Playlist of the Week – Sweaty Weather

I do realize titling my playlist Sweaty Weather is a bit odd, but the 30 degree days have been really getting to me. I like the heat and I like the cold, but the extremes of each drive me insane if I am not properly dressed. I have actually been having a rather interesting morning, my Ex’s girlfriend texted me this morning asking me actually very politely, to “Back off”, I realized after reading her message that I had over stepped the mark of friendship with him that could have been misinterpreted. After realizing my folly i told the guy I was seeing about it and my best friend, The guy I am seeing, Mat, not Matt, but Mat.. like on the floor. he was actually cool that i was still friends with my ex, he just wasn’t aware that we are still that close and will a bit… miffed, but that is all cool. And then for my confidant, Laura, the best friend in the world, told me bluntly that I had stepped the line without realizing it and was lucky that Mat was sticking around. Haha but what can you do, just as you think the drama had come to the end, a patient came in to the surgery. A nice man, around 50 years old, I know what you are thinking, and no! ( dont be gross he’s more than old enough to be my parent) Turns out he was like the man I met up in Woodford in the Summer, A kindred spirit. As our conversations grew more and more intense and I learned a lot during that day – so lucky I was only on reception. We talked for four hours. The man who shall be named the Doctor, since he has a doctorate in Anthropology – I KNOW SO COOL RIGHT? Offered to put in a good word for me here and there with clubs that I had always wanted to join that he was apart of, while I was  being naive and assuming that this was the start of a strictly platonic friendship, i was mistaken as he began to point out the cultural things we do, starting with sex, I am not going to lie, that bringing up this topic with someone who is significantly out of your age group and a stranger really shocked me. I just kept my mouth shut even though I knew the doctor had crossed a boundary. He continued to tell me all the things wrong with the concept of marriage. RED FLAG he was married, I knew that much from when he and his wife had come in as clients.
At least I wasn’t the one who crossed the boundary, and I set him straight. Thank god I still have my morals in check. I found talking to the doctor a bit of a head rush as he poked around inside my brain challenging my belief system. Especially asking me why it is wrong to do certain things, very iffy if you ask me, but i wont lie I did find it thought provoking. The main thing was the compartmentalization of emotions and actions should be separate. I found it very interesting… well I wasn’t the biggest fan but I could understand it, i just didn’t like it.

 

SO without further a due, Here is the Crossing Boundaries and Sweaty Weather Playlist:

Aaron Lewis: Forever

Craig Morgan: Wake Up Lovin’ You

Frank Turner: Plain Sailing Weather

Regina Spektor: The Call

JLS: Everbody In Love

Boys Like Girls: Great Escape

Jimmy Eat World: The Middle

Sugababes: The Middle

Calabria Enur

Make The Difference

There are a few things that make a difference to my life in the last week or so.

This is my number one favorite song of the moment, I have listened to it non stop since I first heard it.

Box Of Danger This Particular production group? not sure if that is what to call them has been sitting on my ipod for the last two years, I first saw the Pokemon abridged series while I was on a bus traveling from heathrow airport to North wales in the August of 2009. I LOVE IT.  But i hadn’t refreshed myself with their podcast until recently, the last two nights, in between assessments I have been listen to their podcasts and laughing non stop at the two guys chatting away, it’s nice to feel like you are having social interaction without having to interact with people. – this is oinly during times of assesments otherwise I would totally prefer to see a friend in person than sit on the bus listening to these on the way to work/home from work.

And as always, my favorite you-tuber, Bl00dblitz known for Rob’s Rants.  

The next thing that in the last two weeks would have been walking along the beach almost every night/early morning – it is just clarifying. And speaking of clarifying I got given a handy dandy Salt Rock Lamp. You can see more : here :Salt Lamp.

Oh and number 1! my diet! I have started eating a lot more yogurt. I have no clue why, but I have just been craving it and yesterday I made a smoothy and put a heap of aloe vera in it. IT was FANTASTIC aside from the occasional bitter taste, just be careful no to scrape to close to the green when you put the jelly in otherwise it has a laxative effect – and no i didn’t find that out from first hand experience. I learnt it in my Herbal Manufacturing Class.  and of course tried it out on my mum 🙂

Spring is a lot like Summer

Spring is a lot like summer, I have spent my yesterday and this morning window shopping with my best friend

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Unfortunate since it isn’t actually summer, there are 0 swimmers sales.

But it hasn’t stopped me from trying on $135 bikini top. Something that outrageously expensive made me laugh.

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While I would laugh, my friend would spend that much on a new swim suit top no questions asked, simply because of our upbringing. But even though I spent the majority of the two separate occasions making fun of the outlandish prices I actually really enjoyed myself. Having that time with my best friend really took all my stress away.

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Then again it could have been going to the beach, even if it was crawling with kids on school holidays.

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Procrastination at its Finest

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I’m the biggest procrastinator I know, for a long time I had always thought I was on top of things, then it moves to just working better under pressure, but the last two months I have finally realised I just like to procrastinate. I have two exams this week that are due and I have started neither of them, I some how have been a zombie and done nothing, well a lot of things that weren’t nothing. So I have made the executive decision to take the next three days off university to get them done, I know it may be a bit extreme by the sounds of it, BUT since I only just got around to reading my course guide, I found out there is no final exam for 4/5 of my subjects and that the assessments are worth everything.

You can imagine my shock

So it’s time for once that I beat procrastination.

But before I start my assignment – yes this post is procrastination. There is my new TARA WOLF bracelet

it retails at $250 Australian

and I got it for $100 at The Reed Gift Fair.

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The Minotaur – Ted Hughes

The Minotaur

The mythical allusion of the title sets the poem, the multi-syllable description adds value and significance. The significant positioning of responsibility  through the dictation choice “smashed” and “demented”. the Pronund : my/ you are separate participants – emphasis on the argument and conflict. The Minotaur is a classical story, half man and half bull, in my own imagination when I think of Plath in her violent swings I think of a bull in a China Shop. But the Minotaur is actually Plaths father- only a little unflattering right? This Minotaur ate seven boys and seven girls. It is important to remember that the representation of Plath is not Plath.

 

In this poem the tone is specifically blame, as this one sided conversation is directed at specifically Plath. His criticism ironically becomes the basis for encouragement, with him as her mentor, a nother topic open for discussion by each of the poets “followers”. The first stanza is giving us some history.

The mahogany table top you smashed

Of my mother’s heirloom sideboard-
Mapped with the scars of my whole life.

Hughes addresses Plath directly, as she is the ‘you’ who destroyed his mothers sideboard, something we assume was somewhat important to him. “Scars of my whole life” symbolize indignation.

…That day
Demented by my being
Twenty minutes late for baby minding,

The second stanza, “That day” – a factual recount, is filled with emotion, of her rage, the use of the word “demented” is extremely strong. He belittles the source/ cause for this anger by pointing out a trivial thing “By my being twenty minutes late”, this can be seen as an example of her aggression from something so small, it is even as if her rage knows no bounds.  He is setting the audience up to understand from his side how hard it could be to deal with her. This also emphasizes her abnormal behavior – witnessed by their children.

‘Marvellous!’ I shouted, ‘Go on,
Smash it into kindling.
That’s the stuff you’re keeping out of your poems!’

The third stanza brings a new tone, one of encouragement, to a reader it sounds almost sarcastic when read aloud. He has set himself up as her mentor, encouraging the rage to flow through her poems, and if you have ever read Daddy then you know exactly what I am taking about. “The stuff” that Hughes believes Plath is keeping out of her poems alludes to her misrepresenting herself  in her poetry.

The fourth stanza in my opinion is where it starts to get interesting and catching, Hughes uses encouragement such as “And we’ll be away” as a good  natured apology, “considered and calmer,” The sarcasm and anger are response to her violence before he recovers.

The goblin snapped his fingers
So what had I given him?

The demonic image is placed in our mind, it can be seen as a change in Plath, her rage, mischief maker, nasty, evil or passion. The non-human influences of Plath in reality. The rhetorical question is him asking if he is responsible for the path she took, was he responsible for Arial? Was he the topic? Was it his contribution to her poetry what destroyed her? This rhetorical question can also be a scape goat, he unintentionally did this without knowing or understanding gave advice which worked against her mental health.
For Hughes it can be seen as a moment of clarity, illumination for an internal aspect in Plath, “deep in the cave of your ear” – his consolidation that it may have been him who woke the goblin inside her which caused her destruction.

The fifth stanza is the direct relation to the minataur, the “skein” to which he is refering is the thread used to get out of the labyrinth in the old tales, Hughes has a vast knowledge of myths in his other poems, so it is not surprising that he has used one to liken her to a tale like this. The second line of this stanza is in second person, he is isolating himself from the blame of the breakdown of his marriage to her.

Left your children echoing

To us this may just be related to a separation of parents or a divorce but he is making direct reference to her suicide in which she did something unusual, he made her children a snack, sealed them off from the rest of her house before she killed herself. They can be seen as a sacrifice, she is no longer alive in the labyrinth. This is guilt for Plath, her effect on others was to leave them isolated, vulnerable and frightened.

Hughes also uses the word left to symbolise the consequences of her death, not only on her children but on her mother also. The responsibility  she had left.

Left your mother a dead-end

Plaths father is a regular occurrence as a theme for things related to Plath, look at The Shot, Her father is represented by both very defiantly, sometimes as a god and other times as a devil. In this poem her father is the horror at the centre of the labyrinth of her life “Horned, Bellowing”, a reversal of the Christ figure though risen – in the original they are free, but in this, Hughes makes her confined forever- dead. The tone is lost and diminished, emptiness.

And your own corpse in it

A final chilling image – as if Plath wanted to join him in her own lonely end but no reunion was made.

The rhythm of the final line – the single syllables produces an empathic and conclusive feel. Choice is the crucial point in the poem, Hughes directs blame, she owns her actions  “your mariage” – he is freeing himself from responsibility as if it was doomed from the beginning rather than the liberating tale.

The mahogany table-top you smashed 
Had been the broad plank top
Of my mother’s heirloom sideboard-
Mapped with the scars of my whole life.

That came under the hammer.
That high stool you swung that day
Demented by my being
Twenty minutes late for baby-minding.

‘Marvellous!’ I shouted, ‘Go on,
Smash it into kindling.
That’s the stuff you’re keeping out of your poems!’
And later, considered and calmer,

‘Get that shoulder under your stanzas
And we’ll be away.’ Deep in the cave of your ear
The goblin snapped his fingers.
So what had I given him?

The bloody end of the skein
That unravelled your marriage,
Left your children echoing
Like tunnels in a labyrinth.

Left your mother a dead-end,
Brought you to the horned, bellowing
Grave of your risen father
And your own corpse in it.

Fulbright Scholars – Ted Hughes

Ted Hughes, in my opinion, one of the best poets to have graced us. Today we will be having a sneak peek at 6 of his poems. Almost all of his later poems are about Sylvia Plath, his first wife and the conflicting perspective of her and the situations. While text is only a representation of a persons thoughts, emotions and feelings, it can hardly not be bias. Their relationship together was caotic and intense, which lead her to write Ariel and him to write Birthday Letters. Some say he held her back, others say his writing was better or that without one the other couldn’t write. There is a lot of conflict between the two poets fans about their relationship, seven months after they separated, she killed herself – I am unsure how anyone could not help but feel guilty in the same situation. A tragic event, when Plath committed suicide: he lived in the public eye and yet never publicly spoke about it. The whole of his Birthday Letters collection is very painful, even as a reader.

 

The first poem we will be looking at is Fulbright Scholars. To set out the setting, Plath is the Fulbright scholar and I believe that this poem is directed as if he is addressing her.

To me it is about memory, the nature of a hazy and fleeting memory. Before he met her, a long time ago, he is looking back – he is consolidating what happened.

Where was it, in the Strand?

This abrupt opening is unsure and not certain. The sentences are incomplete, fractures nature of a memory being pieced back together – he builds on it as he goes.

The mood of the poem is gentle, musing, with no bitterness. It can be described to show the casual aspect of their relationship.

The third line has caught my eye: was it fate or destiny: this particular line really always captures my attention.

For some reason I noticed it.

 

The pattern throughout the poem reinforces the haziness of a memory, like trying to catch smoke. The actual word choice is very intriguing as it was picked deliberately I feel.

Not what it hid.

A danger, a point of turning in the relationship it was the ominous end of innocent aspect of details., the hiding of the real and authentic self, the public projections vs the private projections. Ominous.

And your grin.
Your exaggerated American
Grin

Later he specifically makes a reference to her nationality as a cultural difference, age and experience of war – he remembers the fear and rationing of war close to home, while she was far away in America, away from the war and too young to remember. The big divide of WW2. The falsity of her grin.

The particular choice of words in the following sentences is unusual, and the choice of using “Frightners” could relate to the issues that would come up, it may also be reference that she was psychologically disturbed. The unknown threat.

Then I Forgot

The contrast against his almost clarity, foreshadowing what would happen, dichotomy – he draws attention to how much her recalls of himself, then of their first encounter. He forgets her and remembered his role in the situation.

First fresh peach I had ever tasted.

Certain and clarity, he remembers eating a peach and the photograph (second line)more than he can recall of her. The “fresh peach” can be seen as the innocent  ignorance – like a fresh new relationship and all the promise it holds. Positions the reader for the complexity of the relationship and what is to come. He can be seen as absolving himself by confirming to himself that he was unaware.  It is a one sided dialog, but he is addressing her and also us – ‘the memory is shady I am innocent’.  The peach could also be used to symbolise plath, a young girl, virgin. Also the fresh peach – a luxury – coming out of war stricken country and the rationing that went with it, it is not unusual that this was his first fresh peach.

 At twenty-five I was dumbfounded afresh

Youth and naivety – foreshadowing that he was not prepared for what followed, this statement is detailed, his memory is clear for this fact.

Perspectives will never equal truth. This is just a representation  – he does try to be objective but it is hard. The way this poem is constructed, it is personal – skews truth > put together in a conscious way. Many of his other poems are direct responses to her poems, as his own personal version.

When reading this poem, read to the punctuation – not the lines – this is the use of enjambment. This is unusual for Hughes since he was usually a free verse – rhyme was not as important to him.
There are many rhetorical questions – which would have been answered has she not committed suicide.

The hot sun, hot pavement – peach : all sensory imagery. Intense, violent – love. They consumed each other.
The impression of Sylvia Plath from this poem is:

  • Innocent
  • Fresh, young and new
  • She appears double sided – anxiety, fear and trauma as well as ‘frightners’ a link to psychological illness
  • The complications are warned for what was to come.

 

The beginning of the end.

Where was it, in the Strand? A display
Of news items , in photographs.
For some reason I noticed it.
A picture of that year’s intake
Of Fulbright Scholars. Just arriving –
Or arrived.  Or some of them.
Were you among them?  I studied it.
Not too minutely, wondering
Which of them I might meet.
I remember that thought.  Not
Your face.  No doubt I scanned particularly
The girls.  Maybe I noticed you.
Maybe I weighed you up, feeling unlikely.
Noted your long hair, loose waves –
Your Veronica Lake bang.  Not what it hid.
It would appear blond. And your grin.
Your exaggerated American
Grin for the cameras, the judges, the strangers, the frighteners.
Then I forgot.  Yet I remember
The picture : the Fulbright Scholars.
With their luggage?  It seems unlikely.
Could they have come as a team? That’s as I remember.
From a stall near Charing Cross Station.
It was the first fresh peach I had ever tasted.
I could hardly believe how delicious.
At twenty-five I was dumbfounded afresh
By my ignorance of the simplest things.