240 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2019
    1. remember that she examined the nipples and experienced

      Hmm. Active ("experienced") and passive ("experienced")

    2. "Your leg. There is blood," the woman says, a little wearily. She wets one end of her scarf at the tap and cleans the cut on Chika's leg, then ties the wet scarf around it, knotting it at the calf. "Thank you," Chika says.

      The woman cares for the medical student.

    3. when her idea of God has not been cloudy, like the reflection from a steamy bathroom mirror, and she cannot remember ever trying to clean the mirror.

      Sorry, this is the Catholic school boy in me. This is a biblical allusion to the letter of Paul to the Corinthians, right after the famous "Love is patient, love is kind" passage.

    4. "Where you go school?" the woman asks.

      The woman asks questions that move the conversation along. Does Chika?

    5. Abacha

      Abacha "was a Nigerian Army officer and dictator who served as the de facto President of Nigeria from 1993 until his death in 1998.

    6. Kano

      In August 2019, the population of Kano was just under 4 million; the population of Lagos, somewhere around 21 million, the largest city in all of Africa.

    7. Chika looks at the threadbare wrapper on the floor; it is probably one of the two the woman owns.

      Something interesting here going on with the narrative voice. Is this third person omniscient, or is this unannounced a shift into Chika's POV?

    8. "My necklace lost when I'm running." Advertisement .theguardian_article_300x250_container { background-color: #efefef; border: 1px solid #efefef; display: flex; flex-wrap: wrap; } .theguardian_article_300x250_image { max-width: 100%; } #theguardian_article_300x250_sponsor { font-size: 9px; font-family: Guardian Text Sans Web,Helvetica Neue,Helvetica,Arial,Lucida Grande,sans-serif; text-transform: uppercase; color: #999; letter-spacing: 1px; text-decoration: none; text-align: left; } .theguardian_article_300x250_heading, .theguardian_article_300x250_heading_link { font-size: 17px; font-weight: 700; font-family: "Guardian Text Egyptian Web",Georgia,serif; line-height: 1.25; margin: 5px 0px 5px; text-align: left; text-transform: capitalize; text-decoration: none; } .theguardian_article_300x250_caption { font-size: 14px; font-family: "Guardian Text Egyptian Web",Georgia,serif; font-weight: 700; color: #111; } .theguardian_article_300x250_container_right { padding: 0px 10px 10px 10px; text-align: left; } #theguardian_article_300x250_sponsor:hover { color: #111; } .theguardian_article_300x250_heading_link:hover { color: #ff6418; text-decoration: none; } #theguardian_article_300x250_cta:hover { background-color: #ff6418; color: #fff; text-decoration: none; } Sponsored by microsoft.com Sponsored Video Watch to learn more "I dropped everything," Chika says. "I was buying oranges and I dropped the oranges and my handbag."

      Let's imagine that you lost a necklace in a riot and told somebody about it, a person you saved from the violence. How would you feel if this were her response to you?

    9. Later

      This is the first of eight times that the narrator says "Later, the first of eight times that the narrator pushes the reader past the resolution of this action. What's the impact of this narrative choice?

  2. Jul 2019
    1. I found I needed research and writing to f

      At what point did you see this as something other than path to your self-knowing?

    2. I insisted that our Cause could not expect me to become a nun and that the movement would not be turned into a cloister. If it meant that, I did not want it. I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody’s right to beautiful, radiant things.

      perceptive on gender & flamenco.

    3. Flamenco becomes (maybe it always was?) a passage to something else, something like: resolve, determination, assurance, nerve, confidence, boldness, verve, élan, strength, drive, resilience, and resistance.


    4. ut does refusing to be a voyeur also mean refusing responsibility?

      What responsibility have you ever accepted?

    5. t is one thing to listen to the music. It is another to stand in front of the mirror and begin to dance.

      I mean, this is cultural tourism, right? Responding to a notice at a food co-op?

    6. A vital portal. Flamenco’s allure was not just its dizzying rhythms and heartbreaking cries, but the audacity and agelessness of its artists.

      I mean, isn't it also the hidden hybrid of culture? the Arabic and the Spanish language?

