When I read Armantrout’s “New” for the first time I had no idea where to start. For me that poem was too fragmented to even begin to see the message that he was trying to convey. I think these fragmented poems have to have some catch to start their readers on. In his other poem “Action Poem” we can get a little bit more of a sense of where his fragments are trying to lead us. Although fragmented it has a clear end and clearer points that it’s trying to make. I think fragments can be very interesting but can also be problematic.  In our list of qualities fragmented poems had it stated that these poems give the reader a bit of room to discover what the poem means instead of it spelling it out for them. I think this is an interesting quality but if there’s nothing to hook in the reader the discovery might never happen.

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“Poem of Disconnected Parts” – Commentary from the Poet

After reading several fragmented poems in The New American Poetry of Engagement, one poem in particular stood out to me. “Poem of Disconnected Parts” written by Robert Pinsky is written in a very disorganized manner, as with many fragment poems. However, the fragments in this poem represent one large theme of injustices within governmental practice of society. It is this cohesiveness that Robert wanted to display to the reader, painting a picture of his own feeling towards the injustices of the world. After doing some research on Robert Pinsky and this poem, I found a reading and commentary on the poem by Robert himself. He states, “I hope the parts are not unconnected, but the jaggedness of the movement for one couplet to the next is meant to be expressive.” The way that this poem was read really brought out the anger and confusion he states he feels when he reads the newspaper.

Here is the link:

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What Makes A Poem

While reading Rae Armantrout’s “New” for class I couldn’t help but wonder is this a poem. It was so fragmented, so out there, that I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of it. To me, poems need a point, a form that someone can see and recognize. If a poem is so fragmented it doesn’t even seem like a poem anymore, more like an exercise in prose or bullet points to an actual poem. They don’t entirely capture the essence of a poem, but more the essence of an idea that wants to be turned into a poem. So when I see poems like this one, or “A1 from the Day,” then I have to question whether or not they are even poems. They are segmented and drawn out so much that it is difficult to find the message, hard to pay attention to the words, and confusing to try to piece together the puzzle of a poem. While I do agree that there is such a thing as a segmented poem, I also believe that there is a thin line between fragmented poetry and just random words being thrown together. What do you guys think about what makes a poem?

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Social Media and Poetry

Today in class, we went over the different projects a number of people created for their second project. One project, created by Zhiyuan Meng, really caught by intention because of the use of social media to convey his idea. He specifically used Instagram for his project which is a highly popular social media site used to upload pictures and videos. After class, looking for ideas for a new blog post, I googled Austin Smith to try and conjure up anything I deemed interesting. I found from my search that there was a Facebook page for his book, The Almanac, which we all read for this class. The page has a little less than 100 likes and it has different posts about Austin Smith and the book itself. If you browse the page, you’ll realize that it does not receive much activity, but it is a good idea to market your books and yourself via a social media website such as Facebook or Twitter. Billions of people use Facebook on a daily basis, browsing their friends profiles, pictures, and other groups companies used to market their products. What better way to broadcast yourself or your book than by showcasing it on a site used by that many people? You could use these different social media websites to post about your books that are recently published as well as interviews you are a part of along with many other different pr related stuff. This is something I feel could be highly beneficial for aspiring authors.

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“Poem of Disconnected Parts”

When reading “Poem of Disconnected Parts” by Robert Pinsky for homework, a line that stuck out to me was, “I support the War, says the comic, it’s just the Troops / I’m against: can’t stand those Young People” (17-18). I am wondering what other people make of this line. I don’t know that I understand it. I think I read it to criticize a certain mindset. The lines after say, “Proud of the fallen, proud of her son the bomber.  / Ashamed of the government. Skeptical” (19-20). It seems to me like it is saying it doesn’t make sense to “support” any part of the war. For example, the proud mother in line 19 may tell herself she’s just supporting her son, but she is supporting him in, essentially, a mass murder. But lines 17 and 18 are much more blatant to me. To me, the speaker (the comic) is not really ignorantly supporting war or death, he is saying that he supports the war and hates the people. It just strikes me as odd. Does anyone have a better interpretation of this?
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2014 Lucia Gets Reading Part 2

