organized religion was what Blake wanted us to stay away from, and with the help of Altizer we are able to understand why and we are able to understand Blake.

 
         
Blake’s poems are very interesting. I don’t say this because of his high level of writing, but I say this because his poems make you think and question. Through out the Bible, there are stories where people had to show great faith. People like Job, or Moses. Blake questions this idea of faith, and religion in general. How can we know if there is a God or not? There has been many times where Blake focused on this greatly, to the point where he said that the idea of God is something that we use to try and find comfort in. Blake makes many good points in his theories, but I disagree with him. This is a subject that I have thought about many times. You may say that I am wrong, but everyone has to make these types of decisions on their own. For me I have decided that there is a God. For thousands of years, people have believed in some sort of God or gods. Like Blake, I also believe that organized religion, most often times is incorrect. This is because as principles of religion were passed down, they were often changed to fit the ideas of man, instead of the ideas of God. Because of this, religion has strayed too far from the truth, so it is important that we try and figure out the truth for our self. I think that’s what Blake’s whole idea on religion was. Don’t just listen to someone and take their word for it. Take the time for yourself to research and figure out what you think is right.  Blake is a great poet, and some may even call him a great philosopher. I completely agree with this, and that’s one of the reasons I chose to study him. Although many do not know it, Blake has become one of the largest influences on Christian society, and poetry today. Thanks to Altizer, even the more simple minds can understand Blake.

Freedom To Fall

Freedom To Fall By Amanda Yacapin is a poem about how things change from when your a child to when your all grown up. She starts out by telling a story about a group of children running up to the top of a hill and then rolling back down as fast as they can go. All of the kids are having a great time. They have no worries, they are care free, and all they can can think about is having fun. As the poems moves on she talks about how things in life look different through an adults eye. "...What used to be the freedom of falling is now the fear of losing control." suggests that life as a child is a complete 180° turn once you experience the challenges of adult hood. It shows there are no serious consequences for your actions as a child because face it, your a child. When you becone an adult you have to worry about so many things you never thought about as a child, how your gonna make your bills, if you have money for gas, and work. I guess this is why she says "No more tumbling and fumbling. My adult life has come" to explain how the fun of being a child slips away from you without any warning. Another side to this poem is that yes, not being able to have anymore childish games is no fun, but being an adult has so many good sides. You cant drive a car when your a child. You cant own a house when your a child. You cant have a job and income when your a child. I beleive that amandas main point for this poem is that when you become an adult, you will lose all of your old ways, but gain responsibilty and enjoy your new found life.

Prose Poem: The Rain Show

The light of the sun slowly fades away as the thick smoky gray clouds hide it away. Then it all starts with a low pitched pitter patter then a louder plip, plop that quickly begins to intensify. Pretty soon the rain starts to pound fiercely against the glass window tap, tap creating a sharp quickening rhythm that’s all its own. The sound of the rain is so strong and over powering that it forces me to listen to its song. I stare out the window watching as the millions of rain drops slide across the glass one chasing right after the other. Puddles begin to form and I can see the rain drops bounce lightly against the water. I start to wonder if it will ever stop raining. In this moment it feels as if the water will keep falling from the sky for all of eternity. Now the wind has joined in, roaring and creating its own music that harshly clashes with that of the rains. Leaves ruffle across the sidewalk, and the tree branches swish violently through the air. It’s like I’m getting my own show right from my window. But it finally comes to an end just like all things, both good and bad. The rain stops, the wind hushes to a soft whistle, leaves settle all across the ground, and the branches start to sway gently to a stop. All those sounds quietly begin to fade away and there’s a feeling of tranquility. The moon glistens behind the now translucent clouds. I look over the dark glazed streets that are illuminated by the light of the golden yellow street lights lined up in perfect order. It’s dark and getting late so I finally let the curtains fall into their place. It’s the end of the show.        

