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Matthew Ahuja

 

Song

There Is A War Going On For Your Mind

By Flobots

There’s a war going on for your mind
Media mavens mount surgical strikes from trapper keeper collages and online magazine racks
Cover girl cutouts throw up pop-up ads
Infecting victims with silicone shrapnel
Worldwide passenger pigeons deploy paratroopers
Now it’s raining pornography
Lovers take shelter
Post-production debutantes pursue you in nascar chariots
They construct ransom letters from biblical passages and bleed mascara into holy water supplies

There’s a war going on for your mind
Industry insiders slang test tube babies to corporate crackheads
They flash logos and blast ghettos
Their embroidered neckties say “stop snitchin’”
Conscious rappers and whistleblowers get stitches made of acupuncture needles and marionette strings

There is a war going on for your mind
Professional wrestlers and vice presidents want you to believe them
The desert sky is their bluescreen
They superimpose explosions
They shout at you
“pay no attention to the men behind the barbed curtain
Nor the craters beneath the draped flags
Those hoods are there for your protection
And meteors these days are the size of corpses

There’s a war going on for your mind

Précis: In this song the Flobots evoke a series of vivid images describes through detailed metaphors and similes with symbolic meanings that suggest that the dystopian America they describe is in fact our own. Lines like “Professional wrestlers and vice presidents want you to believe them,” and “They shout at you ‘pay no attention to the men behind the barbed curtain” imply that the government, or some governing body, intentionally hide information to keep their people distracted and ignorant to the truth, whatever that may be. They also question the role of the big corporations through like “Industry insiders slang test tube babies to corporate crack heads,” and “They flash logos and blast ghettos, Their embroidered neckties say “stop snitching’” which implies that not only do the corporations not have the best interests for the people, they are dangerous people who have the power to take care of people they disagree with.

Reaction: I really like how this song sounds, how the background music creates a calming effect even while the speaker describes these bizarre images. I really like the message too and the way it points out issues that people just overlook that should receive much more of a response. I really like the Flobots’ social activist mentality and I think it’s a really interesting way to convey their thoughts.

 

 

 

 

Link

 

Précis: In his piece “the suicide kid”, Bukowski examines the thoughts of a man who searches for death, but cannot find it when he tries. Bukowski uses humor and irony to better examine the narrator’s unsuccessful search for death, “I went to the worst of bars hoping to get killed. but all I could do was to get drunk again. worse, the bar patrons even ended up liking me”, I this we see how the narrator went out for the sole purpose of dying, but unfortunately found himself surrounded by people that like him, the irony of it is of course that is the opposite of what he wanted. The lines “there I was trying to get pushed over the dark edge and I ended up with free drinks” also show the irony of the narrator’s quest for death. In the end the narrator shares his philosophy of death with the reader, “death doesn’t always come running when you call it, not even if you call it from a shining castle or from an ocean liner or from the best bar on earth (or the worst)”, which reinforces the idea that the narrators search for death is pointless, because he wants it so badly.

Reaction: I like this poem a lot, it analyzes death in a way that gives a new perspective on dying. I like that this poem is dark but in a way that is a very lighthearted darkness, the narrator sees the irony in his situation and can appreciate it for it. I really like the last few lines, “impertinence only makes the gods hesitate and delay. ask me: I’m 72.”, I this the narrator uses himself as an example for his theory of death, because the narrator is so old the fact that he hasn’t died yet supports his idea and adds another layer of irony to the poem.

 

Precis: In her piece, Love’s Philosophy, Percy Bysshe Shelley asserts the idea that to the individual, all the love in the world is meaningless if he or she cannot feel love for themselves. The author personifies lifeless objects that have a relationship with one another, showing what  the author calls “sweet work” to give examples of what the author sees as love. In the lines “Nothing in the world is single, All things by a law divine In one another’s being mingle— Why not I with thine” The author proposes that nothing is single, and because nothing is or should be single two singular parts should combine to make a whole. The main idea of the poem comes form the last stanza, “And the sunlight clasps the earth, And the moonbeams kiss the sea— What is all this sweet work worth If thou kiss not me?”. In this the author give two more examples of what she sees as a loving relation ship, but disregards it by asking what is the worth of all this love, if she does not have a love of her own? The author means to say that to someone who is not loved, love is weighted differently than by those who are loved.

