In high school, I was part of everything. My name that is. I registered for many, many clubs: just never showed up. In college, I didn't only join a ton of clubs, I also showed up a lot. Even when I was so uncomfortable and didn't want to be there. For instance, the first thing I joined was the school newspaper. I wanted to be like Elizabeth Wakefield from Sweet Valley High. Don't ask. I soon realized that my mates at the newspaper typed like crazy, and they like knew stuff that I hadn't even smelled. While it took me a minute to search for letters on the keyboard to write a word, they would be on their third paragraph or so. Man. I was so shy and so embarrassed. I didn't know how to use Photoshop or inDesign back then, I was always on the verge of tears since I was a 'Layout Designer.' When I couldn't torture myself anymore I disappeared. I did stay for two semesters, though. The literary club I tried to join in Grad school brought back memories of my experience with my college newspaper. It was like there is this language and everyone in our little group understood but me. I wanted to say "Wait? Wait? What? Huh?" Then I thought man! Maybe grad school will be where I don't bother. My excuse is Brooklyn is too far away from Queens. The truth is I'm sadly not very interested.
Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop
by William Butler Yeats
I met the Bishop on the road
And much said he and I.
`Those breasts are flat and fallen now
Those veins must soon be dry;
Live in a heavenly mansion,
Not in some foul sty.'
`Fair and foul are near of kin,
And fair needs foul,' I cried.
'My friends are gone, but that's a truth
Nor grave nor bed denied,
Learned in bodily lowliness
And in the heart's pride.
`A woman can be proud and stiff
When on love intent;
But Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent.'
William Butler Yeats’ "Crazy Jane Talks With the Bishop" is one of my favorite poems. The humor and wit in the exchange between the speakers are excellent and give one much to chew on. The interest of this analysis is to try and decipher whether Jane is indeed crazy or mistakenly identified as such. The title tells us what is happening in the rest of the poem: a woman, ref…
I tell her she has outlived her usefulness.
I point to the corner where dust gathers,
where light has never touched. But there she sits,
a thousand years, hands folded, in a tattered armchair,
with yesterday’s news, “the Golden Mountain Edition.”
The morning sun slants down the broken eaves,
shading half of her sallow face.
On the upper northwest corner (I‘d consulted a geomancer),
a deathtrap shines on the dying bougainvillea.
The carcass of a goatmoth hangs upsidedown,
hollowed out. The only evidence
of her seasonal life is a dash of shimmery powder, a last cry.
She, who was attracted to that bare bulb,
who danced around that immigrant dream,
will find her end here, this corner,
this solemn altar.
Marilyn Chin’s “Altar” seems a tongue-in-cheek treatment of the intriguing subject that is human desire in the need to improve one's state, through the theme of immigration and specifically as a transmission of culture. The poem traces the transpla…
I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.
This poem of John Clare's is quite exquisite. It is and it is not and it says just so and explains just so. As is often the case, the complication and resolution of the poem reside in its title, which is the same …