Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fears and Desires: List a 100 (of each)

In-Class: Writing Exercise "Know Thyself"

1. Hand write a list of 100 fears - number them.  

2. Hand write a list of 100 desires - number them. 

These lists are for your eyes only. They need not be in any order. More specific the better. 

With gratitude, I thank Carmen Maria Machado, recent visiting writer, for sharing this idea of a 100 fears. 

Hopefully, you finished your two lists today in class. Next time, we meet I will check to see that you have two numbered lists to 100. 

Again, the goal is not to make you anxious or stress you out, but rather to bring some awareness to what motivates you. Remember Plato's maxim: "Know Thyself

Consider this writing exercise as a way of thinking on paper, so when you are asked to write poetry, you will have a list of a 100 fears and 100 desires - more than enough material to create a couple poems. We will discuss how they will help you write a poem. 

A few quotes to ponder on fear and desire:

“Man is his desire.” - Aristotle  
"All men by nature desire knowledge." Aristotle 

"Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil." - Aristotle 

"Courage is knowing what not to fear." - Plato

Here's two more that may be worth thinking about:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  
Marianne Williamson 

"A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, Nothing else." 


1. Finish your lists.

2. Annotate Marianne Moore's "Poetry" - see previous post.

3. Start your paragraph - due Friday.

4. Start a poem based on your fears and/or desires - due Monday.

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