Studies in Poetry 5 August 2013 The Power of Poetry Poetry can be cathartic for both the writer and the reader. The art expression in poetry allows the writer to heal continually over time. The reader gets to experience Ms. Silicon’s life chronologically through her poetry. We get to feel full-circle the wounds, the scab, the debarment and finally the healing that happens after one exposes truths. Ms. McCollum shows a contrast approach to her past by taking a mythical route. Instead of taking a more personal approach, the reader may still connect through Ms. Macaulay’s approach by the self-absorbed mother that is exposed in her myths.
Ms. Clifton is able to say a lot with little words, especially in “forgiving my father”. The poem consists of 3 stanzas addressing her father’s ineptness. In the first stanza the reader sees that during Ms. Silicon’s childhood her family was financially unstable. In this poem she gives recognition to her mother because of the mental and physical abuse she had to live with. In an interview with Ms. Clifton and Michael S. Glasses, Ms. Clifton says: “l knew that she was an unhappy woman” (Glasses 314). In “forgiving my father” Ms. Clifton shows heartache for her mother during this time. Ms.
Clifton has neither the ability nor authority to speak up to her father; therefore she hopelessly waits in vain for him to change and take care of their family. Ms. Clifton encourages students to write to help heal heartaches in life: “To write because you need it. It will somehow help you get through a difficult life” (Glasses 312). The first stanza reads: It is Friday. We have come to the paying of the bills. All week you have stood in my dreams like a ghost, asking for more time but today is payday, payday old man; my mother’s hand opens in her early grave and I hold it out like a good daughter. 08) In the second stanza, Ms. Clifton graciously gives her father the benefit of the doubt by addressing that her father is the way he is because of his upbringing. When Ms. Clifton refers to him as “daddy’ the reader can sense that this was going on during her childhood. In an interview with Ms. Clifton and Michael S. Glasses, Ms. Clifton says: “My mission is to heal Lucille if I can, as much as I can” (Glasses 312). The second stanza reads: there is no more time for you. There will never be time enough daddy daddy old lecher old liar. Wish you were rich so I could take it all ND give the lady what she was due but you were the son of a needy father, the father of a needy son; you gave her all you had which was nothing. You have already given her The ay Catcher Nines r f-et -ret Juju all you had. (208) In the third stanza Ms. Clifton is forgiving her father, she realizes the parent’s covenant not hers. She has reconciliation that while she an were dealt this hand, her father’s shortcomings were his alone an not have it in him to rise above his lot in life, “and come up empty a also acknowledges that she had no control over decisions that were was born.
Now that her father has died, she is able to look at the sit greater perspective. It was her parent’s choices that created that life although she was a product of that life, the future and what she doe choice. The last line of the poem reads: “and no accounting will pop possibly meaning that overthrowing the past and rehashing decision and that she never had control over is a waste of her time and memo you are the pocket that was going to open and come up empty any Friday. You were each other’s bad bargain, not mine. daddy old pauper old prisoner, old dead man what am I doing here collecting? U lie side by side in debtors’ boxes and no accounting will open them up. (208) Ms. McCollum is inspired by Louise Cluck whom also rewrites Greek Persona, & the Personal in Poetry by Sahara McCollum, Ms. McCollum of Ms. Cluck’s poems: “In her poems, these stories have provided a and out of the themes that are her core concerns as an artist: moth other familial relationships” (McCollum 1). Ms. McCollum takes a d on the relationship between Persephone and Demeter. An unusual approach to the mother daughter relationship, the reader finds Ms. Wowing disloyalty in Demeter towards her daughter Persephone. Interesting but unique approach on the way she copes with events the self, the self that writes, Ms. McCollum addresses what poetry h “Poetry has allowed me to live these and other hybridism spaces, the conflict, and to move away from the sentimental “tragedy of the mull figure of “exile” (McCollum 154). In the first stanza instead of Deem because of Persephone absence, she is embracing the attention of bad for her. Persephone is left feeling alone and rejected by her m recognizes her selfishness.
Persephone shows sarcasm by mocking pity on Demeter, when in reality she is being a selfish, careless mot main is multi-faceted; the realization that her mother does not have nurturing but also that she is self-absorbed and self-serving. In the senses not only pain but intense anger. You are all the rage these d mother. Everywhere I turn, I hear Demeter in mourning, Demeter grieving… Poor Demeter. (33) In Writing the self, the self that Writes written by Ms. McCollum, Ms. Addresses her right of creative expression stating that, “If I need to c the story upon which a poem is based in order to have the poem us right, I do it” (McCollum 154).
Ms. McCollum writes about her parent’s upbringing in Writing the self, the self that Writes, and many times she is giving her parents “the benefit of the doubt”. She mentions how she doesn’t know what it was like to grow up in a Jamaican society, therefore she cannot understand why her mother is the way she is. In the second stanza Persephone is making it clear that her mother set her up for rape. Ms. Macaulay’s mother also grew up without a father figure; this may be an explanation for the need for attention. Whatever the reason Ms.
