Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Night Live, by Julie Renee Phelan

“Friday Night Live”

by Julie Renee Phelan

While I nod, nearly napping, suddenly there came a ringing,
As though someone thoughtlessly came a calling, calling on my cell phone door.
‘Tis you,’ I mutter, ‘calling on my cell phone door?'
Tis my cell phone, and I would like no more.

But I was napping, and you came a ringing, while I am wanting to snore,
And so loudly you came a calling, calling on my cell phone door,
Scarcely could I ignore, I answer the cell phone door,
And on the line, you came a silence, and nothing more.

Back into my chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I hear a singing somewhat louder than before.
Please, stop my head from swimming so I may explore;
Tis my clock alarm, and I would like no more!

Tis my doorbell buzzing; open I flung the door,
In there, steps a stately policeman of my saintly night of lore.
Not the least respect shows he; not a minute stops or stays does he;
But, demur of lord, he stands outside my chamber door—
Stands and stares, and nothing more.

This ebony policeman, ungainly fowl, a black raven—
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wears,
Though your crest be shorn and shaven, you are no Wes Craven.
Ghastly grim you are an ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore—
Tell me what your lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!’
Quote policeman, ‘Nevermore.’

What policeman ominously comes croaking,
croaking at my chamber door,  ‘Nevermore?’

Let this be a word of parting, 'I am closing this door'.
I shriek― 'leave no black plume as a token; leave no lies that you have spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! Quit standing outside my door!
Pick your stick from off my floor, and take your form away from my door!’
I say, ‘Nevermore,’

And the policeman, never flitting, still is standing, still is standing
On my welcome mat outside my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on my floor;
Darkening my doorstep, haunting my doorstep, Forever More!

"The Raven”, by Edgar Allan Poe, was first published in 1845. It is written in the Gothic genre, emotions are elevated and overly dramatized. Things appear bigger than life and ominously threatening. As the poem reads, the main character was nearly “napping”, and something came “tapping” (3). For this reader, the poem reads as though the main character, who possibly is Edgar Allan Poe, is awaken in the middle of the night after a drunken bender, and that is why the disturbance of his sleep is so bothersome. As well, Edgar Allan Poe is well known for his alcohol endorsed binges, and this may have been written during or after such a splurge. If you have ever been hung-over, you will understand and sympathize with this person’s plight even more.

Characteristically, the refrain reads as though he is speaking of alcohol. The refrain starts with “nothing more” (6), “for evermore” (12), “nothing more” (18), “nothing more” (24), “nothing more” (30), “nothing more” (36), “nothing more” (42), and then the refrain changes to “nevermore” (48), “nevermore” (54), “nevermore” (60), “never-nevermore” (66), “nevermore” (72), “nevermore” (78), “nevermore” (84), “nevermore” (90), “nevermore” (96), “nevermore” (102), and “nevermore” (108). From the perspective of a nights binge, the night is over when there is “nothing more,” and it turns into . . . I swear I will drink “nevermore”.

In order for us to appreciate poetry, we must read and understand the poetry in order to see things in a different manner. I read and understood “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe, and I wrote a poem, all too similar to his own. However, it demonstrates the power of poetry. We may gather a different perspective of life, and apply it to our own point of view. This is a demonstration of such a process.

"The Raven"
by Edgar Allan Poe

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Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,  
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door –
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;
This it is, and nothing more,

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the    door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!"
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore –
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door –
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
 `Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore –
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door –
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before –
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore –
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, me thought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted –
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore –
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore –
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting –
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

The poem has a meter pattern. The meter is trochaic, which is a stress followed by an unstressed syllable per foot. In each line, there are eight feet, which is referred to as an octameter. There are eighteen stanzas, and in each stanza, there are six lines. However, only five of the lines are trochaic octameter. The last line is short, and consists of only seven beats. It may be referred to as a refrain since for the most part it repeats itself as the last line of each stanza throughout the entire.


