Seminar Outline Unit Overview Learning Outcomes Learning Activities Seminar Discussion Project Information Preview of the Next Unit
Learning Outcomes Unit Outcomes Analyze the tools authors use when creating literature and what they communicate to readers Investigate a range of poets and poetry Examine reading in 21 st century America
Learning Activities Reading “The Lost Beautifulness” Literacy articles Discussion “The Lost Beautifulness” Two poems
Literacy How have reading habits changed over time? (Go way back!) What about your own personal reading habits? What trends do you see today? How has technology impacted literacy? Central Connecticut State University, America’s Most Literate Cities Study -- http://www.ccsu.edu/p age.cfm?p=8140 http://www.ccsu.edu/p age.cfm?p=8140
Reading in America In 2004, the National Endowment for the Arts put out a study called “Reading at Risk,” about the decline of reading in America. In 2007, another study showed that 1 in 4 adults read no books in 2006. (Fram, 2007) What do you think of these findings? Do they seem accurate to what you observe? What might a decline in reading say about a culture?
“ One in Four Read No Books Last Year” AP-Ipsos Poll Who were the most avid readers? What were the people who did read reading? Regional differences Ethnic differences
“Unexpected Twist: Fiction Reading is Up” For the first time since the NEA began surveying American reading habits in 1982 -- and less than five years after it issued its famously gloomy "Reading at Risk" report -- the percentage of American adults who report reading "novels, short stories, poems or plays" has risen instead of declining: from 46.7 percent in 2002 to 50.2 percent in 2008 (Thompson, 2009). (Note: Nonfiction is excluded from the study) What might explain the increase of reading in the last 6 years?
Which books/authors do you enjoy? Which have inspired you?
Poetry In our unit we discussed poetry, which is rarely a best- seller. Why might poetry be less popular than fiction? Where are some places that poetry does exist and thrive in our culture?
Why Poetry? What are some of the unique benefits poetry can offer to the reader or listener?
“The Lost Beautifulness” Anzia Yezierska Sketch of the author Anzia Yezierska accompanying an article in the Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, March 5th, 1921.
The Quick History of Literature Otherwise Known as The Chapter on Literature in Your Text!
The Epic of Gilgamesh—fromTablet 1 Supreme over other kings, lordly in appearance, he is the hero, born of Uruk, the goring wild bull. He walks out in front, the leader, and walks at the rear, trusted by his companions. Mighty net, protector of his people, raging flood-wave who destroys even walls of stone! Offspring of Lugalbanda, Gilgamesh is strong to perfection, son of the august cow, Rimat-Ninsun;... Gilgamesh is awesome to perfection. It was he who opened the mountain passes, who dug wells on the flank of the mountain. It was he who crossed the ocean, the vast seas, to the rising sun, who explored the world regions, seeking life. It was he who reached by his own sheer strength Utanapishtim, the Faraway, who restored the sanctuaries (or: cities) that the Flood had destroyed!... for teeming mankind. Who can compare with him in kingliness? Who can say like Gilgamesh: "I am King!"? Whose name, from the day of his birth, was called "Gilgamesh"? Two-thirds of him is god, one-third of him is human. The Great Goddess [Aruru] designed(?) the model for his body, she prepared his form...... beautiful, handsomest of men,... perfect http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/ Literature as History
The Iliad Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first fell out with one another. http://classics.mit.edu/Homer/iliad.html Literature as History
Sappho—Hymn to Aphrodite Peer of the gods, the happiest man I seem Sitting before thee, rapt at thy sight, hearing Thy soft laughter and they voice most gentle, Speaking so sweetly. Then in my bosom my heart wildly flutters, And, when on thee I gaze never so little, Bereft am I of all power of utterance, My tongue is useless. http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/sappho/sappho0.htm Poetry
Petrarch-- Soleasi Nel Mio Cor She ruled in beauty o'er this heart of mine, A noble lady in a humble home, And now her time for heavenly bliss has come, 'Tis I am mortal proved, and she divine. The soul that all its blessings must resign, And love whose light no more on earth finds room, Might rend the rocks with pity for their doom, Yet none their sorrows can in words enshrine; They weep within my heart; and ears are deaf Save mine alone, and I am crushed with care, And naught remains to me save mournful breath. Assuredly but dust and shade we are, Assuredly desire is blind and brief, Assuredly its hope but ends in death. Translated by Thomas Wentworth Higginson. http://www.sonnets.org/petrarch.htmThomas Wentworth Higginsonhttp://www.sonnets.org/petrarch.htm Poetry
Shakespeare—Sonnet 116 Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments, love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. O no, it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wand'ring bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come, Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom: If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. http://poetry.eserver.org/sonnets/116.html Poetry
Matsuo Basho Fallen sick on a journey, In dreams I run wildly Over a withered moor. Poverty's child - he starts to grind the rice, and gazes at the moon. The first soft snow! Enough to bend the leaves Of the jonquil low. http://www.toyomasu.com/haiku/#akutagawa Poetry
Emily Dickinson—”I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died” I heard a Fly buzz – when I died – The Stillness in the Room Was like the Stillness in the Air – Between the Heaves of Storm – The Eyes around – had wrung them dry – And Breaths were gathering firm For that last Onset – when the King Be witnessed – in the Room – I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away What portions of me be Assignable – and then it was There interposed a Fly – With Blue – uncertain stumbling Buzz – Between the light – and me – And then the Windows failed – and then I could not see to see – http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15393
American novelists Washington Irving—”The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” James Fennimore Cooper— The Last of the Mohicans Herman Melville— Moby Dick Mark Twain F. Scott Fitzgerald Ernest Hemingway The Novel
Edgar Allen Poe THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled --but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong. (The Cask of Amontillado, 1846) DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was --but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. (The Fall of the House of Usher, 1839) http://www.poestories.com/ The Short Story
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