Sunday, April 4, 2010

Symbolism is Porphyria's Lover

The poem Porphyria's Lover has a great deal of symbolism in it's context. The deranged speaker gives lots of hints that he is not a nice man. First of all why is she the one out in the rain? She comes in from the rain "And laid her soiled gloves by " (Browning 763). It sounds like she was out in the rain working, and then she comes in and gets a nice fire going for them. If she was out in the rain working, why couldn't he have a fire ready for her. This symbolizes that she is hard working and must actually love or care for this man. She is probably used to doing all the work. "Too weak for all her hearts endeavour" (763). She maybe is just overworked and tired. And, last she, she sat down by my side And called me. When no voice replied." (763) Why doesn't he reply? That is another hint he is either mad, or upset with her. "And did it's worst to vex the lake," (763) vex symbolizing something bad. The word vex means to tourment; trouble; distress; or to afflict with physical pain. Many times during the story, the speaker talks of long, yellow hair. Her hair sybolizes her beauty.

The Rock

I would title my poem about young men and the struggles they have as "The Rock". The Rock who's real name is Dwyane Johnson is tall, dark, and handsome. He's got big muscles, a six pack, and is tough hence the name. Every movie he is in he is the tough guy, or the hero. I am sure he is an idol for many men. For I have seen men where "The Rock" shirts, and also seen a young man at the local YMCA that had the exact same brahma bull tattoo on his arm! I am sure it is not easy on young men if they think they have to live up to this look. Just as it is not easy living up to the standards, of looking like barbie or America's next top model! It is not normal to just look and be skinny like barbie. This for alot of people takes alot of work, like tanning, not eating, or eating disorders, alot of make up and even plastic surgery or tummy tucks. For men, this look is not also not normal, im sure it takes extreme measures of working out, steroids, and tanning, and waxing.

Boys are brought up and tought to be strong and manly. If a boy doesn't like sports, hunting, or tools, it's almost thought of as abnormal from societys view. It's a big, no no for very young boys to play with a doll or to play house. Which I don't think is fair, because boys become dads and they shouldn't be so discouraged to somewhat have a feminine side. I think it goes back to the cave man days, where men had to be strong, have courage, and use tools to bring home the dinner. The women have always been thought of has staying home, be pretty, cook, clean, and take care of the babies.

Friday, April 2, 2010


The poem Ozymandias reminded me of when the US marines pulled down the statue of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. The poem developes the theme that nothing lasts because even though his name is "Ozymanmdias, king of kings" he is left in pieces. "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command"(Shelley 721). The imagery really gives you the idea that this "great" statue was destructed on purpose. Maybe to symbolize that he now is no longer the great and mighty. "The lone and level sands stretch far away,"(721) this is what is great and everlasting. Ozymanmdias is a king, like all kings, in that he is both loved and hated. "The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;" (721) His hand may have mocked his enemies or maybe he was a Tyrant that mocked his people. Either way one looks at it he is a king that bullies the weak. Others may have loved this king, Ozymanmdias, because he fought for them and fed them.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Irony in "To His Coy Mistress"

In the poem “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell, the poet uses irony to convey the speaker’s will to his unwilling lover. There are many examples of verbal irony throughout the poem coming in the form of witty retorts, such as, “And you should, if you please, refuse / Until the conversion of the Jews” (lines 9-10), “And your quaint honor turn to dust / And into ashes all my lust” (29-30). These are examples of irony because the speaker knows the lady will not stay chaste forever, but uses hyperbole to try and convince her and himself otherwise.

The main irony does not come from the language of the poem instead from the situation that the speaker finds himself in. As our speaker professes his love to his mistress, a pure and chaste lady, he begins to list the amount of time he would take to appreciate all of her virtues as she wished; “Had we but world enough and time / This coyness, lady, were no crime / We would sit down and think which way / To walk, and pass our long love’s day” (1-4). The speaker well knows that the young woman will not remain so forever and neither will he, and wishes to consummate his relationship with his love before time or some unforeseen event separates them; “The graves a fine and private place / But none, I think, do there embrace” (31-32).

The ultimate irony comes from the fact that the speaker and the lady listener are correct in their assertions. The speaker in that, when with someone you love, all time is precious and coyness is a virtue that must be held in reserve for every minute could be your last with that loved one. The lady is correct in that, without said virtue, what is such a love worth if one cannot be sure of its purity and strength of commitment.

Barbie Doll

Many people think that media influences, peer pressure, and social norms are only targeted towards women or girls but this is not true. Males are victims of this as well. In the poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy, the effects that social norms and peer pressure on a young girl and evident. She is teased for her physical appearance when underneath she may be just as good as or better than those teasing her may be. If I were to re-write this poem to reflect experiences of a young man I would gear it toward the idea that many people limit the effects of peer pressure, social norms, and media influences to females but males also struggle with these things as well. The Barbie Doll is not the only one looking perfect, the ken doll also provides an unrealistic role model for males.

