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February 27, 2006

"To the Very Heart of Loss"

"Fortune's association with a globe also suggests her dominance over worldly affairs of every sort. Since the conflict between Antony and Octavius is in fact concerned very precisely with the question of world dominance, there are some forty-three references to the "world" in Antony and Cleopatra"." This article mainly discussed how Cleopatra was like Fortuna the goddess and while she and Antony had many mortal qualities, there was something about them that was very god-like. She could have control over any man she wanted with her seduction qualities. Antony was also concerned with dominance. He didn't mind being ruled by Cleo but Caesar was another story. He wanted to prove to Caesar that he was his own ruler and killed himself to prove that point. There was much talk of power in this and much more talk about symbols. Levin's article was more about politics and this one was about symbols. There were many references to the sea and the world in this one. The sea represents change (the tides) and the world seems to represent wholeness and control. It seems that every character in this play wanted those things but the ways that they went about it made them each contrast eachother in very different ways. Do you think the characters contrasted eachother or were similar?

Posted by ErinWaite at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

Richard A. Levin

Wow! This article brought up so many good claim/data/warrants, you could write a whole paper on this article alone. Levin brings up points that I hadn't even thought about. It was kind of tedious and I had to skim some parts, but I was intrigued overall.
"If Cleopatra's words are taken metaphorically, she is asking as a defeated leader for instructions from the victor; if literally, she is asking how she should physically position herself so as to be ready to accede to what 'she's forced to'." This made me think of how she seemed to be willing to offer herself to Caesar just to gain some power back but then she realizes that if she does that she'll still be surrendering. It's funny because I think that both her and Antony may have commited suicide for honor. This confirms it:Cleopatra's sarcasm veils what she wants: retention of her kingdom. Cleopatra also hints a path to her goal by alluding to the now lost but once familiar ballad, "King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid," in which a beggar woman marries a king who falls in love with her.[10] Cleopatra is hoping for the opportunity to work her charms on Caesar. That also shows the very sexual nature of the story. In the end, as Foster was discussing, it does end up usually being about sex and politics. Levin also uses the quote about the men paying for what their eyes eat. This seems evident when Antony suffers politically for loving Cleopatra. What do you think?

Posted by ErinWaite at 01:10 PM | Comments (2)

Foster: Ch. 11 & 13

Foster writes about symbols in writing. Yes, there are the general ones like, white is purity, red is war and blood, but there is more to it than that. Different countries also have different interpretations on the same symbols. In China, red means great honor. I think that it is hard to have standard symbols when we all have ones of our own. Certain shoes and songs are symbols to me that absolutely no one else would understand. Do you guys have your own symbols? As far as politics go, I hate talking about them. I will say that Shakespeare was very political in his writing. He wrote about the power struggle between Antony and Caesar as well as the hate between two rich families in Romeo and Juliet. It seems that politics almost always deal with money or power. What do you think of politics in writing?

Posted by ErinWaite at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

Claim, Data, Warrant

Claim: Eve is like Cleopatra with the snakes and Antony is like Adam, who falls under her power.
Data: "The plethora of accounts is confusing but the consistent presence of the serpent, an age-old symbol of healing as well as of evil, has ensured popular preference for this most powerful version. The Clown even says a woman is "a dish for the gods, if the devil dress her not."
Warrant: This shows that the serpent was indeed a symbol of evil and like Eve seduced Adam into following her destruction, the Clown speaks for Antony in many ways by saying that women are basically evil in the claim above.
Counter-Warrant: There isn't much evidence that Antony was Adam-like except within the play perhaps.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

