Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Literature in Comparison

Richard Hauge’s “Directions for Resisting the SAT” and Gary Gildner’s “First Practice” continue the theme of Make it New, such that they do not follow the conventional way of writing poetry. In my opinion, Hauge and Gildner practice Make it New not so much in the style in which the poems are written but more in the topics in which they choose. Similar to E. E. Cummings’ poem, “l(a”, Hauge, too, expresses his personal interaction with a common subject. To many college students, they are to take the SAT, not to resist as described by Hauge. He urges students to follow their hearts not directions or established rules. Individuality as symbolized by the oyster and the snail should trump all rules. The poem also follows no particular rhyme which amplifies the point of the poem. I see a parallel between Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” and Gary Gildner’s “First Practice”. Both poems succeed in connecting two seemingly unrelated subjects. At first glance, “First Practice” seems to be about soldiers going to war than students practicing football. However, looking closely, football is a violent sport; perhaps the closest out of all sports to the ancient practice of gladiators. The poem also possesses militaristic language, such as “ruptured”, “attack” and “killed” to highlight the tension experienced by the footballers.
On a different note, I conjured more emotions when reading Bharati Mukherjee’s A Father, and Stephanie Shapiro’s Serving up Hope. The first short story is extremely similar to one of my favorite books, Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. Both authors are of Indian descend and inspect the intricate relationship between immigrant parents and their American grown children. Yet what are more interesting are their different responses to living in America. They are emotional and at times, if not often painful. Although A Father is a short story, the author cleverly and successfully captures all these emotions. Where as A Father is about individual responses to familial matters, Serving up Hope is about a chef’s calling to serve the society. From a five start restaurant chef to a local deli owner, Galen Sampson decides to use his culinary knowledge to help those in need. These are not people who are in need of nutritious food, but people who need human interactions and guidance on the soul. Galen Sampson along with his wife Bridget Sampson, offer such opportunity to those who are in need. This accomplishment proves that anyone can contribute to the society, that anyone is capable of changing other’s lives and the world.

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