Category Archives: Reading Responses

RR5-poetry : Mikhail Reid

This poem by e.e. Cummings is a great example of extended metaphor. On the surface, the poem appears to be about a driver’s excitement to drive a new car. The use of the pronoun “she” could be man’s tendency to refer to an automobile as feminine. Upon further examination, it becomes convincing that the poem is actually an extended metaphor for a man’s sexual experience with a woman, and the woman is possibly a virgin.

The poem “Coming Home, Detroit, 1968″ by Phillip Levine is also talking about a man in a car driving. This poem sets a sad tone especially when they said “A winter Tuesday, the city pouring fire, Ford Rouge sulfurs the sun, Cadillac, Lincoln,Chevy gray”. which could  be talking about the factory smoke is covering the sky to point you cant see the sun and just leave the city to look dark and cold.  The other line was “One brown child stares and stares into your frozen eyes”, which seems that the child is helpless and seeking for better days to come in the city.

Both poems have similarity and difference. For one they both talking about cars in a metamorphic way but at the same time e.e. Cummings talking in a good experience while Phillip Levine is going experience a rough time in Detroit as he watched his city going down the wrong path.

RR4 Susan Sontag

According to Susan Sontag’s , photographs and the images in Plato’s cave are “Mere images of the truth”. I think that for Sontag, truth or reality stand for only “what we can see”. There is a difference between what we can see with our own eyes (reality) and what we see with a camera.Sontag relates this to Plato’s allegory in which prisoner’s in a cave see shadows of objects cast on the wall due to a fire, in effect, seeing false images of reality. To her, photos are the same; false images of reality that one cannot absolutely deduce anything from.

I think the key point in Susan Sontag’s “In Plato’s Cave” is that we rely too much on photography to give meaning to our experiences. Over the years, Photography has given us the opportunity to turn our experiences and moments in life into infinite objects that last for as long as we want. She reveals her  views on how photography has affected society foreshadowing the consequences of such desperate reliance on photos.

However, in my opinion, this reliance on photos has useful purpose in some cases. It is without doubt that photos cannot be trusted entirely, but this is dependent on the viewer’s judgment and supporting information.



RR5 Poetry

In the poem, “she being Brand” by e.e Cummings, an extended metaphor is used. The poem appears to be about a a driver’s excitement to a new car. He describes the car as “she”, which could be man’s way to refer to automobiles. However, after understanding the poem,  it becomes clear that the poem is actually an extended metaphor for a man’s sexual experience with a woman, and the woman brand new, otherwise meaning she is a “virgin”. He uses the feeling of excitement of a brand new car in comparison with the sexual feeling towards a woman. One example that supports this is when he says ” it was the first ride and i believe i was happy to see how nice and acted right up to the last minute…” He also plays with form, composition and structure in which he wrote the poem in the use of the “awkward” punctuation This also plays a part in pushing  the true meaning to the metaphor.

Coming home, by Phillip Levine, he speaks about going home to his hometown “Detroit”, where you can tell the city is a riot when he say ” the charred faces, the eyes, boarded up…”. The auto factories dirt and smoke dominates the hellish landscape, ” we burn this city to the every day”.  He opens the poem with a very warm, calm mood with the use of the words “pouring fire”, “rouge sulfurs”, which shows that he sees beauty in this viscous city.

Both poems differ from one another since the meaning of the metaphors speak of two different things. E.E. Cummings compares the action to the use of brand new car to having a sexual relation to a woman, and Phillip Levine speaks about his city and the people, while driving in a car. In both poems, the author uses an extended metaphor to tell their story.


RR5 Yoshiko Nakamura

In the Poem “she being Brand” by e.e. cummings, I feel that the driver is having excitement and pleasure to drive the car using the metaphorical expressions as having sex with a woman for the first time. Usage of unique paragraph and line organization creates rhythmical fun feelings.  While, “Coming Home, Detroit, 1968” by Phillip Levine, I feel that the driver has depressing and sad impression towered the sudden grown up industry of car manufacture in his home town using the colors, animals, and chemical materials as metaphor for negative effects of having development of factories in your old town regarding pollutions and unjust condition for labors.

RR5 ( Antonio Griffith )

The poem “She being Brand” by e.e. cummings is about a man driving his new car and being excited to be inside of it. The way I know he is excited to have this car is when he said ” avenue I touched the accelerator and give her the juice, good( it was the first ride and believe I we was happy to see how nice”. He is describing he is happy to be driving his new car for the first time. The other association meaning most people would get from reading this people is that the man is having sex. I know the man word choice relates to sex because of it being flirtatious. How I know the poem make me feel like he is talking about sex is when the the guy says “I went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her up,slipped the clutch (and then somehow got into reverse she kicked war the hell)”.

The poem “Coming Home, Detroit, 1968” by Phillip Levine is also talking about a man in a car driving. The way I know this poem talks about cars is the word choice of using car names such as Ford, Cadillac, Lincoln, and Chevy. The poem says “Ford Rouge sulfurs the sun, Cadillac, Lincoln, Chevy gray”. Those words will are a literally associate with cars because they are car companies themselves. I get a sense of driving when the author of the poem wrote “near the freeway you stop and wonder what came off”. The guy was driving and stop or possibly still driving.