In an article, Clement Mansfield Ingleby on Poe’s “The Raven”: An Unpublished British Criticism, by Francis F. Burch, there are notes, which were preserved in the Folger Shakespeare Library. It was written by the Shakespearean scholar and editor Clement Mansfield Ingleby around 1850, five years after the publication of “The Raven”, by Poe. Mansfield writes that the popularity of the poem is not without merit. However, “There is no grace comparable to emphatic rhythm for its power to weaken the allegiance of common sense; to lull the attention and abuse the judgment” (Burch 81-82). So . . . if there is emphatic rhythm, does that necessarily mean the poem lacks common sense?

It follows that his criticism is between that which is read and that which could be true. For example, he proposes that a man who is “nodding” and “nearly napping” can hardly be “pondering”. The critic has a point. However, I believe the popularity of the poem speaks for itself. If people had a problem with the continuity of the poem, then it would not be popular. I suggest that Clement Mansfield Ingleby should go write his own poem in the manner that he so chooses. It was Edward Davidson, in his book on Poe, A Critical Study, who suggests that Poe’s art intentionally “rejects the world of sense and meaning” (146).
Regarding the source of “The Raven”, by Poe, some critics mention a poem published in 1939, “The Raven; or The Power of Conscience, an Old Border Legend”. According to critics, Poe lifted some of the ideas from Grip. For example, the Raven must be different in different manners: the bird should be more ominous than familiar; the bird must repeat things; what he repeats should have significance; and he must be the central characters object of hatred. Regarding the central character, the person should be agitated by the Raven until an emotional climax.

Since there are obvious similarities between the poems, does this mean the Poe fudged or stole the ideas of Grip? Perhaps Poe did lift some ideas, but does it really matter. I prefer to read “The Raven” by Poe than “The Raven; of The Power of Conscience”, by Grip. The choice is mine, and I do not care where Poe received his inspiration.

There are works in which Malamud in “The Jewbird”; a comic strip from the 1970’s is accused of lifting from “The Raven”, by Edgar Allen Poe. I say, “Who cares?” I think critics, criticize because they cannot write. In the final analysis, does the reader enjoy what the author has written? If yes, to what degree? If no, to what degree? I am so tired of watching people running around in circles looking for the next red-herring.

Work Cited:

Burch, Rancis F. “Clement Mansfield Ingleby on Poe’s ‘The Raven’: An Unpublished British Criticism.” American Literature: A Journal of Literary History, Criticism, And Bibliography 35. (1963): 81-83.

Freedman, William. “Poe’s ‘The Raven’.” Explicator 57.3 (1999): 146-148.

Hanson, Philip. “Horror and Ethnic Identity in ‘The Jewbird’”. Studies in Short Fiction 30.3 (1993): 359-366.

Jones, Joseph. “The Raven’ And ‘The Raven’: Another Source of Poe’s Poem.” American Literature: A Journal of Literary History, Criticism, And Bibliography 30.2 (1958): 185-193.

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Biography: Jacques Lacan, by Julie Renee Phelan

