West Indian Woman Speaks from the Dead| Samantha Thornhill

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West Indian Woman Speaks from the Dead| Samantha Thornhill

Samantha Thornhill’s “West Indian Woman Speaks from the Dead” — Poetry that Steals the heART

18882311_1390726661019915_3967985909065875364_nDuring the past few weeks, I have been working with engineers and construction experts for my internship. It’s been loads of things I love to do — technical writing, interviews, data analysis, sustainability analysis…and a lot of sleeping when I get home.

One of my interviews was with Jan, the director of the beautiful Arboretum in the city. We talked for a bit before the actual interview – our experiences, my accents, my work, her interests and travels. How we ended up talking about art, I am unsure of. End of story… she sent me an email to go visit Joanne’s Art Gallery downtown.

After work on Friday, I took a stroll to 150 Franklin Street Gallery — Boy, my heart! It was beautiful – gorgeous. See, it was the poetry weaved into paintings, and quilts, and photographs. It was a powerful place to be in and see. It had been a while, you know, since I connected with the art of poetry, painting…

After the talk by the new artist, Adrianna, about her work in China, Joanne introduced the poets in-the-house to the audience. They offered to share a poem with us…Samantha did West Indian Woman Speaks from the Dead. I had volunteered to take pictures during the event, and was ready to take shots, when she begun….

Mind blown, my heart captured, tears forming….I just had to sit down. I couldn’t explain how I felt, but how words can hold your heart captive when you pay them attention. The West Indian Woman words caught me as — so powerful. She seemed like she knew who she was, what she had — and was confident, certain, sure, without doubting of her value and worth to “the world” the poem presented to us — “her husband”.

It started to cause me think of women I knew…who would allow themselves be beat up by the poison they let through their ears, enveloped in the words of ignorant folks. There is a woman who would think of her self of no worth to her world because of the actions and in-actions of others. But here is a West Indian Woman who Speaks from the Dead, and even in death is more than aware of her identity, her worth and her value. She “don’t” need her husband’s words or actions to prove anything to others to validate who she is. She knows, and she knows, and she knows that she knows that she knows! And I love it. I pray that women will be strengthen within by their knowledge of the truth of their identity, their value and….I wonder, I really wonder, how this West Indian Woman walked when alive.

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“Father Forgets” Poem by W. Livingston Larned

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“Father Forgets” Poem by W. Livingston Larned

I found this poem today, and wow, very insightful.

“Father Forgets”

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing1ba02368beb86448a594353977c100b4 for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply,

“Hold your shoulders back!”

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive‐and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither.

And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me?

The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding‐this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy‐a little boy!”

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

-W. Livingston Larned

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Mahler’s 9th symphony, 4th Mov. – Symphony Genre Evolution

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Mahler’s 9th symphony, 4th Mov. – Symphony Genre Evolution

In this piece, the evolution of the symphony as a musical genre, all the way from Haydn up until Mahler is examined briefly. I look at Mahler’s music, and what about it embodies the Romantic style, and what about it is so different from Haydn or Mozart’s music.

Symphony evolved in form and structure from Haydyn’s style (following a stricter format) to Mahler’s styles (less constraints and more realism). Haydn’s music was part of the classical era. Features of Haydn’s symphony are that it was tuneful and “choppy” music, and the melody was clear. Beethoven was somewhat a “middleman” bridging the gap between the classical and romantic era. Historical events (eg. wars, Industrial revolution) in the romantic era influenced changes various art forms (painting and literature). Mahler’s use of resolution, tonality and tension in his music is very typical of the romantic style. In his music, he stretches the system of tonality to its total extreme. Movement 4 of Mahler’s 9th symphony, is filled with a lot of tension, and emotions. Based on his background of grief, loss, and tragedies, he uses the music as a form of self-expression. In this movement, I found bitter-sweet emotions in the music, a lot of movement from major chords to movement to minor chords. Unlike Haydn and Mozart’s music that had much more restraint and served to entertain the audience; Mahler’s romantic style was that of realism, and focused on the composer’s emotion.

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