Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Soul and Heart

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” –Mother Teresa

As with so many of the other poems I have fondly blogged about, it seems that I have found yet another Emily Dickinson poem about the heart and love. The poem “Heart not so heavy as mine” is the topic of my blog today because it talks about the heart but with a different meaning than love. The story within the poem is about a person who whistles a free-spirited tune that annoys yet at the same time pleases the speaker. ‘Heart not so heavy as mine, wending late home, as it passed my window whistled itself a tune’ refers to the heart as the person’s soul which is lighter in mood than the speaker and therefore is whistling a little jingle. It can be inferred that the speaker is obviously sad since her soul is in a drearier mood than that of the whistler and it may be that the speaker has been sad for some time. The next two stanzas of the poem are spent describing the song the whistler plays and how the speaker finds it irritatingly sweet. It seems that this description would be an oxymoron yet Dickinson describes the speaker’s feeling with great skill that the reader intuitively accepts the description of what the song means to the speaker. The last stanza describes the desperate longing the speaker has to have such a light soul as the whistler by the speaker’s need to hear the whistler again. Emily Dickinson is a very note worthy poet who in this poem showed her true magic with a pen by her amazing ways of conveying such feeling into this four stanza poem. There is much to say about the beautiful images that the poem conveys and its excellent flow and rhyme. This poem speaks of the heart in a very interesting way that it is rarely used today. Many a writer has associated the heart with love and passion but very few have used it to describe a person’s happiness and soul. This piece is very easy to relate to because everyone has been down in the dumps at one time or another and then heard or saw something that just made them laugh that they forget about the hurt for awhile and enjoyed the light-heartedness of the moment. I think that is why this piece really jumped out at me when I was searching the poem archives because just recently I was so upset at my brother and the pain he seems to always try and cause me when my best friend in the world sent me a video text message of her dancing around her room to this song she has been obsessing over and it just made me laugh and I forgot for an instant all the hurt that had been heavy on my heart before and just laughed. For that I dedicate this entry to my bestie in the world, you know who you are trick!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

School Takeover

Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. - (Louis) Hector Berlioz

Education has become Obama’s next target. In recent reports Obama wants to lengthen the class day for students in hopes that the playing field will be leveled against students in other countries. This is just another reason to add to my list, Reasons why Voters Were Wrong November 4, 2008, no joke, there is a list. ;) According to Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan this is the most reasonable idea and has shown success in some Charter schools in America. What I don’t understand is that we already spend more hours in the classroom than kids in schools in Asian countries who seem to be passing us by so how is adding even more hours going to help. Obviously it is not the number of hours spent in school that affect the lowering scores of American students compared to Asian students. Personally, I can barely stay awake through some of my classes that seem to go on and would probably shoot myself if I had to go to school an extra three hours out of the day. Seriously, the time I already have to dedicate after school to homework is a pain in the butt let alone having to add three more hours in class. I would appreciate a life outside of school. If they were to add three hours to the school day students would not get out of school before 5 or 6 pm. By that time it is starting to get dark during some parts of the year and would make it hard on afterschool sports teams because students would need to eat dinner before practice. Also it is likely that teachers would still assign homework which then takes another two to three hours out of their evenings. Overall a student would go to school, have sports practice, do homework and then go to sleep. Even if this was all they were to do students, which is an improbable idea, student would get few hours of sleep without even getting time to relax. There are few kids that would be satisfied with dedicating their entire lives to school and having no time to escape the stress that school brings would likely cause them to take their school time less seriously. I know that in classes where I feel my time is being wasted I started texting my friends, daydreaming or working on my drawing techniques also known as doodles :) Overall I feel that adding hours to the day will just increase the amount of time students including myself goof off and pay less attention which will not result in any better test scores.
***one of the websites that discusses this issue:

