Final Notations

I really like this poem and that, along with the fact that I already knew of Adrienne Rich, are the reasons I chose to read it. This poem has commas in every single line of the poem which is why I chose to pause after those. I thought it wouldn’t make sense if I simply kept reading with no pauses. Additionally, the lines do not flow into each other so I paused after each line in each stanza. I feel as though I could have prepared more, especially to talk about it afterwards but I can’t go back and change that. Having prior knowledge of Adrienne Rich made me think of her poem in that feminist light but it just didn’t make sense to me that way. I think I just got stuck on what I thought it meant without really considering other possibilities even though it is clear there could be many. Rich uses anaphora quite a bit with the repetition of “It will” and “You are.” It is set in sonnet form but doesn’t remind me much of Shakespeare. Ultimately, I like that interpretation can mostly be left up to the reader however I feel as though I could have practiced more and analyzed it a bit better in front of the class. I simply got nervous/caught up in the moment and forgot what I wanted to discuss.

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One thought on “Final Notations

  1. Hi, Grace. Your delivery was strong overall, especially as you got further into the poem and slowed to an even pace.

    It seems like you had a lot of ideas about this poem, but didn’t give yourself enough time to follow them through. What, exactly, would we gain by reading the poem in a “feminist light” or with Rich’s life in mind? If the poem is about a breakup, what leads you to think that? What is the speaker trying to convey about that experience, and who would “you” be?

    When you point to features like anaphora, try to say more about the effects they create. This is an area where oral delivery makes a difference. Do the enjambed (‘running-over’) lines make you want to change up the rhythm? Other, subtler instances of repetition could be brought out with slight changes of tone or pace.

    I’m glad you pointed out that the poem could be considered a sonnet. How does it differ from Shakespeare’s sonnets? More importantly, how would drawing a comparison to Shakespeare’s or other traditional sonnets help us to understand what Rich is doing?

    “Ambiguous” means that something has two or more possible meanings, not that it’s meaningless or can mean anything at all. Often, the possible meanings will be linked in an unexpected way. (For instance, think about the very last clause: “it will become your will.”) “It” doesn’t have a specific definition in the poem, but it does affect someone in a way the speaker wants to be very precise about.

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