jhameia: ME! (Joline)
That's a line from Nightmare Before Christmas, which I think perfectly wraps up the sentiments of a lot of people I meet who don't understand the purpose or point of poetry. In Democrative Individualism today, we discussed the "conversation of life".

Basically speaking, a conversation is just a group of different voices coming together and exchanging discourse. It doesn't have to be debate, or argument, or information. Conversation is just for its sake, in fact.

Oakshotte discusses the different voices involved in the conversation of life, and how he feels that it is predominantly the voice of practical activity and the voice of science that currently prevails, if not simply dominates, while the voice of poetry is left on the wayside.

It was completely easy for me to understand why the voice of poetry is important. Poetry delights us simply by being there. (In this sense, poetry includes all sorts of creative activity: painting, sculpting, writing, drawing, all that stuff. We normally label it "art".) It has no real practical use, unless you count Sir Philip Sidney's argument that because it delights, it's got more potential to open up its listener to the lessons within it.

So some of us in class were trying to parse the idea of conversation without a point behind it, and one of us said, "If it's just talking for the sake of talking, well, of course that won't happen, I don't have the time for it." And Arthur (the oldest in the class, he's a grandfather now, retired from the Navy but still wears his uniform and goes to work there) said, "Well, you gotta MAKE time!"

And we do have to make time! It's a hard thing to do, of course. Personal relationships are perhaps the hardest thing in the world to keep up.

The problem with the voice of practical activity too, is that it's so predominant that it shuts out other voices, and in the end other voices don't speak out because it's improper for them to. Look at us now: we're so used to thinking that business industries are what we should be working in, or science industries, that parents frown on kids who want to pursue more artsy careers, because it "doesn't make money" and the measure of happiness or success is how useful a person is.

Then we moved on to poetry and how so many people have a problem with poetry, because they're doing nothing but trying to find out "what it means". What do we do when we study poetry in class? We try to find out what the context of it was, what it symbolizes, what its themes are, what impact it had. It's not that we find actual enjoyment in the thing, it's because if we don't try finding out something we don't get brownie points in class.

We forget that poetry is oftimes meant for its own sake. That sometimes, it has no point, and it has no beginning to which it will go towards an end. It is an image, a point of contemplation, to make us stop and rest in it for a while.

Dr. Heckerl really hit deep when he said, "what other activity do we indulge in that Oakshotte talks about that has no real practical use, and that we enjoy for their own sakes?" and when no one answered, he said, "friendship and love. When you love someone, you just delight in them for what they are. You don't just think about their usefulness to you, do you?"

So, here's a poem which I think describes what we were trying to get at in class: Archibald Macleish's Ars Poetica

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit,

Dumb
As old medallions to the thumb,

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown--

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds.

*

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs,

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mind--

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs.

*

A poem should be equal to:
Not true.

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf.

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea--

A poem should not mean
But be.
jhameia: ME! (Writing in my Blood)
Roxette's Church of Your Heart is possibly one of the best songs in my life. Per Gessle writes the best songs. Ever. Next to Gary Numan, I'd say. I dunno, I'm tired so I'm rambling. This free-write probably will make it into song format someday. If I make it through aliiiiiiiiiiive! (No, there's nothing wrong with me, as I said, I'm tired.)

Title: Fall Like Rain (tentative title)
Genre: Freewrite, poetry, song-inspired
Theme: Love? One day students will read this in class and throw their textbooks in disgust because they have no fucking clue what I was talking about. And I wouldn't blame them, because I don't know either, and that's why I like my free-writes. I never said my free-writes made sense constantly.
Warnings: I sound like Coleridge. And he must have been an opium addict.


Fall Like Rain )

Maybe I could talk to Angi or Syl about it.
jhameia: ME! (Writing in my Blood)
Name: Secret (tentative title)
Genre: Poetry, freewrite, rhyme
Theme: A caprice
Warnings: None

Secret )

We were studying a poem themed around a secret by Christina Rosetti in my Victorian Poetry & Prose class, so I thought I'd take the idea and see what I could do with it.
jhameia: ME! (Writing in my Blood)
Title: Watching the White Figure
Genre: Freewrite / poetry / lyrics
Theme: Sympathy, observation
Warnings: None.


Watching the White Figure )

Had Evita's You Must Love Me in my head while writing this. I think you could sing along too, if you wanted. I haven't written lyrical poetry in a while, and I really wanted a departure from the angry emo poetry.

It's nice to be able to write something new.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Because I really thought this journal could use some words from my, well, calendar. I bought a day-to-day calendar, one with a quote per day, and the general theme of this calendar is: Wild Words from Wild Women. Granted, not everybody featured is a wild woman, but hey.

