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Poetry Portfolio

Wendell Seals
by

Wendell Seals

on 18 December 2012

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Transcript of Poetry Portfolio

Who Am I? What Makes Me Happy? Playing the piano Doing math. Not sure why, but it entertains me. My handwriting. I work
very hard to make sure
that it's legible. The band Paramore. I've yet to hear a song by them I don't like. What Makes Me Unhappy? Rap music. That should be
self-explanatory. My cat. She is the vilest creature to ever walk this earth... Auburn. Also self-explanatory. My phone. It's a really cruddy
Blackberry Torch. "There's plenty of sense in
nonsense, if you wish to look
for it."
-Cassandra Clare, The Infernal Devices Denotation and Connotation "The world is too much with us" "So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn." Minor gods of
the ocean in Greek mythology. - William Wordsworth (1770-1850) Throughout the entire poem, Wordsworth
speaks out against the way mankind has
lost the ability to see the beauty and magnificence in nature. My hair. It just does not know how to
function correctly. Or normally. Or
even at all. Proteus and Triton are used to mean godly or
otherworldly sights or events. This means that
in the last two lines of the excerpt, Wordsworth is ranting about the way the world is so concerned with itself that it pays no notice to the wonders of nature. Imagery "Living in Sin" "Meanwhile, he, with a yawn, sounded a dozen
notes upon the keyboard, declared it out of tune, shrugged at the mirror, rubbed at his beard, went out for cigarettes; while she, jeered by the minor demons, pulled back the sheets and made the bed and a towel to dust the table-top." Adrienne Rich (b. 1929) The highlighted portion describes the sound of an out of tune piano, presumably old as well. The sound of a piano in that state is very distinct and it brings out a sense of nostalgia. For example, the automatic pianos from old westerns or a piano played in an old church comes to mind. It's not the only example in the excerpt, however.The speaker illustrates an older man stroking his beard in frustration as he walks out the door to buy a pack of cigarettes while his wife begins cleaning up the house with little emotion, almost as if she's programmed to do that daily. "Meeting at Night" "A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match, and a voice less loud, through its joys and fears, than the two hearts beating each to each." Robert Browning (1812-1889) When Robert Browning wrote the poem, he
intended it to be about love. In the excerpt, two lovers are meeting each other at night. It's a basic concept that has been used multiple times before, but what is so unique about the poem is the way Browning makes every single line use imagery in some shape or form. Let the Poetry Begin! For Example:
"Three fields to cross till a farm appears"
"And blue spurt of a lighted match"
"The two hearts beating each to each!" One is able to visualize all of these things and be able to get an emotion from them. Crossing three fields just to see someone emits a desperate sense of longing. The lighted match gives the person hope, and two hearts beating shows that the two are enamored with each other. Figurative Language 1
"It sifts from leaden sieves" "It reaches to the fence
It wraps it rail by rail
Till it is lost in fleeces;
It deals celestial veil

To stump and stack and stem-
A summer's empty room-
Acres of joints where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them

It ruffles wrists of posts
As ankles of a queen,
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been." Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) Analysis
The first example gives the sense of a long journey. A man hoping to arrive where his love lies.
The second example illustrates a more
detailed perception of what the boy is
doing and what is happening around
him with a sense of urgency and
impatience.
The final example shows the two lovers finally together. Their closeness and emotions gives an amplified sense of reality and ecstasy. They can feel each other by their sides. "I felt a funeral in my brain" "I felt a funeral in my brain,"

"That sense was breaking through."

"My mind was going numb"

"And then I heard them lift a box
And creak across my soul"

"And then a plank in reason broke"


Emily Dickinson (1830 - 18886) Figurative Language 2 "The Sick Rose" "Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy."

William Blake (1757 - 1827) "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time" "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying."