Jacques Lacan, 1901 to 1981.
Jacques Lacan, 1901 to 1981, was the husband of Marie-Louis Lacan until he had a mistress.  In 1941, he and his mistress, Sylvia Bataille welcomed their love child, Judith Bataille. In 1953, Lacan and Sylvia married. It was also in that year that he became the president of the Société Psychanalytique de Paris (SPP). Later, he resigned from the SPP, and joined the new Société Française de Psychanalyse (SEP). However, in 1963, the SEP was told that it could join the International Psycho-Analytical Society (IPA), but only if Lacan was not part of the package. According to Lacan, he was “excommunicated” (1158). Unwilling to conform, but wanting to be part of something, he founded L’École Freudienne de Paris or the Freudian School of Paris. In 1966, he published a book Écrits or Writings, a nine hundred and ninety page collection of assorted papers. In 1968, it was in Paris when the rebel within Lacan coupled with his close associates led an intellectual uproar that led to violent student protests in the streets.
According to Lacan, there are three dimensions: the “Imaginary,” the “Symbolic,” and the “Real” (1159). The Imaginary is the signified, image or sound. For example, the moment an infant recognizes itself in the mirror it assumes an image. “Through an external medium (a mirror), the infant’s fragmented body is whole” (1159).This “maturation” process of identifying himself is given to him through Gestalt, ”form, pattern, and whole” (1165). In this case, the purpose is to establish a relationship between the infant and reality. There are two facets of reality, which include―the mental process of the inner world, which establishes their ego, and the mental process of the external world, which establishes their alienation.
Lacan believes the unconscious is structured similar to language. That is language exists at an unconscious level before the mental developmental process determines their internal and external worlds. Lacan believes that we can determine linguistics in terms of an algorithm, a method of calculation:
This is read as the signifier (S) over the signified (s): the term “over” separate the signifier from the signified, which symbolizes resistance to signification or referent (1171). There is a “parallelism of its upper and lower terms,” but the bar operation separates the signified from the signifier (1172). For Lacan, the linguistic sign has three dimensions, often referred to as a vector, and it include symbols― the signified, the signifier, and the referent. Without a reductive signified set (a¹, a², a³), the signifier and the referent are without meaning.
The Real or referent seeks truth, but truth lies on a sliding bar of distortions between the signified and signifier. We are unable to articulate truth for once we try―it no longer exists. “A condition of complimentary” words are produced (1187). The Real is “split by language” which lies on either side of the operational bar (1185). Therefore, the referent is indeterminate, but an approximation in the form of a word can be made.

After reviewing the information, it appears as though Lacan was drawing in part from Jacobson, Saussure, and Freud. Lacan terms his theory in mathematical formulas. Due to his somewhat rebellious nature, I propose―did he term his theory in mathematical formulas to make it more difficult for his literary colleagues?
Work Cited
Leitch, Vincent B., ed. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2010.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Whirligig: September 28, 2010, by Julie Renee Phelan

Ordered by United States, a soldier

waxed Afghanistan civilians.

Pregnant mother stabbed

twenty times to death,

and left on mothers steps.

Sirens at university of Texas,

AK-forty-seven found,

and gunman on the ground;

Lindsay Lohan down

for rehab, time number five.

Defense Department’s censorship,

“Operation Dark Heart."

Jimmy Carter’s stomach upset,

and rushed to Cleveland hospital.

We are captors, who bound around . . .

without the ground.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Vista Off the California Coast in the United States on the Trump Train and Hypocritical Hillary, by Julie Renee Phelan

On January 17, 1961, our president of the United States and a five star general, Dwight D. Eisenhower used the term,”military industrial complex” in his Farewell Address to our Nation. In his Address he spoke about the military industrial complex for more than fifteen minutes, which was a significant portion of his overall speech. The military industrial complex includes our nation's military, the defense industry, which includes Halliburton, who supplies the military with equipment, and the United States Congress. Those three entities form an iron triangle; a triangle means to act together as one entity. An iron triangle results in Congress passing to the elite one percent of our population, who supplies our military with equipment, policies that enhance their monetary position. Although the top one percent interests in the form of monetary wealth are met, the interest of the general public, who funds the top one percent of our population by paying taxes are forgotten. This is a problematic issue … if we want to continue as a democracy … if the general public's interests are forgotten, while the elite top one percent's interests are served in the form of our tax dollars, it leads our nation into Fascism.

In his Farewell Speech to the Nation, our President and five star general, warned us about this issue … the military industrial complex, the iron triangle, and the threat that it represents to our democratic process. He said, “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence by the military industrial complex, which includes our nation's military, defense contractors, and the top one percent of our population.” He continues, “The rise of misplaced power exists. We must never let the weight of the iron triangle endanger our liberties or democratic process.” Where does this military industrial complex lead us … like Germany of long ago, it leads us to Fascism or in the case of Germany, Nazism.

