Ready for change

January 28, 2008


a mix of things have happened this past weekend that really got me thinking about a lot of different things. all i do know is i am ready for change. this weekend a conference i attended really got me thinking about the different things that i can do to make a difference. i can vote. i can change the world.  i can have a say in who is the next president of the united states. and for me, that is a huge deal. i am not only ready for change, but i am going to be that change. the quote in my blog, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world,”  just describes the way im feeling. im watching my friends and i become more and more involved, and that just makes me really happy. we went to an obama rally, we can affect peoples lives. my friend is doing a project for darfur, she is going to make a change. i dont know what brought this blog. maybe it was just the conference i was at. watching a stimulation of people taking on issues, and coming up with resultions to them. it wasnt real, and the changes wouldnt happen, but i saw people put all their effort into making sure it was resolved correctly. it just really got me thinking. like in the poem by walt whitman, song of myself

“I will go to the bank by the wood, and become undisguised and naked; I am mad for it to be in contact with me.” i am ready to go out into the world, with my guard down, and ready for it to be in contact with me, and change it.


The two poems by Walt Whitman definitely stood out to me. In the poem I hear America Singing, Whitman focused on the idea of being an individual, and singing your own song. “Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else, the day what belongs to the day at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly, singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.” Becoming independent allows you to be your own person, and create/sing your own song. It’s like taking that final step away from home, away from what your parents have taught you, and just doing what you feel is right. A part of doing this, and singing your own song, you have to be able to “celebrate yourself.” you have to be comfortable with who you are, in order to be able to stand out. that is something that people struggle with every day. being comfortable enough with yourself to say THIS IS WHO I AM is really difficult for people to be able to accomplish.

also, the poem O Captain! My Captain!..anybody else know what show that is from? because i definitely saw it and started laughing..ill give you a huge hint……

its full..its a house…come on now..hahahahhaha


January 16, 2008


Roads not yet glistening, rain slight,
Broken clouds darken after thinning away.
Where they drift, purple cliffs blacken.
And beyond — white birds blaze in flight.

Sounds of cold-river rain grown familiar,
Autumn sun casts moist shadows. Below
Our brushwood gate, out to dry at the village
Mill: hulled rice, half-wet and fragrant 

 for some reason, when i read things this descriptive i get sounds or tastes that come back in my memory. for this poem, i was reminded of sitting in a quiet room during a rain storm, and just listening to the rain fall. for some reason, reading this poem reminded me of the peaceful feeling i get when i just sit and listen. the ending line,

“The flame flickers good fortune over and over– and for what?” So it’s like you’re listening to it, and what it brings for you, but then it’s like..for what?  what’s interesting about Tu Fu is that a lot of his poems end like that, the idea of whats the point?…this one does, and so does gazing at a sacred peak.. existentialism?! 

Gazing at the Sacred Peak

January 10, 2008

For all this, what is the mountain god like?
An unending green of lands north and south:
From ethereal beauty Creation distills
There, yin and yang split dusk and dawn.
Swelling clouds sweep by. Returning birds
Ruin my eyes vanishing. One day soon,
At the summit, the other mountains will be
Small enough to hold, all in a single glance
 the part in this poem that really got me thinking was the very first question. For all this, what is the mountain god like?

when i read this poem, i was reminded of when i went to the grand canyon in hawaii, and found myself looking up from the bottom of the canyon (with my mule standing next to me..haha) and just staring there in awe. If this is how i view a tiny section of a gigantic canyon, then it must be the most overwhelming experience to look at everything “in a single glance.” it really made me think about how it must be, for the “mountain god” to look at everything and in a single glance. if we had that option, to see thinks in a single glance, how wuold we respond. It’d be like looking out an airplane, and being able to see EVERYTHING….its really crazy to think about

A Woman of Quality

January 9, 2008

Matchless in breeding and beauty,
a fine lady has taken refuge
in this forsaken valley.
She is of good family, she says,
but her fortune has withered away;
now she lives as the grass and trees.
When the heartlands fell to the rebels
her brothers were put to death;
birth and position availed nothing–
she was not even allowed
to bring home their bones for burial.
The world turns quickly against
those who have had their day–
fortune is a lamp-flame
flickering in the wind.
Her husband is a fickle fellow
who has a lovely new woman.
Even the vetch-tree is more constant,
folding its leaves every dusk,
and mandarin ducks
always sleep with their mates.
But he has eyes only
for his new woman’s smile,
and his ears are deaf
to his first wife’s weeping.
High in the mountains
spring water is clear as truth,
but when it reaches the lowlands
it is muddied with rumor.
Her serving-maid returns
from selling her pearls;
she drags a creeper over
to cover holes in the roof.
The flowers the lady picks
are not for her hair,
and the handfuls of cypress
are a bitter stay against hunger.
Her pretty blue sleeves
are too thin for the cold;
as evening falls
she leans on the tall bamboo.

 in this poem, i saw a lot of nature imagery used. in the beginning of the poem, when the woman is the only one in the man’s eyes, she lives on the grass and trees. i thought it was interesting how then at the end of the poem, she is leaning on the tall bamboo, something similar to grass, except it is sturdy and firm, and even used for building. i think that this change represents the strong person she will be come when this happens, able to be on her own.

i also really liked the metaphors used, “spring water is clear as truth, but when it reaches the lowlands it is muddied with rumor” i was able to get such a mental picture through this, because it is so true. when lies first start off, they are true. but then when they go down through different stages, they get broken down and eventually become mud.

January 8, 2008

The Paper Nautilus

a nautilus is a marine snail, and i thought this poem was interesting in its use of a shell as a symbol. the spiral shell which a snail has is able to keep things compact, but safe. the things closer are kept in good care. the “writers entrapped by teamtime fame” are not, because of the “perishable souvenir of hope” (the shell). it reminded me a lot of the idea of your parents, who are there to protect you, as the shell of the snail does. but what i wonder is why the use of the word paper in the title?


January 2, 2008

“I, too, dislike it: there are things taht are important beyond all this fiddle. Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in it after all, a place for the genuine”

this line out of the beginning of this poem reminded me a lot of how we’re supposed to go about reading this poem, looking for how it means and not just what it means.

“When they become so derivative as to become unintelligible, the same thing may be said for all of us, that we do not admire what we cannot understand” it’s like when you can’t understand part of a poem, it’s hard to keep reading past it.

“In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand, the raw material of poetry in all its rawness and that which is on the other hand genuine, you are interested in poetry.” i like the way she used raw here twice ( alliteration!) it made the importance of looking at the poem as it is, and in its original form, then you are interested even if you don’t think you are. reading it is the first step