Friday, September 25, 2009

The One Thing He Got Right

There are wrongs which even the grave does not bury. Harriet Ann Jacobs

When it comes to Bill Clinton, there is not much that I actually believed he got right. In fact one of the few things that I did believe he got right, opposition to gay marriage, he has changed his mind on. In a recent interview he has claimed that he personally no longer feels a reason to oppose it because of changing times. He claims that his issues with it were that he was born in a different era and that times have evolved and so his beliefs need to as well. To this I say, “Are You Serious?? Really?” I could not believe that he blamed age as a reason to change his belief system about being against same sex marriage. Why not just call all old people stubborn and set in their old ways? I can understand using the age excuse for subjects like knowledge in electronics and you ability to use a computer properly but not you beliefs on gay marriage. Not only is that comment ageist, but it is one hundred percent false. I know plenty of people in the younger generations who are against homosexuality and I think if anything it is a base for your morals not your age. It is very frustrating to hear the man who was once a president of our country say that gay marriage is basically accepted now and he was wrong before because he had to get past the times and accept gay marriage. Obviously not everyone accepts gay marriage in this time because there are so many arguments and debates over whether it should be legal or not in each state. California is an excellent example of how much of an issue gay marriage still is because of their dealings with it. The California legislature overturned the law that marriage had to be between a man and a woman but was met with so many complaints over the topic that the state held a vote that resulted in gay marriage again becoming illegal there. Obviously this shows that there are many people who still feel that gay marriage is inappropriate and obviously not even accepted in many areas. Also, this shows that you really cannot rely on the state legislature to know what is best for the people in that state because so many people in California disagreed with its legislature’s decision that the legislature had to repeal its decision. I doubt that California is the only state that has legalized gay marriage that will in fact repeal its decision because so many people still believe against their morals and do not wish to live in such a place that would accept it. This is always been the feeling of people so I am curious as to what the heck Bill Clinton was thinking when he said that times have changed and he has decided that he was wrong, oh I know he just was not thinking.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Frosted Butterfly

Life lives, life dies. Life laughs, life cries. Life gives up and life tries. But life looks different through everyone's eyes. -Anonymous

One of my all time favorite poets would have to be Robert Frost and so I figured that I would pick one of his poems to discuss this week. It is a surprise that I haven’t picked one of his poems before because he just has so many excellent poems to select from. Now I will admit I was tempted to do “The Road Not Taken” because it is my all time favorite poem but I decided to stretch myself and pick a poem of his that I had not read before. This poem “My Butterfly” really caught my interest because it was one of Robert Frost’s first poems. Robert Frost uses an excellent voice in this poem seemingly very smooth and educated for only being nineteen when it was written. The speaker talks about the winter coming and how this butterfly has been gone or dead due to the winter’s harsh landscape. Even though the butterfly is no more at the beginning of the poem Frost speaks about the beauty of its careless wings and show deep, loving emotions toward it. It could be said that the butterfly actually represents a person that Frost cared for, who was likely to have been very care-free in life. The speaker talks more about the time he had with the butterfly and how he remembers it so dear flying with the winds above and gliding on its light wings. ‘It seemed God let thee flutter from his gentle clasp: then fearful he had let thee win too far beyond him to be gathered in, snatched thee, o'ereager, with ungentle gasp,’ is the unique and out of the ordinary way Frost described the death of this butterfly. The fascinating imagery does not end in this one portion of the poem; in fact, if you read the poem aloud and close your eyes you get this wonderful imagination of this butterfly depicted inside your head that it almost overwhelms you with sadness to realize that it is dead. Frost goes on to describe the time spent with the butterfly during warmer times such as spring or summer. Actually in my opinion the seasons in this poem actually describe the emotions of the time rather than the weather; in winter Frost seems to describe the coldness of the time as if he truly means the sadness, death and loneliness and in spring the speaker seems to talk of warmth or possibly happier, more loved times. The poem ends with this realization that in fact the butterfly is dead and the speaker is upset once again about how his loved butterfly is surely dead. :’(

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Media Pressure and Race

I hope that people will finally come to realize that there is only one 'race' - the human race - and that we are all members of it. -Margaret Atwood

