Down is the Tightrope

Down is the tightrope my friend

Down is the tightrope!

Oh fortunate one,

You left me on the side of the road

Down is the tightrope my friend

Down is the tightrope!

Oh fortunate one,

The storm has kept me from work

Down is the tightrope my friend

Down is the tightrope!

Oh fortunate one,

The rain has come inside

Down is the tightrope my friend

Down is the tightrope!

Oh fortunate one,

My back has gone out again

Down is the tightrope my friend

Down is the tightrope!

Oh fortunate one,

The doctor has not called me back

Down is the tightrope my friend

Down is the tightrope!

Oh fortunate one,

I slept off my pain today

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Excerpt from upcoming book, “Value to Man” collected poems due out in November 2020

Closet Study

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

A white knit ladies’ cardigan

A fashion jacket with gold and lilac hibiscus print with green fronds

A red and black wool tartan jacket

A sherbet cardigan with white argyle, large squared collar

A wine-colored tartan and Sherpa vest, heavy weight

A red and tan tweed fall overcoat

A red ground and black ethnic print quilted Chinese Jacket

A waffle embossed cotton jacket, olive, with polished rectangular coconut shell buttons

A green, white, and black Mexican blanket poncho

A structured blue and grey woven castle style jacket, affluent

A German or Ukraine style quilted vest, mainly blue with sytlized baby floral, floral striped borders, tailored, favorite, blue bias tape around arms

Blue, green, white, and brown “bear” soft snuggie pullover fleece

Blue handkerchief print jacket with white sequins and beading

Warmest day wool sweater with earth striped gradations:  brown, olive, forest, ochre, plum

Seersucker pants capri, baby blue and white

Grey or silver pin-striped sharkskin pants

Red stretch with tan rope print horizontal stripe, nautical shirt with ¾ sleeves

Brown tunic with lighter tan and orange embroidered neckline and bust with contrasting blanket stitch trim, Indian, and has matching pants

Blue metallic long sleeve New Year’s sweater

Black, white and silver fair isle sweater

Blue with medium floral secretary’s dress, delicate collar, shapely and cinched at waist

Red white and blue west African wax print dress

Moroccan caftan, black, with fine red embroidery

Book Review: Solmaz Sharif, “From Reading Guantanamo” and Edgar Allan Poe, “Tell Tale Heart”

Solmaz Sharif, in “From Reading Guantanamo,” in Paper bag  Number One Summer 2010, writes in a style that is reflective of the theory “reader-response.”    It is as if the writer is beside himself, maybe a torture case, he wishes for a part of his words, to leave a blank and elicit them from me as the reader or another.  Perhaps to elicit his words from a stranger, perhaps from a lover, perhaps anyone.  Perhaps it is the day following torture.  He speaks in partial sentences, in every line there is a blank and your ability to fill that void will bring you closer to him, perhaps you know or knew and can feel for him this tragedy or this closeness.  Perhaps, he has reached a juncture that is his end, and all his blanks will be filled by you or others. 

Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Tell -Tale Heart,” in a close reading could be compared to other texts of that period within a structuralist lens that  illustrates the hearing of sounds or voices or the “over acuteness of the senses,” or  generally texts that look at ideas around madness (Poe 319).  “The evil eye” could also be looked at as it a common cultural phenomenon which could be searched in literature. The evil eye could be a downcast eye that presents itself as a motive when crossed with madness.  The acute senses were described as hearing “all things in heaven….all things in hell” (Pe 319). From such texts one may arrive at theories about social constructs born in literature that may exist in many works.  For example, there may with madness always exist a downcast eye.  Perhaps, there is the second suggestion to remove the downcast eye.  In Poe’s work, the mad man hears with his acute hearing the heart still beating, the beating heart that reveals him to the police, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” after this elaborate scheme plays out and the madman has removed the evil eye. 

