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3 pages/≈825 words
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MLA
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Literature & Language
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English (U.S.)
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analyzing "The Blood Dazzler", the collection of poems by Patricia Smith (Essay Sample)

Instructions:
In a short essay (approximately 3 double-spaced typewritten pages) develop a critical reading of some specific aspect of either Terrance Hayes's Hip Logic or Patricia Smith's Blood Dazzler. You may, if you wish, develop a critical reading that includes discussion of both poets. Your essay should draw on at least two different theories (e.g. psychoanalysis and feminism). It may be useful to identify a specific theoretical question that can help illuminate your readings (e.g. how might Lacan's distinction between the “specular” and the “social” “I” [Leitch, 1289] explain some specific moments in the respective poem sequences?). Alternatively, you might consider how your reading of the poems may help resolve a theoretical problem (e.g. the significance of the author, or the place of authorial intention in literary analysis). Be sure to focus your essay through carefully selected quotations both from the poem sequences under discussion and from the theorists you draw from. As in your previous essays, be sure to cite any and all sources consulted using MLA conventions. Although you do not need to refer to secondary works referring to either of these poets, the following reviews might be of interest: Ginny Kaczwmarek, “Choruses of Experience” [review of Patricia Smith's Blood Dazzler and Lucille Clifton's Voices], Women's Review of Books 26: 4 (July/August): 2009: 20-22. Ed Pavlic, review of Terrance Hayes, Hip Logic, African American Review 40: 3 (2006): 605-610. Please use direct quotes, as many as possible,thank you. source..
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A multitude of entry-points in Patricia Smith`s "The Blood Dazzler" towards a more enriching semantics in poetry
In analyzing "The Blood Dazzler," the collection of poems by Patricia Smith, I will look into the perspectives in poetry and how they can be played around with to tease out the meanings in the poems. I chose to study three samples of poetry out of the collection: "Siblings," "8am Sunday" and "Up on the Roof.;
In these set of four poems, Smith utilized a variety of perspectives that lent her poem the potential to effuse meaning in different manners. Perspective in poetry is a very significant component by which we can enter the dimensions posed in the poem. It is in the perspectives offered to us by the poems that we get to re-experience them and propel the inherence of meanings residing in them as we advance our own, new readings of them. In the words of one theorist, perspectives in poetry act as lenses as much as entry points which can guide our passages into these enthralling mazes. (Hugh 1959, 13) In the first poem "Siblings," it is the writer or the poet who is mainly speaking to us, enumerating the activities of the siblings who have almost the entire alphabet to fill in the first letter of their first names. The poet narrates these activities according to the order of the letters in the alphabet, starting from Arlene, Bret, Cindy and so on. Surveying the activities of the siblings, one can notice some similarities among them, enabling us to categorize the kind of preoccupations these siblings have. There are hints of gaily frolicking, indulging at one wishes to do ("Arlene learned to dance backwards in heels that were too high," Harley hurled a wailing child high," and "Maria`s thunder skirts flew high when she danced.;) In these sample passages, we can see the recurrence of the elements of highness, whether of high vertical movements or high objects that one used in his or her activities. In these passages, we can say that some of the siblings are having a good time and that they bask in the time allotted for their activities.
However, there are conflicting statements that would belie any presumption that these siblings are fun-loving and all for merriment. There are lines that imply the presence of frustrations, failures, and even pain ("Franklin, farsighted and anxious, bumbled villages," Jose liked the whip sound of slapping;). In other words, what the poet is presenting us here is the variety of experiences engulfing the siblings. This is a preoccupation the poet pushes into only ...
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