Thursday, May 15

Emerson's Self-Reliance

There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on the plot of ground which is given him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. Not for nothing one face, one character, one fact, makes much impression on him, and another none. It is not without pre-established harmony, this sculpture in the memory. The eye was placed where one ray should fall, that it might testify of that particular ray. Bravely let him speak the utmost syllable of his confession.
Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1841. 2008 <>.

Copying people is doing harm to yourself, but expressing your own radical opinions in dangerous. Hmm. The transcendentalist has to be brave to actually express his opinions to the public such as Emerson does.
If someone does manage to gather up the courage and be a lone wolf, he can discover the power that he has within himself and because he is not relying on other at all, will know that whatever revalations pop up came from his head. They are his individual thoughts and they are to be revered by him.

By a Transcendentalist,
I chose this to be my final reading before I seclude myself tomorrow. Out of all of the texts, this one speaks the most loudly to me, even though it seems to be a contradiction (assuming the subject matter).
I know that self-revelations are not a new phenomenon. Ever since man learned to think, "I think, therefore I am" has been wired into his brain. Whenever a child thinks this for the first time, however, it is still as special as when Adam has the same pinnacle of conciousness because it came from deep within the child and not from an outside influence. Anyone who tells the child this before he is ready is trying to deprive the child of self-discovery and is taking away his future ability to discover.
Returning to the subject, I will return from my own journey of self-discovery and proudly display my findings. I shant be ashamed for nature can bring only the truth.

Emerson's Nature

The ancient Greeks called the world {kosmos}, beauty. Such is the constitution of all things, or such the plastic power of the human eye, that the primary forms, as the sky, the mountain, the tree, the animal, give us a delight in and for themselves; a pleasure arising from outline, color, motion, and grouping. This seems partly owing to the eye itself. The eye is the best of artists. By the mutual action of its structure and of the laws of light, perspective is produced, which integrates every mass of objects, of what character soever, into a well colored and shaded globe, so that where the particular objects are mean and unaffecting, the landscape which they compose, is round and symmetrical. And as the eye is the best composer, so light is the first of painters. There is no object so foul that intense light will not make beautiful. And the stimulus it affords to the sense, and a sort of infinitude which it hath, like space and time, make all matter gay. Even the corpse has its own beauty. But besides this general grace diffused over nature, almost all the individual forms are agreeable to the eye, as is proved by our endless imitations of some of them, as the acorn, the grape, the pine-cone, the wheat-ear, the egg, the wings and forms of most birds, the lion's claw, the serpent, the butterfly, sea-shells, flames, clouds, buds, leaves, and the forms of many trees, as the palm.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. "Nature". 1836. April 2008 <>.

The world is beautiful! There are very few people who can find beauty in anything in the world, mostly because we are all too pessimistic and dark. This paragraph says that if light shone strongly enough, anything can be wonderful. That light naturally comes from very few people, but these people are easy to spot. They are the ones that change the lives of everyone around them for the better.

This excerpt is saying that that potential is in everyone. Everyone's eye is capable of seeing the beauty in everything, everyone is capable of being that one influential figure. Nobody will honestly open his eyes though and see the beauty that is nature.

By a Fellow Transcendentalist,

Before setting out on my own journey of self-discovery, I have taken it upon myself to read the journals of Emerson, one of my long-time idols and fellow transcendentalists. He seems to be able to express the thoughts that run through my subconscious mind and the mind of all who can see nature as it should be seen.
My eye is ready to be fully opened, world. One more week and I will fully immerse myself in the woods with nobody but myself. My senses will be hightened and I will live for the first time.

