Sentimentality in Love Poetry

There are moments in life where my heart feels heavy. I feel overcome with emotions that are often too vulnerable to expose to others. It’s not that sharing them would make me feel weak; it’s that I feel too weak to share them. Often times it’s easier to leave them untouched, because it’s too difficult to dig up such a deep emotion. However, there are people that chose to expose those emotions, whether that be through writing, television, or simply to others. This is often defined as sentimentality; the “indulgence of easy emotions” (Mr. MacKnight) such as sadness, nostalgia, or tenderness. When reading the “Love Poetry” handout, I immediately thought that When We Two Parted, by George Gordon, Lord Byron was the most sentimental.

Sentimentality is quite varying to love, because love doesn’t require dramatization; it’s enough on its own. Sentimentality is easier to follow and comprehend, because it’s designed to spark an emotional response. It’s meant to make you feel the way that they feel, in a way that relates to your life. When We Two Parted appeals to the sadness one feels when saying goodbye to someone, or when losing someone. It not only demonstrates the qualities of sentimental poetry, but also makes you feel that stereotypical wave of sadness and sympathy.

One of the preliminary observations one should make to determine the sentimentality in poetry is the rhyme scheme. The rhythm should be very regular, which is the case in When We Two Parted. Each stanza has an ABAB CDCD rhyme scheme, which allows it to flow nicely and repetitively whilst reading it. Furthermore, the consistency of 8 lines in each stanza proves the regularity, which allows for the ‘sing-song’ effect.

Another key component to sentimentality is vague, flowery, and “poetic” imagery (Mr. MacKnight), which is used throughout this poem. An example of this is displayed in lines 9-12, “The dew of the morning / Sunk chill on my brow– / It felt like the warning / Of what I feel now.” This poetic imagery gives the reader a sense of chills and coldness, due to the narrator’s experiences and sadness. When he describes that specific feeling as a warning of how he feels, it indicates his pain, without truly explaining it. Another example of this is in lines 19-20, “A shudder comes o’er me– / Why wert thou so dear?” There is a similarity between these two examples, because the author uses physical feelings that everyone has experienced, to reveal how he felt emotionally. This almost gives it a far-off sensation; as if you can hear his tone and emotions, and feel how he feels, without having to hear every word. This puts the focus on the depth rather than the surface, which is what this type of imagery and language provides.

The final reason contributing to my belief of the poems sentimentality, is the lack of reason, logic, and detail. As I previously mentioned, this poem focuses largely on the emotions. The poet describes how he feels, but doesn’t explain why he feels that way. One can clearly assume that it’s regarding a separation. However, he doesn’t explain the situation, nor the reasoning behind it. That being said, sentimentality is based around a feeling, therefore an explanation is truly unnecessary in order to convey his emotions.

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IRJE: Mar. 15 (The Hero of Ages)

In the Hero of Ages, book three of the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, the protagonists must fight the god of chaos and destruction, Ruin, to keep their world, Scadrial, from being completely annihilated. Ruin’s counterpart, Preservation, is the god of stability and perpetuity.

Ruin was not always the antagonist of the series though. In the first two books, Mistborn and the Well of Ascension, the heroes fight to overthrow the Lord Ruler, an oppressive leader who, centuries ago, took the power at the Well of Ascension. This action gave him godlike abilities, and ensured that Ruin would stay locked away until the power returned to the Well, as Ruin was trapped there, and could only be released if the power was as well.

The Lord Ruler created many new species with his abilities when he first gained them. One of these species was the kandra, who bound themselves by contracts, and took pride in never breaking those contracts.

“What do you think we are?” TenSoon asked. “Humans, with their rebellions and upheavals? We are kandra. We are of Preservation. We follow order.” (p. 178).

Throughout the entire first two books, the Lord Ruler is thought to be a being of pure evil. He was an oppressive dictator who mercilessly slaughtered millions. After the primary protagonist, Vin, slays the Lord Ruler, the power returns to the Well of Ascension, and she, unbeknownst to the fact that giving up the power will free Ruin, releases the power there.

