The two selected entries are:
Week 7 - Sept 5th (D.H LAWRENCE)
Week 12 - October 17th (Under Milk Wood)
For this weeks entry I have decided to compose a piece of poetry inspired from reading “Odour of Chrysanthemums” answering question:
b) Describe the impact on you of your favourite piece of writing from either Woolf, Mansfield or Lawrence (you may do this in the form of a poem if you wish)
My Poem will follow a similar pattern to Lawrence’s prose; it’s called “The Lilies”
Mr. Cheltenham worked on the railroads,
While Mrs. Cheltenham worked at home handling washing loads.
They loved each other more than two devoted young lovers
Whose gaze would entrance even the most prudent of followers.
Then there was Mary, there dearly beloved child of eight,
...Beloved was somewhat questionable
She had the appearance of an angel, eyes bluer than the tropical Caribbean
Definite and refined, smooth blonde fair hair, pure skin, purer than the monks of St. Bertin!
“Mummy! Mummy! Dad is coming home!” she would say as she
Eagerly awaited her fathers arrival from a hard days labour
“Darling, I’m tired” – an excuse that echoed throughout her mind
One day she picked some lilies, vibrant and luscious they were
Their beauty struck her, like cupids arrow strikes lovers
Their energy resonated deep within her, connecting her to the secret that lie dormant within nature, that truth – but too little to late it was
Mary was suffering from pneumonia
It’s grip tightened on her week-by-week, day-by-day, and hour-by-hour
It had crushed, disjointed her!
She was growing weaker
Weaker in the flesh
Weaker in the mind
But weaker in the spirit….
Nevertheless to her dismay, her loving parents, loving was somewhat questionable
Never heeded to her physical, or spiritual call
“Help! Help! Mother!”
I thought I had done it!
I thought I had revealed my pain
But it was my soul, urging me on, crying out to my flesh to express my pain
“Honey, Mummy’s doing the washing, go play outside”
“Mary, read this new book that I bought you while Daddy has a rest”
and so much more, denied – like the Peter – I wept
But it wasn’t me who had to weep, it was those facades!
Who are full of love but have no love to offer!
“Mary, my dear, what’s the matter?
Oh! How I have longed to hear those words!
It was my Aunt Alexandra who had uttered those words of pure gold
Answering my internal cries. She has understood me, she had taken me to the general practioner, but it was too late, my physical pain had won, I had wrestled with it, but death was inevitable…
“My dear Mary! I’ve been such a fool!”
As Mr. & Mrs. Cheltenham observed the body of their daughter in the coffin
Still preserved in innocence and beauty, they gazed in awe more than grief
Her vibrancy still resonated within them as if she was alive!
Mary’s mother caressed her forehead
Their skin connected, with slow hypnotic movement
“How could you! You have acted foolishly!” Aunty Alexander stated
Mrs. Cheltenham discovered that she had denied her daughter
“I myself have died”
“I have committed a murder, worse than the criminals of London penitentiary”
The smell of the lilies
The power and awe of their presence
Seems to have calmed me with an uncanny exposure.
The poem illustrates the lack of move by Mary's own parents, how they were concered with an assumption of their daughter as just an ignorant young girl. However her conscience is far more profound and spiritual developed than that of her parents - who are concerned with their superficial lives. Like the mothers daughter in the "Odour of Chrysanthemums" the child embodies the innocence and beauty of character that is lacking in her parenst and within the conscience of society. The lilies are a metphor of how Mary has connected with nature and her innocence has picked up on the wonderment and the beauty that is found in nature. Like the mother in Lawrences prose she feels nothing but guilt and regret that she was wrong - like the mother in my poem, her assumption of her husband as a pub booser was far from the truth. "She had denied him what he was - she saw it now" (Lawrence 2257) summarises the same theme of my poem. Through Mary's death, she comes to the realisation that she never knew her daughter, never had time to be with her caught up in her own life.
