Monday, April 7, 2014

HWK: Annotate the Poem of the Week

In-Class: Writing Exercise - Pathetic Fallacy

PART I: Write for 5-7 minutes

Imagine a house at the end of a long treelined driveway. You have just been dropped of to see a special someone - perhaps, a significant other. You have traveled a great distance and it's been a long time since you last saw this person. Again, imagine means use your imagination: this person can be fictional.

Describe the weather and the nature that surrounds you. Use your senses.

            G = gustatory (taste)
            O = organic (internal sensation)
A = auditory (sound)
            T = tactile (touch)       
V = visual
            O = olfactory (smell)
            K = kinesthetic (movement)

Create a narrative. Be conscious of the tone, mood, and atmosphere.

Feel free to write prose or verse. Consider this a brainstorming, pre-writing exercise to one of your possible future poems.

PART II: Write for another 5-7 minutes; however, this time, your significant other no longer wishes to see you - and never see you again. Why? That's your story.

Again, focus on the weather and nature as you take the same walk from the front door to the end of the drive. What do you notice now? Connect your feelings, thoughts, and emotions to your surroundings. How do you see your environment differently?

Notice how the tone, mood, and atmosphere changes.

Great Resource: Literary Devices - Definition and Examples of Literary Terms

HOMEWORK: POEM of the Week: Marianne Moore’s “Poetry”
For Tonight: Annotate  Marianne Moore’s “Poetry” - Steps 1-3.
Due Friday: Paragraph about Moore's poem - Step 4.


1. Read the poem first to enjoy it.  Read it straight on through, preferably aloud.

2. Then read it again (and again), looking for any of the following literary devices or features:

-       Language: tone, style, diction (word choice)
-       Conventions: punctuation, grammar, poetic forms
-       Devices: Imagery, metaphor, symbols, repetition....Allusions and References
-       Design: Structure, organization of content (e.g., stanzas, enjambment, past to present)
-       Themes: Central ideas that run throughout the poem.

Connections: How does this poem relate to your personal feelings about poetry?

Purpose: What is the poet trying to explain? Persuade? What, why, and how do they do this?

3. The poem must show evidence of close reading – e.g., underlined words, comments, questions, connections, suspected patterns. 

4. Your written response should be typed (12 point font) - one perfectly written paragraph (not a loosely written journal-type response) with a clear assertion, supporting details, and examples or quotations from the poem.  Your paragraph must include quotations from the poem with analysis.  
These quotations must be embedded, not left to stand alone. 

About the Poet[1]
Born near St. Louis, Missouri, on November 15, 1887, Marianne Moore was raised in the home of her grandfather, a Presbyterian pastor. After her grandfather's death, in 1894, Moore and her family stayed with other relatives, and in 1896 they moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She attended Bryn Mawr College and received her B.A. in 1909. Following graduation, Moore studied typing at Carlisle Commercial College, and from 1911 to 1915 she was employed as a school teacher at the Carlisle Indian School. In 1918, Moore and her mother moved to New York City, and in 1921, she became an assistant at the New York Public Library. She began to meet other poets, such as William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens, and to contribute to the Dial, a prestigious literary magazine. She served as acting editor of the Dial from 1925 to 1929. Along with the work of such other members of the Imagist movement as Ezra Pound, Williams, and H. D., Moore's poems were published in the Egoist, an English magazine, beginning in 1915. In 1921, H.D. published Moore's first book, Poems, without her knowledge.

Moore was widely recognized for her work; among her many honors were the Bollingen prize, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. She wrote with the freedom characteristic of the other modernist poets, often incorporating quotes from other sources into the text, yet her use of language was always extraordinarily condensed and precise, capable of suggesting a variety of ideas and associations within a single, compact image. In his 1925 essay "Marianne Moore," William Carlos Williams wrote about Moore's signature mode, the vastness of the particular: "So that in looking at some apparently small object, one feels the swirl of great events." She was particularly fond of animals, and much of her imagery is drawn from the natural world. She was also a great fan of professional baseball and an admirer of Muhammed Ali, for whom she wrote the liner notes to his record, I Am the Greatest! Deeply attached to her mother, she lived with her until Mrs. Moore's death in 1947. Marianne Moore died in New York City in 1972.

Print the following poem and annotate:


I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this
     Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in
     it after all, a place for the genuine.[2]
         Hands that can grasp, eyes
         that can dilate, hair that can rise
              if it must, these things are important not because a
high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because they
  useful.  When they become so derivative as to become unintelligible,  
  the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
         do not admire what
         we cannot understand: the bat
                holding on upside down or in quest of something to
eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf under
   a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse that feels a
                               flea, the base-
   ball fan, the statistician--
   nor is it valid
               to discriminate against 'business documents and
school-books';[3] all these phenomena are important.  One must make a 
    however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is 
                               not poetry,
    nor till the poets among us can be
        'literalists of 
         the imagination'[4]—above
               insolence and triviality and can present
for inspection, 'imaginary gardens with real toads in them', shall we 
    it.  In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
    the raw material of poetry in
         all its rawness and
         that which is on the other hand
               genuine, you are interested in poetry.

                                                - Marianne Moore 1919. 1951


[2] In the final, 1967 version, Moore omitted all but these first three lines. 
[3] “Diary of Tolstoy (Dutton [1917]), p. 84. ‘Where the boundary between prose and poetry lies, I shall never be able to understand.  The question is raised in manuals of style, yet the answer to it lies beyond me.  Poetry is verse: prose is not verse.  Or else poetry is everything with the exception of business documents and school books’” [Moore’s note].  County Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Russian novelist.
[4] “[W. B.] Yeats: Ideas of Good and Evil (A. H. Bullen [1903], p. 182. ‘The limitation of his [Blake’s] view was from the very intensity of his vision; he was a too literal realist of imagination as others are of nature; and because he believed that the figures seen by the mind’s eye, when exalted by inspiration, were ‘eternal existences,’ symbols of divine essences, he hated every grace of style that might obscure their lineaments’”[Moore’s note].

P.S. Today's exercise reminded me of a poem I read earlier in the year... (not part of the homework).

by Raymond Carver

Left off the highway and
down the hill. At the
bottom, hang another left.
Keep bearing left. The road
will make a Y. Left again.
There's a creek on the left.
Keep going. Just before
the road ends, there'll be
another road. Take it
and no other. Otherwise,
your life will be ruined
forever. There's a log house
with a shake roof, on the left.
It's not that house. It's
the next house, just over
a rise. The house
where trees are laden with
fruit. Where phlox, forsythia,
and marigold grow. It's
the house where the woman
stands in the doorway
wearing the sun in her hair. The one
who's been waiting
all this time.
The woman who loves you.
The one who can say,
"What's kept you?"

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