“under that poem always an other poem” Can we as readers really find the true meaning of the author?

Lucille thinks that poems don’t need to be as black and white;

“Surely I am able to write poems celebrating grass and how the blue in the sky can flow green or red and the waters lean against the Chesapeake shore like a familiar poems about nature and landscape surely but whenever I begin ‘the trees wave their knotted branches and…’  Why is there under that poem always an other poem?” — Lucille Clifton(English 337 syllabus)

Anyone can write a poem but what makes the poem or whatever was written matter is the words that are chosen to say within the poem. The way that nature is absorbed within the society can be harmful and helpful. The group blog post we talked about having to SEE (Social, Environmental and Economical) ways that we all impact the way the world works.Having seen this it is our job as humans to reflect on the way things are done in order to fix or adapt to have a better lifestyle,“The goal of sustainability, derived from the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), is to,‘create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations’”(EPA Sustainability Primer). There is only one earth that we live on and must take care of it in order to live successfully together.


The idea of consent may come to mind when thinking of what people may think of when they hear the word take care of earth. There are people and organizations that work together in order to take care of the environment because nature isn’t able to verbally speak for itself.Nature doesn’t give consent to what the people have done or will do to Earth next in the future. Some people may say that the weather being able to give us as humans signs that something is wrong,

“For example, when we first came to this land, we were very excited about the potential for renovating an existing overgrown swamp into a pond for swimming and irrigation. Intuitively, we could tell that the swamp held a concentration of spiritual energy, so we felt that we needed to ask permission before moving earth and disturbing the ecosystem” (Chapter 3,Penniman’s Farming While Black).

Showing that some people appreciate what the land is able to provide and respecting it while considering the possibilities that could help benefit both themselves and the land. The practice of wanting to learn more about ways to help makes watching feel like being watched. I’ve never noticed that while watching tv I am being watched by the people on tv watching the cameras allowing me to notice things that some of the writers have written for the actors/ TV “news” people to tell me.


However what I’m watching and listening to can be misinterpreted by the way shown or represented.The thought of consent isn’t always clear because when most people think of consent it is referred to as physical consent like asking to be touched in a way that may be considered sexual activity or an act of hugging or kissing. Within Big Machine consent is mentioned when orders are given to do something to someone,“Did you really want to kill Solomon clay? I asked myself as I dressed. Just because the dean and Mrs.henry told you to? When I reached the empty lobby, I saw the clock hanging inside the motel clerk’s cage. It read ten-fifteen, and I assumed the gray lady had left without me,” (Big Machine, 129-130). There are several ways to look at this… one way is that sometimes when a person’s life becomes threatened or someone “knows too much” they would be better off dead. Questioning if someone told you to do something may seem wrong sometimes but you almost always have the last say so. Showing in light that death can be both positive and negative even if it wasn’t done by accident, “She said ‘doubt is the big machine. It grinds up the delusions of women and men,”(Big Machine,pg 205).Making it seem as if doubt is what drives humans to the conclusions of what should and shouldn’t happen similar to common sense, although it may not feel right knowing it is the right thing to do because sometimes the brain and your gut feeling don’t always agree.


This English 337 class has made me notice some things that I have taken for granted not only life itself but also the nature around me. I have noticed that somethings aren’t meant to be clear and laid out like a poem it can be messy and full of hidden messages that were not thought of before. From this class I have recycled more because I have realized that when it snows one day and then two days later its warmer outside then switches back to cold that the climate is changing because of the humans that don’t take the time to reflect and care about what’s happening. Lucille asks “why is there always a poem under a poem” is what stood out to me the most because it shows that a class is not only a class and a grade is not only a grade but it is based on how well you tried to understand a concept and how well you have grown over time.


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