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Ohio State University at newark Collection of Student and alumni creative works
TAPROOT The Ohio State University at Newark Collection of Student and Alumni Reflections
Experience TAPROOT online: www.newark.osu.edu/OSUenglish/taproot
Expanded writing, full-color art, music and videos
Front Cover Art: Jacob by Ryanne Ratliff Back Cover Art: Floral by Shane Antolak
Volume 5 copyright 2009 The Ohio State University at Newark 1179 University Drive Newark, OH 43055 Printed in Ashland, OH, by Bookmasters Printing
Welcome This fifth edition of Taproot, the interdisciplinary journal of The Ohio State University at Newark, as always features student- and alumni-created academic essays, fiction and creative nonfiction, photography, artwork, and poetry. For the second year it appears in its new, larger format, as well as online, featuring web access to the same great content plus full-color art and a variety of multimedia submissions. This year’s editorial board included associates Jim Cannon, Sara Davisson, Terry Gomes, Mackenzie Kirkpatrick, Kristy Lippert, Briana Malaska, Keari Nickells, Jocelyn Probasco, Michael Reimer, Kristen Rocca, Elyn Tibbs, Returning Taprooters Ashley Caggiano and Jonathon Holmes served as editorial advisors. Lee Waller was our moral support. Dr. Elizabeth Weiser continued her role as professor of record and faculty advisor. Next year, the Taproot saga will continue to evolve with a brand new set of students in the winter quarter class of English 662 Literary Publishing. Members of this class learn about the history and theory of print and digital publishing and then practice hands-on advertising, editing, and design of volume six of Taproot—and they will be able to add ―Editorial Associate‖ to their resume upon successful completion of the course. For information, contact Dr. Weiser at email@example.com. We hope you enjoy the following cross-section of texts within the journal, several of which won prizes from various departmental writing contests. We invite Ohio State Newark students and alumni to submit their work at any time during the year, from any class or creative endeavor for publication in Taproot. Send all text (in Word), art (jpg format), posters (Powerpoint) or music/video work (digital only) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, you many submit your work at any time before February 10, 2010—it will be evaluated next winter for possible publication in spring 2010.
Taproot: it’s your journal. —The Board of Editors
Beauty of the Sinner
Please Rewind Let us rewind ourselves, Pausing the moment for eternity. Let us look upon ourselves, Finding our deepest thoughts. Let us never speak of this moment, Seizing the moment to never exist. Let us find ourselves And never look back upon this face.
Table of Contents Front Back iii iii 1 1 2 8 9 9 10 11 13 14 17 17 18 29 29 30 30 31 34 35 35 36 37 37
Ryanne Ratliff ..................................................................... Jacob Shane Antolak ..................................................................... Floral Erika Mugglin ................................................ Beauty of the Sinner Keari Nickells ......................................................... Please Rewind Amber Dingess ............................................................ Light Seeps Jarod Anderson ..............................................................Keepsake Michael Morrison ....... Author/ity in Contemporary Travel Writing Ethan Coleman ........................................... Young Man/Old Man Mackenzie Kirkpatrick .................................................. Pine Cone Cheryl Tucker ..................................... A Long and Winding Road Leeland Waller ................................................................... Spring Michael Reimer ........................... 52 mph down Welsh Hills Road Terry Gomes ................................ The Lord is everywhere/Taxed/ The Last Line Emily Patrick ............................................ A Woman Among Men Erin Tobin ........................................................ Dreams of Heroes Erika Mugglin ..................................................................... Sword Sara Irvin ....................................................... Women Who Spied Cheryl Tucker ................................................. A Recurring Dream Erika Mugglin ................................................................... Maggie Douglas Moser ............................................................... Someday Elyn Tibbs .................................................................. Snowy Path Marian Hutchinson ................ Elizabeth Bishop‘s ‗The Monument‘ Amber Dingess ..................................................................... Chip Keari Nickells ...............................The Worst Feeling in the World Mackenzie Kirkpatrick ........................................ Unrequited Love Erika Mugglin ............................. Tumbling Down the Rabbit Hole Elyn Tibbs ......................................................................... Bubbly Jarod Anderson ...................................... Second Hand/Sustenance
38 38 39 40 41 46 46 47 49 49 50 51 53 54 54 55 55 56
60 60 60 61 64 65 66 74 74
Cheryl Tucker ............................................................. Reflections Kathy Postle .......................................................... My Inspiration Chad Sines .......................................................................... Kafka Elyn Tibbs ....................................... Gazebo/Snow White and Eve Jonathan Holmes ..............................................Seven Deadly Sins April Sears ................................................................ Four Seasons Amber Dingess .......................................................... Rusty Trusty Terry Gomes .................................................... Larkin‘s Challenge Randy Ogle ....................................................... At the Red Cross Erin Tobin .........................................I‘m Just Saying, Dr. Williams Mackenzie Kirkpatrick ................................... Theatre is Not Dead Christopher Metcalf .............. The Uneventful Life of a Denizen of Post-Apocalyptica Jeremy Harper ............... Volcano National Park Oceanfront Cliffs Randy Ogle ............................. Playing the Outfield—Dixie Youth Malin Bryson ............................................................... Snow Peas Kristen Rocca ............................................................... My Oliver Keari James ................................................................ Jesse James 6 Satiric Imitations: Jonathan Holmes .......... Telemarketers: A Mencken Imitation/ A Sermon of Sermons/Interrogation Techniques Terry Gomes ....................... Sports Nuts/The Weather People/ It‘s Not My Fault Either Leeland Waller .................................................................. Illusion Alexis McPeek .......................................................Newark‘s View Thomas Vance ...................................... Burnt Gingerbread House James Cannon.......................................... G.W.‘s Farewell Speech Kristen Rocca ............................................................ Frozen Stars Leeland Waller ................ Amending Spring/Sunday Family Dinner Michael McKee ..................................................................... Tyra Kathy Postle ........................................................ Saying Goodbye Austin Woods ......................................................... Child Survival
Keepsake She didnâ€™t take everything. Her handprints were faithful frail pressed leaves under the broad glass of our back porch door. The way those fingertips floated in the sunlight I thought to see shadows haunting the kitchen floor, but the light was everywhere.
Amber Dingess 1
Like many great things in our culture, the modern travelogue started with the Romans. Julius Caesar‘s Gallic Wars recounted his conquest of Gaul (Frazier xix), describing battles and military strategies. The Gallic people and the geography of Gaul were also described, making this also a sort of ethnography. Yet since it was written in the third person, at no point does Caesar say how conquering Gaul made him feel.
1st PLACE seaton Award Winner
Author/ity in Contemporary Travel Writing *Version with works cited can be read online
Michael Morrison After a long period of stasis, the genre of travel writing has undergone significant changes in the past century. Primarily, the narrative voice has shifted from an authoritarian imperialist or ethnographic voice, common in the history of travel writing, to a voice that is afraid to speak with any authority at all. This change is a result of both literary trends such as modernism and post-modernism, and the failure of the colonial system. Contemporary travel writers understand the subjectivity of their experiences and the new writing reflects this. These changes have expanded the scope of the genre, introducing new subjects and styles, such that the inner experience of the writer now receives as much focus as the location of the story. Contemporary writers are aware of the genre‘s history, and freely allude to those who came before them. They are trying to avoid the mistakes of their predecessors and in the process are creating dynamic new forms of travel writing.
This would serve as the basic template for travel writing for nearly 2,000 years. The traveler would come home and tell of his exploits while describing what he learned of the native people. From accounts of the Crusades to descriptions by 19th century explorers of Africa, ―veni vidi vici‖ summed up the attitude of the writers. There were of course exceptions, but the vast majority of travelers and writers followed this mode. These were not people traveling to learn about themselves. They traveled to establish trade, scout out future colonies, or reclaim the Holy Land. Imperialism of some sort was always the goal. But they did not just describe their heroics. Within these accounts were also descriptions of the land and its people. Understanding a society is key in ruling it. Eventually ethnography became the preferred form of conquest. A place may not be ruled over, 2
but it could at least be understood, and in that way, controlled.
ity are dirty words to be avoided or at least looked at with scornful condescension. The contemporary travel writer must determine how to write interestingly and believably about one‘s subject, always aware of the vagaries of subjectivity and avoiding the taint of imperialism. Contemporary readers are just as aware of those two issues; sweeping generalizations are met with complaints of arrogance or even racism.
These writers thought an insightful traveler could understand an entire society and describe it to the people back home. Since few people had been to far away places, anyone who did so was an expert. Writers could speak with authority because there was no one to challenge them. Caesar‘s description of Gaul was definitive because hardly anyone else had been there and certainly the Gallic people could not disagree with his conclusions. This ―ethnographic‖ form of travel writing depended on the fact that societies and cultures could be understood. It was believed that an observer could make sense of the strange rituals and customs he saw, and extrapolate a deeper meaning from them. Writers thought this knowledge was objective and could be perceived by the adept mind.
So how does one describe a place without assuming any authority over it? Writers have found myriad ways to describe travel and places without resorting to the old style. These techniques do not just avoid the old problems but present fascinating new insights and challenge readers‘ preconceptions with their inventiveness. Imperialism and objectivity are two very different problems, but writers have found that similar techniques can be used to handle both because at the heart, both deal with the amount of authority or control of the traveler.
This style of travel writing was very successful until the 20th century came along. Imperialism quickly crumbled and by mid-century Britain‘s vast empire had shriveled. Modernist writers such as Joyce and Woolf made subjectivity their narrative plaything, and ethnography fell deeply out of favor. Many essays have been written on its evils and the Western arrogance that a society could be understood so easily. Now in the 21st century, the old mode is dead. The two bedrocks of the genre are now its greatest enemies: imperialism and objectiv-
―Feeling compelled to comment on my travel books, people say to me, ‗I went there… and it wasn‘t like that.‘ I say, ‗Because I am not you.‘‖ (Theroux xxi). With that, Paul Theroux gets to the core of subjectivity. Contemporary travel writers understand that most writing is not about a place but about the writer‘s experience of that place. Rarely does a writer try to describe ―Thailand,‖ instead they describe 3
―what they saw in Thailand,‖ without trying to generalize that experience into any understanding of the country at large.
stew‖ (150). The reader hardly notices these little insights because they are constantly being undercut by O‘Rourke‘s sense of humor and self-deprecation. Thus, rather than seeming like the pronouncements of a boorish American, they are subliminal messages, making them much more effective.
In ―Weird Karma,‖ P.J. O‘Rourke describes traveling down the main highway of India in a story is full of facts about India. But it is nearly all the kind of information that could be found in an encyclopedia entry. ―The Indian economy has been growing at about 7 percent a year‖ (O‘Rourke 151). ―The Taj was commissioned by Shah Jahan to memorialize his favorite wife, who died in 1631 giving birth to their fourteenth child‖ (152). These facts do not help him understand what he is seeing.
Like O‘Rourke, many writers stick to only describing what they see. There is a new narrowness of scope in travel writing as details become more important. Julius Caesar wrote about all of Gaul, Pico Iyer wrote only about one Japanese convenience store in his article ―Our Lady of Lawson.‖ To shine a bright concentrated light on the small parts of a journey can yield more truth and understanding than diffusing that light over an entire country. No writer today would claim to authority over an entire country, but they might be comfortable in describing a small store.
Repeatedly throughout the piece he complains that India utterly confuses him. ―Everything in India seems to be a brainteaser‖ (153). ―Each little detail of India is a conundrum‖ (153). These statements pepper his descriptions, continually reminding the reader that the author is not claiming any authority on the subject he is discussing. He describes small moments and places but cannot put them into context. So they all stand alone, each more confusing than the last.
―Hokkaido Highway Blues‖ by Will Ferguson illustrates this ―bright light‖ style. When describing why he hitchhiked across Japan, he says that ―the car is an extension of the home, but without any of the prescribed formalities that plague Japan. The hitchhiker in Japan slips in under the defenses, as both guest and travel companion‖ (151). This is an interesting observation and is reinforced throughout his piece as he shows the formality in a Japanese home.
That does not mean he has given up trying to make sense of the places he visits, though he cannot be as assured when stating these impressions. Occasionally O‘Rourke sneaks in a thought about India in general: ―the chaos of India is not just poverty‘s turmoil, it‘s also prosperity‘s 4
Ferguson has taken a very small aspect of Japanese culture and made it understandable for the reader. He does not try to explain why Japan is so formal, that would be ridiculous. But by focusing on this specific facet of Japanese life, the reader comes away with an idea of Japan. Ferguson intentionally limits his scope of authority.
There are several different ways to express the singleness of one‘s experience. In ―Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Void‖ Michael Finkel, while referencing Wallace Steven‘s ―Thirteen ways of looking at a Blackbird,‖ uses the voices of others to describe the Sahara, removing his own voice almost completely. The shifting points of view emphasize the fact that everyone sees the Sahara differently. Finkel describes the people he sees but gives no opinions, letting the reader see the desert through the eyes of the people who live there. Each person sees what they want to in the Sahara, which really goes back to Theroux‘s point that his trip is not anyone else‘s. ―By offering nothing, I‘ve been told, the void tacitly accepts everything‖ (Finkel 83). Every place, every experience is a Rorschach test for every person. This is something that current writers understand that past travel writers did not. Travelers bring their experiences, personalities, and expectations with them everywhere they go. Paradoxically, by removing himself from his story, Finkel makes this point more clearly than most writers.
Some pull the scope of their stories even closer. The interior journey has become popular territory for writers. If all that can really be known is one‘s own mind, then that is what should be described. Interior writers describe the series of events and then go on to write on how they felt about them. While trying to describe how indescribable Dubai is, George Saunders often uses his own reactions in his piece ―The New Mecca.‖ Trying to get across the beauty of a resort, Saunders says ―this is like a freaking dream, I love it, I, wow‖ (242). Statements like that just would not be found in earlier travel writing. The emotions of the traveler were considered to be of little importance or interest. Now it is understood that only by knowing what the writer was feeling and thinking can readers get a more accurate picture of the story. Saunders cannot make sense of Dubai, so he can only speak confidently of how confused and bewildered he felt while there, hence this becomes the subject of the story.
Toying with the narrative allows writers to say things that would not work as well in a more conventional form. Taking oneself out of the story removes the issue of authority. Rolf Potts does this in ―Tantric Sex for Dilettantes.‖ The narrative is in 5
second person even though it is obvious he is recounting his own trip. ―You‘ve been staying in a two-dollar hotel in the heart of Rishikesh. Your room is small and bare, but you like its ascetic vibe‖ (Potts 219). This narrative device pulls the reader into the story, since Potts is speaking directly to her. The reader is still only hearing Pott‘s perspective--―you‘re coming to realize that travel anywhere is often a matter of exploring half-understood desires‖ (223)-but because he says ―you‖ the reader accepts it unquestioningly.
the reader that all of Churchill‘s imperialistic ideas failed. In fact he says, ―I also wanted to see how Churchill‘s ideas compared to African reality nearly a century later, and what that implied about our contemporary environmental dilemma‖ (61). Of course, the industrialized Africa that Churchill envisioned has not yet materialized. ―The physical environment had certainly been altered, but the prosperity derived was limited and narrowly distributed‖ (65). Not only does Hertsgaard make it clear that he does not have any of Churchill‘s intentions on this trip through Africa, but also that he is not nearly as capable as Churchill was. Churchill‘s easy competence is contrasted with Hertsgaard‘s bumbling ineptitude. Churchill breezed through Africa on a bicycle. Hertsgaard struggles: ―my bicycle‘s left pedal abruptly collapsed beneath my foot like a cliff after too much rain. The bike keeled over sideways and my pack and I went sprawling‖ (63). It is an African who fixes the busted bicycle. All of this goes to make Hertsgaard a rather impotent character. He is not threatening to Africa, unlike Churchill and his grand visions. He repeatedly states that he does not know what is good for Africa, or what is the best way for the country to improve. ―Can prosperity be achieved only through the kind of ruthless ―development‖ that has turned so much of the Third
Modern travel writers either downplay their own opinions or limit their opinions to a small field, such as hitchhiking, or convenience stores. None of these stories go for any sort of ethnographic survey of the places they visit; to try to do so would be hubris, and contemporary readers would see through it. Besides, not only would that sort of attempt at objective knowledge not be effective, but in the case of Westerners traveling in Africa, Asia, or the Middle East it would reinforce the imperialistic nature of the older travel writing stories. At the turn of the twentieth century, a young Winston Churchill took a trip through Africa looking for ways that British industrialization could improve the continent. When Mark Hertsgaard retraces Churchill‘s steps in the article ―The Nile at Mile One,‖ he is careful to always remind 6
World… into environmental wastelands?‖ Finally there is a Westerner who does not know better than Africans how to help Africa. Hertsgaard is the anti-imperialist.
clear that he knows what they mean. Jenkins is wry about his own role in Afghanistan; he is one of the few contemporary travel writers to call his group ―tourists‖ (173). Everyone who had come into the country before had an ulterior motive. Jenkins does not, the long journey adds up to nothing. He wants nothing from Afghanistan except for the challenge and to enjoy its natural beauty. Like Hertsgaard, he wants nothing to do with the imperialist aims of those who came before him.