Blogging Community: "All About Blake"

The blog “All About Blake” by Austin Livengood, and Lichelle Garcia is a blog that has a little bit of everything on Blake’s writing. Similar to our blog we share the same goal of looking into Blake’s various works. Their blog features many interpretations on a variety of Blake’s poems.    
The first thing you will see when you go on their blog is a slide show of William Blake’s famous quotes which I really liked. Aside from that their blog features videos of poems being read aloud to go along with some of their posts. There are also lots of pictures, as well as links to different websites. Something I really liked about the blog was that off to the side are listed all of Blake’s poems with links to each one. Their blog has this really cool slide show of some of Blake’s artwork. What I like the most about this blog is that each post has links at the end that allow you to see where they got their ideas from and allow you to do some exploring of you own on the subject. The post on the article, “William Blake's America, 2010” was one that I found the most interesting. I would definitely recommend reading it. It mainly talks about the selfishness of people. It goes on talking about how there can be people who have so much and still want more, meanwhile there are some people who have nothing at all.
This blog would be really helpful to someone who wants to get a better understanding of the meanings of Blake’s poems. On the blog there are a lot of interpretations on Blake’s poems such as “A Little Boy Lost”, “The Tiger”, “Love’s Secret”, as well as others. It can be really helpful to read about others thoughts and opinions on poetry because sometimes someone might see something in a poem that another might have never even thought of. Reading some of those posts can be really helpful for someone trying to make sense of Blake’s poems, or for someone who wants to hear about other persons thoughts.
Check out the blog "All About Blake" here:  http://all-about-blake.blogspot.com/

Alaska

A magical place. The top of the world. Oh yes, you must be in Alaska. Alaska shows its true colors the second you jump off that plane, or hop off that boat. Weather its fishing, hiking, boating, hunting, kayaking, or even mountain climbing you better strap in, because Alaska will knock you off you feet.
Layer up because the chills awaits for you. When you first experience the weather up there your life will feel complete but just wait, there’s more to come. Alaska will determine if your a real man or if you should just stay at home drinking your hot cocoa. It takes all of you and a little bit more to adapt to the lifestyle up there but when you do. oh man, it is the greatest feeling in the whole world.
A HUGE part of Alaska if the fishing! you have got every kind of fish up there from a trout to a King salmon. Going fishing in Alaska is no casual trip to the lake, no no no. You have got to plan for WEEKS about where your going, how your going to get there, what gun your going to bring for protection, and what you need to pack. The reason you bring a gun to a fishing trip is because of the overpopulation of Grizzly Bears! and they LOVE the fish your going to catch for them. My gun of choice would probably be a 12 gauge shotgun or a 300 magnum rifle because those are the only two guns that can take a bears head clean off...
The feeling of landing your first king salmon is indescribable. It’s the most amazing feeling ever. Last thing you remember is you bored standing on the edge of a beautiful glassy blue river when boom, it hits, and comes down on you like a ton of bricks. Your back hurts. your adrenaline's pumping. the end of your pole is violently shaking. your reeling in your line just as fast as you can go. but the smile on your face masks all of that. All you want to do is see your fish, and the second you throw it up on the bank and look at its rosy red glow and steel silver shine you know you did a good job.

Visions and Verses

Visions and Verses By Rachel Galvin is an article about the true meanings behind Blake’s poems and paintings  and what other poets think of them. This article goes deep inside Blake’s mind and what people think of it. It helps give you a better understanding of how Blake see’s the world and how the world sees him. Galvin proclaims that other poets such as William Wordsworth thought of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience were “undoubtedly the production of insane genius.” Wordsworth says this because the type of writing that Blake does has so many hidden meanings and ways to be translated in to something bigger than just a poem. Blake was called an insane genius because of how in depth his writing goes and the way he thinks when he is writing. “Blake was not thought of as a major romantic poet until after World War II” argues Morris Eaves, a professor at the University of Rochester.  “He’s a kind of modern invention”.  Although now, the most anthologized poem in the English language is ‘Tyger Tyger,’ which gives some indication of Blake’s popularity.  Blake was not a Major romantic poet before the second world war because of Romanticism poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge and their joint work on the 1798 volume of Lyrical Ballads caused Blake to be overlooked. With the help of Professor Morris Eaves, Professor Robert Essick, and Professor Joseph Viscomi came the Blake Archive. This is a website that gives comprehensive access to Blake’s Poems and paintings that are “rare, fragile or difficult to view.” The purpose of this website was to change the way that Blake was understood. Blake claimed to experience spiritual visions from an early age. “My personal opinion is that he suffered from a kind of schizophrenia,” Suggests Eaves. Some believe that Blake had such a disease that aided him in writing his poems and some people believe that Blake used drugs to help him get his ideas. “He saw visions, heard voices. 
 
