• “The God in You Cries as He Watches Your Demise”

    “Beneatha’s Stance”

    “Words of Wisdom”

  • My dreams mean more to me then reality
    But are they the same in actuality ?
    You see
    We sleep
    We wake
    So whats real ?whats fake?
    I feel alive in my dreams
    But dead in the streets
    So when i really die
    Will […]

  • My dream in America is what will never be. My dream will forever remain a dream. In America, I dream of equal opportunities, rights, and treatment of all races/ethnicities. I also dream of honesty and authenticity […]

  • To me , America was supposed to be the land that people fled to from persecution. However, this is the land where people ARE persecuted . While their meaning of justice is a million dollar settlement for taking a […]

  • Dear America,

    There are more blurred lines, now, than we’ve ever really seen before, and so it leaves one who is to depict what’s going on with a sense of sorrow.

    Sorrow because I dream of America not being […]

  • James Brown

    Muhammed Ali

    Farm Garden


    MUSIC? SoundCloud.com/ASHEJAMBAND

  • My Dream is To Live My Life,

    Where there would be no sacrifice,

    But my Reality got my Dream Stuck like I stepped on bad luck.

    My Dream is to have no care in the world,

    But the way my reality is setup […]

  • The American Dream
    Is inconceivable.
    Because every time I speak
    It’s name, it tells me “I’m not welcome”.
    It tells me I cannot use
    the words
    That swell inside my throat.
    I recall the condescension my […]

  • Oh the great red white and blue
    would u please make room for my people
    your illusion has us in such miserable pursuits
    pursuit to happiness and the dream at hand
    your hand, as u wave it in our faces making […]

  • To be able to coexist in a society that does not worry about the identity that someone else wishes to live as, that is the kind of dream that I have for America. Today, in 2017, things have gotten better in the […]

  • My personal dream

    Is a world I live in where the color of my skin
    Is not something I have to defend
    Where equality is not based on not changing the so called system
    But embracing longevity where we all can […]

  • Windex to Identify the Soul
     Do you acknowledge who you are? What you’ve become? Who you seem to be? It seems like some of our tainted thoughts has helped us depict who is worthy of life. “Baldwin says skin […]

    • Hello Tyana,

      I like your point of view on Rankine’s writing and also the questions you ask. To answer your first question, I would have to say seeing myself through America’s dialogue would be a multi-colored, multi-layered perspective. Every country has flaws, because after all besides geography, it is imperfect people that really define a country. Like a many of us, especially in New York City, I am also an immigrant and a citizen of America. I recognize all its flaws and am hurt by them daily, although I never stopped loving it, respecting it, or hoping for the best. I see myself as a citizen who can absolutely make a daily difference by living by example. Kindness given is also kindness received, observed, and eventually practiced. I am not blind to the boxes people put me in: Brown, probably Latina or Middle-Eastern, working class, etc. but I am actually Indian-American and a student. I am constantly aware of the discriminating looks and profiling that come my way, especially in places one typically does not “expect” people of color for example: Upscale restaurants, hotels, malls, or even neighborhoods. I can really relate to Zora Neal Hurston’s thinking when she describes how she feels most colored only when she is surrounded by non-colored people and their view of her. As aware as I am everyday of my being different from the majority, I choose to focus on being inclusive. Politicians will use every trick in the book to gain as much power as possible, and one of the oldest tricks is, “Divide and Conquer/Rule” in the name of race, religion, caste, creed, gender, sexual orientation etc. Why should I let them manipulate my personal beliefs and feelings like a mindless puppet? So to me, the best way to oppose and stand up are to refuse this negative force from taking over, and focus on expressing mutual respect, compassion, empathy, and even love.

    • Hey T’yana, I LOVE your post. I think I read it over five times, and each time I get a better understanding of what you’re saying. You asked “Who do you see when you look into the mirror? Yourself or, America’s version of you?” and sometimes I ask myself this question. Being African American we face adversity as soon as we walk out of our front door. We suffer from racial injustice and the negativity of such injustice, does build up and we often repress our own dreams because we start to believe that society is right. Growing up around a negative environment makes you prone to think negative, act negative, and become a negative person. You start to think that, it is set in stone for you to fail because society says so. You begin to think you can’t break certain barriers because it is impossible. This negativity becomes an infestation that leads to thinking that we live in a world of impossibilities. You look in the mirror and don’t see a person that will define all odds that’s against them. You see America’s version of yourself.

    • T’yana ….