Wednesday, May 14

Mexican Immigration / Antonia Mimic

Chapter XIII

April brought with it Spring Break, in which all of the schools in San Diego were released for one week of freedom. During that time my sister, Angie, and I watched the throngs of people in beachwear strolling along the streets, the sun breaking free of its wintertime haze and warming the waters and spirits again.
On a particularly nice morning, Carlos was brought to our house by his mother, who, after complaining about gas prices, went to work commenting on how my sister and I were lazing around instead of stimulating the economy so that she could afford to feed her family. According to her, everything that is wrong in America can somehow be fixed by two teenage girls. She says that if she were a legal immigrant, we would be working under her as she would be a CEO.
She was an egotistical, idealistic old thing and even though she fed on taxpayer money, she still felt that she should tell us off. I could not feel pity for their situation sometimes because, simply, of her attitude. This emotion was with me for the rest of the visit, even as Carlos told me that he feared that his two elder brothers had gotten involved with MS13, one of the deadliest gangs in America.
“They have been coming home late at night wearing not the same things that they left the house in. They smell strange and they are more and more not going to work at the junkyard with me for pay so the family suffers. Sometimes they will bring back dark purses and threaten us if we ask them.”
“Yeah, selling drugs and killing people is a sure-fire way to having people accept you in this country.”
His face flushed and he muttered something, but Carlos was not one for confrontation, having been raised in a very unstable and turbulent family. “…They did not want to come. Where we were, there was much fighting and after Father has been shot, we flee to America for safety.”
“Well you sure aren’t going to find it in MS13!”
“I am sorry that we are not accepted here and must find people who do! I am sorry that such a rich country can not help us in hard luck and instead call us wetbacks go back! I am sorry that my mother has dreams!” His voice had changed to the hiss of a rattlesnake poised to strike and I became very aware of my facial expressions.
Carlos was very defensive of his family, even if he did know their flaws. It was all that he had known for his fourteen years of life and it was his only support in America because, as he had said, illegal Mexicans aren’t readily welcomed here.
As they left after lunch in the old, beat-up car, my younger sister asked me why Carlos and I had been fighting earlier and I responded that it’s adult problems she wouldn’t understand. She went inside in a huff and the incident was soon glazed over by the sun.
That weekend, the sun gave way to torrential rain which left us inside. Mom decided because we had been ‘dirtying up the house’ for the last week, that we should clean it over the weekend. Angie, my little sister, can not clean for her life, so even with her effort, I was forced to pretty much clean each foot of the 2500 square-foot house. The kitchen was first. As soon as I finished with the house, Angie told me that she has spilled orange juice in the kitchen and I had to go back and do the floors all over again. That was a tiring, unnatural sort of day.

Thursday, May 1

Interviews of American Dream

Mother’s Interview reflection (audio file)
She didn’t have a lot of time to think about how to answer me, but I think that she has thought of some interpretation of my questions before. She has to go to work and comes home exhausted and with no extra money, but still hopes to be cared for by me, the plastic surgeon (she hopes), when she is an old person. I joke with her and say that I’m going to put her in the worst nursing home possible, but she wants to live with me…We’ll see how that plays out.
I don’t know if she is truly happy, but she’s healthy and she’s working on it.

Thursday, April 17

Cubism project

Obama and Hillary are so caught up in trying to look better than the other that they are distancing themselves from the real issues and hurting themselves as a result, making McCain look like the only halfway decent candidate even though he is just as psycho as the other two.
This is causing the voters of America to become increasingly frustrated and ready to scream to relieve the stress of trying to separate propaganda from the facts.

Thursday, April 10

The War Inevitable by Patrick Henry

Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! ...
...The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come. It is in vain, sir, to extentuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Henry, Patrick. March 1775. April 2008 <>.

By the Student,
This impassioned excerpt of a speech by Patrick Henry is appealing to emotion and reason, two things that if one doesn't get to you, the other will. He says that the war has already begun, but they don't know it yet. If you don't even know you're in a war, then you're probably at a disadvantage and Patrick wants to bring them up to date asap before they become a third-world country that Great Britain can rape of goods and money whenever it wants.
If he'd rather have death over being a slave, then he feels strongly about it and wants everyone else to feel the same. This is totally justifiable and comparable to the fire and brimstone ministers who where trying to get people to see the light for their own good.

By a House Member,
Today we had yet another meeting debating back and forth whether to finally take a stand against Britain. My friend Patrick has been preparing a speech pro-war and over the last week, I have heard it many times and have felt something every time so I was sure today that his speech would leave a lasting impact on anyone who is still against a rebellion.
I was right. He gave the speech so eloquently and I believe that I saw the spark ignite in the souls of many of my esteemed colleagues today (some previously on the other side of the fence!). It is certain, and Patrick agrees with me, that we will finally begin preparing for the inevitable war that has already started without us.
Wish us luck.

The Crisis by Thomas Paine

THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder
the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to
enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose
heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death. My own line of reasoning is to myself as straight and clear as a ray of light. Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to "bind me in all cases whatsoever" to his absolute will, am I to suffer it? What signifies it to me, whether he who does it is a king or a common man; my countryman or not my countryman; whether it be done by an individual villain, or an army of them? If we reason to the root of things we shall find no difference; neither can any just cause be assigned why we should punish in the one case and pardon in the other.

Paine, Thomas. 'The Crisis'. December 1776. April 2008 <>.

By the Student,
Paine is expressing his view of how Great Britain is cheating the colony of America out of everything and how it is unfair that the colonists must pay such high taxes and be bound to England for goods with jacked up prices. He appeals to the emotions and reason of the audiences in the different parts of his speech, allowing anyone to be able to have a reaction to it, going from farmers to congressmen.
This and Paine's other book are both propaganda in support of a war with Great Britain.

By a Concerned Loyalist,
Thomas Paine is spouting blasphemy about the Queen and England! What's more is that he is quickly gathering followers who seem to share his love of drivel. He says that England providing what he need is terrible and having to pay for it? Unheard of! This man and his ilk are obviously insane and ungrateful...I must warn the queen.