Works Cited:

Poe, Edgar Allan, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Tales of Mystery and Imagination. Barnes and Noble, 2011, pp 319-324

Sharif, Solmaz. “From Reading Guantanamo,” Paper Bag Number One, Summer 2010

Up to Snuff #128: Book List Mostly with Literary Theory Orientation

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Literary Theory  A Practical Introduction

Mikhail Bakhtin


Logical Fallacies


The Knowledge Creating Company Ikujiro Nonaku

Enabling Knowledge George Von Krogh

The Innovators Dilemma When New Technologies  Clayton M. Christensen



The Seminar      Jacques Lacan


Jane Austen

Julie Rivkin

Portrait in Georgia


Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticism   Vincent Leitch

Tracy Whiting

Metamorphosis Franz Kafka

Think like a monk, train your mind for peace   Jay Shetty

The Seagull Book of Poems

Literary Theory An Anthology Julie Rivkin

The Craft of Research  Wayne C. Booth

Professing Literature Gerald Graff

Mary Klages,  Literary Theory, A Guide for the Perplexed

Mary Klages, Key Terms in Literary Theory

Tacit Learning

Literary Review

Emily Dickinson

Biocentric Worldview  Ludwig Klages

Cosmogenic Reflections Ludwig Klages

Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw

Pratchett’s Women  Unauthorized Essays on Female Characters of the Discworld   

Billy Budd, Bartleby and Other Stories  Herman Melville

Leaves of Grass The Original 1855 Edition  Walt Whitman

The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Literature Unit A guide for Where the Red Fern Grows  Patty Carratello

Literary Theory  Jerry Engleton

Beginning Theory Peter Barry

Literary Theory  Jonathon Culler

The Gothic Order Racial and Social Constructionism in The Literary Imagination

Ruth Bienstock Anolik

The Complete Frankenstein




Lois Lowry The Giver

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Literary Mantels

Wolf Hall Trilogy

Not Writing, Anne Boyer

Garments Against Women,  Anne Boyer

Lucille Clifton

Naomi Shihab Nye

Rachel Mckibbens

Wizard of Oz

Glass Castle  Jenette Wells

Al Young  The Blues Don’t Change New and Selected Poems

Charlie Chaplin  Modern Times

William Blake

Buster Keaton

Herman Melville

Jane Austen

Joseph Conrad

T.S. Eliot

Albert Camus

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

J.D. Salinger

Alice Walker

Cynthia Ozick

Ralph Ellison

Paddy Chayetsky

Brave New World Aldous Huxley

George Orwell 1984

Animal Farm

Book Review: Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis emerges, almost completely from the photo he describes on pg. 6 where he has “cut out of an illustrated magazine, a picture of a women in a fur hat and fur boa” (Kafka 6).  The crux of the story is then described as this woman in a “gilt frame” when her “forearm disappears into a fur muff,” as man himself turns into an animal.  Perhaps it was this vision, this disappearing arm into a fur muff that leads man to arrive at an idea that man in many ways transforms, sexually or in his work or with his desires-he transforms into an animal-as simple as the forearm slipping into the muff. 

From a Formalist perspective, one can extract from this text minutiae a paradox to defamiliarize man with common mans identity to hold a mirror for man that he is in all, if not many forms, an animal.  It was both paradoxical and defamiliarizing.  Why did Kafka choose this juncture, the muff, the slipping away, the becoming an animal, a species, a kind of subcategory for his being that regardless of how hard man tries to get up, to get out of bed and go to work a man, he lays there feet “wringling.” Metamorphosis has to do with the social entrapment of gender, of being.  Perhaps the advantage of this story was to delicately shine a light on man’s social entrapment in terms of his gender and being.  To delve into man’s psychology.  To unveil emotions, and modus operandi for the uncrying man, for the high achieving man, for the consumed by desire.  Metamorphosis presents man with a context to freely be man and have a discourse with the world-free of tears-about his plight. A man and not a man, was a man, will always be a man, needs to be a man, but is an animal.

Works cited:

Kakfa, Franz. The Metamorphosis, The Floating Press, 2008

The Oicham Estate Part 2

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Part 2

A place of friendship

A place of children

A place of knowledge

A place of love

A place of plants and animals

A place for naturalists

A place where one weeps for their memory of

To build this memory

This Paradisian mentality

To impact this generation

To supply the world with leaders, ideas and movements


To divine my body

A place of morals, a place of God

A place of celebration

A place of culinary

A place of music

A place of art

A place where talent develops and polishes

A spiritual “set”

The Oicham Estate Part 1

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

She will establish the “Oicham Estate”

