Through out the poems the theme of love is present. It may not be the beauty of love or the action of love but in some way love affected all of the speakers. It shows the love that a girl once had for her boyfriend who she is now frustrated with and also shows the love and unity that is caused by one dance between two people. These four poems show how love can affect one another and also how it takes multiple forms.
In John Donne's A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning he speaks of how him and his lover will be separated. This separation is not to harm their love but instead it will strengthen it. They should not feel sorrow or cry because it will corrupt their love. Their love is much more refined then others, Donne states and that since their souls are one, the separation will not cause a breach but rather an expansion. Even though they are two they move and are still with each other just as feet move together.
Also involving the relationship between two people, Rita Dove's Fox Trot Fridays presents the idea of a sophisticated man and women sharing a dance which brings them together. This unity is seen through the “smooth” dancing and easiness of life. Once a week they relieve their grief and engage and become one in a dance. They are “rib to rib” and feel no pain and see no problems ahead. The song and dance brings them together and is a paradise filled with wonders. Rita Dove is able to present the idea that the couple is in complete unity and experiences joy.
Love again is a theme in Memorandum by Billie Bolton. Yet this love is shown through the frustration that a girl has with her boyfriend. She is frustrated with his habits, thoughts and friends. Her expression of frustration is shown through an e-mail with the subject referring to things she never wishes to hear from him. Bolton demonstrates the anger by listing certain people, and habits that the boyfriend has. In order to portray hatred she uses fierce and harsh words while describing his actions.
John Donne' again portrays love between two beings in his poem “The Flea”. He uses the Flea as a symbol for the connection between the women he is with and the feelings he has for her. The flea is what they have in common for it contains both of them by sucking their blood. Donne points out that is like they are married. The women wishes to kill the flee but the speaker says by doing so it would kill all three of them. He claims that is she were to be with him she would lose the same honor as she did when she killed the flea.
Love presents itself in different forms. It is seen through relationships with people, it is seen through fleas and harsh e-mails and is also seen through a eloquent dance. The four authors of the poems present love in similar yet different fashions. They all show love between two people whether it is present now or was at some time. Yet they all show how love can affect two people positively and negatively.
I attended Nell Irvine Painter's presentation of her book, The History of White People. She spoke of the idea of racism and the causes and effects of it. It is an idea that has been around since the enlightenment period in the 1750s. The idea of racism is like a tradition it is passed down from generation to generation and is used to justify beliefs. Racism also causes a relationship between people. Most of the time it is a negative relationship because one party thinks they are better than the other. It is not only present with African-Americans but also with the Slavic people. That is where the term slave comes from, slav or a Slavic person, or a slave.
Her talk was interesting since she is an African-American and is writing a book on the history of white people. It is a different point of view that allows the listener to think outside of the box on certain subjects that people do not speak a lot about. Also it taught me that slaves are not just African-American people that were brought to America and that racism was not just a term associated with them but rather it has much more history and is more complex than that.
It is similar to the poems that I read for class this week. Although the poems speak of love they also speak about relationships and slavery is a relationship between two parties. It is somewhat similar to the poem about the e-mail to her “boyfriend from hell”. The boyfriend would be the slave owner while the speaker would be the slave. The slave would be tired of and angry at the actions of the slave owner. It would cause frustration in the relationship and the slave would not want to deal with the owner after they way he or she has been treated.
Just like racism is used to justify beliefs and actions so is love. Racism is used to back up a persons feelings or stereotypes towards a person of another race. Love is used to justify a person's feelings or actions. People can do absurd things when they are in love with someone else. They may act strange, feel strange or do something crazy but they use love to justify their actions. When people used to have slaves or discriminate against others they used racism as an excuse. Both of these feelings are used to justify certain actions and beliefs.