MyAmericanFuture

MyAmericanFuture
MyAmericanFuture

Saturday, March 23, 2013

March 23-24, 2013: Crowd-sourced Spring

[As spring gets ready to spring, this week’s series has focused on the season in American culture. This crowd-sourced post is drawn from the responses and spring connections of fellow AmericanStudiers. Add your bloomin’ thoughts, please!]
Jeff Renye follows up Monday’s post, writing, “In his essay ‘Uncle Tom's Shantih,’ which can be found in the collection Melodies Unheard: Essays on the Mysteries of Poetry (2003), the American poet Anthony Hecht focuses on the first 18 lines of The Waste Land. Through a contextualization of those first lines, Hecht's excellent close-reading shows how important Eliot's allusions are to an introduction and set up of the themes of exploitation, sexual and otherwise, that play out in many other parts of the poem before those repeated words of hope that are uttered in the poem's final line.”
Steve Railton highlights another great spring poem, Emily Dickinson’s “A little Madness in the Spring.”
On Twitter, Daniel Cavicchi writes, “I reflect on this poem annually at the start of April.”
Irene Martyniuk responds to Tuesday’s post, writing, “So not American but so wonderfully Modernist and a piece of music I and others still enjoy--Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. It was, of course, created as a ballet for the 1913 Paris season of the Ballets Russes under Diaghilev and choreographed by Nijinsky. Even better, there were riots on the opening night because the style was so different. I think I like the music because it is based on pagan Slavic folk songs, which played in my house a lot growing up. Anyway, the collaboration here is so fabulously Modernist that it hurts.”
Virginia Clemm Poe follows up Wednesday’s post, writing, “While this is not as thoughtful as the songs of protest, the images of spring are just as beautiful in Big Fish. Burton tied the flashbacks of the father's youth (and the eventual future of the son's acceptance of the folkloric tradition) in the spring. This made the entire film (having never read the book) feel youthful, resilient and visually appealing. Specifically the proposal scene with the glowing daffodils. Which I have to keep running in my head with the never-ending supply of snow... at least it will grow daffodils all over my front yard!”
Monica Jackson follows up Thursday’s post, writing, “Frog and Toad....I've never read them, but for some reason they remind me of characters from The Wind in the Willows. I lived in England as a kid and loved those stories, mainly because my school always took us on field trips to watch plays and that was one of them.”
And Rob Gosselin adds that “All children have a special relationship with fiction. They take it to heart at a depth that some people grow out of. Grown-ups who keep the magic eventually become English majors. Or writers. … The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Mr. Pine's Purple House by Leonard P. Kessler. These were two of my favorites.
Next series starts Monday,
Ben
PS. What do you think?

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