Porphyria's Lover

In the poem “Porphyria’s Lover” by Robert Browning, the poem had me confused at first. After I read it a couple times it really made sense. For my thoughts I didn’t think if you truly loved someone you wouldn’t kill them with their own hair. Also at the end when he says, “I propped her head up as before, only, this time my shoulder bore, her head, which droops upon it still: the smiling rosy little head” (Browning 720). It shows he still had her there, just now it was very quiet there and the rest of the night they just sat there together. It was very crazy how she let him kill her as she was snuggling up to him and told him she loved him. But the development of him actually killing her was great to Browning because it was very unexpected to me.

Tone in Porphyria's Lover

The tone in Porphyria’s Lover is very mysterious and gloomy. When reading the poem, a person can’t help but realize the speaker is odd. It seems he doesn’t change his tone and if he were speaking it to an audience it would be monotone. Even when he explains the murder, the wording doesn’t change and his expression doesn’t change. This poem and the speaker are detached from what happened. There is a bit of happiness in the poem though but as soon as one thinks the poem will have a happy ending, it becomes depressing again. “Happy and proud; at last I knew Porphyria worshipped me…The moment she was mine, mine, fair…I found a thing to do, and all her hair in one long yellow string I wound three times her little throat around, and strangled her” (Browning, lines 32-41). The speaker was oblivious to the fact that Porphyria felt no pain, “No pain felt she; I am quite sure she felt no pain” (Browning, lines 41-42). It’s selfish to think she didn’t feel any pain and it’s selfish to take one’s life to keep their love forever.


The poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley shows the theme “nothing lasts” in a variety of different ways. In the desert the king of kings said “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings, Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”(Shelley 721). But when you would look around there was nothing there at all. When in the desert the things would sing into the sand either due to quick sand or just the sand over time. Nothing lasts in life according to the king and “which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things”(Shelley 721). It shows just how they haven’t been able to last because there at this land nothing does last.

To His Coy Mistress

In the poem, "To His Coy Mistress," there is some irony hidden within the lines. For example, early on in the poem, the writer tells about how he loves this woman. By the end of the story, he is talking about death and how the "grave is a fine and private place." He also says that we need to "Tear our pleasures with rough strife/Thorough the iron gates of life." It is ironic that you need to tear through the iron gates of life.

Barbie Doll

In the poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy, it reflects the life of a girl going through tough times where people judge her. They tell her what’s wrong and she tries to fix it because she would rather try to fit in. The poem doesn’t show what a young man goes through. In high school a young man has to deal with being attractive, muscular, and try to be nice towards the ladies. If they don’t have a good looking girl, no girl at all, or even any girls that are friends they have a time where they’ll get picked on as well. He’ll then try to correct that and fix them probably. He could then get turned down or even made fun of more. This could lead him into drugs or alcohol. Guys do have a lot of things that go just as wrong as the ladies do. “Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: You have a great big nose and fat legs” (Piercy 991). Here for the guys it would be the muscles or the masculine part of them and then when they start getting that squeaky voice instead of the other changes a girl faces. Every guy and girl faces hard times and they do need to know how to deal with them. This poem only shows what may happen to girls but could be reversed to what happens to the guys.


When you read the poem "Ozymandias," you get the impression that the reader is saying that nothing lasts. You get a sense of sadness when you read the poem. When I read the poem, I picture a dessert where everything is dry and dead, and nothing can survive. The different speakers in the poem adds different voices and tones in the poem, which create contribution to the theme. The writer also suggests that some things do survive by having a character say that he is the "King of kings."

Tone in "To His Coy Mistress"

In the poem, “To His Coy Mistress”, Andrew Marvell uses an almost fairy tale tone. It is somewhat difficult to understand on first reading because he embellishes almost every line. Through the speaker’s use of exaggeration he displays imagery in his poem. However, because of the exaggeration, it is a fairy tale image. Using this embellished image, the speaker tries to convince this maiden that he loves her so much, but it seems he is only toying with her in an attempt to satisfy his lust for her. It’s as if he is telling her how good looking and gorgeous she is, just to get in bed with her. For example: “My vegetable love should grow/Vaster than empires, and more slow./ An hundred years should go to praise/ Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze,/ Two hundred to adore each breast, / But thirty thousand to the rest.” (Marvell, lines 11-16) I am not really sure what, “vegetable love” is, but it seems to me as if the speaker is joking with this woman. However, the speaker may be lost in his love for the woman he is speaking about. If this were the case, I’m not sure that even the woman would understand what he is talking about and with all this ridiculous exaggeration, the poems sounds silly.