The concept that was part of the presidential race has returned again; race. If you say that race played no part in the presidential election you are either an idiot or na├»ve unfortunately. As much as it hurts to say that race was part of “the race” it was because we made it part of the race. News made it about the possibility of the first black president, which I thought did not need to be said because everyone knew that and so making a big deal about it made it become a deal with race. People were accused of being racist if they did not vote for him; others just wanted to make history, and then finally the people who actually agreed with his topics. It puts to thought the possibility that if Obama and McCain were of the same race that we might now have a different president. It is hard to type because I wish that is was not true but inevitably it is the truth for some people. Now the issue has come up again as recent reports start to question if the criticism that Obama is receiving is from the basis of his race. COME ON PEOPLE? This brings up the issue of people feeling pressured into voting for Obama because otherwise they would be perceived as racist all over again. Saying that people are complaining about his presidency because of his race is once again media and public pressure that tells people that complaining about Obama’s plans is a route to being called racist. I am glad to hear that Obama has said that he believes this to be false but now that the idea has been placed in the minds of some people it will be hard to get out. It is frustrating because no one wants to be labeled a racist but they still feel that they should be able to voice their opinions about Obama’s ideas, which are very controversial. Obama has added over two billion dollars to our national debt, wants to pass a bill for government funded health care, and has other plans which will possibly add to our national debt even more, which is all very controversial. His plans for his next four years and our next four years is likely to be cause a lot of talk, be it good or bad. People should be allowed to feel however they so choose to about our president without the fear of being attacked and labeled as a racist. I mean is that not our first amendment right?

Poem in the Song

You think it horrible that lust and rage Should dance attention upon my old age; They were not such a plague when I was young; What else have I to spur me into song? -William Butler Yeats

I thought I would mix things up a little for this post and talk about a poetic work that might not be considered poetry to some people. A song is as much a poem as any work of any great poet. In fact, several poems have been put to song, several from the poet Emily Dickinson. Now I am not talking of a song that was originally a known poet’s work but I thought I would show you followers the poetry hidden in pop songs that we all hear on the radio. I woke up this morning with this concept in my head and suddenly I knew what song I was going to choose to talk about. It is a song that I am not 100% familiar with but I have heard and has peaked my interest, "Sober" by Pink. When you look at the lyrics of this song it shows something more than a catchy tune. The lyrics begin with describing types of girls that differ from the speaker and then talks about why the speaker refused to be those types of girls. At the beginning of the song the speaker is obviously under the influence of alcohol and for some time. It seems to keep the speaker satisfied with extreme ignorance that makes you think that the speaker was actually the types of girls she described while she was drunk and now that she has reached the level of complete ignorance in her drunken state she has found peace. Each stanza of the song shows more of the depression and desperate actions of the speaker when under the influence of alcohol and yet the chorus reveals that there is still hope in her sobriety. The chorus of the song shows repetition that has an important meaning which in this case is the true peace that comes from sobriety. Besides the chorus and the stanzas the speaker is actually confronted with this overwhelming desire and need to feel the high that comes with her drunken state and her desperate beliefs that her drunken state is the safest for herself. This song describes a struggle that has become issue for so many people in the world today. Abuse of alcohol and drugs seems to be a phenomenon that has hit hard in many cities and has taken the lives of a vast group of people all searching for an outlet from their inner pain. “Sober” overall is a song and poem that describes the troubles and difficulties on the road to sobriety but overall I believe it has an uplifting, empowering meaning that will hopefully find its way into the hearts of people who are suffering and need saving from not only their inner pain but addiction to alcohol or drugs.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Love Song

Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a teardrop. -Anonymous

I guess when it comes to expression, poetry, love is a common topic. Last week I talked about Emily Dickinson's Heart, "We Will Forget Him!" and how it was about a love that had to be forgotten but would not leave the minds easily. This week I was searching the archives of Sylvia Plath's works and came across another interesting poem entitled "Mad Girl's Love Song." Now I am actually a big fan of Sylvia Plath ever since I was introduced to her "Daddy" poem last year. I find her writing to be very harsh and raw in emotion yet eloquently written. Her book intrigued my palate of reading and so when I came across this poem I was very excited to share with my blogger family and my view on its author and the poem as a whole. “Mad Girl’s Love Song” is a poem that talks about the relationship between the speaker and a man. It is obvious that the speaker cared very deeply for this man and thought very highly of him because of the repetition of the line ‘(I think I made you up inside my head)’ implying that he was such a great guy that he couldn’t possibly exist. Repetition is a common theme in this poem as the line ‘I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.’ This line actually gives us this feeling of depression but also shows that the speaker just wishes to escape the world and go into herself. Obviously the speaker believes that the world reminds her of this man, who at the end of the poem it is revealed has missing from her life for some time. The overall voice of the poem is on the more depressing side but that is what Sylvia Plath is most known for. The speaker starts the poem talking about falling in love with this man she finds to be so special and how he romanced her off her feet and made her world make sense, but at the end of the poem the speaker says she has grown old waiting for the man to return and wished she had loved someone that she knew would return. I think that the second part of the poem is her present state, wanting to get away from the world because her world has crumbled and stopped because of this man who made her love him and then left her to live in this world that he had created for her, making it hard for her to forget his love and yet still wanting to forget because he obviously hurt her very much. The speaker is obviously confused as to why this man never returned and thinks it is practically the end of the world because he has yet to return.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Is this Congress or High School????

