Thursday, May 26, 2011

Belly Dancer.

Belly Dancer

Can these movements which move themselves
be the substance of my attraction?
Where does this thin green silk come from that covers my body?   
Surely any woman wearing such fabrics
would move her body just to feel them touching every part of her.

Yet most of the women frown, or look away, or laugh stiffly.   
They are afraid of these materials and these movements   
in some way.
The psychologists would say they are afraid of themselves, somehow.
Perhaps awakening too much desire—
that their men could never satisfy?
So they keep themselves laced and buttoned and made up
in hopes that the framework will keep them stiff enough not to feel
the whole register.
In hopes that they will not have to experience that unquenchable   
desire for rhythm and contact.

If a snake glided across this floor
most of them would faint or shrink away.
Yet that movement could be their own.
That smooth movement frightens them—
awakening ancestors and relatives to the tips of the arms and toes.

So my bare feet
and my thin green silks
my bells and finger cymbals
offend them—frighten their old-young bodies.   
While the men simper and leer—
glad for the vicarious experience and exercise.
They do not realize how I scorn them;   
or how I dance for their frightened,   
unawakened, sweet

    The belly dancer in her poem is a member of the movement and seeks the awakening of the restrained women who have been raised as proper women. Wakoski satirizes the women who do not support the movement by portraying them as uptight and ignorant people. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Let America be America Again By Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

Let America be America Again by Langston Hughes is a poem about the struggle people have gone through and are still going through existing with the hope for a better life, a better future for their children. America was a place uplifted by promises, sweat and tears offering a better existence.

In this poem Hughes depicts  cries for hope, for a better tomorrow, for an America to be what it once was, is, and still can be. It is. Extremely relevant today because the way Langston wrote it, is exactly the way our President see's it.

Broken promises, shattered dreams, lost wages, and struggling just to make ends meet. Homlessness, job loss, famine, decite, is what America has been reduced to. This poem speaks of the past as well as the present. Imagine what our future could be if we all just band together and remember the lives lost for this so called America. For the dream of a better today and tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kissass by Allen Ginsberg

Kissass is the Part of Peace
America will have to Kissass Mother Earth
Whites have to Kissass blacks, for Peace & Pleasure,
Only Pathway to Peace, Kissass.

Kissass by Allen Ginsberg is a poem about honesty. In this world in order to get ahead you have to kiss peoples asses. Each and every line in this poem rains true. America as a country kisses the asses of so many other countries and their dignitaries. Whites kiss the asses of black people because of the past. In order to get peace and maintain it is to do what everyone dispises to do. Kissing Ass.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Facing. It

Facing It by Yusef Kommunyakaa is a poem based on a personal experience of an African American veteran who visits the vietnam memorial. For him the memorial is not just a tribute, it is actually a reminder of the pain and suffering that was endured. While some may visit the memorial and  pay homage, "Names shimmer on a woman's blouse but when she walks away the names stay on the wall." Yusef looks at the names on wall as memories. He has flashbacks of the time spent with these people for example "Andrew Johnson". The 58,022 reference draws attention to the reality and magnitude of the loss of the men that were killed. His inability to accept  this reality remains present especially when he expects his name to be present. "half-expecting to find my own in letters like smoke."

Honoring those who fought in the war sacrificing their lives for freedom. Whether the roles be big or small. This poem beautifully embraces the pain and real honesty of war and the affects it has on its participants. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The. Red. Wheelbarrow.

The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

The Red Wheel Barrow by William Carlos Williams is about the importance of a red wheel barrow that is glazed with water beside a chicken coup. There seems to be an underlined meaning of poverty in the poem. On the farm a wheel barrow is used for a number of farm chores.
The poem is set in a certain rhythm and is stressed on syllables. The poem is extremly descriptive, using color as well as imagery to personify objects. The color red and white seemlessly blends into the poem but jump right at you. The use of the word glazed depicts a thin shiny coating of water on the overturned wheel barrow. The colors stand out because of their contrast with one another: the white chickens contrast with the red of the wheelbarrow. The wheelbarrow can be seen as important economically, It adds beauty to its surroundings.

Fish resembling Life?

In life we encounter struggles, some small or some big that remind us how strong one can truly be. “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop is a poem where the main character a fisherman catches a truly tremendous fish. Tremendous one would say because as the poem progresses, the said fish evolves into more than itself, it takes a life of its own depicting mankind as well as nature.

A fighter is often defined as a person who fights or resists, or a person with will, courage, determination. In this poem the fish has been through many hard trial and tribulations despite being worn and weary. The determinations and strive to keep fighting is a reminder for us all that this life is not easy as we all think it should be. You have to fight and fight hard to achieve.

There isn't always a happy ending at the end of the hypothetical "rainbow" but what would life be without challenge, and who would you be without the guts to fight for what you want?