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Sir Gawain March 31, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 1:04 pm

I read the previous part to this excerpt and got a lot more out of this specific part.  This poem is extremely ironic.  Sir Gawain accepts his fate on Christmas, a time of joy and around the time of a new year.  Also, Gawain’s green belt, originally the symbol of safety, comes to stand for his very human sin, and finally, a symbol of honor.

The Green knight/Bertilak seeks to teach a lesson, as he appears to know what the effects of his actions will be and how the future will play out.  He reveals that he was the Lord from the castle in their final meeting.  The way that he tests Gawain on his proposed death day are evidence.  On the first swing of his axe, he reprimands Gawain for being weak when he flinches.  Then he stops a second time, claiming he was testing to see if Gawain was ready-he later explains that the first two blows were a reward for Gawain’s following their earlier

game’s rules.  And  the third time, his swing doesn’t go through, only to leave a scar and lead Gawain to state that it is now his time to defend himself-the third blow was for Gawain’s failure to return the green girdle to him on the last day.  But because Gawain’s failing was only because he wanted to save his life, and not because he’s just dishonorable, the Green Knight forgives him.  He leaves Gawain with only with a scar and a belt as a reminder of his very human sin.

This tale is also appropriately known as the “beheading game.”  It is written in bob and wheel stanzas, which are the lines forming the body of the stave being not rhyming, but alliterative.  Originating from Welsh, Irish and English tradition, it highlights the importance of honor and chivalry.  From the romance genre, it involves a hero who goes on a quest that tests his prowess.  There is a great use of description, detailed without becoming overbearing.

The seasons, games and green are recurring, especially from beginning to end, to highlight the character’s transformation.  In the beginning, Gawain is confident which he mistakes for chivalrous and noble.  He receives his fate and faces it at the same times of year.  In the beginning, he plays into a game that in the end makes him a better person but which he now knows are better to avoid.  And finally, the green belt that he is left with will forever be a symbol of the Green Knight.


Get Up and Bar the Door

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 1:02 pm

I think this poem tells many great truths of life.  First, of a well matched marriage-stubbornness and arguments are normal, either way resulting in the couples undeniable love for one another.  The man at first appears selfish and mean to his wife, forcing her to do a simple task that he claims he is too tired to do.  The wife has had it.  Understandably, she refuses to do this one thing because the woman is always expected to do domestic “chores.”  In the end, the man’s love for his wife shines through and the wife, who in my opinion, had the better reason not to lock the door, wins.  This situation is just a silly escalation like so many things in life.  Something so meaningless and simple becomes this fixation of either side that they must win.  These two even go as far as to risk their safety, with really no valuable effect to their strife.

This is a folk ballad which is characterized by being humorous and one subject focused.  The subject is conveyed through the literal words written and also ones implied-the implied thoughts are emphasized using literary techniques such as symbolism, repetition, and rhyme.  Like a typical ballad, it follows a four line stanza and ABCB rhyme scheme.  The title is repeated and variated to suggest the urgency of shutting the door, the danger they subject themselves to by letting the darkness of the night into their house.  There is little characterization and the few adjectives used, describe the man and wife as “stubborn.”  Though humorous, the ballad has a serious theme.


Senior Year Elegy March 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 5:14 pm

I’ve hated, I’ve loved

I’ve cried and I’ve laughed

I’ve felt so alone, to then gain genuine friends

I’ve lost confidence and strength and I’ve found and accepted new qualities

I’ve shed a great deal of who I was 4 years ago and I know a little more about who I am

I’ve tried to crumple you up and shoot for the trash can

I missed of course!


The Seafarer March 27, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 5:13 pm

This poem uses a great deal of figurative language, but all readily understandable and evocative.  The movement of the sea matches the ups and downs the seafarer experiences, swept back and forth just like his emotions shift from sorrow to fear to pain.  The use of personification can sometimes be far fetched but in this case, each use is subtle because it is so well paired.  For example, hailstorms flew, roaring sea, and storms beat on the rocky cliffs, are all easily imagined because the sea can be violent and embodies all of these life/human inferred verbs.  All aspects of the sea are described because this is what the seafarer knows best.  When you are only surrounded by water, the sky, and few animals, each one becomes an obsession, key in describing the environment.  He uses the sea as a portal to his life and psyche.  He uses cold, dark, and windy words which can all describe the sea, especially when one is stranded there and nostalgic.  When  I read this, I felt a need to read it slowly, not quite peacefully, but like the movement of a calm sea, a body/voice stiffened by the cold.  As suggested in class, I agree with the second half being a whole different poem because it is completely opposes every aspect of the previous half.  It is full of life, discussing growth and God/heaven.  There are still hints of helplessness but the recurring theme of God holds a more optimistic tone and message.  Overall, I think the seafarer is undergoing the classic confusion of thoughts and feelings.  He feels an extra strong tie to the sea but can’t deny his longing for land as well.  He begins with the harshness of sea life but then how it excites him-“my heart would begin to beat”, “there isn’t a man on earth so proud.”  He also longs for the life that blooms on land, the idea of a town.  The poem concludes sermon like, emphasizing the power of God and how to live-“death leaps at the fools who forget their God.”  Everyone has regrets, second thoughts, fears, especially when you are stranded in the middle of the sea, but mostly, the seafarer has pride and I think his final transition to discussing God proves that he feels supported and finally confident that he is “rising to that eternal joy.”