Take our politicians: they're a bunch of yo-yos. The presidency is now a cross between a popularity contest and a high school debate, with an encyclopedia of cliches the first prize. ~Saul Bellow

President Obama has been pushing for a new health care plan that has been the point of many debates among people and speeches of his own. It is a very frustrating topic that I might speak more on later but is not the main point of this blog entry. This entry's main focus is how Congress has been responding to President Obama's health care plan, which is not a pleasant one. At the bottom of this post is a hyperlink to his recent speech to congress about health care and if you watch it you will discover how congress is starting to resemble high school. The biggest conflict people have about this video is actually when Republican Senator Joe Wilson yelled, "You lie." in the middle of President Obama's speech which I agree was the wrong way to go about getting his point across but was not totally uncalled for. When I was watching a report about his speech it made me laugh because they actually had footage of one of the said congress members holding up signs that belittled Obama's speech and reporters said he was not alone. Congress is losing control and respect for the new president. How is he supposed to work with them for his next four years if he cant even get their respect? I think that the senators are not actually the ones to blame but rather Obama's insistence on a health care plan that our country is not ready to handle financially and so probably seems almost childish in the minds of the members of congress. This problem is causing them to almost revert back to the ways of high school and have obviously written off this plan so why will Obama just let it rest for now? But that is a question for another post and I feel the need to get back to my point before I start rambling off the problems with his health care plan. Back to Joe Wilson, my teacher told our class that Wilson is in the middle of an election year and that his running opponent had actually recieved a bunch of election money since it was announced that Joe Wilson was the man who yelled, "You lie." by annoyomous donors. This information caused me to respond louder than originally planned the question "WHY?" My teacher was kind of confused as to why I would ask that question and responding by telling me that what Joe Wilson did was inappropriate, but that still does not answer my question. If Joe Wilson did something inappropriate than why not just withdraw you donations to him rather then go off and support his opponent? It just seems childish to me that people would decide that this other man now was worthy of large donations because of his opponent's mistake. No, not only is it childish it is what you would expect from high school girls not adults. I mean seriously people come on??? I guess it is true that we never do get away from high school. His opponent probably would have never gotten most of those donations if it were not for that slip of Joe Wilson's tongue. People are deciding to help this other guy win not based on his views but because they want to hurt Wilson! Another Issue I have with the situation is that he was not the only person who was responding in a negative way. The members of congress I mentioned ealrier, with the signs, were doing basically the same thing they just did not vocalize their opinions.

Yes, these actions were disrespectful but I ask you how many of you who were so against Bush ever said anything bad or disrespectful about him? I can think of one situation that I am still bothered by the total disrespect of Bush and I think I am going to tell you why because it goes back to relating congress' response to Obama to a high schoolers about Bush. One of these girls is one who I attend school with who is always ready to debate politics, but unfortunately has no idea what she is talking about. I often had to fight myself on whether to laugh at her or yell at her because of her total stupidity on some of the things she debated about and her reasons for despising President Bush. This girl comletely crossed the line last year when during a class project, we were supposed to make a collage that described us, she presented a collage that contained a picture of President Bush (he was still in office) with red lines slashed through the picture. That is no way to treat the picture of our president, especially in a public school and I still do not know what frustrated me more; the fact that this girl was an idiot, that she was being completely disrespectful, or that the teacher actually allowed for it to be posted up in the classroom. Now I find this totally disrespectful but the collage still stayed stapled to board with the rest of the collages for the rest of the term and kind of reminds me of the signs that congress members were holding up during his speech to a certain degree. This in no way means that I disagree with these congressman! In truth, I agree with them completely and I know I am not alone. I do wish however that they had acted their age and gotten their points across in a different way that would have been considered less juvenile because why make a good point in a way that makes you look childish?

