Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Lobster for Sale by Tim Seibles

In this video, Seibles begins by talking to the audience about the two different ways you can perceive this poem. You can take it literally, or not literally. Seibles reads the poem with a fluid, calming voice, offering a reflective feeling to it. This really furthers the listeners ability to understand the poem, because he reads it as if it needs to be thought about. Each word is slow and concise, and it offers an alternate perspective than the one we usually take about caged animals. Usually people assume the animals to be miserable, but Seibles takes on the voice of a lobster very well; this is all he knows. The slowness and tone of this spoken poem really reflects the life of a lobster in a tank, it's slow and all he can do is sit there and think and "measure the sides of the glass." Seibles offers an interesting and refreshing perspective on a bored animal and the way he performs it greatly impacts the way it is perceived.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Learning Without Knowledge by Vino Venitas

Learning Without Knowledge by Vino Venitas

This poem is all about thinking for yourself, instead of allowing media to tell you what to think. It begins by establishing his "becoming aware" stage of development, in which he is learning that media is teaching him certain things. As the poem progresses, he begins to explain that this isn't at all true and that media is false. He finishes by saying, "FIGHT THE POWER", exclaiming that it is up to us to determine how we view certain things, such as race, or love, and not the media.
Throughout the poem, the author constantly seems to fidget, as if he cannot live in a society completely controlled by the media (it angers him!). In addition, constant rhyming is used, in order to help us remember each phrase more easily. This is especially important in this poem, because he wants us to remember the importance of reconsidering certain concepts.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Dear White America" by Danez Smith

I chose the poem "Dear White America" by Danez Smith. The poem starts out with the speaker talking about how he wants to leave Earth and find another place to live, because it doesn't seem like he belongs. Throughout the poem he talks about how white people have been treating black people throughout the years. He hints on the subjects of slavery, gun violence, and violence against black people overall. Besides the message of the poem, Smith speaks with a passionate and loud voice. He speaks with a genuine feeling of anger, outrage, and unjust. When the poem comes to an end he refers back to the beginning. He says that he will leave Earth and create his own story that belongs only to his people and cant be changed by anyone else.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Rudy Francisco - "A Lot Like You"

I chose this poem for spoken word poetry because of how Rudy Francisco engages his voice when speaking to the audience as if he is just speaking what he has learned about marriage.  I enjoy how Rudy transitions from a women's perspective of marriage to a men's more simple perspective on what marriage is about.  Also I thought it was very interesting how Rudy Francisco at the end of the poem emphasizes, "a lot like you" in a very and calm voice to emphasize the message of the poem how every person that thinks and goes through marriage, goes through the same exact thing.  Both male and female gender.

KANYE self conscious

This poem is all about self image.  Kanye starts out this poem by explaining how he wants to portray himself, whether it be wearing a nice watch, shoes, or even a 400 dollar belt buckle as he describes.  He then goes on to talk about how this idea is in almost everyone.  Everyone wants to display a better version of their true selves.  He ends his piece by talking more specifically on race, and explains how wealthy white people actually profit off of poor minorities, such as the issues in the drug world.

For My Daughter By Sarah Kay

I chose this poem because I liked the way Sarah Kay talked bout life and ways of how her daughter can get through it without actually saying these are the ways. She uses very good metaphors and acts out each transition to draw in the audience. listen when she talks about drawing the solar system on the back of her daughter hand, It's one of my favorite lines in her poem.

"Flatland" by Sam Cook

This poem begins with the poet asking the audience to remember something, which sets the remembered/story-like tone for the rest of the poem. This poem then performs a beautiful slow crescendo into sound and fury and violence--using both volume and using violent words to describe sound we reach this crescendo and abruptly stop as the character of the story transforms and resolves a conflict. This winds itself down from the  metaphor of being a soldier and the poet concludes with reminding us of his role in the story--a bystander--and rages at his own passiveness, creating a smaller but no less powerful crescendo. The poem ends on a high note, with the poet shouting the very last lines as his voice breaks with the volume and the passion with which he's speaking.

Piñata By Pages Matam

This poem is from the 2013 National poetry slam.  The emotions and descriptive language used throughout this piece really gives it a life of its own.  It makes you realize what this man has gone through while at the same time get something out of it.

