Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rosalia de Castro


  1. "The Ailing Woman..."

    Castro's style of romanticism is different from most of the other poetry selections that we've been reading. Instead of focusing primarily on nature and her personal reactions and/or emotions, Castro compares human life to the cycle of nature. In autumn, when leaves fall and the weather gets cold, humans get cold, die, are buried, and then forgotten in the subsequent winter. Instead of describing this through her own eyes, she uses a new method: telling the story of an ailing woman.
    I like the irony in this poem. Not even on her deathbed is the woman allowed to have the pleasure of leaving with the seasons. No, she must survive until spring and then see the beauties of nature's blooms slip away before her eyes, taunting her with new life as she dies. I like the reflection on life in general, how even when you predict things or want things to happend a certain way ("in autumn I shall die"), nature will throw you a curve ball and you'll live through winter up to spring. Or, in a differend scenario, die right then at the end of summer without even seeing the advent of autumn.

    Hanna Dornhofer

  2. A Glowworm Scatters Flashes – Rosalia de Castro

    De Castro criticizes society for losing sight of God, whom she refers to as “the Most High,” through a metaphor of light and darkness. The romantic aspect of nature is present in the description that only naturally produced light (that of the glowworm, caused by God’s command for light in the world) is real. She reprimands man’s quest for finding explanations through science, believing that these “peers and pries / Into the soundless dark” is all in vain, because only God can shed true light onto the purpose of the world. De Castro holds deeply rooted faith in God as her savior. Even though her deity has been “shattered into a thousand bits, / has fallen to chasms where [she] cannot see,” she maintains hope that heavenly influences will save her from threats of unhappiness and grief.

  3. [As I Composed this Little Book]
    In this poem, De Castro discusses the importance of her individual need for self-expression, and why she expresses herself the way she does, themes found often in romantic poetry. De Castro starts the poem by talking about writing it, and the other poems within the same book, Then she begins discussing what she felt about the process of writing the poems, and the emotional reasons behind the decisions she made about the poems. She never mentions anything about the physical act of writing the poems, or where she was, or what was happening to her at that time. De Castro keeps those details out because the presence of to many people or ideas might distract the reader from the individual feelings expressed in the poem. I liked the poem, especially how her tone in this poem was a little bit more conversational than most of the other Romantic poets'.

  4. As I composed this little book
    Castro brought back childhood memories to my mind. When we compose our little books that are engraved into our minds as we grow older they are “simple, they are brief” but for us they are the world. The romance this poem hold it’s not the typical “I love you” but the love for one’s memory, one’s past, that counts for more than anything in the world. “though they may not bring (us) fame” I don’t think I would change them for anything in the whole wide world.

  5. the ailing woman felt her forces ebb

    Why anyone would care if they died in the autumn of the spring is beyond me. Though i suppose she wanted to fade with the seasonal cycle and not face death as life renewed around her.
    Father of Emma Halbrook

  6. The Ailing woman Felt her forces ebb
    First thing I did I looked up the word “ebb” and found out that it meant “flowing back, or retreating”, this made sense and therefore so did the whole poem. It’s an odd transition from the “as I compose this little book” for this poem looks into the future, similar to a dream, while the other ponders in the past. It’s a sad, melancholic poem to have a death wish not come through, but nature has a way of doing things sparing some but not others. The line “in autumn I shall die” it’s my favorite line of the poem because it sounds defiant, assuring but the next line “she thought , half melancholic, half content” crippling the whole structure leaving it on one foot “

  7. A Glowworm Scatters Flashes
    Castro's poem is somewhat reminiscent of romanticism's value of spontaneity in action and thought. She speaks ill of science because it causes humans to analyze the world, rather than just live in it. This stresses the importance of going out and just living, rather than sitting around and thinking about it. The greater theme og the poem, however, is the emphasis of romantics on natural religion. Catro denounces making idols of clay, because it causes one to make religion a more organized thing, rather than just allowing it to happen (which also reinforces the ideal of spontaneous thought).

  8. As I composed this little book response: Suzanne Garza

    The author is speaking of her writings, saying that even though they may not make her famous they will be remembered. Just like the prayers or rhymes we learn as children her words are simple, but meaningful and hard to forget. I would say her songs are catchy and we may not remember who the author is, but we will remember and be able to recite the words long after hearing or reading them.