Blogging Portfolio

Coverage: I think I covered alot of good material on Foster Ch. 19 and 20 and had alot good opinions on it. I really enjoyed reading these chapters.http://blogs.setonhill.edu/mt/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&id=14288&blog_id=299
Depth:The Machine Stops raised alot of questions and thoughts about how heavily we rely on technology even now, so I think you'll appreciate the depth in this one. http://blogs.setonhill.edu/mt/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&id=14514&blog_id=299
Discussion:Andy and I had a good talk about Antony and Cleopatra in Acts III-V and Amanda and I talked about Foster. Dena and I had a good discussion about "Spring and Fall"
Timeliness:I blogged about "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" so early i didn't even get comments. I also blogged early on Sections 1,3,5
Comment Primo: I blogged first on Brittany's, Mike's, and Danielle's blogs.
Comment Grande: I went in off on Kevin, Andy, and Mike's blogs.
Xenoblogging: I think I made things clear on some of the Foster Selections for Amanda
Reflection: I think that I've gotten much better since last semester blogging and am actually tackling more important issues as opposed to just rambling. I think the blogging has really helped us all in understanding Foster, sonnets, and everything we've been discussing. I'm a full-fledged blogger now, I guess.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2006

Antony and Cleopatra Acts III-V

The characters all seem to contradict themselves at the end, but then turn out to be very much what you stereotyped them to be at the end. This was such an intense, twisted play and I quite enjoyed it. When Antony is trying to get out his last words and die with honor at his own sword, Cleo is still trying to interupt and draw attentiont to herself. It shows that she is still the drama queen and her love for Antony really was based on the control she had over him. When Antony killed himself, I think he kept his honor. I thought the soothsayer had alot to do with their decision making at first and in a way, Antony did follow the advice. He didn't submit to Caesar. There had been foreshadowing before about snakes in the Nile and look what Cleo used to kill herself. In a way, she died for the same thing that Antony did. She didn't want to submit to Caesar. It's funny that all along, Caesar despised Antony's love for Cleo but in the end, he sees the honor in what Antony did and allows them to be buried together. In Romeo and Juliet, they died together in love. In this play, they died out of honor and their own selfishness. What do you think of this?

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:50 AM | Comments (2)

February 20, 2006

Antony and Cleopatra Acts I, II

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies.
This shows that despite that Antony may wish to marry Octavia to form an alliance, he cannot leave Cleopatra because of her strong desire for him. Caesar seems to be the practical one in the group and is tired of Antony neglecting his duties to go "fishing, etc. He seems to be only one that is admitting that Cleopatra is damaging Antony. I love the way Cleopatra is described. She is the one who really rules the triumvirate, because she controls Antony by making him desire her so much. Women tend to use their beauty for power, so this happens alot. This is proven when it says “vilest things / Become themselves in her, that the holy priests / Bless her when she is riggish [sluttish]” (II.ii.243–245).

Posted by ErinWaite at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2006

The Raven academic article

"He hoped that virtue would win over vice, he hoped that love would defeat hatred so that people could devote their strength to the searching for the truth that would lead them to a true recognition of the power of God." This really put it into perspective for me. I didn't read this much into the poet himself and now that I understand his purpose, I appreciate it more. I think people often forget about God or whatever it is that motivates them and think that all the good and bad in their life comes only from themselves. I think everything happens for a reason and we each have a purpose (sorry to get all preachy). Coleridge recognizes this.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2006

"Let me Not to the Marriage of True Minds"

I think this is one of Shakespeare's best because he is saying that true love never dies no matter what troubles or the "tempest" that people endure. It is not all about perfection either, but about a feeling that stays true. He says that if he's wrong than no one has ever really love and this is good if like me you've been going through a break-up and are questioning whether it was really worth it.

Posted by ErinWaite at 07:07 PM | Comments (0)

The Love Song

This poem reminded me of procrastination. Sarah said it perfectly in her blog. It reminded me of myself. I wait too long and don't do things or I do them on impulse and regret them at a later time. I loved the line about the mermaids because women can seduce and also lead you into trouble. It's a tough thing and I feel its better to regret what you did than regret what you didn't in life.

Posted by ErinWaite at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

Untitled, very rough short story

Note: This is a rough draft of another story I am writing for a fiction class and I’m not sure if I want tp even use it yet, but here it is. I think I want to use something else or change it.