Essential Question,
Revolutionary works such as those by Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry drove the United States to gain freedom from the oppressive rule of Great Britain and therefore also gaining opportunites the for future as a free nation. They appeal to the emotions and logic of the confused and angry citizens. This creates the pressure for an uprising against Britain by the government and by the people. When the United States finally gains freedom, its people gain the ability to control their own destinys. This newfound freedom allows not only unopposed speech, but presents limitless greatness as well, which is what the revolutionary writers were trying to impose on the people. Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, and others wrote inspiring pieces to instill a fighting spirit into the colonists so that they may be truly free.

Tuesday, April 1

Half-Hanged Mary

wind seethes in the leaves around
me the tree exude night
birds night birds yell inside
my ears like stabbed hearts my heart
stutters in my fluttering cloth
body I dangle with strength
going out of me the wind seethes
in my body tattering
the words I clench
my fists hold No
talisman or silver disc my lungs
flail as if drowning I call
on you as witness I did
no crime I was born I have borne I
bear I will be born this is
a crime I will not
acknowledge leaves and wind
hold onto me
I will not give in
Sun comes up, huge and blaring,
no longer a simile for God.
Wrong address. I’ve been out there.
Time is relative, let me tell you
I have lived a millennium.
I would like to say my hair turned white
overnight, but it didn’t.
Instead it was my heart:
bleached out like meat in water.
Also, I’m about three inches taller.
This is what happens when you drift in space
listening to the gospel
of the red-hot stars.
Pinpoints of infinity riddle my brain,
a revelation of deafness.
At the end of my rope
I testify to silence.
Don’t say I’m not grateful.
Most will have only one death.
I will have two.
When they came to harvest my corpse
(open your mouth, close your eyes)
cut my body from the rope,
surprise, surprise:
I was still alive.
Tough luck, folks,
I know the law:
you can’t execute me twice
for the same thing. How nice.
I fell to the clover, breathed it in,
and bared my teeth at them
in a filthy grin.
You can imagine how that went over.
Now I only need to look
out at them through my sky-blue eyes.
They see their own ill will
staring then in the forehead
and turn tail
Before, I was not a witch.
But now I am one.
Atwood, Margaret. 1995. April 2008 <>.

By the Student,
This is such a powerful poem as it takes a look at the emotional transformation of an innocent woman who turns bitter and evil after being almost killed by fear-driven citizens. It reminds me a little bit of how Stephen King writes by combining what is happening around her with the stream of throughts playing constantly, which creates a creepy and surreal poem. You're following this woman as she approaches death. What she's feeling, what she's seeing, how much strength she has left...It makes you feel sorry for her, but not quite sympathize since she turns into a bitter witch at the end, which is rather hard to like or sympathize with.

By a Young Girl,
Dear Diary,
It's been a month or two since I've written...I can't remember how long, really. We were greeted with a letter of condolences a week ago saying that Father had been killed in combat. Ironic, isn't it?
This woman gets a second chance at life after being called a witch, while Father dies trying to spread the word of God. Heh.
Maybe she was a witch. Everyone who I have seen hanged has died.
I do not know what killed father, nor do I wish to know. He is up in heaven now and mother may be seeing him soon. She has fallen very ill from grief and there is nothing that anybody can do. I have been taking care of the house, but I need her help. Please, God, do not take away both of my parents and leave me an orphan.
Maybe it would be like having two deaths. Maybe I will become Half-hanged Mary, the bitter girl who came into hatred through no fault of her own.
The funeral was two days ago. There was a closed casket.
God have mercy,

Monday, March 31

Olaudah Equiano: The Atlantic Voyage

Such a tendency has the slave trade to debauch men's minds, and harden them to every feeling of humanity! For I will not suppose that the dealers in slaves are born worse than other men. No; such is the fatality of this mistaken avarice, that it corrupts the milk of human kindness and turns it into gall. And, had the pursuits of those men been different, they might have been as generous, as tender-hearted and just, as they are unfeeling, rapacious, and cruel. Surely this traffic cannot be good, which spreads like a pestilence, and taints what it touches! which vioiates that first natural right of mankind, equality and independency, and gives one man a dominion over his fellows which God could never intend! For it raises the owner to a state as far above man as it depresses the slave below it; and, with all the presumption of human pride, sets a distinction between them, immeasurable in extent, and endless in duration! Yet how mistaken is the avarice even of the planters. Are slaves more useful by being thus humbled to the condition of brutes, than they would be if suffered to enjoy the privileges of men? The freedom which diffuses health and prosperity throughout Britain answers you. No. When you make men slaves, you deprive them of half their virtue, you set them, in your own conduct, an example of fraud, rapine, and cruelty, and compel them to live with you in a state of war; and yet you complain that they are not honest or faithful! You stupify them with stripes, and think it necessary to keep them in a state of ignorance. And yet you assert that they are incapable of learning; that their minds are such a barren soil or moor, that culture would be lost on tbem; and that they come from a climate, where nature, though prodigal of her bounties in a degree unknown to yourselves, has left man alone scant and unfinished, and incapable of enjoying the treasures she has poured out for him! An assertion at once impious and absurd. Why do you use those instruments of torture? Are they fit to be applied by one rational being to another? And are ye not struck with shame and mortification, to see the partakers Of your nature reduced so low? But, above all, are there no dangers attending this mode of treatment? Are you not hourly in dread of an insurrection? Nor would it be surprising; for when
No peace is given To us enslav'd, but custody severe,
And stripes and arbitrary punishment
Inflicted. Wbat peace can we return?
But to our power, hostility and hate;
Untam'd reluctance, and revenge, though slow.
Yet ever plotting how the conqueror least
May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice
In doing what we most ill suffering feel.'