Donald Trump said, “We're going to make our military … so powerful that we are never going to have to use it.” I suppose that means that his buddies are going to have their pockets lined with our tax dollars. Just last June, his followers where doing the Nazi salute. In anticipation of this upcoming election, I have a large amount of money for me in a short term money market fund. I believe as an economist that just before the election Trump's cronies will pull their money out of the market, the market will crash, and I will buy stocks. I believe that “The Donald” and his other elite cronies will be doing this manipulation of the market in order for voters to become scared, jump on the Trump Train, and vote for The Donald. Hillary, who is also part of the top one percent, on the other hand claims that she wants to invest in our infrastructure, education, and innovation, the fundamentals of a strong economy. She says that she intends to reduce income inequality, but take away our rights to bare arms, guns. Although I do not like guns, I do believe in the rights of people to bare arms if they so choose. Can we take away our military's rights to have weapons of mass destruction?

I am fifty one years of age, and for the first time since I turned eighteen, am not voting. I trust neither The Donald or Hillary, and refuse to spend one minute of my time toward voting either one into office. They are a worldwide disgrace to our nation. I am tired of being betrayed by our politicians. What Hillary says is not what she does. The Donald is deplorable himself; he probably plays a game, “Cards Against Humanity.” If I vote for either one, I alone bare the responsibility for that candidate; I am unwilling to do that for The Donald or Hillary. I however will watch the debate tonight, and I may change my mind, but I doubt it.

I did watch the debate, and I will cast my vote, but it will be a vote for Hilary because a vote for Hilary is a vote against Trump. Hilary did do a beautiful job during the debate, and Trump came across as a bully. In anticipation of the market adjustment of approximately 50 percent, I have sold all my stocks and bonds, and put them into my settlement fund. Fortunately, I was had profits on all my stocks and bonds. I would recommend that you do the same; The friends of The  Donald are not going to get what they want, Donald as our president, and now we will pay dearly in the form of our stock market collapsing. Housing prices will also collapse, but there will be sometime to maneuver between the stock market collapsing, and the value of housing collasping.

Ecuador Weights in on Presidential Elections in the United States, by Andrea Fernandez-Salvador Shurtliff

Most Ecuadorians are exposed to local news who focus mostly on Trump and Hillary Clinton.Our newspapers are owned by the elite, so there is not much surprise as to why they block Bernie Sanders from the news, it´s almost as if he did not exist. Some will claim Trump is the man, their reasons are because he is rich, he won´t steal. Clinton is favored by those who think it´s time a woman should be in power and especially Mrs Clinton. I do not share any of these views as my candidate of choice reflects the opposite of the collective views around here. Ecuadorians are terrified of the word socialism, they connect it to misery and injustice and always put Cuba as an example. As an Ecuadorian and a person from the United States, I vote for Bernie Sanders. I vote for peace, equality, justice and honor for all. Go, Benie!

There was a delay in the publication of this article due to my work load, and I apologize to the writer and readers for the delay. It however is still interesting and educational.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Aussie View on the Drumpf v Hilary Circus, by Liam Carroll

Writer, Liam Carroll
For the past six months or longer, even from the vast distance of my couch in Australia on the extreme opposite abyss of the Pacific Ocean, watching the US Presidential race unfold has been tantalizing. From the outset there have only ever been three clear standout candidates who were going to vie for the mahogany desk in the Oval Office with easy reach to the red phone.

One being the incoherent, screaming, wincing ball of fake tan and flab beneath a fairy-floss homage to Tin Tin headpiece and an always overflowing essence of vehement disregard for style, grace, decorum and intelligence. Donald Drumpf has been a train wreck all along, breathing ratings life into what should really be a very, very dull process and whipping up a frenzy of racial hatred, ethnic division and mesmerizing levels of stupidity at every opportunity. It’s been sensational viewing and after all, ratings are all the Drumpf cares about. He must be even more pleased with himself than usual. But there’s no way that could be possible.

