WALCOTT: “Bleecker Street, Summer” and “The Fist”

How do these love poems, “Bleecker Street, Summer” and “The Fist,” compare with other love poems you’ve read?

The love poems “Bleecker Street, Summer” and “The Fist” are very different than other love poems I’ve read. Although both are love poems, they seem to suffer pain in love. When one thinks of love, thoughts of light, happiness, joy and relief come to mind. For these poems, it seems as though love is quite stifling and almost only physical. He compares his idea of love to nature specifically the ocean or beach in “Bleecker Street, Summer” but on the other hand, love is suffocating in “The Fist”. Although love is comparable to pain to him, it is also his means of living; without it he wouldn’t be alive. Walcott seems to have a fascination with the pain of love and finds it intoxicating this way; quite honestly, that idea is refreshing because love truly is not always a happy time. Love comes with hardship and can also be suffocating.

An Arab Shepherd Is Searching for His Goat on Mount Zion

In this poem, the poet does not use any techniques to create the poem. he uses long lines although the poem is very short. This poem might have many different interpretation, depending on the time or period which the readers read it. if it was before Israeli and Palestinian conflict, I would say it is about would war II,  if it was before that i would say it is demonstrating the foundation of the two different religions but in two similar situation. but now I say it is because of the two country’s flight. It does relates the both men’s situation in which they are looking for their belongings. The fact that the conflict between politics should not affect regular people such as a father and shepherd. I assume that the main purpose of this poem is that human can live together in the same land despite of their difference in terms of religion or language.

Walcott: How do these love poems, “Bleecker Street, Summer” and “The Fist,” compare with other love poems you’ve read? 11/27

“Bleecker Street, Summer” gives off a vibe of hope and excited anticipation of what love feels like. Walcott sets the scene of summer on Bleecker Street and what he would do if his loved one was here. His other work, “The Fist” talks about how love can make you feel as if it’s unreasonable and overly emotional, and the heart-aching feeling you get from it is never-ending. This theme is pretty re-occurrent throughout most love poems I have read in the past. Let’s take “The Lady with the Dog” by Chekhov as an example: the story incorporates longing and anticipation when Anna Sergeyevna and Dmitri Gurov parted ways in Yalta. The longing they have felt with each other made their love seem so unreasonable under their circumstances as they both are married with their own spouses. The setting in Yalta is comparable to that of “Bleecker Street, Summer” set by Walcott because of the euphoric feeling it gives off to readers.

Yehuda Amichai: How does the poet depict his (and perhaps the reader’s) relationship to history?

The poet’s symbolism between him and his audiences’ relationships to the changes in time

Yehuda Amichai wrote his poems employing the first person voice, which better connect to his audiences’ past experiences. In his poems, he talks about how our life came to be, how religion might have affected us, and how our learned experiences shaped who we are as individuals. He bought up a critical point in one of his poem and that is we continuously build foundations of lifelong learning as human until the day we passed on to the afterlife. In his Try to remember some details poem, he reminds his audiences that every moments should be captured in details in life. Every experience becomes part of our history, and once we experienced it; it won’t happened again. The only way for us to see these experiences is through our memories and imaginations. Every experience will be different and he firmly believes that we should carved these experiences into our mindsets. Amichai also believes that God could’ve been the one who controlled people’s destinies in the future and in the past. In What kind of a person are you poem, he told his readers that industrialization might have occurred under God’s will. The changes we have seen in the past till now, were caused by uncontrollable external forces such as God himself. Toward the end of this poem, Amichai mentioned that technologies exist for a reason, but we shouldn’t be overwhelmed, take it for granted, or be reliant on technology. He stated that message because people have gone through the cave age, the hunting and gathering phases, which could all be done without overly relying on advanced technologies.

How does Walcott depict the tension between Shabine’s love of home and his wife and other pursuits?

