Thursday, January 6, 2011

Echoes of Evil

“Christabel: A variety of Evil Experience” by Lawrence D. Berkoben takes us into the deeper meaning and style of writing of the poem Christabel by Samuel Coleridge. Our blog is about getting to the deeper meaning and understanding of Coleridge’s poetry. Berkoben believes that Coleridge used the echo motif in order to get readers more interested and involved since Coleridge tells the poem in third person. Coleridge does this so “the reader has to take sides” with one of the characters. First meeting Christabel as a sweet and innocent person that is constantly feared over for her safety.  Throughout the poem it says, “shield sweet Christabel” trying to ensure her safety. “Instead of answering his question, the narrator gratuitously interjects details of setting” creating the reader to decide the answer to the question given. When meeting Geraldine, the narrator goes on about how beautiful and divine she is but the evil in her is what makes her attractive. Throughout the poem Berkoben finds the hidden evil in the actions of the characters. The encounters Geraldine has with Sir Leoline and Bard Bracy  show they “see her as a beautiful and innocent maiden.” Berkoben does not have the same views as Sir Leoline and Bard Bracy. His opinion is that Geraldine has unnatural powers and can “communicate with the dead.”  Also, Berkoben thinks that she has the characteristics of a daemon or vampire or a loathly lady even though she is not labeled as one. He says that the dove and snake in Bracy’s dream means an ill omen of evil will fall upon Christabel. This vision echoes Geraldine’s spell working over Christabel. These events have the reader asking “why evil should befall the innocent.” In a universe where good and evil are blurred, Berkoben thinks that evil “can only exist in the eye of the beholder.” “Whether or not Coleridge could have pictured Geraldine’s redemption convincingly must remain unanswered,” since Coleridge never finished this poem. To Berkoben, Christabel is linked to Coleridge’s struggles to conclude “his determination to abandon poetry,” and could not “solve his ethical dilemma” without “his use of a dramatic speaker and the echo motif.”
            I found Lawerence’s view on this poem very helpful to understand the basics. I do not believe that the echo motif is what made this poem strong or to get readers interested. The questions asked by the narrator were easily answered in the next few lines fallowing. For example, “Is it the wind that moaneth bleak? There is not wind enough in the air To move away the ringlet curl From the lovely lady’s cheek,“ immediately answers the question. I do agree that Coleridge intended the reader to have to choose a side. I as a reader chose a side but I several times changed sides. The way Coleridge worded and phrases some of the poem had me confused. It took me longer to understand these parts but it helped to argue with what Berkoben thought to what I thought. From the very beginning I believed that Christabel was innocent and Geraldine was full of evil. As Berkoben sees Geraldine as a daemon, vampire or loathly lady I see her plainly as having an evil spirit. I also interpreted Bracy’s dream differently. I see the snake as Geraldine’s true self while the bird is her appearance. The dream says, “Swelling its neck as she swelled hers” showing that the snake and bird are as one. This is proven because Christabel sees Geraldine as the snake while both Sir Leoline and Bard Bracy see her as the hurt dove. Geraldine is a two faced woman who casts her evil upon the innocent. Evil is definitely a theme in this poem and I have found that evil can temp anyone. Christabel was known as being an innocent maiden yet Geraldine had the power to pull her into evil. When Sir Leoline starts to fall into Geraldine’s temptations Christabel tries to have him send her away immediately. Unfortunately, Sir Leoline does not listen to his daughter and continues to comfort Geraldine and fall into her hands. Christabel can stand against the evil spells and workings of Geraldine showing that we all can stay innocent and not fall into temptation.

It Caught My Attention

The blog from my classmates that caught my eye was William Blake and His Poetry by Elizabeth Martinez, Nick Aicher, Taylor Kunz and Matthew Brookshire. The first thing I saw was the fish at the top of the page. I thought they were cute and they swam around. All of a sudden, they start to gather in one spot. Then I moved my mouse and they fallowed. I was immediately entertained so I decided to take a look. I like how their blog doesn't have a distracting background. The bold title helped draw my attention to the titles of the articles. I started to read the last post loaded and it was Elizabeth’s poem. I loved the way she double used some of her words like, “Pretty soon the rain starts to pound fiercely against the glass window tap, tap creating a sharp quickening rhythm that’s all its own.” She created amazing imagery in her poem and really had me interested. It is a wonderful poem that was an interest of mine and was greatly written.
While reading Nick’s post titled Visions and Verses I learned that people saw Blake as insane genius. I never knew that Blake was not a major romantic poet to start with. Blake is always the first poet people think of when talking about the romanticism period. I was shocked when I read, “some people believe that Blake used drugs to help him get his ideas.” This blog gives great information on who the poet is and how he became who he is today.
The bright red text of Taylor’s article The Human Abstract really caught my eye. I tried to read the poem before reading his understanding of it so I could try and create my own. The poem did not make any sense to me until I read his understanding of it. He says, “Our life would just be simple, and useless if we did not know right from wrong,” finding this as a main point that Blake wanted to point out. We create what our world can become.
This blog is very informative on Blake, his poetry and what each student now understands about romanticism. I enjoyed reading their opinions as well as other people’s opinions on  Blake.

