Peer Review, Week 10

Daniel, a great blog post! I admire the time taken to ensure each line was similar in syllable count and rhythmic pattern. I like how you highlight the dangers of each road, particularly in the concluding line “For either choice made, I shall be damned.” I think the first line needs some consideration “Two roads diverged in a yellow road.” Another word for road, perhaps, “Two paths’?

Otherwise, a good poem!

Link to blog post: https://ddavid1818.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/literature-journal-blog-6-4/comment-page-1/#comment-100

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Week 10, Creative

CREATIVE: Using any one of Faulkner’s 15 character voices as a guide, create a paragraph in the voice of a character totally different to yourself. Think about people you might have overheard on the train or bus or someone you might have seen randomly on a street corner. Invent their life, their consciousness in a paragraph. Who knows it might become the start of a larger work!

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Note: This is insipired from an occurrence that happened on a Wednesday morning on my way into university. 

 

Wednesday Morning

“Tickets! Checking tickets. Get your Opal and concession cards ready, please!”

The transit officer belched from the back of the carriage, with much more authority than necessary. You’re not a cop mate, relax. The girl in front of me reacted instantaneously; Opal with according concession card at the ready. Goody-goody, that one is. People’s sleep are disrupted as they rummage through wallets, fiddle with their head phones, have mini panic attacks in fear of the $200 fine they’ll receive if they can’t produce this paramount piece of plastic that proves you paid your $4.50 fare.

“Hey mate, can I see your Opal card?” There were two officers who stood over me, utilising their superior standing position over the seated passengers as a power trip. One stood behind, silent, but I feel he washarsh.

“Sorry, I don’t have it. I lost my wallet last night and it was in there.”

“What’s your name?”

“Alex. Alex Debney.”

“You know its a crime to provide a false identity.”

“That’s my name.”

“Any proof of identification?”

“Nah mate, I told you, I lost my wallet.”

The officer was stumped. He paused, then continued to read the laws and regulations regarding Opal cards.

“What station are you getting off at?”

“Granville.”

“Alright, we’ll meet you at Granville and discuss this further.”

They left the carriage. I called dad.

“Hey Cameron, why are you bloody calling me this early? What have you bloody done now?”

“Didn’t tap on this morning for the train, so didn’t give ‘em my Opal card. They said they’re going to fine me at Granville.”

“You can’t afford any more fines! You can’t get involved with the jail anymore, mate! Anything else, you’re out. Can’t take it anymore, mate. I’m sick of this.”

His voice was becoming raised and I could see the girl in front of me trying to turn to listen. Bloody goody-goody. Mind your own damn business.

Over the speaker, I could hear the stops being listed: Next station Fairfield, then Yennora, Guildford, Merrylands, Granville…

They can’t take me back to jail. It’s a fine, but I can’t afford the fine. With my record, they’d probably think it’s easier just to shove me away. Why couldn’t they let a poor bloke go? He lost his wallet, probably had to cancel his cards, apply for a new license, risk identify theft and a potential shopping spree from whoever found his cards, draining his bank account. Poor bloke and they couldn’t let him off for not having his Opal card? Without which how is he going to get to work? No paper tickets. Doesn’t have a license to drive. I thought it was a pretty damn good lie, to be honest.

I could see the transit officers in the carriage after us through the windows. As the doors opened on Fairfield station, the officers didn’t take notice. Their minds were on fining the next poor bloke. I quickly got up, and just before the doors closed, bolted through.

What am I going to do in bloody Fairfield?

Peer Review, Week 9

Natalie, I enjoyed your confronting address to Mr. Baldwin. your acknowledgement of the juxtaposition between inward and outward feeling was great! Thoroughly enjoyed your thoughts on the piece. Having read this piece myself as well, I found it compelling in its confrontational elements. I feel he captured the essence of societal conformation and the injustice faced by ‘black’ society. Just a correction: should be ‘your’ not ‘you’re’ in the first paragraph.

