This hauntin Emily Dickinson poem really speaks to the deeper meaning that clean, curt writing can really lend itself too. Read below and see what I mean.

She died this was the way she died
by Emily Dickinson

She died – this was the way she died.
And when her breath was done
Took up her simple wardrobe
And started for the sun.

Her little figure at the gate
The Angels must have spied,
Since I could never find her
Upon the mortal side.

The reader is left with many questions, like why is the narrator looking for the girl? What is the relationship? But the fact of the matter is that none of that matters, what matters is that the author assumes that she is dead and in heaven since she cannot find her among the living. Just by the shear fact that the narrator doesn’t assume that the girl is in hell speak volumes about the character of that person. It speaks to the sadness, desperation and lack of control we have over death and how all we can do is hope and worry our wrists.

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So this is a pretty famous poem and I am probably going to butcher the meaning, but I don’t care. Read this poem by Robert Frost entitled “Mending Wall.”

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!’
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors’.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
‘Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.’ I could say ‘Elves’ to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

So why do good fences make good neighbors? I will tell you why, because it is a definition to the relationship. Every spring they have something to do together and to make sure they establish the boundaries in their little relationship. It’s not just the fence that makes them a good neighbor, it is the interaction that the fence implies. I think that the act of working together to do something, to control their little piece of the world is what really makes them take ownership of their relationship. That, or I have no understanding of poetry.

List of Demands

May 1, 2008

So i heard this song “List of Demands” by Saul Williams because of a Nike commerical and was originall drawn to it because of the powerful beat and fast pace it has. Take a listen with this youtube video.

Beautiful, almost perfect beat. Now listen again (I am sure you already have, it’s a good song 🙂 ), but this time listen to the words. The poetry in this song is truly about fighting those idealic and false dreams that the American cultural system tries to enculture into its youth. Williams has a list of demands that he is wanting addressed because he has tried to play the system by the rules and laws and has not received the promised result. It is a really powerful peace about social unrest, not just for African Americans, but for all of those that have had their dreams destroyed by the cold reality of American Life.

Wilmot for the win

April 8, 2008

I think to start this blog off right there is nothing better than a little poetry from Lord John Wilmot.

All My Past Life…

All my past life is mine no more,
The flying hours are gone,
Like transitory dreams given o’er,
Whose images are kept in store
By memory alone.

What ever is to come is not,
How can it then be mine?
The present moment’s all my lot,
And that as fast as it is got,
Phyllis, is wholly thine.

Then talk not of inconstancy,
False hearts, and broken vows,
Ii, by miracle, can be,
This live-long minute true to thee,
‘Tis all that heaven allows.

Lord John Wilmot

What is Wilmot trying to say here?  The way I see it, the first stanza is how memory is lost into the ether of the collective, the second stanza is about the  future being unknown to us so basically in the last stanza we are told that the only thing to do is live in this moment.  Never think about the past, the future – live for the now.  I hope will help set the tone for my blog.