Kindergarten by James Franco

The beginning of this poem begins describing a kindergarten classroom and naming some of the things that the poet, James Franco, observes and remembers. Rob Lowe reads it slowly with a smile to poke fun at possibly how simple the poem is. As the poem continues, the author transitions from what he sees, to what he experiences when he mentions a friend he made. Rob Lowe says the last line with a straight face to highlight how abruptly the poem ends. - Mary Jane Ripley


I choose this poem because I liked the way that she used the transitions and the repitition of the lines. I also really liked how she extended the metaphor of Neverland and peter pan to show her confusion and the connection between childhood and adult hood. Listen how she turns peter pans call ("lost boys, little lost boys!") into the main transition and connecter between all of her ideas.

This Moment - Igor Oro

         This poem starts out by the speaker asking something of the audience, he makes them think about who they are. This is the beginning. His posture and the way he presents himself to the audience is very melancholy. He isn'y forcing his emotions into the audience, but more so giving himself to them if they'd like to accept. The middle of the poem begins when he describes not who you are, but what you'll have to do. Essentially, you figure out towards the end that those mean the same thing because it is what you do during that middle part and how you handle hardships which will determine who you are. The ending is marked when he is no longer trying to be subtle, instead he tells it like it is and fills people in on what kind of person they could be. He plays with rhymes throughout the entire poem, which can seem a bit corny and almost take away from the very dull tone of the poem, but it works with the way the speaker articulates himself.

Monday, November 16, 2015

spoken word poetry - "Like a Woman" by Annabelle Fern

In this piece of spoken word poetry the speaker in the beginning tries to conform with society and change herself to please the "crocodiles" or the on lookers. By the end of the poem after reflecting on the views of the on lookers and forgetting their judgement, the speaker raises her child to be a true woman. A woman who doesn't care about the views of the onlookers. The child is raised free of the pressures of society.

I liked this poem because it seemed to stay true to its title. Not only was it four minutes long but it also summed up the things that make America American. The poet bounced negatives off off the positives that really characterized out country. The music in the background accompanied the words following the energy of the poem. There was a comfortable flow through from topic to topic so that it never tripped up on any ideas. As a spoken word poem it was directed not at the reader but the listener. I felt that the tone that the poem was written in and the way the poet read it made me feel like he was talking directly to me.

Pause Poem

The sound of this poem is interesting in that sometimes one person is speaking, sometimes two, three, or even all of them. In the beginning, when Lillian says something that Paul said to her, they both spoke at the same time, which was really neat. When they all speak, it creates drama in the poem and is cool to see how they are all in sync, even down to the hand movements. Every time they say the word "pause", it is a transition of thoughts. The thoughts are things that they notice with different tragedies or inequalities in the world, and how each time they hear about these things they pause. This poem has great movement and flow, and it is very easy to get into. The repetition helps the flow of the poem and is the most prominent literary device in it.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

This is a poet that i really liked when i was looking throught a poetry website.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Let America be America again

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
By Langston Hughes

I decided to choose this poem because of the relevance it incorporates in our country today. Although not specific, it brings up the idea of how much we have changed as a country since we first got started. America used to be a place for hope and happiness and while this still may be the same for some people, for others it is a fight for survival. And recently we have seen many issues such as violence that were not evident back when we arrived.

The Anxiety of Influence


    I thought this was kind of interesting. Its a book by Harold Bloom and the message is that while current-day poets accumulate a lot of their ideas from the fascination of their precursors, their creative process is hindered by essentially not wanting to be a copy cat.


There's the wikipedia if you're interested. If you scroll down to where he breaks the book up into six different ratios it's pretty cool stuff.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Look up By Gary Turk

Clayton Burt


Here is a awesome link to a poem that is so evident in everyone's lives.  I thought of posting this video because it links to all genres of people and social classes.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Dank Poem For The Class

Like eelgrass through a glass-
bottom boat on the Silver River,
I see the state, obscured yet pure. Derision,

a tattooed flame crackling
underneath the lewd, uncool
khaki of an amused park worker.

I was the sometimes boy on a leash,
my sliver of assent in 1984 —
as if it were my decision.

The I-75 signage, more than metaphor.
As if I had the right to vote.
The slumber parties then were hidden wood;

the tea so sweet, the saccharin
pink and artificial, like intelligence.
The science sponsored in part by chance.