But by changing your conduct, and treating your slaves as men, every cause of fear would be banished. They would be faithful, honest, intelligent, and vigorous; and peace, prosperity, and happiness would attend you.
Equiano, Olaudah. "The Atlantic Voyage". 1995. March 2008 .

By the Student,
This narrative was originally experienced on board of a slave vessel going to America by one of the slaves who did not know English, did not know the other passengers, could not read or write, and had little idea of what was going on. Because of all the trauma that this eleven-year-old experienced, the feelings stuck with him throughout life until he was able to write it down many years later with the same vivid descriptions and the feel ofblooming hatred for his new masters who, he writes, "looked and acted, as I thought, in so savage a manner; for I had never seen among any people such instances of brutal cruelty."
The above quote shows irony because the white men thought of the blacks as savage beasts themselves, which was their reasoning for going to enslave them. Meanwhile the black people think of the whites as cruel because they beat everyone in sight, including each other and enslave helpless, clueless people.
The tone of this selection is disgust at the white men. He can not fathom why they are so cruel, but expect the slaves to bend under the beating and loss of self without hatred towards the new masters.
The lack of mention of the Christian religion or anything of that sort sharply contrasts to the normal Puritan writings of this time. This probably upset some white men at the time, but was also probably largely ignored by the American public in the 18th century because it was simply something people did not want to believe happened.

By a White Sailor,
Them negros! We try to make there livs better and they jest complan and wont eat! The nerv of them they want to dye while we break are backs for them.
one of are slaves tranlats for us and says that they think were dirdy and disgusting well look at them! i beat the one hu said that and he is in scrubing the deck now its good for him so he nos his place later and dont get hurt worse.
they chant somtimes and i dont like it it make me nervos like there planing somthing.

Essential Question,
The import of slaves previously almost untouched by Puritan religion provides a sharp contrast to the culture that has been fermenting in the new country, bringing with them the potential for a war later in history and and a new culture that can not seem to mesh with the god-fearing Puritans. In the passage above, Equiano presents a rather different view of slavery, one that the average citizen of the New World was unaware of, and one which shows the white man as the brutal and uncivilized race as they are cruel and dirty. Although every first-generation slave was exposed to this, their masters generally were not keen on teaching them to write and no publisher in his right mind would print a book saying how white men were evil compared to slaves! Not yet, anyways...Equiano says that the slaves would be willing to work if they were just treated as men instead of dogs. Unfortunately the Puritans have been brainwashing each other for many years and can't understand the voice of reason, even if it does care to adapt and learn their language and culture. Black slaves coming over from Africa unwillingly give up their own freedom so that the Puritans may become more sucessful, although this develops a huge wall of hatred between the two as black people string to break free from the crazies who have abducted them.

Sunday, March 23

Sinners in the hands of an Angry God!

You probably are not sensible of this; you find you are kept out of hell, but do not see the hand of God in it; but look at other things, as the good state of your bodily constitution, your care of your own life, and the means you use for your own preservation. But indeed these things are nothing; if God should withdraw his hand, they would avail no more to keep you from falling, than the thin air to hold up a person that is suspended in it.


The bow of God's wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood. Thus all you that never passed under a great change of heart, by the mighty power of the Spirit of God upon your souls; all you that were never born again, and made new creatures, and raised from being dead in sin, to a state of new, and before altogether unexperienced light and life, are in the hands of an angry God. However you may have reformed your life in many things, and may have had religious affections, and may keep up a form of religion in your families and closets, and in the house of God, it is nothing but his mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction. However unconvinced you may now be of the truth of what you hear, by and by you will be fully convinced of it. Those that are gone from being in the like circumstances with you, see that it was so with them; for destruction came suddenly upon most of them; when they expected nothing of it, and while they were saying, Peace and safety: now they see, that those things on which they depended for peace and safety, were nothing but thin air and empty shadows.

Edwards, Jonathan. "Sinners in the hands of an Angry God!". July 8, 1741. March 2008 <>.

By the Student,
This passionate speech by Edwards is mainly appealing to the emotion of fear in the Puritans, who already picture an angry god. One who is ready to shoot them in the hearts with arrows is just asking for the attention of the paranoid religious folk. They have apparently been resting on a cloud of false security and Edwards wants to vaporize it to keep everyone in line. What exactly these people did to make him so inclined towards believing that God is going to destroy them all, I do not know, but it must have been bad.
Upon further research, these types of speeches were very common and were meant to scare audiences into living good lives. Probably one of the more effective methods, but I'd start to resent God after a while if it was me.

