September 20, 2010 Archives
Weekly Update Sep 20.mp3
If you have any questions, please feel free to post comments on this page, e-mail me, or arrange an office visit.
Read 31 short poems, numbered I ("New feet within my garden go") to XXXI ("There's a certain slant of light").
Dickinson, Poems by Emily Dickinson, Three Series, Complete (There are four collections of Emily Dickinson poems from Project Gutenberg in iBooks. The one called "Three Series, Complete" actually contains the full text of the other three.)
Probably the easiest way to find the right place to begin is to search your iBook for "new feet within my garden". (The Table of Contents is not terribly useful in this bare-bones, free edition.)
You may also read these poems in Project Gutenberg
As with every "Assigned Text"
1) read the whole thing
2) quote a brief passage on your blog (and include a link back to this page)
3) on this page, post a comment that includes a link to your specific blog entry
4) post 2-4 comments on peer blogs
You may choose to focus on a single poem, or if you would like to post additional quotes and go into more depth, be my guest. (The minimum I'm asking for is simply to post about one of these poems. I am not asking you to write about all 31.)
The first volume edited by Mrs. Todd and Colonel Higginson sold extremely well, with multiple runs selling out and more books being printed out several times in a few months. Within a few years, a second volume of poems, two-volume collection of Emily's letters (presumably the ones Emily had sent to other people, who dug them out of their own drawers and volunteered them to the editors now that their author was famous), and a third volume, with Mabel Loomis Todd now working on her own, without Colonel Higginson's help.
Then something happened that reminds us what life was like in the days before word processors or photocopiers.
Emily's sister Lavnia, and Mabel, the former mistress of Austin, the brother of Emily and Lavinia, had a falling out. Before Austin died, he asked Lavinia to will a tract of land to Mabel. After Austin died, Lavinia went to court, to undo that action, and the court ruled in Lavinia's favor.
But what matters for us is that the pile of Emily Dickinson's hand-written poems, many of which were still unpublished - hundreds had been published by now, but she wrote over a thousand - this physical stack of unpublished poems got split up, with Lavinia (Emily's sister) taking some, and Mabel (the mistress of Emily's dead brother) taking the other. For the next sixty years or so, these separate stacks were sorted and edited and cataloged and treated in different ways, by different editors.
- Create a new, blank word processor file, formatted according to MLA style. (Because STW is a prerequisite of this class, I am assuming you know this format.)
- Scan this handout: Close Reading. I'm not requiring you to treat it as an "Assigned Text" and blog about it, but if you have any questions about it, if you find it helpful, or if you would like me to expand it, please feel free to post a comment on that page. If you like, you're welcome to blog about it, and post a link to your blog.
Revision and Writing
- Revise the "200-word paragraph" exercise that you completed last week (and uploaded into the "200-word paragraph" slot of Turnitin.com).
- Complete the 200-word paragraph that you started in class on Wednesday (Or, if you prefer, write a completely different 200-word paragraph. Your goal is to demonstrate your ability to move beyond accurate summary and "safe" observations, in order to use quotations from the novel to defend a debatable interpretation.)
- Create a 200-word close reading of one of the Emily Dickinson poems from the "Nature" sequence. (I suggest that you follow a similar strategy, of choosing a theme, highlighting passages, and formulating your ideas, but you are free to follow whatever strategy helps you.)
- In poetry, the "I" of the poem is traditionally referred to as "the speaker." Because poets can and do create characters who do the speaking in their poems, it would be inaccurate to say that Dickinson and the "I" of the poem are one and the same.
- Dickinson is the poet who created the poem, but the voice that speaks within the world of the poem is the speaker.
- Just as a close reading of a novel should not retell the plot, a close reading of a poem should not rephrase the meaning of the poem in your own words.
- Prefer the risky interpretation... so long as you can back it up with specific words.
- Avoid phrases like "I think" or "In my opinon." (I already assume that the whole paragraph is your opinon.)
- Upload all three paragraphs in the Exercise 2 slot in Turnitin.com, by 5pm Monday. (For every paper that is uploaded on time, I will post feedback to you by 6pm Wednesday.)
- If you like, you are also welcome to post some or all of these paragraphs on your blog.
- There is no separate GriffinGate component.