Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Yawp

Happy Monday!

Throughout this challenge, I've been posting about the many things that inspire me. I'm excited to reach the letter Y because the word I've chosen for today, yawp, holds a very special meaning.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that this post—with a few changes—is the same one I used for Y during last year's Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I did write a new Y post to use this year, but I wasn't very happy with it. Since my A to Z theme is inspiration, I decided to go with the post that inspired me most. ☺

A yawp is a raucous noise, a yell. Children are, of course, masters of the yawp. Like all kids, mine love to be loud and boisterous and often exercise this love from the moment they wake up until the moment they lay their heads down at night. Yawp can also be used in reference to clamoring and complaining, which I'm sure describes us all from time to time. I heard the word used in this sense more than once when I was growing up: "Dana, quit your yawping and clean up your room." (I never thought I'd one day be saying the same thing to my own kids!)

However, the yawp I want to write about today is a different kind of yawp—it's the barbaric yawp that American poet Walt Whitman described in his "Song of Myself":

I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

Who can forget that wonderful scene in Dead Poet's Society where English professor John Keating (played by Robin Williams) encourages his timid student (Todd Anderson, played by Ethan Hawke) to find his yawp--that indefinable something that lives inside each of us, waiting to be given its voice. In this clip, Todd hasn't been able to complete his assignment, which was to write a poem, and Mr. Keating uses Whitman's idea of the barbaric yawp to help Todd express himself through poetry in a way Todd had never thought possible:



I cry nearly every time I watch this scene. I used to teach college English, and I hope that I was able to inspire at least one student the way that Mr. Keating inspired Todd, showing him that not only does he have a barbaric yawp but he can express it--and needs to express it. We all do.

I, too, sound my barbaric yawp. I sound it each time I write a poem, and I sound it here. This blog is my barbaric yawp, my conduit for expressing myself. It's where I give voice to that something deep inside me that aches to be heard. Every time I post, I sound my barbaric yawp across the blogosphere.

We all do.

And I think Mr. Keating—and Mr. Whitman—would be proud.

What's your barbaric yawp? What have you chosen to give voice to today?


**My daily haiku is up at the Pulitzer Remix site. You can find it here. Thanks again to all of you who have been reading and commenting. I'm honored to be participating in the Remix, and your support means so much.


Wishing you all a beautiful Monday. ☺

60 comments:

  1. i don't remember this movie, very well but remember it touched me and disturbed me, which is about all we can ask of a film---hmmm i don't know what i will yamp about today---i am glad you reposted this--i don't think i caught it before :)

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  2. Since your theme is "inspiration," it doesn't matter that it's a repeat. Mr. Keating was surely inspirational to his students, and the movie itself has inspired many teachers to be better at their job.

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    1. Thanks, Wendy.

      There are a handful of movies that affected me in that way. Dangerous Minds is another.

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  3. I love this movie and I love that scene...what a great scene. I need to ponder your question and find out what my barbaric yawp is...

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  4. I must watch this movie again. I missed so much watching it through the eyes of my youth, and now that I'm older and hopefully wiser, some 'Words and Truths' will hold new meanings and inspirations!

    Yawppers, how did I miss YAWP all these years? It sure fits right in with my Texas accent and favorite Friendly word....Yaw'll.

    I am positive you made a difference to many of your students, if the difference you have made in blogland is any indication. YawpOn, Dana!!!!

    It's SPRING and the Butterflies ARE Dancing....love that image. I once wrote a post...'Flying Flowers'...it was about Butterflies.

    My Letter'Y'...Confessions of A YarnAholic
    Sue CollectInTexasGal
    AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

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    1. Sue, you're very sweet. Thanks so much. I appreciate all your comments, both on my blog and on my haiku. :)

      I love your image of butterflies as flying flowers; that's lovely!

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  5. I saw that movie but forgot that scene....a great reminder:)

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  6. Now adays I express myself through my photos but I will be yawping tomorrow night as I'm giveing a talk on one of my other blogs.
    Hope you like my letter Y today I loved your Yawp.