Reaction: I thought this piece was post-worthy because it was different that the usual love poem. I think it is interesting that someone would think about what love is like in the eyes of someone who is not at the moment experiencing love. I like how the poem is styled with numerous personifications and that it rhymes so that takes on a lighthearted tone rather than a dark one.

Feb 062012
 

Lyrics

song

Precis: This song is about a mother desperately trying to find sobriety so that she can have a functioning relationship with her daughter. The Lines “Are you wasting away in your skin, Are you missing the love of your kin, Drifting and floating and fading away” mean to convey that the Mother isnt all there mentally for her daughter because she is always under the influence, “wasting away” refers to the the mother wasting her life, “Are you missing the love of your kin” refers to initial lack of communication between the two. In “Can you bare not to share with your child?” the author means to ask if the woman can handle the distance that there is between her and her daughter. “Lune” means moon, which refers to the line “Do you carry the moon in your womb”, The significance of this line is unknown however. The last stanza is the first line repeated, which I have taken as the mother is unsuccessful in reaching sobriety, but continues to try.

Reaction: I think this song is beautiful, it tells such a real story without being necessarily dark, or being too messy to decipher. I really like the song because the writer wrote it after meeting a woman struggling with sobriety, the fact that he wrote such a great song after a real situation to me makes the song more personal and better. I’ve been listening to a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers lately and this song really stuck out to me because of how poetic it was so I thought it appropriate to introduce it to the Blog.

 

Persis: Chief Dan George’s piece “Talk to Animals“, he says that if we learned about animals we would know them, if we knew them we would not fear them, and if we did not fear them we would not destroy them. I think that this poem is really about understanding people that have different ideas than our own and accepting them peacefully. In  the lines “If you talk to animals they will talk with you And you will know each other.” the author means to say that if we talk to one another and learn about each other then we will understand one another without conflict. In the lines “If you do not talk to them you will not know them, And what you do not know you will fear.” I think the author means to point out how when we do not understand something we often fear it because it will bring change, and as humans we reject change as often as we can. The last line of the poem “What one fears one destroys.” clearly shows that the author is talking about human nature, how when we don’t understand the ways of something new, we destroy it for being different than us.

Response: I like this poem because I think that the author of this poem in a simple way captures one of the more significant flaws in human nature. I think we as humans don’t take the time to understand other people, we disregard them for being different instead of accepting them and recognize that what makes us different makes us strong as humans. I think that a lot of the worlds problems, like war and racism, come form either the inability or the unwillingness to talk to one another.

 

Presis: In her piece, A Birthday Present, Sylvia Plath describes a birthday where the only present that she truly wants is death. Plath shows us that she no longer cares for material things in the lines “Can you not see I do not mind what it is.”, “Do not be ashamed–I do not mind if it is small”. In these we see that Plath has no desire to receive gifts, all she wants is the sweet embrace of death that will let “the universe slide from my side”. Plath, in her piece, speaks as though she has no interest in living life at all. This can be seen in the lines “I do not want much of a present, anyway, this year. After all I am alive only by accident. I would have killed myself gladly that time any possible way”. In her poem Plath mentions the”Veils” that shroud her vision of the outside world, it seems as though these veils are the things that we must accept if we wish to live, like what we must do to be accepted and the social conventions we must adhere to. Because plath realizes that she wants death and only death she is free to live her life like nothing matters, because really, to her, nothing does.

Reaction: I think this piece, like all of Plath’s work, is worded beautifully in a way that tells her story and conveys the feelings that she has toward her life. I find it very interesting that this piece is the kind of work that Plath did only 6 months before she killed herself, it seems to me that through these poems she realized that death was the only solution for her. I like the idea of this poem, being at the stage where you’ve accepted your death and realize that all worldly things are meaningless once we are gone. This poem is interesting because it gives us a look into the mind of a person on the brink of suicide, a view of life that not all people see.

 

 

 

by Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

 

Precis: In his piece Collins examines how his students analyze poetry and asserts that the people he is showing this poetry to are taking the wrong approach to it. The author wants the student to carefully examine the poem as he or she would a color slide, paying close attention to detail. However, the author tells us that the quality of the analysis from the students falls short of his expectations as he compares it to torture. What the author means to say in this piece is that people who analyze poetry today do not want to find the meaning of a poem by carefully examining and thinking about the poem, they want to be told what something means so they don’t have to think about it. The author of the poem is trying to say that people don’t look at poetry the right way.

