Journal: Metaphysical Poetry Journal Exercise 3.1A: Addressing Love

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Metaphysical Poetry

Journal Exercise 3.1A: Addressing Love and Loss

I have left someone without knowing when I would see them again. It was a relationship that was very important to me, but it was, ultimately, one that I knew was not going to work in the long run. I still loved this person. I felt so sad to know that I might not see them again, but I felt that there was no other way. They asked me to reconsider the relationships, to give it another chance -- which was the most painful part. I wanted them to see things like I did. I wanted them to be okay with what was happening, because then, in some way, I would feel better.

To leave someone you love very much is hard and there are no words that can adequately express how you're feeling. Nothing will make that person feel better and so it's like anything you say will sting. Perhaps just letting the person know that you love them too, that everything is hard for you too, is the way to go. For the person being left, it's probably not much consolation. I would want to hear that they loved me and that their heart was broken. There is something about those words, "broken heart," that is just so…well, heart breaking.

Journal Exercise 3.1B Responding to Literature:

I do think that metaphysical conceits work -- at least they do in the case of Donne's "Death Be Not Proud." In this poem, Donne has made death out to be a character, which is the conceit, and it works in the poem. There is a connection to be made between dissimiliar things -- death and living are complete opposites, but Donne is able to make us understand what death is if we think of it in terms of a character. Donne says, "Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me." These are dissimiliar because how can death die? Isn't death already dead?

Donne's poem, "Death Be Not Proud," makes me feel less afraid of death because the poem states that death is nothing more than just a little sleep. Dying is actually going to sleep and when we wake up we are no eternal. "One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally, / and death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die."

I think that Donne's "Meditation XVII" is quite spiritual. It is contemplative and it is comforting because Donne explains that when a person dies, when the bell tolls, it is not just that person dying, but in a way it is a piece of mankind dying. He says, "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." The bells are symbolic for the moments of each of our lives both individually as well as a whole. When the bell tolls, someone dies, but it is also a moment of our own lives being taken away. Eventually the bell will toll for us -- one last time.

Journal Exercise 3.2A Prewriting a Modern Parable:

Situation #1: Walking past the dog adoption on Saturdays. The first time I walked by, I ended up with a little terrier named Ralphie. I wasn't looking for a dog. The second time I walked past, I ended up with another terrier named Lilly. I vowed not to walk past that place again because one more dog and dogs would outnumber people. I walked by a third time, however, and found a beautiful puppy -- the only one to survive her litter of 9. While I can't keep her, I decided to foster her until she finds a home. Lesson: There are powers higher than us that direct us where we need to be at a given time. Even if I think something is wrong for me, there is something out there that believes I am right for something else.

Situation #2: For exercise, I walk two miles every day around my neighborhood. Every day I see a lady with two dogs walking and she always looks miserable. This made me feel miserable too. I thought, "Why doesn't she ever smile?" It made me mad, so I grimaced, and was one my way. This went on for weeks and then one day, I was having a particularly nice day, I, without realizing it was her, smiled and said "hi." Her face lit up like the sun and she smiled and said, "Hi! How are you! " I couldn't believe that this woman looked so different smiling than frowning. But then I thought that I probably looked the same to her. Now we always say hi to each other in the street. We sometimes even walk a bit together. Lesson: Don't rely on other people to make you feel something. If you feel like somebody else should be doing something, maybe you should be doing it too.

Situation #3: Road rage is common these days. While I don't go out with a gun shooting people who cut me off on the freeway, I tend to get frustrated. I sweat and grip the wheel as I curse the drivers who cannot drive. "Maybe I should be more like them?" I thought one day. Maybe I should drive as fast as they do and cut them off. Maybe I should not signal and cut into the carpool lane even though I am only one person in my car. So one day, I did this. I went into the carpool lane to get ahead of everyone else and -- I got a ticket. Lesson: Just because other people are behaving badly, doesn't mean you should too. Be the example you want to see in the world.

Journal Exercise 3.2B King James Bible:

One example of parallelism in Psalm 23 is, "I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." This is a good example of parallelism because "for thou art with me" expands on "I will fear no evil," and "thy rod and thy staff" expands on "they comfort me." Essentially speaking, they second part of the line is simply reaffirming or repeating what has already been said. It is used for emphasis. In Psalm 127, an example of parallelism is, "Unless the Lord builds the house, / those who build it labor in vain." This, again, reiterates the statement -- no one else but the Lord builds the house.

The King James version of Psalm 23 is a much more eloquent and clear version of the Psalm when compared to the Bay Psalm Book version. The syntax of the Bay Psalm Book feels backward and slightly awkward to read. The King James version is easier to understand because of the syntax. The Bay Psalm version feels as if it is trying to hard to be different and the syntax distances the reader. The King James version is a better overall version of Psalm 23 because it uses better syntax, has nicer imagery, and is easier, in general, for the reader to understand as there isn't any distancing from the material.

I prefer the King James Version of Psalm 23 to the Bay Psalm version. There are different images used, for example, in the Bay version, "tender grass" as opposed to "green pastures" and "waters calm" versus "still waters." I feel like the King James version is more eloquent, but perhaps that is because I know this version better. (in fact, I had never read the other version until this class.)

Journal 3.3A the Best Advice I've Ever Received:

The best advice I ever received was to put things in an "oh, well" drawer. There are plenty of things to get upset about in the day-ins-and-outs of daily life. Someone once told me that there are certain things that should just be tossed aside and shouldn't bother me. Once they are in the drawer, I can no longer fuss about them.

The best statement I ever heard was similar to the best advice. My mother always told me to pick my fights and this is one of the best statements ever because it gives a person some freedom. Knowing that I don't have to get upset or take things personally, unless I decide to, has made life easier. There are some things that aren't worth fighting for and this statement helps me put things in perspective.

Journal Exercise 3.3B Words of Wisdom:

Psalm 23 is didactic in nature as it tells one how one can find comfort within the Lord. While I am not overly religious, but rather spiritual, I find comfort in this anyway as it makes one want to trust in something higher. In contrast, however, Psalm 127 is not comforting, but rather more condescending.

Psalm 23's first two lines state, "The Lord is my shepard; I shall not want. / He maketh me to lie down in green pastures." This passage is comforting as one… [END OF PREVIEW]

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