By a Doubtful Puritan,
My heavens! Minister Edwards gave such an impassioned sermon today! I do not remember sermons being so frightful. My wife and children usually go without me, much to the disapproval of both her and the townsfolk. Today I decided to go, however, since I got a 'friendly reminder' nailed to my door by the local church and what do I get when we are seated in the pews? A man scaring us into being pious.
He claims that we have been angering God with our heathen activities (like not going to church) and that we will get struck down. I am in the vast minority here, but I lead a rather un-pious life and his pleas do not strike fear into my heart as it has with my wife, the poor thing. She appears to have snapped and is constantly looking at the ground to make sure it hasn't dissapeared as Minister Edwards has said that it would if we weren't careful.
Sorry Edwards. I'm not convinced. I'm waiting for the lightning bolt.

Essential Question (for poems and passage),
The Puritan era was full of both fear and love for a finicky God and the eternal heaven and personal longing as families were torn apart because of the manpower needed to create and control a new country. In the excerpt above, the fear of God is shown while in 'Huswifery', the great longing for an eternity spent with the angry God is shown. People were rabid about pushing their beliefs and religion on others 'in the name of the Lord', which just happened to be the thing that they had been trying to escape over in England. Longing for family, which was probably a sin anyway, is expressed by one of the first published female poets in the new world as she writes two poems about her love and longing for her husband and again, how she wants to spend eternity with him. This was the only reference to God in her poems and if they hadn't been added, the poems may not have been printed because it was expressing feeling for something other than God, something that the Puritans were not really into. Puritans were putting the new country through a period of fierce passion for an angry God and for love taken from them for an early Manifest Destiny.

Monday, March 17


Make me, O Lord, thy Spining Wheele compleate.
Thy Holy Worde my Distaff make for mee.
Make mine Affections thy Swift Flyers neate
And make my Soule thy holy Spoole to bee.
My Conversation make to be thy Reele
And reele the yarn thereon spun of thy Wheele.

Make me thy Loome then, knit therein this Twine:
And make thy Holy Spirit, Lord, winde quills:
Then weave the Web thyselfe. The yarn is fine.
Thine Ordinances make my Fulling Mills.
Then dy the same in Heavenly Colours Choice,
All pinkt with Varnisht Flowers of Paradise.

Then cloath therewith mine Understanding, Will,
Affections, Judgment, Conscience, Memory
My Words, and Actions, that their shine may fill
My wayes with glory and thee glorify.
Then mine apparell shall display before yee
That I am Cloathd in Holy robes for glory.

Taylor, Edward. "Huswifery". 1684. March 2008 <>.

By the Student,
In this poem, the speaker goes from asking God of he can be the parts of the sewing machine to the speaker being the yarn for a robe to the speaker wearing the robe made out of the components of his soul for all eternity in heaven.
This is Puritan poetry because of the fixation on God and getting into heaven, along with making a symbolistic robe so he may have the good virtues that God gave him forever.

By a Young Girl,
Dear Diary,
I finished the poems by Ms. Bradstreet a little less than a week ago and since then have been tryin to find something that is worth your precious paper. This poem lives up to it as it concerns two of my favorite things: sewing and God.
I know a lot about both subjects, as I would suspect most women to, but a man wrote this! Imagine a man publishing a poem about sewing clothing...How queer.
Anyway, this is about creating a robe made from the essence of the soul to wear in Heaven forever. I have never heard of how eternity feels explained with such grace before and I love this poem because of it.
The house has settled back down again as I said that it would. My friend will begin teaching me arithmatic from his school soon, but we can not let the elders know because they think that women should not be educated. I can read and write better that most of them already, so it is not like we hold not the capacity for such knowledge without shoving other things out. I do not understand, but I also do not wish to make a commotion and hurt my family.
God's Grace,

The Author of my Book

"Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad, exposed to public view,
Made thee in rags, halting to th' press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judge).
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call,
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
The visage was so irksome in my sight;
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could.
I washed thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot still made a flaw.
I stretched thy joints to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run'st more hobbling than is meet;
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save homespun cloth i' th' house I find.
In this array 'mongst vulgars may'st thou roam.
In critic's hands beware thou dost not come,
And take thy way where yet thou art not known;
If for thy father asked, say thou hadst none;
And for thy mother, she alas is poor,
Which caused her thus to send thee out of door."

Anne Bradstreet. "The Author of my Book". November 1988. March 2008 <>.

By the Student,
The speaker goes from disgusted at her poems and not wanting to show them to the world to finally grudgingly accepting the fact that she must publish them into the world in all of their incomplete and otherwise flawed glory.
This poem also expresses the fact that the speaker is human and must learn to live with things that she is not necessarily content with in order to live and eventually get to heaven, in typical Puritan fashion.
She also says that the public does not understand her as a poet, but she must put up with harsh criticism to help not only herself, but other women striving to be something better.

By a Young Girl,
Dear Diary,
Today's poem made me feel guilty about yesterday's poem. I didn't understand all of it and now Ms. Bradstreet is saying, "Shame on you! I did not want to publish these because of ignorant pests like you who don't get my poems!" Let me just say that I am sorry, ma'am.
No word back from Father yet. I know that it has only been a couple of days, but the household is always antsy for the first few and then we settle back into quiet hope and prayers.
At least I am better off than these poor crippled poems who must say that they have no father at all. For now at least. My friend Ruth got word that her father was sent to Heaven today in the fight for God.
God's grace,

A Letter to Her Husband

"My head, my heart, mine eyes, my life, nay more,
My joy, my magazine, of earthly store,
If two be one, as surely thou and I,
How stayest thou there, whilst I at Ipswich lie?
So many steps, head from the heart to sever,
If but a neck, soon should we be together.
I, like the Earth this season, mourn in black,
My Sun is gone so far in's zodiac,
Whom whilst I 'joyed, nor storms, nor frost I felt,
His warmth such fridged colds did cause to melt.
My chilled limbs now numbed lie forlorn;
Return; return, sweet Sol, from Capricorn;
In this dead time, alas, what can I more
Than view those fruits which through thy heart I bore?
Which sweet contentment yield me for a space,
True living pictures of their father's face.
O strange effect! now thou art southward gone,
I weary grow the tedious day so long;
But when thou northward to me shalt return,
I wish my Sun may never set, but burn
Within the Cancer of my glowing breast,
The welcome house of him my dearest guest.
Where ever, ever stay, and go not thence,
Till nature's sad decree shall call thee hence;
Flesh of thy flesh, bone of thy bone,
I here, thou there, yet both but one."

Anne Bradstreet. "A Letter to Her Husband". November 1988. March 2008 <>.

By the Student,
Anne Bradstreet emphasises on symbolism borrowed from other cultures and certain poetic applications such as rhyming couplets and inversion to express her pain of having to be separated from her husband and her absolute need of him.
It is a Puritan work because of the biblical reference "flesh of thy flesh, bone of thy bone" and of the emotional connotation of the story, taking no mention of wanting any earthy goods, but simply her husband's company.

By a Young Girl,
Dear Diary,
This was today's poem. It sounds like what Mother is like when Father is gone, like he is now. He left yesterday again on another special 'public service' trip. Mother says that we should be proud that he is getting to serve God, but I can tell that she misses him dearly.
Ms. Bradstreet must have written these poems for us because we are going through this same thing! I even read the poem to Mother and she had trouble keeping a neutral face. I do not get some of the comparisons, like what 'Capricorn' or 'zodiac' are, but it may be an age thing because Mother will not tell me what they mean.
Bless Father for a safe trip,

To My Dear and Loving Husband

"IF ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompetence.
Thy love is such I can no way repay.
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let's so persever
That when we live no more, we may live ever. "

Anne Bradstreet. "To My Dear and Loving Husband". November 1988. March 2008

By the Student,

The speaker in this poem is expressing and even bragging about the love for her husband. Anne uses her signature inflection and rhyming couplets and goes from comparing her love to earthly things like rivers and gold to living forever together after they die.
It is characteristically Puritan because of the valuing of emotions over material things like money and the ever-present faith in God to grant them eternal happiness.

By a Puritan Girl,
Dear Diary,
Father brought Mother a book of poems after he got back from 'public service'. I don't know what 'public service' is, but Father says that I'll know when I'm older. Well the book is by Anne Bradstreet and Mother told me to read one poem a day to help me learn to read.
Anyways, these poems are so good so I'm going to share a few with you, Diary. This one is called "To My Dear and Loving Husband" and I could read most of it by myself. Ms. Bradstreet must have really been attached to her husband if she could write something like this. I've tried writing poems before and they mean a lot to me, but not to anybody else. This is really good poetry because I can feel what she is feeling!
I wonder how many couple God has in heaven right now? Are Mother and Father going to be up there one day? Hopefully not too soon, unless God has more of a need for them than I do.
God's Grace,

Of Plymouth Plantation

...And here is to be noted a special providence of God, and a great mercy to this poor people, that here they got seed to plant them corn the next year, or else they might have starved, for they had none nor any likelihood to get any till the season had been past, as the sequel did manifest. Neither it is likely they had had this, if the first voyage had not been made, for the ground was now all covered with snow and hard frozen; but the Lord is never wanting unto His in their greatest needs; let His holy name have all the praise...