On some acreage, on a country road in the Rawsonville area of Michigan

“Osei-Bonsu International Christmas House and Menagerie” is Oicham’s acronym

It will include The Pugin Palace and the Floribunda Garden

Pugin Palace, a highly comfortable manufactured home and kind of printed palace of diverse patterned wallpapers and art, that was her original residence towards the left side, while building and developing her land

Pugin Palace, is now a place built on the side of her house with its original fenced pool that is later used for visits by esteemed and international guests

Pugin Palace is Oicham’s coach house

She will invite Presidents, Governors, Mayors, business people, scientists, engineers, musicians, actors, Soap Opera  Stars, fashion icons, Chefs, artists, designers, photographers, writers, thinkers, professors, good friends, childhood friends, colleagues, and classmates met overseas, conversationalists, horticulturalists, animal scientists, sophisticated housewives, her neighbors, international friends, family, and international exchange students to befriend her children

Two matching red and green shingled Christmas houses, the coach house and the main residence

In front, a Christmas tree farm, with coordinated miniature bonsai and blue rose’s,”Vielchenblau”

In front ornamentals with white pointed flowers, bird hotels, bird apartment complexes and bird baths,

Make this house a bird house!

The Oicham Estate menagerie includes:  A Llama, a black sheep, a miniature goat (Pygmalion), ducks in the barn, cardinals and blue jays in bird houses outside, and inside 2 dogs, geckos, turtles, fish, seahorse, platypus, newts, guinea pigs, miniature frogs in terrariums,  4 kinds of birds including love birds, parakeets, African Grey parrots and Cockatiel.  A wishing well with Japanese Coy Fish and gold fish.  Almost every room has an animal residing.

She will build in front a helicopter deck and parking lot in planning  for her local travels, plus her Christmas parties and variety of gatherings as well as parking for her art studio assistants

She will include a Mexican Fiesta room, a solarium, a potting room, a party lounge with dance floor, a coat room for parties and the multitude of fur coats that are worn in Michigan winters to elegant Christmas parties

At Oicham, her children grow up lost in literature

There are the interior and exterior gardens

The furthest, The Woodland Garden and fruit grove, that includes a small coffee plantation, and her fruit trees intended for a variety of pies and hand pies or turnovers, apple, pear and cherry, The Woodland Garden also includes eucalyptus, wild sage and mushrooms (Portobello, Shitake, button and magic).  It is a garden of contemplation, of dreams and is thought prosperous in that many of the trees bear fruit or a type of jewel or seed.

“The poet,” she said, “my life will be poetry.”

Her house a family of book worms

“You dream so hard, you conjure.” “Or you’re not dreaming, you’re designing”

Up to Snuff #127: Extracting Meaning, Creation of Knowledge, Consequent Value

Extracting Meaning, Creation of Knowledge, Consequent Value

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

I am Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu. A short version or nickname would be FaFa Bonsu.  A Ghanaian American who, resides in Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA. I am a Creative Writing English and Poetry major (CWE.POE).  I have been reading about ideological writing and Marx and recently reading Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Dorothy Parker, Sophocles-however I would like to get into some new areas.  I have been collecting spiritual literature.  I recently assembled a list of what is included in my spiritual library.  I will for this opportunity select Confucius from a Harvard Classic Reader.  I am aiming to get into some new areas and perhaps look at sacred or religious or sage writings.

What do I know about literary theory?  I am intrigued by the word theory alone.  I wonder what the word theory can imply.  Does it require proof like “justified true belief” or JTB or is it the un-established? Is it to perpetually establish?  If one says art theory versus literary theory, I suppose I want to be more- clear about what is suggested by that terminology.  I would love to write theory but feel still naïve.  If I were to write art theory, what is its approach, or have I already?  Is theory a scaffolding of ideas upon which or with its guidance one may arrive or question or analyze or create? If one may arrive, is it then theory? Theory may be some kind of wise guide. Theory may answer a kind of question, perhaps even how or why? A theory may result in a kind of questioning.  Or does it mean that there are established theories and one’s work becomes the analysis in response to the theories or the work that is derivative of the theories?  So, I guess there are two products, theories, and something else? Both can be written, the theory and the theories subsequent writing.  I enjoy both of those.  Or the art theory and the arts subsequent product and the products criticism.  Then there are three products. Perhaps you have the piece of literature as product one, then the theory laid upon it, then the resulting criticism and even the analysis of the variety of criticism. So, theory may have a trajectory, art and or literary.