Rober Herrick (1591 - 1674) Figurative Language 3 In most cases, fleece refers to the white fleece on a sheep or a lamb; in this case, however, it is a fertilizer used to protect plants from snow. It being the snow. Summer is gone and its place is a cold winter. Areas where crops were grown and where gardens were tended have been covered by a veil of snow and any signs that plant life existed has been erased from the world. Things like crops and flowers and other plants create the art of mother nature. They paint the ground and give it life, but the cold winter season freezes the art in time and hides the fact that they were ever there. Emily Dickenson projects the image of the ground covered with flowers being smothered with snow. Any signs that life was there has been erased, its existence denied by nature. even though they still stand under the shrouding veil of the frigid cold. In this first stanza, Herrick is attempting to illustrate the brevity of human life by conveying it as a flower. In the first line, the speaker refers to rosebuds as a symbol for marriage. The message the speaker is trying to get across is, "Marry now, while you can. For like a rosebud, you are only worth picking for so long, and could very well be alive one day and dead the next. Dickinson refers to physical, intellectual, and spiritual reality, but does not differentiate the three. The most notable being the lack of distinction between "mind" and "brain". Dickinson makes a point in saying that there is a funeral in her "brain". The brain is generally just a physical mass inside our skulls. In this case, she uses it to refer to the manifestation of one's intellect and imagination, the "mind".
"Sense" usually refers to the ability to perceive an object's existence. The speaker notes that her sense is breaking through the floor the funeral is being held on. This could quite possibly mean she intended to use a different form of the word "sense". The two forms of the word that fit best here are "sense", as in one's sanity, and "sense", as in one's common judgement.
Because the mind is the location of our intelligence, someone's mind cannot literally go numb. However, in the context of this work, it could instead be translated as she is simply unaware of her mind anymore.
In the next two lines, the speaker uses the term "soul" in place of "floor". If the funeral is inside the brain, and the soul is the floor the mourners are walking on, that would make the soul the wall between one's body and mind.
The speaker now explains what she believes constitutes the soul - reasoning. When combining all aspects of this work, it leads one to believe that the body, mind, and soul are harmonious and quite possibly the same thing. In "The Sick Rose" by William Blake, the
speaker uses symbolism to describe
the concept of love. The speaker believes
that the world's view of love is perverse
and often given so high of a priority that
it consumes one's life until it ends or it
becomes so dark and detrimental that it
is unhealthy and sickening. "The Chimney Sweep" "Then naked and white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind;
And the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father, and never want joy.

And so Tom awoke, and we rose in the dark,
And got with our bags and our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm;
So if all do their duty they need not fear warm"

William Blake (1757 - 1827) The speaker in the poem believes that if he is good then he will get the happy life that was taken away from him. In fact, that is what the poem appears to be saying. However, the poem as a whole instead criticizes this moral and the inhumanity brought upon the two characters in "The Chimney Sweepers". In the setting of this work, orphaned children were forced to work as chimney sweepers. This was a very dangerous job and the two boys despised the job, but in an attempt to give himself a happy life in his tragedy, he tells himself that if he does his job like a "good boy" he will go to heaven when he dies and achieve the happy life he was denied. "Snow White and the Seven Deadly Sins" "Then, as she wiped the Windex from the mirror
She noticed, and the vision made her cry,
How much she'd grayed and paled and how much clearer
Festered the bruise of Wrath beneath her eye.

"No poisoned apple need for this Princess,"
She murmured, making X's with her thumb.
A car door slammed, bringing her to her senses:
Ho-hum. Ho-hum. It's home from work we come." The poem itself does a very concise job with using and combining two allusions. First is the story of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and the concept of the Seven Deadly Sins in the Catholic faith. Each dwarf is now one of the deadly sins. The purpose for this is to illustrate a loss of faith, not because one is unhappy with God but because it is simply human nature to lose faith in something we believe in so much. The combination of the two allusions is meant to emphasize that this tendency to lose faith follows us throughout childhood, as we turn into adults, and even beyond that. "Apparently with no surprise" "Apparently with no surprise
To any happy flower,
The frost beheads it at its play
In accidental power."

Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886) Surprisingly enough, the poem simply describes that of a flower that dies due to cold weather. The tone it sets is more human like and horrifying than natural. The flower is not surprised in the slightest that it died in the fashion it did. Even so, the speaker uses a more accusing tone claiming the frost beheaded the flower. "Counting-Out Rhyme" "Silver bark of beech, and sallow
Bark of yellow birch and yellow
Twig of willow"

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 - 1950) Millay uses consonance and masculine rhyme to transform a very simple poem into a chant-like work. On all three lines, the type of rhyme used gives the poem a very steady flow that is pleasing the ear, but is cut short on the last line on each stanza. This gives the poem a rushed feeling and keeps the reader from getting bored with the repetitive nature. Allusion Tone Don't use that tone with me! Musical Devices
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