Macaulay’s mother needed to be the center of attention, it was significant enough that Ms. McCollum included it in her works, albeit mythical. Always craving the spotlight, I know this is what you wanted: your face on the front page of all the papers; gossip columns (33) The third stanza shows more Demeter getting more and more attention as she “suffers” during the winter without her daughter. Persephone shows the way Demeter is abusing attention by “letting her flowers go’ as if she is mourning her lost child. Could it be that Ms. McCollum felt that her mother’s priorities were not in line with suitable motherhood? Oiled with Juicy tidbits on what life was like before winter, old hags in the grocery store, whispering, how she’s let the flowers go, and (33) Even though myths are retold, they can still offer truth and reasoning. In Myth, Persona & the Personal in Poetry, Ms. McCollum addresses the differences between today’s poetry and poetry during the mid-20th century: “That poetry might still reveal and speak out of the details of the writer’s life is not a particularly popular idea in the wake of the Confessional movement of mid-20th century American poetry’ (McCollum 3).
In stanza five, Persephone gets ignored when confronting her mother. Demeter expends to Persephone by brushing off her question, and covering up her actions by showing interest in Persephone life, trailblazing the real issue. You still won’t come clean. Passing me iced tea, instead you ask, WOWS the redecorating? Are you expanding (33) In stanza six, Demeter goes on to show interest in Persephone life, but cannot look her daughter in the eyes. To make room for little ones?
Fanning away flies, you avoid my eyes, saying, Vive so longed to be a grandma, (33) In the last three stanzas Persephone reveals how she was put in the field by her mother. Persephone goes on to show Demeter covering up the evidence as if it meant nothing to leave her daughter behind. The last three stanzas also reveal Diameter’s Jealousness towards her daughter. In the poems “forgiving my father” by Ms. Clifton, and “Persephone Sets The Record Straight”, the daughter figure has power that cannot be tamed. In both poems, the results were the same in the end. In Ms.
Silicon’s poem, the child (her) somehow knew that her words would not be heard by her father and chose to keep silent, except to the paper. Ms. Clifton, like Persephone felt neglected, lonely and unfortunate in their respective situations but her pain was contained inside hers Persephone tried to confront her mother and came away even more disheartened after her mother adds insult to injury by further dismissing petitions. Both poem are about our individual coping during our Journey through trials. Regardless of path, there can be no wrong door or wrong road to recovery.
Just as each of us is unique in our reaction to life’s challenges, our expression of that Journey is even more unique. In Ms. Silicon’s poem, she as the child had come full circle and was reaching closure. In Ms. Macaulay’s poem Persephone was still in beginning stag of realizing that the mother she wanted was not what she had. The similarity is t while they were not at the same place in their recovery, they both were heading o the same trajectory that would ultimately lead them to the same conclusion, that never had any control over the situation and that they are only responsible for the own behavior.
Ms. Clifton showed her expression of recovery early, thus building foundation that would allow her to eventually come to an understanding that all her to finally forgive her father. Persephone attempted to confront her mother a her actions and wound up being even more frustrated. While this initially seems a setback, Persephone was strong enough to have the courage to stand up to mot Her resilience might come from the knowledge that even though her attempt was met with failure, initially she did have the fortitude to challenge her mother’s cacti and behavior.
Attempting to change anyone is difficult, attempting to stop some addiction or cure their mental illness is impossible. Even in the best situations, a person has to want to change their behavior or get help and even then there are any challenges and hurdles. Through living, and by acknowledging that change difficult to achieve even within ourselves, perhaps we can somehow be more empathetic to those who hurt us. This is not to say that one should accept pain caused by others, but rather choose not to be a victim and to realize that it is our and our choice.
Hopefully by the time one gets to the point in their life when the are making choices that are life altering, such as marriage or having children the will have the experience needed to make choices that will be beneficial not only f hem, but for those who depend on them to provide love and stability. Unfortunate in their respective situations but her pain was contained inside herself. After her mother adds insult to injury by further dismissing petitions.
Both poems are about our individual coping during our Journey through trials. Regardless of the reaching closure. In Ms. Macaulay’s poem Persephone was still in beginning stages of realizing that the mother she wanted was not what she had. The similarity is that while they were not at the same place in their recovery, they both were heading on he same trajectory that would ultimately lead them to the same conclusion, that they never had any control over the situation and that they are only responsible for their own behavior.
Ms. Clifton showed her expression of recovery early, thus building the foundation that would allow her to eventually come to an understanding that allowed her to finally forgive her father. Persephone attempted to confront her mother about her actions and wound up being even more frustrated. While this initially seems like a setback, Persephone was strong enough to have the courage to stand up to mother. Et with failure, initially she did have the fortitude to challenge her mother’s actions and behavior.