Friday, September 11, 2009

We Will Never Forget

I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.-Leo Buscaglia

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the greatest tragedy in America’s history. September 11, 2001 will remain a memory in the hearts of millions across our proud nation as we grieve for the lives lost in that previously unconceivable tragedy. If you were asked where you were when you first heard the news of the devastating acts of terrorism that occurred eight years ago, I am sure most of you could recall that moment instantly. I was still a young child at the time but can still remember waking up for school with my mom upset about something saying that we were not going to school that day. It was later when I watched the videos of the chaos in New York that I finally grasped the severity of what had occurred. A horrifying 3,000 lives were lost that day at the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon, and in a field (Flight United 93 which rebelled against the hijackers and stopped them from reaching their target) by four commercial planes hijacked by 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists. Between the hours of 8 and 11 am our country was in total shock and disarray, fear struck the souls of many that day who were unsure if the attacks would ever stop, and all feelings of safety disappeared. Grief came quickly and painfully as our country tried to pick up the pieces of our broken land; the glorious twin towers had crumbled to the ground and the pentagon was badly damaged. In the days following, spine-chilling reports were released from witnesses of the twin towers collapsing as photos and stories of people jumping from the twin towers in attempts to escape the collapse of the towers themselves were printed on the cover of every newspaper. Through our pain came heroism and unity as firefighters and police in New York searched the rubble for survivors, many actually being harmed or killed in the process and the government tried to assess and take control. Now, permanent memorials have either been made or our being discussed at each crash site. The past seven years President George W. Bush had always called for a moment of silence to remember that fateful day when so many lives were lost along with a speech directed toward victims’ families, and the placing of white flowered wreaths on the crash site at the Pentagon. With remembrance and grief comes a sort of unity that lets us forget political differences as shown today by our new president, Barrack Obama, who held similar services today as those held by former president George Bush. Although Barrack has often mentioned the problems with the Bush administration it was nice to see that he would still keep up with what can be only described as a tradition of remembrance through his actions today. Though there have been conflicts between the two political parties about the events leading to the attack and the reactions afterward, overall we blur those lines today to remember our grief and those who are no longer here. WE WILL NEVER FORGET.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Heart

"The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of." Blaise Pascal

If you have not already guessed today's blog is over the heart and what the heart wants. This seems to be a topic that has bombarded the school I attend at full force, but that is not unusual since Homecoming is next week and many people are searching for their dates. With all the love or hunt for love in the air I could not have found a more perfect time to find this poem by Emily Dickinson, "Heart, we will forget him!" This is a very touching poem to me because I believe it is speaking of a person who is trying to forget about a lost love which everyone can relate to. Dickinson captured the essence of a girl whose love can no longer exist but still does in her heart and her efforts to forget seem half-hearted. This poem really spoke to me as a reader because I have felt that way many a time when it comes to a boy. The poem starts with the declaration that the speaker will forget this love that can be no more,yet by the end the poet has made it clear that she cannot forget to easily nor does she want too, Haste! lest while you're lagging, I may remember him! (Heart, we will forget him!)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Beginnings

"From quiet homes and first beginning, Out to the undiscovered ends, There's nothing worth the wear of winning, But laughter and the love of friends." Hilaire Belloc

Today is the first beginning of my blog, Poet and Politician. The title is basically a very short description of what my blog will be about. I plan to read poems from famous poets and give my opinions and beliefs about what the poet was trying to convey to his or her readers. Also because I like to be well informed on politics and definitely like to debate about it:) I plan on also talking about news in politics and giving my opinions what is going on in our government. The juicy scandals, the progress or lack thereof in our recently changed government, and anything that else that I think has to do with politics are up for discussion in this blog. I think that I might also make a point to start every post with a quote that deals with the overall mood of the post. Enjoy. :)