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    1. Thanks, Bill. Your photos are great; I look forward to them every day. :)

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  7. As soon as I saw the title of your post, I thought of that scene. It's where I first heard that word. Great Y post!

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  8. wow I had forgotten how powerful this movie was (and is) Thanks Dana - not sure what my yawp is- perhaps it's my periodic rants in Opinion pieces about how this world is controlled by few and to the detriment of many.
    Great post and have a wonerful day!

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  9. been awhile since I've seen that movie

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  10. I yawp all the time but forgot what it's called. My husband has some other words for it. LOL

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  11. Wow! That's great! I going to do some Yawping now!

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  12. I have never seen that movie but I think I shall watch it that was very touching

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    1. I hope you see it! It's definitely one of my top five.

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  13. The first thing I thought of when I read the title of your post was The Dead Poets Society. Amazing movie and brilliant part in the film.

    I so have to watch this movie now! It is inspiring for sure.

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    1. It's wonderful—very inspiring!

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  14. Love it! :) and I love your inspiration...thanks for sharing it with me this month. :) Wishing you a great Monday back!!!!

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! I hope you have a wonderful week. :)

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  15. I'm pretty sure this movie was one of the major reasons why I became a high school English teacher.

    I didn't have any crazy Mr. Keaton moments, but I do know that many of my old students went on to pursue writing as a career. That's pretty cool.

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    1. That's really cool—and something to be proud of. :)

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  16. I am inspired and I would have missed your Yawp if you had not shared it again this year, so, thank you . Love that scene from Dead Poets. Awesome post or repost.

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    1. Thank you, Melissa. I'm glad you liked it.

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  17. all your posts have been so inspiring!
    looove that pushpin banana! amazing!
    my fave reality tv is amazing race & survivor & big brother. voice & idol are still up there too...
    and way to keep up with your sweet haiku!

    thanks for visiting me so much! you're awesome! bragging about you for reflection post!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Tara. That's very sweet of you. :)

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  18. This is one of my favorite movies! This is a fantastic scene too.

    Thanks for inspiring me :D

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    1. I never get tired of that movie. :)

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  19. Oh, Dana! I'm so glad you reposted. I didn't see it last year, and of all of your posts, this is my favorite! :-)

    Truly inspirational. Thank you. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. I'm glad you liked it. :)

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  20. Great movie and word! What an inspiring Y day. :)

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  21. I'm glad your we're resourceful and used last years post. True inspirational.

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  22. When I saw 'yawp' I thought it was a euphemism for 'puke.' Golly, I have no class.

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  23. Favorite movie. When I saw the word, I immediately thought of "Dead Poets Society." Interesting to see some of the actors here and there on TV.

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    1. It's a great one—definitely in my top five.

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  24. I've never heard of that phrase before, but this post is very inspiring. I'm glad you posted it again so that some new readers, like myself, could see it.

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  25. I missed this last year. Thanks for reposting. There's a good lesson in there for all of us.

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  26. Now I want to watch DEAD POETS SOCIETY!!! I think I need to work on my yawp :)

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    1. I know! That clip makes me want to watch it again, too.

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  27. lovely movies, inspiring.. will have to watch it again!!

    I loved all your posts and am so glad i found your blog :)

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    1. and yeah I did try the banana tattoo! I wanted to do a simple vase and it ended up like amoeba! lol ..not wasting any more bananas!!

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    2. Thanks, Nina!

      At least it looked like something! I have a feeling that if I give the banana tattooing a shot, my "creation" will end up more like a blob of nothing. LOL

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  28. Hmmmm. What you're talking about is what I (and lots of Canadians) would call "yap." I suppose they are the same.

    I didn't give much voice to anything but myself, in response to many questions from my doctor. I'm still hanging in. Tomorrow will be a better day.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting
    Life in the Urban Forest (my poetry blog)

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    1. They might be the same; I'm not sure. To me, yap means something a little different.

      Keep hanging in there! ☺

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  29. I haven't seen this movie before, its NICE! thanks for posting it, Dana:)

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    1. You should watch it. It's really good!

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