Untitled short story

The sunset is pouring in and stinging my heavy eyelids, I roll over to curl up against Riley and tuck my hand in the sweet curve of her back and I realize there is a screaming empty spot for the fifth day in a row. I rise and startle her shih tzu Wicket, who looks just like an Ewok. At least someone is licking my face at this time. I look like the uni-bomber after days of not shaving, so I bolt away from the cracked mirror and instead look out to see that I’ve slept the day away yet again.
I light my cigarette and glance at the purple bruise of sky with all it’s amber glory. It’s so sad to have a moment this perfect and still with no one to share it with.
“God, what have I done!” I scream and punch the mirror making my reflection a putrid pink with blood. Everything happens for a reason, but I wish God could tell me why this did.

I’ll never forget the day I first saw her. She was a college student and looked like a disheveled hurricane. With a coffee in hand, a dog on a leash, cigarette and keys in her mouth, she was attempting to get into the apartment building we both had lived in. I felt kind of like the creepy playground guy who drives around in a van telling kids he had hamsters for them or something, because of the way I’d been learing through my window at her. She used to say I looked at her like a fat woman at a cupcake. She must’ve not been that creeped out because she always smiled at me showing off her white, cutely crooked teeth and bringing me Maxim magazines (she claimed she read the articles.
“Need some help?”
“No I need you to keep staring at me. I think those Maxims aren’t tiding you over,Jimbo,” she replied shaking her black, messy hair and ashing all over self as always. I hated when she called me that and I still hate the way she could make me blush. Wicket, the dog, noticed me then and decided to pee on my leg as I opened the door (you know you’re obsessed with someone when you don’t notice a sopping wet pant leg and are still trying to hit on her anyway.).
“Chivalry is dying right now, if that’s the thanks I get,” I muttered as she laughed that snorting laugh that annoyed me, but I listen for in the bathroom all the time now.
I got to hear that laugh at least 876 times during our comedic, sporadic, and sometimes bittersweet relationship. As a senior journalism major doing her internship for a women’s magazine that was a pathetic rip-off of Cosmo at best, and me being a 27-year-old mechanic with a degree in Art Therapy that never quite took me anywhere (except as a tattoo artist when I graduated and was too poor to eat anything but ketchup and cracker sandwiches), she decided that I was the perfect candidate for interviews. These were of course on super-important issues such as “What he’s really thinking when he sees you naked,” “What he says about his mother is what he really wants in a woman,” and the very deep “Five quick ways to tell if he’s do-able.” After weeks of these painful interviews, she decided to stop degrading my manhood any further and take me out for beer. At the Bensonville, VFW, while drunk off of Guinness and singing a Johnny Cash/June Carter duet for the annual karaoke contest, Riley grabbed the mike.
“I’d like everyone to give my boyfriend Jake Draven here a big hand, because if we win tonight, he’s buying all of you drinks!”
“So now I actually am somebody besides the bum on the couch you’ve replaced your girlfriends with during Sex and the City re-runs,” I asked, rolling my eyes.
“Why not? I knew you’d never ask and I’m tired of you staring at me like your starving,” she replied taking me by the hand and squeezing it as if we’d always been this way. From that day on, until the day I lost her (one year ago, today), we became one person. I know it’s corny, but there was such a an unspoken bond between us that sometimes I felt that I was talking to myself. Maybe I was, maybe I am.
We married within three months, which was wreckless but needed because she was jealous and I was flat-out, the needy chick in the relationship and there was absolutely no doubt in our minds that we’d ever find anyone else who put up with our “cute”, neurotic habits. I tended to sleepwalk and she to go on rampages when she’d be so passionate with me I had to turn her down and times when she was so angry with me I thought I’d have to sleep with Wickett, but we could make up at the drop of a hat. We married at her campus chapel with my best friend, Mike O’Shea as our priest. We’d both grown up with him and he’d always been the first guy to roll in a keg, so he seemed quite fitting for our deliriously happy, white-trash wedding.
After we read our handwritten vows, hers saying that she would always let me win at x-box and then read me a poem by E.E. Cummings, as everyone cried and mine saying I would always tape Sex and the City reruns for her and singing very poorly a few lines from "Walk the Line," by our favorite man in black. From then on things became more of a whirlwind blur than anything I'd imagined.
Our parents got together and decided they'd give buy us plane tickets to wherever we wanted, despite their being a little surprised of our shotgun wedding. The whole next week we debated, slept in separate rooms, made up, and finally decided to go to Amsterdam, which yes, isn't the most romantic, but Riley had family there and we figured we'd visit Grandma, buy tacky souvineers from the Red Light district, and eat at the little cafes.
"We're here," she chirped pushing me onto the runway. After the 3 changeover flights and the arguing Thai people in coach, my head was pounding.
"Alright, Mrs. Draven, where to," I asked, carrying her across the street.
Suddenly, the sunny streets full of hash bars faded.
I woke up in a hotel room that smelled of curry and had a bloody yellow bedspread. Maybe this was a bad dream.
"Riley, did we take some bad acid, Riley?" I screamed. There was blood all over my hands and as I ran into the bathroom, I found a body. It was my bride, but why, how? Red lights pulsated throughout the room like a bad rave and I heard strange voices. Were they my own, had I gone crazy?
They took me away, these men in black, maybe they worked for Mr. Cash, I'm still unclear. They explained to me that there'd been an accident. They fed me pills and men in glasses spoke to me in white rooms. Someone had drugged us on the plane, we had checked into some hotel, and beyond that they were trying to fix me so that I could put the pieces together myself. What had started out innocently had become a crazy obsession on my part that I'd taken too far or perhaps she'd been the one who put drugs into our drinks, maybe I'd made the whole thing up. Either way, my life was over and I'm still trying to understand who did this. Maybe someday, I'll remember, until then, I'll keep waking up in this room, missing work day after day,and waiting for the answers to come. Maybe they were here all along and I'd been to blinded by feelings to notice.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:20 AM | Comments (1)