In the fight to stop Ruin from destroying the world, the heroes discover more and more about the past, which the Lord Ruler had kept hidden from his people. They discover that the Lord Ruler worked, just as they are now working, to stop Ruin. He even created many species, such as the kandra, that were of Preservation, Ruin’s opposite. Though power inevitably corrupted him, and he was never the most noble of people, the Lord Ruler prepared for centuries for the day Ruin would return, and had he been left alive, he would’ve saved Scadrial a second time. I find it very interesting that by assassinating someone who they viewed to be a no-good oppressive leader, the heroes of the story also unleashed an even greater evil.

Usually in books antagonists are either complete evil, or working for a cause they believe to be good. The Lord Ruler was a mix of both of these types of villains. He did not want the world to be destroyed as Ruin did, and tried his hardest to stop the god of chaos. However, he was also at heart a selfish and cruel man, encouraging the rape and murder of millions of skaa, the lower class people, and killing off an entire race simply because he was afraid of anyone getting powerful enough to contest him.

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Love Poetry

From the love poetry hand out, the poem that I found the most sentimental was “As I Walked Out One Evening,” by W.H. AUDEN. Throughout this poem, he describes his love for a lover who he hears singing near the river. And how his love for Him or her has no end. He does this by comparing his love for this lover to many different things that will most likely never happen. 

I found this poem sentimental because the man whoever he is, throughout the entire poem is just ex[ressing his love in the most absurd ways. Now for some, this may come off as desperate or pathetic but, If your madly in love like some may say happens, what your saying most of the time is basically nonsense. When he says The years shall run like rabbits, For in my arms I hold The Flower of the Ages, And the first love of the world.’ now when I first read this line it confused me the most. What I think means by this is when the other lover is in his arm’s, time becomes meaningless and will fly by like hopping rabbits.  Another odd yet very grabbing line for me personally is when he says “You cannot conquer Time. this is him saying, hey but we aren’t here forever even though my love is everlasting for you so tick tock. 

This poem for me was overall hard for me to decipher but once I starred at it for a while it started to make sense and chunks of it started to fit with others. And once I understood what it was saying I found it very creative and well thought through. 

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IRJE, Divergent

Erudite has published two more articles attacking Abnegation. the primary accuses them of withholding goods, and therefore the second argues that politicians shouldn’t be chosen from one faction.

“I didn’t get down the roof because I wanted to be just like the Dauntless. I jumped off because I already was like them, and that I wanted to point out myself to them. I wanted to acknowledge a neighborhood of myself that Abnegation demanded that I hide”

Though the initiates are almost totally quarantined from the surface world, they are doing have access to those biased reports attacking Abnegation and its leaders. Worse, the Candor initiates seem to be in on the scheme. Molly was told by the reporter that blatant lies to form the Abnegation leaders, specifically Tris’ father, seem evil, and Peter is doing his best to spread the misinformation among the opposite initiates.

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IRJE Hunger Games

Katniss recognizes the strange creatures chasing Cato as mutations, hybrid animals engineered by the Capitol. These mutations look like giant wolves but can walk upright like humans.

“The boy took one look back as if checking that the coast was clear”

Cato runs to the big rock and Katniss follows, but she realizes Peeta can’t keep up because of his injured leg. Unable to help him from the ground, she climbs to the top of the rock and fires arrows at the approaching mutations, allowing Peeta to climb up just in time to escape them.

 

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PW (March 21st)

There was an interesting thing that happened before. I used to live in the dorms with three other girls. Unlike the dorms in Brookes, my previous dorm had bunk beds. I lived on the lower bunk and discovered a fruit knife under my bed. We were definitely not supposed to have any sort of knives in the dorm.

I brought some apples to school during the weekend, so I asked if anyone had any knives. My roommates told me to eat it without peeling the skin, like how a normal person would.

I knew the person living on the top bunk was cutting herself because it was just really obvious. You can’t hide things like that from people who live in the same room as you. I thought it was none of my business back then, but thinking about it now, I would’ve “found” the knife and used it to peel apples instead of ignoring everything that had happened. But even now, during this time of the virus, I  can’t bring myself to talk to her. Sometimes, I wish she was never here to experience it all, simply because I can’t think of how to help her. Or worse, maybe I knew how to help her, and I could’ve, but I just never really felt like it.