      I really like and can appreciate your creativity, I think your lyrical approach has a really strong and understated quality. It’s like a quiet storm and maybe because I am reading it in your “voice” which also resembles that same quiet strength. How do I see myself through America’s dialogue? Well, I know how I am supposed to see myself, but I don’t necessarily see myself that way. Black and female. I am first seen by my color and then my gender, and all of the negative stereotypes that go along with it. I don’t agree with any of it, and fortunately, even with all the setbacks, I live in a time representative of progress. I have lived through two terms of our first African American president, and I just witnessed a woman be elected as the primary democratic candidate for president. I can easily dwell on all the wrong, and let the darkness overshadow so much light steering the American people in the right direction, but I choose not to. It’s one thing to know our history and past indiscretions and present hardships, it’s another to let it hinder you. I know how I am seen, but I think we would have to also ask, who is looking? People are complex, issues are multi-layered and I would be shortsighted to make blanketed and generalized statements.

  • Henry Hewe’s critical review entitled, “A Plant Grows in Chicago”,  is rooted upon the struggles that all Americans experienced during the 1950’s, as he writes, “.. we have at last a play that deals with real p […]

    • I think its great that this review gave you the inspiration to do further research on what life was like for people of color on the 1950’s. That is was rough not only for black, and latinos but the the landscape for Americans in general was difficult. I also liked your outlook on women’s roles in society and how Beneatha with her own dreams was fighting against the grain, knowing she had an uphill battle but pressed on anyway. Even though as you mentioned Hewe described Beneatha as someone who “… jumps too easily at new ideas, fads, and causes..” I have to agree with you that it is a good thing especially for someone so young, who cares if you jump around a bit and make a few mistakes, that’s what your twenties are for. I also must agree with your concluding thoughts on how admirable the strength of black families were given the hardships they faced then, “…they show us how pure and prominent, being a strong black family was during times of both: external and internal, explosive hatred.” Over all I enjoyed your annotation and review of Hewe’s “A Plant Grows in Chicago” also really cool title.

  • Here’s my drawing of the Younger’s apartment, which is based off the descriptions within the beginning of the play. 

  • Seeing a World Through Someone Else’s Eyes
    To those left in our old world,
    I write these words so all can see,
    What twelve years seems to be,
    On this island full of mysterious air,
    Not too distant from […]

    • I absolutely LOVED how you took to your creative side and wrote a poem! Not only were you creative in constructing your own poetry but the fact that you decided to write from the viewpoint of someone who was not a native of the island is something Shakespeare does not touch upon and is something to think about. I thought your poem was beautifully written with much description and details of what the island would appear to be to someone who has never been. I, too also noticed Caliban’s transformation of power when he tells Stephano about the island in which he had come from. I felt this was a major turning point for Caliban as he begins to feel more impowered by allowing to be able to share the place he has inhabited. I really like the character of Caliban (even if he is agressive in act 1 and 2) because he does not back down when it comes to standing up for his right for freedom. Both examples you chose really do examplify how these characters share and reflect their journeys with one another and how they react to each other’s stories and experience on the island.

    • That poem was beautiful! The poem had not only had an old-fashioned flair, but also a contemporary style as well. After reading your poem, as well as scene 2 and 3, I noticed myself looking at the Tempest in a different lens. It didn’t seem like the island was a prison or a cell, but the start of a new world, a world where the characters, especially Caliban has an epiphany. Caliban was not only a slave, but he is becoming more powerful and express the magic that was on this island, just like the magic found in your poem. I think it was a great idea to give your audience a taste of your creativity as well as use our five senses to feel like we are also on this estranged island. Bravo!

    • You did a phenomenal job with the poem!! In Act II, you do witness the island through the eyes of Caliban: “The isle is full of noises, Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
      Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices,
      That, if I then had waked after long sleep, Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
      The clouds methought would open and show riches Ready to drop upon me, that, when I waked, I cried to dream again” (55). Through his brief illustration of the island, the reader does not gain a vivid description of how exactly the Island was to look, sound,smell.. and that is due to the fact that perhaps Shakespeare wanted to maximize the connection that Caliban and the Island shared. Due to his relationship and deep relation with the Island, only Caliban can bond his senses with the Island. Your poem was a great depiction of the Island through an outsiders eyes giving us a visual that even Shakespeare failed to give. Loved it!

    • What an amazing and eclectic way to give us such an inspiring perspective on Act 3 of The Tempest. I really enjoyed the poem it was full of such vivid imagery, every line gave me more insight than the last. I love how you described the island and how not only does the island possess a kind of power but so does Caliban. It made me think that those two things go hand in hand, the island with all its beauty, glory and mystic in turn also produces things equally as beautiful and glorious. Caliban posses and embodies those same magical powers that make the island so intriguing and transcendent. Reading this poem was like walking along the island and being able to see the beauty in what originally felt dark and confined, as the island is not some cell or from of imprisonment. Great job!

    • First off let me say, that I loved your poem. I am taking a creative writing class and I been writing my own poetry and learning to appreciate poetry more. . but let’s get back to the Tempest. .