Poem 1 March 21, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 8:51 pm
A Girl by Ezra Pound
The tree has entered my hands,
The sap has ascended my arms,
The tree has grown in my breast-
The branches grow out of me, like arms.Tree you are,
Moss you are,
You are violets with wind above them.
A child – so high – you are,
And all this is folly to the world.

I found this poem to be multi dimensional.  Many things in life are compared to a tree and I perceived the first stanza as the direct relation between the workings of the human body to a tree and also to provide an image for the thoughts that grow out of a girl.  The second stanza broadens what a child can be, a flower, a tree, moss, flying.  The final line contrasts the tone of the rest of the poem, it is dismal, and because of this, it widened my eyes in an instant.  It ends with a statement on children, that the world is judging them, titling their imagination as folly.  Ezra Pound wants this girl to be above scrutinization though, to hold onto her imagination as long as possible because it is an asset.  Adults seem to lose the simple pleasure of losing themselves in an imagined fantasy and this poem makes a statement on the shame of this.
This poem is free verse, which doesn’t limit it’s rhyme scheme, diction, or organization.  It primarily focuses on the tree metaphor and each line says something about movement(enter, ascend, grow).  It speaks to the reader because it is not just a story, it is a statement about life.  It is short and simple so there are really no visual or auditory effects, the meaning is the most profound aspect.  And finally,  I always keep an eye on the title and “A Girl” serves to mean just that, not to always be a woman but to hold onto the little girl in everyone.

Columbia Revisited March 20, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 8:48 pm

It is incredible how different something can appear or how it’s meaning can change when seen a second time.  I have an image in my mind of where I am going next year based on my recruiting trip and virtual tours.  It was really cool the weekend after Nationals to get to drive down a couple of miles to see Columbia again.  It looked even better than when I left it in the fall-there were students scattered everywhere and everything was all lit up, it looked like Greece, a castle, magical.  I got to look closer at the buildings that I could live in next year, where I’ll eat, study, and have class but the best part was that I have already accepted this as a new home.  We mainly went there to show one of my sisters the campus but I felt ownership, like I was showing off a prized possession.  I think every day I am at Columbia next year I’ll be awestruck but the amazing school and its history will push me to strive to be a contributor for the school, whether that is academically(probably not haha), athletically, or in the community.  This is just another phase in my life but I have the chance to be someone else, redefine who I am in Maine.  It is crazy to see who my sisters have become-one sister more academic than we thought possible, another more outgoing which is completely opposite to the introvert she has been.  I think the school/environment will help define who I will be and that is perfectly fine with me at a place like Columbia!


Rachel Mckibbens March 19, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 8:48 pm

I’ve thought more and more about the poetry workshop that we went to on Tuesday and how much I loved what she said/did.  It is very difficult for teachers to get everyone involved- to teach in a way that is effective for each individual.  Poetry is even more difficult, as the best really comes from within and needs to bring out either strong emotions or memorable experiences.  Poetry is a genuine, raw thing and for someone like me, who really hasn’t had that eventful of a life, Rachel gave some effective tips.  I don’t think that poetry has to be dark and depressing.  That is why I really enjoy Richard Blanco, who uses colorful imagery and humorous memories to stretch the limits of poetry. The three column exercise was great in that animals and their characteristics evoke happy images, enforcing a brighter poem.  Also, the exercise doesn’t have to just be for poetry, it can be for a more interesting sentence composition.  In this case, you don’t have to think about the poem really at all-you just think of the object, an animal related, and its characteristic and then put together the first and third column to create a unique phrase or sentence.  I still prefer to listen to poetry rather than write it but I now feel like I know where to begin and that the three column word exercise makes positive poetry more possible.