elizabeth alexander praise song for the dayPosted on October 8th, 2020
We blather of the past. The reading style is counterpoint to “noise and bramble, thorn and din.” The fact that so many have judged the reading so harshly shows either an inability to appreciate the affect she is trying to create, or is further evidence of the way modern media has deadened us to nuance. As a poet who gives readings I found Alexander’s reading clear and appropriate. I wish you had dealt more with the lines about love, the climax of the poem. With that hopeful dreaming in our heads, the poem closes with an upbeat epilogue, “praise song for walking forward in that light.”. Surely you’ve heard of the politics of grievance, very much at the heart of what concerns professors of African-American Studies these days?
That’s something to wonder about. Flow is the water and the way it moves. It seems to me that you’re erring on the side of the love you hope that Alexander intends, a pure love beyond expectations. It provides a video recording of the poet, Elizabeth Alexander, reading the poem “Praise Song for the Day” composed for President Barak Obama’s 2009 inauguration ceremony. the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables. Her delivery of the poem was awful and following the orator that is Obama, it was a terrible choice. Word repetition gets a bad rap in many writing courses, based on the false premise that word repetition and “word choice” cannot live together. The voice of Nora’s therapist breaks through occasionally, providing a counterpoint perspective. This was a great lesson on how to interpret the nuances in a particular poem. A close reading or poem analysis always begins with a cursory reading. Someone is stitching up a hem, darn Public poems in antiquity were not always greeted well, and were often harshly criticized, so I’m reticent to blame it on the “modern media.” I do think her reading style was in line with her thinking of this being a moment to “pause and shift.” The pauses and negative space in this poem, as you and others are pointing out, does seem to have a good deal of significance. Rather than post it at my Poetry Blog (just to shake things up) I posted my own response over at: http://duplicitous46xyprimate.blogspot.com/2009/01/elizabeth-alexanders-inaugural-poem.html. I always thought that poets, particularly contemporary poets, practice economy when choosing their words because focus and brevity help them uncover the true essences of experiences, emotions, and images.
This stanza is a big shift in the poem; it’s where we move from noise to singing, from repeating ourselves noisily to making new melody. I should make it clear that many of the terms I’m using in this critique should be plural, and maybe should even appear in scare quotes. Marilyn Nelson Trouble signing in? they would then keep clean and work inside of. Elements of the survival story and psychological thriller combine with strong symbolism to weave a winding, focused, stunning narrative ultimately about the search for healing. My other note is that I think that the “kitchen tables” thing was also a veiled dig at McCain/homage to Biden…which I find entertaining, but possibly not what the occasion called for. Allusion abounds.
She and her father are still wrestling with their trauma, Nora with a confirmed diagnosis of PTSD. They descend into a 40-foot deep slot canyon, then hike along inside until a flash flood barrels through the canyon, washing away all their supplies…and Nora’s father. It reminded me so much of my daily trek around campus. A fourth grader navigates the complicated world of immigration. I know that “black” would inform most of the work, but perhaps a nod to other minorites who have struggled as well. But there are also words that are scary, like “cartel,” a word that holds the reason why her family had to emigrate from México to the United States.
Salazar’s verse novel presents contemporary issues such as “zero tolerance” policies, internalized racism, and mass deportations through Betita’s innocent and hopeful eyes, making the complex topics easy to understand through passionate, lyrical verses. This is a time of uncertainty and struggle. 2 “major” sections, split at the break between stanza 8 and stanza 9. The choice of “darning” is interesting and I don’t know what to make of it. Elizabeth Alexander's praise poem was way too prosy. There are certainly points in the poem when a great deal happens in the negative space between stanzas. That someone struggling to “make music… with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum” (which is really all of us) can now launch into a rich and melodious praise song. Great insights! ... "Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day./ Praise song for every hand-lettered sign;/ the figuring it out at kitchen tables." by Elizabeth Alexander & illustrated by David Diaz ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2012. A moving poem broadens its potential impact with evocative, dreamlike illustrations from Caldecott Medalist Diaz. There’s alliteration again here at the beginning in “someone is stitching.” We continue to see more and more repetition of words: “each” and “speak” in stanza one, “all about us is noise” in stanza two, and “repair” in this stanza. than you need. Within that minimal structure, the poem is free verse. love with no need to pre-empt grievance. The “ones” even have the audacity to claim that their way of seeing the world is superior, that we “need to see what’s on the other side.”. It’s not until you go back and hear it again (and again) that you begin to peel apart the layers and see what is really going on. who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges. MISS CRANDALL’S SCHOOL FOR YOUNG LADIES & LITTLE MISSES OF COLOR.