Bill’s supposed wife, Hilary, has shown that she will do, say and delete anything in the hope that someone will vote for her. She is a spineless jellyfish that flows on the tide of whatever her advisers deem to be #trending and feeds shamelessly off generous donations from the darkest and most nefarious of sources. Such is the Clinton modus operandi. And whether an Australian likes it or lumps it, the proof’s in the pudding; Americans seem to have a soft spot for Clinton scum. C’est la vie.

And finally, until recently, there was one shining light in the whole debacle, that undeniable glow was radiating from the halo of a democratic, socialist Jew. I’m sure I am not alone in having loved every moment of Feeling the Bern, but as history is only too quick to point out, grim endings are always near for compassionate, thoughtful and peace loving Jews. I should have known he never had a chance.

So where does that leave us all?

A circus tent with a Donald facing off against a Hilary for the right, honour and privilege to stand at the helm of the free world where supreme Merikan military might ensures you can blast that US brand of freedom into pretty much any corner of the globe you like. That’s what it really all comes down to for me – who should have access to the nukes?

The economy, the debt ceiling, the overwhelming poverty, the unaffordable healthcare and education, the widespread plague of assault rifles, the entrenched corporate skullduggery, corruption and trickle down nonsense, the ingrained agenda of a scrupulous dumbing down of the world through endless streaming of celebrity fecal detritus that is affectionately considered entertainment…these fundamental pillars of the American way of life will prevail with either Donny or Hilary in control. I’ve grown to accept and embrace that reality. But what is unacceptable and horrifying is the very real danger that Donald Drumpf is indeed of the deranged, despotic, lunatic ilk that has the capacity to start blowing the fuck out of the planet as though it’s some big reality TV show. He simply can never be allowed access to the red phone.

Instead, I hope Hilary becomes the first female President and presides over a continuation of the current system of corporate welfare and middle/lower class slavery that we all live in. It’s not so bad. I’m happy to be part of the bottom 99% if it means the planet doesn’t descend into a radioactive Mad Max Fury Road pit of hell. Hilary will only blow up poor, innocent people that can’t fight back in places none of us will ever go anyway. That’s awful but it’s been going on for 50-60 years or more and seems to be the unavoidable cost of doing business in a white world with brown resources.

Bernie would have solved the whole mess but hey, no one likes a smart arse.

Go Hilary!

Trump vs Hillary, Russian's didn't even prepare popcorn, by Julia Koroleva

Writer, Julia Koroleva
In Russia, we are more concerned about the current economic situation than forthcoming elections in U.S. The sanctions imposed by the Western Countries and the United States surely have had a large impact on our economy and production. Russian politicians claim it is all for the best; now we develop domestic production of necessary goods. Logically thinking, something produced locally should be better and less expensive, than the same thing imported. That is not our situation. Although we do not feel that we have a deficiency in products, the prices have increased significantly after the sanctions by the United States and other Western Countries.

Most Russians blame U.S for our difficulties. In general, the Russian attitude toward Americans is negative. Those people consist of primarily those who watch TV on a regular basis. As it relates to the “greatness” of the former regime of the Soviet Union, we have only preserved and perhaps improved upon propaganda. Although propaganda is much more gentle these days, it is still incredibly effective. I do not watch TV.

While collecting materials for this article, I asked many different people about their attitude towards the candidates in the U.S, and how do they think election of one or the other will affect us. With this question, I asked between twenty and thirty respondents, but only three or four were able to give more of less a detailed response.

When I asked people in their forties, I did not get a response at all. When I asked the younger generation: for example, my brother and his friends, adolescents between the ages of 15 and 17 years old, who are from good families, and have attended the best schools in Moscow, who have complete access to the Internet, and other resources, the conversations went like this:
Me: Do you have any thoughts about the elections in the United States?
Them: Elections?
Me: Yeah, Trump and stuff (I was trying to refer to something they have surely heard about)
Them: Oh ahahah yep, he has a funny hear cut.