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IRJE: March 15 (Boy Erased)

In Garrard Conley’s Boy Erased, he starts recalling his earlier experiences with his family and his girlfriend Chloe, whom he liked and dated in an attempt to ignore his attraction towards men. The members of the Baptist community are expecting them to get married once they become adults, but Conley feels that he is losing control of this relationship as Chloe attempts to advance it. She suggests having sex with him in the near future.

“We have to do something,” she said. “I’m worried.”

“The storm will be over soon,” I said.

“No,” she said, “About us. We have to do something drastic.” (p. 58)

In this passage, Chloe did not suggest the idea because she wanted to. She has no interest in sex, it is the only thing she knows that is “drastic”, and can presumably change the awkward state of their relationship. She also talks about how there’s no time in Heaven, so they are “already married”. It is just about “demonstrating love for God”. I don’t think she understands this completely. She is anxious, but her solution to solve the problem is to escape into the truths of her religion. (From what I believe,) Heaven has no concept of time because only mankind needs time. There is never any resolution to anything that guarantees “all has already been done” because all has never existed if we must use that logic.

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Sentimentality in Love Poetry

While love poetry should arise passion in its readers, it is quite different from directing readers to feel the emotion demanded by the speaker. This is sentimentality, which usually involves cliches and plots guided by the purpose of making one feel strongly for the characters. In the Love Poetry handout, one of the most sentimental poems is Anne Bradstreet’s A Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public employment. 

The title adds dramaticism to the direct impression of the poem. One would only know that the speaker is writing to her own husband, other than someone else’s husband, once they read the poem. By using the third-person point-of-view, it gives the title a smoother ring but really means nothing much. Rather it seems like the speaker sounds sad and melancholy on purpose.

The poem itself sounds smooth and has a consistent rhythm to the ear. Since this poem is such a long, single stanza, this repeating rhythm does not seem very interesting. One desperately long line is divided into many short sections: “My head, my heart, mine eyes, my life, nay, more,/ My joy, my magazine of earthly store” (ll 1,2) These extravagant layers of words may seem to emphasize the speaker’s sadness, but strong emotions should be portrayed best in a simple and powerful manner in order for the reader to relate to it. There are many adjectives in this poem compared to other poems about separation. In fact, there are simply too many words that could be simplified: “such frigid colds,” (l 11) and “sweet contentment.” (l 15) These lines are losing concentration in the quality of sentiments.

It is understandable about the concept of “I here, thou there, yet both but one.” (l 26) This line is more likable compared to the other lines, but I can’t help but become bored with the long chunk of lines that could have been structured in a more impactful and less self-pitied manner. I appreciate how the poet is able to use so many poetic devices to create some imagery, but it really makes the poem so cheap and too dramatic. I can relate to someone with silent but powerful melancholy. But it is hard to relate to someone who is moaning continuously about it.

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REFLECTION, ROMEO AND JULIET

Since reading Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, you can clearly see what Shakespeare wanted people to understand from experiencing the play in the 1500s. Shakespeare wanted people to understand love better and what it meant. He wanted you to understand what love can lead to if taken the wrong way and how it can heavily impact people. Shakespeare does this by having two lovers, one being Romeo and the other being Juliet. Romeo and Juliet both come from two very different backgrounds, the family that Romeo is from has never approved of the family that Juliet is from although they share the same wealth. 

 

Immediately when reading Romeo and Juliet all that I can think of is disbelief and stupidity. When I look back on the balcony scene where the two confess love towards each other for the first time, I cannot understand what there thought process was to come to the conclusion that they should get married in the following days. I do understand that these were to fairly young kids, but even when you are a teenager you should still be able to distinguish what going to fast in a relationship is. This whole scene and really the entire play just makes me not be able to take the play seriously since it’s so out of the ordinary and unrealistic. If you were to put this scenario in society today everyone would think they are crazy. Nowadays we see relationships lasting up to ten years, before getting married. One more thing on top of this crazy love story is the use of Shakespearian language. Now I understand for some people that Shakespearian is easy and well worth learning. But for me on the other hand, I had trouble figuring out what most of the sentences in this book meant. Even when I thought I knew what a sentence meant it would come out meaning something else crazy. 