In “The Schooner Flight” Walcott builds a certain back and forth between the narrator’s love of his wife and what home once was and his  pursuit to leave the island and sail the sea. This tension between the two sides of desire is amplified best through the use of imagery, simile and metaphor as Shabine often draws back to thoughts of his wife. In fact, even as he was leaving, he couldn’t help but note that the, “sky burn above Laventille pink as the gown / in which the woman I left was sleeping” which was followed by the statement “…I look in the rearview and see a man / exactly like me, and the man was weeping / for the houses, the streets, that whole fucking island.” To “look in the rearview” is the same as looking back and as Shabine looks back upon his life on this island he realizes how unhappy he was with it as the man “was weeping”. And yet, even then he can’t help but think of his wife, the woman that was left sleeping. The pull of back and forth is further seen as Shabine is already aboard the ship, ready to sail off and yet he still can’t help but think of his wife. He states,  “I knew when dark-haired evening put on / her bright silk at sunset, and, folding the sea, / sidled under the sheet with her starry laugh, / that there’d be no rest, there’d be no forgetting.” This use of imagery and metaphor to describe his wife shows that even as he leaves her and watches the “evening”, “sunset”, and “starry” night come, she will never leave his mind. However the best example of the strain  depicted between his inability to remain at home and passion for his family is most clearly shown when he states, “I loved them, my children, my wife, my home; / I loved them as poets love the poetry / that kills them, as drowned sailors the sea.” The repetition of “love” and “my” really emphasizes the feelings of fondness he has for his home and family but because of it thats where lies the true heartache, that what you love most will eventually wear you down. Walcott really shows the tension by highlighting that often times the things you love and care for most will be your downfall and to avoid such a downfall Shandine must leave even if his thoughts are forever filled with his wife, his children, and what was once his home.


How does Yehuda Amichai bear witness to tragedy or more difficult aspects of human life?

From the poem, “What Kind of a Person Are You?” the poet bears the difficult aspects of human life by being apathetic about them. In this poem, the narrator defines his position in society as someone who doesn’t stand on mountain peaks and working in tall buildings that gaze on people that are in a lower position. He is also not someone who hides in places with low altitudes where people are disregarded because they’re not important. The narrator has his own standards and he only cares for his own standards because a person’s life is timed rather than spending time worrying about the criticisms, he only needs to be clear with what he wants. He is neither constraint by God or by society’s standards. “[He] can stand here for nothing, free” (Amichai). 

Yehuda Amichai’s The Diameter of the Bomb.

How does the poet bear witness to tragedy or more difficult aspects of human life? E.g. in Amichai’s case, the most obvious example is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; in Walcott’s, it’s the long aftermath of imperialism, colonialism, and racism on the Caribbean.

In the poem The Diameter of the Bomb, author Yehuda Amichai talks about the effect of war. Amichai started off the poem talking about a bomb. By saying how the diameter of the bomb and the effective range is thirty centimeters and seven meters respectively, Amichai is indicating that war provides a long term effect to humans . He then talks about the effect of war,”with four dead and eleven wounded,” indicating that many lives were lost and affected during this tragedy.  Amichai included a tragic event of a young woman who died in her own city which implies that not only one place is affected by the war but many places. Towards the end of the poem, Amichai talks about orphans and God. Orphans are crying because their parents are probably one of the many death occurred during the war. God is notified of this tragic event but failed to do anything about it.

How does Yehuda Amichai depict his (and perhaps the reader’s) relationship to history?

Yehuda Amichai relates himself to the ideas that he is trying to express within his poems by writing in first person. His use of the word “I” also allows the read to feel more connected since they are reading in first person and better relate to the emotions that Amichai is trying to present. In regard to the relationship with history, he seems to show a want of acceptance and peace between the Israeli and Palestinians. He shows how there are differences between them, but overall are all the same. Amichai makes connections between the past and present within his poems showing how times have changed, but that the good of the past should not be forgotten.

“The School Where I Studied” by Yehuda Amichai

What are the things that this poem is describing about the school?

Schools is the place where we get all the knowledge and it teaches us a lot of thing that we might face future. But when students goes to school they do not feel that this is the institution that will help us to move forward. The poet also describing that how he now miss his school days. When he passed by the school he remember the past days that he had spent in his school. He is studying about “botany of good and evil” and he wants to study this until he dies. He is also describing about how is school campus. People do miss school after they graduate.

How do these love poems, “Bleecker Street, Summer” and “The Fist,” compare with other love poems you’ve read?

In “Bleecker Street, Summer,” Walcott discusses the loveliness of the summer, but deep down he feels empty inside and longs for the island he calls home. Although Walcott uses vivid imagery to describe how amazing Manhattan is, there is still a missing component to being truly fulfilled. In “The Fist,” Walcott explains how love is often painful, but he enjoys the pain. However, he feels that he may crossing into a dangerous territory where this pain may kill him. Both poems are similar to others in a sense that it talks more about the emptiness and pain that love often brings.