Author Archives: karina gooden

My Thoughts on Spoken Word Poetry

Spoken word poetry is something I see more often now than written poetry, but I don’t have a preference really, it depends on mood and what my mind thinks I need. There are more lounges people go to perform or listen to hear those works of art. In the documentary we watched in class “ louder than a bomb”  it showed me a lot of different styles of spoken word and how serious and important it is to a lot of individuals. Spoken word gave a lot of those student hope and a coping mechanism. A pen to a paper to express how they felt and let the world know how they felt. Expressing how much they go through, to dreams and aspirations, to things people just don’t want to discuss. I use to write poetry when I needed a way to calm down but didn’t want to tell anyone at the moment. I applaud them for the courage to go in front of audience and share their work, it could be intimidating sometimes.

I view rap as a way of poetry as well from different artist like Tupac, Floetry, and H.E.R artist from different decades some from rap and some for R&B backgrounds. From Tupac’s keep your head up and H.E.R  songs pigment and against me, and Floetry’s say yes ; it’s all poetry and it’s raw with a touch of melodies behind it. It’s excited to see poetry incorporated in rap, I also liked how it was depicted in the movie ” Love Beats Rhymes”.



Definition: greedy or excessive indulgence

Source: Merriam Webster

Found in Franny Choi’s poem “Choi Jeong Min”

Knowing this definition helped me understand the deeper meaning behind those two lines. I also saw a little sarcasm behind it. In a way she’s unapologetic for her greed and the way this new place made her. But she will deny what makes her and wash away her identity.



Definition: to secure tightly: Bind

Source: Merriam Webster

Found in Elizabeth Acevedo’s “Hair” poem

Knowing the definition of trusses gave me a better understanding of the begin part of the poem. It showed the comparison of the African cousins on the ship and painted a picture of what they looked like and how they possibly felt. They were bind together, they stuck together and didn’t let anything tear them apart. that could tell they were together and it also helped me understand the question if they would know that their great grand children would look like us, meaning denying their naturalness.



Brown Nosing


Definition: To seek favors from (a person) in an obsequious manner; fawn over


Found in All American Girl by Julia Alvarez , Stanza 2  Line 4

Knowing the definition of brown nosing helped me understand how she felt about the American culture and how she wanted to be apart of it so bad, even though no one in a sense is all American. The speaker fawned over the thought of it, but she felt her culture seeping through and I personally believe that is what made the speaker more American, because America is mixed with all different cultures and the different people make the country and the culture.

My Reseach on Alicia Ostriker

The Lovely Alicia Ostriker was born here in Brooklyn , New York On November 11th 1937. Mrs. Ostriker is a women of many talents besides poetry, she is a scholar and author. Some of her work are “ For the love of God: the bible as an open book”, “Dancing at the devil’s party: Essays on poetry, politics, and the erotic”, “ The Book of seventy”,and “Stealing the language: the emergence of women’s poetry in America” this being her earlier work. Mrs. Ostriker was well known for her feminist writing and poetry.

In a interview by Contemporary Authors, Alicia Ostriker speaks on people who doesn’t know work ask what she writes about, her response was very interesting. She said “ I write about love, sex, death, violence, family, politics, religion, friendships, painters and paintings, the body in sickness and health, joy and pain. “. She goes on to say that she tries her best not to write the same poem over and over again. She tries to challenge herself and write things that she is not use to and what she fears to write. When reading that drew me to choosing her as my poet to write on beside her being from Brooklyn, New York. She loves the challenge of writing poetry rather than an essay or literary criticism which she more or less knows what she is doing, but she describes poetry as “ crawling in the dark”. Over the years, Alicia Ostriker was recognized for talent; she was rewarded being elected Chancellor of the academy of American poets in 2015 and her recent accomplishment in 2018 being named New York State Poet.

Works Cited

Poetry Foudation, “Alicia Ostricker” , Accessed November 27, 2018, “Sam Hamhill” ,  Published April 24, 2018; Accessed November 27, 2018



Definition- a rhythmic sequence or flow of sounds in language

Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary

Found in “Not A Mile” by Andrew Grace  “My students are sincerely trying to analyze death: its cadence and anaphora, …. ”

Knowing the definition of cadence helped me understand what the speaker was trying to let their students analyze. I think the speaker was trying to use cadence as a pattern, that they continue to see the same thing happening over and over again. Constantly happening, I think the speaker is referring to almost dying and reviving .




Definition:To search for or try to acquire something

Source: The free dictionary

Found in ” You’re ” by Sylvia Plath’s “trawling your dark as owls do ” (Line 6)

Knowing the definition helped me understand the simile and how the unborn child is being compared to an owl. Owls are nocturnal animals they’re active in the dark and the a growing fetus is in the dark during pregnancy and is feeding from a tube. The owl and the unborn child has a lot in common.

Poetry In Motion- Train Rising out of the Sea by John Ashbery

I found this confusing mess on the B- Train line. My first initial reaction to this poem was what is the speaker trying to tell me because i am very lost. I had to do a lot of reread, out loud and to myself. I couldn’t really make out who the speaker really was but i believe the subject of the poem is how do we make more use of the day and time. The title of the poem didn’t help me much, in fact it made me more confused and made me wonder why the author decided to make that the title of the poem.  Until i broke the poem down stanza by stanza.

In the first stanza the speaker is trying to say that we don’t have much time in the day. Not being about to conquer the day at full capacity or fulfill the little time we have to become the best us possible. ” We need more night for the sky, more blue for the daylight” (Line 1) , i view this as, if there was more time in the day more can be accomplish.  Sometime the little time we have gets placed else where and that doesn’t benefit us in the long-run or we’re not fully involved in. Losing sight of you and what special gift you bring to the world. ” Like an island just off the shore, one of many, that no one Notices, though it has a certain function, though an abstract one” (Line 9-10) , those lines in the poem make me think that the person uniqueness is being overlooked and being over looked can cause you to lose yourself. The theme I get from the poem is Time and the poem does connect to the title. The train is your life you have different stops and delays but the sea is the world. The train is coming out the sea rising and showing what it is capable of.

Inferiority Complex


Definition; lack of self-esteem; feeling inadequacy; lack of self confidence


Found in Power  “Power is an inferiority complex wound up like a clock by an inability to relax.” (Andrei Codresu)

Knowing the definition of Inferiority complex helped me understanding what the speaker was trying to say about power and the relationship between the mother and how she gives the speaker the power to be stronger and build up self esteem.


Part of speech: noun

Definition: a ship or a large boat

Definition source: Merriam Webster

Found in Stanza 4 in ” My Boy Willie ”

Knowing the definition I learned that the speaker viewed vessel as a sense of hope during her different stages of grieving. through this stage she’s in denial but the seeing the vessel and the captain gives the women great hope, until she ask a question and receives an answer she was not hoping for.