Both poems are giving hints that the car is referred as a girl because of the word “her”. The e.e. cummings poem is more of a happy and excited tone poem and the poem “Coming Home, Detroit, 1968 is more of a serious and calm tone that is somewhat depressing. One example of knowing that this poem is in a depressing tone is when the author wrote “recall the snowstorm where you lost it all, the wolverine, the northern bear, the wolf”. These animals are fierce and dangerous so no one will associate it with happiness.

e.e cummings- AnaMaria

The two poems is about cars. In the first poem , the driver treats the car as if it were a woman. the poem is a little intense for example: ” avenue i touched the acceleterator and give her the juice, good it “that was agood example of peaks that you can find out in this poem. Also the driver treats his car like if it were alive, well after of that emotional description that he gave us I am sure that he think it is.

In the second poem the author describes his homecoming.
It’s a bit cold, without much emotion, describes a materialized town like :”On sleds inn the false sun the new material rests. One brown child stares and stares into your frozen eyes until the light change and you go forward to work” it is little gray, dark dull .

RR5: Poetry and Metaphors – Wilbert Perez

After reading both poems, I believe e.e. Cummings is trying to exemplify the relationship between a man and his new vehicle towards the sensation of having intercourse with a female, as if they shared a similar drive or motion. When Cummings says “just as we turned the corner of Divinity avenue I touched the accelerator and give her the juice,good” I believe he was deliberately describing the intensive humping experience of riding a fast new vehicle in which you have complete control over whilst the thrill with having intercourse with a brand new woman. The following poem by Phillip Levine, the poet is mentioning the hidden ugly truths about a city that once prevailed in US business in the boom of the automobile, while social injustices and poverty struck those who needed help the most. In the grand sense of a fueling economy, America sometimes pushes it’s issues aside to tend to later if it can make the country or city a couple more dollars. To provide the economy what they need, we’ll sacrifice the community issues and let the cities culture deteriorate as the factories keep on burning for more dollars.

In a compare and contrast sense, the two poems represent both a negative and positive feeling when you consider the thought of a vehicle and what it can offer you and in the same way take away from your own life or others.

Tera Cunningham RR5 Poetry

In the poem by E.E. Cummings “she being Brand” the tone is more happy and and excited to be “driving something new”. The play on words obviously shows that he is talking about more than just a car. In example he says “I went right to it flooded- the- carburetor cranked her up, slipped the clutch (and then somehow got into reverse she kicked what the hell)” It shows that he isn’t really talking about a car. He is talking about being intimate with a woman for the first time. The line suggests that he was too rough or fast and hurt her so she pulled away. The action of driving the car is a metaphor for having sex with a woman.

In the poem “Coming Home Detroit, 1968” by Phillip Levine the tone is more serious, kind of sad. Levine talks about the car factories in Detroit and how they paint the colors of the sky with their smoke. In example he states “A winter Tuesday, the city pouring fire, Ford Rouge sulfurs the sun, Cadillac, Lincoln, Chevy gray.” They are all companies that are in Detroit. The companies are all emitting different color smoke into the sky. The poem talks about the racially divided city riot that has happened. How people lost a lot and still have lingering memories and it is with them everyday. A quote to support this is “You stop and wonder what came off, recall the snowstorm where you lost it all.” Both poets use cars to get their feelings across whether its happy like E.E. Cummings or a sad memory like Phillip Levine.

Peter Conquet Poetry

Both poems include men driving a car but the emotions evoked by these poems are very different. E.e. Cummings is comparing the first time driving a new car to having sex. An example of this is when he says “I touched the accelerator and give her the juice, good.”  The poem is very descriptive of a car as if describing the physical features of a women. It is an exciting poem that gives the feeling of a lot if twists and turns and fast paced action. Phillip Levine is using the car more as a tool. He is driving through his home town after the riots have torn people apart. An example from the poem is when he says “One brown child stares and stares into your frozen eyes until the lights change and you go forward to work.” The car is like a bubble that he is in and using to view the outside world. The use of the cars are very different for both men. I feel Philip Levine is using the car to protect himself and drive pass the racism that Detroit has brought upon itself. E.e. Cummings on the other hand is using the car for his own pleasure.

“she being Brand” and “Coming Home, Detroit, 1968”

While the two poems by e.e. cummings and Phillip Levine both use metaphors for driving, the intention of the poems is strikingly different.

The first piece we analyzed is rather fun. cummings describes a new driver taking his car out for a spin. The car is responsive and his description of the drive has movement and flow, the energy ebbs and flows. But the poem is also metaphor for sex. The driver has “thoroughly oiled the universal joint… / felt of her radiator made sure her springs were O.K.” This describes the act of foreplay, and as the poem continues, it reaches a climax and ends abruptly.  “I slammed on/the internalexpanding & externalcontracting/ breaks Bothatonce and / brought allofhertremB-ling / to a:dead. / stand- / ; still). ”


In contrast, Levine’s poem is disturbingly mournful. From the very first stanza he uses the phrase “dirtied with words.” Before today, I was unaware of the racially charged climate in Detroit during this era, but that phrase alone has a very negative connotation.  Moving on, he describes the people who have been displaced by the automobile industry. “The charred faces, the eyes/boarded up, the rubble of innards, the cry of wet smoke hanging in your throat, / the twisted river stopped at the color of iron.” None of these are positive images. Eyes are blank, the river polluted, and the city is in absolute turmoil.