  3. Apr 2019
    1. Feet in Smoke.

      Hmm. I wonder if Sullivan himself wrote this. Very often the headline / title is written by an editor. What made this the necessary best title?

    2. His face lit up like a simpleton's whenever one of us entered the room

      Very cool surprise to the story!

    3. asystole

      For another personal essay on mental health issues that has a scientific facet to it, check out Esme Wang's Perdition Days.

    4. I'll just transcribe a few things:

      Greenhill students, I wonder what kind of unfiltered material you can weave into your own story. Teacher comments? Old texts? Snapchat stories? Photos?

    5. I've tried many times over the years

      This might make a great "springboard" sentence for students trying to tell their own stories in writing.

    6. There's something biologically satisfying about harmonizing with a sibling.

      I know that Sullivan is speaking in general terms. But allow me to geek out. There's a thing called blood harmony, a term used to describe the utterly close familial interplay of voices. The Louvin Brothers do this, one takes the lead and sometimes within the same phrase shifts to the harmony so imperceptibly that you can't believe it's not the same lead vocal. It happens in "When I Stop Dreaming" at about 0:36


      Fast forward to about 14:00 in this podcast episode for a fuller explanation.

    7. if you were Spenser, you might spell it w-o-r-t-h-E.

      This is a high literary family. Edmund Spenser wrote an epic poem called The Fairie Queene that I read twenty years ago in grad school. (It's roughly contemporaneous with Shakespeare's work.) English at the time had a kind of ending "e" that has, over time, been dropped in many words. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPlpphT7n9s

    8. . So maybe when it came time for my brother to have his near-death experience, to reach down into his psyche and pull up whatever set of myths would help him

      I'm an English teacher, so I'm persuaded by this idea: We learn how to human (yes, I'm using that as a verb), we learn how to human, and we choose how we will human by means of the stories that we hold dear.

    9. He became a holy fool.

      A thing, really. You'll come to see when you read Upon This Rock why Sullivan is so adept at, so comfortable with a faith-informed rhetoric.

    10. There was a decent chance, the doctor said, that he would emerge from the coma,

      All-too-familiar change in diagnosis and hope. If you've had a family member in the hospital, you know this facet of the story well.

    11. Worth and I have different fathers, making us half brothers, technically,

      In the few personal essays of his that I've read, Sullivan does this to great effect--he unpacks a detail late in the narrative, late in the reflection. Not a hidden thing, not a surprise, just a moment of clarity that makes us experience the moment fully before we can mitigate in or mediate it through any other lens, as in this case, the parentage of each.

    12. of talking too much about "miracles." Not to knock the word—the staff at Humana Hospital in Lexington called my brother's case "miraculous,"

      I love how, despite the circumstances, Sullivan is careful that he's not overstating the case. That he anticipates a skeptical or free-thinking or atheist reader as well as one who would let the word slide.

  4. Dec 2017
    1. splainer and John McPhee. The mansplainer is not offering his auditor invitation to his insights; he is imposing them. He assumes interest rather than cr
    2. ifted as an explainer. McPhee fits the ticket so far. But there is this one

      You may add text alone.

  5. Jun 2017
    1. “My grandfather believed in having books

      Somebody cultivated curiosity for her. Somebody directed her vision to big questions & ideas captured in elevated language.

    2. Successful leaders are self-aware

      Hmm. What are the analogous zero-sum stakes, what are the analogous public results of my work?

    3. We may not all have careers that match the 100 people I interviewed

      This essay seems to be about gratitude. Leaders & non-leaders, careerist folk & non-careerist folk are blessed with meaningful people, events, & environments.

    4. maximize

      The English teacher, non-entrepreneurial ethos within me finds this diction unsettling.

    5. t they felt were the turning points in their lives

      It doesn't surprise me that there is no single person, event, or influence. Maybe that's encouraging--we are always learning, being led, being inspired, etc.

  6. Oct 2016
    1. restaurants where smartphones must be surrendered upon entering, or coffee shops that marketed their non-Wi-Fi safe space?

      See this Brazilian bar with glasses that stand up only if you rest them on your phone.