At first glance Mark Jenkins, in contrasst, appears to be the typical Western explorer. The account of his trip in Afghanistan‘s mountains seems like a classic travel narrative. In ―A Short Walk in the Wakhan Corridor‖ the American braves his way through an untamed distant land. But as he walks through the extremely rough terrain he mentions all the failed attempts at conquering this country.
At an even greater extreme, even as O‘Rourke muddles his way through India he seems apologetic for his mere presence. ―We were a ripe target for the anger of the masses – eight capitalist prats in fancy Land Rovers with a trailerful of goodies protected by only a tarp‖ (O‘Rourke 154). O‘Rourke hints that it is silly for a bunch of rich Americans to sight-see among the poor in India: ―the villagers were friendly enough. But what if carloads of French tourists pulled into my driveway and took happy snaps while I scrubbed down the barbecue?‖ (151). His expedition gives off an air of harmlessness. For the reader it seems that someone so confused could not have any ulterior motives.
Afghanistan is a palimpsest of conquest. The Persians ruled the region in the sixth century BC, then came Alexander the Great two hundred years later. The White Huns in the fourth century AD, Islamic armies in the seventh, Genghis Khan and the Mongols in the thirteenth. It wasn‘t until the eighteenth century that a united Afghan empire emerged; then came the British, then in 1979, the Russians. And now the Americans and their allies. (Jenkins 159) This is not a man with any pretensions of ―conquering‖ the land. He is fully aware that all of those invasions ended badly. Now, Jenkins never explicitly says this. He does not have to. The way he interjects these little facts about Afghanistan throughout his travel narrative make it
The defining link between all of these writers is that they are extremely selfaware. They understand that what they are doing could be misconstrued as a form of imperialism, but by acknowledging the 7
people who came before them and what they did, and what their goals were, these contemporary travelers make it clear that they are different. None of them claim to have any superior knowledge about the people they see in their journeys. The insights and opinions they state are made more believable because none of them claim any great authority. The contemporary reader would not give any credence to someone who claimed to know ―what‘s good for Africa‖ or the ―real India.‖ Modern writers get their authority by claiming to have none.
ally overweight‖ (Bryson 384) would sound condescending and mean hearted from anyone who did not grow up in Iowa. Since Bryson is talking about his home, his authority to say such things is unquestioned by the reader, because he can also give a thousand tiny details about the place an outsider would never see. Writing about home is storytelling at its most basic. The writer is telling a story about one‘s life, not just an experience but oneself. Imperialism is not an issue, because the writer is one of the locals: no one can conquer her own home. It is a small place where everything is known and understood in a world of confusion and subjectivity, and thus is exempt from the new rules of the genre.
As always there are exceptions to these new models of dealing with objectivity and imperialism. When people write of home, they make no apologies for being ―experts‖ on their subject and they do not apologize for being there. This may seem like an obvious insight, but it illustrates why the genre of travel writing has changed. Authors are constantly writing about places and experiences they do not fully understand, hence the different ways of dealing with subjectivity; but home is the one place they do understand, so their techniques seem to revert back to the earlier style of writing. The generalizations that are usually off limits are now allowed.
Travel writing has evolved since Julius Caesar wrote his memoir of Gaul, and while it has changed drastically, it is more fresh and exciting than ever. These changes were born out of necessity, from the failure of the old system and its values. As more and more of the world travels and interacts with each other, how we talk about these travels becomes more important as well. Shedding the imperialist, ethnographic voice allows for a more honest conversation. Writers have expanded the list of acceptable subjects, and have discovered seemingly limitless narrative techniques, and by doing so, they have found new ways to speak about themselves and their travels with authority.
In ―Fat Girls in Des Moines‖ Bill Bryson gets away with all kinds of generalizations that a visiting writer could never pull off. ―Iowa women are almost always sensation8
Young Man When you can no longer see Sun clean the air!
clean the air!
Old Man Life is gone; you have raised your son, and raped earth.
A Long and Winding Road
Cheryl Tucker 9
Spring Today the west wind blew me where she wanted, over streams and fields and past the dreams they yield, to a mansion, hallow and haunted.
As the wind confessed, I began to remember, and for all I had achieved and done I was happy, save for one moment; and thus to my memory I did surrender.
Setting me down at the mansion door, the wind spoke to me soft and slow whispering, whispering so only I may know, the answer to what I had been looking for.
"Of all the pleasing fields, this house remains, and of happiness, you will never know 'Til you make peace with it and then let go, it is how to embrace who you became."
"Did you recognize the fields?" I was asked, Green with fond memories, mile after mile "Surely; most pleasantly" said I with a smile, experiences just recent or lost in my past.
So to this one scar, I did make peace, and the sun shone bright on all the fields and felt the better of the dreams they yield, I exhaled a lifetime of wanton release.
"Then do you recognize this house?" whispered the wind; upon looking around I felt I had been there before as I surveilled and walked door to door, I felt like I held the house somewhere within.
When trouble finds me, now and again, I think back to the advice of the west wind and how the house made me strong within; it made me who I am, and so I remain.
"You are but young and have had a happy life, yet somewhere inside dwells a hole left unfilled felt all alone, or during winterâ€™s chill, and it is the source of your unconscious strife."
52 mph down Welsh Hills Road Michael Reimer
perhaps for this reason that Tristin‘s assertion that we were going to go down in neutral on the way back didn‘t alarm me as much as it should have. I remember him saying, ―It goes so much faster, it‘ll be fun!‖ I don‘t think either of us could have imagined how fast it would go. Later, when we knew we both had survived, his father told us that he had looked up just at the right moment and had seen us – ―a red lightning bolt‖ streak down the road.
It was one of those perfect days, the kind where nothing really ever happens – at least, that‘s what I had thought. I‘m not exactly sure what made us ever move from in front of the TV in the first place – whether we just grew impatient with the video games and movies, if we were ―asked‖ to by one of his parents, or if we were just feeling extraordinarily and stupidly helpful. At any rate, that‘s how it all got started.
We finished our delivery and got the tractor turned around and facing downhill. ―Here we go,‖ he said as he shoved the stick into neutral. It was my last chance to chicken out, to slide off the tractor and walk home, which would have been the smart thing to do. Instead, I adjusted my footing on the thin metal bar, grabbed the driver‘s chair with both hands and said, ―Ok.‖ It was actually pretty nice at first. The speed was exhilarating and the wind rushing past my body had a wonderful cooling effect. The joy, however, was short lived; a quarter of the way down the hill the speed seemed to increase exponentially. The mower deck began to rattle uncontrollably and I had to yell at Tristin to slow down (to this day he holds that it was not a yell at all, but some high-pitched, frightened scream). Doom struck my ears when he yelled back, ―I can‘t, the brakes are out!‖ I watched as
Our task was fairly simple, a small delivery job. We were to take a tall, wooden dresser from his house at the bottom of the hill and deliver it to a specified residence at the top of the hill. Our mode of transport: a 24horsepower Troy Bilt with a 48-inch floating mower deck and 3-point hitch with attached mini trailer. We loaded the dresser into the small trailer and then began our long ascent. Tristin, my friend, took the driver‘s seat and I situated myself directly behind him, balancing on the trailer‘s tongue and at the same time stabilizing the dresser behind me. We took the first part, that from his house to the bend in the road, fairly well – still talking to each other and laughing; but after the bend, the grade steepened quite a bit, forcing me to grab hold of the driver‘s chair and focus more on balancing and keeping the dresser from tumbling off. It is 11
he frantically tried to get the thing back in gear; but it was no use now, we were going too fast. Giving up on the gears, he concentrated all of his attention on steering the ridiculous craft. With each minute movement of his hand we were hurled to one side of the road and then the other. My knuckles were white with tension and my left foot was beginning to slip – this had to end soon! My face grew pale as I realized we were headed for that same bend in the road that we had travelled earlier. It‘s almost a ninety degree turn and a surety that the tractor would roll if we were to take it again. I was desperately praying that Tristin realized the same thing, but I didn‘t want to interrupt him – distracting him now could be as fatal as trying to make the turn. Relief seized my body as he chose to ramp up a neighbor‘s driveway instead. That same relief quickly melted away again as we had already traversed half the driveway and were rapidly approaching the neighbor‘s garage. I knew he was going to hit it. There was no way we could avoid it at that speed. I decided then and there that I had to jump. That is, my mind decided to jump, my hands and feet were still very much cemented to the tractor. I looked up again – ten feet left. I jumped. My left foot hit the concrete first and instant pain shocked my entire body. I threw my arms forward and let myself fall into an uncomfortable roll.
avoided the building, veering off to the right where the yard sloped gently downhill again. Gentle as that slope may have been, there was some four inch difference between the drive and the grass. From the built up inertia, Tristin vaulted off this insignificant precipice and didn‘t touch the ground for a good ten feet – rut marks instantly appearing where he landed and following him downhill and out of sight. I had come to rest in the grass and was holding my leg in silent agony while my pent-up adrenaline caused a sickness and shaking throughout my body. After a short while, I had recovered enough to yell down and see if Tristin had survived. ―Yeah, I‘m fine,‖ he called back. *** Carefully, I placed the ice pack on my swollen leg, raised on a stool that was a little too high. I had just made the painful journey down to the house and upstairs to the couch I never should have left. Wincing, I leaned over, trying to get at the barely-out-of-reach controller. Nope, too far. I would wait for Tristin, who was amazingly unscathed from our little experience, to get it for me when he came up. I laid my head back and tried to ignore the throbbing in my leg. I promised myself that I would not even think about moving for the rest of the day. Helpful actions should be more critically analyzed before mindlessly accepting.
While I was still rolling I caught short glimpses of Tristin. By some miracle he had 12
The Lord is Everywhere The Last Line
he filled her holiness with his special purpose she covered his lap in her piety they twisted and tore but it was hard to pray while choking a dead whore
Contemporary poetry So often relies To use an expletive In the last line
They all mimic a Victorian era piece “a homage of unvanquished pestilence In writ without dowry or countenance” Or something of that kind Then in the last line“and my god damn VCR wont rewind”
This formula is lame And way overplayed If to be contemporary I have to reduce my art to that I would rather stay at home And kick my hacky-sack
Heightened-senses One black-eye Reveling in the week-day Brained before week-end
Terry D. Gomes 13
from the very beginning we are issued different uniforms and it is competition vs. cooperation between all female and male sailors. Assumptions are made about every sailor in a skirt, but it takes a highly motivated woman to compete with tradition. In theory, a person that excels and performs at the top of their field should be recognized and rewarded as such. In my experience it was not that easy. Joining the Navy, I had high expectations for myself and my career, definitely planning to be a ―lifer‖ and making Chief someday. In less than two years I became one of the most qualified people in my squadron and, as the only female electrician, wanted to establish a name for myself. The male sailors were not held to the same set of expectations as the females because ―women needed to prove their worth.‖ I was held to a higher standard than that of the men in my shop. In addition to my maintenance tasks, I was expected to complete all the daily paper work and maintain all the files, because these were seen as the ―woman‘s duties.‖ The beliefs that all females should be confined to a desk, don nylons and heels,and perform only administration occupations made it extremely difficult to be an electrician. To be a female maintainer one was not just expected to perform to their potential, but rather was expected to surpass the potential of her peers.
A Woman among Men Emily Patrick I like to consider myself a driven individual with goals and expectations that far surpass average people. Being committed to my plans and carrying them out with the utmost attention to detail, I made the decision to enlist in the Navy. Having tried college initially, I wanted a career with a direction that would begin quickly. Wearing the uniform for the first time made me proud to be a part of something bigger than myself. Now reflecting back on the military I can look at my uniform and learn from the challenges that had to be overcome. Some of the challenges were being a woman in the military and having a disability. If it had not been for my injury and being medically separated I would still be pursuing my naval career. It wasn‘t just the accomplishments but the overall journey. It‘s challenging for a woman to reach the peak in our male dominated culture. By reaching that peak and surpassing my peers, I became a stronger woman. ―Dominant or agent groups are considered the ‗norm‘ around which assumptions are built, and these groups receive attention and recognition‖ (Harro 17). Yet, even the military encourages women to believe they are created equal with men in the work place. Nevertheless, 14
A career woman was quoted in Peggy Orenstein‘s book Flux saying, ―It wasn‘t like anything obvious was said, but there were all these things that made you feel unwelcome. The men would all go golfing together, or they‘d all go out to lunch and never ask us. And you had this feeling that you couldn‘t speak out in meetings, like your opinions wouldn‘t be respected‖ (21). There are subtle ways in the military to remind women that it is a ―Man‘s League.‖ For example, the working uniforms were all geared towards men and didn‘t take into account a woman‘s figure. The men in my work center were always going out after work or while on detachment. ―In a situation of unequal power, a subordinate group has to focus on survival. It becomes very important for subordinates to become highly attuned to the dominants as a way of protecting themselves‖ (Tatum 12). As the only woman in the shop I had to sell myself as ―one of the guys‖ in order to get invited. On the few occasions that I was invited it was a fine line between ―one of the guys‖ and a sexual object. Orenstein sums up a perfect picture: ―There are also rumors of hushed-up incidents of sexual harassment, of office affairs between senior men and entry-level women, and male managers wondering aloud why women with high-earning husbands ‗need‘ to be working‖ (49). These are exactly the type of rumors and actions that occurred in the squadron where I was stationed.
As if harassment, verbal abuse, and humiliation were not bad enough, women were resented for a break in military customs. Being a part of the Navy was more than a job, it was a way of life. The uniform set us apart from other types of employees and separated us by gender as well. For the formal dress uniform we were required to wear a skirt with a modest heel, but the men wore slacks with flats. If we are to be treated equally we need to be portrayed equally. However, the gap between men and women was widened still. As the saying goes, ―Curse like a Sailor,‖ but it became politically incorrect to use inappropriate language on the job. It was attributed to complaints of offended sailors, but implied that the women were responsible. Ritualistic initiations that involved hazing were one of the most valued traditions. In Catherine S. Manegold‘s book In Glory’s Shadow, she quotes a male cadet as saying, ―Hazing isn‘t about hurting someone, at least in a physical sense. It‘s about submission. It‘s far more akin to a theft than an assault, as one robbed of dignity and worth‖ (298). Hazing is now forbidden, and as most unspoken blaming, women are held responsible. History has proven that the military was a predominantly male career, made up of ―boy clubs‖ that didn‘t accept women. However, it‘s very naive to believe that it was due to the complaints of women that hazing and inappropriate language were banished. 15
What is the ―boys club‖ and why does it exist? Why are we targets as women? What stereotypes are assumed?
