Thursday, November 11, 2010
Student Inquiries on Rita Wong's Forage
Rita Wong has generously and graciously offered to respond to some of our questions after we read Forage in our Intro to Lit class, and we are grateful for this opportunity. The following are the questions you posed directly as well as some that I formulated based on inquiries you raised during our class discussion.
So in the poem "Fluorine," the wording is somewhat confusing. It seems like the sentences in the poem are missing punctuation and the poem just doesn't seem grammatically correct. The poem was a little bit hard to understand at first but i was able to make out what it was trying to say in general. But what is the reason for this structure and how does it add to the meaning of the poem? How do you structure your poems in general?
In “nervous organism,” what is the meaning of using back-slash to
separate the phrases and sentences?
In your poem “Susurrus,” you used repetition as well as metaphors and similes to describe the passing of days. You started with the idea of “fear and uncertainty,” and I understood that line, but as the poem progressed, the descriptions got more confusing and metaphorical. How did you come up with them all, and how do they all work together? Basically, I’m curious to know how you really felt the “days passing”? Was it quickly? Or slowly? Or something totally different?
Why do you include Chinese letters on many of your poems and do not give a definition or tell us what they mean?
For those who do not understand Chinese, how should the Chinese characters that surround several of the poems be interpreted?
I know Rita Wong always tries to address social issues through her poems but isn't it really hard to actually show the impact of the issue to readers in this way rather then writing a full novel on various social issues. Poems such as "reverb" when you first glance at it looks like we are reading upside down but actually it’s intended in that way so my question is why all the poems structure in Forage are like that or does structure just follow the meaning of the poem.
'Why does your poetry, or at least "Forage," ignore or downplay the positive aspects of science, one of event of which would be the Green Revolution.'
I recently tried analyzing your unique poem recognition and identification. What was your reasoning behind comparing plants to major corporations?
1. What inspired you to write "Chinese School dropout" and what do the symbols along the side of the poem mean?
2. Since you researched for the book in 2007, have you gone back and looked at how the reasearch has changed?
for Lee Kyung Hae Korean Farmer Marytred in Cancun (1947-2005)
Does the term "socialism's red fist unclench" mean socialism without the downfalls of human corruption?
23 Pairs of Shoes
IS 23 pair of shoes a critique on unchecked capitalism, the rise of corporate power, and the consequences of technological progress in the 21st century?
Poetry and Education:
As a poet, how do you think poetry can be a motivation of self-expression amongst students in primary and secondary education schools?
From Class Discussion:
During our class discussion of "the girl who ate rice almost every day" my students formulated some interesting questions:
I had students discuss their order of reading in terms of the left and right columns, whether they read all of both columns, read the full narrative first or whether they alternated columns by strophe, and we went on to discuss what different readings might reveal about how literary and scientific discourses interact and how we make them interact, how we can privilege one over another, etc. They then wanted to know about your writing process. Specifically, they asked if you wrote one column fully first or whether it was a back and forth composing process? They also wondered if you had drafted the poem but then later did a final Googling before off to press to get the most updated returns/results. And, they were also quite curious about what you envisioned for readers' responses to this poem.