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some student Canvas writing on Narrative (from Biting the Error) and Short Fiction

” Realism is simply a control method.”

“Narration,or the narrative that tried to encounter the real, as that which is negotiating between two orders of time; Clock time and chaos”

“a Prose writer is someone who crosses the genres”

Quote 1: “For the purpose of this essay I would like to focus on the development of a philosophy of experiences in the realm of event.” -Renée Gladman, The Person In The World. I feel like this relates to Blood Dazzler because much like this quote says, Blood Dazzler is based off of a series of events and the experiences that come with it. She writes about the story of Katria. The poems show a development of the storm, and its effects,  throughout the book. It doesn’t just focus on the events itself.

Quote 2: “What about poetic language? Here we can live a while in the heart of the unknown”. Pamela Lu. The Life of the Unkown, Is highly relatable to Blood Dazzler. Patricia Smith is a very strong writer because of her use of poetic language. Her imagery, personification, metaphors, and so on make her poems unique and powerful. She describes situations in a way that makes you not only feel emotion, but visualize the event themselves. Her poems may be short, but the stories she tells are endless.
The story The Killers from Biting the Error is similar to Mystery Stories from the short stories packet.  Both pieces were very blunt and to the point, told in first person, with little to no emotional observations from the narrator.  For example, in The Killers, the narrator seems very unaffected by what the detective has found about his father.  “The private eye pursues my matter.   A couple of days later he comes up with my father’s name: Olen.  This name means nothing to me.  ‘Olen.  Your father’s name is Olen.  Furthermore, your father killed your mother.’  I think, in order to dismiss the thought, that’s possible.”  The narrator does not seem distraught or to have any sort of emotional response to the news, which is what reminded me of Mystery Stories because the narrator has the same brief, uninvolved attitude.
I really enjoyed some of these poems in the short shorts packet, one of them in particular would be “The letter from home poem” this poem has a lot of similarities to the poem “Lens” in the poetry packet. I noticed the wording rhythm is similar, with things like the line breaks, the strong descriptive words, and how its so mysterious. one of my favorite lines in this poem would be ” I stood up, I sat down, I stood up again; the clock slowed down, the post came late, the afternoon came cool, the cat licked its coat, tore the chair to shreds, slept in a drawer that didn’t close;” This particular line really shoes suspense building in this poem which I feel like is a very strong piece. After reading the “Biting your error” I couldn’t relate much to the poetry packet or the short shorts packet. Those packets were more of poems as to where the “Biting your error” packet was more of an informal type of  reading. I did enjoy the “Biting your error” packet, It had some really good readings in it with a lot of quotes I wrote down for myself. One of them being “The sudden appearance of a forgotten dream image, bubbling to the sacrifice of awareness.” I feel like this text is very powerful and has imagery. Another quote I saved would be ” A story has something to do with realism”, I personally really enjoy this quote because I have a lot of story that I have built of of my memory witch comes from realism.

Great Lines and images from Blood Dazzler

P20 to the first plops of rain at the sound of purple shitted bricks losing bone the seam splitting and finally spilling

Cameras obsessed with your chaos now think how America sees you

Brick splintering spine

Cause the man say its strong now mad like god pointing the way out of here

P2 I console myself with small furies

P4 my eye takes in so much what it craves what I never hope to see

The levies crackled and baptism rushed through the ward

Katrina: I have crammed my mouth with buildings brushed aside skimpy altars snapped shut windows to bright shattered with my fingers

I see what this language does and taste soil on my tongue and feel brick splintering spine and hear them and want it all

P22 look like this country done left us for dead that’s our soundtrack and here comes the chorus

P8 I dream loud in this house

We gon be home as soon as it pass over

She took flight all pissed raucous a world hipped woman makin room

on Sonnets

Sonnets are yet another form of poem. Sonnets are known to have 14 lines along with a specific rhyme pattern. Shakespeare is especially known for his sonnets. As assigned in class, I have reviewed two sonnets, one of them written by Shakespeare. The other, however, is written by Berrigan. The difference between the two is immense. First off, the language. Shakespeare uses, well, Shakespearean style english. Berrigan, however, uses modern english. Berrigan uses things such as ’Honeybunch’s’ and ‘Red Lobster’. The entire style is different. Again, there’s Shakespeare style and a modern style. Berrigan writes as if he is writing a poem to his best bro. ‘My Twinkie has as much sex appeal for me as any lanky model or platinum movie idol who’s hyped beyond belief’. Both sonnets are speaking of women but Shakespeare does it in more of an ambiguous way. We must interpret what Shakespeare is saying which, to me, makes it more of a poem.

A sonnet is a poem written in iambic pentameter, has fourteen lines, and uses the rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Sonnets can be broken up into four quatrains; the first to introduce the subject, the second to show the theme, the third to finish the theme, and the fourth to conclude the sonnet. Berrigan and Shakespeare are similar because they both use the sonnet form and they both write about love. Their vocabulary is very different. Berrigan is much easier to understand than Shakespeare. Shakespeare uses a bigger vocabulary and the language is much older.