    2. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately

      Don't mean to look like a troll, but this [ahem] reevaluation of Thoreau makes for a nice complement to our current understanding of his work.

    3. If you’re watching a football game with your son while also texting a friend, you’re not fully with your child — and he knows it.

      And your child responds quickly to the value you place on SM. My kids often ask for us to post a photo to FB

    4. The immediate impulse — to grab my phone and photograph it — was foiled by an empty pocket. So I simply looked.

      How does Sullivan resist quoting Orwell here: To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle. :)

    5. The users weren’t fully aware of how addicted they were.

      Reading this article made me more fully aware. For the moment, my kids don't have cell phones. What will dinner be like when they do?

    6. No information technology ever had this depth of knowledge of its consumers — or greater capacity to tweak their synapses to keep them engaged.

      Maybe the earlier imagery of salvation and addiction weren't quite exact: The internet is a site for predators and prey

    7. addicts

      A revealing mixing of imagery in these opening paragraphs: seeking salvation and admitting to addiction

  7. Sep 2016
    1. the moon after it had left the chickens

      Dang! He's been talking in their front yard for hours! Would you entertain some stranger reluctant to answer direct questions for hours? On another subject entirely, isn't Allen Ginsberg the best?

    2. a black town suit and a brown felt

      Hmm. Is O'connor trying to suggest that he's down on his luck, seeing as his clothes don't match?

    3. So he arrives near the end of day--I wonder how long they entertain him in conversation

    1. man

      An apparent shift from the female gaze to the male gaze

    2. When I try to show them,   They say they still can’t see

      In the next linies, the speaker describes what men "still can't see"...why can't they see these seeminlgy apparent physical things? How/can men be better seers?

    3. When you see me passing, It ought to make you proud.

      Hmm. It ought to make me proud?

    4. Woman

      As some of you know, you don't know an Angelou poem until you hear her read it. This recording has some small differences, but not key ones.

    1. martyr

      Consider tracking the characterization of the speaker--how/does it change/evolve?

    2. She taught me

      Let's talk about love as instruction. Is it a lasting lesson? one that we need much instruction in?

    3. cheek).

      You might notice that each stanza ends with a parenthetical statement. Track the effects or pattern of these statements.

    4. Woman
  8. Aug 2016
  9. staff.washington.edu staff.washington.edu
    1. Sestina

      The title is not a name or place, but the name of a strict closed form of poetry. You'll notice that the six words at the end of the first sestet (a six-line stanza) repeat in each of the subsequent sestets (in a different, but strict, order), and that they all are there in the closing three line stanza (known as the sestina's envoi).

  10. Apr 2016
    1. mid

      This is a typo. It should be "mind"

    2. hs.

      The most regular of iambic lines of the poem. Unrhymed iambic pentameter is called "blank verse", which you're familiar with due to your study of Shakespeare. Here, Heaney constructs a very regular ten-syllable line, but the monologue feels conversational rather than "poetic".

  11. Mar 2016
    1. ou're shaky on your Baldwin brothers, he's the vaguely troglodytic one who used to comb his bangs straight down and wear dusters. H

      Within the epiphany and the tears and the hunger and the death, Sullivan doesn't lose his snarky edge.

    2. It's that I love Jesus Christ.


    3. Bless those who've been brainwashed by cults and sent off for deprogramming. That makes it simple You put it behind you. But this group was no cult. They persuaded; they never pressured, much less threatened. Nor did they punish.

      Christianity in practice, at its best--no judgment, no demands, a relationship

    4. tatistically speaking, my bout with Evangelicalism was probably unremarkable. For white Americans with my socioeconomic background (middle to uppermiddle class), it's an experience commonly linked to one's teens and moved beyond before one reaches 20. These kids around me at Creation—a lot of them were like that. How many even knew who Darwin was They'd learn. At least once a year since college, I'll be getting to know someone, and it comes out that we have in common a high school "Jesus phase."

      Let's say it's a phase. What's important about it? What's the allure?

    5. Once you do, your belief starts modifying the data (in ways that are themselves defensible, see), until eventually the data begin to reinforce belief. The precise moment of illogic can never be isolated and may not exist.