What is my understanding of literary theory at this time?  It has to do with value, with the creation and manufacture of meaning itself.  There is at once the literature, whose secondary function may be its interpretation or its context and ultimately its meaning.  The extension of writing is the thought around it-its secondary, and that secondaries building blocks.  But then theory leads you not to take a sip, but a full drink.  Theory then becomes the octopus, the world view, the connecting points that make a defined way of thinking, a kind of enlightenment.   Theory helps you to extract meaning, look at purpose and reasoning or variations. (Klages)  Theory helps a writer to achieve a close reading.  Theory may guide one to look first at emergence, then at context, then conclude with results or relationships (Klages 5).  It can be like a scaffolding that becomes a boilerplate.  What can be impressive is when you extract meaning that becomes world view as in the example of “language, gender, and consciousness” (Klages 5).  Meanings extracted from literature can define movements or be existential.  Literature has left a trail, as if it were archeology or anthropological.  Literary theory then provides one a tool.

Literary Theory is perhaps the most significant factor in giving literature or the field of writing its value.  Extraction of meaning transforms writing into knowledge.  It transforms the entire field into knowledge.

I think you are correct in your estimation about the value behind “how does it mean, what does it produce and what effect does it have on us and the world? ”  It is as if it is one’s duty or task to ascertain the quality, value, meaning, the giving of a piece of literature.  The reasoning is interesting and the desire to learn from it, to grow from it and arrive at a knowledge juncture.  Perhaps certain techniques get you there, then get you there every time.  I suppose it is the scholar that wants to get there at all.

I am intrigued by when you wrote literary theory is whether it is or is not literature. Is that a prize, or bar or distinction, or quality?  Are you protesting that this fine Dystopian novel may for you have equal value? I have writings that I wonder how they will be classified, who is the classifier and what are the terms? What makes up the literary theory that classifies it?

Works Cited:

Klages, Mary. “Literary Theory: A Guide for the Perplexed” Edition 1.  Bloomsbury Publishing 2007-01-23, pp. 1-9

Fit, Lean & Beautiful #56: The Spiritual Library of Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu, as a Book List

Fit, Lean & Beautiful #56:  The Spiritual Library of Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu, as a Book List

(New, Rare and Out of Print)