When I asked my peers, I asked girls, who were studying philology with me at the University, my friends, who are currently studying abroad in Edinburgh and Dublin. As well, I asked a girl, who is studying economics in High School of Economy, one of the top universities in Russia and now staying in Germany for her practice. I asked my friend, who owns one of the top SMM agencies in Russia, my friend who is a programmer, and they usually replied with: “no, sorry, I don't have any thoughts about it, like at all.”

One of them told me that she is interested in United State’s system of primaries. Another one told me that Trump makes mostly popularistic statements, he is a connoisseur of PR. He told me that the election of Hillary is most likely after Obama, who is black and moreover Muslim, because she will be the first woman president. That is what that is all about.

Donald Trump
The other friend told me that Trump is a clown and compared him with one of our politicians, who had also became in Russia a joke, Zhirinovsky. He said that Trump is there only to increase tension, but Hillary is a member of corrupted system and will surely win.

The other one told me that she views Trump most favorably, because he is a keen man of business and is therefore seeking profits. Trump would not do such a stupid thing, such as imposing sanctions. This response was interesting because it corresponds with the opinion in the Russia mass-media. I researched and read many articles as I was trying to obtain the general attitude of our media. I noticed a significant trend: Newspapers, supporting Putin’s regime tend to support Trump. Weirdly, we have less troubles and warmer international relations when republicans are at the helm. Trump took a risk to respond positively to Putin, who is, as newspapers claim, very unpopular in the U.S. It seems like Trump’s rise to power will be a better outcome for Russia then Clinton. Clinton refers to Putin with undisguised hostility. In one of her statements she even doubts his humanity, claiming that our Russian leader, Putin has no soul.

Some people compare Trump and Putin. They in fact have a lot in common. The political program of Trump, like Putin is in essence, the expression of his quintessential personality. As well, Donald similar to Putin seeks to divide the world into spheres of influence along similar lines as we had during the Cold War. Trump and Putin are united not only by the same number of letters in the names, but also by their agreement on many issues. Similar to Putin, Trump also has had not political experience prior to his potential presidency.

But will it actually be good for Russia if Trumps is elected?

The main tool of Trump's campaign - and exhaustive explanation of his popularity – is television. No wonder John McCain attributes soaring ratings of Trump's popular success as a reflection of the “Kardashian effect.” If Donald is destined to drive into the White House in a white "Cadillac,” he will become the first US president elected through public relations – a true leader of the era of “famous for being famous”.

The essence of Trump is always declared so loudly that the resolution of his actions and statements seem to be ignored. Just because Trump declares everything loudly, does not mean that he is thinking things thoughtfully through in a loud, which maybe described as a detail meticulous manner. The idea sphere in which Trump exists is a space of public relations and nothing more. We therefore can never really know what or where Trump stands on any issue.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Analysis: Poem: The Broken Heart, by John Donne, by Julie Renee Phelan

John Donne

HE is stark mad, whoever says,
  That he hath been in love an hour,
Yet not that love so soon decays,
  But that it can ten in less space devour;
Who will believe me, if I swear        5
That I have had the plague a year?
  Who would not laugh at me, if I should say
  I saw a flash 1 of powder burn a day?
Ah, what a trifle is a heart,
  If once into love’s hands it come!        10
All other griefs allow a part
  To other griefs, and ask themselves but some;
They come to us, but us love draws;
He swallows us and never chaws;
  By him, as by chain’d shot, whole ranks do die;        15
  He is the tyrant pike, our hearts the fry. 2
If ’twere not so, what did become
  Of my heart when I first saw thee?
I brought a heart into the room,
  But from the room I carried none with me.        20
If it had gone to thee, I know
Mine would have taught thine heart to show
  More pity unto me; but Love, alas!
  At one first blow did shiver it as glass.
Yet nothing can to nothing fall,        25
  Nor any place be empty quite;
Therefore I think my breast hath all
  Those pieces still, though they be not unite;
And now, as broken glasses show
A hundred lesser faces, so        30
  My rags of heart can like, wish, and adore,
  But after one such love, can love no more.