      "may not exist"!? Don't forget to draw students to the definition of faith at Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (KJV)

    6. But also powerfully stirred on a level that didn't depend on my naïveté.

      His religious experience is mature, thoughtful, intellectual.

    7. The guys had put together what I did for a living—though, to their credit, they didn't seem to take this as a reasonable explanation for my being there—and they gradually got the sense that I found them exotic (though it was more than that).

      Okay, so here, Sullivan's newness is officially otherness. He transmits their faith via his writing--so they define and show their passion

    8. of resigned approval of the way groups like U2 or Switchfoot (who played Creation while I was there and had a monster secularradio hit at the time with "Meant to Live" but whose management wouldn't allow them to be photographed onstage) take quiet pains to distance themselves from any unambiguous Jesusloving

      How true is this of faith generally? Should it be quiet and subtle, like that of U2, or should it be bold, like that of Jars of Clay?

    9. It just opens up opportunities for witnessing

      When/do they become aware of Sullivan's intentions/faith experience/skepticism?

    10. who was from Ohio

      Note the attempt to connect, somehow, even the tiniest thing in common.

    11. "JACK THE WILL TO THE ROT" while applying the brakes. Some branch of my motor cortex obeyed

      The dialect, the all caps, the quick decision. We have to hear the voice--Sullivan doesn't translate.

    12. Evangelical strata

      So from very early on, he acknowledges (almost as if by accident) that believers are not of a single type. The point about race?

    13. What should I tell you about my voyage to Creation

      Kind of a glimpse at his process--this happened, I noted it, it's not important, the getting-there doesn't matter.

  12. Feb 2016
    1. ice

      What are the connotations of fire and ice? In general (not in world-ending terms), which would you prefer and why?

    2. fire

      Okay by this point it might be worth asking if the poem is not about the literal end of the world, but about two different kinds of destructive mindsets--a cold dispassionate one and a fiery dangerous one.

    3. also

      @Drama__chick @yellingwithlove & @finleyt noted that the poem seems strangely unconcerned with these eschatological questions, seems deliberately apathetic

    4. But

      So I guess this is a kind of volta. The speaker leans on the "fire" response at first. "But if it had to perish twice"? Subtle biblical allusion (Noah, Revelation)? Deliberate illogic?

    5. suffice

      Interesting how the closing lines are among the shortest. @HMKunick gets "the sensation that the poem "melts" into the final line"

    6. desire

      Most of the poem is monosyllabic. This is one of the few words longer than one syllable. What are the effects of this simplistic diction?

    7. I hold

      How would you scan the opening of this line--iambic or spondaic? Explain the differences on the ear and the mind.

    8. Some say

      Hmm. "Some" (line 1) plus "Some" (line 2) plus "I" (line 3) = All opinions?

    9. I think I know

      The second time the speaker offers a gentle lack of authority to the poem. "From what I've tasted" limits his perspective, perhaps.

  13. Jan 2016
    1. Adam's Curse

      Click here for Jack Fisher's reading.

    2. beautiful mild woman, your close friend,    And you and I,

      IMDB fans, any suggestions about which actors (or Greenhill folk) you would cast in the filming of this poem? Explain.

    3. s to know— Although they do not talk of it at school— That we must labour to be beautiful.’

      Believable/relatable claim? Relevance to poetry/manhood?

    4. yet we’d grown    As weary-hearted as t

      Now that you've read the whole thing, what is the relation between the speaker and the addressed "you" of the poem...husband and wife? friends? former lovers?

    5. Since Adam’s fall

      Yeats refers here to Genesis 3, when Adam eats the forbidden fruit and is punished by the Lord: "cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" Genesis 3:17-19.

    1. Patterns

      Click here for Mel Girard's reading.

    2. I shall

      From the present "I walk" through the daydream/hopeful "I would" and finally to the bleak future "I shall"

    3. the sliding of the water Seems the stroking of a dear Hand upon her

      I'm really interested in how the speaker makes herself a subject, how she recharacterizes herself here.

    4. stiff, brocaded

      This poem is published originally in 1916, FYI.

