Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tim O'Brien Response


                                          The Things They Carried

They marched through battlefields, while they ate M&M’s; remembering their loves ones’ back at home.
Wearing nothing but the things they carried; can openers, pocketknives, wristwatches, and dog tags.
Each fought with pride, and honor, but the things they carried would never fade from their minds.
They carried photographs, love letters, and the dream of being home again.
 Some lost their lives, while others carried the burden of their brothers’ death.
They marched for the sake of the march, but it was always just an endless march.
They laughed and cried, but it was all to hide the things they carried from their minds.
They carried memories of who they used to be, and the lives they once knew.
But most of all they each carried an endless burden, as they kept trudging along, day after day. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Sandstorm

Before I read the play, “The Sandstorm,” by Sean Huze, I looked at the cover of the play and saw the symbolism of the soldier, looking through his goggles, and only seeing death in front of him.  The day I began to read the play, it was ironically September 11, 2010.  It was the 9th anniversary of the most horrendous attack in our country’s history.  As I was reading, I started to feel the sadness, and the fear I felt on that same day, back in 2001.  I know someone who is over seas fighting for our country.  The pain and the emotions that Huze expresses with each of the men’s stories is heart felt.  The play really shows us a realization on what the men and women are going through everyday, while being over seas.
            Each of the men’s stories gives us a picture as to what they’re truly going through being over seas and fighting for our freedom.  They each tell their story with such anger and disgust to what they see everyday.  They talk about the killing of innocent civilians, and the death of their best friends, their comrades in battle.  Some of the men’s stories were terrifying even to read, let alone be there to see it all happen.  We realize that there is a war going on everyday, but for these men and women they see things we could not imagine.  I do not think we stop to realize what they go through everyday waking up asking themselves “is today the day I’m going to die?”  They miss home, their families and friends. They’re always tired, hot and hungry.  They stay there to help keep our nations freedom and we should all thank them more often.

         Wounds That Never Heal

In the blood red sunset I hear the sounds

It resounds, resounds, resounds

with the lonely bugle call that brings

each soul from the hell that was there,

together again as comrades in despair.

In the darkness that follows the sun

a new day is born, begun

with pearl pink streaks of light

hat cannot be seen at sunset of night.

I touch my wife, me sleeping grandchild,

and think awhile.

Perhaps these wasted dead are heroes

that have made

God smile.

Richard E. McGintry

Here is a link about Sean Huze:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Poetry of Witness

As I was reading the “Poetry of Witness” tab all the poems appealed to me.  One of my favorite poems I read was “Charlie Howard’s Descent” by Mark Doty.   The fear and pain that Howard was feeling I was feeling with him.  Charlie Howard was a hate crime victim.  Howard was a homosexual man, killed by three teenagers who taunted him for being gay and then decided to throw him over the State Street Bridge.  The teenage boys did not know Howard could not swim and ultimately drowned.  Doty envisioned Howard’s thoughts and feelings of fear remarkably.  I felt the fear and sadness Howard must have been feeling at that very moment.  “Up the ladder of his fall, out of the river into the arms of the three teenage boys, who hurled him from the edge-really boys now, afraid, their fathers’ cars shivering behind them….they didn’t believe he couldn’t swim” (Doty lines 42-51).  The Charlie Howard’s story inspires me in many ways.  At the end of Mark Doty’s poem he says Charlie “blesses his killers in the way that only the dead can afford to forgive” (Doty lines 52-54).  We can all learn for the poem and the true story of Charlie Howard, and become a more excepting society.
                     Here is a link about Mark Doty:

                The second poem that moved me was “The Woman Hanging from the Thirteenth Floor Window” by Joy Harjo.  The poem is set in East Chicago and it tells the story of a single mother who sees suicide as the only way out her “dreadful” life. “She thinks she will be set free” as she hangs from the thirteenth floor window (Harjo).  In the poem the woman hanging is seeking comfort from her own childhood memories “when she was young she ate wild rice on scraped down plates in warm wood rooms” (Harjo).  As you keep reading you start feeling the same sadness and loneliness she has been experiencing for years now.  She knows she is not alone as “she thinks of Carlos, of Margret, of Jimmy” (Harjo).  She is the mother of three, but she still feels alone and hopeless.  She tries to talk and explain her emotions but “her teeth break off at the edges” and she cannot express her feelings, instead she feels she can only express her feelings through her suicide (Harjo).  Harjo tries to show us that we ultimately make our own decision on how we want to live our life.  The woman knows “she is hanging by her own fingers, her own skin, her own thread of indecision” and she must make a major decision in her life by the power of her own fingertips.  Everyone must make major decisions in life that will ultimately change lives drastically.  At the end of the poem Harjo writes that the woman “thinks she remembers listening to her own life break loose, as she falls from the 13th floor window…or as she climbs back up to claim herself again” (Harjo).  The ending seems to give us the idea that she never chose to go through with the suicide and instead decided to find her identity again and the person she once was. 
                      Here is a link about Joy Harjo: