FC: Change Compiled by: Frank Xie
1: Change Compiled by: Frank Xie Uncreative Title Co., Stillwater, OK, 2008
3: Table of Contents I Am 4 Salute to Soviet Armies 6 Children of Our Era 8 Still Here 10 Drowned and Torn Asunder 12 Masses 14 I Am the People, the Mob 16 Government 18 Freedom is a Habit 20 Peace Between Wars 22 Catalyst 24 Black Rectangles 25
4: I Am by James Balzer I am the hated one, Spreader of the disease, Carrying the blame unjustly. I am the dying innocent. I am the ungodly thing Preached against in church-- Preached against in politics. I am the loathed, I am the shunned, I am feared, I am gay. I am dying innocent, I am Goddess, I am God. I am an unborn child. I am a dying mother. I am the blood from your wound. I am living with you, I am dying because of you.
5: This poem reminded me of the song “Slanderous” by Machine Head because of its theme. The theme of that song is discrimination. The invocation of religion is present in both works too. Both of these works are easily relatable to. Even though I can’t relate with James Balzer due to sexuality, I too have faced discrimination.
6: Salute to Soviet Armies By Langston Hughes Might Soviet armies marching on the West, Red star on your visor, courage on your breast! Mighty Soviet armies, warriors brave and strong, Freedom is your watchword as you forge along! The eyes of all people, poor upon the earth, Follow your great battle for mankind’s rebirth. Mighty Soviet armies, allies, comrade, friends, We will march beside you until fascism ends. Mighty Soviet armies, guard you fatherland! The earth of your union warms the hope of man. Fascist foes surround you with their ring of steel, But your warriors crush them with a workman’s heel. Never will the people let them rise again. Death to the fascist tyrants! Death to the Nazi’s reign! Mighty soviet armies, allies of the free, We will fight beside you until victory! Mighty Soviet armies, now as one we stand, Allies all together for the cause of man! Salute to the Soviet armies- from our land!
7: This poem illustrates the vast amount of change that can happen in a very short amount of time, and makes one realize the importance of what is happening now. This “salute” would have been unimaginable just ten years later. When this poem was publish Russia was our ally, and World War II war raging on. Ten years later, the McCarthy witchhunts would have just passed by. An article of literature such as this would have earned someone a ticket to a Senate Committee meeting.
8: Children of Our Era by Wislawa Szymborska We are children of our era; our era is political. All affairs, day and night, yours, ours, theirs, are political affairs. Like it or not, your genes have a political past, your skin a political cast, your eyes a political aspect. What you say has a resonance; what you are silent about is telling. Either way, it's political. Even when you head for the hills you're taking political steps on political ground. | Even apolitical poems are political, and above us shines the moon, by now no longer lunar. To be or not to be, that is the question. Question? What question? Dear, here's a suggestion: a political question. You don't even have to be a human being to gain political significance. Crude oil will do, or concentrated feed, or any raw material. Or even a conference table whose shape was disputed for months: should we negotiate life and death at a round table or a square one? Meanwhile people were dying, animals perishing, houses burning, and fields growing wild, just as in times most remote and less political.
9: I really liked this poem’s subject matter. This poem talks about how everything and every action is political, including not taking action. This is something that I can relate with looking at the close scrutiny that candidates for elected office faced this year. Every hand gesture, every change of posture that was done by presidential candidates seemed to be analyzed by “specialists” in those fields. This shifted focus away from more important things, such as the issues. The last stanza of this poem illustrates that well.
10: Still Here By Langston Hughes I’ve been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, sun has baked me. Looks like between’em They done tried to make me Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’- But I don’t care I’m still here
11: When I read this poem, I imagined a homeless migrant wandering around. The elements and people conspire against him, yet he still remains. The poem is about not changing. However, it still speaks about resistance. I wonder what Hughes meant when he wrote, “I’ve been scared and battered.”. Was this poem written during the Civil Rights Era?
12: Drowned And Torn Asunder By Trivium Force-feed them your ways Dictate up a blinded swarm Society's afraid Declaration of rebellion We will not stand defeat Deconstructing their hold Our vengeance will be tenfold Our enemy will by drowned The opposing torn asunder Take all your lives back Arson all they create The time is now to lead the battle Declaration of rebellion We will not stand defeat Deconstructing their hold Our vengeance will be tenfold Our enemy will by drowned The opposing torn asunder Deconstructing their hold Our vengeance will be tenfold Our enemy will by drowned The opposing torn asunder
13: I wonder who these lyrics are directed towards. The lyrics speak of a violent rebellion, using no unclear terms. These lyrics were written by someone in his young twenties so perhaps this is an example of undirected youthful rage. Despite the lack of a target, the message of rebellion is hammered home through repetition
14: Masses By Carl Sandburg Among the mountains I wandered and saw blue haze and red crag and was amazed; On the beach where the long push under the endless tide maneuvers, I stood silent; Under the stars on the prairie watching the Dipper slant over the horizon’s grass, I was full of thoughts. Great men, pageants of war and labor, soldier and workers, mothers lifting their children-these all I touched, and felt the solemn thrill of them. And then one day I got a true look at the Poor, millions of the Poor, patient and toiling; more patient than crags, tides, and stars; innumer- able, patient as the darkness of night- and all broken, humble ruins of nations.