9 smaller sections. a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
Elizabeth Alexander’s poem is at its heart a celebration of the moment. Floyd Cooper. CHILDREN'S POETRY
And where does Alexander’s “mightiest love” land? Your explication will help the poem because it wasn’t the dazzling kind and it may reach more people on the page. Betita also loves to write. Just a thought about the phrase “darning a hole in a uniform.” Darning is a repairing technique for fabric with a hole in it as opposed to a tear in it; but “darn” is also a euphemism for “damn,” and as such the line could be understood as “damning a hole in the uniform” most likely a hole made by a bullet that wounded or killed a soldier. “Picked the cotton” is poignant because it is about much more than just any person in any field picking any cotton.
The flow of the poem moves in and out of time, and from one posture (the way a speaker addresses the reader) to another. (I’m not sure I’m any help on that last one.) Someone is trying to make music somewhere, Which is to say: I didn’t like the poem at all but your analysis was virtuosic. This is the only stanza in the poem where each line is a single complete sentence. & Love beyond marital, filial, national, The placement of the poet on the program was difficult. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, 15 stanzas, 3 lines each, except the final one.
Pre-publication book reviews and features keeping readers and industry It seems to me that this is a lot of ideas for one small poem. It works like many contemporary American poems in this way—the first time through, all that happens is you fall for the sound and cadence and are moved by some of the images. We encounter each other in words, words Nora is white while two characters seen in memories have brown skin.
It feels quaint and old-timey, but we’re talking about the present. The first stanza emphasized our daily lives, walking by one another without recognition, going “about our business” and never truly knowing another individual we pass on our way. I was surprised, though, to hear a poet use “kitchen table” in much the same tired way as politicians use it. 7 Middle Grade Books for a Weird, Wild Fall, INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF A CACTUS. There are even verbs that, while in the present tense, seem to be figurative, outside of time (“we cross dirt roads and highways”).
A girl’s birthdays mark parallel tragedies for her broken family unit. ‘Noise and bramble, thorn and din.’ Photo by Flickr user Editor B. This lesson plan is the seventh in the “Incredible Bridges: Poets Creating Community” series. In both cases (hearing/reading a poem and hearing a new single), there is a lot you miss. eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. Categories:
That’s it. That’s almost impossible to catch on first reading, that “our ancestors on our tongues” is not in any sense reverential. The redundancy in the last line of the stanza makes it abundantly clear that the meaning is important. walking past each other, catching each other’s They want to see it in type, want to learn more about what it meant, and want to know why she read it the way she did. I’ll bet you could make the ingredients list on a box of Frosted Flakes sound like masterpiece .
She declares the first option the winner. I hope we let the poets do their thing without the pressures of “immediate emotional impact,” if you will. & So, being the mightiest of words is no mean feat. I think that Elizabeth Alexander is in fact taking possible codes to live and stacking them up against each other. For this year’s outing, Nora and her father head into the deserts of the Southwest on a rock-climbing expedition. who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges. Even listeners who aren’t quite sure what some of the words mean will enjoy listening to their soothing, sonorous flow and... by The thought of love launches us into a jarring realization of just where we are—we are here, in “this winter air,” and it’s today. Dusti Bowling.
I can tell you, though, from looking at my blog stats, that a lot of people are in fact following up on the poem. He spoke. Aida Salazar, by
We are talking about everyday experience. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign, All Rights Reserved.
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