Later in his life he claimed that he was not a poet, but that poems were dictated to him.” Eaves explains. This could be the connection that all the other poets are trying to see, that because Blake saw visions and heard voices he could then use that to write his poems and make his paintings.  This is why Blake says that his poems were “Dictated to him,” He expressed what he had seen in his visions and heard in the voices by writing such comprehensive poems. In 1788, Blake found out a new way to print and publish his own books.  This method included using an acid resistant varnish and copper plate. The way it originally worked was the design must first be pressed in to wax and then transferred to the plate with acid. Blake changed the method by painting his ideas directly onto the copper plate with acid resistant varnish, so when it was treated with acid the design was not burned away. This allowed Blake to write his poetry directly onto the plates. Blake was very opposed to an organized religion and believed that all religions are one and that there is no natural religion. “…He was a deeply spiritual poet,” Viscomi argues. Some may think that he was a spiritual poet because a lot his poems were based upon nature and imagination. In 1827, Jerusalem, the final epic poem that Blake created united his beliefs between religion, science, god, and nature.  “Even from the depths of Hell his voice I hear, within the unfathomed caverns of my ear… Heaven Earth & Hell henceforth shall live live in harmony” Blake writes. This is showing the connection between religion, nature, good, and bad and how it should all be able to live in peace.  On the last plate of this poem he gives his reasons for fashioning his own form of writing, and explains how poetry shapes and creates the human race. William Blake was one of the biggest romanticism poets of all time. His poems make you think on a totally different level and see things in a whole new way. Some say that his work was one of an “insane genius,” but I think that it was the way he saw life in his eyes.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Lamb

Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee

Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.

In this poem i think that the lamb symbolizes Jesus, Jesus is known as the “lamb of god”.  “He is called by thy name, For he calls himself a Lamb, He is meek & he is mild, He became a little child.” All these lines point to the lamb representing Jesus because he was born a child and grew up to be a meek and mild person.  The Lamb is showing all that is good on the earth and how it came to be.  Jesus is blessing this lamb so it can bring good to people.  Jesus sent this lamb to earth to show all people that they should honor and respect him.”Gave thee clothing of delight, Softest clothing wooly bright” is reminding the lamb and all of its followers that Jesus has helped give people what they need in their time of despair. Jesus has given them the necessities needed to live a fulfilling life. “wooly bright” shows the quality of every gift Jesus has sent down from heaven to help our world better in every way. When the lamb is asked “Dost thou know who made thee” i believe that this shows how faith is not communicated thoroughly in our world.  Our world consists of so many non believers and when Blake wrote this poem he was communicating that we need to improve on how many people follow Christ and respect the name.  At the end of this poem Jesus is blessing this lamb so that it will know his name and spread it to all the non believers in this sin filled world.

Who is William Blake?

William Blake was born in London on November 28 1757. Only going to school until the age of ten only learned to read and write before leaving.  At a young age William claimed to see God, and angels in a tree. From an early age the Bible had a large influence on Blake and would later in life go on to use the Bible to aid him in his writing. At the age of 21 Blake became a professional engraver with the help of James Basire, A well known engraver. Blake was mostly known for his intaglio engravings. This is when an image is burned into a copper plate. In 1782 Blake married Catherine Sophia Boucher who he taught to read and write. They never had any kids and lived a happy life. In the year 1783 Poetical Sketches, Blake’s first collection of poems was released. This is what started Blake on writing Poetry. Later in life Blake attend The Royal Academy For 6 years where he learned to perfect his writing and painting skills. At school Blake never painted what others thought was the right thing to paint, He looked up to his earlier influences such as Michelangelo and Raphael. After the death of Blake’s father James, him and close friend James Parker opened up a print shop in which they created their paintings and poems. Blake’s view on religion is very particular; he believes that there should be no type of organized religion. He believes that religion should be on a more spiritual and deeper level

The Human Abstract

THE HUMAN ABSTRACT

Pity would be no more
If we did not make somebody poor, 

And Mercy no more could be

If all were as happy as we.

And mutual fear brings Peace, 

Till the selfish loves increase; 

Then Cruelty knits a snare, 

And spreads his baits with care.

He sits down with holy fears, 

And waters the ground with tears;
Then Humility takes its root

Underneath his foot.

Soon spreads the dismal shade

Of Mystery over his head, 

And the caterpillar and fly
Feed on the Mystery.

And it bears the fruit of Deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat, 

And the raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.