Coleridge "The Raven"

This poem reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe's in the way that the raven was a symbol of death. The raven in this poem seemed to be trying to live peacefully but soon his life was shaken up and like the narrator in Poe's poem, the raven in this one lost his loved ones and became quite bitter. He got his revenge and that was my favorite line despite it being so morbid. It had almost a nursery rhyme quality to it at first like everything was going to fine and then it got twisted.

Posted by ErinWaite at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2006

Happy Little Poems

I enjoyed all of the poems because they reminded me of the fun and simplicity of being a child. When I was on my swingset (before I broke it when I was 16) I used to think I could eventually fly anywhere if I just kept getting higher. These remind me of Shel Silverstein, who is a great favorite of mine except he can be kind of gross in some of his. I liked "Trees" best because the tree sounds like a beautiful woman put on the earth by God. These are definitely refreshing and easy to interpret. Although the poets may have just made these up to amuse their little ones, there is still a great emotion put into them. Don't worry, be happy!

Posted by ErinWaite at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2006

"Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock"

"...imagination is the power that enables us to perceive the normal in
the abnormal, the opposite of chaos in chaos. It does this every day in
arts and letters."

-- Wallace Stevens
I found this and feel that he explains his own work best. I love the fact that he used "baboons" and "periwinkles" in the same line. It emphasized the dream-like experience he felt more people should have. I think he may have been talking about the lack of romance and simply day-dreaming that we have in our lives. Sometimes it's nice to fall asleep and wake up somewhere in an exotic land. I'm not condoning drug use, but I understand where people are coming from when they say they want to "expand their minds" and go on "vision quests," but there are plenty of people who are creative enough to do this while remaining drug free. Those are the people who know to play their imaginations like instruments and that's why I'm so in love with fantasy. What do you daydream about? Do you think it helps you in your daily life? We wouldn't have poetry and amazing music that runs through our heads if not.

