The Vacuum by Howard Nemerov

Posted: December 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Vacuum

By Howard Nemerov

The house is so quiet now
The vacuum cleaner sulks in the corner closet,
Its bag limp as a stopped lung, its mouth
Grinning into the floor, maybe at my
Slovenly life, my dog-dead youth.
I’ve lived this way long enough,
But when my old woman died her soul
Went into that vacuum cleaner, and I can’t bear
To see the bag swell like a belly, eating the dust
And the woolen mice, and begin to howl
Because there is old filth everywhere
She used to crawl, in the corner and under the stair.
I know now how life is cheap as dirt,
And still the hungry, angry heart
Hangs on and howls, biting at air.
I liked this poem because I liked how the whole poem is a huge metaphor about the poets life. The vacuum sucking out the dirt is like how his mom’s death has kind of sucked the life out of him. The dirt that is left is like the memories that are left of his mom in the house. Thankfully, I can’t relate to his pain, but I can see how that can be really hard on a person because your parents are the most important people in your life and losing one would be the worst feeling ever.
1. I liked this line a lot because he is comparing the bag of the vacuum being “limp as a stopped lung” to his “Slovenly life”, his “dog-dead youth”. This is probably because of his mom died, so now he is moping around his house.

“Its bag limp as a stopped lung, its mouth
Grinning into the floor, maybe at my
Slovenly life, my dog-dead youth.”
2. This is another line I really liked because there’s double meaning, he’s again talking about his mom’s death, how he “can’t bear to see the bag swell like a belly”, talking about his mom’s soul going into the vacuum, so he can’t bear to see him mom’s soul go. This is also clever because when a vacuum has a lot of dirt, the bag swells up.
“But when my old woman died her soul

Went into that vacuum cleaner, and I can’t bear
To see the bag swell like a belly, eating the dust”
3. The last line I liked was “I know now how life is cheap as dirt” because he stays with the dirt vacuum reference and he’s also venting about how life is cheap because his mom died.
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Othello/Maroon 5 Mashup

Posted: December 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

I didn’t hear what you were sayingI live on raw emotion, baby

I answer questions, never maybe

And I’m not kind if you betray me

So who the hell are you to say ‘we’?

I never would’ve made it, baby

If you needed love, well, then ask for love

Could’ve given love, now I’m taking love

And it’s not my fault ’cause you both deserve

What’s coming now, so don’t say a word

Wake up call, caught you in the morning

With another one in my bed

Don’t you care about me anymore?

Don’t you care about me? I don’t think so!

Six foot tall, came without a warning

So I had to shoot him dead

He won’t come around here anymore

Come around here, I don’t think so!

I would’ve bled to make you happy

You didn’t need to treat me that way

And now you’ve beat me at my own game

And now I found you sleeping soundly

And your love is screaming loudly

I hear a sound and hit the ground

If you needed love, well, then ask for love

Could’ve given love, now I’m taking love

And it’s not my fault ’cause you both deserve

What’s coming now, so don’t say a word

Wake up call, caught you in the morning

With another one in my bed

Don’t you care about me anymore?

Don’t you care about me? I don’t think so!

Six foot tall, came without a warning

So I had to shoot him dead

He won’t come around here anymore

Come around here, I don’t feel so bad

I don’t feel so bad, I don’t feel so bad

I’m so sorry, darling

Did I do the wrong thing?

Oh, what was I thinking?

Is his heart still beating?

Wake up call, caught you in the morning

With another one in my bed

Don’t you care about me anymore?

Don’t you care about me? I don’t think so!

Six foot tall, came without a warning

So I had to shoot him dead

He won’t come around here anymore

Come around here, I don’t feel so bad

Wake up call, caught you in the morning

With another one in my bed

Don’t you care about me anymore?

Care about me? I don’t think so!

Six foot tall, came without a warning

So I had to shoot him dead

He won’t come around here anymore

No, he won’t come around here, I don’t feel so bad

Wake up call, caught you in the morning

With another one in my bed

Don’t you care about me anymore?

Don’t you care about me? I don’t feel so bad

Wake up call, caught you in the morning

With another one in my bed

Don’t you care about me anymore?

She haunts me in every place.

Have you scored me? Well.

By heaven, that should be my handkerchief!

Ay, let her rot, and perish, and be damned to-night; 
for she shall not live:

My heart is turned to stone; I strike it, and it hurts my hand.

Hang her!

the 
world hath not a sweeter creature

Cunning whore of Venice

A fine woman! a fair woman! a sweet woman!

My love a whore

to see how he prizes the 
foolish woman your wife! she gave it him, and he 
hath given it his whore.

I wish thou had’st ne’er been born

With my own lieutenant

To kiss in private

An unauthorized kiss

Or to be naked with her friend in bed

Crying ‘O dear Cassio’

She can weep, sir, weep

I see that nose of yours, but not that dog I shall 
throw it to.

I didn’t hear what you were saying,

 

I wish thou hads’t ne’er been born

 

And I’m not kind if you betray me

With my own lieutenant?

 

So who the hell are you to say ‘we’?

Dost thou mock me?

I never would’ve made it baby, if you needed love well then ask for love, Could’ve given love, now I’m taking love

My heart is turned to stone; I strike it and it hurts my hand

 

And it’s not my fault, ‘cause you both deserve, what’s comin’ now so don’t say a word

To kiss in private!

 

Don’t you care about me anymore? Don’t you care about me? I don’t think so!

The cunning whore of Venice

 

I would’ve bled to make you happy

The world hath not a sweeter creature

 

You didn’t need to treat me that way

My love a whore!