The gods of the earth and sea
Sought through nature to find this tree, 

But their search was all in vain: 

There grows one in the human Brain.
            William Blake

Through out this entire poem, it talks about opposites. There would be no pity if no one were poor. There could be no mercy if everyone was happy. The reason there is pity and mercy is because we make it that way. If we were kind to everyone and if we treated them equally, then there would be no need for these things. It says, “Mutual fear brings Peace, Till the selfish loves increase.” We would be able to have peace if we didn’t let love get in the way. I am not necessarily talking about love for another person, but love for things such as greed and power. These things have been known to destroy the greatest of leaders and lead to war. It talks about cruelty having care. Since when has anyone ever had care while being cruel? All of these things are opposites that we create in order to try to understand them. In Blake’s poetry, he talks about a lot of opposites. We cannot exist with out having opposites in our lives. Or can we? At the end of the poem, it talks about how the gods of the earth and sea look for these things and where they are created. But they aren’t natural creations, the human mind creates these things. Why is it then that we need opposites? Is it to feel comfortable with our selves? Or is it an excuse to do horrible things such as murder and stealing? According to Blake, there needs to be opposition in all things. How can we know good if we do not know evil? This is the real reason for opposites. Our life would just be simple, and useless if we did not know right from wrong. I think that is one of the main points that Blake proves in his poetry. We have pity because we have the poor. We are happy because we have mercy. The gods of the earth and sea can’t find this, because they aren’t human. We create it just as Blake has, and every other person in the history of the earth.

Black and White



Both read the Bible day and night, but thou read black where I read white.
~William Blake

There are many people that we consider good “Christians”. We all know someone who goes to church every Sunday, and we all know the typical Easter/Christmas churchgoers. Blake was always against organized religion in general. This was shown through many of his poems, pieces of art, and many quotes. One of the main reasons for this is his quote above. There are millions of people who read the Bible, but not everyone sees it the same. Some people have different views about different topics. This is why there are so many churches today. People are reading different things, because what they read is taken out of context. I cannot even count how many different versions of the Bible there are, and this is all what Blake was talking about in his poetry. How can all these people have the same God, but believe in different things? Shouldn’t everyone believe in the same thing? This is why Blake did not believe in organized religion. Even people in the same church have disagreements about different principles. It is the same with poetry. One person may read a poem and think they know what it means, and to another person it means something completely different. Blake did such a great job with this in his poetry because it can be taken in many different ways. Most of the time however, Blake was often talking about religion, and the different principles in it. These would often include Christ, his life on earth, and his death. I think that Blake meant to have his poems be confusing for a reason. We all need to work for ourselves to figure out what is right. Many people said that Blake was crazy because of the artwork he did, and the theories he had, but he was actually a genius. I guess what I am trying to say is that Blake’s poetry makes people question. We can only grow by asking questions, and when you are faced with religion, there are so many questions to ask. It makes things become black to some people, and white to others. Blake’s poetry made you understand reality.

Songs of Innocence

Songs of Innocence: Introduction

Piping down the valleys wild.
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:

‘Pipe a song about a lamb!’
So I piped with merry cheer.
‘Piper, pipe that song again.’
So I piped: he wept to hear.

‘Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
Sing they songs of happy cheer!’
So I sung the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.

‘Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read.’
So he vanished from my sight;
And I plucked a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stained the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.
William Blake

Blake, like many other poets, wrote often about religion, or God. This was a very popular topic for romantic poets, and this poem is no exception. Blake talks about a piper, piping a song to a child. At first, the child was very sad to hear the story because he wept over it. The next time the story was told though, he wept with joy. The child then wanted everyone to hear this story, so he had the piper write it in a book. This story is about Christ on earth, also known as the New Testament, which is located in the Bible. The child cries at first because the people in the story crucify Christ. The reason he is crying is understandable. Why would a group of people crucify their own God? When it is played a second time though, the tears are of joy because it is through Christ’s death that we have the opportunity to live. Christ voluntarily came to this earth, so that we could have the opportunity to become clean and be saved. When this subject is thought about, it makes many people weep with joy. In the poem, the child wants everyone to hear this story, so they have the opportunity to be saved. Why is it that the child only wants other children to hear it? This can be answered by the title of the book; Songs of Innocence. Children are seen as innocent compared to adults. Adults have lived a longer life, and have made many more mistakes. Often times, it is also very difficult to try and teach adults about something, where as kids are easier. Their minds are more open to change, and learning about new things, where as adults are very closed off. However, children have also been seen as easily deceived. So does this mean that the story is told to children so they can just have something to believe in? Blake was often questioning the idea of organized religion, but not the idea of religion altogether. This is one of the reasons why people often find Blake’s work confusing. But Blake’s main focus for this poem, is to teach the children about God when they are still young, so they can grow up with the idea and pass it on to future generations.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Reading Response #3

