Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Period 7 Red Shift Class Discussion



Here is the link to the text of "Red Shift"


Here is the audio link to the text of "Red Shift"


The Assignment:

1. Post a paragraph in the comment field on a theory you have about the poem. You will not be graded on whether you are “right” or “wrong” but rather on the depth and your effort to achieve intellectual conversation. This is worth ten points.

2. Respond to someone else’s post specifically in this class (about a paragraph). It helps to start with something like: “Dear (blank), I was interested in your comments on (blank).” Then you may want to quote something he or she said and continue the idea or move on to a related topic. Intellectual dialogue is the key here. This is worth ten points.

Some questions to get you started:
What is “Red Shift” and why is it the title of the poem?
What is an arabesque and why did Berrigan choose that word?
Who are Frank and Allen and why are they in the poem?

Your paragraphs must be posted by Thursday at noon.
Period 7 post here. Period 7 post here. Period 7 post here. Period 7 post here.

55 comments:

Kristen said...

After reading the poem “Red shift” I was curious as to what the title represented. Red Shift is defined as the result of the lengthening of wavelength of electromagnetic radiation and it had explained three separate causes for it. The definition alone did not seem to go along with the poem but the “resulting from bodies moving away from each other in space.” Represents to me why the speaker is so upset. Throughout the poem his mood noticeably changes from line to line, after reading and listening to the poem I came to the idea that the speaker is a 43 year old man who had suffered heartbreak from a recent loss of a relationship. This is represented by the bodies in space drifting away.

anthony_a7 said...

I think the poem was good after I heard it because it gave me a better understanding on how the tone was. Also I liked hearing how he read the poem because there were some words I cant understand. One of my theories is that he is wife or girlfriend left him and that he is moving to the city to see her and try to get her back. Another theory is that he is dying. His tone in voice sounds like it fading or as if it hard to breathe.

rachael_n7 said...

I felt this poem was a little to depressing. I get this sense of pain coming from the speaker, like he was in love with this girl and she broke his heart. When I heard it in class I felt like he started the poem off normal but then he started thinking about how hurt he is and he became bitter and upset.

Emma M per:7 said...

This poem “red shift” by Ted Berrigan let me think about several things. My idea was that the narrator was trying to explain a man that is on a bad situation. When I first read this poem I didn’t even understand but I did think it was beautiful. On my point of view this man is in a bar very drunk when he said “I drink some American poison liquid air which bubbles and smoke to have character and to lean In.” this made be think that he is very sad about his wife because many parts he explains that he never going to leave her alone and that he is always going o be in her life. He mentions paint and on that he said that “Not that painter who from very first meeting I would never & never will leave alone until we both vanish…” I think that a portrait of his wife in the middle of his house, and he is telling the bar tender everything that he is feeling. That he is just depressed and that he needs to drink because she left him and he loves her and he feels like a nobody” I'm only pronouns, & I am all of them,”. One of the reasons I thought this poem was so interesting is because it made me imagined of all the possible reasons why did the author write this poem and what was the main idea.

Linda E. said...

In my opinion, the poem Red Shift by Ted Berrigan is about him being hurt and depressed. I think that because the tone in the audio is sad. Also, the poem states “There's a song, "California Dreaming", but no, I won't do that I am 43. When will I die? I will never die, I will live To be 110,” to me this means that he thinks he can’t dream anymore. I am not sure why he says his age but maybe it’s because he wants to reassure himself that he will not die soon going through this. He wants to get to live until he is 110 meaning he won’t let this stop him from living as long as he wants.

Chris A. said...

My theory about the poem Red Shift by Ted Berrigan might not be exactly right in a sense but I believe this guy the “speaker” of the poem has been dead all along. This guy gives us hints throughout the passage, its pretty obvious, he even SAY’S it “When will I die? I will never die…I will never go away, & you will never escape from me who am always & only a ghost, despite this frame…” how direct can you be. Maybe a ghost that came back to do some unfinished business with his woman that left him still mourning and depressed.