Anyway, thats my ranting
Week 7 - Comment on Mariams Blog
Great insights into Virginia Woolf's work. I believe that Woolf had many demons within her that she had to face, internally and externally. The external really created and spurred on the demons that she had to face and the line you state “phantom” and of killing “The Angel in the House” (Woolf 2153) is one of the demons she has the face. This patriarchal system, with the notion that women are merely 'owned' by men (typical of the 19th and 20th century) really lowers the spiritual and intellectual possibilities of women. A woman with a free spirit and a mind of her own is a danger to the conventions of the society, just like Winston and Julia are challenging the control of Big Brother in 1984. Woolf, like Orwell, had this vision of working from the core of our conscience, what Percy Shelley called a "Blithe Spirit" in the poem "To a Sky-Lark". Essentially this carefree, un-controlled atmosphere is something that Woolf wants to shout out to all women across the world.
"Moreover, Woolf further illustrates the ability of her imagination to expand and delve into possibilities and freedoms"
So true. The power of the imagination is second to none. I cant remember the quote but Einstein said something about the power of the imagination as the integral part of human existence. It allows us to break free from all our pressures and demons into a world that is boundless - what Id like to call a 'utopia'
Anyways, keep up the great work :)
Ciao Week 12 - October 17th (Under Milk Wood)
Under Milk Wood
a) Imagining you are a theatre critic attending the opening night of the play, write a review ofeither Under Milk Wood or Arcadia?
What an Experience! I’m yet to grasp, or to make tangible the rich imagery of Thomas’ artistry. In his search for innocence Thomas plunges us into the small town of ‘llareggub’, whose name spelt backwards spells ‘buggerall’. Perhaps this is Thomas’ critique on human society with the scenarios and character situations purely satirical and quite preposterous. Nevertheless Thomas’ excellent use of language creates some kind of alternate world that whilst captures the reality of a world we have come to know but through our laughter at the triviality of the scenario’s we come to realise our own actions in terms of…are we like the characters in the radio play? What makes us human? Are we conscious of the true meaning of life or are we dwelling within our subconscious blind to the things that really matter in our life.
In the situation of Mr. Waldo we see Thomas’ underlying meaning through creating an anti-thesis. What I mean here is that Thomas creates contradictory statements and images. His images blend into eachother through his free-flowing language but at the same time they collide. Thomas’ techniques create conflict in the various scenarios but he juxtaposes sounds, vowels and consonants to create a physicality, which pierces the conscious mind. In short, Thomas’ language is a ‘hybrid’ in an attempt to reach the unconscious mind. An example is “Mr. Benyon, in butcher’s bloodied apron, spring heels down Coronation Street, a finger, not his own, in his mouth. Straight faced in his cunning sleep he pulls the legs of his dreams and…” (Under Milk Wood 14). Getting back to Mr. Waldo, we see how he is physically a grown man, not the most successful but he has the mentality of a 14 year old. When he says “hush love hush! I’m widower Waldo now” (Under Milk Wood 8) it’s almost as if he sounds like a little teenager who’s playing little romance games. Thomas is definitely trying to get into touch with an innocence that is lost in adults that is only evident within children, an innocence that was lost in the horrors of World War 2.
But above all from my viewing of the play, the incomprehensibility of his language with its lack of simplicity really stood out for me. I guess this is what Thomas wants us to be concerned with, as he probably wants us to take his play literally. Thomas’s language demands, or should I say begs us to be studied closely and understood as if we were studying a nucleus under a microscope. Look at this line:
“Listen. It is night in the chill, squat chapel, hymning, in bonnet and broach and bombazine black, butterfly choker and bootlace bow, coughing like nanny goats, sucking mintoes, forty winking hallelujah…” (Under Milk Wood 2)
The line demands to be understood. The imagery that is gained is only consistent with the comprehension of the language. For example, the chill squat chapel conveys a chapel, filled with a cold and sterile atmosphere (the word squat is interesting, you visualise people crouching because of the severity of the cold). Bombazine (fabric), butterfly choker (women’s neck accessory) and bootlace bow (bow on shoes) create further imagery of the people in the chapel who are falling asleep (forty winking) to the hymns, with sounds of people coughing. Its language that makes you isolates each word. Truly amazing!