The poet, John Donne wrote “The Broken Heart.” The poem declares that any man who claims to have loved for an hour is insane. The man is insane, not because love “decays,” but because love “devours.” The poet uses an analogy of the plague and ignited gun powder to love. Similar to the plague and gun powder, love is violent and swift.

This poem has four regular stanzas which utilize iambic meter. Each stanza is eight lines long. Lines one, two, three, five and six are in iambic tetrameter, while lines four, seven, and eight are in iambic pentameter. The line-stress pattern is 44454455 for each stanza. Each stanza follows a rhyme scheme of ABABCCDD. This poem has variations to the iambic meter and two significant caesuras which highlight significant parts.

The first stanza begins with the poet’s claim, “He is starke mad, who ever sayes (1), that he hath beene in love an houre” (2). The poet explains, “Yet not that love so soone decayes (3), But that it can tenne in lesse space devour” (4). Love can “tenne in lesse space devour” means it can cross from dexter to sinister in less space to devour (4). The word “space” is used because “tenne” is an engraving on a fixed object of space (4). “Tenne” is represented by a diagonal line from dexter to sinister (4). Dexter is to the right, and sinister is to the left of an object or body. In meaning dexter is the opposite of sinister. The poet states that love may cross from dexter to sinister in less than an hour and devour.

The poet asks, “Who will beleeve mee, if I sweare (5)/That I have had the plague a yeare? The poet references the Black Plague which is estimated to have killed thirty to sixty percent of Europeans. The plague reduced the world’s population by two hundred million. The plague killed persons infected within four to seven days. When the poet asks if any person would believe him if he swore that he had the plague for a year becomes a rhetorical question. No person would believe the poet had the plague for a year. Next, the poet asks, “Who would not laugh at mee, if I should say (7), I saw a flaske of powder burne a day?” (8) That is another rhetorical question. No person would believe the poet saw a flaske of gun powder burn for a day. Those questions are curiously close to insanity, but both beg the point of insanity.

The second stanza reads, “Ah, what a trifle is a heart (9), if once into loves hands it come!” (10) “Trifle” refers to the heart as a small article of little intrinsic value regarding feelings other than love (9). The reference to love being in the palm of hands means love is all encompassing for it fills the palm of the hand. “All other griefes allow a part (11)/ To other griefes, and aske themselves but some” (12). Other grief take only part, but love encompasses the whole of the heart.

The poet explains, “They come to us, but as Love draws (13), hee swallows us, and never chawes” (14). Feelings of grief come in pieces to the heart, but love draws in the whole heart. Love swallows the heart wholly, and never chews it into bites or parts as do feelings of grief. The poet concludes, “By him, as by chain’d shot, whole rankes doe dye (15), he is the tyran Pike, our hearts the Frye” (16). A “chain’d shot” is a shot consisting of two balls or half balls united by a short chain (15). A “chain’d shot” strikes down “whole rankes” with one firing (15). The reference to “whole rankes” refers to a line of soldiers drawn up abreast for service as part of a formation. The poet uses the plural form so “whole rankes” means a series of those lines of soldiers, a battalion or army. By love, as by a hot of two balls united by a short chain, whole battalions do die. Love is the “tyran Pike” (16). Love is the sovereign power or absolute ruler similar to a “Pike,” a predatory freshwater fish, inhabiting Eurasia and having a pointed snout with large teeth (16). “Our hearts the Frye” (16), the Frye is a small fish, prey of the voracious Pike. Love is a predator to consume our hearts which is loves prey.

