Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Exploration Two- Madison

My name is Madison Bridges, I am a freshman and I live in an apartment on main campus in Columbus Ohio, but my mom's family is from Georgia and I have to admit that under my Ohio State shirt I will always have a Georgia Bulldog place in my heart. I'm proud to be a Buckeye and I currently plan to graduate with a Masters to be a Physician Assistant with a minor in nursing or something in the medical field. I have a younger brother, Tyler, and a dog named Franklin. I love ice cream, my favorite color is purple, and I love taking vacations.

I grew curious of Frederick Douglass after reading a quote of his off the board during class, "If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress." This quote immediately reminded me of one of my favorite quotes, "God gave His toughest battles to His strongest soldiers" -unknown. This made me want to dig deeper into Frederick's religious views. The website I viewed, http://www.shmoop.com/life-of-frederick-douglass/religion-theme.html, led me to believe that he is in fact a Christian, it also gave me some background on his opinions of other Christians. One opinion that I specifically found understandable coming from Frederick Douglass was that "slave owners who went to church weren't real Christians." I find Frederick's opinions interesting and easy to agree with. What really hit home for me while reading more about his religious opinions was, "For Douglass, religion isn't about what you do on Sunday; it's what you do the rest of the week," because still to this day pastors and preachers are continuously giving sermons on this idea, to serve constantly and to shine so that through us, others can see Him.

My favorite of the three poems is, Songs For The People by Frances E. W. Harper. This particular poem is my favorite because I was able to make a connection with the author, Frances E.W. Harper in the sense of music being a soother, which she comments about in the second to last line of the poem. I myself use music as a relaxer and de-stressor and can assume many others use music for the same reason. Today there's a song about almost everything, whether your sad and need to listen to a song that makes you happy or excited and need to get pumped up before a big game; there is a song out there that everyone can relate to and use as a therapy in a way. I thought this poem was cool because while I was reading it I was appreciating Harper's helpful gesture of making songs in hopes for people to feel happiness, because I would have used them just for that.
In this poem I noticed some of the vocabulary is not as popular today. I also speculated that it must have been written in a time of war, where people were always stressing, fretting, and more so, living worried; and this poem is trying to bury those careworn feelings and instead surface more hopeful, strong, and worry-free feelings. The songs are meant to be a coping tool for any type of feeling, worry, fear, fret, anger, happiness and sadness. To me the language stood out mostly in the second and third stanza due to some of the vocabulary used, sabres, carnage, it also stood out after realizing, in stanza two, that this poem must have been written for the people who were living in a time with war.
The only place this poem caught me with a question was in stanza five; stanza's one, three and four begin with "Let me make songs for.." and in stanza five, Harper instead begins it with "I would sing for.." and the word would in this stanza really threw me off and had me curious as to why she used this phrase here instead... does that mean she couldn't sing for the poor and aged and of the bright and restful mansions? And if she could why only would she?...

Although it's not very out of the ordinary I thought music, in the second to last line, was the most important word in this poem. To me this poem is about how music can potentially heal and soothe those who are struggling in life or who are feeling any type of pain or sorrow, and impacting these people in a positive way. The Oxford English Dictionary defines music as the art or science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds to produce beauty of form, harmony, melody, rhythm, expressive content etc. I find this definition perfect to help explain the purpose behind Songs for the People. Music is a suggestion and a hope that it will make one feel happpier; and beauty, harmony and expression, all words used to help define music, I find are each very positive words, and in a way encouraging. Something interesting I learned about music was on http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/26/health/mental-health/music-brain-science/ "Music is strongly associated with the brain's reward system. It's the part of the brain that tells us if things are valuable, or important or relevant to survival, said Robert Zatorre, professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Montreal Neurological Institute."

My sentence: Knowing that I could listen to my music on my drive to class put me in such a better mood than the mood I woke up with.


  1. Hi Madison! I did not read your poem but after reading your paragraph I think I would like it. My favorite type of music is country and there is a song for everything and anyone can relate to a song in my opinion. I saw that you were from Georgia. I have visited Savannah, Georgia several times while I was vacationing in Hilton Head. I always love to visit Savannah.

  2. I really like the quote "God gave His toughest battles to His strongest soldiers" that you included in your post! I think it relates well to Douglass' quote. I also chose him as an author to write about. I also chose Songs for the People as my poem! I really enjoyed reading it because of its musical tone. Music is a great way to escape the world and forget about any problems.

  3. Hi! I really liked your explenation on the reason you chose your poem. I chose the same one and I think we have a lot of the same opinions. You have a lot of great thoughts in your paragraphs which makes it fun to read!

  4. I found your second paragraph about Frederick Douglass really interesting. I like how one of his famous quotes reminded you of one of yours. I found some of his quotes really interesting to myself too. "Once you learn to read you will be forever free" was one of my personal favorites. Your information on him was different from some of the others I read I enjoyed it!

  5. I really like how you described the poem Songs for the People, and how you said that you use music as a way to relieve stress. I also enjoy listening to music when I get stressed out, or maybe even angry. I also think it's pretty cool that you want to be a Physician Assistant when you're older.

  6. Hi Madison, I found very good explanation Frederick Douglass paragraph,how you wrote step by step even the Stanza. i like one of his famous quote you use "God gave His toughest battles to His strongest soldiers" that was every interesting.


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