Archive for May, 2012

Posted: May 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ways of Talking

By Ha Jin

We used to like talking about grief
Our journals and letters were packed
with losses, complaints, and sorrows.
Even if there was no grief
we wouldn’t stop lamenting
as though longing for the charm
of a distressed face.
Then we couldn’t help expressing grief
So many things descended without warning:
labor wasted, loves lost, houses gone,
marriages broken, friends estranged,
ambitions worn away by immediate needs.
Words lined up in our throats
for a good whining.
Grief seemed like an endless river—
the only immortal flow of life.
After losing a land and then giving up a tongue,
we stopped talking of grief
Smiles began to brighten our faces.
We laugh a lot, at our own mess.
Things become beautiful,
even hailstones in the strawberry fields.
I chose this poem because it relates to the story of The Great Gatsby which is mainly about love, but with a lot of added subplots for the entertainment effect.
The first phrase I like is:
“We used to like talking about grief

Our journals and letters were packed
with losses, complaints, and sorrows.
Even if there was no grief
we wouldn’t stop lamenting
as though longing for the charm
of a distressed face.”
I like this because it strongly relates to Gatsby. This part shows that the author and whoever the author is writing this about were really close at one point, much like Daisy and Gatsby were but that is gone now, which is evident in the poem too since he is using past tense to describe what they would do.
The next part I liked is:
“Then we couldn’t help expressing grief
So many things descended without warning:
labor wasted, loves lost, houses gone,
marriages broken, friends estranged,
ambitions worn away by immediate needs.”
I think this part of the poem is the part that relates the most to Daisy and Gatsby’s story, because all of a sudden, like when Gatsby went to war, their love was lost, their eventual marriage that would have occured had he been there was gone, as well as many other things. When the author says “ambitions worn away by immediate needs” describes how Daisy’s amition to marry Gatsby was gone by the immediate need for her and her family’s to marry her off.
The last part I liked was:
“We laugh a lot, at our own mess.”
This is especially true since Gatsby and Daisy created a huge mess in many people’s lives, killed someone over their affair, and even resulted in Gatsby’s death. This shows that they produced a gigantic mess over their residual love. It wasn’t funny though.