    5. I too am a rare Pattern

      Before you read through the rest of the poem, consider this self-characterization. What might the speaker mean by this? Are you a rare pattern? a more common pattern?

    1. In Tennessee I Found a Firefly

      Click here to listen to Greenhill School Librarian Jenn Tirrell read the poem.

    2. When I am tired of being human

      Reminds me, somehow, of that moment in Frost's "I'd like to get away from earth for a while" in Birches, how she shifts from the physical reality to her meditation.

    3. Flashing

      I suppose you're supposed to read this one as if the title is the first line of the poem.

    1. Summer

      Click here to listen to Greenhill's Mary Tapia read the poem.

    2. host's girlfriend

      I like the proximity and distance that's suggested here. The speaker is, apparently, tight with the host but not the host's girlfriend.

    1. I was dragged by my braids just beyond your

      Since we read J. Alfred Prufrock recently, I cannot help but notice how the speaker crafts immediately the horrors of slavery as a shared experience, how the speaker and the reader have a shared trauma.

    2. from the ledge

      Note the way Angelou moves from a nightmare topography here to, in subsequent lines, an actual domestic setting.

    3. The night

      The third and last time Angelou summons this refrain.

    1. torrent, or the fountain

      Back to water imagery, imagery that is hinted at in the rain/storm of the poem's resolution.

    2. a common spring

      Cool image. Sustaining, flowing, natural. This speaker does not bring his passions from the common spring. What, in your experiences, are the common springs from which one brings passions?

    1. version

      Check out this guy who performs Whitman as a temple cantor might.

    2. They do not think whom they souse with spray.


    3. I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord, A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,

      A kind of flirtation: A young woman would accidentally drop a handkerchief so that a young man could pick it up, give it to her, and talk to her. In polite society, this kind of elaborate play would be necessary because young women simply did not go up and talk to young men.

    4. How you settled your head athwart my

      Is this a kind of dialogue between soul and body? A recollection of an erotic encounter? A metaphor for the relationship between the reader and the poet? Something else?

    5. Song of Myself

      In our class, be prepared to discuss parts 1, 5, 6, 11, 24, and 52.

    6. Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of

      It makes little sense to say "the speaker" when talking about this poem, huh? : )

    1. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,

      Watch Patrick Stewart and David Suchet work through this scene. Stewart argues (at about 28:00 in this documentary that this speech, conventionally understood as a kind of testament to a shared humanity, should be understood instead as a cold-hearted justification for revenge.

    2. this Jew

      At about 7:00, David Suchet notes in this documentary that Shylock is called by name only six times; he is called "the Jew" twenty-two times.

    3. The quality of mercy is not strain'd,

      Hmm. If the Jew must be merciful, must the Christian?

    4. He tells me flatly, there is no mercy for me in heaven, b

      Remember their joking about mercy, virtue, and damnation when you get to the trial scene.


      This scene depicts S&S reactions to misfortune--They consider Antonio's misfortunes tragic, Shylock's comic.

    6. All things that are, Are with more spirit chased than enjoy'd.

      A rare moment of aphoristic wisdom from this joyful character. I love how his wisdom is echoed centuries later in Keats' ode.

    7. If you had known

      Note how skilfully she improvises a rebuttal, not just of the logic of Bassanio's appeal, but also of the very phrasing of it!

    8. Nothing is good, I see, without respect: Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day

      She has a very philosophical instinct

    9. Dido

      Note how tragic are all of the figures they cite.

    10. These be the Christian husbands

      Note his critique of the apparent hypocrisy of the Venetians...and of course, the irony (his daughter will marry a Christian who will inherit all of Shylock's resources).

    11. bred

      Note that the song's opening rhymes with "lead", the "winning" casket!

    12. he fiend gives the more friendly counsel:

      For Launcelot alone, or for all of us?

    13. equal pound Of your fair flesh, t

      Folk looking at this depiction as anti-semitic read this term as a kind of perversion of circumcision, a condition of Abraham's covenant (Genesis 17:10)

    14. well

      Many critics note how unique Shylock's rhetoric is--here, he repeats rather than responds to the terms of the bond.

    15. Good signiors both, when shall we laugh? say, when? You grow exceeding strange: must it be so?

      Note how light hearted are many of Bassanio's exchanges with his friends.

