Rowan’s Audible Artifact

This part of the reading really reminds me of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “the Last Prayer.” While the first part of the reading was full of visceral sex, this portion feels much more stark and full of dread. “The Last Prayer” (Prayer hereafter), has that same kind of stark feel to it, even though it is being delivered a rock concert. The absence of sound behind the speaker evokes the stark horror in the poem itself, which I very much felt in our reading. It is interesting that the speaker of Prayer is a white man, and I don’t think he has the same life experience of horror that we find in the reading, and that he speaks to in the Prayer itself, “give us this day our daily dread, at least three times a day…” In our reading, there are so many instances of “daily dread,” horror that is not only known but also expected. The juxtaposition between what is holy to the author and the real world is also mirrored in both places, although it doesn’t stay long in this passage, nor does it stay long in Prayer. There’s a bitter tone that comes into Prayer, that I felt very strongly in our reading, that said, I felt like the bitterness in our author comes from the expectation of dread and horror as described in the experiences of our reading; it’s not just the author going through harassment, her father was beaten by police and she and her siblings knew it. This lived experience of the dread and bitterness that pervades our reading, while it reminds me of Prayer, also illustrates how different it is when a poem has authenticity to back it.

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