Marcos R 7 said...

I’ve got theories about Red Shift. To begin with, I think the speaker, whoever she/he is, broke up with his loved one, and not by choice, personally I think It is a guy because it appears he got drunk at the beginning of the poem, and it’s common to writers mostly in movies to represent guys with heartache, drinking, and girls usually don’t do that, according to most writers. I also looked up on the internet for Allen, Frank and Arabesque. I couldn’t find anything on Allen, but apparently Frank is a mention to Frank O’Hara, Berrigan was O’Hara’s High School friend, Ted was also influenced by him and even employed his style of poetry. And, to finish with, the arabesque, it seems to be a pattern of tiles in geometric forms; I can’t find what it got to do with the poem.

jacobm7 said...

Hello Mr. G I believe that the poem is about a man who is about to die, but he is drinking a hot liquid because its winter and he feels like his life has been the same thing over and over with nothing exciting and that is why he mentions the lines “The air is biting, February, fierce arabesques on the way to tree in winter streetscape. I drink some American poison liquid air which bubbles and smoke to have character and to lean in.” in the poem. When he says “Allen is a movie, frank disappearing in the air” he means his life is like a movie just like Allen, and it’s coming to an end and disappearing just frank. While at the same time, the reason he is in this predicament is because of the woman he fell in love with, may be she did something that he had to sacrifice for, but we don’t know, so I assume that she is the reason why he is in this state and why wrote the poem. At the end he is angry because he is approaching death and will be fading away like a ghost.

DuyH7 said...

The title the “red shift” means that the speaker of the poem changes His/Her mood. Red is the color to describe anger. As the reader is reading the poem, the readers mood switches from a regular mood to a more angry and red mood. Berrigan chose the word arabesque because it describes a complex ornate design. Which also relates to the situation the speaker is in. A complex elaborate position. In this poem, I believe that Allen and Frank are not people characters. Allen is a movie and Frank is described to be disappearing in the air.

mike said...

As i read the poem over and over it seems like it changes meaning every time. But one thing is clear
he has a regret about something he did or someone he let go. It also feels like he wants to go back and redo things. And as he realizes he can't he also realizes he's alone and doens't think there's any more reason to live, as if he's a ghost among the common people around him.
He's a 43 old man who has nothing else to live for, so he drinks and waits for his life to slowly die away.

Gaby C 7 said...

In the poem Red Shift it seems as if the speaker of the poem is struggling through a very hard time in his life. I think that the poem is about a man who fell in love with a woman many years ago and thought that their relationship would last forever. But then later on he realizes that his relationship with his loved one is slowly crumbling because she is not the same girl he fell in love with many years ago. In the poem it says “Not that painter who from very first meeting I would never & never will leave alone until we both vanish into the thin air…” I think that the person he was in love with had an affair with some else and it is hard for him to accept the fact that he has been betrayed by someone he loved so much. At the end of the poem I think that the speaker is gong to commit suicide because he says “I slip softly into the air. The world's furious song flows through my costume.” But no matter what he will always be there.

ilensj7 said...

After I read the poem “red shift” at first I thought wow what a confusing poem so I had to read it again. This man or woman has made a sacrifice to change. The change was no ordinary change it affected the person a lot. Made them him or her very mad. In the beginning of the poem he/she seems very calm but line after line his/her voice got even madder to the point where he/she was yelling. One line of the poem that got my attention a lot was “I'm only pronouns, & I am all of them, & I didn't ask for this you did.” I love this line it made me understand what the poem is about. Its kind of ironic in a sense that no one knows if this is a girl or boy, man or woman only thing that comes up is pronouns.

Juliana C 7 said...

