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Thursday, April 18

April 18, 2013

Poetry Workshop: Today: Turner and Dixon. For Tuesday: Kline.

Tuesday we will workshop Kline, Fox and Holness. Thursday we will workshop Jones, and then do some prompts. The next Tuesday, the 30th, your fifth rotation poem is due on the blog.

Fiction Workshop: Today we workshopped Morgan and Alyx. Liam and Zack will go on Tuesday. Zack’s piece is audio-based, but you got the transcript today. Please listen to the clip on our blog over the weekend, and annotate the transcript.

World Lit: Today we read and analyzed the poems “I Love The Memory,” “The Albatross” and “Hymn To Beauty.” The first seems to be about The Poet’s ultimate inability to bring humanity back to the “good old days” (when people were less inhibited); the second can best be described as The Poet as X-Man, a winged mutant freak in exile who can’t make it back to his true habitat, the sky; and the third is representative of the Decadent school of thought, which stated in part that beauty isn’t just found in nature, but can be found in the unnatural as well.

Here are our word bank entries for today:

indicable: not comparable
miasma: heavy atmosphere; corrupting influence
chagrins: distress caused by disappointment or failure
tenebrous: dark, murky, obscure
Cybele: a nature goddess of Asia Minor
myrtle: evergreen found in Southern Europe
fain: inclined, willing
fecundity: state of being fruitful or fertile

Your assignment for Tuesday is to choose any poem of Baudelaire’s from your book (excluding the prose poems) that seems to represent one of four major themes:

1. The life and struggles of The Poet
2. Baudelaire’s troubled relationship with women
3. The contrast between extremes (good/evil; beauty/ugliness)
4. Baudelaire’s fascination with childhood

Explain why you chose the poem (that is, which theme it seems to represent) and your interpretation of its use in a 1-2 paragraph response.

Daily Prompt: Today we did an in-class activity – decision making. Please write one of your entries in response to this activity (if you were absent, please replace this with a prompt from the website). You can write about the experience, about a choice you had to make, about how well you know your classmates, or any other aspect of the activity, including using it to start a piece of fiction or poetry.

Four new SUBSTANTIAL entries are due on Tuesday.

Film Studies: Today we talked about the always-shifting scale of what is acceptable to make fun of, and what isn’t. We had a pretty far-ranging discussion, and I hope it settled on these points:

1. Acceptable targets for humor vary, of course, by person and by context
2. They also vary by era. A lot of the humor from the first Saturday Night Live, from 1975, would have been totally unacceptable on network TV just a few years earlier. (The sex and drug references, as well as the complete lack of respect for the office of the presidency, to cite a few examples.)
3. The items at the top of our lists — those deemed most off-limits — seemed to have the greatest amount of consensus. They’re still considered fair game for jokes, but a large part of that, as we pointed out, is simply shock value.
4. Those attempts, however, are probably inevitable when more and more stuff on the list becomes acceptable. (Remember, at one time, jokes like George Carlin’s would have been unthinkable. By 1975, a year after America had suffered the twin shocks of Watergate and the end of Vietnam, effectively putting the capper on any remaining Sixties idealism, you could get away with a lot more stuff, both on film and on TV.)

We briefly touched on the idea of SNL as a great incubator of movie talent, and the fact that for at least two decades, it was the most important source of stars for comedy films. We’ll see the first (and in the minds of some, still the best) example Tuesday: The Blues Brothers.


7th Grade: Today we continued working on the “This I Believe” project. There is no homework.

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