Archive for September, 2010

Post #6 – I can’t choose this week!

I’m not very thrilled about the reading I did for class today.  

In this small book, I had assumed each piece had a limit to how long it could be, but “Bird Feed” by Ashlee Adams is twenty pages long…not that I am unable to read twenty pages, but if I were looking for a short piece of fiction to read, I would not choose a piece that was this long. I am afraid that would be too much of an investment in a writer I do not yet know.

“Stolpestad” by WIlliam Lychack was a longer piece, almost 7 pages long. I really enjoyed bits of this story, but was left feeling very depressed and helpless. Perhaps that was the goal?

I understand the significance of a child’s first experience with death and loss, and we get an awesome portrait of a young boy who has to say goodbye to his dog, but I don’t know that the added details of the dog not dead, just suffering and clinging to the last thread of life, added any strength to this piece, or merely weakened it. After reading, I had to ask myself, “Why is this so tragic?”

I will read “Bird Feed” before class, if only to understand the arguments of my classmates, and if I fall madly in love with it, I will forget my annoyance with the twenty-pages, and defend my opinion to the entire classroom if necessary!


September 20, 2010 at 3:14 pm 2 comments

The Favorite – Blog #5

I had a difficult time choosing which piece to advocate this time.

Carolyne Wright’s poem “This Dream The World is Having About Itself” tells a story about time passing, American-life, family, and death.

The last line struck me deeply, and lingered:

“in open fields, we would

watch the trail deepen in brilliant shadow

and dream all the decades ahead of us.”



I find more power and depth within the words of  Alison Townsend’s “The Favorite.”

In this poem, we examine the give-and-take relationship of a student and a teacher. When a truly deep and intimate connection is made, it is inevitable that the roles will reverse at some point: The student will give the teacher the seeds of new knowledge.

But this poem is layered with valuable images of human behavior:  

**The instinctive need we feel to help the ones we relate to

**The way we live vicariously through other people and their stories

**How strength always evolves through the most difficult of experiences


“The most beautiful room in her whole house built from the ugliest mud”


September 14, 2010 at 10:55 pm 4 comments

When You Read Something Stirring…

This short bit of reading gave me such a strong feeling of deja vu, I felt like Kim Addonizio had used my brain and my hand to write  “How To Succeed In Po Biz.”

The brutal, ugly truth illustrated in this piece makes me uneasy; but I am happy at the same time because some one else has experienced similar things that I have experienced; not only as a writer, but also as a human.

“Humans who are writers are a devastation. Writers plunder,excavate, and strip mine without regard for the consequences to others. They suck their loved ones dry of vital fluids, revealing their beloveds’ deepest fears and yearnings. They expose the most precious secrets of their friends and family, and then take the credit and get the applause.”

“Feel anxious because you are basically a private person and can’t live up to the persona that is floating out there in the world acting tougher and braver than you. You are a writer, after all, and prefer to be alone in your own house with your cat.”


It’s eerie and haunting because it is true; the life of a writer is not one that is glamorous, and this painfully honest writers guide reminds me to be patient, persistent, and most of all humble.

September 13, 2010 at 6:33 am 1 comment

Our Pointy Boots

THANK YOU Maureen Gibbon for giving me another amazing “war story”

Although, Our Pointy Boots by Brock Clarke was much more than a war story. It was written with layers of emotion and detail, with each page bringing the reader closer to the characters and their world.

I was reminded of The Things They Carried (O’brien) which I’ve also read in a course of yours.

Through all of recorded history, war has been an inevitable factor of life. Regardless of choice, we are all effected by war in more ways than can be known. I’m always grateful to get a glimpse of what military life is, because I look at veterans and they know and I know that they have seen and done things that I could never understand, they feel things that I am incapable of feeling, because the closest I’ve come to experiencing military life is sleeping in a tent, or maybe playing dodgeball in grade school.

We hear all through life that we can be and do anything we wish, the sky is the limit.

As children, we dream of the day we turn 18 and recieve the world. At first you are untouchable, dizzy with freedom, but soon you learn that responsibility and adult life is hard, but by then it’s too late.

We can’t go back to being 18, we can’t do what we did years prior and expect the same outcome, all we can do is live, and love, and cope with disappointment. The pointy boots in Clarke’s story represent the American dream, how great it is when we feel it for the first time, and how life continues after the best and the worst are over.

September 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm 1 comment

Midsummer – A Poem I Read

Blog #2 for ENGL 4861

Louise Gluck is the author of “Midsummer,” a beautiful poem about youth and young adulthood.

I am taken back to age fifteen, still childish in many ways but desiring for mature, new experiences.

At the core of this poem is the aspect of danger that comes with growing-up. Beauty and intrigue mixed with danger is compared to high rocks: how much fun they are to climb and jump from, yet so lethal if one was to slip or fall.

“On cloudy nights, you were blind. Those nights the rocks were,                  ( ln. 10)


but in another way it was all dangerous, that was what we were after.”

This is my favorite line in the poem, showing the audience exactly what our characters are feeling.

After reading “Midsummer” I am reminded that youth can still be found after the time of danger and desire. I can let my free time pass slowly, enjoying every last bite of a ripe peach.

September 1, 2010 at 4:11 pm 1 comment

September 2010
« Aug   Oct »