Episode V: The Poetry Strikes Back

I’d like to lead with part of a meta, humorous verse I came across earlier today, in the 147th Juan Gelman poem I have done my best to analyze:

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Why am I analyzing poetry? in process part II

After a belated meeting with my advisor, I feel a greater sense of purpose than before. After a belated meeting with my advisor, I feel more intimidated than before. Most of what I have been doing has been gathering background information about the geopolitical and cultural history of Argentina, and doing close-readings of poems by my poet Juan Gelman. What I haven’t been doing is figuring out who I am trying to analyze and dissect poetry for (besides myself, my advisor, family and friends, and faceless visitors to the poster presentations we will eventually give), and exactly how to frame Gelman’s fascinating discussion of life and death, identity, personal and national memory and more, all in the context of the troubled and sometimes horrific history he lived through.

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What do you need to interpret a poem? – Research in progress

Well, this has been my second week of research.  The first week was a little rough, because I had to go through a realization: even though every time people had asked me about my research project I had given a relatively simple and straightforward answer, my actual project is neither simple nor especially straightforward.  It’s still a challenge but I feel like I’ve started to make some progress.

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Abstract: The compromiso of el famoso Juan Gelman

The internationally recognized Argentinian poet Juan Gelman died on January 14th of this year.  More than just a poet, Gelman used much of his work to express his positions and opinions on important social and political issues affecting his country, notably weighing in on the dictatorships of the 1970s and the issue of los desaparecidos; as a result of his outspokenness, he was forced to go into exile in 1976.  The main focus of my research will be the compromiso–roughly commitment to social and political causes–that Gelman expresses in his writing, and how he displays it within the medium of poetry.

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