Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Humument Explication

page 24

On page 24 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips demonstrates process of the human mind by scattered motions, single repetition, different sizes, and isolation. Each of these techniques draws the eye to a certain point of the page. Within the page are darks and lights to emphasize certain key areas. The overall design of the page simulates what a human brain would do in order to transfer information as well. Each portion of the page is just as important as the next; they each play a key role in the overall meaning of the page itself.

Upon first glance, my eye immediately shoots to the very top of the page. The pattern of darks and lights stands out very clear. The words in the dark boxes are unreadable, yet the ones in the lighter boxes are easy to read. If each of the lighter boxes are connected, the words and sentences make sense. It is as if the dark boxes do not matter. The words talk about “fear and struggle,” “hard work,” and “invention.” Each of these words describes what the human mind goes through. The mind starts with struggles but uses hard work to end up with some sort of invention or idea. That is the process. Next, my eye noticed words that were not horizontal like usual. Towards the middle of the page is a set of words written vertically. These words seem to be the credits of some piece of work. This also follows the brain idea. Within the brain are inspirations found throughout others. Ideas are not always brought up on their own. Outside sources need to help at some point or another. This is expressed through the credits that are rolling down the brain into what I thought was the center of the brain. The center to me was the one large box towards the bottom of the page. Inside was the word “Work” repeated twice. These words are the only two repeated throughout the piece. Hard work is the center of everything, including the mind. It was as if everything was falling into hard work to have it completed. The isolation of the words gives emphasis about how important hard work is for the brain to process anything. Underneath the box there are small curvy lines. These to me, were the nerves waiting to transfer the information to the rest of the body. The whole structure shows how the human mind functions and what is needed for it to function correctly.

The title of this page is a key in the representation of the piece. The title is, “A Human Document.” This provides information that it is indeed coming from a human and that the mind is the control of all humans. The fact that the title isn’t specific on which human, it shows that all humans are alike in a way. Their brains function in a step process that eventually allows information to be sent out to the rest of the body. A document is allowed to be changed. The human mind is the same way. Nothing is concrete. Changes are allowed to be made when necessary. The interpretation of the title is that one human made it. This shows that there was an understanding of how the human mind works. The fact that color was not added demonstrates that the each human mind does what it needs to and that is it. It is up to the human itself to add his or her own color to be unique. The title creates a stable analysis that shows that it is in fact a work of the human mind. Although nothing is concrete, the mind continues a process until it completes the informational task that it is designed to complete.

Within this page are ideas that a much more complicated than the images on the paper. Each of the images is simply and easily placed. Each is placed in a specific order though. The order continues to demonstrate how the human mind works and what is needed in order for it to be complete. The top of the page is unorganized as if it were scattered thoughts. Then, in the end, the ideas are placed into one organized box that interprets all of the data into a complete thought. Hard work is the main theme of this page. Nothing comes without an effort put into it. In the human mind, hard work is necessary for scattered ideas to become a whole. This page promotes the idea of organization and time to complete a task. Everything is in an organized manner and continues to fall into place as the eye wanders from the top of the page to the bottom. Without the idea of human self expression, every mind would just continue to follow this process and nothing unique would come out of it. Everyone has a common workplace, their minds. In the human mind, things become a whole and work together. Without the process demonstrated in this page, nothing would fall into place.

On page 24 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips demonstrates the use of organized structures to get a point across. He uses a form of size differences and isolation as well to emphasize certain key components in the brain function. Although some words are not able to be read, if the other words are connected they do indeed form a complete thought. This shows that not everything has to done according to plan and that things can be changed around to become something new. The human brain uses a strict routine when establishing information, yet things still may be altered. That is just how the human mind works.

"Having a Coke with You" Explication

In the poem, “Having a Coke with You,” Frank O’Hara demonstrates the idea of true love through the use of references to art and foreign lands, dragged out tone and sentences, and descriptive diction. O’Hara uses these techniques to show that true love is the object of his desire and is not willing to let it pass by him. The poet uses these unique methods in a way that is also easy to understand and completely connects with the title itself. The overall message of this poem is that love possesses a power to withstand even the temptations of beautiful places, and even the most enhanced and brilliant art on the planet.

Throughout the poem, Frank O’Hara demonstrates his knowledge of foreign lands and cultures. He begins his poem with this line, “is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, IrĂșn, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne”. This immediately introduces beautiful places around the world. As the poem persists, the poet continues to state that something is more fun and beautiful then anything in the world. That something is love. O’Hara also shows his knowledge of the arts. He writes, “I look at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world.” After that, he begins to name pieces of artwork and their artist. This provides an enhanced effect upon the reader. It gives imagery so that the reader can actually think of just how beautiful the work is, yet remember that the narrator’s love is stronger. This is where the title comes into mind. Sharing a beverage is part of a date of some sort, which provides evidence that the narrator is indeed comparing all of these places and artwork to his love for another.

Immediately while reading this a first time, it is obvious that very little punctuation is used and the sentences seem to just drag on. This technique brings up the idea of a stream of conscious narration. It is the thoughts of someone flowing out of their heart without the need or care for grammar. The listening of this poem adds emphasis to the dragged on type of tone. The poet speaks as if just thinking it off the top of his mind, like a diary of some sort. The effect that this has may be minor, but is very import. It shows the aspect that the love is true, rather than something just made up. It came from the heart and the grammar just was unnecessary to just get the point across. The tone and manner that the poem is presented shows that the idea of true love is something important to the narrator and is something that he can talk a lot about without needing to stop, even for punctuation.

Diction is a major technique that O’Hara uses to get his point across about true love and not letting it get by. He uses many descriptive words to describe the affection of the love. He uses words such as “fluorescent orange” and “secrecy smiles” to show the true brightness and care that his love contains. These words not only characterize the love and affection, but bring together imagery as well. The use of colors and smiles paint a picture that affects readers of all ages. The diction used by Frank O’Hara is not only descriptive, but fairly simple as well. He uses easy to understand language that helps the overall connection between the narrator and the reader. This connection leads to trust, allowing what the narrator has to say to be listened to by the reader. The soft-spoken words add to the idea that love beside all is most important.

In the poem “Having a Coke with You,” Frank O’Hara uses different and unique techniques to keep his idea that love is the narrators choice overall in the reader’s mind. With his knowledge, diction, and lack of punctuation O’Hara captures the reader’s mind and expresses his love above all else.