Compiled By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

  • Bible Portrayed (Picture, coffee table book)
  • Egyptian Myths and legends
  • Oludumare
  • Marquis de Sade Misfortunes of Virtue and Other Early Tales
  • Voltaire Philosophical Dictionary
  • The Last Lecture Randy Pausch
  • A Passage to India E.M. Forster
  • Balzac Epigrams on Men, Women & Love
  • Apes, Angels & Victorians William Irvine
  • Sex, Sin & Zen Brad Warner
  • Mohawk Russo
  • Psychic Energy Workbook
  • The Curse of Jezebel Frank G. Slaughter
  • A Little History of Science William Bynum
  • The Sutra of Forty-Two Chapters Divulged by the Buddha Venerable Cheng Kuen
  • Harvard Classics Sacred Writings (Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Mohammedan)
  • Manifestos of Surrealism
  • Love Story Erich Segal
  • The Passions of the Mind The biographical Novel Sigmund Freud Irivng Stone
  • Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh
  • King Solomons Ring Lovejoy
  • The New Union Prayer Book
  • Devotional Classics
  • Peeps at Many Lands Kelly
  • Selected Poems Robert Frost
  • Notes to my Children
  • A Natural History of the Senses Ackerman
  • Meditations on First Philosophy Rene Descartes
  • Middle Eastern Muslim Women Speak
  • Existentialism & Human Emotions jean Paul Sartre
  • I touch Earth, the Earth Touches Me Hugh Prather
  • How to See Yourself As You Really Are Hi Holiness Dali Lama
  • Mystic of Wilderness
  • The Masters of the Spiritual path
  • Foundations of the Path
  • The Path to Attainment
  • The Memory Book
  • The Forest People
  • The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
  • Pilgrims in Paradise
  • Love & Will Rollo May
  • Ceremony Leslie Marmon Silke
  • East of the Sun Julia Gregson
  • Fundamentals of Yoga Rammurti Mishra M.D.
  • Spiritualist Healers in Mexico Kaja Finkler
  • How to Know God Deepak Chopra
  • Original Blessing Mathew Fox
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Way of the Shaman
  • Carlos Castaneda
  • Green Witchcraft
  • Dictionary of Mind, Matter and Novels
  • Before our very eyes, Reading for Journey Through Israel Danny Siegel
  • The Philosophy of Stress Mary F. Asterita
  • Jewels of the Wise Holy Order of Mans
  • Sri Isopanisad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
  • The Prophet, Khalil Gibran
  • The Kingdom of God is Within You
  • Prisoner of Zenda
  • Stretching, Bob Anderson
  • Siddhartha Herman Hesse
  • Manon Lescant Antoine Francis Prevost
  • Knowledge that leads to everlasting life
  • The Human Aura Nicholas M. Regush
  • Tao Te Ching The Book of the Meaning and Life Lao Tzu
  • Holy Bible King James Version
  • Sach Cua Thay
  • Personal Prayer journal
  • And the Flowers Showered, Discourses on Zen OSHO
  • Don’t Look Before You Leap, OSHO
  • Michael and The Angels, Tan
  • Perennial Wisdom, Elda Hartley
  • Peace is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Spiritual Unfoldment 1, White Eagle
  • The Book of Prayers, Edited by Leon and Elfreda McCauley
  • Around the Golden Ring of Russia
  • The Golden Builders, Tobias C. Burton
  • The Etheric Body of Man
  • Where there is light Paramahansa Yogananda
  • Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
  • Autobiography of Gandhi or The Story of My Experiments with Truth M.K. Gandhi
  • Daily Guideposts
  • Glory of Freedom, OSHO
  • Arabian Nights, Sir Richard Burton
  • The Detox Diet, Elson M. Haas, M.D.
  • Yoga 28 Day Exercise Plan, Richard Hittleman’s
  • Fundamentals of Yoga a Handbook of Theory, Practice and Application Rammurti S. Mishra, M.D.
  • Iyengar His Life & Work
  • Yoga For Women Nancy Phelan
  • The Mindful Practice of Falun Gong Dr. Margaret Trey
  • Light on Pranayama, The Yogic Art of Breathing Iyengar
  • The Essential Rumi
  • Mahabarata William Buck
  • Sayings Paramahansa Yogananda
  • Autobiography of a Yogi
  • Creative Visualization Shakti Gawain
  • Falun Gong Li Hong Zhi
  • God, Creation, Tools For Life Sylvia Browne
  • Tea Gardens, Ann Lovejoy
  • The Secret Power of Yoga Nischla Joy Devi
  • Algeria a Country Study
  • A Handbook of Medicinal Plants
  • I Tituba, Witch of Salem Maryse Conde
  • Gods, Heroes, Men and Ancient Greece
  • There Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
  • Martin Luther King The Peaceful Warrior
  • Harvard Classics: Sacred Writings (Confucian, Hebrew, Christian)
  • Harvard Classics: The Odyssey Homer
  • Candide Voltaire
  • Aleister Crowley The Biography
  • Seeds, Mosaics, Chipped Decorating with Plant Materials Eleanor Rennssalaer
  • Sach Cua Thay Quyen 10 An Tong Khong Ban
  • The Trickster, A Study on American Indian Mythology Paul Radin
  • The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History
  • Arts, Ideas & Civilization Jack A. Hobbs
  • Cassells Latin Dictionary Latin/English
  • Soules Dictionary of English Synonyms
  • Wings Hymnal
  • Service Book Hymnal
  • The Master Plan Coleman
  • Message Amma
  • Gandhi on Personal Leadership Anand Kumarasamy
  • Mohandas Gandhi
  • No Pocket in a Shroud Maxine E. Thompson
  • The Navaho Clyde Kluckman
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership
  • Veiled Sentiments
  • Four Masterworks of American Indian Literature
  • Freedom and Culture
  • Utopia, More
  • A Working Theory of Love Scott Hutchins
  • Psalm
  • Genesis
  • Mesopotamian Parallels
  • Enuma Elish
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • The Patriarch and the Exodus
  • Egyptian Monotheism
  • Conquest, Chaos and Kingship
  • The Prophets
  • Amos
  • Hosea
  • The Book of Job
  • Isaiah
  • The Suffering Servant
  • Illiad
  • Greek Tragedy
  • Aeschylus