 

I think that the Capulets and Montagues should have welcomed the relationship between Romeo and Juliet and used it as a stepping stone to becoming two allied families rather than rivals. We also as people should notice our conflicts and see what we can do to resolve them if possible if there’s no need for certain forms of negativity in life why have them consume us. 

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SPRING BREAK, 2020

This spring break, our communities, and the entire world has gone through many large changes. These changes have changed the way we communicate with others, socialize, get food, etc. Now for some people these changes ave not been applied for there families and friends. But for others, these changes have been fully engaged. We now have o socialize through the screen of your phone, and it’s not like we already do that a lot but, now we have to do it to get in contact with anyone for anything. 

Going out and doing regular daily things have changed as well. Grocery stores different departments have to sell everything pre-packaged from now on. You cannot sit in fast food restaurants they only offer drive-through. Many people are in self-isolation after coming back into Canada from other counties. Some close friends of my family just came back from Israel, they have to stay in their home and cannot leave for any reason for two weeks. SSO what me and My mom and I have been doing is going out and buying their groceries for them. We aren’t even allowed to hand-deliver it to them we have to leave it on there front porch then text them to let them know we dropped them off. 

There is a positive to all of the changes that we have been having around the world. Pollution has gone down immensely in heavily populated areas where the air is filled with fumes from cars and other forms of transportation. Water has become much cleaner is certain areas Italy in specific, the channels in Venice are now much cleaner then they have been in years. Just sad nobody can experience it since their on lockdown in their houses. So even though there are so many stressful and haywire things going around us right now, there are some really good things too. So when we are going through this world epidemic and you’re watching the news and hearing all of these frightening things happening. To try to calm yourself down think about how

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PW – March 21st

We are less that one week into self-isolation, and I am officially bored. Monday started off fairly normal, although we had to instate new policies at work, due to the virus outbreak. On Tuesday, I entered work, to be notified that we would be closing. As the week progressed, I found out that many of my friends were leaving the country, with no expectation to return. Not only that, but I found out that I would never have the opportunity to see them again, or say goodbye.

Although I like Brookes, that’s one thing that I truly hate. Having to say goodbye to friends that I’ve made, with no hope of seeing them again, due to the fact that they live so far away. Sometimes, it doesn’t feel worth it to get close to someone in the first place, if you know that they’ll likely just be leaving after a year. However, if that were the case, you would miss out on friendships that end up having the most impact on you.

Before spring break commenced, I was only prepared to have two weeks of online school at most. Therefore, naturally, I didn’t truly say goodbye to anyone (it can be too much of a scene). Within days, we were notified that we would likely not be returning until September, and that many of our international friends would not be returning at all. On top of that, we’ve been instructed to take part in social-distancing, which is stopping me from seeing any of my local friends.

I understand the importance of self-isolation. I understand why all of the action being taken is so crucial. I understand that in order for us to “flatten the curve” we must follow these regulations. Nevertheless, it’s frustrating, disappointing, and extremely sad.

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PW Mar 21

I was extremely excited to finally go home after such a long time, but little did I know it would be the last time I got to see some of my friends. With spring break coming up, I was making plans with my friends to meet up in Vancouver and have some fun. All my plans were ruined because the coronavirus went out of control. Instead of having fun with my friends and going to different places in Vancouver, I have to stay home and do nothing for who knows how long. On top of that, some of my friends are leaving the country and probably won’t ever come back. I didn’t even have a chance to say a proper goodbye to them. All I can do is wish them luck for their future over text.

Another sad part about spring break is not having anything to do. Since getting infected with coronavirus doesn’t seem fun, I have to spend my time in my house with nothing to do. I pass my days using my phone, sleeping and eating. I hope this pandemic will end soon and people who are affected by the virus will get the support they need.

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PW – Life

Life is something we must learn to cherish. Our individual life is what differentiates us from other people. In 16 years, I have only started to realize that life is short and that we should try to enjoy the time we have to the fullest. Each one of us will experience different things in life, and from these unique experiences, we expand our small understanding of what life is. What we see influences what we do throughout our day. When I was around the age of four I would watch my parents often and at times attempt the things they would do. Our parents play a huge role in our growth, we should respect our parents because they are more experienced than us and they work hard to provide us with a good education.