Link to post: https://natalie4820.wordpress.com/2017/09/13/dear-mr-baldwin/

Week 9 Blog, Creative

5/ Try to write either a William Carlos Williams, an Ezra Pound or an e.e.cummings poem using your own subject matter but sticking to their language and form. As a starting point you might try either “The Red Wheelbarrow” (309), or “In a Station of the Metro” (318) or e.e.cummings “in Just-” (638))

Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro”, reads:

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.

Short in length, powerful in language, I am to do the same by adopting the minimalist imagism style. I wanted to take an evening of going to dinner, my ideal restaurant scene, and depict it by capturing the elements that make it so idyllic.

“An Ideal Evening”

Sand hour-glass running slowly, the conversation dances to the flames;

Auburn night, smooth taste, cadence turning, slow.

Week 8 Blog

1/ Write a paragraph that says succinctly which of the two Roberts you preferred and for what reasons.

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Whilst both Robert Frost and Robert Lowell are incredible writers, with incredible talents for the construction of poetry, it is Robert Frost who I gravitate more heavily towards. Frost’s writing is extremely entertaining to read, particularly owing to the song-like rhythmic effect of his poems, that mimic the pattern of music. Frost adopts an unpretentious, quotidian style with his approachable word choice, which encourages a broad spectrum of readers. In his work, whilst deceptively simple, he is extremely ambiguous, adding to the cleverness of his construction. Often, he alludes to the ineffable: the things beyond descriptions, the indescribable. It is his description of the ineffable, that transports readers to the edge of silence; a spiritual place, not God, but a place of renewed understanding, that brings an alternate interpretation of reality. It is Frost’s attempt to discover something nourishing and nurturing within reality. The greatness of Frost, is his ability to address both the ineffable, something beyond words, and his ability to capture the everyday human experience, extraordinarily. In this way Frost celebrates the ordinary life and celebrates the extraordinary notion of what life and living is. His appreciation of the (some would call) ‘mundane’, things, life, nature, squabbles amongst friends and family, is what aligns his work with the Transcendentalists. Something poignant, that captured my interest in Frost whole-heartedly, was his belief that “A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom…it runs a course of lucky events, and ends in a clarification of life.” “The Figure a Poem Makes” (250-251). This sentiment runs true for so many of the poems I have enjoyed and is the reason I love the form so much. Ambiguous in its nature, poems bestow a rhyming quality that enchants you whilst you read, whilst adopting your own, personalised meaning to the poem. Therefore, upon reading, you are entertained. Upon leaving, you have circumnavigated your brain, leaving with a greater clarification of your own life. Poetry allows for individual interpretation, and thus, gives everyone opportunity to gain clarity within their own lives.

It is for the above reasons, that I prefer the work of Robert Frost.

Image from: https://williambertrand.fr/robert-frost-poems/

Week 7 Peer Review – Yasmin

Yasmin, I was extremely captivated by this piece! There were so many literary techniques within it, from alliteration, the use of the dash, complex sentence, etc, that all worked so well in creating this work (whether intentional or not. I like the notion you put forward of a ‘society that only makes it age in all ways.’ This is definitely true, and further the point that ‘in the woods is perpetual youth.’ Good work,

Victoria

Link to blog post: https://yasminandliterature.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/blog-2-america-writing/

Week 7 Blog – Critical

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BALDWIN- How does Baldwin through his language technique succeed in immersing his reader in the experience of his characters? Chose any section of his amazing story “Going to Meet the Man”

When you read a piece of writing, it is, unfortunately, true that we discern the writing quality and entertainment factor within the first couple of lines, or first couple of pages – if we’re generous. James Baldwin, American social writer, essayist, and critic, produces powerfully captivating work that often commentates on social issues within America. He does this whilst maintaining a calm demure in order to efficiently communicate the, often concerning or contentious, issue. Within his 1965 text, Going to Meet the Man, Baldwin’s powerful language techniques immerse the reader in the experience of his characters.