  • Sophocles
  • Euripides
  • Socrates
  • Plato
  • Aristotle
  • Virgils Aeneid
  • Petrarch
  • Boccaccio
  • Pico de Mirandola
  • Machiavelli
  • Castiglione
  • Montaigne
  • Shakespeare’s Hamlet
  • Moliere
  • Racine
  • Swift
  • Voltaire
  • Counterpoint to Rationalism
  • Rousseau
  • Goethe
  • Wordsworth
  • The New Testament
  • Augustine
  • The Song of Roland
  • The Thirteenth Century Synthesis
  • Dante
  • Chaucer
  • Erasmus
  • Luther
  • Calvin
  • The Counter Reformation: Loyola
  • Flaubert
  • Doystoyevsky
  • Tolstoy
  • Dickinson
  • Conrad
  • Kafka
  • Mann
  • Joyce
  • Eliot
  • Faulkner
  • Camus
  • Beckett and the Theatre of the Absurd
  • Wiesel
  • Solzhenitsyn
  • El Elephante Saramago
  • Websters Dictionary
  • Be Here Now Ram Das
  • Small is Beautiful
  • Alice Walker Poetry Book
  • The Secret Garden
  • New Work, New Culture
  • Bella dama sin piedad, Rosario Castellanos
  • El Leon, La Bruja Y El Ropero S. Lewis
  • La Casa de Los Espiritus Isabel Allende
  • El Gesticulador and otras obras de teatro Rodolfo Usigli
  • Pablo Neruda Antologia General
  • Octavio Paz
  • Bhagavadgita Home Study Course Swami Dayananda Saraswati
  • The Nymph and The Lamp
  • Profiles in Courage President John F. Kennedy
  • Les Fleurs du mal Baudelaire
  • Jacques Le Fataliste Diderot
  • Cervantes Don Quixote
  • Wild Irish Rose
  • World of the Maya, Victor W. Von Hagen
  • La Chute, Albert Camus
  • Le Payson de Paris Aragon
  • Huis clos suivi de Les mooches Sarte
  • A Lotus of Emptiness OSHO
  • Thayer’s Life of Beethoven
  • Edgar Allan Poe Proceeding the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 38-2018 Celeste Andrews
  • Muslims and US Politics Today Mohammad Hassan Khalid
  • Famine Relief in War Logged China Pierre Fuller
  • Imaginative Mapping Nobuko Toyosawa
  • Regional Literature and Transmission of Culture Margaret B. Wan
  • The Paradox of Being Paul Andersen
  • Feeling the Past in Seventeenth Century China Xiaoqiao Ling
  • The Epic of Ram Tulsidas
  • The Praise of Anradi Vol. 2 Bharatchandra Raj
  • Theory of Gardens Jean-Marie Morel
  • The End of Middle East History and Other Conjectures
  • Al-Muwatta, The Royal, Moroccan Edition Malik B. Asas
  • Orthodox Passions  Maram Epstein
  • The History of Kings of Britain David W. Burchmore
  • Old English Lives of Saints  Julliet Mullins
  • Allegories of the Odyssey John Tzetles
  • The Virtues and Vices of Speech Giovanni Giovaiano Pontano
  • Lives of Milanese Tyrants  Pier Candido Decembrio
  • The History of Akbar Abril Fazl
  • Pious Fashion Elizabeth Bucer
  • Finding  Time Heather Bushey
  • Vatican 1 John O’Malley
  • Observation & Experiment Paul R. Rosenbaum
  • Living History of Rome J.C. Yardley
  • Appian Roman History Brian McGing
  • Canonical Mires
  • The Splendors and Miseries Confessions Zolas Monly
  • Caliphate of Man  Andrew F. March
  • Taky’s Revolt Vincent Brown
  • Battling Bella Leandra Ruth Zarnow
  • Magic and the Dignity of Man Brian P. Copenhover
  • Unbound Heather Bonsley
  • Ingenius Peter Gluckman
  • The Missing Course David Goobler
  • Contradiction and Utopia  John Danaber
  • Neptune’s Laboratory Antony Adler
  • The Quran
  • Physics for Poets
  • Landscape Graphics
  • Akan Symbols, Adinkra
  • Linguistics
  • Fluxus
  • Tacit Knowledge
  • The Constitution
  • Flowers for Algernon
  • I never Promised You a Rose Garden
  • Shadow of the Sun, Kapuscinski
  • Amy Tan
  • Ha Jin
  • Complex Knowledge Studies in Organizational Epistemology Haridimos Tsoukas
  • The Cross of Redemption Uncollected Writings James Baldwin  (Force Vitale notes)
  • Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  • Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett
  • China in 10 Words, Yu Hua
  • Chevkov Plays-Uncle Vanya …
  • The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu
  • A Workbook for Arguments A Complete Course in Critical Thinking
  • Fallacies and Argument Appraisal
  • Logical Fallacies
  • Fallacies of Logic
  • A Rule Book for Arguments Anthony Weston
  • Mastering Logical Fallacies, The Definitive Guide to Flawless Rhetoric and Bulletproof Logic Michael Withey
  • Logic Concise Introduction to Logic Patrick Hurley
  • Informal Logical Fallacies a Brief Guide Jacob Van Vleet
  • Concise Guide to Critical Thinking Lewis Vaungh
  • Historians Fallacies Toward a Logic of Historical Thought David Hackett Fischer
  • Logically Fallacious 300 Logical Fallacies Bo Bennett
  • The Thinking Tool Box, 35 Lessons to Build Your Reasoning Skills
  • Amazing Dr. Ransoms Bestiary of Adorable Fallacies Douglas Wilson
  • Roland Barthes
  • Irish Folktales Keats
  • The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkein
  • The Diary of a Young Girl  Anne Frank
  • The Hobbit R.R. Tolkein
  • East of Eden John Steinbeck
  • Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • Pooh Bear
  • Article: “Scholarly Voice, Avoiding Bias”
  • Pinocchio
  • Values: (Poor Bear, Gandhi, The Wizard of Oz, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Pinocchio, Dickins, OSHO)
  • Maugham Somerset
  • Santeria the Religion Gonzalez Wippler
  • Rituals, Spells of Santeria Migene Gonzalez-Wippler
  • Santeria Beginners Guide Riley Star
  • Santeria African magic in Latin America Migene Gonzalez Wippler
  • Lucumi The Ways of Santeria   Monique Joiner Siedlak
  • A Year In White Lynn Carr
  • Santeria Miguel A De La Torre
  • The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts Baba Ifa Karade
  • Magical Power of the Saints Rev. Raz T. Malbrough
  • Tarot-The wisdom of the cards, Aleister Crowley Deck
  • Proverb various (mostly African and Chinese)