I made my acting debut with the red
dilettante down the street, “Rusty” Counts,
in Rusty Counts Presents: Suburbs of the Dead,

straight to VHS. My parents phoned a counselor.
A palmetto bug read Megatrends on the fold-
ing chair by our above-ground swimming pool ...

The pool shark lurked, but not to fear.
The end unknowable, blue, inmost, and cold,
like the comfort of a diplomatic war.

Maddie's - extra assignment

I chose this video because I think it gives an interesting insight on how expressive poetry can be. I think that this video is very relevant to our course because he takes us through each poem and you can hear the way he feels about the poem through his voice and expression. I really enjoyed the video.

Social Media, Race, and Disney Princesses


I found this website which contains a variety of media from weekly podcasts to a library of poetry. I really liked this podcast (from the weekly podcast Poetry Off the Shelf) in particular because it discusses current issues we live through on a daily basis and see a lot through social media which incorporates poetry into a discussion. The two hosts of this episode are young poets from diverse backgrounds and have a lot to say on racism and show how social media can expose a much wider audience to poetry who would probably have never read it in a book. Here is a poem, which relates to current situations, like the Syrian refugee crisis:

Your Village by Elana Bell
Once in a village that is burning
      because a village is always somewhere burning
And if you do not look because it is not your village
      it is still your village
In that village is a hollow child
      You drown when he looks at you with his black, black eyes
And if you do not cry because he is not your child
      he is still your child
All the animals that could run away have run away
      The trapped ones make an orchestra of their hunger
The houses are ruin      Nothing grows in the garden
      The grandfather’s grave is there      A small stone
under the shade of a charred oak      Who will brush off the dead
      leaves      Who will call his name for morning prayer
Where will they — the ones who slept in this house and ate from this dirt — ?

Pablo Neruda poem in spanish

I decided to share this poem because I found it interesting to see a poem in a different language. Although the language is different the style of writing is still the same. The poet uses descriptive language to show the reader that he's lost his love. 


PUEDO escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.

Escribir, por ejemplo: "La noche está estrellada,
y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos".

El viento de la noche gira en el cielo y canta.

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Yo la quise, y a veces ella también me quiso.

En las noches como ésta la tuve entre mis brazos.
La besé tantas veces bajo el cielo infinito.

Ella me quiso, a veces yo también la quería.
Cómo no haber amado sus grandes ojos fijos.

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Pensar que no la tengo. Sentir que la he perdido.

Oir la noche inmensa, más inmensa sin ella.
Y el verso cae al alma como al pasto el rocío.

Qué importa que mi amor no pudiera guardarla.
La noche está estrellada y ella no está conmigo.

Eso es todo. A lo lejos alguien canta. A lo lejos.
Mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Como para acercarla mi mirada la busca.
Mi corazón la busca, y ella no está conmigo.

La misma noche que hace blanquear los mismos
Nosotros, los de entonces, ya no somos los mismos.

Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero cuánto la quise.
Mi voz buscaba el viento para tocar su oído.

De otro. Será de otro. Como antes de mis besos.
Su voz, su cuerpo claro. Sus ojos infinitos.

Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero tal vez la quiero.
Es tan corto el amor, y es tan largo el olvido.

Porque en noches como ésta la tuve entre mis
mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Aunque éste sea el último dolor que ella me causa,
y éstos sean los últimos versos que yo le escribo.

Darius Simpson & Scout Bostley - "Lost Voices" (CUPSI 2015)

I decided to pick this video because the speakers have a unique way of presenting the poem.  Darius Simpson & Scout Bostley, switch microphones in the middle of the poem, I didn't understand way but I only understood as the poem progressed.  Instead of telling stories in their life, they tell each others experiences.  In my opinion, this results in a powerful poem about a white girls perspective and a black man's perspective.


Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early 
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, 
then with cracked hands that ached 
from labor in the weekday weather made 
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. 

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. 
When the rooms were warm, he’d call, 
and slowly I would rise and dress, 
fearing the chronic angers of that house, 

Speaking indifferently to him, 
who had driven out the cold 
and polished my good shoes as well. 
What did I know, what did I know 
of love’s austere and lonely offices? 
The reason I picked to post this poem is because I love the rich imagery that Hayden incorporated in this poem. Every word was chosen deliberately and has some deeper connotation. For example, 'blueblack cold' can remind us of bruises, rather than just a color.