I often think of what it would take on everyone‘s part to make ―the boys club‖ not so influential. ―Sometimes women think there are sacrifices in this field because you‘re a woman, but they don‘t see that there are just sacrifices because that‘s what it takes to succeed‖ (Orenstein 51). Everyone has to sacrifice to get ahead; it is extremely prejudiced against women to assume that we are not willing to do so. If we are created equal with men, we should receive the same benefits as they do to decide what and to what extent we are willing to sacrifice.
This is where male values, behavior, and sexual humor prevail, and where few women are allowed at the top. The only reason we even attempt to join these clubs is that they‘re fast-paced, exciting, and challenging, and if you know how to win, playing with the boys can be a lot of fun. (DiSesa xi). In my experience I believe that men were threatened by women with authority. Men are dominating by nature and feel the need to be in control. Women in the military are targeted because of sacrifice or lack thereof. ―Women have a responsibility to play by the boys‘ rules until there are enough of us at the top so we can change them" (Orenstein 43). A few stereotypes of the women in the military are that female sailors always get pregnant before detachments, they always have appointments for family or self to get out of work, they are poor workers and should be confined to administration duties. In Flux, a woman supposedly heard a senior male associate say, ―All our clients are white, male CFOs, so why shouldn‘t our staff mirror that?‖ (49). My entire career was spent proving to everyone that even with a back injury and being a woman I was still going to come to work and do my best with or without the support of my seniors.
I am a strong woman and could hold my own with the boys. However, the day I stopped wearing the Navy uniform was actually a huge relief. Wearing my uniform was not worth losing myself or my family. My uniform is my reminder of what I went through to succeed in a predominantly male world. Being medically separated, I‘m still goal-oriented and career-bound. Women, even disabled women, should have confidence in themselves and their decisions. If we are to be considered equal it should be across the board and not when men feel like it. I choose a medium between career and family but still encourage all women to make that decision for themselves.
Dreams of Heroes I have a plan built on dreams, Dreams of heroes. Everyday Joes wanna be heroes. Every Hero dreams the dreams of everyday. A breath of cool air. New and mundane adventures of Gardening, Sewing and Playing fetch with the dog. But at dawn they vanquish The fiery demons of the underworld. And end the day with a cup o' Joe. I have a plan of flowers and comfy new robes. At night I vanquish the demons of the underworld, Only to wake to live the dreams of heroes.
hair, dressed in men‘s clothing and played the part of a man. Some were so convincing in the role of a man that they were able to enlist in different regiments and fight alongside men without ever being suspected or caught. Still other women did not take up the role of caretaker and attend to the wounded and dying men in a battlefield hospital; nor did they shed the clothes of a woman to fight for their country. These women acted as couriers, scouts, saboteurs and spies for the Union and Confederacy during the war that divided the nation. The women who spied for the cause in which they whole-heartedly believed played a pivotal role in the outcome of the Civil War. Their actions paved the way for future women of the United States and opened doors for American women that before had been closed and locked.
Best History Paper
Women Who Spied Version with endnotes/bibliography available online.
Sara Irvin Throughout history and up until the early 1900s women were to be seen and not heard; men throughout this time period felt that the proper place for a woman was barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. For the most part, women subscribed to the roles that men deemed acceptable for them. The Women‘s Suffrage Movement in the 1800s brought about a change in the way women‘s ‗traditional‘ roles were viewed. During the Civil War, women began to step outside the role that had been prescribed to them for years; they began to step outside of the domestic sphere and into the public sphere. Women took up the job of battlefield nurse, which was still within the domestic sphere because they were using their nurturing ability to care for the men who had been wounded in combat and were likely to die hundreds of miles away from any family members. The caring face of a woman was likely to be the only comfort they would have in their final hours. Some women stepped out of the role of woman completely and into the role of a man. They cut their
During the Civil War there were men and women who spied for both sides of the conflict; so why did women make successful spies? The simple reason goes back to the idea that a woman was to be seen and not heard. Men during this time period felt that women were not intelligent enough to understand the logistics of a battle plan or the tactics of an ambush. Therefore, men felt free to speak of battle plans in the presence of a lady. Men during this time period underestimated not only the 18
intelligence of women but also the patriotic pride that women of both the North and the South felt. Following the war, when writing his book The Spy of the Rebellion, Allan Pinkerton , chief of the self-named United States Secret Service, said, ―[At first] it was not deemed possible that any danger could result from the utterances of noncombatant females…That this policy was a mistaken one was soon fully proved‖ (qtd. in Hall 93). When a woman set her mind to it, she was capable of doing more harm to the Northern or Southern cause than any man ever dreamed possible.
spy Rose O‘Neal Greenhow once wrote in her diary, ―I employed every capacity which God had endowed me, and the result was far more successful than my hopes could have flattered me to expect‖ (qtd. in Markle 159). Because women were not deemed intelligent enough, and because a pretty face and good looks were desirable to any man, especially one who had been on the battlefield and in camp with other men for months at a time, women were able to cross enemy lines easily and without suspicion. Often times, the women who were spies were members of the social elite. They were members of prominent families in the capital cities of Washington and Richmond. It was expected that these women would host large, elaborate social gatherings to which members of the military, congress and the major leaders of the country would be invited. Rubbing elbows with the rich and powerful was a good way to get information that the common everyday person would not have access to. These prominent leaders felt safe in discussing matters of war in the presence of a lady, without feeling the need to remind them that the information they were hearing was secret. Women used this to their full advantage when gathering information about enemy troops and commanders. Because these women were
The success of women spies often depended on their physical and sexual attractiveness to men. Oscar Kinchen, in his book Women Who Spied for the Blue and Gray, argued that ―for the Civil War woman spy, no tools in her arsenal were more potent than her very femaleness and her supposedly sex-specific powers of ‗feminine‘ deception, ‗feminine‘ persuasion, and, on occasion, seduction‖ (qtd. in Leonard 92). Before becoming a Union spy, Pauline Cushman had been an actress in New York City. Cushman had a reputation for physical beauty and personal appeal; her biographer, F.L. Sarmiento described her as having an ―entrancing form and flashing eyes‖ as well as ―overflowing…charms of a most wondrous beauty‖ (57). Confederate 19
members of high society, they were not believed to have been working for the enemy.
each piece with a different courier, either in the hollowed out heel of a shoe or tucked safely in their hair; that way if the courier was caught and the piece of the dispatch found, the captor would only have one piece of the dispatch. Even at that, most if not all dispatches were written in cipher, so if the dispatches were to fall into the wrong hands, they could only be read if the cipher code were found or already known. The practice of smuggling goods and dispatches across enemy lines became so common that in December 1862, the Nashville Daily Union issued a statement to all women warning that if they tried to pass through military lines they would be searched for contraband.
Women spies oftentimes doubled as couriers and saboteurs. Women of both the North and the South participated in all types of espionage against the enemy, such as cutting telegraph lines and smuggling needed goods and supplies, as well as dispatches, through enemy lines in their dresses. In one particular instance two women with Confederate sympathies successfully smuggled clothing and other goods from Baltimore to Harperâ€˜s Ferry at the beginning of the war. One woman had dressed herself in two full uniform suits, with the appropriate female attire over them. Her accomplice had twenty-five thousand percussion caps concealed beneath the crinoline of her dress. Women were also known to participate in non-combatant guerilla warfare by hiding men in their homes, providing them with needed supplies, and guiding them through the land. When women were engaged in spying missions they found the fashion of the time came in very handy. Hoop skirts, hairdos, and purses all aided in hiding dispatches, medicines and countless other items. No man of the time period would have ever dreamed of searching a woman for contraband. Some spymasters even went so far as to tear their dispatches up into small pieces and send
Some spies and scouts for the Union Army have gone unnamed because a majority of the Union informants were African American slave women who were able to pass through the Union lines. The same could probably be said about the Confederacy; there were, after all, African American slaves who felt loyalty to the Confederacy, mostly because they had been promised their freedom if they fought for it. The female spies that have been written about and who are most known are the white women who kept diaries and journals about their espionage activities during the conflict: women such as Belle Boyd, Rose Oâ€˜Neal 20
Greenhow, and Antonia Ford who spied for the Confederacy, and Elizabeth Van Lew, Pauline Cushman, and Sarah Emma Edmonds who spied for the Union. These six women are the best-known female spies of the Civil War. Each had a passion for the cause that their side was fighting for, and each believed that what their side was fighting for was right.
troops were disrespectful to Mrs. Boyd, which enraged young Belle, who shot one of the insulting soldiers with a Derringer; the soldier later died of his wounds. After Belle killed the Union soldier who tried to fly the Union flag over her family‘s home, Union troops were placed on guard at her home. She got to know these men and soon learned that she could easily get information from them about the Union troops and their positions and movements. She began sending messages to Confederate commanders using her servant Eliza and several of her friends. To avoid discovery, Belle sewed messages into the soles of shoes, packed them in loaves of bread, hid them in hollowed out fruits and in the heads of dolls. She even wrote some of her messages on eggs; they could only be read by holding the egg up to a coal oil lamp. Boyd‘s first success as a spy came ―when the Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia were about to face General Stonewall Jackson‖ (Markel 156). The day before the Battle of Front Royal, Belle ran the two-mile distance between the Northern and Southern armies to inform General Richard Stoddard Ewell, who was under the command of Stonewall Jackson, that the Union forces were small, ―with only one Maryland regiment, several pieces of artillery, and several cavalry companies‖ (156).
It has been said that the most famous female spy of the Civil War was Maria Isabella (Belle) Boyd, who began her spying activities at the age of 18. Born in Martinsburg, Virginia in 1844, Boyd would become known as ―The Siren of the Shenandoah‖ and ―The Rebel Joan of Arc.‖ When Virginia voted to secede from the Union, the loyalist leaders in western Virginia, including Martinsburg, voted to become their own state. When Federal troops entered Martinsburg in July of 1861, Belle was just 17 years old. It was rumored that Belle had decorated her room with Confederate Flags, and, upon getting drunk, several Federal troops stormed the Boyd home in search of the Confederate flags, but they found none because Belle‘s loyal maid had taken them all down and burned them before the drunken troops arrived. When the Federal troops found no Confederate flags, they decided to raise a Union flag over the Boyd home, with protests from Belle‘s mother. The Federal 21
Jackson was concerned about the information because he did not know who this woman was, but he accepted it and Front Royal was easily taken. He later thanked Boyd with a handwritten note that read ―I thank you, for myself and for the army, for the immense service that you rendered your country today. Hastily, I am your friend, T.J. Jackson C.S.A.‖ (qtd. in Eggleston 94). ―How much Belle contributed to the Confederate victories in the Shenandoah Valley and Stonewall Jacksons successes is a matter of debate. Numerous experts regard her autobiographical tales as being greatly embellished. Some scholars, however, insist that Belle‘s accounts of her exploits ring true for the most part‖ (Garrison 124).
could gather was then passed on to J.E.B. Stuart through field operatives. She often carried messages for and used couriers from Rose O‘Neal Greenhow‘s spy organization. In August of 1862, just before the Battle of Bull Run was to occur, Ford acquired important information that needed to be passed along to General Stuart, but there were no couriers available to carry the message to him, so Ford prepared her buggy and rode twenty miles to get the information to General Stuart herself. Stuart was so impressed with Ford that he commissioned her his honorary aide-decamp, stating: Know ye, that reposing special confidence in the patriotism, fidelity and ability of Miss Antonia Ford, I, James E. B. Stuart, by virtue of the power vested in me as Brigadier General in the Provisional Army of the CSA, do hereby appoint and commission her my honorary aide-de-camp to work as such from this date. She will be obeyed, respected and admired by all the lovers of a noble nature. (qtd. in Eggleston 98)
Antonia Ford was twenty-three years old and living in Fairfax Courthouse when the war began in 1861. Her father was a very well off shopkeeper in Virginia, but when the war began, he opened his home to Union officers to bring in extra income as well as to spy on the Union Army and pass any information that he could along to the Confederate forces. This is how Antonia became a Confederate spy. She would make small talk with Union officers staying in her father‘s home, always avoiding military matters. She learned that the officers were boastful enough to bring up military matters on their own. Any information that she
An honorary commission at the age of twenty three and she still had not performed her greatest spying mission of the war, which came about in December of 1862. Ford had learned that a Union General, who had been staying in her father‘s 22
house, was going to be throwing a party. This was General Edwin H. Stoughton, the youngest general in the Union Army. Upon learning of the party that was to take place, Ford passed the information along to Colonel John Mosby who was camped twenty miles away. Mosby and his men were able to surround the house, cut the telegraph lines and quietly capture Stoughton‘s intoxicated men as they left the party. Stoughton himself did not leave, because he had been staying at the Ford home, so Mosby went and knocked on Stoughton‘s door telling him that he had dispatches for him. The guard who answered the door was quietly captured. Mosby entered the room, walked over to the bed where Stoughton was sleeping, pulled back the covers and slapped Stoughton on the backside. Mosby asked if Stoughton had heard of Mosby. Stoughton replied yes, and asked if Mosby had been captured. Mosby replied no, that Stoughton had been captured by Mosby. Ford and her father were later arrested and held in the Old Capital Prison.
abolitionist for the rest of her life. Unlike the two previous Confederate spies who were very young when the war broke out and they began their spying careers, Rose was in her forties and had had several children when the war, along with her spying career, began. In 1861 Captain Thomas Jordan, a West Point graduate, approached Greenhow asking for help in organizing an espionage ring in Richmond; he approached Rose because he knew that her social class and her mind for politics would give her access to top military and political officials. Rose had many powerful male friends such as John C. Calhoun, President James Buchanan and Jefferson Davis, so it is easy to see how she got some of the information that she did. The Confederate victory at First Bull Run was partly thanks to Rose O‘Neal Greenhow, who had learned that ―1) the Union forces would leave Washington on July 16 to advance toward Richmond; 2) the Union troops would consists of 50,000 men; 3) they would advance through Arlington, Alexandria, and Centerville to Manassas; and 4) the Union would cut the Winchester Railroad line to prevent General Joseph Johnston from coming to the aid of General Beauregard‖ (Eggleston 88).
Another Confederate spy was Rose O‘Neal Greenhow. Rose was born to a wealthy slave-holding family and was a Confederate sympathizer from the very beginning. When she was a young girl, Rose‘s father was murdered by one of their slaves, which made her an avid anti-
After the victory at First Bull Run, Rose received a secret message from Thomas 23
Jordan, that when decoded said: ―Our President and Our General direct me to thank you. We rely upon you for further information. The Confederacy owes you a debt. (Signed) JORDAN, Adjutant General‖ (qtd. in Blackman 45). In August of 1861, Rose was arrested on suspicions of being a spy. Instead of being taken to prison, she was placed on house arrest at her home. Officials hoped that in keeping her at her home, they would be able to capture other operatives that were working for and with her. Her home became known as Fort Greenhow because other women who were suspected of spying were taken there and held, instead of being put in prison. While under house arrest Rose was still able to get dispatches out to the people they were intended for, without being caught, until January 1862 when one of her dispatches was intercepted and published in a newspaper. The government was so embarrassed that they closed Fort Greenhow and moved all of the women who were being held there to the Old Capital Prison. Later in the war, Jefferson Davis tapped Rose as his personal emissary to Europe, hoping to persuade the British and French to recognize the Confederate government. She negotiated with Napoleon III and fought for recognition of the Confederacy at the highest levels of British aristocracy and government.