Whispering Tongues


While reading the poem Christabel, I found one quote that really stuck out to me. It says, “But Whispering tongues can poison truth,” meaning people turn the truth into a lie by changing the details. Have you ever had a rumor that has been spread about you? Have you ever spread a rumor about someone else? In the Poem, Sir Leoline and Lord Roland de Vaux of Tryermaine used to be best friends until someone spread a lie. Sir Leoline and Lord Roland spoke “words of high distain” that hurt one another very badly. This made them part and never meet again. When Geraldine needs to be returned home to her father, Lord Roland, Sir Leoline puts the past behind him and will do whatever it takes to get Geraldine home safely. In his heart Lord Roland is still his best friend who he would do anything for. Sir Leoline even says to Geraldine, “Thy sire and I will crush the snake!” talking about the men that took Geraldine from home. Lies are what pulled theses two men apart who were both too mad to simply talk to each other about it. Instead, they fought and it took a long time and a big event to bring them back together.
            Being in high school there is non-stop gossip being sent from person to person. We find it amusing to talk about other people in a negative way but when the gossip is about yourself you end up really mad. I am lucky and do not get rumored about but some of the people I know do. It can end up being really hurtful. Friends can end up hating each other after they hear what people are saying just like Sir Leoline and Lord Roland. People pass these poisonous rumors from person to person but no one ever goes straight to the source. We are too scared to confront our own friends about the rumors because they could get mad at you for telling them. People should stop whispering lies at every chance they get. This creates an unnecessary amount of drama. Gossip will always be a part of our everyday lives but we should learn how to move on and forgive like Sir Leoline.

A Peaceful Land

People may question if love exists but love doesn’t have to be between two people. Love can be for a pet, nature, inanimate objects, people and more. Coleridge writes about his love for a girl named Sara, as well as his love for nature, in his poem The Eolian Harp. They sit together in a cot that is overgrown with white jasmine flowers and broad leaved myrtle. The scenery by cot is beautiful as they look to the sky at the clouds and at the star of eve. He defines the world as hushed and the sea in the distance “tells us of silence.” This sounds like a very romantic place. Listening to the sea has always soothed me making it easy to understand what Coleridge and Sara hear and feel. As they sit they hear a lute playing as the wind inconsistently blows. He explains the lute as a “soft floating witchery of sound” as he lets his imagination run wild. According to Coleridge, twilight elfins make this same noise as the flute when they “voyage on gentle gales from Fairy-Land.”  In Fairy-Land, “Melodies round honey-dripping flowers… like birds of paradise,” meaning that the sound is so sweet and desirable.
In this world that is so full of wonderful things, Coleridge thinks it would be hard not to love it all. The breeze would whistle in this magical land and still air is “Music slumbering on her instrument.” The whistle in the wind reminds me of how harsh winds make the same unpleasant sound as it flows past your ears.  At noon, Coleridge stretches his limbs on the slope as he is watching the sunbeams dance like diamonds. The sunbeams can have the appearance of diamonds when they hit the water. I would love to be in this beautiful and peaceful place.
Coleridge ends the poem with talking about God. He praises him because God is who healed him when he was a sinful and miserable man. Both Coleridge and Sara walk humbly with God explaining Sara as a “Meek daughter in the family of Christ.” Coleridge is thankful that God gave him peace, his cot and Sara.

Freedom to Fall

Lets run to the top, so young and carefree, and roll down with ease.
Again. Again. Again.
Only seeing the vivid blue sky with the puffs and smears of white. Rolling back around to the coolness of green tickling my arms and legs as I pass by. Cycling back to the blueness of sky.
Again. Again. Around. Around.
Giggling and tumbling and flipping about. No sense of direction just freedom of falling.
With no worries, concerns or reference of time.
Just stumble up the hill with all of your friends and roll down. Again. Again. Again.
“I’ll race you to the top! Last one there is a rotten egg!”
Playful banter. The life of a child. So quickly the days of happy-go-lucky moments pass by.
How I miss those days out in the summer sun. The days when my mind was clear and at peace.
No more tumbling and fumbling. My adult life has come.
No time to lay back and look at the sun. Before the sun is up, my day has already begun.
My mind is full of the many things to do. Concern and worry are often there too.
I tried to roll down that hill the other day, to regain the joy of play.
Instead I only felt every lump and bump. Coming to a halt at the bottom with a great big thump.
What used to be the freedom of falling is now the fear of losing control.
My energy of youth has abandoned me.
Racing back to the top is no longer fun as I try to catch my breath in the hot afternoon sun.
The only race that is before me now is to race against the hands of time.
I’m doomed to repeat the patters of everyday. Work. Work. Work.
No time to play.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Snake and The Dove