What we can take away from this is that life is short and that we mustn’t waste the life we have been given. Wasting life would, in my opinion, refer to using up our time in a careless way. For example, we could be spending our time watching a show we love for hours on end, never realizing how much time is gradually passing. Even though we were having fun, think about what you could have done instead of spending that time by yourself. You could have spent some time with your family, or gone to hang out with your friends, or possibly talked to a distant relative from across the world.

To understand what life truly is you must be willing to accept the fact that your time is limited. Every second you are growing both mentally and physically. If you decide to overlook the time you have now, you will only end up regretting your choices later on in life.

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IRJ

The Catcher In The Rye I have found to be one of the most descriptive books I have read. The entire book revolves around Holden describing every little imperfection or perfection, in anything in his line of sight. It makes the book interesting to look back on previous pages and realize how you got to the scene that Holden is describing. Every person or thing seems to have a long backstory behind it. 

He was terrifically intelligent. All his teachers were alwasy writing letters to my mother, telling her what a pleasure it ws having a boy like Allie in their class. And they Weren’t just shooting the crap. They really meant it. And it wasn’t that he was the most intelligent member of the family. He was also the nicest, in lots of ways.

This quote is of Holden describing his younger cousin’s baseball glove. this then leads to him describing his cousins’ personality, physical features and what he meant to people. Holden is constantly relating people to different scenarios, and how they would act in them.

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THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

Holden is a kid going through school and is having trouble finding his place in the world. Holden is an incredibly observant character in this book and you can see this on just about every page. He is constantly judging his surroundings and the people around him. He is constantly noticing the small things about people that make him mad, but at the same time, Holden loves getting on people’s nerves. This makes holden in my eyes a little bit of a hypocrite.

“Cut it out, Holden for chrissake!” Stradlater said. He didnt feel like horsing around. He was shaving and all. “Wuddya wanna make me do cut my Goddam head off.

Stradler had been shaving in the washroom for some time, and holden had been sitting there just pointing out all of Stradlater’s annoying mannerisms to himself. Stradlater was being a little arrogant, this just really gets on Holden’s nerves.  So Holden decided to choke Stradler as a funny joke while he was shaving, which is much more annoying.

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SKI TRIP, 2020

The ski trip this year was such a fun experience. We woke up way too early though, I had to get at 4:30 in the morning to catch the bus.  I was being picked up from Mcdonalds in Duncan since I live in Shawnigan Lake. Once the little bus had picked me up, I basically passed out the rest of the way to Mount Washington. We arrived at the mountain and got all of our rentals such as goggles, boots, and a helmet. Then we were free to go out and ride unless it was our first time snowboarding or skiing, then you had to do lessons for the basics. It was my second time snowboarding so I just went up the lifts right away. On my first few runs down I was pretty shaky and was struggling to keep up my speed and balance. This was mainly due to the fact that I couldn’t turn on the tow side of the board and was always using my heelside. So I made it a goal for myself to learn how to turn on my two edge by the end of the day. 

So I went and found Efosa who also snowboards and we started to try to learn how to turn on the tow edges of our boards together. I found that if I learned more on my front foot it would start to throw me sideways on my tow side which was good to figure out. So I began just putting more and more wait on my front foot, I found the right balance. If you put to much wait on your front foot, your board will dig in too much and you will smack your face on the snow. I eventually got the hang of it and it made such a difference. I was now able to carve back and forth much easier and keep my speed. By the end of the day, I was going down the runs much faster then I was at the beginning of the day which felt nice knowing that I progressed. After the ski trip, the next day was very painful and filled with doing a lot of nothing. But all the hard falls were worth it, in the end, I’m glad I went and had such a fun time with all my friends. 

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The Magic Misfits

In The Magic Misfits, written by Neil Patrick Harris, a boy named Carter Locke is running away from his Uncle Sly. The darkness of the train yard and the ever-growing fog makes it difficult for Carter to see. He is running for his freedom, which his Uncle had taken from him the moment his father died.