It has been stated before that Pauline Cushman, Union spy, was an attractive woman and an actress in New York City before the war broke out. Cushman ―became famous as a Federal spy, scout, and courier, sometimes dressed in male clothing. She was imprisoned by Confederates twice in 1863 but managed to escape. She is reported to have been wounded twice while engaging in secret service missions. In consideration of her long and arduous duties for the Union, the army conferred upon her the rank and title of major‖ (Hall 233). Cushman began spying for the Union army when she was doing a play in Louisville, Kentucky. She was dared by some Southern sympathizers to propose a toast to Confederate President Jefferson Davis during her performance. She told the local provost marshal that she felt it was a good opportunity for her to spy for the Union. She also felt that she could play the part very well, since she had spent much of her youth in Louisiana and she had a brother who was serving in the Confederate army. After signing a loyalty oath to the Union, she went on stage the next night and gave a toast to Jefferson Davis. Upon hearing her toast, the theater company that she was working with promptly fired her and so began her spying career for the Union army. Unlike the Confederate spies that were pre24
viously discussed, no major victories are credited to information that Cushman may have provided. Her spying career was shortlived, as when she was coming back through the lines on a spying mission that she had completed, she was captured by Confederate soldiers. She was able to escape, but was not able to make it back into the Union lines, because the picket lines figured her to be a Confederate spy. She sought shelter in an old farm house, where she was later caught by the two guards that she had managed to escape from the night before. She was turned into General Bragg, who after questioning her sentenced her to hang. On the day the execution was to take place, the Confederate camp where she was being held came under Union attack, saving Cushmanâ€˜s life. If she had been hanged she would have been the only female spy executed during the war. She was no longer able to continue her spying efforts because news of her rescue had quickly spread and it seemed that everyone knew who she was. Upon her death in December 1893, Cushman was treated to a military burial, complete with honor guard and gun salute. She is buried in the section of the cemetery that is reserved for veterans.
ranged marriage. After a few years away from home and upon finding out that her father had learned where she was, she cut her hair, put on menâ€˜s clothing and for all intents and purposes became a man. She took the name of Franklin Thompson and lived her life as a man. She spent several years in Canada, where she had been born, selling Bibles until she lost everything that she had and made her way to the United States. Edmonds was living in Flint, Michigan when the first call for Union enlistments went out. She was one of approximately four hundred women who succeeded in enlisting in the army (either Union or Confederate) during the war. Edmonds, masquerading as Thompson, was able to become a spy for General George McClellan after two subsequent events unfolded. A Union agent working in Richmond for McClellan was caught and faced a firing squad; this left a void in the intelligence gathering for McClellan; and then a young officer named James Vesey, who Edmonds had known back in Canada, was killed on Patrol. Edmonds, not knowing this, went to see him and arrived at his unit just as his funeral was about to begin. (Markle 176)
At the young age of sixteen or seventeen, Sarah Emma Evelyn Edmonds ran away from home to avoid an unwanted ar-
As a result of these two events, Edmonds/Thompson volunteered for the spy 25
position on McClellan‘s staff and got it. Edmonds began her spying career for General McClellan by again going undercover. Though she was already disguised as a man, as part of her spy mission she disguised herself as a slave named Ned. This disguise allowed Edmonds/Thompson to get behind Confederate lines and act as a camp hand alongside other African Americans, which in turn allowed her to gain valuable information about the Confederate army and its locations. Just as white men did not believe a woman intelligent enough to understand military logistics, they deemed African Americans equally inferior and, therefore they felt free to discuss battle plans in the presence of African Americans. Other successful disguises that Edmonds/Thompson employed while enlisted in the Union army were ―a peddler from Kentucky, an Irish woman selling pies (complete with an Irish brogue), and a grieving widow, to name a few‖ (Eggleston 29). But her greatest disguise was that of Pvt. Franklin Thompson, for it was never discovered that he was in fact a she. Prior to her death, she was officially mustered into the George B. McClellan Post Number 9 of the Grand Army of the Republic in Houston, Texas; she is the only woman soldier ever to be mustered into the Grand Army of the Republic.
Elizabeth Van Lew, known to many as ―Crazy Bet,‖ was a Union supporter living in Richmond, the Confederate capital during the war. She was to become one of the most effective Union spies to operate behind Rebel lines. Elizabeth grew up in a household that had a few slaves, but when her father died, she and her mother set their slaves free. Many chose to stay with the Van Lew family instead of going elsewhere. Elizabeth and her family, consisting of her mother and brother once her father passed away, had enough money to be considered among the social elite of Richmond, but Elizabeth chose to keep to herself, leading people to regard her as a lonely and eccentric spinster; hence the nickname ―Crazy Bet.‖ She perpetuated this image by wearing mismatched clothes and muttering to herself when she went out in public, and letting her hair go wild and unkempt. Elizabeth was able to gather information about Confederate troops by going to Libby Prison and supplying Union prisoners with food, clothing, and reading materials, along with other necessities. New arrivals to the prison would pass information about Confederate troops along to Elizabeth, who would then pass the information along to Union officials. Another way that Elizabeth obtained information about Confederate troops was 26
through her trusted servant Mary Bowser. Mary was one of the slaves that the Van Lew family owned and then set free. Mary was a young child when she gained her freedom and Elizabeth sent her North to be educated. At the start of the war, Mary returned to live with Elizabeth as the family servant, but Elizabeth had other plans. She was able to get Mary a position in the Confederate White House as one of Jefferson Davis‘ personal servants. Because it was assumed that all African Americans were illiterate, Davis and his advisors did not try to hide anything from the servants. Fortunately, Mary had an almost photographic memory and was able to relay information to Elizabeth without ever writing anything down.
for Grant‘s victory. Tradition says that the Van Lew home was the first to fly the Federal Flag in Richmond at the war‘s end. In the days following the Union occupation of Richmond, many Union officers, and some believe maybe even Grant himself, stopped by the Van Lew home to personally thank Elizabeth for her service to the Union. The people of Richmond saw her differently; they viewed her as a traitor to the Southern cause until the day she died. Each of these women, whether they worked for the North or the South, were courageous women who went above and beyond the call of duty. One must remember that during this time a woman was looked down upon for speaking her mind or providing for herself; so for these women to do the things that they did and face the dangers that they did is praiseworthy. Most of these women and countless others took it upon themselves to spy for their country. Few, if any, were asked to perform such tasks; it was because they believed wholeheartedly in what their side was fighting for that they did the things they did. ―War is a unique condition, calling out qualities that would otherwise remain hidden, even denied. For women, war can be a justification, a rationale, for allowing themselves to face danger and to lead‖ (DeGrave 130). The Civil War brought out the best, or the worst in
In 1866, Elizabeth asked that all correspondence that she had sent through the lines during the war be returned to her. Upon receiving them, she destroyed them all. ―She feared recriminations from the Southern people if the notes became public‖ (Ryan 110). Because the information that Elizabeth and her mother provided to the Union army was so effective, when Grant‘s occupation troops arrived in Richmond in April of 1865, officials immediately assigned a special guard to the Van Lew home for her protection, the assumption being that the townsfolk might seek revenge against her 27
these women. It gave these women the confidence to step outside of their normal everyday duties and do things that they probably never would have thought of doing.
these women were caring and nurturing, they were able to get valuable information, but they also showed that women were capable of much more than the nurturing role that had been ascribed to them for hundreds of years. Finally, these women gave women of future generations something more to aspire to. Women who survived the Civil War were able to look back at these courageous women and see that they made a difference. They could do more than marry and have children; they could make a difference in the world.
What did the actions of these women mean for future women; the women of today? First of all, the Civil War was a time when women began to step out of the domestic sphere and into the public, no longer confined to the home and family. With men going off to fight, women were left to take care of the home and provide an income. This may not have been a change for the poor farmer, but it was for the middle and upper class women who now had to be in charge of large families and the farm or plantation. It showed men that women were not just soft creatures only capable of nurturing. Granted, some women who spied put their nurturing abilities to work in order to get the information needed. Sarah Edmonds, although dressed as a man, used skills learned from her mother at a young age to become a battlefield nurse, which in turn allowed her to get information. Elizabeth Van Lew, although she seemed crazy to many, was still capable of nurturing and caring for those who were imprisonedâ€”but with an ulterior motive, to get information about the Confederate forces and relay that information to the Union officials. Because
During the Civil War women took on many different roles. Many were battlefield nurses, caring for the wounded and dying. For others that was not enough, and these women were the ones who went to drastic measures to support their countriesâ€˜ causes. They cut their hair and hid their figure to fight and die alongside men on the battlefield. Others served their country by spying and gathering important information to pass along to military officials, acting as couriers and smugglers, carrying much needed supplies and dispatches across enemy lines. These women proved that when a woman sets her mind to do something, neither gunfire nor fear of death will stand in her way. She will do whatever it takes to fight for what she believes in, and that is what these women did. 28
A Recurring Dream Golden locks cascading between my fingers I brush your cheeks with my thumbs Your head tilted I'm kissing your neck Nibbling your ear lobes ever so softly; your moans make my body temperature rise. I can feel your heart beating as your pull me closer Maggie I whisper in your ear "I love you" Your arms above your head, I slide down between your legs I stop on my way to paradise; kissing your chest. My tongue lightly caressing your nipples I can feel you wanting, needing me to touch you, taste you Bypassing my destination, my lips bless your thighs Your legs parted gently by my kisses Writhing in anticipation; you pull me into you This lovely sweet edible flower Like a forbidden fruit it is irresistible I lick my lips and then yours.
Erika Mugglin 29
Someday… All day, everyday I wish that I would walk away But I am forced to stay By those who betray I am tired of what they say And the games they play They made me this way And they will pay Someday… As I become grey I continue to pray To be alive and be gay To run and to play But my thoughts stray Back to the silver tray Where my heart lays To be dissected and thrown away Like an old stray
Just a prop in a ballet I wait like a valet To be taken away I am tired of how I am portrayed In the fierce elemental array And the sun’s hot ray I’ll break and fade away Someday…
I am a used lump of clay Forced to stand a certain way Facing a great bay Greeting those who visit and those who stay Poked and prodded like a cold fillet I wish them away Until my mind begins to fray Like old rope or dried hay One day they may My hand is their ashtray I’m a perch for a jay 30
to oil paintings, mixed media, and graphic words. This form was mostly limited to Ernst, as it only had slight influences on other artists. In a frottage, two planes of reality collide, overlap and penetrate each other: ―The well-known mixes with the exotic, the obvious with the unbelievable, leading the viewer into the unusual and the surreal‖ (Spies XVIII). ―In this art form, the artist frees himself from his inhibitions, assuring clarity and immediacy‖ (VIII). Ernst‘s idea was to break loose from the laws of identity, using uncontrolled association and attributing greater importance to the imaginative grasp of an object rather than the object itself. In other words, he asked what is the meaning of the object. ―Natural things turn objective seeing into imaginative vision, and in frottage is found a realist portrayal of a natural item joining with unknown meanings that can only be grasped poetically‖ (XXV).
Elizabeth Bishop’s Timeless Monument Marian Hutchinson Elizabeth Bishop looked at ways that monuments might be revised, revalued and used. She also belittled them. Monuments continue the here and now of a culture by safeguarding the past and making a promise about the future. They assume art‘s power to maintain what is held in common by making transient things persistent. Bishop took the best of several types of art and mediums – frottage, watercolor, wood, construction, and poetry – and constructed a monument of her own, a monument in which readers of her time and ours can find meaning. As well as being a poet, Bishop was also an artist. She painted in watercolors. She was fascinated by wood grain. It appeared on her note papers and in the watercolor paintings she did on those papers. That fascination with wood was shared by artist Max Ernst. He created the art process called frottage, which means literally ―rubbings,‖ in which a pencil or other type of drawing tool is rubbed over a textured surface, in this case over items with a wood grain. Ernst‘s first frottage was done in a hotel in France, of the wooden floor of his room. Later he also applied the technique
In her poem ―The Monument,‖ Elizabeth Bishop uses some surrealistic principles that are said to be directly inspired by the frottages of Max Ernst. Bishop bought a copy of Ernst‘s Historie Naturelle some months before she wrote the poem, and tacked some of the pages up on the walls of her room. It would be interesting to know exactly which frottages she purchased and if they were incorporated into the vision which began ―The Monument.‖ Several of the works would seem qualified to be tall 31
and massive; however they also appear ready to topple over! These include ―Compositions with Letters, pencil, and frottage 1919,‖ ―Erectio sine qua non,‖ and ―False Positions.‖ Indeed, the last one shows a pair of perhaps monumental cylinders on a wood-grained base (Rotella 28). Bishop did a sketch of her monument in one of her notebooks, an ornamental stack of boxes, ―a ramshackle structure of crates‖ (31). As a poem, her ―Monument‖ is eighty lines of free verse, with a few approximate rhymes. The first line seems impatient: ―Now do you see the monument?‖ (Bishop 1).
is initially meant to be? Even so, it then becomes something else: ―It is an artifact/of wood. Wood holds together better‖ (59-60). As Rotella points out, ―The poem has a quiet, unforced insistence; its ramshackle, homely wooden structure is a monument, despite – in fact because of – its being subject to erosion and decay‖ (Rotella 37). Being made of wood also allows it the human realities of time, change, and death – which are all parts of living. It was made by human hands. It has a life. The monument‘s an object, yet those decorations,/ carelessly nailed, looking like nothing at all, /give it away as having life, and wishing; / wanting to be a monument, to cherish something. (6467)
The next lines describe basic wood-working – whittling and jigsaw work – being combined with the decorative carving of fleurde-lys. Can plain old wood be the material of a monument, or must it be of stronger, more permanent construction, such as stone or bronze? Bishop‘s poem indicates that it can be either one.
Bishop imparts her own sense of firm affection to this monument, and to houses (private monuments) in her other poems. It is a work in progress, connecting people by relaxing mandates that a monument must make immortal, or by unifying special groups of people or their ways or beliefs. A monument is a way to remember something, someone, sometime, or somewhere. Bishop‘s monument is real. It is a shelter, unlike most monuments. It is rough, but sufficient. Being written during a time of war – and later read during other wars – the poem may invoke a sense of peace connected with the image, a
The poem is objective and detached, describing what the monument looks like. It also speculates about its purpose, origin, and nature. The description makes it seem like a piece of junk sculpture: It‘s piled-up boxes, / Outlined with shoddy fret-work, half-fallen off, / cracked and unpainted. It looks old. (17-19) It is old, cracked, unpainted. How can this be something permanent, as a monument 32
consolation being imparted by the fact that it is not too monumental.
poem is not surrealistically oriented. Bishop does not agree with the surrealists when they attack language conventions. She keeps to accepted writing conventions of grammar and syntax, as she uses them for her own specific needs (Mullen 71).
A sea of narrow, horizontal boards / lies out behind our lonely monument, / its long grains alternating right and left / like floor-boards – spotted, swarmingstill, /and motionless. A sky runs parallel, / and it is palings, coarser than the sea‘s: / splintery sunlight and longfibered clouds. (24-30)
Throughout the poem, Bishops often uses epanorthosis – the rhetorical device of correcting herself. There are two voices in the poem, asking, answering. A feature of surrealist awareness is part of that epanorthosis, exhibiting accidental or spontaneous composition. The poem is so well done as to be natural, unstilted, and not from Bishop‘s own feelings. ―Nor does the seeming spontaneity arise from the derangement of consciousness so exalted by the surrealists‖ (Mullen 69).