In the poem Christabel by Samuel Coleridge, the character Bracy the bard speaks of a dream he had about the night that two maidens named Christabel and Geraldine, found each other. His story shows the symbolism of this main event from the beginning of the poem. Christabel leaves the castle at midnight to pray in the woods when she hears a moan on the other side of the tree. She looks to find that the source of the moan is coming from a young maiden. When Christabel asks the girl why she is moaning, Geraldine introduces herself and tells her story of how five men kidnapped her from her castle. This beautiful girl, Geraldine, asks for Christabel's help to escape from the men that left her at the oak tree. Since Christabel is very innocent and kind, she doesn't question helping the girl. She brings Geraldine to her castle where the girls drink some wine and Geraldine puts a spell on Christabel.
"Warn'd by a vision in my rest!
For in my sleep I saw that dove,
That gentle bird, whom thou dost love,
And call'st by thy own daughter's name--
Sir Leoline! I saw the same,
Fluttering, and uttering fearful moan,
Among the green herbs in the forest alone.
Which when I saw and when I heard,
I wonder'd what might ail the bird;
For nothing near it could I see,
Save the grass and green herbs underneath the old tree.
And in my dream, methought, I went
To search out what might there be found;
And what the sweet bird's trouble meant,
That thus lay fluttering on the ground.
I went and peered, and could descry
No cause for her distressful cry;
But yet for her dear lady's sake
I stooped, methought, the dove to take,
When lo! I saw a bright green snake
Coiled around its wings and neck.
Green as the herbs on which it couched,
Close by the dove's its head it crouched;
And with the dove it heaves and stirs,
Swelling its neck as she swelled hers!"

Bracy's dream reminds me of the girls meeting because throughout the poem we find out that Geraldine is not a good person. In the dream, Geraldine represents the snake but to Sir Leoline, Christabel's father, she is the dove. The dream says about the snake, "And with the dove it heaves and stirs," showing that the snake and bird are completely bonded as one. When the dove heaves the snake fallows along "Swelling its neck as she swells hers!" This snake is hidden within the green herbs meaning the evil inside of Geraldine in hidden from every body’s view. People see her as the hurt dove but Christabel sees her as she truly is, the snake.

"And Geraldine in maiden wise
Casting down her large bright eyes,
With blushing cheek and courtesy fine
She turned her from Sir Leoline;
Softly gathering up her train,
That o'er her right arm fell again;
And folded her arms across her chest,
And couched her head upon her breast,
And looked askance at Christabel--
Jesu, Maria, shield her well!
A snake's small eye blinks dull and shy,
And the lady's eyes they shrunk in her head,
Each shrunk up to a serpent's eye,
And with somewhat of malice, and more of dread,
At Christabel she look'd askance!--
One moment--and the sight was fled!
But Christabel in dizzy trance
Stumbling on the unsteady ground
Shuddered aloud, with a hissing sound;
And Geraldine again turned round,
And like a thing, that sought relief,
Full of wonder and full of grief,
She rolled her large bright eyes divine
Wildly on Sir Leoline."

In this part of the poem it shows how Geraldine looks at Sir Leoline with large bright eyes then turns her face away like a hurt dove. She then gives a sideway glance to Christabel and her eyes "shrunk up to a serpent's eye." Christabel gets scared as she stumbles out of the trance and shudders aloud. Geraldine again looks at Sir Leoline with bright eyes. Only Christabel can see that Geraldine is really the serpent around the doves neck.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Prose Poem: Control of the Game


The grip. The control. I am loving it. Touching the grip, the little dots that bulge out of the basketball.  Basketball. My favorite sport. Having control is my precision taking the ball to the hole is my destiny.  It all starts with me walking in the gym. I slam the door open, like I own the place. And I do.  The most important part is to be on a good team.
            We warm up as a group. Taking shots and showing off our skills.  All eyes of audience are on us like eyes on superstars.. The eyes seeking the amazing. I take a shot for being the team captain and I make a three as easy as 1, 2, 3. I choose my players wisely. “Hey, you!” I shout pointing at a tall monstrous guy. He starts pulling a wide smile. Everybody knows you need a tall guy on a team to be successful. All the rest of the players are being chosen and then the game. I love the game.
            They start out with the ball because I had the first pick at the players. As they take it in, Kevin, the tall kid, puts up a block and slams the ball to the floor. “Get out of my house!” he screams as usually in the opponents face looking proudly in his dark eyes. The rest of the game goes by quickly, and we easily win. Making some threes in the beginning made us the leaders of the game, after those shots it was our game. Ours.
            The scariest moments in the game for me are the ones with most pressure. Moments that take your breath away. Buzzer beaters! The game was almost over. We were leading big time but the buzzer beaters were always the most exciting and stressful moments in basketball. We aim for them.
            When the time came to take in the last shot I wanted to pass the ball to someone else on my team. Looking around wildly. I couldn’t find anyone open. I tried to pull my thoughts together. Then I shoot the jumper. I feel myself lifted off the floor, high in the air. A guy is running at me and is putting up a block, and it’s a huge block. I feel my body in the air so I finally let the ball fly. In. In. In. YES!
            We have won. This is what I call a good game. A game called basketball… 

