My reflection blog

I don’t really know were to start, because I have learned so much during this poetry class. I never thought I could like a class this much. You know you really like a class when you look forward to go to it everyday and when you want to do the homework, for the reason that it’s fun.
I remember the first week and we were talking about children’s poetry and in the end of the class our teacher made us all sit underneath the tables, so that we could see the world from a child’s perspective. This was just one of the things that made me open my mind about poetry.

We have read everything from Whitman, E E. Cumming and Langston Hughes. They all are really different poets and that is maybe why it’s so fun to analyze their poems and read about theirs private life. Their private lives are very important for us to analyze their poetry but it can also make us understand why they wrote the poetry they did. I think E E. Cumming was one of the poets that were very influential for me, because he showed me that there are no rules in poetry. The only limit in poetry is your mind and you can use punctuations and other stuff to make the poetry more interesting or just to get your point through, this is called Unusual Typograph. Personification and free verse are also things that I have been very influenced by, because they are things that I like to use.

I think Parker with her Satiric Poetry has inspired a lot of people in our class, because in this time we are living in right now humor is very important and we almost use it as a cover of ourselves, so that we can hide behind it.

I think my poetry has changed a lot during just this class, not just because I have gotten to know myself better but also because I have found my own writing style. Its very hard to find your own style in a normal English class, because there is so much you have to think about but in poetry the only thing you have to think about is your only limit, which is your mind. We started with the normal poetry that we are used reading but then we started to read more modern poets and I think that was a big turning point for me.

Poetry is now a part of my life and every time I read, I use the same analyze technique that we used for poetry. I never thought I was going to learn so much in this class, but I really did. I did not only learn to enjoy poetry but I also got to know a lot of different people and myself better. This is by far the best class I have ever taken.

My Reflections

During the course of this project, I learned more about a time period that I thought I was pretty well-versed in. It turns out that I hadn't known as much as I thought I did. I had never researched the Black Arts Movement, never heard of Amiri Baraka, nor had any idea of the real correlation of Hip Hop to the BAM. I've definitely come away from this with a new respect for Tupac and Baraka, and some more tidbits for my future sophisticated cocktail party conversation.
About the work I did... Well, let's just say I could have been more diligent. I have never been one to do work ahead of time, and here was a project with no stone solid deadline. (You'll notice that I'm posting this on the last day possible to do so. I don't know why, but I just work better closer to a deadline.) However, I do think I did some very good research; believe me, finding sources took me a while, but I learned a lot doing so.
I would suggest some more structure for the next time this project is done; I know I wasn't the only one who had trouble with the non-deadlines, and with finding inspiration. But I think that the project was innovative and fun, overall.
I really am going to miss this class.
Goodbye seventh bell poetry!

The Bow.

So here it is, my post on the connections between Hip-Hop and the Black Arts Movement, the neatly tied bow of my research.
For my previous posts, I researched two prominent figures from each movement, Amiri Baraka and Tupac Shakur. In both, I highlighted some of the work of each respective individual, and pointed out some of the trends that I saw, most notably a mistrust of authority, police brutality, and a plea for a change in the system. While the works themselves were entirely different, the sentiments expressed were very much the same.
I'm going to refer back to my previous posts here. In Baraka's poem, "A New Reality is Better than a New Movie!" he talks about the system that has kept poor Black people down. Similarly, in Tupac's song "Changes," Tupac accuses white authority figures of keeping Black youths poor and drug addicted. Also in "Changes" Tupac calls out for a change in the system, because the current one isn't working. This theme is inherent in Baraka's works as well, though it is more of a desperate lament than an active call.
These, of course, are just the works of two people, but I think they make a great representation of both movements. Both artists' works are influenced and entwined with the Black Power Movement. The Black Arts Movement was the "aesthetic and spiritual sister of the Black Power concept," according to Larry Neal, and Hip-Hop music is just simply a continuation of the ideals and opinions expressed in the Black Power Movement, almost like the daughter of the Black Arts Movement.

Reflection Post

We've reached the end. It's relieving but sad...

As a final post, Mrs Lewis has asked us to respond to the following questions:

How has your personal poetry changed over time (use examples from your page on the Ning from your poems)?

I think that my personal poetry has changed immensely.
While my initial outlook on poetry was fun and like, and ever humorous, I think that my personal poetry has changed a lot. Early poems like "Young Again" expressed a more fun feeling and were very light. However, newer poems like my group poem "My First Time" is a complete turn- around from my early poems. Receiving awesome remarks from the Poetry Slam judges I think that it got the point across, but also did SO much more. It dug deep and hit home for many people. I now enjoy writing and reading my poems so much more. I think that I have found myself as a poet and hope to keep writing!