The poem “Red Shift” by Ted Berrigan, is interesting and beautiful, but confusing at the same time. The poem seems like it is about a guy who had been left by his wife, girlfriend or his loved one. I found this conclusion because he sounds sad and depressed the entire poem, and then at the end he sounds mad. It seems he’s drunk, in a bar talking about his problems to a bartender or someone else. When he says “the streets look for Allen, Frank, or me, Allen is a movie, Frank disappearing in the air, it's heavy with that lightness, heavy on me” he sounds really miserable, because everyone else, probably his loved one too, cares for everything but him. He also seems lonely when he gives examples of people that might have gone through his life, or someone that he might know, then he says about the painter, “I would never & never will leave alone until we both vanish into the thin air we signed up for & so demanded to breathe & who will never leave me, not for sex, nor politics nor even for stupid permanent estrangement which is only our human lot & means nothing.”, he sounds desperate, he doesn’t want to ever be alone, he want to spend his life, until he vanishes away, with someone. On the last part of the poem, he becomes angry, and sort of powerful and decided; “I didn't ask for this you did I came into your life to change it & it did so & now nothing will ever change that, and that's that.” He finishes the poem like everyone is mad, not caring for whatever is important for him, or not caring for him.

Edlin V 7 said...

After reading the poem “Red Shift” I was sort of confused. Basically every line is confusion and takes a while to figure out. Describing the person, we don’t know exactly what the gender is. Is this poem about Ted Berrigan himself, Or about another person? There are lines I believe it could be a female speaking. There lines that it could also be a male. Well, what ever the gender, the person is 43 and really depressed, very emotional, and very sensitive about their feelings or maybe obsessed.

The line “and I didn’t ask for this, you did, I came into your life to change it and it did so and now nothing will ever change” makes me think about the title. What did he mean that the other person didn’t ask for it? Did the speaker kill the other person? Red in “Red Shift” could mean blood, which could mean DEATH. Shift in the title, means “a change or to change”. I think, “Red Shift” could mean, after the death everything changed.

Emma M per:7 said...

Rachael I thought or paragraph was very similar to my but I really didn’t understand where did u get the idea that he said that he is heartbreaker. When I gave that idea Because I mention that he is drunk because he said “I drink some American poison liquid air which bubbles and smoke to have character and to lean In.” that is why that made me think that he drunk and sad and when he mention the girl “Not that pretty girl, nineteen, who was going to have to go, careening into middle-age so,
To burn, & to burn…” so that why I thought a girl left him and he was sad and he is depressed. And he fells like he nobody when he said I'm only pronouns, & I am all of them,” One of the other reasons I thought this poem was so interesting is because you need to read between the lines to understand the main idea.

Stephanie_C7 said...

After reading the Red Shift I think that he was drunk. Because he’s saying that it is being sipped on Long Island meaning “The Calvados” which is some type of drink.

My theory is that most people drink to make their problems go away, but it doesn’t really work that way because when you drink the problem doesn’t really go away. I think that he drunk because he was angry at something or someone. And he’s carried that anger with him for a long time, and now he’s finally reached a stage in his life where he needs to take it all out. And another thing is that he was saying a lot of things without thinking because he was drunk, and from that point on he’s been furious ever since.

Erika U 7 said...

Red Shift by Ted Berrigan is a poem about someone who feels very angry and at the same time lonely. The speaker starts out being very specific about the time and the month. He also makes sure the reader knows its winter time, and he feels lonely. The word “shift” from the title made me think of a drastic change, the actual definition is “to put (something) aside and replace it by another or others; change or exchange: to shift friends; to shift ideas”. This made me conclude that the speaker feels like he doesn’t have anyone by his side, in other words his lonely in this world.

anthony_a7 said...

i Agree with gabby because the speaker does sound like hes struggling with a tough time. She also has a deep thought on how the speaker seems like he is committing suicide.

anthony_a7 said...

I just want to add that towards the end when he says he is only pronouns i think hes meaning that he is nothing or no one with out her.

Gaby C 7 said...

I agree with Mike in the sense that the speaker is alone and he doesn’t think that there is reason for living anymore, now that someone he cared about is gone. But I don’t think that the speaker is in denial. I think the situation approached him unexpectedly and now he doesn’t know how to deal with it because he fell in love with someone that clearly doesn’t care about him anymore. And instead of trying to get through all the heartache he finds it easier to just give up on everything and take his life.

