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The Poetry of Huckleberry Finn

The Poetry of Huckleberry Finn. I’ve known rivers: Ancient, dusky rivers. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" by Langston Hughes. Part One: Who is Huck?.

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The Poetry of Huckleberry Finn

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  1. The Poetry of Huckleberry Finn I’ve known rivers: Ancient, dusky rivers. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" by Langston Hughes

  2. Part One: Who is Huck? Huckleberry Finn, young’un to town drunk and perpetual pariah Pap, is an outcast. Parents warn their children against playing with him; kids find him mysterious and exciting. Poor, uneducated, wild, and ignorant– none of these reasons for 1840 to shun him– literary scholars speculate on his parentage. Is Huck of mixed race? We know one thing for sure: Huck is a lonely, independent kid with a streak of bravery and a developing conscience.

  3. Crossby Langston Hughes My old man’s a white old man And my old mother’s black. If ever I cursed my white old man I take my curses back. If ever I cursed my black old mother And wished she were in hell, I’m sorry for that evil wish And now I wish her well. My old man died in a fine big house. My ma died in a shack. I wonder where I’m gonna die, Being neither white nor black? Author's Corner: Shelley Fisher Fishkin

  4. Genius Childby Langston Hughes This is a song for the genius child. Sing it softly, for the song is wild. Sing it softly as ever you can— Lest the song get out of hand. Nobody loves a genius child. Can you love an eagle, Tame of wild? Wild or tame, Can you love a monster Of frightening name? Nobody loves a genius child. Kill him– and let his soul run wild! • genius • 1390, from L. genius "guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth; spirit, incarnation, wit, talent," from root of gignere "beget, produce" (see kin), from PIE base *gen- "produce." Meaning "person of natural intelligence or talent" first recorded 1649. Online Etymology Dictionary

  5. Genius: Guardian Spirit That Watches Over a Person; a Natural Like Peter Pan, Huck is a Natural. He is the guardian spirit of boyhood. Boys are drawn to him, parents fear him. The wild lure of Huck is like Pan’s pipes calling to young ears. And like Pan, Huck shows no promise of “gettin’ sivilized”- he lights out for the wilds yet again.

  6. Part Two: Huck’s Adventure Begins “I went exploring around down through the island. I was boss of it; it all belonged to me”(49). Huck’s “wave of sorrow”– namely his no-good, abusive father, the burden of a fortune, and the moral attention of the Widow and her sister– threatens to drown him. He escapes to a literal island of calmness, quiet, and safety. Huck can relax, certainly, but he can also think. “I knowed I was all right now.”(49)

  7. Island by Langston Hughes Wave of sorrow, Do not drown me now: I see the island Still ahead somehow. I see the island And its sands are fair: Wave of sorrow, Take me there.

  8. Two Nobodies “I was ever so glad to see Jim. I warn’t lonesome, now.”(52) Huck’s discovery of Jim is more than just an opportunity for adventure. Maybe Tom Sawyer would see it this way, but Huck sees it for what it is: now he’s got someone else, which verifies his own existence. Indeed, Jim and Huck are considered parallel characters.

  9. JIM HUCK *Father and husband separated *Young man separated from family by slavery *Outcast or second-hand citizen *Outcast or second-hand citizen due to race due to poverty or parentage *Runaway avoiding being sold *Mistreated by Miss Watson and by Miss Watson and looking runaway looking for something to buy back family better *Superstitious seer of the hairball *Superstition believer *Strong sense of right (stays to *Strong sense of own heart’s dictates help a wounded Tom) (helps Jim hide and escape) Twins?

  10. “I’m Nobody”by Emily Dickinson I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody too? Then there’s a pair of us– don’t tell! They’d banish us, you know. How dreary to be somebody! How public like a frog, To tell your name the livelong day To an admiring bog! "Huck and Jim" by Thomas Hart Benton

  11. Big River The Mississippi River, the fourth longest river in the world, is located in the central US and flows 2,350 miles from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. When it reaches Missouri, it meets the Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri Rivers, quadrupling its volume. “It was a monstrous big river down there– sometimes a mile and a half wide….” (Twain 128) “Mississippi River Sates [map]”. Enchanted Learning. 2001-2008. 13 March 2008 <http://www.enchantedlearning.com/usa/statesbw/mrstates/msbw.GIF>.