Whilst Llareggub is a dreamtime reality, a melting pot of different scenarios steeped in triviality and conflict it is the collision of the dream state and the conscious state. Thomas is showing us, through his language, the deficiencies of humanity that make us align our personalities to the characters to the play in the hope that we can transform our own conscience. In other words, if we look at Miss Price as an example who has erotic fantasies of Mog Edwards (lines like “ I will warm your heart by the fire so that you can slip it in under your when the shop is closed” (Under Milk Wood 5)), we can view the imperfections of the characters to change our own lives. In a sense we learn from their trivialities and mistakes to help our own.
Thomas Vs. Morrison...
Thomas, as modernist artists tries to seek this inner truth of consciousness. The play is set against the aftermath of one of the greatest catastrophes – or should we say, one of the darkest eras’s of mankind, of human history. Thomas deliberately adds touches of satire and comedy to evoke sense of happiness and joy whilst yet uncovering some sort of inner truth. When I saw the play I immediately was drawn back to the human experiences of Jim Morrison from ‘The Doors’. What can we say about him, a profound mystical man and best, and maniac junkie and psychotic at worst, similar to Thomas! Thomas and Morrison are almost parallel in experience and in ideas. Like Thomas, Morrison aimed to unravel some sort of truth that was just eating away at his unconscious, desperate to break free into their conscious world. As Morrison puts it from William Blake “opening up the doors to perception” (The Doors Movie, 1991)
Jim Morrison’s language is so poetic that it creates another world of mysticism (connecting to a higher source), in a sense he creates his own utopia. Morrison, it is argued, was a poet who was ill suited to the life of a rock and roll star in the turbulent sixties. He creates a dream world where his language brings the reality to life. He compares music to “black liquid chrome filling the night” (The Doors: 30th Anniversary DVD), metaphorically giving music an unusual yet powerful ability to fill and spread through the conscious mind in order to reach the unconscious. Much like Thomas's use of language and language devices!
The Doors - One of my favourite bands. Like Thomas, their modernist approach in finding truth by tapping into the uncsconscious was something that is truly remarkable.
That’s my rant
Last week of Uni! Yay
Enjoy some of these clips...
The Doors - Touch Me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PECk9A-07Pw
The Doors - Love me two timeshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCz9VRuZv0E
(check out the line "mean and rueful of the western dream": sounds like Conrads critique on imperialism)
____Week 12 - Comment on Marcs Blog
I’m glad to see you imagined yourself as Captain Cat. You connected so well with the character during our performance and you drew our emotion of his dreams of past colleagues and affair with Rosey Probert. Coincidently, whilst the whole play takes place in a dream reality that tries to draw our innocence, captain cat tries to draw out hidden desires that resonate within his consciousness through the power of dreams. I like how you said:
"To inhabit the world of this play makes me feel like I’m in some other world, a world that takes on metaphysical assertions. I feel like I’m dead, but at the same time alive. I feel like I have all around me other worlds at my disposal, where I can take knowledge anytime I please. It feels like I’m inside the surreal world of an amazing poet/artist, where music and sounds juxtapose imagery, and where I have absolutely no conception of time"
Especially for me, in my connection with Mr. Waldo, he is in another world of his own. He is shrouded in innocence, dreaming of all the women he had relations with in the past. What he doesn’t realise is that love involves some sort of metaphysical element that transcends the reality. When these women come into his imagination, they actually haunt him as he took these relationships as a little game. Whilst the conflicts of his mind are brought into reality from the dream state, they show how innocence is still very much alive in all of us, but it takes effort unsurp it from within ourselves. So essentially Thomas' pursuit in finding innocence is that innocence has been lost from humanity, but through conflicts and various human activities, innocence can be evoked from deep within us. It has just been suppressed from the horrors of WW2.