Today's quote (which is yesterday's, Friday's quote) was:

"I have more sex appeal on the tip of my nose than many women in their entire bodies." ~ Audrey Hepburn.

And god/dess bless you, you bitch, but you did. Dammit. Especially when you were younger. Disney's Sleeping Beauty's Aurora is beautiful because of you. (Aurora's character design was based on Hepburn.) Actually, I think Aurora is more beautiful than Audrey Hepburn, but that's because I like drawn chicks more than live chicks sometimes. Plus, Aurora was voiced by Mary Costa, and she just sounds divine.

But shit, I would kill to be as cute as Audrey Hepburn was in My Fair Lady and Gigi (although both movies had really lame premises which I won't go into right now, because that's not the point). I mean, look at those eyes! "Hi! My name is Audrey and I'll be your cuteness fix for the day!"

So she's not Marilyn Monroe (I would hit THAT, too), and she's skinny-ish, although her body looks fine from most angles, but she's not Kate Moss. I don't think she ever had trouble with drugs... which is nice. Audrey is beautiful because she glows with health. Her eyes are clear and frank, charming with none of the doped up slut bitch look that most models today have. It's cute as in "aww, so cute *heart breaks in a good way* We love you Audrey!"

*hunkers off to bed*

"The raaaain in Spain! Falls maaaain-ly on the plaa-iin!"
jhameia: ME! (Writing in my Blood)
Title: None as yet
Genre: Experimental freewrite; dramatic monologue?
Theme: I'm not exactly sure.
Warnings: Hard to appreciate, I think.


Clickies )

Yeah. Just... like. I don't know. Hi. @_@
jhameia: ME! (Writing in my Blood)
Title: And Cry
Genre: freeverse
Theme: War, loss, suffering, reaction
Warnings: None


And Cry )
jhameia: ME! (Writing in my Blood)
I asked on my WriteOn Yahoo! Group for a writing prompt, and Erin gave me the challenge: Shirt. I have no idea what's going to happen in a couple of seconds, since this is going to be a freewrite, but the next few minutes will see me writing furiously about a shirt.

So. 12.41pm.

Shirt )

1.10pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
So here we are again and there are basically three kinds of connections that one would draw in terms of interpersonal relationships:

Clifford's connection is industrial (aristocratic) and intellectual. As are the cambridge intellectuals.

Hilda's connection is personality knowledge-based.

Michaelis is incapable of connection. He misses out on Connie because of this, no matter how much he tries to be with her.

Tommy Dukes, Connie and Mellors are sensuality-based.

Basic Outline:

explore the idea of what connection is and what lawrence wants to connect to.

breakdown of barriers that suppress the instinct
acknowledgement of bodily functions
acknowledgement of the physical world - the seasons, environment
barriers that condone disconnection: class (aristocracy vs colliers), ego (mental/intellectual vs physical)
lawrence explores inter-personal relationships to find a solution for this problem of disconnection. his solution or at least, the connection which he values the most is the sensual connection between lovers, which is what should be the ideal in the marriage system.

different people are disconnecting in different ways in this novel. clifford is simply not interested in the lives of others as people - seeing them as mechanical cogs in a machine. when he does become interested, it is to pass judgement on them as the lower class, and to view himself as rising higher than them. marriage to him is a habit, a life-forming habit, and he worships connie in order to make her stay. Then, too, Clifford only wishes to connect to Connie, but he fails, seeing as his desperately clinging to Connie only leads to a negation of her, and she feels forced to get away from him in order to save herself from the negation of self she was feeling.

michaelis is too caught up in himself, too worried and too involved with being the pariah to care about other people. while he seeks connection with connie, once he notes that they're not on the same wavelength and that connie is finding her own satisfaction only after michaelis has found his, he becomes derisive and resentful of being used as a masturbation tool, disconnecting himself from connie sexually.

the cambridge intellectuals ignore the sensual / physical side of humanity. they attempt to connect mentally, but lawrence seems to posit that because they are all individuals concerned only with themselves. all they ever seem to do is talk. they're not 'warm hearted' and they are not really interested with each other *personally*, only in each other's ideas. Hilda faces the same disconnection, or at least barrier to connection - she does not acknowledge physicality, in fact, she rejects it.

out of all the cambridge intellectuals, only Tommy Dukes comes close to expounding what Lawrence is trying to get that - a return to physicality, a resurrection of the body and acknowledgement of it.

connie and mellors actually attain the sensual connection that lawrence expounds to be the most fulfilling of connections between man and woman in his A Propos.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
I'm seeing a lot of talk about connection within this novel. Let me see if I can articulate myself - it seems to be my biggest problem with this course.