The references to the grooves and markings of the floor boards are a specific reference to Ernst‘s frottage techniques. The sea and sky and the monument are all made of wood, and in more than one sense – as in an imaginative invention drawn from the observation of the frottages. ―A sea‖ and ―a sky‖ contrast with ―wood,‖ ―sea,‖ and ―real sky,‖ and point to the possibility of such an invention. The sea, sky, and sunlight are both far away and also up close enough so as to be minutely described in terms of wood – boards that are narrow and horizontal, and long grains that alternate like floor boards…splintery. The sunlight, wind, and sea are not only outside the monument, but are wooden properties of the structure itself. This both adds to and erases boundaries between art and the world, and ―observers from things observed‖ (Rotella 35). If the setting, its purpose and function being lost, is seen as a painting, it does resemble one of Ernst‘s surrealist collages or frottages. But the
The monument, this pile of boxes, also contains secrets, which the eye cannot discover. The last lines describe the aesthetic value of the structure: But roughly but adequately it can shelter / what is within (which after all cannot have been intended to be seen). / It is the beginning of a painting, / a piece of sculpture, or poem, or monument, / and all of wood. Watch it closely. (75-80) Should we be able to find the ultimate meaning of a poem? Or must we accept the face that language is imperfect, and there are often multiple meanings to poetry? As 33
Bishop writes, â€•Watch it closelyâ€– (80). Only by close reading and close observation will we discover the meaning of the poem, if not what the author intended, then what there is of value to ourselves.
Chip Amber Dingess
The Worst Feeling in the World Is when your heart and soul is escaping from your grasp, When all your dreams have now come to an end. And there is no going back. The one you love is fading with the set of the sun, And at any given moment can easily go down. You know that nobody can change their mind, So you just have to deal. When your whole world is caving in, And there is nowhere to run, nowhere to turn, You can’t cry out your soul. You can’t tell them your heart. When you are going to be a family, This relationship doesn’t last. High school sweetheart years are gone, And reality comes to play. But it is hard to live through the day, When reality set in so young, So the worst feeling in the world, Is not a simple fall on your worst day, But the feeling of losing something worth the living for.
Unrequited Love Mackenzie Kirkpatrick
Elyn J. A. Tibbs
Snow White and Eve A poisoned apple sent to Snow White The sender none other than Eve An imaginary jealousy rendered by authors Blind and never able to conceive A woman who stands on her own two feet The burden of life need not be relieved By Prince Charming, a notion alarming No longer to her roles she cleaves There is no thought, all feeling here Simply a damsel to deceive A poisoned apple sent to Snow White The sender none other than Eve
Elyn J. A. Tibbs
er‘s medieval sources, that his representation of the seven deadly sins is firmly grounded in the renaissance, and that his sources may not be relevant to an understanding of the role that Canto Four plays in the text as a whole (Blythe 342-3). I agree but do think that the sources retain a great deal of significance for an understanding of this unusual passage. The pageant of the seven deadly sins is significant because Spenser‘s imagery represents so much of the art that was destroyed by agents of the Reformation, whilst it also conveys the author‘s break with medieval convention, and establishes a Protestant reevaluation and prioritization of sin.
2nd Seaton Award winner
Seven Deadly Sins A version with works cited may be read online.
Jonathan Holmes The seven deadly sins have played an integral role in the history of literature. Their influence is evident in medieval art including texts by Dante, Gower, and Chaucer. By the time that Edmund Spenser wrote Book One of The Faerie Queene, there had already been a longestablished legacy of artistic portrayals of the seven deadly sins (or vices). Spenser‘s pageant of the seven deadly sins in Canto Four is one of the most remarkable and widely interpreted scenes in the epic. Each sin is meticulously described, yet the pageant does not appear to serve any explicit function within the narrative. Thus there is a twofold problem: why is such an elaborate scene is included in the text, and why does it have so little effect on the plot?
Each book of The Faerie Queene is based on a particular virtue. Book One is preoccupied with the virtue of holiness, and the champion that strives to attain this virtue is Redcrosse. Spenser provides a thorough description of the seven deadly sins in Canto Four, but Redcrosse is largely uninterested in them. He is at this time accompanied by Duessa, a deceptive woman who represents the Catholic Church. She has led him astray from his true companion, Una, who represents the original, Protestant Church. These themes, particularly the tension between opposing faiths as they are represented by the main characters, are an underlying preoccupation of Book One. As I shall prove, they also play
A seminal article written by Jonathan Livingston Lowes in 1914 suggests that Gower‘s Mirour de l’Omme was Spenser‘s primary source for the iconographic vices. His argument is supported by an analysis of the parallels between the sins, their maladies, beasts, and the objects that they hold. However, more recent critics claim that there is a need to look beyond Spens41
an integral role in understanding Spenser‘s use of the seven deadly sins.
were to learn how many critics of a later time have made the same curious estimate of Spenser‘s art and how often in the last two hundred years her gallery of pictures has been catalogued. (203)
Most of Book One consists of decidedly anti-Catholic sentiments. The ideas behind the text are clearly born from the Reformation, and encourage the reader to buy into the Protestant perspective. However, there are inconsistencies that suggest that Spenser may not have whole-heartedly despised Catholicism, or agreed with some of the tactics of the Reformation. Carol Kaske‘s introduction to Book One includes a discussion of the religious milieu of the time. She proposes that Spenser ―reverses himself in Canto Ten in order to shake the reader out of the sin of intolerance; perhaps…the hero Redcrosse has entered a new phase of religious experience‖ (xii). I will take that one step further by proposing that Spenser‘s vivid imagery may have actually been an adverse response to the burning of Catholic artwork throughout England during the Renaissance. Whilst discussing the pictorial aspects of Spenser‘s poetry, Rudolph Gottfried invokes an anecdote regarding Alexander Pope.
In the case of the pageant in Canto Four of Book One, the old lady‘s gallery would have consisted of medieval art, but I will discuss that in further detail later. For now it is important to note Spenser‘s ability to show us images through words, and the need for it during the time period in which he is writing. The mass destruction of Catholic art may have encouraged Spenser‘s detailed description of the seven deadly sins. His words paint a picture that, in this case, would probably bear a great resemblance to many of the countless works of plastic art that were destroyed when the Protestant Reformation spread to England. One example of pictorial poetry that Alexander Pope was referring to is Spenser‘s description of Idleness: Upon a slouthfull Asse he chose to ryde, / Arayd in habit blacke, and amis thin, / Like to an holy Monck, the service to begin. (iv 18)
―After reading a canto of Spenser two or three days ago to an old lady, between seventy and eighty years of age,‖ Alexander Pope remarked on one occasion, ―she said that I had been showing her a gallery of pictures.‖ Old ladies have a way of starting things; and Pope‘s ripe listener might well be flattered if she
And in his hand his Portesse still he bare, / That much was worne, but therein little redd, / For of devotion he had little care, / Still drownd in sleepe, and most of his dais dedd; / Scarse 42
could he once uphold his heavie hedd, To looken, whether it were night or day: / May seeme the wayne was very evill ledd, When such an one had guiding of the way, That knew not, whether right he went, or else astray. (iv 19)
remarkable gift for poetry is evident in every canto of The Faire Queene, not just Canto Four. His reliance on medieval themes portrays a profound appreciation for the literature and art that came before him.
From worldly cares himself he did esloyne, / And greatly shunned manly exercise, / From everie worke he chalenged essoyne, / For contemplation sake: yet otherwise, / His life he led in lawlesse riotise; / By which he grew to grievous malady; / For in his lustlesse limbs through evill guise / A shaking fever raignd continually: / Such one was Idleness, first of this company. (iv 20)
Spenser‘s sources for the pageant of the seven deadly sins are important because they highlight the medieval origins of his iconography. He is certainly not the first poet whose sources for description of the seven deadly sins have been conjectured and argued over by scholars. One scholar responds to the reoccurring and extensive appearances of the seven deadly sins in The Canterbury Tales by stating that ―It would be ludicrous to suppose that Chaucer copied this detail from a specific handbook, but it is easy to see him at the end of a long tradition in which…numerous other biblical figures, similes, and even exempla, had gathered firmly around a given vice or character-type‖ (Wenzel 18). Lowes‘ aforementioned scholarship on this subject of Spenser‘s debt to medieval literature is invaluable, as he has distinguished many peculiar parallels between Gower‘s text and Spenser‘s. Since the similarities that Lowes lists are quite extensive, I shall summarize them with one of his charts.
Part of Lowes' analysis relies on the descriptions of animals, objects, and illnesses, but one should note the other details as well. The reader is shown the clothing and appearance of Idleness, and is informed of the character of this personification of sin. Some of the descriptions of the other sins are briefer than this one, but they all contain similar eloquently concise imagery. It is impossible to know how many visual representations of Spenser‘s medieval sources have been lost or destroyed, but it seems likely that one of the main functions of his pictorial pageant of the seven deadly sins would have been to re-illustrate the iconography and attempt to, in some way, make up for that which was lost. Spenser‘s
The sins are in the same order as they appear in The Faerie Queene; the numbers in parentheses note their order in the Mirour de l’Omme. Besides the obvious 43
commonalities of beasts, there are many similarities between the maladies (although they afflict different sins). Lowes also suggests that Spenser‘s descriptions of the vices are supplemented with details from some of Gower‘s other works, and certainly from other sources as well.
no battle, physical or otherwise, with these personifications of sin. There is no challenge or temptation. The pageant of the seven deadly sins is presented as spectacle rather than obstacle. They reside within a city of illusion, and they present no substantial tribulation to Redcrosse.
Based on the historic legacy of the seven deadly sins, Lucifera and her counselors obviously represent a traditional, Catholic conception of sin. This may explain Spenser‘s decision to not have them have any effect on the plot whatsoever. The fact that the seven deadly sins are primarily medieval iconography is indisputable. The fact that Redcrosse seems to take little notice of them is telling. Book One is preoccupied with the trials of Redcrosse, and Canto Four finds him particularly weak in his seemingly blind following of Duessa. However, the pageant of the seven deadly sins could hardly be described as one of his trials. The detailed portrayal of the vices takes up the entirety of stanzas 18 – 36 of Canto Four, yet only three lines are spared for Redcrosse‘s reaction. ―But that good knight would not so nigh repaire, / Him selfe estraunging from their joyaunce vaine, / Whose fellowship seemd far unfitt for warlike swaine‖ (stanza 37, lines 7-10). These vices, which were eloquently and vehemently prescribed against by Dante, Gower, and Chaucer, barely elicit a response from Spenser‘s protagonist. There is
If one interprets Spenser‘s seven deadly sins in light of their medieval origins, then it becomes clear why the plot is so unaffected by their presence. They are the incarnations of Catholic vice but, perhaps, for Protestants, they are nothing when compared to error or despair. The rigorously medieval convention holds no significance for renaissance Protestant England; they are a remnant of a bygone era and the antitheses of virtues which make up a faith that no longer holds sway. Protestantism is certainly portrayed as the true way to achieve holiness in Book One, but Spenser owes a great debt to the medieval period, which he acknowledges with his diligent description of the vices. However, he also breaks away from his sources in the apparent lack of purpose for the seven deadly sins. That he decided not to do anything with those vices after so painstakingly describing them supports the proposition that they are intended to draw attention to Redcrosse‘s ability to ignore Catholic concerns that would only distract him from his true quest. 44
By deliberately not utilizing the sins as active participants in the story, Spenser shows how they pale in comparison to other more important sins, such as error and despair. The one exception to this is pride, represented by Lucifera, unmistakably important in Spenser‘s prioritization or he would not have made the personification of pride one of his arch-villains of the story. But pride alone is not necessarily emblematic of the seven deadly sins. In other words, pride can stand by itself as a sin without evoking the concept of the seven deadly sins. Gower‘s portrait of the vices has Pride as the mother of the other six sins, which illustrates the priority that was given to pride even in medieval times. I am unsure as to whether or not the Renaissance had such a harsh opinion of the sin of pride, but Spenser evidently did.
cal challenge that he does face in the house of pride is Sansjoy, but it seems that they could have encountered each other and battled anywhere. There is no particular significance given to the fact that they encounter one another in the house of pride. This is further evidence for the fact that Spenser intentionally focuses the reader on his disregard for the seven deadly sins. He brings them to our attention in a most ostentatious manner, then moves on to more important matters without a second thought, or any lasting regard, for this pretentious pageant of vice. The context of Spenser‘s usage of the seven deadly sins is integral for an understanding of their inclusion in Book One. His art pays homage to the great artists and writers that came before him, whilst simultaneously paving the way for an entirely new perspective on literature and religion, and how they interact together. Medieval tradition placed a great deal of importance on the seven deadly sins, but Spenser appears to regard them as having little relevance in the lives and literature of the people of Renaissance England. He provides exacting details of the personifications of vice, but then does notthing with them. Their images are brought to life in such a way that encourages visualization, then their passivity elucidates the notion that such vice no longer holds the relevancy that it once did.
Even pride, the sovereign of the seven deadly sins, in the form of Lucifera, does not provide any substantial obstacle to Redcrosse‘s quest. Duessa brings him to the house of pride. Then a few cantos later, Una brings him to the house of holiness. The scenes stand in opposition to each other, as Una is the antithesis of Duessa. But, the house of pride does not produce any particular difficulties for Redcrosse. He falls victim to despair, he is guilty of being tempted and led astray by Duessa, but he encounters no moral or physical challenges from the seven deadly sins. The only physi45
Four Seasons Amidst the flowers, bright in bloom, With cottontails and buzzing flies, Your eyes have opened, scanned the room, And absorb water from the skies. Slow you are, like growing stem, To surround your flesh with swirling clouds, For cultivating each known hem, Is crucial for a rooted ground.
Fragile little life, fragile little hand. When snow then falls to give you rest, Think of cottontails on green land.
The heated heavens, that doth scorch, And blazing sunbeams that doth shine, Have tainted leaf forevermore, Every crevice left behind. Despite this, maddened from drought, You take the dip and wet your nose. Shining through, full blossomed, stout, Befriending Violet, Lily, Rose. Proud colors fading, seeping fast, Among the glory of the Pine. With jealousy do you then cast, As memory begins to rewind. Nurture now, your tended seed, And care for baby blossom's head, Set gratefully, at your knee, 'Til knowledge do your petals spread. Silent chill lingers, stinging flesh, While crippled stem begins to bend. Radiant flowers have since iced, Wrinkles in place of sturdy hem. To be forgotten is worse than death,
Rusty Trusty 46
In response to Sidney‘s A&S ―31,‖ Larkin wrote a poem titled ―Sad Steps‖ a title taken right from the first line of A&S ―31.‖ In ―Sad Steps,‖ the moon plays more of an omnipotent role than a friendly one. ―One shivers slightly, looking up there,‖ the speaker claims as he watches the moon move across the night sky. The line is very clear. He says ―One shivers‖ when looking up toward the moon. These shivers can‘t be mistaken with having the flu or being cold. The ―shivers‖ occur when looking toward earth‘s natural satellite. The shivers come from fright, like looking into the face of a God. This man is much more aware of the moon‘s power and grace then the narrator of A&S ―31.‖ As the speaker of ―SS‖ watches the moon as it ―dashes through clouds that blow/ Loosely as cannon-smoke,‖ he can‘t help but find something ―laughable‖ about it. Not like ha ha funny, but the kind of laugh that comes from being embarrassed or unworthy of what one is looking at. This man is reacting to the moon as if the moon is looking back at him, ―The hardness and the brightness and the plain/ Far-reaching singleness of that wide stare.‖ He is afflicted by the moon‘s presence.
