1. egnorth
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    egnorth New Member

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    New Historicism and Naomi Shihab Nye's "Rain"

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by egnorth, Apr 12, 2008.

    'Rain'

    A teacher asked Paul
    what he would remember
    from third grade, and he sat
    a long time before writing
    "this year somebody tutched me
    on the sholder"
    and turned his paper in.
    Later she showed it to me
    as an example of her wasted life.
    The words he wrote were large
    as houses in a landscape.
    He wanted to go inside them
    and live, he could fill in
    the windows of "o" and "d"
    and be safe while outside
    birds building nests in drainpipes
    knew nothing of the coming rain.

    -- Naomi Shihab Nye

    I'm taking a college English class and we have a research assignment this semester. My research paper is to be a new historicist piece over "Rain" by Naomi Shihab Nye. Some of the topics I've been researching so far are child abuse, [parental] touch deprivation, and child neglect. I feel I'm getting more and more lost as time goes on and would be extremely grateful for any sort of assistance of any kind (annotations, topic recommendations, ect) any of you may offer.

    I'm sorry if I've offended anyone by coming to the forum for what I'm sure appears to be purely homework help, but I plan to stay around as I write music and lyrics and am always looking for good critiques. I'm glad I've found this place! I also apologize if I've posted this in the wrong forum or if it simply doesn't belong here at all, please move or delete the thread as you wish.
     
  2. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    first of all, welcome to the site and I hope you do stick around. Also good luck with the class.

    And what would you like advice on exactly, like what to talk about during the class or what to look out for or what? It is a wonderful poem and some of the topics that spring to mind from it is lonliness and not fitting in. Obviously the contact with the person who touched his shulder means a lot to the child, perhaps either as they do not recive love and affection physically at home, or perhaps the contact scared him and is a sign of child abuse as you already mentioned.

    Sorry that I aint much help and good luck.
     
  3. egnorth
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    egnorth New Member

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    Thanks for the warm welcome:) I guess what I really want is just a place to discuss the poem and things I should look in to to use in my research paper. Thanks for the reply, I was glad to see there was one!:D
     
  4. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    Aye, it is quite a hard topic I guess, planning lessons and stuff. We are looking at poems in our English lessons at the moment and it is not easy.

    And I think you have identified most of the main things I could think of from the poem. was there like a question to answer or something to give you a little help, or some points of things to comment on??
     
  5. egnorth
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    egnorth New Member

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    Not really any specific points as of right now. I'm sure as the paper progresses I'll have some questions. Everything after the line ending in "wasted life." is a little confusing. Can you figure out what she's talking about?
     
  6. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, in my opinion, I see it as the boy is lonely, and wants to hide inside of his writing, make it his own little home. With the lines
    saying that he would make windows and turn it into a right little house and be safe, from whatever it is outside scaring or hurting him. Again, maybe he is lonely but would rather be lonely that abused or something.

    I think the thing about the birds not knowing about the oncoming rains it to show that troubles and storms can come ahead and not even the birds will know it, no one can, but if he is inside his word house then he is safe from all of that, nothing can touch him.

    That is just my interpretation of this poem, which really is beautiful.
    Heather
     
  7. egnorth
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    egnorth New Member

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    Very, very nice. You brought some new points up for me, I really appreciate it. I go back and forth on the meaning, but I think it's possible that the teacher is like a bird nesting in a drainpipe (a terrible place to make a home) because in her line of work, she is very vulnerable to "attacks" like the one Paul unintentionally made.
     
  8. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    Aye perhaps, good theory.

    If you would like help on your finished peice, you may like to ost it in the essays section of forum, down the bottom of the page in non-fiction, and see what people think.

    Glad I could be of help. :)
    Heather
     
  9. egnorth
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    egnorth New Member

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    I'll definitely try to do that. This forum has proven to be helpful. Thanks a whole lot, Heather.
     

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