Marcos R 7 said...

Stephanie.

That was the point I tried to make, but I got carried away from my thoughs and started to think about other things.
I agree with every single line you wrote.

Arnolina J1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jacobm7 said...

i agree with racheal because it seems he is in pain and unhappy with beacuse of a woman he was in love with.

jacobm7 said...

sorry i mean he is unhappy beacuse of the woman he loved.

Linda E. said...

Dear Gaby,

I agree with your opinion on him losing someone he loved. I also agree about him going through a very hard time in his life. I kind of understand how you think he is going to commit suicide, but I didn’t really see it that way. Somewhat I think he is already dead.

kathleen_t7 said...

My point of view of this poem “RED SHIFT” is about a guy who losses everything he loves. For instance in the poem he’s say that in the movie “The streets look for Allen, Frank, or me, Allen is a movie, Frank disappearing in the air”. He is saying that’s the way frank disappear in the movie Allen that is how everything disappear from him his children, hundreds of them, money, marriage, ethics, a politics of grace, the he would not give up he will get everything back.

kathleen_t7 said...

Dear erika,

i agree with your comment i think the poem is at someone that is very angry and at the same time lonely at someone.

romolus said...

this poem "red shift" is kind of confusing but im interested to know what is going on.i picked up one line from the poem "i came into your life to change it and it did so and now nothing will ever change" so i think the speaker really cares for the person he talking to.

Mei said...

Although I find this poem confusing and still got lots of questions about it, I still find it nice and special. You really need to think hard and deeply to understand what it's true meaning.
I think that the speaker is drunk and he is expressing his sadness and anger to this world through the poem. And we can strongly feel his anger from the audio. The speaker feels sad because of his loneliness, all his friends just walk into his life and went away, which make him feels like nothing but pronouns.
And the speaker said that he would live to be 110, I am wondering what's the point of living till 110 if he still feels so lonely, sad, or furious. He is only 43 which means that he has only gone through half of his life, there's still a lot of things for a 43-year-old person to do. We can't change the past, but we can change our future.

Chris A. said...

Dear Gaby,

I concur with your theory about the speaker of the poem being in love with a woman many years ago also, agree that he’s about to about to commit suicide at the end because when we were listening to the audio version it would seemed at the end of the poem his voice was faltering, uneasy of himself, but this theory of yours contradicts mine meaning he’s been alive all this time, about to die by his own hand.

jasmynj7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jasmynj7 said...

I think that the narrator in the poem “Red Shift” is drunk. Calvados is a type of alcohol and he does say that he drinks some "American poison liquid" and I think that may be alcohol. I think he is so drunk that he is blurting out his feelings and he's talking about how he feels about a certain woman that he really loved and lost. At first I thought she might've died because when I heard the poem he seemed angry at death and I thought he may have been angry because his wife was taken away from him but now I think that she's still alive yet maybe she's just gotten old and she's not the same woman she was at 19. He says "not that pretty girl, nineteen, who was going to have to go, careening into middle-age so," so, maybe he's going through a midlife crisis and thinking that he's going to have to go through the same thing his wife went through: old age.

jasmynj7 said...

Dear Ilens
I was interested in your comments about how confusing the poem was and on the irony of the poem. Well I also found the poem confusing and that's how I got my first post, by reading it over and over. I even read it differently from how I read it the previous times before. The ironic sense of the poem I never would have caught, but I still think it's a man but I think that's just because I've already been influenced by other opinions and now I've had that opinion for such a long time. I disagree with you when you said you felt the poem was about nobody knowing wether the narrator was a man or a woman. I definatly think it was more than that. I don't know maybe I misunderstood you but that's what I feel you meant and there's my opinion to it.

Juliana C 7 said...