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

"Spring and Fall"

I was surprised at how short this poem was but it definitely said everything in a very moving manner. We do feel sorrow when we see things like leaves falling and rejoice in the new growth in the spring and it is the same way in life. We grieve over losses and celebrate baby showers, etc. We say we are sad for that person, but in truth we are sad for ourselves for losing them and not having access to something that gives us great pleasure. This taught me that maybe I need to appreciate the losses because they allow me to cherish the new pleasures that spring up in my life. How did this poem speak to you?

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:32 AM | Comments (2)

"Because I Could Not Stop For Death"

I've read this before and have gotten used to Dickinson's obsession with death. It reminds me of "A Christmas Carol" when she goes past a school, revisiting her childhood. It also reminds me that when people die, they say right before that they are seeing their lives flash before them. I like how she compares Death to a lover. Seductive, slow, and torturous. Most people wish for a fast, painless death. Others want to know way beforehand so that they have time to do everything that they want to and say their good-byes. How do you guys want to die (sorry to sound psycho? I think that we should live our lives in whatever way we want, because we could wake up tomorrow and it will be that last day.

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2006

The Machine Stops

'Here I am. I have had the most terrible journey and greatly retarded the development of my soul. It is not worth it, Kuno, it is not worth it. My time is too precious. The sunlight almost touched me, and I have met with the rudest people. I can only stop a few minutes. Say what you want to say, and then I must return.' This reminds me somewhat of where we could be headed if we keep relying on technology and not so much on developing our own skills and ideas and heaven forbid, waste time doing so. From cell-phones and e-mail, to fast-food and cosmetic surgeries, we've become lazy, fat, and sometimes even less intelligent than we were before there was even a car or typewriter. I have to say I become frustrated that all my assignments are on-line. What's the point of paying such a high tuition and waste gas to attend college when all of the assignments are on the Internet anyway? I might as well go to cyberschool and stay home. I was so excited initially to go to school and now nothing can be accomplished without the click of a button or staying on the Internet for hours, I'm beginning to feel like apart of the machine. Anyhow, I enjoyed this because it really made me think and made me realize that if we don't seek our own intellectual pursuits and get out and enjoy life through experience (and not some on-line discussion that takes days to get going anyway) we lesson our chances of becoming everything we fear in futuristic books like this and 1984. "We created the Machine, to do our will, but we cannot make it do our will now. It has robbed us of the sense of space and of the sense of touch, it has blurred every human relation and narrowed down love to a carnal act, it has paralysed our bodies and our wills, and now it compels us to worship it. The Machine develops - but not on our lies. The Machine proceeds - but not to our goal." That's pretty much how I feel about technology, call me old-school, but unless it's meant to help us learn without making us completely machine dependent, I think we'll just lose intelligence.

Posted by ErinWaite at 01:23 PM | Comments (4)

February 03, 2006

Foster: Ch. 10 & 12

I found both of these chapters to go hand in hand. He discusses how weather can effect or even change the whole story. He explains that rain can have more than meaning. In movies, there's always someone murdering in a fight scene or making vows of undying love. Sun can be dreadful to some, if they are afraid to face the day and nurturing to others who are seeking a new beginning. It all depends on how you look at it. There was a song that went "Sign, sign, everywhere a sign." Who sang it? It reminded me of symbolism. Everyone seems to be searching for a meaning and allegory basically says "there's only one right right answer, kiddo." I write poetry and people each have a different interpretation of it. If anything, I think this helps make any type of art more valuable. If everyone can different symbols in a piece, it can be talked about for ages. Thus, it will always be remembered.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2006

"To Build a Fire"

I've read this before and the second time through gave me more insight and I felt more emotion. The way he just layed down and accepted his fate was powerful and kind of scary. Could you do that? That's what I asked myself, but I guess killing the dog was his only option and it's sad how the dog just moves on the "next food and fire provider."

Posted by ErinWaite at 04:53 PM | Comments (2)