It appears that in that age that Lawrence has set his society ruling class in, lots of intellectuals are somewhat nostalgic for a kind of connection on some level - hints being that it's mostly mental (intellectual) and that sex is a distraction to it (hence the discussion on artificial baby-making).

My question being that what kind of connection really are they looking for and why? Why is it important to "reconnect" or to "connect" anyway? It seems that the individual ego within the novel has an inner yearning for something else, especially with the idea of "everything with its place and time". Clifford's fatalism - "functions of the aristocracy" - seems to indicate a kind of connection between ruling class and working class, even if it is really seperate and derogatory towards the working class. The aristocracy have their own function to fulfil as well, in a sense they are also responsible towards the working class just as the working class is responsible to work for the ruling class when paid to do so. It's a system of feudalism? Although my understanding of feudalism has always seemed to be that the landowners worked the working class (serfs) and showed very little responsibility towards the serfs.

So, then, it leads right back into the idea: what is the connection? Going back to the intellectual discussions, the connection seems to be all mental, and this is problematic because each one of those intellectuals seem to have their own individuality - differences - and disagreements that differentiate themselves from each other. How then is the idea of (re)connection supposed to reconcile with the seperateness that each person feels?

Admittedly I'm only up to the middle of the novel, right after Mellors has had his rant about the "self", and it seems he wishes to break down the boundaries between man and woman within the context of sex, that the two participants within the act should not be seperate in finding the pleasure - should not "stand apart" as Connie's "Queer female mind" does the first time she has sex with Mellors. What does Mellors want to connect with? It seems to be the same kind of connection that Connie finds through her orgasm - the connection to the cosmos, something primordial and something quite incommunicable within the context of civilization.

This leads to the next problem: being that the reader is constantly getting Connie's point of view, but not Mellors'. When Mellors rants about the "self" and the selfishness of the individual, what exactly is he ranting against? I don't really see how he comes in with any talk of connection (there is a line and I will have to list down all the quotes I've found interesting later on). His hatred seems to be directed toward the idea of the woman being an active agent of her own pleasure - what does this have to do with the reconnection that Connie finds to the cosmos and why aren't we getting Mellors' side of the story? I presume that he does also reconnect to the cosmos, and he is more "peaceful" and therefore doesn't speak / think as much about it as Connie does. For him, it seems that investigation of this mystery of the reconnection is not important, only that Man DOES reconnect, hence the lack of discussion from him on this subject when other intellectuals seem to have touched on it once or twice.

Mellors maintains that this mystery is important, and by the end of the novel, it appears that the mystery is between man and woman, so he clings on to his love for Connie even while he lives apart for her, waiting for her to join him. Doesn't say what this mystery is anyway, but knows it's there, that the idea of connection between himself and Connie, in the tenderness they find between each other which translates into love that breaks the boundaries of class, is the thing which helps him move on and eventually motivate him towards finding fresh fields and a new life for himself.

Hmmmm. Is this enough to write an 8-page paper on?
jhameia: ME! (Default)
- Meeting Jenn today, snice we're both out of ideas for material, seeing as most books on DH Lawrence is all gone. I might try again, because sometimes stuff on Lawrence can be found inside the general "Modernist writers" books. We're going to the Spring Garden Library to check out the literary criticism there.

- Going to talk to Prof. Heffernan today, too, about my topic, because I have no one to bounce ideas off, and no one who could suggest stuff for me. I kinda sorta but not quite have an idea of what I want to write, but that's all in the air right now because I have no freaking clue how I'm going to tie all the research I've done together. It's mighty annoying.

- I think I should be able to finish my Sidney essay today, if I can manage to apply myself to it. I was going to finish it yesterday, but I was exhausted for no reason. Bah.

- We read Their Eyes Were Watching God for last night's Modern Novel class. We had a nice long extended debate on it - Heffernan is great at our discussions, she's a wonderful mediator. And Hurston's style of writing is so wonderful - the dialect, the story itself: it was very moving. And her metaphors are incredible!

Take for instance this quote:
When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Then after that some angels got jealous and chopped him into millions of pieces, but still he glittered and hummed. So they beat him down to nothing but sparks but each little spark had a shine and a song. So they covered each one over with mud. And the lonesomeness in the sparks make them hunt for one another, but the mud is deaf and dumb. Like all the other tumbling mud-balls, Janie had tried to show her shine.

That's just so utterly gorgeous, it made me cry.

Yeap. Back to work.

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