  12. “On the Mississippi”by Hamlin Garland Through wild and tangled forests The broad, unhasting river flows-- Spotted with rain-drops, gray with night; Upon its curving breast there goes A lonely steamboat's larboard light, A blood-red star against the shadowy oaks; Noiseless as a ghost, through greenish gleam Of fire-flies, before the boat's wild scream-- A heron flaps away Like silence taking flight. “Take a Little Walk With Me” -Robert Lockwood, Jr. Some Mississippi Blues Music

  13. “Novas of our born days” Huck and Jim are novas of their born days. They are original humans in the original garden with the original sin threatening to undermine their happiness and freedom. The serpent of society is coiled and ready to strike. An ominous tone settles over the novel with the arrival of the Duke and the king. “Nova” www.udel.edu

  14. From “The Concrete River” We sink into the dust, Baba and me, Beneath brush of prickly leaves; Ivy strangling trees--singing Our last rites of locura. Homeboys. Worshipping God-fumes Out of spray cans. Our backs press up against A corrugated steel fence Along the dried banks Of a concrete river. Spray-painted outpourings On walls offer a chaos Of color for the eyes. Home for now. Hidden in weeds. Furnished with stained mattresses And plastic milk crates. Wood planks thrust into thick branches serve as roof. The door is a torn cloth curtain (knock before entering). Home for now, sandwiched In between the maddening days. We aim spray into paper bags. Suckle them. Take deep breaths. An echo of steel-sounds grates the sky. Home for now. Along an urban-spawned Stream of muck, we gargle in The technicolor synthesized madness. This river, this concrete river, Becomes a steaming, bubbling Snake of water, pouring over Nightmares of wakefulness; Pouring out a rush of birds; A flow of clear liquid On a cloudless day. Not like the black oil stains we lie in, Not like the factory air engulfing us; Not this plastic death in a can. Sun rays dance on the surface. Gray fish fidget below the sheen. And us looking like Huckleberry Finns/ Tom Sawyers, with stick fishing poles, As dew drips off low branches As if it were earth's breast milk. Oh, we should be novas of our born days. We should be scraping wet dirt with callused toes. We should be flowering petals playing ball. Soon water/fish/dew wane into A pulsating whiteness. I enter a tunnel of circles, Swimming to a glare of lights. Family and friends beckon me. I want to be there, In perpetual dreaming; In the din of exquisite screams. I want to know this mother-comfort Surging through me.

  15. Lost, Losers, and Loss Jim and Huck are separated several times (raft accident, Huck’s flights on shore, and when Jim is sold). Each feels the other’s absence sorely. As Jim says, “You’s de bes’ fren’ Jim’s ever had; en you’s de only fred’ ole Jim’s got now.” (101) Huck declares that he’d go to hell for Jim (228). When the King and the Duke join the travelers, the dynamics of the boat change. Jim is hidden, invisible once again; Huck is submissive, as he was with Pap. Neither feel free or happy with the two confidence men. Their nonsense leads to Jim’s imprisonment and Huck’s “capture” too (back into civilized company).

  16. Dream by Langston Hughes Last night I dreamt This most strange dream, And everywhere I saw What did not seem could ever be: You were not there with me! Awake, I turned And touched you Asleep, Face to the wall. I said, How dreams Can lie! But you were not there at all!

  17. Nonsense and Nonesuch The Duke and the King, two frauds and confidence men, represent the greedy, base aspects of humanity. Huck is ashamed on their behalf; humans are commodities to these scoundrels– something to sell, trade, or use. Neither the Duke nor the King have any scruples. They shows the classic signs of sociopathy 1. not learning from experience 6. chronically antisocial behavior 2. no sense of responsibility 7. no change in behavior after punishment 3. inability to form meaningful relationships 8. emotional immaturity 4. inability to control impulses 9. lack of guilt 5. lack of moral sense 10. self-centeredness

  18. The Sociopath by Vince Gullaci The SociopathThe heartdoesn't missa beatthe lies put the detectorto sleepand the gullibleled to the slaughterlike good sheep. Vince Gullaci http://www.k-state.edu/womenscenter/Wolf.jpg

  19. Lightin’ out… “But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory before the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before…. Yours truly, Huck Finn.” (307) Huck knows who he is and what he stands for. He is comfortable enough in this knowledge to make decisions that go against the mainstream.He also knows what society is and what it stands for.