So they rested till about five of the clock in the morning; for the tide, and their purpose to go from thence, made them be stirring betimes. So after prayer they prepared for breakfast, and it being day dawning it was thought best to be carrying things down to the boat. But some said it was not best to carry the arms down, others said they would be the readier, for they had lapped them up in their coats from the dew; but some three or four would not carry theirs fill they went themselves. Yet as it fell out, the water being not high enough, they laid them down on the bank side and came up to breakfast.

But presently, all on the sudden, they heard a great and strange cry, which they knew to be the same voices they heard in the night, though they varied their notes; and one of their company being abroad came running in and cried, "Men, Indians! Indians!" And withal, their arrows came flying amongst them. Their men ran with all speed to recover their arms, as by the good providence of God they did. In the meantime, of those that were there ready, two muskets were discharged at them, and two more stood ready in the entrance of their rendezvous but were commanded not to shoot till they could take full aim at them. And the other two charged again with-all speed, for there were only four had arms there, and defended the barricade, which was first assaulted. The cry of the Indians was dreadful, especially when they saw the men run out of the rendezvous toward the shallop to recover their arms, the Indians wheeling about upon them. But some running out with coats of mail on, and cutlasses in their hands, they soon got their arms land let fly amongst them and quickly stopped their violence. Yet there was a lusty man, and no less valiant, stood behind a tree within half a musket shot, and let his arrows fly at them; he was seen [to] shoot three arrows, which were all avoided. He stood three shots of a musket, till one taking full aim at him and made the bark or splinters of the tree fly about his ears, after which he gave an extraordinary shriek and away they went, all of them. They' left some to keep the shallop and followed them about a quarter of a mile and shouted once or twice, and shot off two or three pieces, and so returned. This they did that they might conceive that they were not afraid of them or any way discouraged.

Thus it pleased God to vanquish their enemies and give them deliverance; and by His special providence so to dispose that not any one of them were either hurt or hit, though their arrows came close by them and on every side [of] them; and sundry of their coats, which hung up in the barricade, were shot through and through. Afterwards they gave God solemn thanks and praise for their deliverance, and gathered up a bundle of their arrows and sent them into England afterward by the master of the ship, and called that place the First Encounter...

By the Student,
This passage from 'Of Plymouth Plantation' shows the great tension and intolerance that the British and the Native Americans shared. Both were truly dedicated to their religions and believed that the other could not exist in harmony with their own and as a result, launched attacks upon each other.
This is chracteristically Puritan because of the focus on religion and God's devine will. The writing style also uses language out of the 16th century.

By a Puritan Bystander,
This all seems so brutal! It seems that God is giving our men a test of faith with these savages and their arrows. He did not hurt a soul either in the fight today so maybe it is a sign that we should save them and show them the way instead of trying to destroy them. I can only hope that the men may interpret His will the same way that I do for stains of blood are difficult to get out of clothes and the smell attracts strange animals at night.

Essential Question,
The unstoppable force of the Puritans trying to achieve their American Dream of worshipping God without persecution leads to the ironic destruction of the people from another religion. The men in this selection are fighting a holy war as God had told them. This war is against the comparatively helpless Native Americans who seemed to be quite content until these crazy, bloodthirsty when men came along, which exposes the irony of Puritans coming to America. The Puritans' dream is one of religious freedom because of a history of threats, suppressment, and persecution from Great Britain. They end up over in America to escape, but the Native Americans who choose to fight instead of fleeing like the Puritans did end up in an uncomfortable stalemate momentarily, which will later in history turn into the suppressment that the Puritans escaped. Running from problems and attacking a weaker civilization seem to be the best way to protect one's own culture and religion.

Sunday, March 16

In The Beginning...

