Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TONE

The first poem I read was "Leaving the Motel" from the Norton. The tone of the poem is detatched and secretive. As it mentions in the the Norton, the contrasts with the "normal" view of love which is all romantic and roses. Generally, love poems have a romantic or passionate tone. "Leaving the Motel," simply describe the encounter of the lovers at a motel and then they leave. The tone shows that the poem is more about sex and an affair than actual love. They are being secretive because they are having an affair; they must be "out of sight" (line 4). The poem also refers to how the subject can take nothing and leave nothing. "...take nothing of one anothers/and leave behind" (lines 15-16). They also have to keep their identities secret. "We would no doubt have other rooms then,/Or other names" (lines 27-28).

16 comments:

Lauren said...

By the way that poem can be found on page 836 in the Norton.

The second poem I read was "Hard Rock Returns to Prison for the Hospital for the Criminal Insane" by Etheridge Knight. For the first three stanzas of this poem the tone is that of admiration for Hard Rock. In prison "he was 'known not to take no shit/ From nobody.'" (lines i - 2). This shows the respect that he earned from the other prisoners for never giving up and never giving in. He also was "the doer of things/ We had dreamed of doing but could not bring ourselves to do" (lines 34-35). However, in the penultimate stanza the tone changes. It goes from admiration to disappointment. The turning point is when Hard Rock losses the fight in his eyes. "His eyes empty like holes in a fence." (line 28). This poem is about dissapointment in a hero. Probably because Christmas is coming but when I read this I thought of the disapointment a child feels when they find out Santa Claus doesn't exisit. This is the same kind of disappointment as when Hard Rock finally gave in.

Lauren said...

"Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane" can be found on page 840

Charlie said...

The tone is certainly very secretive but also very careful and somewhat apprehensive and anxious. The two are checking everything making it seem just right, as though it wasn't a night out.

The narrator talks about keeping the second bed unrumpled, as though someone could use that against them. They're careful about not taking the wrong keys or anything that could last more than just that night in case someone "would accidentally find." They also use other names.

The lilacs also symbolize early love which the two seek to preserve but only in the Motel.

Chris said...

I do agree with you that the tone is very secretive and I think it is paranoid as well. The man/woman is almost rushing and making sure everything is in place so that no one will know of what happened. He taks about something that "they won't care to trace" which shows the paranoia of the two infidels.

Near the end, the tone is almost longing and depression because they do not know when they will meet again which is cliche of many poems about affairs.

kerrym7 said...

I agree that the tone of "Leaving the Motel" is secretive. It is clear that the two lovers have had an affair before, as both know what to do. The use of the word "check" makes the clean-up of the motel room formulaic. I also agree that the tone is anxious. The author says to "keep things straight" and "leave behind your license number only" which makes me wonder what would happen if he/she didn't do these things? I feel like I am going through the process with this person and one slip-up can ruin everything.

tommy said...

I agree with what's been said about the secrecy that overshadows the whole poem. But in addition to that, I think there's a tone of indifference. As Lauren pointed out, "the poem is more about sex than actual love" and their attempts to cover the evidence supports this. There are no lines that show the characters' personalities or motives. Worse, the word "love" is nonexistent. The characters solely care about being discovered.

tommy said...

*undiscovered

Kasey said...

I had a little bit of a different take on the tone of "Leaving the Motel". While it was definitely secretive, I feel like it was detached from love. As Tommy mentioned, love is never mentioned in the poem. In connection with the secretive feeling, the speaker seems to be detached from this affair. In giving such a tone, the author is making a statement about "love" and relationships. What this speaker sees as some kind of a relationship is simply escaping from a night of an affair. To me, the overall tone is more of a secretive detachment from love and relationships, more than simply secrets.

Gaby said...

The title, Leaving the Motel, sets up the tone for the entire poem because of its simple and uncomplicated meaning. In essence, the poem is just about leaving a motel (as the title plainly states) but, the tone alludes to the hidden secret behind the title.
The reader finds out that the two people leaving are having an affair and systematically checks everything before leaving the motel. This as others have mentioned, "paranoid" feeling, changes the at first innocent tone of the poem, to a much different and secretive/shameful tone. The depths that the people go to, to ensure they don't make a mistake, adds the shameful aspect to what they did and have to keep hidden.

Michaela said...

Like others have said, while this poem is about an affair, (whether the couple loves each other or not remains ambiguous) I find it interesting that neither love nor sex is mentioned. Since an affair is either about sex or love, I felt that, like Kasey said, the poem was "detached from love." I also thought it was interesting that the routine has become formulaic, as Kerry said, as they go through the motions of the affair.
On the other hand, I felt that the sixth stanza had some degree of romanticism. The lilacs, "the wayside flowers/We've gathered," represent their affair and their time together. By putting aspirin in the vase, they try to prolong the life of the lilacs even a few more hours after they are gone. I liked that part of the poem because it was the one little window we had into their actual relationship.

S. Giggie said...

Lauren...you can edit your post to add your second poem or just put a second post on your page. This makes it more visible and easier to grade!
Let's try to find synonyms for secretive rather than repeating each other...clandestine or surreptitious. How do these words change the understanding of the poem's tone? How does this poem compare to some of the short stories we've explored?

Jaxon said...

I feel like the tone of this poem is rushed. The short choppy sentences add to this feeling of being rushed out the door of the hotel. It is almost like the author is creating a list, "Check: is the second bed unrumpled, as agreed?" (almost like they've done this before). I think it is important to note this because that includes the overall feeling of paranoia and perfectionism that almost everyone has stated already.

Jaxon said...

Motel, rather :P

Olympia said...

In response to "Hark Rock Returns to Prison from the hospital for the Criminal Insane", the tone deffinantly embodies dissapointment, yet oddly I thought of Jesus. It reminds me of how he was thought to be a hero, and upon crusefiction everyone was like show us your power if you truely are Jesus and he was like no, so people were dissapointed. The fallen hero is a common theme in many poems, as it is a subdevision of the archtypal theme.

ashleigh said...

I found the tone of this poem to be very choppy, secretive and indecisive. I believe that the tone posses all these characteristics to uphold the idea of a secret action being perused. We clearly see that the characters are doing something in the poem in secrecy and they fear that people will find out “That sooner or later others would accidentally find” or “We’ve nowhere we could keep a keepsake...”. The characters however do not mind having a secret relation because its states that they would rather change names than heave their secret revealed. The tone of the poem almost made me feel that I had to keep the situation a secret because of its limited description.

nabeel said...

I also decided to use this poem for my blog. I personally found this to be a very interesting look at the nature of an affair. The carefree attitude that always seemed necessary to have an affair is blatantly absent in this work. I found the speakers tone not passionate and lusting, but instead cold and calculating. This gave me the impression that they were more more worried about hiding their sin than they were willing to be with one another. This usage of tone makes me believe that the lover's relationship was more mechanical and physical than it was emotional. In fact, I found this poem to lack description of a setting or background. It seems as though Snodgrass is trying to show that for this relationship the only significance was in how they hide it's occurrence. This idea of hiding the significant as the significant meaning of a poem is quite ironical. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this poem and found it's perspective to be very unique.