“Carter! Get back here! Don’t you run from me, boy! I ain’t going to hurt you!” (p. 2)

The person speaking this quote is Carter’s Uncle who tries to lure him back into his grasp with gentle words which are nothing but a lie. Carter knows what his Uncle is trying to do which is why he continues running, wanting nothing more than to be free from his Uncle. Carter was nothing more than a pawn for his Uncle’s shenanigans. This is the only reason why his Uncle is trying to get him back. The advantages Carter brought to his Uncle were beneficial towards keeping them alive.

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IRJE – March 15th – A Separate Peace

In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the friendship between Gene and Finny is continuously growing. At the Devon School for boys, the two are having a summer packed with enjoyment and adventures. This novel is narrated by Gene,  and although he considers Finny as his best friend, there is a prominent feeling of jealousy that Gene feels towards him. In Gene’s eyes, Finny is perfect. He’s the quintessential example of what Gene aspires to be. Finny is confident, athletic, social, and kind, which I believe subsequently affects Gene’s self-worth. When Finny opened up to him, and told Gene that he was his best pal, I feel that his self-worth was slightly restored. Finny expressed a raw emotion, without prompting, which could have boosted Gene’s confidence. Perhaps this following passage is an attempt to maintain that emotional strength, or perhaps it’s something deeper.

Exposing a sincere emotion nakedly like that at the Devon School was the next thing to suicide. I should have told him then that he was my best friend also and rounded off what he had said. I started to; I nearly did. But something held me back. Perhaps I was stopped by that level of feeling, deeper than thought, which contains the truth. (p. 44)

This hesitance surrounding the expression of his emotions is quite a natural response, that I’m sure everyone can relate to. However, this makes me wonder, why are we so scared of sharing our emotions? Is it the pride of knowing that we have the power to control how the situation plays out? Is it the fear of rejection, or the fear of knowing that there’s a very real possibility of getting hurt? Or, is it simply as Gene said, a feeling that we as humans can’t quite grasp in a conceptual way. In this scenario, Gene isn’t facing rejection, since Finny has already admitted that Gene is his best friend. Nevertheless, there is still something holding him back from saying it aloud. Which for now, may just have to remain inexplainable.

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Love Poetry

From the Love Poetry handout, I found the poem named: “Woman’s Constancy,” the most sentimental. Within the poem, written by John Donne, he shares soft feelings as questions, wanting to know how loyal his lover is. Talking about being in love for only a day and the feelings which have overcome him due to their love.

I find this poem sentimental because even though only one person is speaking, John directs his words to his lover. When I first read this poem I was slightly confused about who was talking, but by researching the poem I was able to better understand what was going on. It’s sad to think that the man talking feels that his love is not true, however, the poem only says so much. It only talks about the man’s feelings and thoughts about their love, not the woman’s. The women that the man is questioning could have a similar perspective on their love as the man, but this may not be the case. She may believe that their love is true, but we can’t say just by reading this poem.

The poem is, in my opinion, sentimental but only to a certain extent. John’s questions are not enough to fully grasp the truth about their love. We can listen to his words but without the woman’s view, we cannot assume that their love isn’t real.

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IRJE: Paper Towns (4)

As I was reading the book Paper Towns by John Green, I came across a quote that Quentin said:

It is so hard to leave–until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.

This quote is ironic because most people don’t want change, and want everything to stay exactly the same. They are deeply attached to something/someone. Change should not be too concerning for anyone. When you let go of something/someone you are deeply attached to, there is a kind of mental weight that is lifted off from your mind. One should let go of what hurts them, and live their life without worries.

 

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IRJE: Paper Towns (3)

In Paper Towns, Quentin starts reflecting on the false image he had constructed about Margo, in his mind.

What a trecherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.

When Margo disappears, she leaves a bunch of clues, but some of them were not intended to be found by Quentin. Margo was someone who broke rules without getting caught, someone who went on wild adventures, and she liked being a ‘paper girl’ (a girl who is someone what other people want to see her as).  When Quentin found clues left behind from Margo, that weren’t intended to be found, Margo says that Quentin just wanted ‘a girl to save’. Her actions and words suggest that she was ungrateful and a complex person. People project various different personalities of themselves to everyone.