The third stanza is setting up evidence with a question, “It ‘twere not so, what did become (17)/ Of my heart, when I first saw thee?” (18) Unquestionably, the poet is claiming that he lost his heart when he saw his beloved. “I brought a heart into the roome (19), but from the roome, I carried none with mee” (20). When the poet went into the room he had his heart, but when he left, he had none.

The poet provides proof, “If it had gone to thee, I know (21)/ Mine would have taugth thine heart to show (22)/ More pitty unto mee” (23). If the poet’s heart had gone to his beloved, his heart would have taught his beloved’s heart to show more pity to poet. Please note: There is a caesura in the middle of line twenty three, which is a pause. In this case, the pause is purposely placed to add emphasis on the remaining statement, “but Love, alas (23), at one first blow did shiver it as glasse” (24). The poet claims it was love at first sight, but the beloved denied the love, and dealt a blow which broke his heart like glass.

The third and final stanza begins with recapitulation, “Yet nothing can to nothing fall,” nothing is indestructible (25). All things can be destroyed. “Nor any place be empty quite,” no place is an absolute vacuum (26). Nothing can be absolutely empty. “Therefore I thinke my breast hath all (27)/ Those peeces still, though they be not unite” (28). The poet, therefore, believes his heart has all those pieces of glass still, but the pieces are not united or together as one.

The final stanza concludes with a visual image, “And now as broken glasses show (29)/ A hundred lesser faces” (30). And now as broken mirrors show a hundred pieces of my heart without unity. The inference is one hundred pieces of the poet’s heart is of lesser value than one heart. Please note: There is a caesura in the middle of line thirty, which is a pause. The pause is significant because it readies the reader for the final line of the poem. “So my ragges of heart can like, wish, and adore (31), but after one such love, can love no more” (32). So the pieces of my heart may like wish and adore, but after my heart was shattered by your love, my heart can love no more. The poet uses the word “ragges” so the reader remembers that the pieces are lesser value than the whole heart. The poet is only left with rags so he can only like, wish and adore, but love no more because he no longer has a whole heart.

The “Broken heart” is an example of the poet’s metaphysical style, but more importantly his usage of imagery with the burning gun-powder flask, the Pike and Frye, empty room and shattered mirror. The poet emphasizes the significance of the shattered heart through exaggerations. The exaggerations include the plague for a year, and gun-powder flaske that burned a day. The poet compares the significance of a shattered heart to the Pike and Frye, and compares the feeling of his heart to an empty room. In the end, the poet compares his shattered heart to a broken mirror. This reader is inclined toward curiosity of the intended reader. Was this poem used to elicit sympathy from his beloved's unrequited love?

Related Links:

Work Cited:
Hunt, Clay. Donne’s Poetry: Essays in Literary Analysis. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1954.

Shawcross, John T., comp. The Complete Poetry of John Donne. Garden City, New York: Anchor Books Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1967.

The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 4 Apr. 2000.

1.  A portrait of John Donne as a young man, 1595 A.D., Artist unknown.  In the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London, England.

2.  A portion of the house where John Donne resided, Pyrford, England.

3.  Black Plague picture, Artist Flemish, 1562 A.D., oil on panel in Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

4.  A gun powder flask from the 16th century, Beyer Watch and Clock Museum in Zurich, Switzerland.

5.  King David and musicians, died of broken heart from insults, Vespasian Psalter, Canterbury, 8th Century, London, British Library, MS. Cotton Vespasian A.1 fol. 30v.

6.  The lute player, painted by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

7.  Portria and Brutus, Ercole de Robert, 1486-1490 AD.

8.  Titian (Tiziano, Italian, Venetian) Venus with an Organist and a Dog, Ca. 1550.  Oil on canvas.

9.  John Donne commissioned this portrait of himself as he expected to appear as he rose from the grave at the Apocalypse.  Donne hung the portrait on his wall to remind himself of the transience of life.  St. Paul's Cathedral, London, England.

10.  John Donne's tomb at St. Paul's Cathedral, London, England.