Larkin’s Challenge Terry Gomes The moon has always been a great mystery to man. From cave art to physics the moon‘s elusive nature and visual brilliance has provoked many a quandary. The poems ―Sad Steps‖ by Philip Larkin and number ―31‖ in Philip Sidney‘s Astrophil and Stella are two works that take contrasting views of the moon‘s complexities, love, and language. While observing the differing viewpoints throughout these related works, it is evident that to clearly evaluate and digest ―Sad Steps,‖ the poem must be compared to the precursor, A&S ―31,‖ written almost four hundred years prior to the response. A&S ―31‖ is a poem whose narrator feels a deep and personal connection to the moon. He speaks to the moon as if it‘s an understanding friend, ―To me, that feel the like, they state descries./ Then, ev‘n of fellowship, O Moon,‖ as the speaker makes the self-proclamation that the moon not only looks like the narrator feels, which could only be sad because the narrator describes the moon as moving with ―sad steps‖ and being of ―wan a face,‖ but also that he shares a ―fellowship‖ bond with the moon. This all sounds very serious and the narrator must have a true affection for the moon.
Larkin‘s speaker respects the moon for its powerful and humbling qualities, while Sidney‘s character feels he shares a common bond with the moon because he thinks the moon can understand a lover‘s 47
plight: ―Sure, if that long-with-loveacquainted eyes/ Can judge of love, thou feel‘st a lover‘s case.‖ In contrast, ―SS‖ reads, ―The hardness and the brightness and the plain/ Far-reaching singleness of that wide stare.‖
Overall, Larkin made a great deal of effort to address and challenge A&S ―31.‖ In the last line of Larkin‘s poem he gives the moon some romantic credit, ―But is for others undiminished somewhere.‖ Meaning sure, the speaker feels the moon‘s presence is more awesome then romantic but its other qualities--romance, fertility or whatever else people extrapolate the moon to signify--are no less important. This shows respect on the side of Larkin. He presents his challenge, and then in a way that almost says, ―thanks for the inspiration Sidney,‖ presents a middle ground that allows the moon to go on being significant in any way people wish to see it.
The title ―SS‖ is a significant reference to A&S ―31.‖ It is an obvious demonstration by Larkin that ―SS‖ is going to directly address A&S ―31.‖ ―SS‖ challenges the moon‘s image as a love spewing romance machine, ―Lozenge of love! Medallion of art!‖ reads ―SS,‖ only to be refuted one line later, ―No.‖ The moon is not a trophy of love. Rather ―SS‖ places the moon on a different pedestal and gives it the identity of a constant powerful force that demands humility. The language and style of these poems is vastly different. Sidney wrote A&S ―31‖ following the formal rules of the Italian sonnet format. Sidney also wrote his poem with elegant and romantic diction, paralleling the characteristics of the speaker‘s lines. Larkin, on the other hand, wrote his poem in a five stanza form, each containing three lines and within them a very complex rhyme scheme. The language Larkin uses in his poem is less fanciful and one word, ―piss,‖ goes against the grace of traditional poetry. These differences are significant because they parallel the other ways Larkin played off of A&S ―31.‖ He played with the format and language of his poem to parallel the contrasting messages of the poems. 48
At the Red Cross That time at the clinic your b-negative in demand, the nurse gave me cookies and juice and I didn’t see the stick, just the tube, taped inside your elbow, how it filled red with live blood, darker than mine scratched out by briars and skint knees. Then your blood ran cherry thick as ruby into the glass bottle. Later, we followed the nurse back out— me with your suit jacket folded on my arm like a waiter, you buttoning the sleeve cuff over your tanned skin. Then a crash and blood everywhere, bright, not thick splashed on the floor, seeping like paint down drywall. Your rare blood struck the floor like Kool Aid, the last bits curdled in upturned shards of glass. The smell of life drying in the hall is what I remember
I‘m Just Saying, Dr. Williams I don't know why I get the urge to write when I am high To share theses thoughts muddled and winding through the Tetrahedrons Hedonists and Carcinogens To a point where reality Makes a note left on the fridge About the plums Poetry
Theatre Is Not Dead
Mackenzie Kirkpatrick 50
The Uneventful Life of a Denizen of PostApocalyptica Christopher Metcalf
experience. His visage was unimpressive, gaunt and slouched like so many of his generation. He wouldn't be striking if not for his eyes. The emerald-blue tinged irises marbled with lines of white stood in contrast with the black pupils they framed. The outer eyes were stained yellow by years of wanton chain-smoking, which appeared odd to those whom he met in his dayto-day travels. Viridian eyes so striking that the pigment streaked even in darkness.
A blazing light appears on the horizon. Almost invisible at first, it expands parallel to the skyline to the point where the sun's light becomes indistinguishable. The light only serves to contrast the period of silence, of contemplation, of faint prayer, when drunks wish for the spectre of death to happen upon their miserable existence. The sound wave echoes through the parapets of long abandoned dwellings, rattling long forgotten dishware from meals abruptly ended. The scorched earth no longer fosters growth, life, hope; it only exists as a hollow shell of death and destruction.
Nick planned his morning excursion carefully; odd for one who only infrequently engages in human contact he would care to reminisce upon. It was simply force of habit from times when humans were more focused on the minutiae of life rather than survival. Despite the banality of post-war life, on those days in which the earth was scorched there was scavenging to partake in. There was always salvaging to be done after an impact. The grotesqueness of scavenging cadavers for their valuables was not lost on Nick; it was simply a component of the times that one must engage in if one wished to subsist. The rockets were chrome-colored harbingers, signaling prosperity as well as destruction for those willing to desecrate the sanctity of the recently deceased.
Nick stands erect, surveying the latest crater through the multi-colored window that covers the facade of his dwelling. He had happened upon the church a fortnight ago and gathered that it would be ideal as his newest residence. No one had actually owned property for the last ten years at least. One could simply occupy any sordid building they were able to wrest from the numerous beggars and living corpses that tended to congregate in areas of former wealth. Nick was a capricious manic depressive of about twenty. His unkempt beard and hair gave him an air of maturity that belied his life 51
He walked between the rows of empty pews, realizing the humor in a godless heathen such as himself residing in a house of holiness. Worship had died with civilization, leaving a vast network of land and wealth in the wake of its demise. Heaving with all his might, he slid the great doors of the cathedral, leaving the entrance open because of the effort it took to move them back into place. Nick sighed as he descended the front staircase and upon reaching the street, stretched his arms outward, separating every fibrous sinew in his tired muscles. Yawning, he began his trek towards the site of the impact, hoping to avoid conflict with the desperately pitiful denizens of the back alleys.
breathing a mile off,‖ Nick remarked casually. The desperate man was so taken aback by this remark he tumbled from his pillar and struck the ground unceremoniously. ―We'll see who's wretched, you bastard!‖ the crook spat. The would-be murderer rose with a crazed look in his sullen eyes, like that of a rabid dog forced into a corner. He did not fear death, and as such was able to lunge at Nick with the reckless abandon most often reserved for the insane. Nick sidestepped the crazed man and delivered two quick blows to the back, powerful enough to fell an elephant. As his life sunk into darkness the man reflected on his last human act and laughed maniacally. With his dying breath he uttered one solitary word, ―Same.‖
As he sauntered through the derelict ruins of the city, Nick became lost in the tunes he was humming and failed to pay any heed to the dire nature of his current situation. An emaciated, begrimed cut-throat came upon his position with the most horrific of intentions. As Nick approached the crater, he remained seemingly unaware of his undesirable follower as he edged ever closer to within striking distance. The nameless would-be murderer followed Nick's every move with his sullen, sunken eyes as he climbed atop a pillar. He raised his arm to strike his blood-soaked shiv squarely into the crown of Nick's skull, but before he could deliver the killing blow with the emotionless accuracy of a butcher preparing a hog for sale, he was finally acknowledged. ―I could hear your wretched
As he lay silent, the dead man's dissipating body heat rose fog-like, his eyes glazed. Nick reflected on the duality of war and peace, and the fallibility of human life. While he had won the physical confrontation, the dead man truly played him for a fool. Nick was still in this world, in this horrid existence, forced to remain alive without love, without hope, with no chance of normalcy. The dead man's final word rested heavily on Nick's mind and as he perused all possible meanings and interpretations of the word he finally came to a conclusion; the man was wrong. They were unsettlingly similar in appearance, the only difference being those striking eyes, those eyes that would reveal everything of his future. He was too kind, too 52
compassionate to survive in this world, and these traits would lead to his demise. His death, like his life, would be quickly forgotten and to live he would have to lose what made him human. He did not scavenge that day, no, the dead deserve more respect. Defeated and dejected, he returned home. He wished to share the eternal sleep that so many others were given. A rope swung from the rafters of the silent church. It strained against the weight and then, darkness.
Volcano National Park Oceanfront Cliffs Jeremy Harper 53
Playing the Outfield—Dixie Youth In left, you’re so far out, the thrum and chatter of the infielders drifts out in the night cool, like the murmur of bees humming the hollow of rotten wood.
Soon, you’re at the edge of the field, at the fence. Dark woods loom beyond, the old swing set, stubs of strangled trees draped in vines that crouch like wolves in the murk of shadow. And the ball flies out, beyond reach, clear of your leathered hand, splacks through kudzu, thumps to earth over the shout from the stands far away.
In right, the action's closer, throws to first to back up, you cheat a step to the line as the runner takes his lead, the scuff of red dust drags with him off the bag.
But left's more in the game. Hitters pull the ball and you have to make plays, throws to the cutoff man, snag soft liners off the grass in the haze blue of mercury lamps.
But in right, your arm cuts men down, throws them out in the clamor and slide of home. Sometimes, night birds flit in from the dark above to snatch bugs drawn to the shirr of vapor lights.
Third-world paradise Capitalism made nice Here, issues arise.
And once, when you’re playing deep, the ball jumps from the bat, cuts high across the dark bowl of night. Running, you only now hear the crack of ash and hide. The long grass whips black shoes with night dew.
Kristen N. Rocca Keari Nickells
Six Satiric Rants Jonathan Holmes and Terry Gomes
Telemarketers: A Mencken Imitation
exceed six weeks. It may, in fact, be the one industry that we should gladly outsource. Thank you, people of India. After all, Indian telemarketers are no worse than American telemarketers at mispronouncing our names. And how many of our friends and relatives have been rejected from gatherings, removed from speed dial lists, and stoned to death for their participation in this lowly occupation? Most of India isn‘t Christian, so the people there are far less likely to be stoned to death. Granted, outsourcing does not mean that we are successfully wiping an industry off the face of the Earth. But, we are pawning off one of our most despised forms of employment onto people with whom we will never have a face-to-face encounter. While we‘re at it, perhaps we should jettison the rest of our professions that are immersed in flotsam and marred by detritus. Then, the only question that remains: Do we start with the lawyers or the IRS auditors? J.H.
Of all the professions made possible by modern technology and American consumerism, perhaps the most loathed is telemarketing. While it is a job that is hardly physically taxing, its perpetrators are surely fatigued by the mental acumen required to speak like an automaton and respond like a geriatric knave who no longer gives a damn. Nonetheless, telemarketing requires a level of dedication and perseverance that is usually found only in secret service agents, expensive private investigators, and bloodsucking parasites. Indeed, there is a rare set of skills that a telemarketer must either acquire or have been hatched with. These include the extreme rudeness required to call someone during dinner or at 8:00 a.m., and the social ineptitude coupled with unethical apathy that is required to not take ―no‖ for an answer after the forty-ninth call in just as many days.
A Sermon of Sermons
I‘m not saying that there is a special place in hell for all telemarketers, just the careerists. I have had friends and acquaintances who worked at telemarketing for a period of time, and they remain my friends as long as that period did not
Ladies and gentlemen, there are those among us who have been chosen by God to spread his word—to preach the gospel and help 56
shepherd his flock. Of course I am talking about the preachers, pastors, and priests who administer the good word to us lowly sinners. Theirs is a wisdom that should not be doubted, but may require some interpretation for it to be properly understood. You should treat others the way you wish to be treated, unless you have a lot of piercings and/or tattoos, are suicidal, or you are a masochist. Anyone with delusions of persecution should remember to treat others the way he/she would like to be treated, rather than the way he/she thinks they are being treated. However, doctors should definitely not treat others the way they wish to be treated, unless they have the same illness as their patients. In which case, they really should have called off.
Can somebody please explain to me why there are so many people whining about enhanced interrogation techniques? I mean, it‘s not like we are torturing anyone, and we haven‘t caused any permanent damage or death. Well, maybe we have severely injured or possibly killed a few people, but they weren‘t Americans, so their lives aren‘t worth that much to us anyway. Honestly, I just don‘t understand how anyone can claim that the United States has been torturing people. It‘s not like there are any mental or physical health risks to extended sleep deprivation and prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures, nor is there any reason to take a negative view of waterboarding based on the mere fact that it was practiced by the Inquisition, and just because we have convicted other people of war crimes when they waterboarded our soldiers, and it negatively affects our image abroad, bringing into question how much we can rely on our allies to help keep us safe, and it encourages terrorist recruitment of fundamentalists around the globe, and it seriously reduces our ability to get reliable, actionable intelligence, and it contradicts most of what this country stands for, and it violates any number of international treaties that we have taken part in over the last half century, including, but not limited to, the Geneva Convention, and it provides misleading intelligence, which would tend to
People of faith also say that you should not covet your neighbors‘ stuff. If you do, your standards must really be too low. Try coveting the stuff of someone who lives in a better part of town. You are also not supposed to bear false witness against your neighbor, but the minute that you catch him, you should totally rat on that bastard. That will teach him for letting out those yippy Chihuahuas at 3:00 a.m. While we‘re on the subject of neighbors, you should know that the old saying about good fences making good neighbors is only true if your fence has a parapet and a canon and/or moat. They also say that you shouldn‘t use the lord‘s name in vain, and I agree. Goddammit, you better make it count! J.H. 57
exacerbate the danger inherent in the beloved ―ticking time-bomb‖ scenario that has made ―24‖ the favorite scholarly source for many conservative pundits, and it screws up our ability to successfully convict terror suspects, but the point is – it allows us to look tough on terror!
tryouts. Debbie Franks told me in high-school, his dad never even earned 4th place at the state tournament like your daddy did. You watch your mouth young man. 4th place is only 3 places away from respectability. Besides, you are only as good to people as the people you surround yourself with. You are not to be seen with that ugly, athletically challenged, sensory nonconformist! Your best friend; give me a break. Homey, your father and I are your best friends.
Looking tough means everything when it comes to foreign policy. After all, wasn‘t it a former President who said something about carrying a big stick? And it‘s not like our loss of civil liberties and disregard for the Constitution could be misconstrued as evidence for the terrorists‘ success in attacking the U.S. and all that it symbolizes. Besides, no American citizen has to fear undergoing enhanced interrogation. I‘m sure that anyone who is declared an enemy combatant is given ample opportunity to prove his or her citizenship. And why would a U.S. citizen ever have to worry about rendition? Plus, the government tells us that Gitmo is a lot nicer than the left-wing media make it out to be. Maybe it‘s comparable to staying at the Hilton. I heard that the one they used to have in Hanoi was quite nice too. J.H.
Anyways, that boy owes you 75 dollars for the window, 150 for installation, and 200 dollars for any miscellaneous and unforeseen expenditures we might incur during the repair. Don‘t cry. His family will find a way to raise the money. It‘s not that much really. He‘s lucky he didn‘t break the gable window. Watch your mouth bucko! I know daddy is a professional contractor and gets windows that size for free all the time. Because he‘s busy and the Suburban needs a lift, that‘s why. Look sweetie, when this is all done and over with, we‘ll get some cones and go to the YMCA and find you some decent friends. T.G.