    1. their difficult balance

      Okay, is Wilbur's soul saying it's a difficult balance for the nuns alone, or for thieves, lovers, nuns...that is, a difficult balance for all people?

    2. Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

      The title is a kind of paraphrase/riff on Augustine's discovery late in his Confessions that God is in the world, not in some distant place. Here is a link to how some critics have responded to this poem.

    3. Yet,

      I guess in terms of structure, here is a volta, right?

    4. spirited

      literally and figuratively!

    5. warm look

      Wilbur appeals to our ear most often by means of alliteration and consonance (w's and k's in this line) rather than by means of rhyme.

    1. Earth's the right place for love: I don't know where it's likely to go better.

      The closest that we get to a joke in just about any poem we've read.

    2. And so I dream of going back to be.

      One of the few sentences in the poem that isn't enjambed, plus it's regularly iambic.

    3. I like to think

      Notice how it's a fanciful vision, a deliberate early move away from physical truth.

    1. Snow

      Maybe it's nothing, but I'm love how Wilbur flips the meter at the beginning of lines like these. We need to ask Mr Worcester (tomorrow's reader) about the effects of this poem's shifting meter--sometimes iambic (the RAtion STACKS are MILky DOMES), but not exclusively so (BURNED on the MOON, COVered the TOWN)

    2. Alsace

      Wilbur writes this in 1947. Alsace was "the epicenter of [Germany's] last major offensive of World War II. In December 1944 Hitler had ordered a last-ditch operation, code-named Nordwind, against the thinly stretched lines of the U.S. Seventh Army and the French First Army in the Vosges Mountains, in the west of the region. The Alsatian people, their homes, and their land were now in the middle of the Nazis’ final, desperate attempt to stave off the Allies" (link).

    3. moths

      Keep an eye on the rhyme here. It's called terza rima, and Wilbur borrows this interlocking method from Dante's Divine Comedy: ABA BCB CDC...

    1. Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.

      Literally, it is sweet and glorious to die for one's country.

    2. Dim through the misty panes

      that is, the lenses of a gas mask

    1. looking through a pane of glass

      He's speaking, of course, about a sheet of ice atop the water in the trough.

    2. fill

      If you want a challenge, track the rhyme and see if any patterns or curiosities emerge.

    1. ?

      The poem is shot through with (rhetorical?) questions

    2. blinded

      Consider carefully the symbolic terms that ground each part of the dialogue--here, slavery/imprisonment and sensory deprivation.

    3. Body

      Maybe it's worth noticing that the body gets the last word.

    1. big dim doily

      I'd love to hear your ideas about how you react to these meter and vowel sounds

    2. dirty

      How many times does this word get repeated? :)

  14. Dec 2015
    1. I swear she cast

      Look again at the title: From what you can tell, what happened to this relationship? Was the love reciprocated?

    2. ,

      A caesura, that is, a pause within a line of poetry. This poem has (from what I can tell) no enjambment. A very deliberate, patient (?) rhythm and pace.

    3. hand

      The woman's effects are described first on nature, then on the speaker.

    4. cheek

      Each stanza resolves by means of three successive rhymes and a parenthetical statement.

    1. Why do some marks seem to thrill with life,

      Remember the speaker here--a poet, a person who make a living bringing life to the page.

    2. I like this one best: Brian

      The only eight-line stanza--all the others are nine lines long.

    1. climbs back up

      In tragedy, maybe y'all talked about the dramatic function of peripety (reversal). Here, Doty constructs an imaginative rewind of the tragedy.

    2. queer

      Remind me to tell you what Doty told my students about homophobic slurs years ago when we Skyped.

    3. his wrists were as limp as they were.

      I'm really taken by how Doty bravely includes this pejorative stereotype--that homosexual men have limp wrists.

    4. falling

      You'll notice that this poem is written in quatrains and ends in a couplet. You're familiar with how both function in Shakespeare's sonnets--how do they function here?

    1. Good fences make good neighbour

      Ha! The neighbor speaks in aphorisms.

    2. There where it is we do not need the wall:

      Interesting observation that really drives the inquiry of the poem--why do we need walls?