All About Blake (Blogging Community Assignment)


One of the greatest blogs out there in our class- All About Blake, by Lichelle Garcia and Austin Livengood.  I like how this blog is created very well, because it captured my attention immediately and I started to read some of their posts. The gray background with squares on it  makes it appear extremely attractive. Poem that struck me was Love’s Secret by William Blake. Love’s Secret poem makes me think that every person needs to take love seriously and choose their pair very carefully. One tiny mistake or error with love can lead to huge trouble and tears of a person. Saying out loud to your pair how you truly feel can cause you to stay alone because your second pair will leave as it says: “In Blake’s “Love’s Secret”, a man confesses his love for a woman. Although all he did was tell her how he truly felt, she left him. Sometimes love is better left unsaid.” By Lichelle Garcia. This poem made me think more about my personal life, and it’s awesome.  I like how Lichelle explained well about love and what Blake meant when he wrote Love’s Secret poem. This blog is very clear and it’s easy to find where the URL to a poem is, and the poems too. I love how I can indicate every part of the post and find a poem that goes with it, because it is written in different color. The black and white picture of The Lamb & The Tiger shows a lot between innocence and guilt. I can just stare at this picture and find scenes of life in it, and I like how I can easily write a whole article just on this one picture.  Important work on All About Blake blog are poems about love, tiger and lamb, and also sorrow. These are the poems of important information for everyone to learn and know about. Significant life lessons are all written in the three poems:  On Another’s Sorrow, Love’s Secret, and The Lamb & The Tiger. Once a person reads and understands the greatness of poems by William Blake he will become wiser and have an idea on how to act in critical situations that life brings to us. Everyone who reads the posts on this blog will understand more about love and learn how to focus on critical aspects of life.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A blogging community on Coleridge

Coleridge Symbolism and Meanings

"We will be discussing the meaning and symbols of Coleridge. So come join the fun of poems!"


There are a few things I like about this blog; one, is all of the quotes that are not in any of Coleridge's poems.  that astounds me because i would have no idea where to find those, with or without the internet.  second, would be the feeling of better understanding that the explanations give.  third, is the fact that the blog was written by my fellow classmates, that amazes me because my classmates are incredibly smart. one post that struck me as interesting is the post with the title 'advice' the picture which said 'advice is like snow, the softer it falls the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks in to the mind.' that hit home with me be cause my sister thinks that if she yells loud enough then i will take her advice.  this blog would teach, anyone who doesn't know what romanticism is, about the symbols and how the correlate with todays society in the romantic era of poetry.  

Saturday, January 1, 2011

what homework? (a prose poem)

Everyday I walk home, head hung low, like a presentational.  As I walk I think to myself, "what homework do I have today?"  I walk in the door, and I brace for the question. "what homework do you have today?"  I hate to do it but, I sit down at the computer, elephants don't sit down that hard.  Moodle always is slow when your life depends on it.  Look up for one cycle of a ants brain, "Do you need to go to your room to finish?" they ask fast like they were waiting for a sick animal to die.  "NO! sorry."  I just keep typing.  Moodle loads, thank god, I open up turners class.  I look at a month a head nothing to stressful.  I close the computer, "what OTHER homework do you have?  Hmmmm?...."  I don't know, I say "Math."
"What math?"
"I don't know."
"well find out."
I fish through my binders i find some unfinished work.  "Here it is." The paper looks like a map to the holy grail.  It's old, it's wrinkled, and it's on papyrus.  "when was that homework given to you?"  "This morning."  The disappointment on my parents faces grows from 'really?' to 'I don't know what to do anymore.'  I feel as low as low can be.  I stumble to my room and do my homework in silence.  Then I realize that my parents are looking out for me and if I just do my dreaded homework then I will fell better with myself.  I find it funny that life lessons are taught in life.  homework is to sharpen you skills and so are parents.  parents teach kids the basics and homework refines those skills. those skills are work ethic, honesty, and perseverance.  so, what homework do you have to do today?
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