Eighteenth-Century Studies
The article by Molly Anne Rothenberg was a review that she did for a paper on two books. These books explained William Blake’s motivation for his writing style and writing influences. The first book was by Stanley Gardner entitled “Blake’s Innocence and Experience Retraced.” The second book was “The Scattered Potions: William Blake’s Biological symbolism.” By: Rodney M. Baine. In the article, the author explains Gardner’s thesis that “to get any adequate understanding of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, you have to see where Blake lived and the social conditions around him.” She then goes on to talk about how Blake and his family owned a couple of business that donated funds to the local parish. This would have given Blake an inside view to charity and the atmosphere of the poor. The author of this article is showing us that Blake was for encouraging government policies for the poor. The article quotes Gardner’s opinion, which says, “we have been reading Blake’s condemnation “institutional radicalism” in the 1790s.” Some of the conditions that he witnessed gave Blake the ideas to right some poems for the Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience two of the poems the author says are “Holy Thursday” and “Nurse’s Song.” The article then continues to talk about Gardner’s opinion on Blake’s concern with education of children. Molly explains that Blake was inspired by observing and helping the charity schools for the poor these kids. She said the children made an “annual pilgrimage to St Paul’s on any given Thursday” which shows where the beginnings of the poem “Holy Thursday” came from. In this section, Gardner describes the “wise guardians of the poor” as “beadles” (a minor official who works in a parish who keeps the order). Molly also puts into this section “that Gardner warns us that the “guardian of the poor” was an elected official for who managed the work house for two years.” This is showing me that officials in the parish were elected rather than volunteered to help these people and that they had to be in that position for a two-year term. To me this could be a reason for the elected not to be as “charitable” as someone who really wanted to help. The passage shows us that Gardner spends a great deal of time trying to convince readers that Blake’s sensitivity to the poor is very strong yet there seems to be some contradictions in Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience that shows less optimism and approval. Molly also explains that Gardner only allows one perspective to this poem but she says there are many more. She stresses that Gardner does use a lot of historical info but relies upon one source for interruption she also claims that Gardener seems to miss the mark with topics or lack of topics and appears to take his readers off the path to unspecified locations. In her article, Molly states that Gardner use of his index is good but does not have any “scholarly” references in his book to back it up.

In the second part of this article Molly reviews, another book by Rodney M. Baine entitled The Scattered Portions “. She suggests that the greatest strength of the book seems to rest on why and what influenced Blake to use animal and vegetable worlds in his illustrations.” Molly goes onto say that, the readers of that day and time would understand the meaning of these references. It is also stated that many other sources could give us insight into the thought patterns of the 18th century civilization. The combination of sources would help us to understand what and where William Blake is coming from in his writings. She puts in the article “The bible, Shakespeare, Goldsmith and other major writers were republished in the eighteenth century form the basic canon.” However, by her interruption Baine said that William Blake got it some of his ideas from philosophers and from the canon. In the next paragraph of this article Molly is trying to tell us that Baine has his own interruption of how William Blake used symbolism yet he is to vague and contradictory. The author uses examples of Blaine’s quotes and explanations to demonstrate how Baine changes the topic very rapidly. It appears that neither Baine nor Gardner convince the Molly of Blake’s symbolism or the reasons why he wrote the poems due to the sporadic topics that appear in both books. Blaine did use descriptions of illustrations and the plates that appear in the book were said to be helpful.  It seems to me that either book can give us a small insight into the ways of William Blake, I am not sure that anyone can definitively say where or how Blake came up with his ideas, symbolism and writing style developed from. We can see from either book the influences and experiences that were around Blake during his lifetime. I think Molly has a good insight on these books and her review was informative and gave me cause to check out other sources on Blake’s life.  