The other day, I wrote about how much I enjoyed the 2014 Lucia Getsi Poetry Event held at Ewing Manor. Listening to poetry and drinking fantastic wine was a great way to start my Thursday night. When i wrote about it the other day, I talked about how Jason Bredle was my favorite poet of the night. His dry sense of humor and intrinsic wit kept me entertained throughout his entire performance. He may have been my absolute favorite, but Monica A. Hand was an incredibly close second. Her delivery was the best because she seemed the most at ease and she seemed like she had practiced her performance more than anyone. I thoroughly enjoyed the depth of each of her poems, specifically her talks about race and her view of ethnicity. She would emphasize her points quite emphatically, keeping everyone in the room mesmerized to her every word. Attached is a few of her poems, some of which she read in this poetry event.

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Resistant Engaged Poems

As I worked on and researched for my paper\project 2 I now only agree more that I enjoy reading more resistant poems and creating more resistant poems. If I posted my poem, I would not be able to say (nor would you) that it is of an Ezra Pound\T.S. Eliot-intensity, but that it does have some of the elements of engaged poetry and now everything right away makes absolutely perfect sense.

Of course, to me it does because I wrote it and I know what my intention was, but as I was writing (a poem on major crimes in the U.S.) I realized how I enjoy looking things to maneuver into a poem. I felt like it increased its depth so much. However, personally I enjoy looking up unfamiliar words in poems whether it be dates or names or simply unfamiliar language because it pulls me closer and opens up such a vast space for interpretation and creativity.

Here is a bit of my poem, for kicks:

what is a luxury?

kisses from a toddler,

a lover?


the one

that you love?

not foreign fingertips,

unfamiliar lips?


Third largest international crime industry.

Generates a profit of 32 million a year.


lemon pound cake?


a pound of rice,

for the month?


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Ewing Manor Event: Jesse Nissim

I happened to attend the co-curricular event at the Ewing Manor this past Thursday and was thoroughly impressed. Going into my first poetry event outside of campus I did not know quite what to expect. Now afterwards, without doubt, I can admit I’m intrigued to attend more of these in the future. Along with Jason, the poet Brian wrote about, Jesse was also just as talented. While her style differed from Jason’s no one can argue that she was not a talented young poet. One poem in particular that she shared was “Fire.” This poem had recently won 1st place in Spoon River’s 2013 contest. The presenter of the event could not wait for Jesse to recite this piece and I cannot blame her as it captured the audience instantly. The theme of the poem is summed up in the final two lines. Throughout it brings up many instances, some humorous, and unrelates them to the subject at hand. I was blown away once she concluded performing this piece, what do you all think?

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Lucia Getsi Reading Poetry

This past Thursday, I attended the 2nd Annual Lucia Getsi Poetry Reading Event at Ewing Manor here in Bloomington. Being my first poetry event of the semester, I was anxious to see what I was getting myself into. When I arrived, and immediately saw a table with good wine, I knew I came to the right event. In all seriousness, I feel I truly got a firm sense of what slam poetry is all about and how difficult it must be for some of these poets. Each poet who recited his work spoke for approximately fifteen minutes. They would recite a number of their poems to a crowd, receiving laughs and claps from a majority of those present. I thoroughly enjoyed each poet, but the second poet, Jason Bredle was my absolute favorite. When he first stood up, I thought he seemed nervous and awkward. However, once he started reciting his poems, his dry sense of humor was hysterical, leaving everyone in the crowd in absolute stitches. His poem, Not to Beat a Dead Horse, was by far my favorite and was a poem the person in charge of setting the whole event specifically asked Bredle to read. All in all Jason Bredle was an unbelievable poet and I have attached some of his work for you to read yourselves. Enjoy!

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What Guys Look for in Girls- Slam Poem

So I’m really stuck on slam poetry and decided to do a general google search about it. Well I stumbled upon this youtube video and I think it is just fantastic! In slam poetry, poets can get across the point and their feelings with not only their words but the way they say these words and the body language that goes along with it. In this video in particular you can feel the frustration of the girl by how fast she speaks or the anger she places in her tone. Going along with engaged poetry, I would absolutely love to hear some of the poems in the engaged poetry book read like slam poetry. I think it’d be pretty cool, what do you guys think? It would shift the understanding of the poem entirely and make it much more entertaining. I think it’s a cool thought!

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