Does not include healing or culinary and very few exercise books.  Those are on separate lists.

Comparing Shakespeare and Dorothy Parker: Teacher Poets and the Essence of Literary Devices

Comparing Shakespeare and Dorothy Parker

Teacher Poets and the Essence of Literary Devices

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

In response to the sixteenth century “sonnet craze,” I will compare two poems with satirical love and hate themes, one by William Shakespeare “Sonnet 130” and the other from 1926, a 12 line poem written in verse by Dorothy Parker “One Perfect Rose.” What was distinct about these two poems was their desire to subvert, mask, code, or symbolize.  Simple poems were made radical by use of literary device or word choice.  Very often, writers employed classical styles like the Petrarchan 14-line sonnet but used radical methods to convey distaste that often erupts into satire.  I selected this text to have a close reading of not only Shakespeare, as a “Teacher Poet,” whose writing embodies the very essence of many literary devices, but to also look at classic sonnets juxtaposed with modern poetry.

The desire to embed meaning using literary devices endures. Shakespeare’s use of alliteration in Sonnet 130, employs repetition of consonant sounds to encode messages perhaps for a lover.  Where Shakespeare writes  “my mistresses’ eyes are nothing like the sun,” a lover may desire a dark or dormant eye, or perhaps there was stress in the eyes  and emphasis on if one were to be discovered.  (Shakespeare 838).  Where Dorothy Parker may regard her single rose as a “flow’r” or something one gives when desirous of other maneuvers (Parker 845).  As opposed to alliteration she uses omissions and symbolism/personification to convey her target meaning.  Where Shakespeare may be entertaining clandestine meetings and lover’s descriptions disguised as wives, Parker may be forward, satirical, and express dissatisfaction.