  20. Song of Myself, I by Walt Whitman I Celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass. My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air, Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same, I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin, Hoping to cease not till death. Creeds and schools in abeyance, Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten, I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard, Nature without check with original energy. “Rind 1955” M.C. Escher Click here to view Escher's Biography and Artwork

  21. Bibliography Angert, Isaac. “Mississippi River Geography and Geology.” St. Louis Community College.6 November 2002. 13 March 2008 http://users.stlcc.edu/jangert/geogeo/geogeo.html. Cullen, Countee. “Saturday’s Child.” AfroPoets.net. 2003-2007. 10 March 2008 <http://www.afropoets.net/counteecullen6.html>. Dickinson, Emily. “I’m Nobody.” The Acadmey of American Poets. 1998-2007. March 10, 2008 <http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.accd.edu/Sac/English/bailey/huck%26jim.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.accd.edu/Sac/English/bailey/amerlit2.htm&h=220&w=371&sz=29&hl=en&start=6&tbnid=Tql-HlWE0f21zM:&tbnh=72&tbnw=122&prev=/images%3Fq%3DHuck%2Band%2BJim%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den>. Gullaci, Vince. “Sociopath.” Poemhunter.com. 24 March 2008 <http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-sociopath/> . “Genius.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Editor Douglas Harper. 2001. 11 March 2008 http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=genius&searchmode=none. “Huck and Jim.” Artistic reproduction. Thomas Hart Benton. 11 March 2008 <http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.accd.edu/Sac/English/bailey/huck%26jim.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.accd.edu/Sac/English/bailey/amerlit2.htm&h=220&w=371&sz=29&hl=en&start=6&tbnid=Tql-HlWE0f21zM:&tbnh=72&tbnw=122&prev=/images%3Fq%3DHuck%2Band%2BJim%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den>.. Hughes, Langston. Selected Poems of Langston Hughes. Random House, New York: 1959 Garland, Hamlin. “On the Mississippi.” Poet’s Corner. 1995-2003. 10 March 2008 <theotherpages.org/poems>. Image of Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing. Google Images. 24 March 2008 http://www.k-state.edu/womenscenter/Wolf.jpg. M.C. Escher Foundation. “Rind 1955.” Picture gallery: Recognition and Success 1955-1972. M.C. Escher Gallery. 24 March 2008 http://www.mcescher.com/Gallery/gallery.htm. “Mississippi River Sates [map]”. Enchanted Learning. 2001-2008. 13 March 2008 <http://www.enchantedlearning.com/usa/statesbw/mrstates/msbw.GIF>. “Nova.” Imaginary Worlds. Google Images. 24 March 2008 <http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.udel.edu/biology/Wags/wagart/worldspage/nova.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.udel.edu/biology/Wags/wagart/worldspage/worlds.html&h=550&w=650&sz=249&hl=en&start=6&um=1&tbnid=7ReMlYiDBcPtwM:&tbnh=116&tbnw=137&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dnova%26gbv%3D2%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den >.“Peter Playing the Pipes.” T.D. Bedford, artist. 18 March 2008 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Pan. Rodriguez, Luis J.. “The Concrete River.” Poemhunter.org. 11 March 2008. 11 March 2008 http://www.princeton.edu/~batke/logr/log_026.html. Sandhu, Bobby. “King Lear.” Bobbysandhulive.com. 2006. 13 March 2008http://bobbysandhulive.com/traditional/Lineart/lear_bobbysandhu.jpg. Shakespeare, William. King Lear. Shakespearemonologues.org. Steve Shults. 1997. 11 March 2008. http://www.shakespeare-monologues.org/mensmonos.htm. Whitman, Walt. “Song of Myself.” Princeton University. 2008. 10 March 10 2008. http://www.princeton.edu/~batke/logr/log_026.html.

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