Part one: Chapter 8 of The Triggering Town, “Ci Vediamo” tells the story of something I will never truly understand or experience. Hugo tells his experience with war in a different way than I’ve ever heard it told.
The experience of Hugo’s that touched me the most was his story about Spinazzola, both when he was there and later when he went back to the visit. The moment he describes is almost so surreal it’s hard to put yourself in his shoes. How he went so quickly from worrying about getting back to not caring at all about anything. It was so beautifully described how he just removed himself from all the chaos, “I didn’t care about the war. I was not a part of it anymore. Trucks went by and I didn’t even turn to watch them, let alone thumb a ride. Let them go. I would sit here forever and watch and I would not go home, ever.” (84). It’s an experience that’s almost unexplainable and you feel how important and monumental this moment in the grass was to Hugo, even after he comes back to visit. The fact that he didn’t show his wife this specific spot in Spinazozola when he usually would share intimate spots with her just adds to how important and unexplainable this moment in his life was. I feel like this feeling is best explained by his quote, “It was there and long ago something, important only to me, had really happened. Whatever it was, I didn’t accept completely the psychoanalyst’s explanation of it. It obviously had much truth to it, but it was maybe too pat. Whatever, by now I was old enough to know explanations are usually wrong. We never quite understand and we can’t quite explain.” (87). He experienced something unexplainable that he could not even completely share with his wife. This left me deep in thought, how one moment in your life can never leave you and how important it was to Hugo.
Also in this chapter Hugo did something that’s naturally hard for almost all humans do and that’s admitting their flaws. Hugo wrote, “I must confess to a preserve side of self. I give and give to beggars, but there is in something that feeds on the now of things. Of course I want it all better, want poverty gone forever from the world. But I also have the urge to say “Stay destitute three more days, just until I finish my poem.” I’m ashamed of that in me.” I honestly look up to Hugo in his ability to share and admit to what he’s ashamed of in himself. It’s a quality that I want to have myself so that I can improve myself everyday.
Chapter 9 on the other hand was very personal to me because I dream of someday becoming an English professor. His quote, “As a person, I simply like teaching in a university better than working in an aircraft factory. Here, I am close to poetry’s only consistent audience. I like students because they are not far removed from being children, and that is a bond between us. What adult would dream of writing a poem? And teaching gives me a personal satisfaction no other job did.” (109). After reading this part of chapter 8 I feel like I'm on the right path and Hugo is a role model of mine now.
I’ve learned so much from doing the workshops, I’ve really enjoyed them! I learned a lot from the criticism and praise on what people get from my poem and what I can work on to make it better. It was really interesting to hear what people thought certain things meant and symbolized within my poem.
As a critic, it was challenging to pick out things each poet can improve on because I feel like poetry can be whatever you want it to be. It was fun and interesting to be able to read other students poetry and I feel like I know each person in the class better as a writer.Thank you to everyone who helped me improve my poem!
I can’t wait to do more!
Word Count: 677