Hi Gaby, in the poem, the speaker changes moods all the time, which is what the title means. It’s clear to me that he’s depressed with someone that he loved do much, and this someone had betrayed him in some way; I loved the theory that at the end he kills himself. The passage you refer to makes perfect sense and it does insinuate that he’s so angry and depressed to get to the point of suicide.

Susan M 7 said...

Once I read the poem "Red Shift" I thought that the title represented how the speaker felt. I believed the color red represents that he was angered or this was something big because red is a bright color. Then, looking at the word "shift" I thought it meant change. Therefore i thought it meant a big change or a sad change.I looked up the words "Red Shift" and the definition is "a shift toward longer wavelengths of the spectral lines emitted by a celestial object that is caused by the object moving away from the earth”. I thought maybe then this poem was about his lady partner was moving away from him. I thought his heart was broken and now he was feeling lonely. When I heard the poem being read out loud then it made me feel bad for him because he sounded so upset about it. I believe his heart was broken and now he is finally letting his emotions out.

Susan M 7 said...

To erika

I do believe that the month has something to do with how he feels. The month is February which to many is the month of love. He does not seem to have the girl by his side so I’m guessing he feels really lonely during this month of love and he is expressing himself. I looked up the time 8:08 to see if it meant anything specific and all I got was that it might mean the name Bob. Maybe it is the heart broken man’s name. I agree with what you thought the title meant too.

Erika U 7 said...

To Edlin

I do agree with you that the word “red” from the title of the poem “Red Shift” could relate to death. Maybe the speaker is upset because he killed this special someone and now he regrets it? I also believe it could just mean love, the speaker feels heartbroken and he doesn’t have that special someone in his life because of a “shift”. Now his lonely and has nobody to listen to him and be by his side, this could describe his tone of anger towards the end or the poem.

aquaV said...

As I was reading the poem I was still confused about some things. I think the poem is about a male that is very drunk and the setting of the place is at a bar of some sort. It said in the poem that "American poison liquid" which I think means that he is drinking and he also states the word Calvados which is some type of liquor.I believe the man is saying how he is feeling about a women.I think he really loves this women for him to say "i would never & never will leave alone until we both vanish into the thin air we signed up for & so demanded". Also i believe that they were married for him the say they both signed up for something which can mean marriage. So I just believe that he is pouring out his feeling. The tone at the end of the poem it seems he's very angry and hes just telling her that he came into her life and he is going to stay till the end.

aquaV said...

I agree with Stephanie because it does seem like hes been holding everything in and got to that point were he couldn't take it, and he went out and got drunk. He probably thought that if he were to drink just maybe some of hes pain may go away but it doesn't work out that way.

Mei said...

Dear Susan,

I agree with you about the title "Red Shift", I think it's definition has already explained how the speaker feels, that he changed because of people leaving him. There might be some more other meanings, but I still feel that this explanation fits the theme of this poem.

Stephanie_C7 said...

Dear Anthony

I agree with you because i to didn't understand some of the words, but after i read it again i kind of got the meaning of them. I to think that his wife or girlfrind left him and that he's really sad about it and that he feels like dying.

kiara j7 said...

While reading the poem The Red Shift I realized that the speaker was letting go some of his personal feeling that he had bottled up inside. So he decided to just let them burst like a red shift and that’s where I think the title of the poem can from. It seem that he is upset about the brake up with his girlfriend so he takes all his feeling out on natural things like the weather and the time and the fact that he thinks he will live for a long time. He talks about a few people like Frank, I guess Frank might be the only one who knows the real reason why he is saying all the stuff I is.

kiara j7 said...

Dear romolus,

i agree with you when you say that this poem is confusing, but when you read the other class mates comment you will get a better sense of the poem

kiara

Kristy said...

I think I understand this poem almost fully. But usually that’s what the author of the poem wants you to think. and it could be the exact opposite. I think that a husband and wife were in love and happily married for many years until she left him. And got drunk for a couple of days and ended his life by killing himself because in the poem the speaker says “I slip softly into the air, the world’s furious song flows through my costume.” This poem I believe that the author is trying to get the point out that you can still be hurt no matter how much in love you think you are. Kristy M.

yan w p7 said...