The Weather People
You‘re in big trouble. You should‘ve been more careful. Yes, I‘m aware that he‘s deaf and not blind. You know that boy can‘t play baseball. Every summer he‘s the last one picked at
I know why it‘s so damn cold. The major problem here is the professional weather people. It doesn‘t take fancy CGI and great honkers to 58
realize snow accumulation is exponentially congruent to the climactic index. My friends, for far too long have we sat in our living rooms: in our loafers, on our loungers, eating tofu, getting weather information from an electronic box that has pictures that move and sounds you can hear. Weather is best understood where weather can be viewed at its purest essence--online.
product of recycled plastics into the Puget Sound just so they can see the surprised look on the baby seals‘ faces. Australia hosted ―The World‘s Biggest Bonfire,‖ which consisted of a pile of computers 37, 000 feet high. It was a call to arms to protect Australia‘s children from the ―dangers and temptations of the inter-web‖ (the Prime Minister‘s words not mine) and to raise consciousness about the joys of thinking for oneself.
Today weatherpersons are dubious, uninformed, unethical and malnourished. They realize not the half of what I know on the weather subjects such as: jet stream, Coriolis Effect, relative humidity, barometric pressure, seasonal departures, and celebrity gossip. Tomorrow, it‘s going to be frigid, portentous, perspiring, and crowded. The day after that will be just the same, but with a chance of glacial rain and understanding. T.G.
Listen here folks; if the world‘s population wanted to respect the planet, they would have done it in the 60‘s. I don‘t need Leo Dicaprio holding my TV hostage for 90 seconds, telling me I‘m a sinner because I can‘t afford an automobile that runs purely on Christ‘s goodwill, while he goes and buys carbon offsets to justify his one-man chartered flight to Bora Bora for a 3 minute shoot for a movie in which he will undoubtedly sleep with no fewer than 5 more women than people he kills.
It‘s Not My Fault Either
What is with all this uproar about recycling and the environment? Am I the only one who is smart enough to realize it‘s too late? Despite this obnoxiously-invasive multinational campaign to raise awareness on the issue, pollution and destruction of the environment is all the rage. Families in Luxemburg only adorn their youth in diapers made from cotton grown in fields where the rainforest once proudly stood and little monkeys played. In Canada, they dump the bi59
Illusion They say Liberty is a province reserved for those who have truly sacrificed everything; but Freedom is only the illusion that noble sacrifices have granted one true liberty. So caught between my illusion and my sacrifices, I sit here; neither liberated nor free.
Newarkâ€™s View Alexis McPeek
Burnt Gingerbread House Thomas Vance 60
G.W.‘s Farewell Speech James Cannon
It has been both a great blessing and prodigious curse to lead the greatest nation on earth. The office of President is a noble position of great fame and power. However, as President the criticism for all conditions American falls squarely upon my shoulders. Contributing factors to my fall from the good opine of the American people were attacks on our soil, the decision to go to war, ballooning national deficit, collapses in housing and financial markets, and the rapid contraction of our economy. Significant maladies indeed! Yet I, too, am the victim of an even more egregious deceit. History will now cast upon me a judgment, based largely on the coincidental fruition of many illintentioned contrivances.
(Spoken in a shockingly thick Bostonian accent). My fellow Americans, lend me your ears. On this most auspicious day, I stand before you as the perpetrator of an indignant fraud. You have been the victim of an injustice of illusion from the highest level of your elected leadership. My general demeanor has purposefully exhibited a lack of refinement and polish, if not an absence of intellect. On several occasions the fraud was nearly revealed when it became impossible not to chuckle at the absurd addition of "-ization" and "-ification" to inappropriate words. Perhaps the most effective tool in orchestrating the illusion has been the perpetual use of fillers. While infrequently recognized as problematic in modern society, the more scholarly amongst us recognize the transgression. The use of "Um" and "Uh" sporadically throughout public speaking engagements has done more than was hoped to reinforce negative perceptions of my intellect. The result of stammering, stumbling, and laughable butchery of the language has been the undermining of overall confidence, first in the ability to lead, and second in decisions regarding virtually every facet of my Presidency. For these things, I leave office as potentially the least popular Commander-in-Chief in this nation's history.
Let us address the manifestation of infections during my Presidency in chronological order. My oath of office took place January 20, 2001. Less than one year brought witness to the world stage the highest form of evil. There can be few examples of inhumanity rising to the level of the attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001. Subsequent investigations ―declared that both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had been ‗not well served‘ by the FBI and CIA" (9/11 Commission Report). By the time the oath of office was administered, before it was my duty to defend our 61
nation against enemies, both foreign and domestic, the malicious wheels of destiny were rolling full speed into history. For the 9/11 attacks on our nation, I accept full responsibility for not detecting what others ignored. While we reeled from the sorrows, an equally insidious malignancy was reaching fruition.
in Afghanistan and Iraq might never become clear. For better or worse, right or wrong, the decision to go to war rests squarely upon the President. The absence of attacks on American soil leads me to believe I have chosen the correct path for America. Outside of the world of politics, speeches, and opinion, this great nation was born and perpetuated by the solemn sacrifice of individuals who became a part of something much larger than themselves. Those who gave their lives, their limbs, and their time to serve their Commander-in-Chief are above the politics and rhetoric. We owe our existence to these dutiful servants of Democracy. Honor them for their obedience to duty. Give to them the highest esteem, even as you give to me a rude hand gesture.
The Enron Scandal would rob millions of retirement accounts and every investor's confidence in Wall Street. While this seed found sunlight in the first year of my first term, it grew a root system under the watchful, if not wandering, eye of the President whose chief contribution was to educate Kindergarteners on the meaning of oral sex. In reference to the Enron Scandal, we gladly accept that our administration bore the brunt of the mess created by the previous Congress. For my administration the difficulties and controversies would only worsen.
In the waning days of my second term came another crisis, long on the making. This resulted from the perfect combination of overly ambitious borrowers and greedy lenders. Lenders passed out money to unqualified buyers (a.k.a. "Subprime Mortgages") based solely on speculations that the property would continue appreciating, and if it became necessary to foreclose there would still be profit. They "packaged" these loans and sold them off as securities. So began the wild land speculation of the new millennia - a modern-day gold rush for mortgage companies and banks. However, it eventually became clear that property valuations of homes sent to foreclosure were pure
The most contentious issues of my tenure have been the wars Afghanistan and Iraq. Since most of us are not clairvoyant we are unable to see the alternative, once the action is taken. While criticism abounds, we can't know if these actions will eventually be beneficial or detrimental. Deep inside weren't we all just a little afraid what would happen if Saddam Hussein had actually acquired a nuclear weapon? A lesson learned from the past is that we cannot ignore the possibility that inaction may have cost even more American lives. The outcome of the wars 62
fiction. Thus we enter "The Foreclosure Crisis". A double headed serpent, where free-wheeling lending allowed borrowers to bury themselves in debt, and lenders overextended themselves expecting to defer dubious loans by selling them to someone else. While it is impossible to escape the blame, this abscess had been festering in denial for much longer than eight years. Simple common sense would have completely averted this national crisis. Don't buy what you can't afford and don't borrow more than you can pay back. Wasn't it Will Rogers who said that?
able and demand seemed unlimited. Oil for the most part is a finite resource. That is to say, it is a "non-renewable" energy. The massive US consumption coupled with a sudden exponential demand in China conspired into the perfect economic disaster. Prices for oil began a sharp rise in 2007 because of what appeared to be a limitless growth in demand. Suddenly these luxuriously appointed and highly profitable SUV's became virtually worthless. To creditors who leased such vehicles the residual value of returning leases was nearly zero. A crisis unseen in American automotive history should reach its apex this spring. If not corrected, we run the risk the next Presidential limousine will be a Toyota.
For my successor there is a crisis not quite fully ripened. That is the decline of automotive manufacturing in America. The seeds of this tangled briar patch were sown some 30 years ago. On October 17, 1973 OPEC punished America for its support of Israel in their failed assault on the Jewish nation (Oil Embargo). The result was spiraling gasoline prices, rationing, and laws prohibiting the sale of gasoline on Sundays. For those of us over 40 the memories are quite vivid. Automotive companies responded by shrinking and lightening cars to improve gas mileage. By the mid 1980's the average family car was no longer comfortable at the drive-in but was much more fuel-efficient. Less than ten years later, the American ability to remember had disappeared. Entering more into the mainstream American psyche came the four-wheel drive, energy gorging, hydro-carbon spewing Sport Utility Vehicle. The SUV was exceedingly profit-
Perhaps the most difficult battle for my successor will be the general decline in American manufacturing. The GATT and NAFTA treaties effectively tore down tariffs and trade barriers beginning in 1994. While there are provisions that make American goods cheaper for overseas customers, there are also provisions that give incentives to move manufacturing operations to lower labor cost countries such as Mexico and China. No provision was made for American laborers who lost out in the global market place. The declining manufacturing sector and deteriorating standard of living in America means the average citizen must cut back on expenditures. This includes products from American corporations producing in Mexico and China. While I shall absorb the blame for this fateful and ironic 63
twist on outsourcing, it began long before my tenure. It has been hinted that your exiting President is an imbecile. I submit to you that it is merely a ruse of your creation. It is with full confidence that I can claim to be a victim of great deceit. I was deceived into believing the President is expected to be something defined. And yet, it has become clear that the President is expected to be nothing more than contradictions. Americans wish to have a leader who is omnipotent in intellect but still comprehensible colloquially. A genius who is the guy we get drunk and swindle at poker. You want a strong military without using anyone's son or daughter. You want houses you can't afford, credit limits you can't repay, and a strong economy without using natural resources. You want independence from foreign oil but still buy SUV's that get 9 miles per gallon. You want to assign blame for everything gone wrong unless the finger is pointing at you. You claim to be concerned about America's future, but you squander the resources that will sustain your children, pollute the air they will breath and foul the water they will drink at an exponential rate. It is clear I have been deceived. What the American public wants in a President is an omnipotence reserved for only the most elite in heaven. I suggest to you that my unpopular status stems, not from what you see in me, but that little piece of you that you see in me.
Frozen Stars Kristen N. Rocca
Sunday Family Dinner Don't think I didn't notice your tone, or that little 'tisk' you mumbled, self-righteousness must come with being alone, Dragging me down for your own life crumbled. -- Well like I said it didn't work out, But at least I saw it through; And I know you donâ€™t like my decision, but we all can't bail as quickly as you. So keep sitting high on your transparent horse, Looking long down your nose for respect you wonâ€™t get; Because I'm already up on my feet again, and I love life too much to be as bitter as you just yet.
Amending Spring The winter turned us sadder. There were no more fireflies in the dark, in an instant we lost all we had found, that night I kissed you in the park. A bed of daisies turned a blanket of snow; we noticed the change with the falling leaves. The gnarled oak tree and I stand staring and for what he has lost, like me, he grieves. But I pity neither oak nor withered flower, For spring is around the corner for them. They shall soon reclaim glory past, And blooming life shall make amends. But here my fate diverges from theirs, No spring looms on the horizon for me; When I look inside to glance ahead Endless snow is all I see. I have but a sliver of a chance at redemption, That lies only in one heart. I will be waiting-patiently; by the gnarled oak tree, for her return, with fireflies in the dark.
from her building with her aged mother and her young daughter and niece to the underground station. On an average day the walk took roughly two minutes; however, given the current circumstances it must have felt like an eternity. Underground the conditions were cramped, crowded and very stuffy. This was one of the earliest injustices that little Tyra and Joyce (age five and six respectively) would be forced to face. Ironically, while Anne, Mary and the other adults pondered what kind of future their children would face, the children themselves simply prayed that the Germans would do them a favor and destroy their school.
Tyra Michael McKee Glasgow, Scotland. 1940 The air raid sirens were sounding in the distance as two little girls slept quietly in their tenement building on West Graham Street. Grandmother (Mamma) Mary burst into the room and quickly roused them from their sleep as virtual chaos ensued in the street below. The residents that were not taking refuge in their building basements were forced to make an agonizing run to the Cowcaddens Underground station at the end of the road, whilst German bombers could be heard from overhead. As Grandmother quickly dressed the girls in their coats, Anne, mother of one of them, grabbed threadbare blankets from a wardrobe, for it was unknown how long the bombings would persist. Moments later the small family made their way down three flights of stairs with gas masks in hand, preparing to make the run to the station. Blind Mr. Anderson was somehow always the first out of his apartment, yelling for the other neighbors to hasten to safety (some heeded his warning, while others preferred to stay in their own bed if they were to die). So it was that Anne made the arduous journey
Tyra McGivern was born under less than ideal circumstances in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 8, 1935 to Miss Anne McGivern. Anne had fallen in love with Mr. John Kerr of Glasgow, a wealthy pub owner, and it was this man that fathered her daughter. Unfortunately for twenty-year old Anne, John Kerr was already married and had a â€•respectableâ€– family of his own to tend to. Tyra would only meet her father once during her lifetime before he drank himself to death. Anne herself was born under a cloud of shame on May 10, 1915 to thirty-year old Mary in the coastal village of Ardrossan. I simply say Mary because it is unclear what 66
her surname was at the time of Anne‘s birth (either Keagan or McGivern). Mary Machulie married Robert Keagan in roughly 1905 and bore him six children (some of whom died as infants) before he went to fight in the First World War. It has been well documented that Mr. Keagan drowned during the war in 1914. When Anne was born in 1915 the local court system went to great lengths to document that she was not the daughter of the aforementioned Robert Keagan, but instead of David McGivern. It is also known that the McGivern family was present at the Keagan wedding and lived in Ardrossan. Shortly after Anne‘s birth, Mary and David were married and left their hometown with her children and moved to Glasgow farther to the north. David would later die of cancer, leaving Mary to care for six children in a strange city. Likewise, Anne‘s sister Catherine Keagan caused quite the scandal by falling in love with a local Jewish man. She would later go on to produce an illegitimate daughter, Joyce, in 1934; she would die shortly after giving birth due to complications and tuberculosis. However, much like John Kerr, Catherine‘s beloved was married and had a pre-existing family. Joyce never met her father and it was kept secret for many years during the war that she
was half Jewish, thus she was considered a legal orphan of the state. So it was that little Tyra was born into a family of strong-willed single women who were seeking to merely survive in the unkind world. By the time of Tyra‘s birth in 1935, Mary and her daughter Anne were living at 89 West Graham Street in the Garnet Hill section of Glasgow with infant Joyce. The ideals of American domesticity did not apply to this mother-daughter duo, for Mary worked in the kitchen of a prominent Jewish club while Anne was a waitress in the same restaurant. Both women worked very hard to scrape together the £2 rent for their one bedroom, third floor apartment, which was a relatively common living arrangement at the time; combined they made roughly £15 pounds a month for a family of four ("Glasgow's History," The Glasgow Website). They submitted to no man and actively molded the futures of Tyra and Joyce. For decades Americans judged women based on four simple virtues that were described in The Cult of True Womanhood: piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity (Murphy, 10/17/08). Tyra was by no means raised an atheist, but religion was not a focal point of the McGivern household, although she and her fellow Protestant peers at the Garnett Banks School did enjoy a friendly 67
rivalry with the local Catholic children. Likewise, given the women‘s sordid history, they were by no means considered pure. However, it was Mary‘s belief that by instilling in her grandchildren strong moral beliefs, they would eventually grown up to lead successful lives. As for submissiveness, Mary was viewed throughout the neighborhood as the most viable force to be reckoned with. Children feared her and grown men envied her blatant disregard for propriety when it came to speaking her mind. The only standard to which Anne and Mary might conceivably have conformed would be that of domesticity. Creating a comfortable home life for Tyra and Joyce was the most pressing concern for both women. The women would go without simply so that the girls did not, they would work long hours for little pay and then go home to prepare meals for the children and also tend to the general housework. In short, Tyra was raised by two remarkable women.
