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November 30, 2007

Illumination: Sunday Morning (the poem and poam)

Several weeks ago in class, we were asked to take time out of class to go and ask people what poems illuminated them. While myself and several other students were in the process of asking one student this question and describing our assignment, a girl passing by told us that she was with a group that was doing something she thought we would be interested in. So we followed to passerby, and met the cast of Sunday Morning, a production that was put on earlier tonight, and will be performed tomorrow at 1pm and 8pm in the Duderstadt. Sunday Morning is a poem by Wallace Steven's. What the group that we met did was they all read the poem, and then spent several weeks brainstorming what the poem meant to them, and how the best way to act out what the poem meant to them could be accomplished. Then, with the direction of a director, and the help of a writer to record and revise all of their ideas, they made performance of their best interpretation of Sunday Morning, which I attended along with Henry, who had also talked with the group putting on the production.

Before I attended the production tonight, I read the poem several times. The first time reading the poem I didn't have a good sense for what was going on, and what was being described, because the poem is longer than most I am familiar with and has a unique way of describing what is being talked about. After rereading the poem several times, I started to gain an understanding of what was being described. The poem talked of the last days of life of an individual, the things that were observed and then the journey to the afterlife, and the experiences of this person there. Many things are described in detail in the poem, of what I interpreted to be those last days on earth of the individual and the interactions with the things around that person. After just reading the poem, I can't say that I had any specific illumination, because it was hard for me to relate to the poem. The poem to me, seemed general and not specific enough, which has always been a tough concept for me to grasp. But then I attended the show.

The Production (or poam)

I want to first preface what I am going to describe by saying that it is very rare for me to attend a production like Sunday Morning, whether that is due to apathy or ignorance I cannot say, but I am glad that the circumstances fell into place for me to have the opportunity to attend, because the production was wonderful. This was exemplified by the fact that when I read the poem before I attended I couldn't relate or make any connection to it, but after I saw the production I was able to better understand the groups interpretation of it. They made it more personal, it was the story of a certain person moving from life to afterlife, and his experiences before and after he was 'living.' They also added a comedic element to the poem which made it even easier for me to relate to. Seeing the poam as the man's journey and interactions his last days on earth, instead of just an individuals journey had a lot more resonance with me. When I think of the poem Sunday Morning, instead of relating to the words of the poem, I will make a much stronger connection to the poam because it was so visually appealing and took advantage to the fullest the positives of a 3D mapping. Being able to see and hear left much more of a profound impact on something I was already familiar with than the words themselves did.

Posted by ndjames at November 30, 2007 11:24 PM


I agree Nick; interesting it was. Very illuminating.

Posted by: helefter at December 3, 2007 06:00 PM

(Some of) the importance of being able "to relate to" something is what that event of "relating to" embodies: the act of the formation of a perceptible tether.

Which is to say that all possible modes of tethering exist; there is a path of connection between any entities, and any number of entities, but all of these possible or potential tethers will not become activated; only a small fraction (out of all possible modes of tethering), I'm guessing, of possible tethers become active

--I am very glad to learn of this particular activation.

Posted by: thyliasm at December 22, 2007 03:13 AM

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