    3. And spills the upper boulders in the sun;

      Though this poem does not rhyme, it sometimes rings out in a strict metrical pattern--black verse, that is, unrhymed iambic pentameter. And SPILLS the UPper BOULders IN the SUN

    1. scholar

      Hmm. What's the qualitative difference between reading and studying a book you love?

    2. And the world was calm.

      Not sure why I love this reassertion, but I do.

    3. wanted much most

      I'd love to hear your opinions about the syntax (word order) here.

    1. Maya Angelou

      Just as it was helpful to know that Hopkins was a deeply religious man, it might be helpful to note in studying this poem about freedom that as "a civil rights activist, Angelou worked for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X". Click the "Related Content" tab for more on her bio.

    2. ith a fearful

      You'll notice here especially that the poem is driven by two rhetorical modes--comparison and repetition. Consider how the comparison impacts you emotionally, how you re-read in a new tone the second time "The caged bird sings" stanza appears. [How many times does something have to repeat before you call it a refrain?]

    1. dare-gale

      Hopkins has a knack for creating new words (literary term: neologism) like this one and day-labouring-out in line four

    2. nor

      It occurred to me only here that the sestet is animated by negatives (not, no, nor).

    3. rage

      Okay, notice how this sonnet is unlike Shakespeare's. Here, no interlocking rhymes, not the same variety of rhyme, no pithy couplet. If you had to describe the impact of this structure, how would you?

  15. Nov 2015
    1. As in Pied Beauty line 6 ("áll trádes"), Hopkins has a very specific sound in mind. What is the sense/meaning of that specific sound?

    2. we but knew what we do

      When we use nature to our own ends, we know what we're doing--don't we?

    1. This flea is you and I

      Donne was one of a group of poets that some critics derisively called "metaphysical" for constructing "a combination of dissimilar images, or discovery of occult resemblances in things apparently unlike". Like a lover, his beloved, as a flea. This kind of combination of dissimilar images came to be known in poetry as a conceit.

    2. nay more than married are.

      What does it mean to be more than married?

    1. Recognize

      So many near-synonyms for the mental activity of the protagonist--recomposing and completing, discovering and remembering and recognizing.

    2. complete in an unexplained completion

      Hmmm. Poetry offers a resolution (think of Shakespeare's pithy couplets) but not conclusions.

    3. poem that took the place

      I guess we're back to the debate we had earlier. what kind of mimesis is poetry? An ideal one, a realistic one, a nobly-lying one?

    1. :

      Quatrain one here is a lengthy appositive phrase modifying "They" of line five. The main verbs driving the opening six lines are "do inherit" and "husband".

    2. Lilies

      We open with stone imagery and close with flowers and weeds.

    3. stewards

      Might be worth looking up the difference culturally/socially/economically between a steward and a lord.

    1. O, how

      For those of you interested in looking at the meter, how do you understand this kind of exclamation metrically, and what are the effects?

    2. r?

      Note also the emotional pitch of the poem--loads of questions. Do they get more frantic? more detailed? Is there some pattern to the progression of questions?

    3. Since

      Again, keep track of the grammar here. Because [lines 1-2], then...

    1. Sonnet   3

      Listen to Melissa Battis read the poem!

    2. he tillage of thy husbandry

      Okay, so there's an agricultural image here. The Fair Youth will reap (in offspring) what he sows in the...uh... field of his wife's womb. Track the variety of imagery in this poem, and figure out which image reinforces the argument best.

    3. posterity?

      It might be helpful to track the grammar and voice here. Quatrain 1 has an if-then statement in lines two and three. Quatrain 2 asks questions of the Fair Youth. The couplet pushes another if-then statement.

    1. Sonnet  29

      Listen to @drama_chick read the poem!

    2. )

      Effects of the parentheses? (not the image within it, but the punctuation)

    3. like to one

      Much of this meditation focuses on the Speaker in comparison with other men.

    4. When,

      Be careful to track the grammar here. It's an elaborate single sentence. When X happens, Y. There's a volta with respect to rhyme that's standard (line 13). Where/is there an emotional volta of the sonnet?