After I had read most of the sonnets by William Shakespeare and Ted Berigan, I actually looked up the definition of a sonnet to learn that it is just a poem with no formal rhyme schemes and 14 lines in total to complete the poem although, Ted berigan only uses 12 lines for his sonnets. I learned that a sonnet doesn’t have to be about a specific thing or person, it can be as scrambled and mysterious as you want it to be. One interesting thing that really caught my attention about sonnets is that they have about 10 syllables per line. Another thing I noticed in especially Shakespeare’s poems is that the format of his sonnets are written the same, as in every line starting with a capital letter and such. The sonnets written by Shakespeare were written with more descriptive words than as in Ted Berrigan’s sonnets, having less wondering minds by having more explanation to his lines. Berrigan’s sonnet’s also talk more about women, weather, and scenery than the love, beauty and life that Shakespeare speaks. The language that Shaespear speaks Is very old English style, many different word choices such as Thy and Thou. They do have some similarities between their sonnets too like in berrigan’s “Dim lady” sonnet he chooses a different artistic approach that was very similar to Shakephere’s “130” sonnet. He started with the same approach but switched it up and made I to what it almost seemed to be a mockery of shakespeare . ( Not cool)

I learned many things from my research on sonnets in poems. One of the things that I’ve learned was that it has fourteen lines as a stanza. It is usually in a form of a rhyme with ten syllables per line. The similarities that I’ve spotted was that both of the authors did use their fourteen lines. They also seemed to talked about relationships that their characters developed in their story or plays. There were some difference between the two authors as well. One example, was the way they wrote their sonnets, the form. On one of Shakespeare’s poem, he color coded his poem. There were more differences in their poems.

For example, as I read Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, I saw that he actually rhymed. When I saw Sonnet by Berrigan, I didn’t visually see the rhymes. His tone in his poems spoke to me, like somebody build their love. Also, Shakespeare was talking about romance from Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet already knew each other and they were going off based off their feelings. While Berrigan seemed like his story was talking as if the characters were getting to know each other, in order to build their relationship. So the tone that I’ve got from this man was that his characters were trying to find their way to romance.

I’ll start with what I learned doing my own research about sonnets. When looking up what sonnets were, the only thing I knew was that they were a type of poem and that Shakespeare wrote them. Upon further reading, I figured out that the most well known rules of form of writing a sonnet consists of 14 lines, 10 syllables in each line, every other line rhyming, and the last two lines rhyming. I have read some sonnets before, but I never realized that there was a specific structure to them. As far as the history of sonnets go, I found that they originated in Italy and were invented by a man named Giacomo Da Lentini. Further, I learned that the word “sonnet” is derived from the Italian word “sonetto” meaning “little poem” (Wikipedia).

When reading the sonnets written by Shakespeare, I noticed that his poems seemed to hold true to the form of a sonnet. For example, his poems always had 14 lines, 10 syllables, and every other word rhymed. I found Shakespeare’s poems to consist of a lot of tricky words that I didn’t know the definitions of, but upon looking them up the meanings behind his poetry seemed to make more sense. What I liked about the Shakespeare poems was that there was variety in the feelings they portrayed. Some I felt were dark, while others, like sonnet 130, I found to be very humorous.

Berrigan’s sonnets on the other hand seemed to stray slightly from the true sonnet form. His sonnets consisted of 14 lines but didn’t seem to contain any rhyming or stick to the 10 syllables rule. So perhaps the rules of writing sonnets aren’t as strict as I read. His sonnets contained more common vocabulary, but I found his sonnets more difficult to understand. I did like the first sonnet that he wrote though. The way he jumbled up the lines made figuring out his poem sort of fun. I liked trying to unjumble and match up the lines.


Here are some thoughtful responses to Bernstein’s “Difficult Poetry” from the Canvas homework assignment:

What really opened my eyes was Bernstein’s checklist on identifying a difficult poem is key. The first step in understanding a difficult poem is first realizing that it is, in fact, difficult. He also talks about how is it not the readers fault that some poems are hard to understand. Knowing I’m not alone, and also not to blame, is reassuring. As Bernstein says, it is very important to not let a poem intimate the reader. When approaching a difficult poem in the future I’m going to go in with a positive mind, instead of stressing out like I would in the past. Poetry can be difficult, but it is not impossible.

One poem from the poetry packet that was difficult reading is “Geology of Water.” What made this poem difficult to read is the complex words, the “high syntactic, grammatical, or intellectual activity level,” used in the poem. I don’t have the biggest vocabulary or the smallest. It’s just some of the most common words or even the most difficult ones are not used in everyday life. After reading “The Difficult” poem I realized I’m not dumb because I don’t know some of the words used in the poem or I didn’t quiet understand the metaphors being used either. I can now go back without the idea of me being dumb in my head and first look up the words I don’t know and metaphors, then go back and read the poem as a whole so I could have a better understanding of the poem itself.

Bernstein’s excerpt made this idea of difficult poetry being not only useful, but essential, a much more relatable idea; even if we do not understand a single thing out of a poem we read, we still learn something from the experience other than “I hate this poem”, whether its to read poetry at a slower pace or look up a literary term to better understand its use in a particular poem.

After reading difficult poetry, it is clear that Bernstein is trying to convey that reading poems doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Just because you read a poem once through quickly and don’t understand it, doesn’t mean that you are stupid or that the poem is bad. The key is to know how to approach these difficult poems so that the reader can get the best feeling from them possible. Bernstein also conveys that the point of poetry isn’t to improve it over time but to successfully portray what is happening now in the time that we live in. By doing this, the reader can relate and understand poetry effectively. Personally, Bernstein related to me a lot. I have difficulty reading and understanding poems. To me, all poems are difficult, so I figured that maybe I am approaching poetry the wrong way. I did like that face that Bernstein seemed to believe that poets and new poems seem to be stuck in this place of unoriginality. That poets seemed to be struggling with creating something new. He felt as though poetry could be literally anything and written in any way the poet wants. This changed my views in that it made me feel like I am definitely capable of writing a poem.