Posts Tagged ‘it’s so elegant so intelligent’

Some Final Notes

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
  • This blog will close for graded work on Saturday, April 27, at midnight.   Except for your final paper and presentation, no work will be accepted for grading after this time.
  • Your final paper should be submitted to me ELECTRONICALLY (note that this is a change), as an email attachment or google docs link, not one minute later than NOON on Tuesday, April 30.  My comments and your grade will be returned to you by email.
  • Our final exam presentations will be on Tuesday, April 30.  We will start at 9:00 a.m. rather than at 8:30 a.m.

Final Project Updates

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

I have posted a number of new items under the Final Projects tab above.

  • The conference schedule is on a drop-down subpage.
  • There is a document with advice, reminders, and information about the draft process, including your peer review process.
  • There is a peer feedback sheet that should be used to guide your responses to classmates’ papers, in addition to any comments you put in/on the actual drafts.
  • There are reminders and guidelines for final submission and the oral reports in a last document.

Next Step on Final Project Now Posted under Mysterious “Final Projects” Tab

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

My hand message washed off but here you go anyway

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

People, I am feeling… unnerved?  dissatisfied?  disappointed?  [insert UN and DIS words] that we are struggling with Omeros so much.  It is a hard poem.  But it’s also a stunning poem.  And this is an advanced seminar.   You don’t have to like it (but thank you, Kristina!).  But you should be working harder to understand it, to think about its purpose and intention.  You should be blogging about it, even if you are posing questions.  So let’s see some better work in our last week on Walcott.

Some lingering issues:

literary/epic precursors:  We talked about the Melville exchange in class, but a few others are important to Book V as well.  What do you make of the narrator’s encounter with James Joyce (200-201) and his imaginative rendering of the Odyssey (200-204)?

What is going on with our fluid Seven Seas/Omeros/griot/shaman/London man/etc. figure?  What do the manifestations have in common?  What is the purpose of this figure in the poem?

portrait of America: In Books IV and V, we get reflections on present-day America and historical America: Boston, the American West, Native American history, the history of slavery and current race relations.  How are they portrayed individually or what is America’s role more broadly?

poem’s (in)coherence: In class, people expressed confusion about how to bring together all of the parts of this poem: Plunketts, narrator, Achille/Helen/Hector etc.  Ideas?

same old, same old:  I, too, am sick of father-son stories (thanks a lot, Shakespeare, Disney, and everything in between).  But we’ve got another.  Warwick-narrator.  Plunkett-missing son-historical Plunkett.  Afolabe-Achille.  Discuss.

language:  French creole.  English creole.  Standard English.  Anachronistic Black Dialect.  (Others?)   Are there patterns of usage?  Where and why are certain languages employed?  Also, have you noticed that nature “talks” in the poem?  Walcott repeatedly describes nature using communicative words (e.g., garrulous, talkative, cry, pass on, making signs, calligraphy); how does that fit in?

form/genre:  This is our first truly narrative long poem.  Our genre theorists talked about the influences of lyric, epic, novel, drama on the long poem.  How can we characterize Walcott’s use of these or other generic forms and expectations?

There is more but that will do.

Mini-Playlist! Add to it in the comments?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

For Trilogy by H.D.:

Seven Devils, by Florence + the Machine

Iscariot, by Walk the Moon

Johannes Herbst (Moravian-American composer)

Hell is for Children, Pat Benatar (why not?)

Stabat Mater, Pergolesi

Mary Speaks, Daniel Gawthrop (best last name ever)

Anything else you can think of or want to add? I thought this could be a fun idea that the class could collaborate on if people wanted to 🙂 We can argue for or against songs that go or do not go with the reading. Or not, if you absolutely hate the idea.

Rampersad Visit to UMW this Week

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Arnold Rampersad, the Hughes biographer, will be at UMW this Thursday!

Hughes biography, Volume I

He will be delivering a Great Lives lecture on Arthur Ashe, AND visiting Professor Tweedy’s 11:00 African American lit class to talk about Hughes.  I am planning on attending this class period, which is in Combs 003.  Tweedy says that he thinks there are 4 or so extra chairs, plus floor/standing room.  If any of you are free right after Long Poems on Thursday and would like to attend, please let me know by sending me an email so I can get a headcount.  It’s a pretty cool opportunity since Rampersad is, at least now, the definitive biographer.

Hughes biography, Volume II

Scoobeedoopadiddilydeebadoobadeebabebopmop

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

A couple things: I am really excited to focus more on the poem and what’s on the page in in our reading of Hughes as opposed to the genre theory and macro analysis of the Long Poem. I know the cloud analysis is important, but I really like looking at what the landscape is doing to so I’m super ready for that 🙂

Secondly, I wanted to say a bit about why I read Dream Boogie the way I did. I already explained the optimistic spin on it, but this is about why I read it at a quicker pace. It has to do with the voices that I said I heard in this poette (poette? a smaller poem that is part of a bigger poem? I just made it up… but I think I like it. So yes, poette). — Something I learned doing the musical last semester, is that people fight for the right to talk. Even if you are having a conversation with your closest friend and you aren’t clamoring to interrupt each other, you still have a response to what your friend is saying and are waiting to say it. As soon as your friend is done talking, don’t you jump right in and speak your piece? (Unless, of course, you generally take longer to think about what you’re going to say, but I think you understand where I’m going with this.) That’s how Professor Stull would tell us to talk to one another on stage – there are no lulls, there is action. People want to be heard.

I believe this can be tied into the way I see the “titles” of the poettes, too. Motivic in function, but sequential(?) in an inner-ear understanding of things… at least to me. Different topics, ideas, or thoughts, all trying to follow as soon as possible the topic, idea, or thought that came before it.

I also want to post later about titles I like, and to shed some light on the meaning of certain things that I don’t believe are common knowledge – jargon and this and that – to see if I can help, even if it’s just a surface definition of things. BUT, for now that’s all I have time for… I’m very excited to spend time on this poem! 🙂

Assessments Tab

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

I added a new tab above that will take you to a page of assessment rubrics for our various assignments.  The JumpStart and Bridge assessments have been moved here, and I’ve also just added the rubric for the critical article summary/analysis.  The one for reading reports on supplementary long poems is forthcoming but will also be on this page eventually.

The Waste Land Interpretive Art Day

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
One of the best classes ever that led to some awesome discussion of a rather difficult, yet significant, poem by T.S. Eliot.

One of the best classes ever that led to some awesome discussion of a rather difficult, yet significant, poem by T.S. Eliot.

“Sloppy is a beautiful reader of a newspaper”

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Come on, Lorentzenites, explain this post title.

In class I mentioned quickly at the end that I had found a website from the University of Toronto that is using digital technology to analyze the voice(s) of The Waste Land.  The site has clear info about its approach, and you can see how the class identified the voices, can see the results of their computer algorithm (what?! crazy idea) and can even identify and name the voice(s) yourself.  It’s interesting to poke around on, but this last feature is my true interest and I’d love to see any of you who are interested have a go at it.  If you do it, annotate your own text also so you can share with us (I’m especially curious about the “naming” aspect).  Might be fun to do with a classmate or friend also.