How has your perspective of poetry changed?
My perspective has been altered forever. To me, before this class, poetry was "roses are red, violets are blue". I didn't know poetry could tell a deep story, let alone include devices such as fulcrums, anaphora, unusual typography, or parallelismus membrorum. I mean what the hell are those things right? Wrong. These devices incorporated into poetry when used by great authors like cummings, Whitman, Tennyson, and Parker can make all the difference. They alter the meaning of the poem. They alter the story the poem is telling. I feel enlightened and so grateful to have been able to learn this much about the overlooked authors who shaped poetry forever.

I'd just like to thank Mrs. Lewis. She took the short winter term that we had and pushed so much knowledge of poetry into our heads. But unlike other classes, I learned, I absorbed, I appreciated, and I enjoyed every second of it. I HIGHLY suggest Contemporary American Poetry to EVERYONE who can fit it into their schedule.

I'll miss having you in class so much Mrs. Lewis... but I'll definitely be in the library to say hi everyday! Thanks for an amazing term.

Reflection blog

When Mrs. Lewis approached us with the idea of having group blogs, I knew it was going to be a success and a great way of teaching ourselves about what both the Black Arts Movement and Hip-Hop movements really meant. I knew that I was going to really teach myself about these topics and essentially become almost an expert on politics in both the Black Arts Movement and Hip-hop of the 80s. When I wrote my first blog it was very academic and very structured, but I soon learned that that was probably too structured and that I should write in a more "blog-like" style. Overall, it was a great experience and I have now learned so much because I was challenged to find the information myself, instead of sitting in a classroom and being lectured.

My Outlook for the Women of the Future

My past four blog posts have been all about women opening door for themselves. In a world that has been and still is, in some aspects, dominated by men, the women that I have spoke about have broke down barriers to fulfill their dreams and send the message that women can be just as creative and intelligent as any man can be.

In the beginning of our blogging journey, Mrs. Lewis asked us how the creativity in the Black Arts Movement and Hip Hop Movement related to each other. I believe that what I have discovered fully conveys that the sisterhood of women, whether they be fighting for rights, respect or equality ties these two movement together. I also believe that women all over the world can be found within any major movement, doing their part and fighting for what they believe.

These women should be seen as role models for the messages they have worked to convey. Equality for women is still an issue all over the world today, and I hope that I, through my blog posts, have inspired others to stand up for what they believe like Parks, Giovanni, Sanchez, Latifah and the women of Salt-N-Pepa.

Every person, every WOMAN can make a difference. When will you make yours?

The Black Arts Movement and Hip-Hop

When I sat down and compared my two blogs which were the politics of the black arts movement and the politics in Hip-hop, I found some very poignant similarities that really connect these two movements. It was interesting to see that both of these poetic movements represented the black community and really gave a voice to the people struggling for equality and peace wether it was the 60s or 80s. Of course, the Hip-hop movement of the 80s and early 90s were demonized because of their foul subject matter and "gangster" attitudes. However this is what Hip-hop represented and what the black communities, especially in urban areas, had to deal with. The reason why most black neighborhoods in cities were so horrific and violent is because the only way for black individuals to progress and have a steady source of income was to sell drugs and make money illegally. On the other hand the Black arts movement took on a more peaceful form of protest because when this movement existed, Martin Luther King, Jr. was preaching non-violence. However, the Black Arts Movement also represented the nationalistic ideas of Malcolm X and so the poets of the Black Arts Movement were caught in a weird limbo between violence and non-violence, so the Movements was able to escape the negative images later associated with the Hip-hop movement.

Both movements also stood up for black rights and believed strongly in a strong, independent black community that many strong black men and women believed in both during the Black Arts Movement and the Hip-hop era. Poets in both of these eras really stood up and said "this is what we want and this is what we need". Also, the poets of these two eras raised awareness of what their people were going through like police brutality and poverty and showed American, as a whole, what was going on in the Black community and how essentially most Black individuals were on their own. This also brings up a good point about how the American government pretty much abandoned the black community in times when they were needed the most.

When looking at these two movements and seeing the similarities, it is eery to see how closely related they are and how without the Black Arts Movement, the Hip-hop movement would not have been as powerful and organized.