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Interpretation on "Poison Tree"

The poem, “Poison Tree” seemed kind of creepy to me especially the last line. The reason for why I think creepy is because the poem is describing a human characteristic that is so common, which is anger. The anger described in this poem is one so strong that the narrator obsesses with the desire for revenge. In the first stanza the narrator talks about how he was angry with his friend but by talking with his friend the anger ended. Then he becomes angry with his enemy, but he doesn’t talk about it so his anger keeps growing. The poem then goes on to describe how his anger grows and how he nurtures it with fear, tears, smiles, and “deceitful wiles” he’s planning his revenge. By now the narrator has become so obsessed with getting his revenge on his enemy that is has completely consumed him. At first, in the fifth and sixth line it’s like he thinks about what happened. Whatever it is that’s angered him makes him sad and fearful. Then in the seventh and eighth line he’s starting to plot revenge. By the third stanza the narrator’s anger is fully grown and it’s represented by an apple tree. Now in the forth stanza the narrator finally gains his revenge. His enemy steals an apple from the poison tree. “In the morning, glad, I see My foe outstretched beneath the tree” so the apple killed the narrators foe. I think maybe the purpose of the poem is to warn people about just how ugly anger can get, and to not allow it to get so far. In the poem I don’t think the foe was the only one that was punished, I think that in a way so was the narrator. The narrator lets his mind become consumed with wanting nothing but to get revenge and nothing else matters. He goes as far as to kill his enemy and he’s happy about it.
I think the message is in the first two lines where it says, “I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end.” So I think the lesson here is that a person should work out their problems and not just let them sit in the back of their mind.    
Read the poem here: http://www.blackcatpoems.com/b/a_poison_tree.html           

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Staring into Space (Prose Poem)

Staring into space, I saw what the future could yield. I could be rich or poor could be floating around the planets and stars or under the waves. I could be in a war somewhere or behind a desk somewhere else. Therefore, I started thinking about all my dreams, skills, past experiences and achievements. What could I do to achieve my dreams? Is there one thing like an invention that I can make and never work from here on out? Then I thought what fun that would be I would just get bored not having to do any work. I could always just follow what everyone else does and work for my living. Do I want to do all the things I like to do in my free time or do I want to try to better myself so I can do the things I want to do in the future. I had all these choices to make then I thought to my self that I do not have to make all of them at once that I can make them through out my life. Nevertheless, I would also have to pay attention to people around me to make sure that I do not make the same mistakes they do. Then I just let my mind wonder and think about why do we rejoice about school being out then a week later rather be at school then at home. The only thing I could figure is that we are tried of being with family and we run out of things to do. That first week though of being home is great not having to do anything, sleeping until noon, and hanging out with friends. But, by the end of the week you start staring into space and wondering what could happen, or what could have happened if you had this or that or been somewhere else when something bad happened. However, by the time you get to these thoughts deep in your mind then someone begins to talk to you and like that, the thoughts are gone until you once again start to stare into space again.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Blogging community

Different Perspectives on Samuel Coleridge's Poetry” is a blog done by Amanda Yacapin- Yevgeniy Salyuk, Stephen Henley. On their blog, they have their ideas about Coleridge’s poems Kubla Kahn, Ancient Mariner, Christabel, and The Aeolian Harp. They give you helpful incite into these poems and what they mean. The information on how Coleridge came up with some of his poems was found in the summary of Coleridge’s history. The thing that struck me as interesting is how Coleridge did everything in a trance and was high off opium but did not remember anything after he was out of the trance. Were these poems inspired by opium-induced hallucinations or was this a writer’s genius. The trances could prove to be interesting because anything could have happened during those trances. How was he able to write while in the “trance” and not remember? That brings up so many questions about his talent. I also liked the organization of the blog was organized it was not cluttered and helped me learn about the poet as well as the sampling of his works. I would encourage other people to read this blog so that they too would understand some of Coleridge’s major poems along with how he was able to write these abstract poems.

The story of KUBLA KAHN was enhanced by having a reading of the poem from Youtube. I found this helpful because sometimes reading a poem and getting its meaning is hard to do but having someone read it with the right tone really brings the poem to life. The comments that were made underneath the video by Stephen really brought to light some questions that were interesting and informative but let you come up your answers as well as show you what he came up.

The biography on Coleridge helped me understand why some of his poems are so grim. Yev put in the biography that one of his brothers and one of his sisters died with in a year these events inspired him to write his first poem. Yev also talks about Coleridge trying to stay outside of debt throughout his whole life, which is probably the reason for some of his other works.