In the beginning there was nothing but soft darkness, and Raven beat and beat with his wings until the darkness packed itself down into solid earth. Then there was only the icy black ocean and a narrow strip of shoreline. But people came soon to live along the coast. And Raven felt sorry for them, poor, sickly things, who never had any sunshine. They lived by chewing on nuts and leaves, and crushed the roots of the alder trees for something to drink.
"I must help them," thought Raven; and he flew down to earth, calling, "Ga, ga, ga!" and gathered the people together. Like ghosts, they were, shadowy and pale in the misty darkness.
"Raven has come!" they told each other. "It is Raven-Who-Sets- Things-Right."
The poor things were encouraged, and they gathered round to see what he would do.
Raven plucked a branch from an alder, and scattered the leaves on the surface of a pool. At once the leaves were sucked under, and the water started to bubble. After the pool had boiled for a moment, the surface cleared and fish began to jump there. So that was how Raven gave the people fish.
But now that they had fish to eat, they were thirstier than ever. They called on Raven, and down he came, and the people said, "Here is Raven-Who-Sets-Things-Right."
Raven knew that there was only one spring of fresh water in all the world. A man named Ganook had built his house around it, and refused to give any away.
"Maybe," thought Raven, "I can drink enough to carry some back to the people."
So he went to the house and asked to come in, and Ganook was very glad to have his company. Raven sat down and made polite conversation, and pretty soon he asked for a drink of water.
"Very well," said Ganook grudgingly, and showed him the spring, a crystal pool welling up in a basin of rock.
"Don't drink it all!" Ganook warned him. "You know that's the only fresh water in all the world."
Raven knew it well; that was what he had come for. But he said, "Just a sip!" and drank until he staggered.
"Hold on there, Raven!" cried Ganook. "Are you trying to drink the well dry?"
That was just what Raven was trying to do, but he passed it off lightly. He made himself comfortable close to the fire and said, "Ganook, let me tell you a story."
Then Raven started out on a long dull story about four dull brothers who went on a long dull journey. As he went along he made up dull things to add to it, and Ganook's eyelids drooped, and Raven spoke softly, and more and more slowly, and Ganook's chin dropped on his chest.
"So then," said Raven gently, with his eyes on Ganook, "on and on through the long gray valley through the soft gray fog went the four tall gray brothers. And now, snore!" And Ganook began to snore.
Quick as a thought, Raven darted to the spring and stuck his beak into the water. But no sooner had he lifted his head to swallow than Ganook started up with a terrible snort, and said, "Go on, go on, I'm listening! I'm not asleep." Then he shook his head and blinked his eyes and said, "Where are you, Raven? What are you doing?"
"Just walking around for exercise," Raven assured him, and back he went, and in a low, unchanging voice he went on with the dull story of the four brothers. No sooner had he started than Ganook began to nod, and his chin dropped down, and he jerked it back and opened his eyes and scowled at Raven, and nodded his head and said, "Go on! What next?" and his head dropped down upon his chest.
"So on and on," said Raven slowly, "over the hills, went the four tall gray brothers. The air was thick and gray around them. Fog was stealing softly over the mountains. Fog before them, fog behind them, soft, cloudy fog. And now, snore!" And Ganook began to snore.
Quietly Raven slipped to the spring, and, glub, glub, glub, he drank up the water until the pool was dry. But as he lifted his head for a last long gulp, Ganook leaped up and saw what he was doing.
"So, Raven!" shouted Ganook. "You think you can lull me to sleep and steal my water!"
He picked up his club and started to chase Raven round and round the fire. Raven would run a few steps and flap his big wings and rise a few inches off the floor. Then with a last tremendous flap he went sailing towards the open smoke hole. But he had swallowed so much water that he stuck fast in the opening, and there he struggled, while Ganook shouted, "You squint-eyed Raven, I've got you now, Raven! You miserable thief!" And Ganook threw green alder logs on the fire and made a great smoke which came billowing up and almost choked Raven to death.
Raven hung there, strangling and struggling, until at last he pulled free with a mighty wrench and went wobbling heavily across the sky. He was so heavy he flew in a crooked line, and as he flew he spurted little streams of water from his bill. These became rivers, first the Nass and the Sitka, then the Taku and the Iskut and the Stikine. Since Raven flew in a crooked line, all the rivers are crooked as snakes. Here and there he scattered single drops, and these became narrow creeks and salmon pools.
And so Raven brought fresh water to the people but he bore the mark of that smoke hole ever after. He had gone to Ganook as a great, white, snowy creature, but from that day on, Raven was black, as black as the endless sky of the endless night.

Glenn Welker. "In The Beginning". 2005. Sunday, March 16 <>.

By the Student,
This story is a creation myth created by the indigenous people of America to explain the fresh water of the world. The raven, a character normally percieved as tricky in Native American folklore, appears here as the "Raven-Who-Sets-Things-Right" and vies for the good of his people against the greedy one who holds the essence of life all for himself. This can be compared to the white man taking all of the land away from the Native Americans and the earth gods coming to do justice by stealing back what is theirs. This, of course, never happens.

By a Native,
The invaders do not understand our way of life! I have tried telling them today about our culture by sharing the sacred story about the Raven and the water and they listened vigilantly, but I later saw them joking about it. This can not be a good start to our relationship if they can not at least honor our traditions as we do not even expect those across the water to have been introducted to our culture yet.

This story is important to our people because water is the essence of life and the Raven is the bringer of water and we must revere Raven because he risked his life to let us live. The white men do not share our reverence of nature and disrespect the forests by thoughtlessly killing animals, tearing down trees, and forming tension with its inhabitants. These have all occured within the few days of their giant ship landing here.
The invaders are uncivilized.

Essential Question,
The Puritans came in America in search of religious freedom and as a result, imposed on the lives of the native people who already had a set culture and religion. In the above Native American creation story, Raven brings the people of the earth water. The bird acts as a savior towards the Native Americans while the Puritans look upon it as a common bird. This example, one of many differences between the cultures, is what sparks the later war between the people. Puritan religion says that as many as possible should be converted, but the problem is that the Native Americans do not want to be converted. This hardheadedness, coupled with superior weapons and luck, bring the eventual repellation of the Native Americans into unknown and barren territory. Native Americans had a culture before the Puritans came in and threw up garbage all over it.

How did I end up here?