First Class: We were asked to choose two poems that we liked, including songs. We read them aloud in class and explained why we liked them. I chose the first stanza of the song I Would do Anything for You by Foster the People
Never want to stand upon myself
Never want to get in the way… I said it
I don’t know what the plan is but you can share with me
‘Cause I’ll be a listening ear to everything you say
I won’t turn away and I’ll listen
Open up my heart and I must say that I love you, so
I really enjoy this song mostly because it has sentimental meaning to me. I listened to it almost all the time while I was in Europe which was one of the happiest times of my lives so it just gives me happy and nostalgic feelings. The first stanza really tells a story of a relationship where the singer puts their partner’s feelings before their own in order to not start meaningless arguments. The singer is ready to listen to all of their partner’s problems because of the pure reason that they are in love and the singer won’t “turn away” I really enjoy the story being told in this song, it’s something I would say I longed for.
The second poem I chose was I’m Nobody! Who are you? by Emily Dickinson
I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d advertise — you know!
How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one’s name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
The real reason I chose this poem was because it was a major part of an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In this episode a woman who had been raped in her younger years by camp counselors murdered her attackers. The poem was something she repeated to herself as that is what they made her feel, that she was nobody. The episode really tests your morality and asks if what she did was just or right or if she should be sent to prison.
Second Class: We were asked to write a poem about ourselves and what we feel. It took me a while to come up with something that I was satisfied with as I don’t like sharing all of my feelings as it leaves me feeling vulnerable. I found a good balance to where I still felt protected, but like I could let a little out.
I am still young
and my stomach burns with constant anxiety
The old swing set in the back broke under my weight
Like a rubber band snapping when stretched too far
I can’t yet control what I’m feeling
and it’s causing me to make poor choices
I’m running low on regret, but my cup of love is overflowing
All sticky like dried soda pop
Cat whiskers prickle against my face like little needles
and their soft rumbling purrs put me to sleep each night
I dream of being chased
and I begin to wonder if it’s a metaphor for something in real life
But, probably not as I am still young
Third Class: We were asked to chose a poem from a list, read it thoroughly, analyze it ourselves and write notes about it then discuss it openly in class. I chose Otherwise by Jane Kenyon
I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.
At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.
This poem gives me an image of an elderly retired woman. The way she spends her morning leisurely and “doing the work I love” makes me think of someone gardening and taking time to walk the dog. The phrase “It might have been otherwise” suggests she is grateful for the time she has now, but is still thinking of a time that will come when things will be different and she might be too old to do any of this. Another piece that suggests to me that the couple in this poem are old is that they “lay down” at noon for a nap. I realize that lots of people of all ages take naps, but this really clarifies the image for me punctuated with “It might have been otherwise” She is thinking of a time in the future when she might lay down for a noon nap alone. The silver candlesticks really speak like a metaphor for “silver haired” which makes it even more clear to me that they are old. The phrase “Planned another day just like this day.” Really sets it in stone for me that this is about a retired couple. If they don’t work nothing will really be any different tomorrow. I really enjoyed the imagery in this poem and creating a little story in my head.