The poem “Red Shift” is hard to understand . Although I reread it many times, but I have no idea about it. until I heard his tone from audio, it let me realize he's desperation because his voice sounds like sad, depressed and angry. That reflect why he is drunk . But I still don’t understand about he said that“The streets look for Allen, Frank, or me, Allen is a movie, Frank disappearing in the air.”It made me confuse , then I got many questions. Who are they? Why he talks Frank? Is Frank a person or thing ?

(This comment is from 9-13-07)

yan w p7 said...

i agree with kristy,,because i think he feels sad, depressed and angry that's due to his wife . he might love her so much. and then she just left him. That makes him depressed, and ever thinks to die with her.

Vincent W said...

The poem is about a guy who lost someone he really loved. He is sad about it at first and thinks about the past relationship. He soon turns bitter and angry. The poem ends with the guy dying still hurt and miserable.

Vincent W said...

I agree with Mike. I did change my mind about the poem many times as well. The poem was hard to grasp the first couple times. However, like Mike says one thing is clear, the speaker definitely has some serious regrets. I think they have to do with whoever left him or whoever he let leave him. He realizes he cannot go back and redo what has already been done and wants to die because of it.

Kristy said...

Dear Ilensj7
I also agree that is comment stood out more than any other one in this very aggressive poem Red Shift. “I'm only pronouns, & I am all of them, & I didn't ask for this you did.” The speaker seems very fed up with his life and the outcome of it he wanted his “wife or “girlfriend” to know how he truly felt about everything she put him threw throughout their life together.
KristyM. pd.7

Linda e 7 said...

I agree with kristy, that is what the author wants you to think. Everyone has a different understanding but you never know what the author was thinking and that is a mystery. I also agree with Kiara because i was very coufused but as i read what other people wrote in the class it made more sense. When you read other ideas about the poem, the meaning sort of all comes together, your ideas and other peoples. A lot of people are saying the speaker is emotional and i think we are all correct when it comes to that point. Connecting back to my original comment i think he is sad because of someone he lost, and many people have commented that.

Kristen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristen said...

Dear Anthony_a7,

After reading your opinion on Ted Berringhams "Red shift", It's easy for me relate to your opinions. I also liked hearing the poem being read out loud becuase it gave me a better understanding too, and helped to develop a ton of the poem. I found your theory of the poem to be the most interesting, I also agree that it was about a past wife or girlfriend leaving him yet i liked how you pictures him moving throughout the city to try to get her back. I also agree with the idea of him dying toward the end of the poem and i like how you put toghether the tone fading to him being short of breathe, because it goes toghether with the poem good and i had'nt thoght of it like that.

mike said...

Dear Duy.

I agree with you in several ways. I'm with you 100
percent on your theory of the title and how the poem
seems to change in moods. The arabesques theory is
also a good one wich i didn't even think of until i
read ur comment.I like how you said the poem was
complex just like the dance move. I don't necesserily
agree on your opinion on Frank and Allen though, it is
a good one but not enough facts to back it up.

Stephanie_C7 said...

Dear Anthony

I agree with what you said about not understanding the poem, and some of the words. Because I didn’t understand most of them either. But if you reread the poem over as much as you can, you tend to get the meaning of the words and you can use these words to put them into sentences that can be meaningful. I to think that his wife or girlfriend left him. Because in the end he’s really sad about it and it feels like he’s dying, because death is the only way he can be peaceful without having to suffer from any emotions.

rachael_n7 said...

Dear Gaby,
I agree with your comment on him being in a past relationship. He was probably very hurt because he thought they’d be in love forever. She may have cheated on him but I’m not sure there’s factual proof of that. I wasn’t very sure of the ending myself, my first thought wasn’t that he’d commit suicide, I did think of him just dying though.