Tara- Your description of cicada-song is excellent, and I enjoyed the imagery of them harkening the beginning of summer, as birdsong might announce spring. Personally I found the rhythm of your poem quite jarring, however I enjoyed it as it mimicks the abrupt sound of cicadas chirping. If I were to critique one thing it would be that a few of your rhymes seem quite forced (season, reason) but other than that I’m really enjoyign your writing!
Discuss the significance of the last line of “The Orange Tree”
There is a great leap between the worlds of looking, seeing, and experiencing. The way in which one simply observes an object can never reach the levels of understanding that one might if they take time to experience every aspect of it without bias or distraction. This is embodied in “The Orange Tree” as the young girl grows ever more frustrated with the older persona who cannot see what she sees in the orange tree. The final stanza is significant within the poem as it establishes both the spiritual experience the young girl is having and the stagnant nature of the personas understanding. Her exclamation of “Silence!” is a break from the previous repetition of “Listen”, and conveys her belief that the man will never undertstand how she feels, as long as he insists on trying to convey it in words. She insists he “wearies” and “plagues” her, detracting from her experience with the Orange Tree. The final line “[I] Am listening like the Orange Tree” changes the tone of the poem, as she trancends the barier between seeing and experiencing herself, going from understanding the light on the Orange Tree, to feeling it and listening to it, as the Orange Tree itself does.
Write a response, either agreeing or disagreeing, with Mina Loy’s revolutionary suggestion that women should undergo “unconditional surgical destruction of virginity”
Mina Loy’s jarring statement “the first enforced law for the female sex, as a protection against the man made bogey of virtue – which is the principal instrument of her subjugation, would be the unconditional surgical destruction of virginity through-out the female population at puberty”, despite being shocking and provoking a near viceral reaction, is a statement which I personally agree with to a lesser degree. Society, even in this day and age, places far too much emphisis on virginity and purity. We as a society need to wake up to the myth of virginity, as people growing up in this age of reletive sexual liberation still believe the the ‘virginity’ is a medical truth, a kind of barrier that must be destroyed at first penetration. The stigma that goes hand in hand with this idea of the virginity as something tangible is almost as disgusting as Loy’s notion of getting rid of virgity at puberty. The perception of women as broken or used because they didn’t retain their useless farce of innocence and purity is a relic of an old society in which women were only valued for their breeding ability. This perception of sexually active women as undesrable gives way to the phenomenon the Loy speaks of; the great conquest that is taking a womans viriginity. To this day men trip over eachother in a rush to try and be the first to claim the ‘pure woman’. She is more desirable than the others, and because of this she is reduced to a prize for only the most masculine to claim. In modern society too many people still view pleasure in sex as a purely male domain, and women’s sexual encounters as trophies for their male counterparts.
In this sense, the destruction of the virginity is vital – it never really existed anyway.
Take a line from either Lowell or Frost and build your own poem trying, where possible, to imitate the style of the poet chosen
Some say the world will end in fire
I say not.
As despite our tempting of nature’s ire
Our world will end as we require.
We, humanity, too strong to kill,
Too stupid to be struck
by natures will,
Shall turn our own luck.
Hey Tara! Fire and Ice is one of the first poems I ever read that managed to capture my attention as a bored 14 year old, only interested in badly written fantasy. I love your in depth descriptions of it, and how you manage to capture both the literal and metaphorical meaning. Personally I feel you may have touched more on the idea of fire and ice being representative of humanity’s chief foibles; how we as a people will eventually wipe ourself out- with unrestrained desire, or burning hatred? However this being said you beautifully illustrated the way in which Frost captures an eerie singsong tone in his work, and I look forward to reading more of your blogs!
Kim- Personally I found the ending of the novel quite pessimistic, however I found it refreshingly real. This being said, after reading your blog I am considering reading it again with your interpratation in mind. Your optmism in Bobby being reunited with Noongar culture as a whole was something I had never considered, as I made the (very western) mistake of thinking of Bobby as an individual, not a part of a whole. I was intrigued by your blog and hope to read more!
What does A.D. Hope’s poem Australia (written half a century after the 1890s) add to the debate on what is Australia?
A.D. Hope’s “Australia” seems to take the form of a backhanded compliment, in which the beauty of the place is overshadowed by its lack thereof. This is not a new concept, however Hope introduces the idea of Australia as a political being, and as a place of society into the discussion of what makes Australia. When compared to Gilmore and O’Dowd’s poems of the same name, one may note that his criticism of Australia Is rather more scathing and not tinged with love, as the other poems and most creative works regarding Australia are. Despite the fact that he turns “gladly home” he recognises that Australia is an old country with a young society, just trying to survive in this modern world.
Jesse- I admit when I read the text I forgot that Walker intended for Dee and Maggie to be two sides of the same coin. I always saw the views as completely opposite and unable to see the others merit, rather than a well rounded view of teh situation struggling to find a coprimise between the two extremes. Im glad your review reminded me of the true interconectedness of the two sisters; them being different facets of Walkers own psyche. I look forward to reading more from you!
Charles Harpur’s love sonnets to Rosa are a model for all love sonnets. Using the style and structure of a Harpur sonnnet, write a love sonnet to your own beloved! Can you create images as fiery as his?
How would one tell of your sweet embrace?
For no word from this world may adeqautely trace
the lines of your face and the strength of your arms
and how your gentle embrace calms
me when my head is reeling, and my heart is quick
My anxiety, blown out like a candle wick.
How does one describe your charm?
I find myself utterly disarmed.
Taken by your eyes, your manner, your smile;
the simple pleasure I take from admiring your profile.
Your voice is soft like summer breeze
And finally, I am set at ease.