Put your empathy essay outline in TURNITIN before start of this class.
In your reading journal, record your thinking about this question:
Which of the four stories we have studied evokes the most empathy in its readers? How does it do this? How does its evocation compare to that of its two closest* competitors?
*This adjective was added 12:50 Thu Oct 5
weekly membean expectations* begin for week of Mon Oct 2 – Sun Oct 8
Typically, a membean week runs Monday thru Sunday.
As recommended the membean staff, do a series of brief learning sessions over the course of the week. Let the learning sink in over time, rather than trying to cram at the last minute. The point of using membean is to build a more robust vocabulary, in order to become a more forceful and flexible writer. Once you find a weekly rhythm, stay with it. Exercise discipline.
The corresponding weekly grading scheme looks like this:
- 90% for at least 45 minutes with at least 3 learning sessions on different days, and each session lasting at least 10 minutes (15 minutes works better)
- 100% for 60 minutes or more, with the same expectations as above
- 0% for totals below 45 minutes, regardless of number of sessions or days
- students with significant “dubious minutes” receive 0% for the week (I define when the number of dubious minutes becomes significant)
- conference required of those receiving 0% for dubious minutes
- zeroes continue for each week, until conference has occurred
- grade entered as “class preparation”
submit new draft of Camus Paragraph to TURNITIN (Camus paragraph.revised) before next class (Th/F Sep 21/22), and be sure to update acknowledgment-footer to include most recent help from partners and any other sources
Remember that your original refuge poem is due to TURNITIN before the next poetry day begins.
As you compose your poem, consider this paragraph from Eavan Boland’s introduction to her book, After Every War: Twentieth Century Women Poets:
The problem with human catastrophe is that it can be remembered all too well. But it is much harder to re-imagine it. What brings it from the domain of fact to the realm of feeling is often just a detail. A cup, a shoe, an open window, a village roof with missing slates. Once we see it, we recognize it. That could have been me, we suddenly think. I could have been there. That moment of private truth, simply because it cuts history down to size, has a rare value. (3)
Although you are not necessarily writing about catastrophe, this passage suggests ways to bring alive the speaker or characters of your poem. Notice how much value Boland sees in “just a detail.”
Enjoy your writing. Start early enough that you have time to play with lines, ideas, and details. Give the poem time to simmer on the stove, rather than flash-frying it at the last minute.
Before the Mon/Tue class, finish reading Camus’s “The Guest.” During the reading, or after, write brief notes on the “Questions for studying” sheet, in order to help you think about what kind of person Daru or the Arab is.
A digital copy of the story is available here.
Explanation of outline above:
Before the next Poetry Day (Fri/Mon Sep 15/18), submit an ORIGINAL POEM to TURNITIN, which means a poem that has not been written before–by you, or by anyone else.
Use at least twenty lines. This is a minimum not a maximum. If the poem is working, feel free to write more.
The SPEAKER of the poem–i.e., the voice we hear in this poem–might be you, or it might be someone else. You are the poet, the author, the writer, but someone else can be the voice, the speaker in the poem.
The general subject of the poem is REFUGE. Consider where–physically, mentally, spiritually–someone might find refuge. As you think about who will be the speaker of the poem, consider cities, regions, or countries from which people are fleeing. These people are seeking refuge. For example, consider Houston, south Florida, South Sudan, Syria, or Afghanistan. These are just some places where you speaker lives, or has lived.
As you work on this poem, try to use at least one of the POETIC TOOLS introduced on Poetry Days so far: ars poetica, alliteration, run-on line, hyperbole, symbol, concrete imagery, metaphor, internal rhyme. You don’t have to use all or a lot of them. Go ahead and write the poem, and see if any of these naturally appear in your early draft(s). If they don’t explore how one of them might.
To TURNITIN before your next Poetry Day (Tue/Wed Sep 5/6), please submit an original animal poem.
This is poem about an animal of your choice. You don’t have to rhyme, but can if you want to. And just to clarify, this poem is about an animal, not in the voice of an animal. The speaker of the poem is you, not the animal. The voice we hear is yours, not the animal’s.
As you choose an animal and compose your poem about this creature, keep in mind what Milosz and Horace have written about the purpose of poetry. For me, the idea of empathy appears in both men’s statements. See our first Poetry Day handouts to remind yourself of their statements. Here’s my summary of the common idea in the two excerpts: we naturally want to connect with other human beings. It is in our nature to connect with other people. The purpose of, the power of, poetry is in making these connections with people who read or hear our poem.
So, in this poem assignment you are describing a particular animal, as Rilke has done with the panther and gazelle. As you write (draft, review, revise, and refine), have an eye toward connecting with readers and hearers of your poem. When we see details in your description, we also feel a connection to you and other humans.
Oh, and use at least 15 lines in making your poem. Try to employ one or more of the poetic tools introduced during our first Poetry Day–i.e., alliteration, run-on lines, or hyperbole. Good luck. Have fun. Use the time you have. Let the poem take shape over time, rather than try to rush something off the night before.
Be sure to submit the “I used to think” paragraph to TURNITIN by the end of the day you started this writing in class. Thank you.
If you have not already finished reading The Book Thief, please make sure you do by our Mon/Tue class. Thank you.