XIX

A god in wrath
Was beating a man;
He cuffed him loudly
With thunderous blows
That rang and rolled over the earth.
All people came running.
The man screamed and struggled,
And bit madly at the feet of the god.
The people cried,
“Ah, what a wicked man!”
And “Ah, what a redoubtable god!”

I’d like to start by saying that Stephen Crane is my favorite poet since we did Mark Strand.  My favorite is the first poem about the creature but I don’t want to think to much about it and find something about it that I hate lol.  So instead I’ll talk about this one.  I think in this poem Crane is commenting on God, obviously.  He’s moving away from God as goodness ideas and into the thought that God can be cruel.  I think he’s commenting on religion and trying to change people’s perspectives.  Perhaps he feels religion makes people worship a feared idol and makes human beings wicked.  He seems to be saying that maybe religion isn’t as pretty of a picture as it can be painted.

The Emperor of Ice Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,

The muscular one, and bid him whip

In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.

Let the wenches dawdle in such dress

As they are used to wear, and let the boys

Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers.

Let be be finale of seem.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

 

Take from the dresser of deal,

Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet

On which she embroidered fantails once

And spread it so as to cover her face.

If her horny feet protrude, they come

To show how cold she is, and dumb.

Let the lamp affix its beam.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

 

I think that stevens is commenting on how fleeting life is.  Ice cream melts and is lost, so the the emperor only rules something temporary.  I found wallace stevens to be very transcendental and not attached to material things, like that guy last year that lived in the woods writing a book for a long time.  Stevens seems to believe that reality can’t be trusted because we don’t know what’s real.

The Ride

The horse beneath me seemed

To know what course to steer

Through the horror of snow I dreamed,

And so I had no fear,

 

Nor was I chilled to death

By the winds white shudders, thanks

To the veils of his patient breath

And the mist of sweat from his flanks.

 

It seemed that all night through,

Within my hand no rein

And nothing in my view

But the pillar of his mane,

 

I rode with magic ease

At a quick, unstumbling trot

Through shattering vacancies

On into what was not,

 

Till the weave of the storm grew thin,

With a threading of cedar-smoke,

And the ice-blind pane of an inn

Shimmered, and I awoke.

 

How shall I now get back

To the inn-yard where he stands,

Burdened with every lack,

And waken the stable-hands

 

To give him, before I think

That there was no horse at all,

Some hay, some water to drink,

A blanket and a stall?

 

Read by Wilbur: http://www.ibiblio.org/ipa/audio/wilbur/the_ride.mp3

 When I read this I thought about the two packets we had to read at the beginning of the year and do the writing scaffolds on.  In one of them the author takes a Robert Frost poem and dissects it to find its meaning.  I was reminded of this because in this poem he trusts his horse while in the Frost poem the horse is the opposing force.  The connection the horse and Wilbur had in this poem I found interesting.

CXXX

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red, than her lips red:
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
I grant I never saw a goddess go,
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare,
As any she belied with false compare.

This was by far my favorite Shakespearean sonnet.  I love how he’s in love with a woman who he recognizes is not perfect.  Much of literature puts women on a pedestal and makes them ideal images of beauty, but in this sonnet Shakespeare acknowledges she isn’t a goddess and music is more beautiful than the sound of her voice.  It makes love and happiness with an other more achievable.

Ode to Melancholy

Hey guys let’s talk about this one because I think I kind of understand it a little…  It’s something about coping with grief and what not to do.  Maybe?  Does anyone have any ideas?

Another Reason I Don’t Keep a Gun in the House

I loved this one.  So far it’s my favorite.  I love the imagery he uses of a dog in the orchestra being “entreated” by the conductor’s baton as he continues to bark.

#556

Has anyone read #556 yet?   Because I did and all I have to say is …what?