Reaction: I think this poem accurately illustrates how people today analyze poetry. People what to know what something is not why something is, their analysis of poetry is shallow and because of this an appreciation for things like poetry is lost. I like this poem because the author really seems to be concerned that people have changed they way of looking at poetry. The author seems to be someone who appreciates poetry and is disturbed by the fact that people cant see what he sees when he examines poetry. I like the idea this poem is trying to convey.

 

By Alice Moore

An idle lingerer on the wayside’s road,
He gathers up his work and yawns away;
A little longer, ere the tiresome load
Shall be reduced to ashes or to clay.

No matter if the world has marched along,
And scorned his slowness as it quickly passed;
No matter, if amid the busy throng,
He greets some face, infantile at the last.

His mission? Well, there is but one,
And if it is a mission he knows it, nay,
To be a happy idler, to lounge and sun,
And dreaming, pass his long-drawn days away.

So dreams he on, his happy life to pass
Content, without ambitions painful sighs,
Until the sands run down into the glass;
He smiles–content–unmoved and dies.

And yet, with all the pity that you feel
For this poor mothling of that flame, the world;
Are you the better for your desperate deal,
When you, like him, into infinitude are hurled?

Precis: in her piece Alice Moore poses the question, once we are dead are we any better than the man who spends his days daydreaming? It is an interesting question, this man spent his time daydreaming, going through the motions of life blissfully ignorant to the world around him. In a sense, yes, this man is better than us for coasting through life because as he coasted he was happy. he enjoyed he life because it was spent on him the way he saw fit. We spend our time doing the things that we hate in the hopes of becoming something or being remembered for something, we go to school, we get jobs, we talk to people, all things that we could exist without doing. However, in the end, when we are dead and gone neither the man who worked or the man who dreamed has anything to show for his life.

Reaction: I think that I would like to live like the man who dreamed his entire life. I’d rather live my life the way that I want than dedicate my life to becoming something because when i’m gone none of this will matter. I’d rather devote my life to my happiness than spending it making myself look good in the eyes of others. I like this poem because it rhymes, which is always good, and because it is thought provoking in a way that people of any time can understand, the idea of whether to spend life the way that you want or to try and make your life more than just a series of daydreams.  The daydreams will never amount to anything but at the same time the life spent working will not amount to anything either really. I think people need to re-evaluate how much time they spend on work and play because both are important and to spend too much time indulging in one vice is bad.

 

 

Adolescence by Claude McKay

There was a time when in late afternoon
The four-o’clocks would fold up at day’s close
Pink-white in prayer, and ‘neath the floating moon
I lay with them in calm and sweet repose.

And in the open spaces I could sleep,
Half-naked to the shining worlds above;
Peace came with sleep and sleep was long and deep,
Gained without effort, sweet like early love.

But now no balm–nor drug nor weed nor wine–
Can bring true rest to cool my body’s fever,
Nor sweeten in my mouth the acid brine,
That salts my choicest drink and will forever.

Presis: In his piece, McKay compares using figurative language his perspective on childhood and adulthood. McKay uses words like “sweet” and “calm” to describe the feeling that he has as an adolescent. He describes a calm environment in which he lies in a state of peaceful sleep, “sweet like early love”. However, McKay has a very different perspective when he describes adulthood. He describes himself in a fever that nothing can cure, “no balm– nor drug nor weed nor wine”, it seems that McKay chose to list these because they are common vices that people use to escape their reality. He describes adulthood as an acid brine that taints the things that he enjoys in life, almost to say that as an adult we are never has happy with the things that made us happy as children. It seems clear that McKay was making the point that adolescence is better than adulthood.

Reaction: While I dislike Harlem Renaissance Poetry, I feel that this poem conveys an idea that older than this era of time so its better than a lot of poems written during the Harlem Renaissance. I think this piece is interesting because it feels like adulthood is coming fast so it seems somewhat relatable to me as someone uncomfortably close to the end of adolescence. I dont know what being an adult will be like but i hope it inst as dark as McKay describes in his poem

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