of the young girls at their school were taught how to knit socks for the soldiers on the front lines, while at home they tended to their victory garden in the small plot of dirt behind the tenement and were designated the tasks of polishing the cast iron stove and carrying water up three flights of stairs in order to boil it for the cleaning of the family laundry. This harkens back to the romanticized vision of patriotic women tending to the needs of both family and country while the men were off fighting. Less enjoyable for Tyra was the fact that no one in Glasgow was ever permitted to leave their home without a gas mask in hand. Tyra graduated from high school in June 1949 at age fourteen with the world before her, but sadly a year later on June 20, 1950 her grandmother died. With the death of the strong family matriarch, and bills to be paid, Tyra and Joyce were required to join the workforce. Tyra took up a position as a sales girl at the store E.N. Wolfe‘s, making a meager 25 shillings a day, while Joyce managed to hold three jobs respectively. The pay that the girls earned immediately went to Anne who decided how the money was to be used for the family. So while technically considered an adult at this time, Tyra still looked to her mother for guidance. However, like any
It was perhaps during the Second World War that Tyra‘s life was the most chaotic. From the ages of four to ten she lived with constant hunger, the death of relatives during the German air raids, and the possible threat of invasion. While still in grade school both Tyra and Joyce actively participated in the British war effort. All 68
young girl, she soon grew tired of the yoke of parentage. One memory still stands out quite vividly in her mind nearly sixty years later:
Tyra he always brought a small gift for Anne. Naturally Edward was favored by Anne. Robert did not receive the same praise. He was eight years older than Tyra and considered quite the partier (staying up late into the evening drinking), the antithesis of everything Anne wanted for her daughter. Tyra naturally chose my grandfather--Robert McKee--as her husband. When asked if she chose him solely because her mother disapproved she merely smirked and said ―no.‖
One day my mother was getting ready for work and she handed me her apron and asked me to iron it. I threw it back at her and said ―Why don‘t you iron your own apron!‖ She picked up the apron, finished getting ready and then left the apartment without saying anything to me at all. She didn‘t need to...her eyes said it all. I ran to the living room window overlooking the street and yelled to her that I was sorry. She didn‘t hear me. She worked so hard to support me and I wouldn‘t even iron her apron.
Tyra and Robert were married in a quiet ceremony on May 8, 1954 in Glasgow; roughly three months later their first child, Constance, was born in Edinburgh. While Robert made the proper arrangements with base authorities for family housing, Tyra and Constance continued to live with Anne and Joyce at 89 West Graham Street. By marrying an American, Tyra would now receive a £100 allotment check each month. Ever the dedicated daughter, Tyra gave £20 a month to her mother to pay the rent on their apartment, which her mother tearfully accepted every time. In one sweep Tyra was now able to give her mother the same amount of money that it had previously taken two people working to earn in one month. It was made known to Tyra that she would have to relocate with her husband and daughter to the
Times were not all bad, though. Tyra and Joyce were soon regulars at the local dance halls that were packed full of young American soldiers. In the evenings when they did not have to work the girls would spend hours getting ready for ―the boys‖ and then spend the night dancing and drinking with the soldiers (the drinks were of course paid for by the Americans). By 1953, at the age of eighteen, Tyra had two very serious American suitors, Edward and Robert. Edward was considered the typical American boy next door; he neither smoke nor drank and whenever he called upon 69
United States by 1955 for at least one year. She envisioned falling in love with her husband‘s homeland, buying a home in the suburbs and then bringing her mother and Joyce to live with her. Like many immigrants to the United States before her, Tyra was actively embracing the idea of chain migration (Murphy 10/31/08). Tragically this dream would not come to fruition, for on October 3, 1954, Anne died of uterine cancer at the age of thirty-nine. In June of 1955 Tyra moved to Arizona while in the last stages of pregnancy with her second child, leaving Joyce in the apartment with their Uncle Ernie. After her mother‘s death Tyra was filled with regret; regret for the things she never told her mother, regrets about things that she had never asked her, and the sad regret that there was not more she could have done while she was still alive to make her life easier.
or indoor plumbing; at eight months pregnant Tyra was forced to climb a small hill and use an outhouse. They appeared to live in a bubble of ignorance, asking such questions as: ―Did Bob teach you to speak English?‖ and ―Why aren‘t you wearing a hoopskirt?‖ Additionally, she could not fathom why the African American citizens were forced to step into the street when she walked by them or why when they were in the south they had to sit in the back of the bus. On July 22, 1955, Tyra gave birth to a second daughter, Karen. No Scottish woman should ever move to Arizona in the middle of summer. The biggest complaint Tyra has about her year in Arizona was the fact that she was isolated with two small children in unbearable heat with no friends. Sensing his wife‘s discontent, Robert announced one day during dinner that he had put in for a transfer to a base in England. Tyra cried at the table, happy to be returning to Britain.
Tyra hated America. She had imagined the Statue of Liberty to be a golden figure covered in diamonds, imagine her surprise when she docked in New York City and saw the plain green woman. On route to Arizona the small family made a brief visit to Robert‘s family home in southern Ohio. As a young girl who had been raised in a major metropolitan area, she was in total shock. The McKee‘s had no running water
Tyra moved into a home in Birchington, Kent, that overlooked the ocean, where she gave birth to her third child, Robert Jr. (my father). Tyra‘s life consisted of getting the children and her husband ready in the morning, preparing breakfast, cleaning the house, and grocery shopping. However, her husband did not permit her to have a driver‘s license. She was quite 70
popular among many of the other women in neighborhood, often hosting a large afternoon tea while the men were at work. She was the first of the local women to befriend a white English woman that had married an African American soldier (which caused a scandal). Essentially she led a very mundane life with little variety. She was isolated by the stereotypical gender roles and was totally dependent upon her husband. It can logically be assumed that since Tyra‘s formative years were marred by the conspicuous absence of a true father, she was willing to accept a patriarchal marriage in order to create a seemingly secure future for her children. In her mind the loss of her own personal freedom was a small sacrifice to ensure that her children were raised without the stigma that she and Joyce were forced to cope with on a daily basis. The concept of marriage, as it existed during the 1950‘s, greatly appealed to Tyra in her youth because in her mind it meant the end of a lifetime of hardships. She can hardly be blamed for romanticizing the institution of marriage.
suburb of Whitehall in 1969; on November 26, 1965 she had her final child, a son named David. War once again disrupted Tyra‘s life when her husband was sent to fight in Vietnam. She was forced into the role of a deputy husband during his absence, taking over the management of both the house and family finances, as did many other women of the time (Murphy 10/8/08). Life was a struggle during his absence due to the lack of money; the family had to make do with very little. Robert was forced out of the war and the air force altogether in 1967 when he suffered a mild heart attack and was sent home. Still recovering from his heart attack, Robert was infuriated by the fact that Tyra had to get a job to support the family, while he had to stay home with the children. After roughly thirteen years as a housewife, Tyra took a position at the local Lazarus in 1967, working in the children‘s section (a position she kept until 1988). She found working to be a liberating experience because she was able to leave the house and get away from the children. Coincidentally this was also when she began wearing pants. Now retired, Robert dreamed, much to the delight of Tyra, of moving the family back to Scotland and living quietly in the country. Life seemed to be going well until
By 1964 Tyra had become an American citizen and she and her family moved permanently to Columbus, Ohio. They lived first in a small apartment but later purchased a small three-bedroom home in the 71
Robert died on November 4, 1972 of a massive heart attack.
her and her many female friends. It is a group in which they all take great pride, with Tyra as the Chaplain. In September of 2004 she was able to purchase her own home in the city of Whitehall; a liberating feeling since she did so on her own without the aid of a man or other relatives. While she did gain many freedoms, it was decided by her children that there was a reason it took her so long to get her driver‘s license and it was best for the wider community if she refrained from driving at all (she was far too fond of disregarding stop signs). However, she still continues to make her own financial and political decisions after so many years of submission to others. One of her greatest passions in her spare time is a skill that was taught to her during the war…knitting.
Tyra was forced to work fulltime in order to manage the $136 mortgage payment, and finally in 1974 she got her first driver‘s license. Her daughters were both attending college and Robert was in high school and working fulltime to help his mother. By this time she had joined both the VFW and the American Legion and had a large circle of British friends. It was at the VFW that she met Gerald Stoltz, whom she married in 1976. It was a loveless marriage that lasted only one year. She married him simply because she felt that young David needed a male role model in his life; as it turns out the often quiet Gerald was very harsh on the children. The moral is that you should never marry for your children‘s happiness while disregarding your own intuition. Tyra eventually sold her home in Whitehall to her eldest son in 1988 and moved into a more manageable apartment close by, where she happily received her seventeen grandchildren and great grandchildren for many years.
My grandmother has by no means had an easy life. Typically when things seemed to be going well she would experience the loss of a loved one who she had grown to rely on. In addition, she has endured a wide range of medical complications: tuberculosis, two heart attacks, the loss of a kidney, a stroke, and breast cancer. While the odds seem to be against her, she has never faltered in being a kind nurturer and an optimist. It is her belief that her struggles have enabled future generations of her family to live a life that is slightly better
As a widow and divorcee, Tyra gained a great amount of autonomy that she had previously not been accustomed to. The Women‘s Auxiliary of the American Legion continues to serve as a solidarity group for 72
than hers. She is the bond of the McKee family and she has taught everyone that family is something sacred and something to be cherished.
the surrounding area as well: imagining Grandma and Joyce playing in the streets, Anne running to the hospital down the road with a bleeding Joyce in her arms after she had fallen down the stairs, Grandma bringing Grandpa home, to her mother’s dismay. I looked back up at the windows and imagined Grandma yelling an apology to her mother in the street below. The thought gave me chills for some reason. The rest of my family soon joined me, snapped a few pictures and was ready to leave. They did not understand the significance of this spot and it angered me. Even as I walked away I kept looking back at the building over my shoulder, wondering what Grandma had thought when she left it for the last time. In a way she has never really left Scotland at all; it is with her all the time. Scotland is an intangible object, not just a nation. By raising her children and grandchildren with a love of their heritage, she has ensured that Scotland will always be with her even from thousands of miles away. For this I am truly thankful.
Glasgow, Scotland. 2007 I emerged onto the platform of the Cowcaddens Underground station with my parents and my maternal grandmother. Grandma McKee said she was unable to make the trip to Scotland with us due to her health (the same excuse she used when we went to England two years before). It felt odd being there without her, knowing that she had not seen her home since the 1960’s. I think she was afraid to go home, afraid of the changes. As the rest of my family talked idly I looked at my surroundings and thought “This is where they went for safety during the war?! It must have been awfully cramped.” I left the station alone and began walking down West Graham Street. It was an unbelievably hilly section of the city, reminiscent of pictures I had seen of San Francisco. This was my Jerusalem, my Mecca. I began counting down the numbers on the buildings until I stood in front of number 89. I had visited this place so many times as a child through the retelling of my grandmother’s stories. I counted up three floors and then there it was. I stood staring at this aging building as if it was the most beautiful thing on Earth. I started observing 73
Saying Goodbye Saying goodbye is never easy. The words just will not flow. We will miss you so dearly that it's hard to let you go.
Austin Woods We are better to have known you, to have seen your courage grow, watching as your strength and your bravery overflowed. You were such a brave contender, ever fighting till the end. Did you know your mission in life was to show us how to live? As we say our final goodbye, we will try to be brave and not cry. For we know we will meet again in Heaven but until then time goes slowly by. And now as we say farewell, even at your journeyâ€™s end, please remember that no distance can come between God's faithful friends.
Child Survival is an organization dedicated to raising awareness and increasing commitment to global efforts that improve the survival and health of children under five in developing countries. You too can help at Child-Survival.org.
Dedicated to Brittany
About Us About the Editors
About the Contributors
Jim Cannon â€“ English major, Student Body, over age 40, over
Jarod Anderson, 2008 alumnus, English. Shane Antolak, freshman, landscape architecture. Malin Bryson, freshman, forestry management. Ethan Coleman, freshman, middle childhood education. Amber Dingess, freshman, undecided. Jeremy Harper, 2006 alumnus, business. Jonathan Holmes, senior, English. Marian Hutchison, senior, English. Sara Irvin, 2008 alumna, integrated social studies. Christopher Metcalf, freshman, finance. Michael McKee, sophomore, history. Alexis McPeek, senior, art history/business. Michael Morrison, 2008 alumnus, English. Douglas Moser, senior, English. Erika Mugglin, freshman, photography. Randy Ogle, senior, English. Emily Patrick, junior, civil engineering. Kathy Postle, 1988 alumna, exercise science. Ryanne Ratliff, sophomore, psychology/pre-med. April Sears, junior, English. Chad Sines, freshman, sculpture. Erin Tobin, senior, English. Cheryl Tucker, senior, English. Thomas Vance, sophomore, psychology. Leeland Waller, senior, English. Austin Woods, sophomore, industrial design.
220 pound, proud Intramural Bench Press Contest Winner . . . Sara Davisson is proud to live in Nerk . . . Terry Gomes lives vicariously through the words expelled from his quill . . . The fresh meat of the class, Briana Malaska is a wandering gypsy who has now come to conquer that which is called Ohio . . . Mackenzie Kirkpatrick is a senior English major who enjoys warm weather, Super Nintendo, and long walks on the beach, and plans to take over the world one plate of seafood at a time . . .Kristy Lippert is livin' life like a dream . . . Keari Nickells is a senior English Education major known to scare the daylights out of people for random outbursts, whose family consists of a Nascar driver and a little girl who will discover a new dinosaur to be called a Keaurasaurus . . . Jocelyn Probasco is a junior English major who likes traveling and all types of music . . . Kristen N. Rocca is a senior English major, attended her first OSU football game with her dad at the age of four, is a proud OSU Buckeye and soon to be Mrs. Edward Cullen. Go Bucks! . . . Elyn Tibbs is a senior psychology major who has found a passion for marketing/journalism and loves to shove the good things in life in the eye of the skeptical and downtrodden public . . . Michael Reimer senior in English, is now too famous to bother with bios . . . Returnee Ashley Caggiano is pretty sweet. But don't take our word for it, you shall find out in time . . . Elizabeth Weiser is the ever-exhausted faculty advisor to this motley crew.
YOUR NAME HERE. Send in your original work anytime to email@example.com and you might be featured in the 2010 Taproot. Or join the staffâ€”Literary Publishing 662, winter quarter. 75
Tumbling down the Rabbit Hole
Second Hand Give me a lived-in life, a spent skin. Name it when Iâ€™ve gone-a new word the smell of fall leaf-litter, part citrus and the rest fresh bread. Whisper it with your feet on the sofa, shoes and all.
Sustenance Here, tomorrow is silent, helpless and perfect. Together we kneed the dough and live through single syllables playing at store-bought grace with hands that know nothing but decades of bounty.
i b b s 37
My Inspiration Who would have thought my inspiration would come from a young child? A mere thirteen when we met, she had a contagious smile. She very seldom turned me down when it was time to work. With strength and courage she fought the battle, never giving up. When God created Christina He did so for the world to see, just how inspirational this courageous young lady could be.
With braces on and crutches near she carried on with life, even when times were tough and an end was not in sight. With time she learned to walk, with no assistance needed, and even with the loss of friends her inner strength succeeded. When Christina's sun has set, and life on earth is over, who would have thought my inspiration would come from such an incredible young woman? 38
Chad Sines 39