Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
EXTRA CREDIT!!!! Millay Sonnet: What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why: MUST BE POSTED BY MIDNIGHT JANUARY 28th
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|by Edna St. Vincent Millay|
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
Monday, January 26, 2009
High school students need to know that math and science are not the most important things to know heading into college. They need to know how to survive college and how to maintain a healthy financial picture.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
20 points: Comment on Obama’s Inaugural Speech
20 points: Comment in response to Elizabeth Alexander’s inaugural poem
50 points: Post the sonnet you selected for Explication with a brief comment on why you picked it in the comment section for this post. Do not post your explication in your comment.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Bless this nation with anger -- anger at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.
Bless us with discomfort at the easy, simplistic answers we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth about ourselves and our world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.
Bless us with patience and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be fixed anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.
Bless us with humility, open to understanding that our own needs as a nation must always be balanced with those of the world.
Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance, replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences.
Bless us with compassion and generosity, remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable.
And God, we give you thanks for your child, Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.
Give him wisdom beyond his years, inspire him with President Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for all people.
Give him a quiet heart, for our ship of state needs a steady, calm captain.
Give him stirring words; We will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.
Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.
Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.
Give him strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.
And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking far too much of this one. We implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand, that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity, and peace. Amen."
Praise song for the day.
Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.
A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."
We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.
We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."
We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.
Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.
Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.
Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."
Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.
What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.
In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.
by Elizabeth Alexander
I am lazy, the laziest
girl in the world. I sleep during
the day when I want to, 'til
my face is creased and swollen,
'til my lips are dry and hot. I
eat as I please: cookies and milk
after lunch, butter and sour cream
on my baked potato, foods that
slothful people eat, that turn
yellow and opaque beneath the skin.
Sometimes come dinnertime Sunday
I am still in my nightgown, the one
with the lace trim listing because
I have not mended it. Many days
I do not exercise, only
consider it, then rub my curdy
belly and lie down. Even
my poems are lazy. I use
syllabics instead of iambs,
prefer slant to the gong of full rhyme,
write briefly while others go
for pages. And yesterday,
for example, I did not work at all!
I got in my car and I drove
to factory outlet stores, purchased
stockings and panties and socks
with my father's money.
To think, in childhood I missed only
one day of school per year. I went
to ballet class four days a week
at four-forty-five and on
Saturdays, beginning always
with plie, ending with curtsy.
To think, I knew only industry,
the industry of my race
and of immigrants, the radio
tuned always to the station
that said, Line up your summer
job months in advance. Work hard
and do not shame your family,
who worked hard to give you what you have.
There is no sin but sloth. Burn
to a wick and keep moving.
I avoided sleep for years,
up at night replaying
evening news stories about
nearby jailbreaks, fat people
who ate fried chicken and woke up
dead. In sleep I am looking
for poems in the shape of open
V's of birds flying in formation,
or open arms saying, I forgive you, all.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
|by William Shakespeare|
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Friday, January 9, 2009
“There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
And not one will know of the war, not one
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.” By- Ray Bradbury
Petrarch's Rima, Sonnet 134
I FIND no peace, and all my war is done;
I fear and hope; I burn and freeze like ice;
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise;
And nought I have, and all the world I seize on;
That looseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison
And holdeth me not, yet can I 'scape nowise;
Nor letteth me live nor die at my device*, [by my own choice]
And yet of death it giveth none occasion.
Withouten eyen, I see; and without tongue I plain*; [lament]
I desire to perish, and yet I ask health;
I love another, and thus I hate myself;
I feed me in sorrow, and laugh in all my pain;
Likewise displeaseth me both death and life;
And my delight is causer of this strife.
Sir Thomas Wyatt
Sonnet 130 is clearly a parody of the conventional love sonnet, made popular by Petrarch and, in particular, made popular in England by Sidney's use of the Petrarchan form in his epic poem Astrophel and Stella.
If you compare the stanzas of Astrophel and Stella to Sonnet 130, you will see exactly what elements of the conventional love sonnet Shakespeare is light-heartedly mocking. In Sonnet 130, there is no use of grandiose metaphor or allusion; he does not compare his love to Venus, there is no evocation to Morpheus, etc. The ordinary beauty and humanity of his lover are important to Shakespeare in this sonnet, and he deliberately uses typical love poetry metaphors against themselves. In Sidney's work, for example, the features of the poet's lover are as beautiful and, at times, more beautiful than the finest pearls, diamonds, rubies, and silk. In Sonnet 130, the references to such objects of perfection are indeed present, but they are there to illustrate that his lover is not as beautiful -- a total rejection of Petrarch form and content. Shakespeare utilizes a new structure, through which the straightforward theme of his lover’s simplicity can be developed in the three quatrains and neatly concluded in the final couplet.
Thus, Shakespeare is using all the techniques available, including the sonnet structure itself, to enhance his parody of the traditional Petrarchan sonnet typified by Sidney’s work. But Shakespeare ends the sonnet by proclaiming his love for his mistress despite her lack of adornment, so he does finally embrace the fundamental theme in Petrarch's sonnets: total and consuming love.
One final note: Shakespeare's reference to hair as 'wires' confuses modern readers because we assume it to mean our current definition of wire, i.e., a thread of metal, which is hardly a fitting word in the context of the poem. However, to a Renaissance reader, wire would refer to the finely-spun gold threads woven into fancy hair nets. Many poets of the time used this term as a benchmark of beauty, including Spenser:
Some angel she had been,
Her long loose yellow locks like golden wire,
Sprinkled with pearl, and pearling flowers atween,
Do like a golden mantle her attire,
And being crowned with a garland green.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Lesson Questions for Today:
As with the last poem, this poem also is based on the theme of carpe diem. Also, the writer is again trying to convince women to live and love for the moment.
This poem is the most famous invitation to love in English. Nobody has ever assumed that Marvell, a bachelor, was writing to a particular woman, yet the poem is much deeper than others of its kind. In the poem, the speaker talks about human mortality very vividly. He does this to convince his girlfriend being immoral and sinful while alive is better than being a dead person who was good. What do you think about that?
Another name for this poem could be "To his cold, standoffish girlfriend."
This poem is longer than some others we have read, and some of the language may be confusing. First, read through the poem, and then we will focus on breaking it up into parts and analyzing it.
You may also read the poem in your online textbook on pages 267-268. If you click on the bullhorn icon, you can listen to the poem be read.
To His Coy Mistress
Had we but world enough, and time,
Marvell uses several hyperboles in this poem. Hyperbole is a literary term for an exaggeration or overstatement.
Marvell also uses personification. Personification is when a human trait is given to a non-human thing.Assignment:
In this poem, the speaker is arguing his point to his girlfriend. His argument has three main points. Take a look at each of the following sections, and answer the questions for each section.
Lines 1-20: If we had time enough, we could take our time and court each other forever!
1. What are three examples of hyperboles that Marvell uses to show how long he would spend praising his girlfriend if he had time?
Lines 21-32: But time is short and old age and death come very quickly.
2. How is "time" personified in these lines? (What does Marvell say time is?)
3. What are two creepy, disturbing images that Marvell uses in an attempt to scare his girlfriend into listening to him?
Lines 33-46: So let us make the most of the time we have.
4. What does Marvell say they should do while they have time?
We will be discussing this poem in our chat. Come for help!