Thursday, December 18, 2008

Knowing Poe

Create a Word document. Complete the enumerated tasks below in well-constructed responses.

Click here or

Go to: (or just search and select “knowing Poe”).

Under “Poe the Writer,” select “The Poetic Principle.”
Launch, and carefully complete the interactive guide.

1. Look for your “checklist;” note the 5 quotations you have agreed with.
2. Under “Poe the Writer,” select “Poe the Perfectionist.” In a brief paragraph (5 sentences or so), indicate what the excerpts of “The Lake” tell you about Poe as a writer and as a person. You will need to analyze closely and think carefully.
3. Under “The Poe Library,” select and read “The Poe Toaster.” Respond in a paragraph.
4. Under “The Poe Library,” select and read “The Baltimore Ravens.” Respond in a paragraph.
5. Explore Poe’s house under “Poe the Person”.
6. Cite 2 specific facts or points of interest, which you find important,
from elsewhere on the website.
7. Finally, link to:
Read Poe's poem, "A Dream within a Dream". Using direct quotes, answer the following prompt: how does the poem offer direct correlation to Poe's real life? Why might the questions and philosophies raised in this short work have a greater significance to both Poe and the critical reader?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lord of the Flies: Short Essay

25 Minute Open Response Essay: Lord of the Flies is set during the mid 2oth century. If a group of young men were put in the same situation today, how might they fare? Does our modern culture better equip us for such scenarios, or would we be at a disadvantage? Explain.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"The Black Cat": Short Essay

Edgar Allan Poe isolated a particular emotion which he sought to produce in his readers. He then constructed his story so that his readers would ultimately arrive at this predetermined feeling or emotion. How does “The Black Cat” exemplify this strategy? Does it do so successfully? Explain.

What is the What: Short Essay

Consider the following excerpt from What is the What (p. 141-2): "It is criminal that all of this has happened, has been allowed to happen. In a furious burst I kick and kick again, flailing my body like a fish run aground. Hear me, Christian neighbors! Hear your brother just above! Nothing again. No one is listening. No one is waiting to hear the kicking of the man above. It is unexpected. You have no ears for someone like me."

Discuss the context and significance of this quote. What is Valentino really saying here? How might this quote operate as a metaphor for a broader, greater idea? Is this Eggers' intention?

Monday, December 8, 2008

POS: Plagiarism in Song

For blog-work this week, research and listen to some examples of musical plagiarism. Identify: 1) at least one example of a truly plagiarized song and 2) at least one example of a coincidental relationship between 2 songs. Discuss your findings here. Some notable instances include (listed as original/supposed plagiarism): Chiffon's "He's So Fine"/George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord"; Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance"/The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Dani California"; and, most recently, Joe Satriani's "If I Could Fly"/Coldplay's "Viva La Vida".

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"God Grew Tired of Us"

Seniors- after viewing "God Grew Tired of Us", consider and respond, with highly specific and well articulated analysis, to the following prompts:

1. A benefit of this documentary lies in the opportunity to view our own (American) culture through the eyes of the Dinka. What aspects of our culture, which we may or may not take for granted, are polarized by this different perspective?

2. Construct a "mini-essay" which compares and contrasts the "American Dream" with the "Sudanese-American Dream". Use specific references to the film and the novel.

3. In the film, John is reunited, after 17 years, with his mother. She expresses her elation through a Dinka song and dance, a traditional expression of joy. How does John respond to this? How does this poignant moment illustrate the paradoxical experience of East African immigrants?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: From Coleridge to Iron Maiden

1. Provide 3 interesting facts regarding Samuel Coleridge and the background of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

2. What qualities make Coleridge's poem appropriate for its conversion to a metal song?

3. Which poetic devices are sacrificed through this conversion?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

POS: Student Lesson

In "The Poetry of Song", we have listened to and analyzed poetic devices in about 30 songs, created theme-genre blogs, and explored music-based topics. As term 2 enters its second half, this is an opportunity for you to propose a meaningful assignment for this course. Are there any avenues or ideas that you feel we should explore this semester? Offer a proposal for an assignment here.