Page 1 of 1

Joyful Builder, Searching Student

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 4:20 pm
by bjondon
I'm shit, I'm shit, I'm Captain of the Shit.
Am I not a glorious man?
I'm shit, I'm shit, I'm Captain of the Shit.
Am I not a glorious man?

Curious, these humans clenched
and curled inside their little shells, barely even
permitting to breathe
such glorious selves.

And still I'm shit.
Am I or am I not a glorious man?

Re: Joyful Builder, Searching Student

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:31 am
by Macavity
I'm not joining the dots on this one Jules.

best

mac

Re: Joyful Builder, Searching Student

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:02 am
by Firebird
Hi Jules,

This is my take on your poem. Judging from the title my first thought was there’s a sort of ‘Educating Rita’ conflict going on here? You know, where she feels conflicted about her working class roots and her academic endeavours.

My other interp (not mutually exclusive) is that when we become curious (or students of humanity) we realise just how bad and good humanity really is. Is s2 about how little of our potential has been tapped. It almost feels like it’s from an alien perspective.

I think overall, the poem is about a conflicted builder who is starting to realise how shit humanity is (which N is a part of and therefore part captain and shit) but also realising its huge wasted potential. Maybe he/she is realising their own huge wasted potential and thinking it’s too late, too (the captain of their own shit).

Is there a reference to Walt Whitman (I’m captain of the shit) here or am I strentching a point. Could it be that this captain is humanity coming to the end of its journey and is going to die?

I think I’m liking this poem. I’m pretty sure now it’s intertextual. And think it’s meaning is opening up. I’ll think on and maybe return.

Cheers,

Tristan

PS. It could quite easily be a criticism of America.

bjondon wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 4:20 pm
I'm shit, I'm shit, I'm Captain of the Shit
Am I not a glorious man?
I'm shit, I'm shit, I'm Captain of the Shit
Am I not a glorious man?

Curious, these humans clenched
and curled inside their little shells, barely even
permitting to breathe
such glorious selves

And still I'm shit
Am I or am I not a glorious man?

Re: Joyful Builder, Searching Student

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:44 pm
by bjondon
Tristan and mac, thanks for the read.
Explaining a poem is I suppose an admission of failure
so I'll hold back a bit.
It's not intertextual, though it's true I've been reading Whitman. I like his tabula rasa approach to poetry.
I think there's another famous American poem, much loved by self-help pundits with the refrain 'I am Captain of my ship' and also there's Lou Reed's 'I'm bored, I'm bored, I'm Chairman of the Bored', so perhaps influences there but not specifically symbolic ones.
I think the title might be a bit misleading - that came as an afterthought - I liked the synergy of a contradiction, the complete opposite swing of the pendulum, but within the same category of self-address.
Have added some punctuation.

Jules

Re: Joyful Builder, Searching Student

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:05 am
by JJWilliamson
Not getting it, either, Jules, although I was able to apply my own take,
which is never a bad thing. (or is it?) :)

We've made a big mess of just about everything and fail to respond to our own stupidity
and we are the true masters/captains of our own shit. The pile is high and we keep adding to it.


There is a conflict here, methinks, possibly combining vanity and self-delusion with disaster.
Of course, one can't help but think of Cov 19, but it's not essential to my take.

Just a few thoughts for the pot.

Best

JJ

Re: Joyful Builder, Searching Student

Posted: Sat May 09, 2020 3:50 pm
by Suzanne
Hi bjondon,

The title doesn't seem connected to the thing. I'm not sure what message you are trying to convey to the reader more than the N is a shit.

I just don't know.
Suzanne