My Last Duchess

The man/speaker in “My Last Duchess” seemed as if he was a controlling, possessive and jealous man who didn’t like others looking at his wife or her giving a certain look to others, “She had a heart…too soon made glad, Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er she looked on, and her looks went everywhere” (Browning, lines 21-24). The speaker sounds like he was a king or a person of high status. There are stories about kings and higher class people not getting their way and either beheading their wives, feuding with others, etc. and this speaker seems he could be one of these people, “Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt…but who passed without much the same smile…I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together” (Browning, lines 43-45). The speaker is not interested in the picture of his late wife; she’s just another possession of his to keep like he always wanted.
The speaker is talking to an emissary of a count to arrange a marriage between the speaker/duke and the unknown count’s daughter. The duke only provides information he wants the count to hear which only tells half the story and makes him appealing.

Barbie Doll

The poem "Barbie Doll" is written in a very feminist point of view. If I were to change this poem to be about how men are influenced in society, I would change the title to Ken. Ken is the male barbie doll, and makes sense to have it as Ken for a male version of the poem. I would use pictures of the Ken doll. I would use about the same diction that is used in the poem "Barbie Doll."

Symbolism in To His Coy Mistress

In the second line of To His Coy Mistress, Marvell writes, This coyness, lady, were no crime. Crime meaning something bad that shouldn’t be done. In line eleven he writes about his vegetable love which might symbolize the kind and quality of his love. In line twenty-two, Time’s winged chariot symbolizes death. Marvell writes about deserts of vast eternity in line twenty-four. This could symbolize Heaven or Hell. Heaven would obviously be more appealing but Hell would continue Marvell depressing visions of the future.

Barbie Doll

If I had to rewrite this poem, I would name it “Ken” because Ken was also part of the Barbie doll world. I would talk about the difficulties growing into a man but also the enjoyable side of being a male. Ken, like Barbie, portrays how men are “supposed” to look like according to society. Men are suppose to be strong, muscular (not an ounce of fat on them), good-looking and not show there sensitive side or feelings. They are also supposed to like doing outdoor activities, they are expected to get dirty and be the bread-winner for the family. This of course is not true. Not all men are muscular or strong and not all like hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, etc and certainly not all men are the main source of income in a household.
It’s sad how society has shaped men and women. People should be able to grow up without the hardships of high school and the real world but that’s how people overcome these hardships.

Barbie Doll

If this poem were rewritten for a young man, the title could be, Quarterback. Since there are social norms that put award a high level of importance for athletics, there could be imagery of lifting weights and training hard. The pressure to win would be strong. I might write the young man noticing during a game, the fan’s happiness when he scores or disgust when he fumbles the ball. I could present the image of the young man losing his virginity since there can be peer pressure on teens to have sex. When the boy was younger he might play war games outside.


The first line in the poem says,” I met a traveler from an antique land.” This creates the imagery of someplace old. The traveler talks about the statue in the desert. It is described as ,” Two vast and trunkless legs of stone. This means they were big and of someone who was important. At least someone important enough to make a giant statue of them. The head is not attached to the body and it has a “ wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command”. This makes me think of arrogance. The beginning of the poem, for the most part, sets up the place and the statue, and the end it becomes clear with the inscription that the king thought he would always be important. Even a giant statue of a great king, can over time be broken and forgotten. I think the sand outlasts the king and his kingdom in the poem.

"Tone of To His Coy Mistress"

This poem has a very light tone to it. It is not like most of the other serious poems that we have read yet. I'm usually much more interested in serious or darker writing, but this poem is very interesting to me. It is pretty hard for me to understand. The first time I read through it, I could tell that it was a very cheerful poem. The speaker in the poem is very in love with a girl, "Nor would I love at a lower rate" (20). His joyfullness over his love for this woman really shows through. I can see how a man that is so in love would write a poem that is so happy throughout. The poem also has a very nice flow to it. When reading through, it is easy to read with the rhyming lines, "Had we but world enough and time; This coyness lady were no crime." (1-2). The way the poem flows and the rhythm that is used helps us to realize the very happy tone of this writing. Even though it is a difficult poem to understand, I think that the tone really shows through.

Barbie Doll

If I were to re-write this poem with a boy in mind I'd title it All Boy, a term we use so often to describe rough-and-tumble boys who play with trucks, legos, bugs, video games, and in mud puddles. This term isn't used for the boys who prefer to color, or to play house, or even to read; although these boys are also 'All Boy' considering that they certainly aren't part girl or part dog or anything simply because they enjoy less stereotypical activities. Also, many of the "boyish" activities are considered acceptable for a girl to play, but if a boy enjoys playing dress-up, they're marked as being somehow less boy?? It doesn't make sense and it can damage those boys.