15: The description of the Poor in this poem made me think of the poem “The New Colossus”. The phrase in particular that comes to mind is “your poor, your huddled masses”. In that poem, the poor were viewed as the building block of our nation, just as they are here. However, this poem talks about how social inequality needs to end, while the Lazarus’ seems to be praising America and its acceptance of immigrants.
16: I am the People, the Mob By Carl Sandburg I am the people-the mob-the crowd-the mass. Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me? I am the working man, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and clothes. I am the audience that witnesses history, The Napoleons come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns. I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes me work and give up what I have. I forget. Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history to remember. Then-I forget. When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year, who played me for a fool-then there will be no speaker in all the world say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a sneer in his voice or any far-off smile or derision. The mob-the crowd-the mass- will arrive then
17: I like this poem’s idea because of how Sandburg speaks as the voice of all people. He voices the cry for change that many people feel. He voices their struggle for life. However, he seems to imply that the people are stupid, but that they will triumph in the end. That is an unusual standpoint seeing as how he places himself as the voice of the people
18: Government By Carl Sandburg The Government- I heard about the Government and I went out to find it. I said I would look closely at it when I saw it. Then I saw a policeman dragging a drunken man to the calaboose. It was the Government in action. I saw a ward alderman slip into an office one morning and talk with a judge. Later in the day the judge dismissed a case against a pickpocket who was a live ward worker for the alderman. Again I saw this was the Government, doing things I saw militiamen level their rifles at a crowd of working men who were trying to get other working men to stay away from a shop where there was a strike on. Government in action. Everywhere I saw that Government is a thing made of men, that Gov- ernment has blood and bones, it is many mouths whispering into many ears, sending telegrams, aiming rifles, writing orders, saying “yes” and “no” Government dies as the men who form it die and are laid away in their graves and the new Government that comes after is human, made of heartbeats of blood, ambitions, lusts, and money running through it all, money paid and money taken, and money covered up and spoken of with hushed voices. A Government is just as secret and mysterious and sensitive as any human sinner carrying a load of germs, traditions and corpuscles handed down from fathers and mothers away back.
19: I like the idea of this poem because of how the government is spoken of like a person. The use of capitalization makes me think of it as a proper noun. It makes the actions of the government officials seem like the movements of our arms and legs. The poems creates the sense of the government being a many headed monster, with innumerable arms and legs, flailing about. Looking at the current state of the country, that may not be inaccurate.
20: Freedom Is A Habit By Carl Sandburg Freedom is a habit And a coat worn Some born to wear it Some never to know it. Freedom is cheap Or again as a garment Is so costly Men pay their lives Rather than not have it. Freedom is baffling: Men having it often Know not they have it Till it is gone and They no longer have it. What does this mean? Is it a riddle? Yes, it is first of all In the primers of riddles. To be free is so-so: You can and you can’t: Walkers can have freedom Only by never walking Away their freedom: Runners too have freedom Unless they overrun: Eaters have often outeaten Their freedom to eat And drinkers overdrank Their fine drinking freedom
21: This poem made me think of a saying that many of my primary school teachers had, “_______ is a privilege, not a right.” This poem states that freedom shouldn’t be taken for granted. It says that freedom isn’t guaranteed and that it should be cherish by those who have it.
22: Peace Between Wars By Carl Sandburg Between the long wars There has always been peace And likewise Between the short wars. The longer the wars The less was the peace While the wars went on And the shorter the wars The sooner the peace came. Whenever the peace came to and end The resulting war Always ran Either short or long. Whenever a war ended The resulting peace Ran till the next war. Thus each peace Had its punctuation By a war short or long And each war at its end Ushered in an era Of peace short or long.
23: I like the underlying message of this poem. In the poem, Sandburg subtly that humans are constantly waging war. However, the poem seems like a series of extremely obviou statements. Sandburg also seems to be telling people that war is coming. The poem almost seems to be a doomsday prediction.
24: Catalyst by Frank Xie Enricher of nations, starter of wars, catalyst of change, think of what you once were. Fossilized plant matter, organisms that died, look at your corpses now, fought after by nations Environments are ravaged, ecosystems destroyed, who couldn't your bodies have just rotted?
25: Black Rectangles by: Frank Xie When I watch you raping George Carlin using bleeps and weird silences, ruining comic genius or when I watch you with your black rectangles “protecting” our children like Humpty-Dumpty was protected and making them fragile I say when I watch you with rubber bullet kisses and tear gas embraces making the masses voiceless I stand up through the clammy grasp of oppression I stand up
26: Works Cited Szaymborska, Wislawa. "Children of Our Era." Poets.org, American Institute of Poetry. 23 Nov. 2008
27: About the Author Frank Xie resides in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He enjoys candle lit dinners, long walks on the beach, and drinking coffee. He is currently attending Stillwater High School.