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Charlyne's Making It Different Exercise

Page history last edited by Charlyne Sarmiento 8 years ago

For this exercise, I used Samuels and McGann's deformative diagraming.  In the first column is a stanza from the epic poem Omeros by Caribbean Writer Derek Walcott.  In the second column, I isolated the nouns by "keeping the words in their same positions relative to the complete poem" and the third column isolates the verbs in their same positions relative to the original poem.  The goal for this last column was to isolate the words that "effect feeling and action of the poem."  In the noun-reading, we can see very little empty space between nouns. Most of the nouns are also situated in nature and there are only two proper nouns that situate poem in a specific place.  However, the majority of the nouns focus on elements of nature (sunrise, archipelagos, breeze, etc.) Towards the latter half of the poem, the nouns focus objects such as windows, nails, roof, rope, bed-lamp. The third column lists verbs, which describe most of the actions of the nature.  In contrast to my reading of the isolated words using deformative diagraming, my initial reading focused on the speaker in the poem's sense of loss,

"I thought of Helen as my island lost in the haze, and I was sure I’d never see her again."  Deformative diagramming places emphasis on the poem's use of sound to focus on place.



ORIGINAL POEM                                                                             NOUN READING                            

In hill-towns, from San Fernando to Mayagüez,          hill-towns,         San Fernando     Mayaguez     VERB READING
the same sunrise stirred the feathered lances of cane                        sunrise                             lances          cane          stirred
down the archipelago’s highways. The first breeze                    archipelago's highways                 breeze  
                   spears                noise                      rain  
rattled the spears and their noise was like distant rain                                    hills,                shell             ears rattled 
marching down from the hills, like a shell at your ears.                                  asphalt         Sundays           Antilles marching 
In the cool asphalt Sundays of the Antilles  
the light brought the bitter history of sugar light                                     history            sugar             brought 
across the squared fields, heightening towards harvest,        fields                                           harvest                                heightening 
to the bleached flags of the Indian diaspora.                   flags                         Indian diaspora  
The drizzling light blew across the savannah             light                                         savannah                       blew 
darkening the racehorses’ hides; mist slowly erased                 racehorses' hides darkening                       erased 
the royal palms on the crests of the hills and the               palms             rests             hills  
hills themselves. The brown patches the horses had grazed    hills                patches                  horses                                          had grazed
shone as wet as their hides. A skittish stallion                            hides                     stallion shone 
jerked at his bridle, marble-eyed at the thunder                                                        thunder jerked 
muffling the hills, but the groom was drawing him in                      hills                groom  muffling                       drawing
like a fisherman, wrapping the slack line under             fisherman             line                               wrapping 
one fist, then with the other tightening the rein         fist                            rein                               tightening 
and narrowing the circle. The sky cracked asunder                    circle      sky narrowing            cracked 
and a forked tree flashed, and suddenly that black rain                                              archipelago                      flashed 
which can lose an entire archipelago  
in broad daylight was pouring tin nails on the roof,             daylight                 nails               roof                  pouring 
hammering the balcony. I closed the French window,            balcony                                         window  hammering              closed 
and thought of the horses in their stalls with one hoof                       horses                 stalls           hoof        thought
tilted, watching the ropes of rain. I lay in bed                       ropes              rain          bed tilted , watching         lay
with current gone from the bed-lamp and heard the roar                                                  bed-lamp                                       heard
of wind shaking the windows, and I remembered       wind                  windows          shaking                         remembered 
Achille on his own mattress and desperate Hector    Achille                    mattresses             Hector  
trying to save his canoe, I thought of Helen                               canoe                          Helen           save           thought 
as my island lost in the haze, and I was sure              island                                          was 
I’d never see her again. All of a sudden  
the rain stopped and I heard the sluicing of water           rain                                             water            stopped              heard 
down the guttering. I opened the window when                                        window                                    opened 
the sun came out. It replaced the tiny brooms    sun                                                   brooms           came                   replaced 
of palms on the ridges. On the red galvanized        palms         ridges   
roof of the paddock, the wet sparkled, then the grooms roof                 paddock                                      grooms                            sparkled 
led the horses over the new grass and exercised                     horses            grass   led                                      exercised 
them again, and there was a different brightness                                          
in everything, in the leaves, in the horses’ eyes.    everything                  leaves         horses' eyes                            was 


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