Parker personifies her single rose as “flow’r,” as “messenger,” as a “long love,” and ultimately as a “limousine” (Parker 845).  Shakespeare writes “if snow be white, why then her breasts are dun.”  Both sonnets mask meaning with their expression of love.  Shakespeare makes what he calls a “false compare,” and Parker uses dark symbolism, personification, and simile to describe the single rose and subsequent lover’s intention.   Both poets use satire, but where Shakespeare will appeal to consonants, vowels, reversals with alliteration, assonance and anastrophe, Parker will employ, symbolism, personification, and simile.

Shakespeare utilized the literary device “assonance” where words have similar vowels; As would those of the same gender have similar sexes.  In the second line, it may have been in code “coral and far,” perhaps suggesting a clandestine meeting place in a barn or distant place (Shakespeare 838).  Shakespeare, a master of English, style and writing as if by design, inserted innuendo, and perhaps coded messages within a variety of literary devices.  Shakespeare was said to have “written sonnets 127-154 to this mysterious dark lady.” (Owlcation)

Shakespeare used negated similes to illustrate the reversal of ideals in the 16th-century society by employing anastrophe in his line structure. (Owlcation) Although a variety of rhyme schemes were employed from Petrarchan Sonnet methods to alliterative verse, to assonance, what gave Shakespeare’s poetry its depth and richness were perhaps the layers of form and function.  The inverted language embodied an inverted idea which had inverted lines.  Shakespearean poems when dissected had perhaps several instances where for example he writes in reverse “in some perfumes, is there more delight.”  He inserts, in this case, intrigue and question, and perhaps the suggestion of an alternative or question as to whether a greater pleasure.

Use of a literary device in writing to teach may be a goal or result.  Poets may desire production of literature that is in service of education which is one distinct trait of both poems and their attention to literary device.  Clear use of  a literary device may result in the title of “teacher poet.”

Shakespearean Sonnet 130 challenges beauty, ideals, and love via literary devices such as alliteration, assonance, and anastrophe.  Sonnet 130 is typical of an English love sonnet emanating from true Petrarchan style. Petrarchan sonnets during the 16th century followed a 14-line formula, an 8  line “octave” followed by a 6 line “sestet” and couplet. The rhyme scheme for these poems was abab cdcd efef gg structure. (Petrarch Slide Share) Dorothy Parker’s “One Perfect Rose,” is a 12-line poem written in ABAB in three stanzas.  On closer inspection, society may find Shakespeare referential, full of innuendo, coded, as if written to wife and lover simultaneously-for the blind and the seer.  Parker may also have written for the blind and the seer. The 16th-century culture may have reflected on this use of a literary device or on what became a sonnet craze, where one’s identity or even “intimacy” may be still further conveyed in myriad and dynamic rhymed and unrhymed schemes. As if one may insert into life something in every consonant, vowel, syllable, line-in every literary corner-one may find a place to insert meaning, impacting one’s identity and consequently one’s language and culture.  As if to use “all,” every consonant, every vowel, every literary ability, not efficiency or economy, but down some other road of utility, structure, architecture.  When one may have believed meter limited content, a fallacy indeed.  Shakespeare is perhaps made for the close reading, the examination and analysis,  the scrutiny, the more-and-more to find, the Easter egg hunt.  As if the document had pockets, or corners or roads, as if the writer were builder and words were bricks.  All methods or rather literary devices were carefully coded, perhaps to man and to language.  Man’s language and literary devices may reflect on the man himself.

Works Cited

Abcarian, Richard, Marvin Klotz, and Samuel Cohen, eds. Literature: The Human Experience: Reading and Writing. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2016. Print. An Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130. The concept of love and beauty, Bergische Universität Wuppertal  (Anglistik und Amerikanistik) Introduction to Literary Studies,  2017 Anthology, Norton, 2005

Parker, Dorothy. “One Perfect Rose,” Abcarian, Richard, Marvin Klotz, and Samuel Cohen, eds. Literature: The Human Experience: Reading and Writing. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2016. Print. p.845

Shakespeare, William. “Sonnet 130,” Abcarian, Richard, Marvin Klotz, and Samuel Cohen, eds. Literature: The Human Experience: Reading and Writing. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2016. Print. p.838