Thursday, October 4, 2007

Red Shift Model Paper Example 2

Though this is a model paper--I'll add some of my comments in red to let you know what could've been added to this essay...

Miranda P.2

In the poem "Red Shift", Ted Berrigan suggests that life means nothing and that if it has any meaning, it is a stupid life filled with loneliness. He also suggests that love is never permanent. The first part of the thesis is solid, but Miranda is missing HOW the meaning is created by the author in the poem (this is the hardest and most important part of explication that we are all working on this year.)

The title "Red Shift" says a lot about the idea of love never being permanent. The color red symbolizes love, anger, and passion. Shift simply means change. Also, "Red Shift" is also relating to astronomy. In astronomy, red shift is when a star's light because intense and the star appears to be red. The idea of intensity of the poem grows as it progresses. At first it is calm and reminiscent, "I drink some American poison liquid air which bubbles and smoke to have character and to lean In. The streets look for Allen, Frank, or me... The Calvados is being sipped on Long Island now twenty years almost ago... (4-11)". The lines are pretty short and smooth which makes the reader sense the calmness as the speaker talks about the past. Then, it becomes more intense as the speaker goes on to say, "Love, children, hundreds of them, money, marriage, ethics, a politics of grace, Up in the air, swirling, burning even or still, now more than ever? (15-18)" The lines are becoming longer and there are more pauses which makes the reader sense that the tone changes to slight frustration. By the end of the poem the speaker is completely angry and it is noticeable because the intensity is at its greatest point. The intensity in this section is seen through the words that are used. "Red Shift" symbolizes the change of intensity and also a change in love. A pretty solid paragraph here, using the title to some emotional change in the speaker. Miranda's language, however, could be much more specific. I'm not talking here about using "fancier" words, but more specific language. Instead of phrases like "says a lot about the idea" replace with what it actually says, and there are words that mean "completely angry" and "slight frustration" etc...

The speaker starts by saying "Here I am... The air is biting, February... a winter streetscape... (1-3)" In this section you get an idea of the setting. This poem takes place in a city in February. Having it set in February gives the reader an idea of how cold it is (How cold is it?) and lets him/her (pick a gender and stick with it) know that it's in the middle of winter. When a person thinks of winter he might think of how cold it is and also how lonely, dead, and desolate everything seems to be. This relates to the idea that life is filled with nothing but loneliness because of the fact that as was mentioned before, winter can be used to symbolize loneliness. Fine on topic for this last sentence--but show me HOW evidence works to establish these points. Missing a topic for the paragraph here.

As the speaker goes to say, "Not that painter who from very first meeting 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. (24-29)" This section makes the reader think about how love is thought to be everlasting and how nothing is supposed to get in the way of it. But, when reading this section the reader gets the feeling that the speaker, even though he/she thinks of love the same way, is saying that love is stupid and won't last because humans are meant to end up alone with everything he or she thinks may mean something actually means nothing.

Solid ending to paper (but banish the word get). Thanks to Miranda for sharing her paper--it was one of the best from the classes and she should be commended for sharing her work and being open to constructive criticism.

Feel free to post any constructive comments here, or questions, or observations. Trenchant insights are always welcome but please (always) avoid pithy observations.

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