 

I hear a sound and hit the ground

“She gave it him, and he hath given it his whore”

 

Six foot tall, came without a warning, so I had to shoot him dead

 

I see that nose of yours, but not that dog I shall 
throw it to.

Come around here? I don’t think so

I liked this song because the song is about him finding his partner in bed with another man. Obviously he is extremely hurt by this, just like Othello is when Iago starts feeding him these false notions that Desdimona is cheating on him. They’re both very hostile, for example in the song he says “Six foot tall came without a warning, so I had to shoot him dead”, just like Othello was thinking of ways to murder Cassio. Also they both have negative feelings toward their woman now, in the song “And it’s not my fault, ‘cause you both deserve, what’s comin’ now so don’t say a word” and in Othello he calls her all kinds of names, especially whore. The similarities between the two are endless.

Through all of the new technology and improved living conditions that have occurred over time, one thing that has not and will most likely never change in human nature. People have been feeling happy, sad, jealous, angry, and many more feelings for as long as there were humans. Another thing humans started feeling is racist towards people who are not like them. Shunning someone because they are different happens all across the world everyday. Racism has been happening for centuries, evidenced by the fact that Othello is repeatedly called derogatory terms like ‘Moor’ and even called the devil solely based on the fact that he’s black, Muslim, and from Africa, unlike his Venetian counterparts. An example of this racism was shown when Iago was telling Brabantio that Desdimona had run off and married Othello; he uttered phrases such as “an old black ram is topping your white ewe”, using derogatory terms to describe Othello having sex with his daughter. He then goes on to say “Arise, arise; Awake the snorting citizens with the bell, or else the devil will make a grandsire of you”. The amount of hatred contained in that phrase is overwhelming. He is telling him to stop Othello and Desdimona’s marriage or else the devil – Othello – will make Brabantio a grandfather by impregnating his daughter. That shows that Othello was immediately deemend as an unfit partner for Desdimona without even seeing how he treats her. All Iago cared about was getting the point across to Brabantio that Othello is an old, black man, who has no business being with Desdimona and that it should be stopped.

Test: Quote Identification

Posted: November 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Quote:

“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands:
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.”

Speaker: Iago

Person Spoken to: Othello

What is going on when this passage is spoken? 

Iago had just started sending Othello tiny signals that he might’ve seen something between Cassio and Desdimona. He’s pretending to be a good friend to Cassio and not want to tell on him, when in reality it’s just the opposite.

Comment:

It’s ironic how Iago says “Good name in man and woman… Is the immediate jewel of their souls.”, while at the same time he is purposely trying to wreck a man (Cassio) and a woman’s (Desdimona) good name.

1. What is Iago trying to make other people think?

Iago is trying to show Roderigo (who wouldn’t need too much persuasion because of his present bias) that Othello and black people in general and bad people with bad intentions. He needs Roderigo’s help to make Othello’s life miserable and is trying to tell him a lot of negatives about “Moors” in order to show him that he’s a bad man and that they should do something about him.

2. What tactics does Iago rely on to make his victims believe him?

He relies on degrading words like the “Moor” a lot through out the speech. He also plays to some stereotypes of black males, comparing a possibly commonly preferred food of them at the time (locusts) to women. He also says that the “Moors are changeable in their wills”. Which means that he could all of a sudden change his mind about loving Desdimona and leave her for another woman. He also repeatedly tells Roderigo to “put money in thy purse”. There are two reasons for this, the first being that in case Othello leaves Desdimona, Roderigo should have money in order to get her. The second reason being, he wants to take advantage of Roderigo and get him to spend money on him while he helps him get Desdimona.

Devil

Posted: October 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

Iago

Awake the snorting citizens with the bell, 
Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you: 

(Act I, Scene I)

Iago is talking to Brabantio about Othello at night outside of his home. Iago had been telling Brabantio about how Othello had married his daughter and was using some pretty harsh words to describe Othello. He is pretty much telling Brabantio to go do something about this or else the devil (a word he’s using to describe Othello) will make him a grandfather.

Iago

Her eye must be fed; 
and what delight shall she have to look on the 
devil? 

(Act II, Scene I)

Here, Iago is mentioning Othello in a mean way again. This time, he’s talking about why would Desdimona want to be with him. He’s pretty much saying, why would Desdimona possibly want to look at the devil. That’s how much he hated Othello that he doesn’t even see him as worthy for her to look at.

 

 

 

Othello Act 1 Scene 1 Questions

Posted: October 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

1. Although Iago, Roderigo, and Brabantio don’t seem to be getting along at first, they soon find out that they do have something in common. They are all racist towards black people. Iago and Roderigo storm into Brabantio’s house telling him how a Moor and married his daughter. Brabantio, after finding out that Othello is with his daughter, he is now also joining in on the racism calling him a Moor and getting angry. They say Moor at least 8 times in the text and not once did they even say his actual name. That shows how much they look down on him just because of his skin color and where he’s from. At the end, Brabantio even says “Call up my brother. O, would you had had her!” to Roderigo who he didn’t even like at the beginning. That shows that he would rather have anyone else marry his daughter than a mere Moor.

3. Given the way Iago, Roderigo, and Brabantio are talking about Othello, you would expect him to be some kind of womanizing, creepy, old man-rapist. The way they talk about Othello having sex with Desdimona saying “the devil will make a grandsire of you” shows a lot of negative feelings towards Othello. They also say that “an old black ram is topping your white ewe.” This also shows that he’s significantly older than Desdimona.