Winter of Discontent

October 19, 2010

Here is a link to a video by the BBC called “Plath’s Winter of Discontent”.  It’s pretty short, but it highlights the time of Plath’s life that is considered to have been the most fruitful in terms of her writing (as discussed today in class).

Also, not sure if you’ve ever seen the poetry animations on Youtube, but there is one available for Plath’s “Daddy”.  All of the animations kind of creep me out actually, but it’s still pretty cool how they do them.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/1lNTYK2U15c" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

The first animation I saw was Edgar Allen Poe’s “Annabel Lee” and for some reason it creeps me out more than the Plath one.  Check it out if you’re interested:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/E9NnuS7KIK8" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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Close-up of “Cadaver” Lovers

October 19, 2010

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Brueghel’s “The Triumph of Death”

October 19, 2010

 

Though its probably a bit late for this post, just in case anyone hadn’t already looked for the painting, here is Brueghel’s “The Triumph of Death” (1562) from part 2 of “Two Views of a Cadaver Room.”

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Alcove Journal

October 18, 2010

Hey guys–

So Scanlon mentioned in class about how some students in the Literary Journals class have begun advertising for submissions for their journal. Well a few of us in COPO are in that class, and we’d love to receive submissions from ya’ll.

For more information check out our flier.
Alcove_Flyer2

Also, check out our facebook page listed under Alcove Journal.

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Full Fathom Five

October 18, 2010

So, I totally did not understand this poem until I googled the title.  It turns out the phrase comes from the song that Ariel sings in The Tempest:

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Ding-dong.
Hark! now I hear them — Ding-dong, bell

and ‘fathom five’ means thirty feet under water.

Am I the only one who didn’t know this?

Anyway, this is a fascinating poem.  I love how Plath uses the choppy form to reflect the decaying state of ‘Father’ and what he does to those who see and know him (emotionally and physically).  Specifically, my favorite line is “To make away with the ground-” (31).  I think the half-meaning reveals more of the narrators desire even than the purpose of the old man.

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Just something to get us started thinking about Plath

October 18, 2010

Here is Plath reading her poem “Daddy.” It’s one of her most known, and I’d argue scarier poems, that she’s written. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/6hHjctqSBwM" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

I’ve also included a link to the poets.org information for Plath. The site is definitely worth checking out, as it has some very interesting information and links.

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The Disquieting Muses

October 18, 2010

As I went through the readings for tomorrow’s class, I was really intrigued by Plath’s “The Disquieting Muses” because of the imagery it creates and the emotions it evokes.  A chilling and disheartening poem, I found the juxtaposition of the mother and the three shadowy “Godmothers” to be fascinating.  The speaker is full of resentment, angry about her mother’s absence and the disconnect she feels with her.  To emphasize this, the start of the poem is filled with a number of negative word choices: illbred, disfigured, unsightly, unwisely, unasked.  It appears the speaker is also resentful of her forced replacement – the three “mouthless, eyeless” and “bald” women who “stand their vigil in gowns of stone” (Plath 50).  I’m interpreting these “Godmothers” as not being alive and active at all, but rather the source of anxiety in the speaker.  They are her “muses,” so to speak, and they haunt her with reminders of what her own mother was not capable of doing.

I looked at the notes provided in the back of the book and saw that for this poem, Plath pulled her inspiration (and poem title) from a painting by Giorgio de Chirico, called The Disquieting Muses.  Here is the piece:

As you can see, de Chirico has painted three mannequins draped in white cloth, their shadows and the shadows of other buildings/objects casting across a flat surface.  The painting is incredibly eerie; the mannequins are places in awkward positions and do not have faces.  The lighting is very unsettling in that it is so bright that it casts such sharp contrasting shadows in the background.  To me this leaves a very ghostly feel to the piece – a similar feeling I get from reading Plath’s poem.  In the note at the back of the book, Plath explains how the mannequins “suggest a 20th century version of other sinister trios of women – the Three Fates, the witches in Macbeth, de Quincey’s sisters of madness.”  After looking at this painting and rereading the poem a few times, I really get a sense of surrealism from the Godmothers and their role in this poem.  Their haunting presence is incredibly problematic to the speaker because it seems to be a reminder/the source of frustration in the speaker.

Also, I was trying to find the BBC interview with Plath that is referenced in the back of the book but instead stumbled upon The Poetry Archive page on Plath.  It includes a few of her readings, “The Applicant” (which we’re reading for Thursday) is on there.

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Confessional Poetry Wiki

October 18, 2010

The Wiki for Confessional Poetry is now open. Please feel free to go visit it.

Confessional Poetry

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John Pineda Manuscript Readings

October 17, 2010

I found John Pineda’s readings from the manuscript particularly fascinating. Not only was it exciting to hear new, as yet, unpublished works of an established author, but I found his new work to be an unexpected departure from his earlier poetry. The manuscript readings were also of particular interest to me for their fresh and humorous treatment of parenthood. Kudos to John for keeping the new work coming; I can’t wait to read the next volume.

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THURSDAY POEMS!!

October 17, 2010

Okay, people, let’s get organized.

Those who have currently signed up to read are as follows: Everett, Meg, Debbi, Alyssa, Erin, Kristin, Christine, and Helen.

Matt, are you reading, or are you working on music and/or an art slideshow?  Anyone else want to come on board?

Kristin’s suggestion, since we apparently gave the title “Why Poetry Matters,” was to read poems from our copo poets that address that issue or that concern art in a metapoetic way.  I like this idea, and, as Kristin or someone said, if we announce that at the beginning, then our audience can listen for/interpret that commentary as we go.

A few suggestions off the top of my head:

Pineda, “My Sister, Who Died Young, Takes Up the Task”

Brooks, “What shall I give my children? who are poor”

selections from Ginsberg, e.g. end of Part I of “Howl”

Walcott, “Sea Grapes” and Omeros Chapter LXIV.I (239)

Clifton, “telling our stories,” “libation,” “why some people be mad at me sometimes,” “my dream about the poet”

Bishop, “The Monument,” “One Art”

Plath, “Two Views of a Cadaver Room,” “The Arrival of the Bee Box,” “Kindness”

What else??

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