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Mar 7 PW: Can we touch π if we touch a ruler between its 3rd and 4th scale? 

I think touching π would take a lot more effort than simply touching a ruler. First of all, we cannot prove the consistency of our hands’ motion. Secondly, say if our motions are consistent, it might be impossible to touch every atom on the ruler. Looking in an atomic view, the ruler does not have a flat surface, and due to its production process, it’s material might have different densities, which makes it almost impossible to touch π.

Besides, how can we confirm that things like πexist in the first place? There’s no physical representation for theories and names. We can conveniently describe our world using theories and establish it as facts and truths, but who knows, maybe none of that exists.

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IRJE: Mar 1 (Boy Erased)

Boy Erased: A memoir is written by Garrard Conley, that tells his story about his struggles of self-identity in a Baptist community. After hiding his sexual orientation for many years, his identity crisis finally alarms his family and they agreed to send him to a conversion therapy camp. On his first day of therapy, he’s being told to draw a genogram of his family’s history, which may potentially be where all his sins came from.

“Our colour-coded genograms would tell us where everything had begun to go wrong. Trace our genealogy back far enough and we would find, if not the answer to our own sexual sins, then at least the sense of which dead and degenerate limb in our family tree had been responsible.” (p.29)

I agree that the raising environment is crucial for one’s personality development, and if not, is the reason for their “sins”. But there is no scientific proof that sexuality is subject to genetic inheritance, or parental influence. We chose to acknowledge our world in our own ways, and it may cause lots of trouble to enforce it on other’s worldviews. Unfortunately, human history consists of this constant struggle.

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Passion in Literature: March 13th (Sentimentality in Love Poetry)

Must love poems in some way exhibit the attributes of sentimentality. The vast majority of poems on this list were meant to rise in the reader some sort of simple emotion, whether it be sorrow, desire, or even lust. I believe one of the most sentimental poems to be When We Two Parted, a piece by George Gordon, Lord Byron that evokes sadness and sympathy.

According to Mr. MacKnight, in the handout “Melodrama and Sentimentality,” sentimentality is the “indulgence of easy emotions,” and often includes “vague, flowery, and ‘poetic'” diction and imagery and “rhythms that are very regular.” When We Two Parted demonstrates both of these qualities.

The writer uses “poetic” imagery that creates vague and disconnected illustrations of sorrowful scenes in the reader’s mind. For instance, the lines “They name thee before me, / A knell to mine ear;” (ll. 17-18) brings to the head the image of ringing funeral bells, and the lines “When we two parted / In silence and tears,” (ll. 1-2) evokes the all too iconic image of a tearful breakup. Diction in the poem is similarly flowery and emotion-provoking, with nearly each line furthering the depressing tone. The writer chooses words carefully to ensure that each has the most negative connotation possible. For example, the line “A knell to mine ear;” (l. 17) could easily have “bell” substituted for “knell,” but the word “knell” was chosen instead, because it brings with it the mood of a funeral.

The rhymes of the poem are very regular, and almost song-like. A consistent ABAB CDCD rhyme scheme is followed throughout each of the four stanzas. The passionate sorrow of the poem is expressed in the irregular rhythm, with the length, stressing of syllables, and patterns all differing in each stanza. This combination of song-like rhymes and irregular rhythm creates a perfect “poetic” depression in the poem.

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Sentimental Poem

GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON (1788-1824)

When We Two Parted is a poem about the end of a relationship.

The speaker addresses the poem to an ex-lover. I understood that this poem doesn’t reflect that exes go different ways. Instead, it is characterized by complications, pain, and anger.

I found this poem the most sentimental because I believe there are emotions like disillusionment and frustration. I found it that way because the lover knew that his beloved has moved on, and even wonders how he ever cared about someone who seems to have forgotten him.

The speaker then relates how hearing other people talk about the lover brings him pain. Despite the breakup, he wants the ex to remain his. Hearing rumors about the lover indicates that she may have moved on. She may have given her heart to someone else.

The poem seems to say people move on with their lives,  but this doesn’t mean that they move on completely from past loves. In this case, those feelings remain to be painful as ever, even as they change in other ways.

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