      I found it interesting how you brought up the importance of the music. When I read this play previously, it was a article ( not sure who by or the name but when I find it I will tell the class) about the importance of the music in the play. Hopefully as a class we will get a chance to watch more of the stage play so we can hear the music.

      Now to answer the question you proposed, I think if we was to write a poem about Caliban, it would sound like a passionate fight for freedom. It would taste like someone who is eating scraps from someone unfinished meal. It will feel like someone who is trying to cover up their pain with strength and etc.

      Since I only discussed 3 out of the 5 senses, I really wonder how everyone else poem about Caliban will sound, taste, look , feel, and smell like.

    • I very much agree with you when you say that Caliban’s role begins to take on a different route. What is meant by this is, Caliban’s enslavement to Prospero is one that is held with contempt, anger and regret. He is, by all means, forced into the awful position of servitude. This is in contrast to Caliban’s willingness to grovel at Stephano’s feet, and allowing his new master to reign over all that is placed within the island. This is image, is one that I thought would add to your analysis. And also, one that might add to this chain of conversation an insight that may not have been seen by others. Perhaps I am completely wrong in my post. If this be the case, please bring it to my attention. 🙂
      Also, I would like to thank you for sharing this poem of yours. I will always find it astonishing, how your creativity and courage intertwine. I loved this art of yours and look forward to reading more of it. 🙂

    • I loved the poem. I thought it was extremely interesting how you wrote it from someone point of view that wasn’t from that island. It was almost as if they stumbled upon it by accident, and writing about how magnificent it is. It seems to bring forth this feeling of new life and new beginnings. It talks about all the wonderful things the island has to offer, which is a nice switch up considering the fact that the characters in this play feel as though they are trapped on this island and it’s more like a prison than a wonderful paradise. It was very nice to read. Good job!

    • Your interpretation of Act III of Shakespeare’s The Tempest through an original poem was pure genius! I liked how you incorporated our class discussion of exploration and how individuals would use art to depict their discoveries and applied it to create a poem. This reminds me of a recent conversation in my Literary History class about the concept of a gallery used as an analogy for literature; when a new piece of artwork is introduced it requires the gallery to be rearranged as the new work has an impact on the existing work. I find this idea relevant in regards to your poem as it allows for individuals to view the act through a different lens. Your poem truly painted a picture of the island and I love the imagery and descriptive language used throughout such as, “Hugged by crystallized bodies of water / That’s fringed with lands / Named as Africa & Asia… / This isle / Consumes of indigo hued berries / Along with fruits that share the same tone / Of the amethyst stones…”

    • BEAUTIFUL! and the way you’ve transformed and packed this play from your own creative thinking through a poem is amazing! Your poem was so in tune with the general sequence of Shakespeare’s the Tempest and as I was reading I too felt as if I used every one of my 5 senses when creating this image in my head of (what begins) as this “uninhabited” island. I like how you thought about the “text in it’s historical moment” and how “Europeans would travel and share their adventurous journies, back to their family.” Gonzalo actually made me think of our class discussion where during those time, people would come home from their journeys and from their own minds describe a world in which they believe they have seen, leaving others curious about what these “mysterious” places are really like. In act III scene III – “Enter several strange shapes, bringing in a banquet They dance about it with gentle actions of salutations, and, inviting the king and the others to eat, they depart” – Gonzlo states “If in Naples I should report this now, would they believe me? If I should say I saw such islanders?…” I thought was a great example of how telling these stories from ones own perspective has molded the thought and way in which people think of a place which they know nothing about. I would type more but I def. want to leave it for our class discussion! Again, great poem! I really enjoyed reading it.

    • This was a great way to explain the tempest more in a short way. I loved the way you used the senses and you definitely give a view of how things are run around on the island. What stood out to me most was when you described how Prospero took the island from someone else and called him a stranger. This gives it a more interesting point of view of the story.

    • I loved the creativeness of your poem. It was refreshing to read and truly helped me see the tempest through a different lens. I didn’t think of the story from this view point before. You used great descriptions about the island and really involved all your senses. It has great tone and really adds to the play. I do agree that Caliban turned into a different person, he truly had a turning point in character. He did become empowered which was so interesting to me. It’s an interesting point within the play because rereading it gives you an “ah-ha” moment of where this transition of power happens.
      I really enjoyed your poem. Thank you for helping me and others see this play a bit differently now. 🙂

    • The poem you wrote was awesome! You gave the island a different vibe and it made me feel as though I was exploring the island with my own eyes. The detailed description you gave and they color tones you included all throughout your poem really allowed me to view the island as an environment that held so much in its depths and that held so many mysteries within it that could expand the person’s view into a different view and different world. Your poem took me away from the island being a prison but rather allowed me to see it as an endless arena without barriers.

  • Load More