Within the opening section of the excerpt provided by The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Baldwin immediately captures audience engagement with his use of dialogue and questioning of “What’s the matter?”. This insinuates to readers the presence of an issue, and the desire to unearth the presented predicament. The character’s aversion to the question also invites further speculation into the scenario, prompting additional reading. It is through the use of the vernacular that we are captivated. The American slang becomes our adopted reading voice; the colloquialism makes the text an inviting, playful piece, with an undeniable hidden meaning. The controversial topic is made more approachable through the conversational tone that is employed. We are offended, yet entertained by the narrator’s remarks. Repetition and rhetorical questioning capture reader attention, particularly with the profane word choice of ‘nigger’ in the example: ‘The niggers. What had the good Lord Almighty had I mind when he made the niggers? Well. They were pretty good at that, all right. Damn. Damn. Goddman.’ The gyration between short and compound sentences implements a fast paced rhythm, mimicking that of a conversation. This engenders an amicable relationship between the reader and writer. Particularly with the delicate content matter, we feel, through his writing style, that we, as readers, have been entrusted with this information.

In the narrator’s conflicting attitudes towards coloured women, we are able to identify a conflict within himself. One opinion, anaphorically exhibited, again, with the use of rhetorical questioning to encourage reader engagement, is that ‘They were animals, they were no better than animals, what could be done with people like that?’ This is then contrasted with an opposing notion that ‘the image of a black girl caused a distant excitement in him, like a far-away light.’ The simile manifests the sense of yearning. In this society, it is typical to be against the welfare of African Americans, however, it appears that he, conflicted, is attracted to them.

In this masterful piece Going to Meet the Man, within only an excerpt, we are able to identify Baldwin’s ability to immerse readers into his story through his skillful literary techniques. We are submerged into the world of the narrator and empathise with his world.

Image from: http://www.warscapes.com/blog/ferguson-haunted-james-baldwin

Blog Week 6 – Creative

CREATIVE: Imagine you are Huck on the raft. Write a letter to the world saying why you want to be where you are and why the world should be different than what it is.

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Dear world,

Jim reckon’d the world was full o’ bad luck, always ha’nted with bad things lurkin’ ‘round corners. I reckon’d the world was beautifully really, we humans just tended to mess it up.  If I want food, I go hunting for food. I dunt need nothin fancy, nor anything to fuss over. I need me and nature. That’s it. So what does everyone fuss over their fancy clothes, their spelling and their grammars. They dunt matter now, do they? The shun upon the uneducated, uncivilised, the coloured – like me ’n Jim, but really, who is the more civilised? Throw them on this raft, and they’d surely sink! Treat the coloured like slaves, for what? Cuz they look diff’rent? ‘Cuz they’re not righteous with their God? Why would I rather be on the land, where slavery confines us – well, Jim – and they dun let me live they way I wanna.

So, I think I’ll stay on dis raft. With Jim. Me. Jim. Jim and me. Because they dun see what I see in Jim. He’s more human that the rest of them! Here, I’m in the nature. I appreciate it. I don’t need nothin but the earth. Neither does Jim, and I think that’s why we git along so well. He knows things the townspeople don’t. Like when the birds fly in a certain direction, it’s gunna rain. On the raft, Jim and I can be who we want to be. Not constrained by what they tellin’ us we should do or be. I’m mighty comfortable here.

So, world. I might leave you be. One day you’ll hopefully change, or be better, or accept Jim, or accept me, without tryin’ change us. But for now, I’m gunna enjoy this nature, enjoy the stars, enjoy the night sky as it guides us somewhere better than where we have been.

Thanks for readin’,

Huck.

PS If you can’t read, like I used to not know hows to, maybe someone can read this for you.

IMAGE FROM: https://www.etsy.com/listing/125343738/the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn-by

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