Good evening class mates,
I took English 101 three times before I passed it. For whatever reason when I started junior college, I was simply not ready to commit to school, I believe that college would be too difficult for me, as all my teachers made it sound like almost an unattainable, expensive luxury-rather that was my interpretation. It took a girlfriend to escort me to class like a prisoner being taken to road to lay concrete. The third time around I truly enjoyed my experience. Since I was a child I always loved to write, but family discouraged, and school hammered away at form, or rather, the three paragraph essay. “You like to write, wonderful, but you can’t just write, you have to write my way.” Again, perhaps that was my interpretation of what I heard. So sitting in English 101 for the third time around, our professor hands out one of two “life changing” essays, “Shitty First Drafts.”
“Shitty First Drafts,” was about writing very shitty first drafts, emphasizing that no one would grade them, no one would look at them, no one would care about them, except you, the writer. The fundamental driving point was to simply sit and write everything that would come to mind about the piece or project that you are writing on, and then revise as many times as you need to. I found this liberating, and it was part of what led me to decide to become an educator. To inspire and to let lose the imagination of any student who finds joy-or has difficulty with writing. Write it out first, write it all out, then clean it up from there. I don’t remember the story exactly, but I believe it was Michelangelo who was asked how he sculpted so well, I understand he responded with something close to, “The sculpture is there within the block, I just take a chisel and whittle away to let it free.”
Here is my first block, I’ve only removed a few pieces.
Jenny kiss'd Me
JENNY kiss'd me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Both jenny and the speaker are young possibly pre-adolescent, as it is revealed that Jenny jumped out of her chair, unable to control her excitement. This can also suggest that love in its first stages is still child-like, possibly innocent and even free of sexual complexities.
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
The speaker then chastises Time, personified as a thief who steals sweets, which suggests the physical attributes if that then beauty as a sweet, and placed on the list of time. Recorded or the very act of recording one person at any given moment, is the next day, aged by one day, and one day less beautiful than the day before. Time steals the attractiveness of a young body, the sweetness of being young and in love and the human form slowly withers, as time steals days , one by one.
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad, 5
Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,
This stanza implies weariness after the first stage of jubilee, further implicating sadness, it is possible with e passing of time after time stealing said days, the speaker eventually married and spent a lifetime with Jenny, but the n lost her to time.
During their love, his focus was his love, jenny and as a result, success, and great health were not his focus and therefore he did not excel in those areas.
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss'd me.
The first stanza implies a young state of love and energy unconstrained
The second speaks of time and how it steals days away from the individual
The third stanza speaks of having lost or never earned wealth and recognition, or never having focused on the speakers own body, beauty and health. But although all the speaker laments all these aspects of the decay of the human form, lost opportunities, experiences and ultimately a lost love, the speaker has no regret and therefore has minor comparison of los or lamentation as all those things lost, are minor in comparison to having received the love at one time of the revered Jenny, or at the very minimum, a having lost opportunities and other experiences, it was all worth having received a single kiss.
Reading it again now, “Jenny,” can easily be replaced by the name of any other woman. Not necessarily specifically referring to a single name, but replacing the name with “she” would have a global affect for the reader, which is to reflect on the having, loss, and then reflection on the experience of love, even at the cost of other ideals which society holds valuable.
Formal and literary elements
Use of white space
Two sources MLA