Response to Christella
Christella – I described a beach in my blog too! I find them to be immensely calming and yet so full of life at the same time that the contrast is overwhelming. Your rich description of Boracay is amazing, and makes me feel as though I have been there. I think you could make this better by showing emotion, rather than telling (e.g. “you feel at ease” could be better represented as “Your shoulders relax as the calming sounds of the sea rushes over you” etc) I hope to read more from you!
Response to Jesse Anderson
You’ve really intrigued me with your review! I also didnt find Dickinson very engaging upon first glance, but after watching the film I had a better understanding of her character. I was also intrigued by the way in which her mental illness was portrayed- it walked the fine line between realistic and dehumanising, which I found quite engaging. This being said, much of what you noticed didnt strike me as I watched the movie. I look forward to watching it again with your review in mind! I’m sure I will come out more enlightened than the first time.
O Captain My Captain was written as an elegy to Abraham Lincoln, his hero and a man whom he found himself deeply attatched to despite the fact that they had never met. His captaining of the metaphoric ship, the United States of America, during the Civil War earned him the respect of Walt Whitman. His use of personal pronouns in the title, and recurring first lines of each stanza implies a personal relationship with Lincoln, despite the fact that he had never met him. “Oh Captain, My Captain” he says. This implies his reverie for Lincon, and his willingness to follow him, as a sailor might give his loyalty to a Captain.
Write a passage in of your own in the style of an alternative/magical/mabarn realism.
The campus coffee shop is always so crowded in the mornings. Honestly! All I want is a cup of coffee to keep me awake through my dull law lecture, and I have to contend with being shunted around by various winged patrons, telepaths who ALWAYS push in front just when they know you’re going to make a space, and once a girl even teleported directly into the front of the line! Jeez, I knew city kids were rude but I did not expect to be pulled from my place in line by a rude siren who gives me a melodic “oh thank you darling” to make me forget I was angry in the first place.
And the barista! It always seems to be the same guy no matter what time I go, and he thinks he’s all that because he’s telepathic and telekinetic. Like shut up Adrian, nobody cares that you’re already making their order when they get to the counter without them even ordering, and yet he’s always so smug about it. When I get to the front of the line (not before getting absolutely covered in water by a rude nymph who just had to shove me while i was wearing my nice white top) he says in a bored voice “Large mocha no foam?” I roll my eyes as I hand over the money as the coffee in question floats over to me. Finally free from the cesspool of magic and rudeness, I have my first promising sip of coffee. It’s all foam.
I really need to get my own coffee machine.
Response to Julie
Julie- I really liked your description of your parents bedroom! Your description of experiencing conncection with your parents through experiencing the things they experienced is really well done, and allows me great insight as to your childhood mindset! My only concern would jus tbe for you to double check your grammar, and take care than your sentences dont drag on too much.
Write a paragraph beginning with the sentence “I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born.” (Walden, Chapter 2)
I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born.
How wonderful the world must have seemed to my untainted eyes, their blue not yet turned dark by the ‘teachings’ of the world. My mind questioned all, unbound by the cords that tie the well organised mind down.
The wisdom the world gives is yet another form of opression – my mind feels so heavy with knowledge and yet I feel that I have learned nothing of importance. The questions that hung, so salient in my mind, are yet to be answered. And worse yet, I have stopped asking them.
The connections I made so easily once have become dulled in my mind. That small sensation no longer sparking thought. And worse, in all my newfound knowledge connecting me to the world, I feel alone. No longer do the birds and blades of grass keep my company as they once did. They know this wise man is just a blundering child, destruction and ignorance trailing in his wake.
So I seek to destroy my own mind. I break conncetions so strong, as a child knocking down a sandcastle built wrong. From these ruins I rebuild myself, and once again I will know all I can without the cords of society tying me down- my company shall be kept in those wise insects and well read flowers who may tell me more than I could ever have learnt.
A Response to Annabelle
Annabelle- I found you post quite interesting. I found it really helpful to have this modern take on transcendentalism allowing me further insight into how people relate this to our society today. I found your interperatation of modern day appliences as being not only convenience, but also a way in which we are being opressed spiritually (or maybe that was just my interperation of your writing!). Either way I thouroughly enjoyed this.
We have explored the different ways in which Europeans and indigenous inhabitants experience and describe their landscapes. In around 150 words can you describe a landscape that you love and know well with the immediacy and richly descriptive manner of an indigenous person.
The sounds of the crashing waves lull me quickly to a deep medative state. The sharp smell of the salt on the air breezing through me, a sedative, the most potent drug. The sand beneath my feet and hands yields to my touch, embracing me, reminding me where I come from. We are all born from the land, and to there we all must return. The rock I use for my pillow is hard yet not uncomfortable. The cool stone feels soothing against my wind beaten face. My hair whips around me, turning the scene into an ever shifting montage of sea and sand and sky. I can feel little crabs shifting the sand beneath my feet, sharing this place that is ours. He and I are equals- at least until the salt smell leaves and the city smog reminds me that I am Big, and he is Small. But for now i invite him to share my rock, and share my love.
Describe a landscape that you love- it could be your own backyard. What does this description show you about your values, your relationship to the landscape?
The green is overwhelming. The different shades seem to twist and blend into eachother as a painting might smudge under an artists fingers. The trees grow tall and bend with their own weight, stretching overhead and dappling the sunlight striking the wildflower covered earth. When did this place become so beautiful? The butterflies flit in and out of the trees, splashing colour throughout the verdent landscape. My eyes can never get tired here. How could they when everything changes, so slowly, yet right in front of my eyes. The peace is beautiful. It seems at once the most quiet, and loudest place I know. The peace is never quite broken. Rather it is accentuated by the birdcalls, and the soft, natural sounds of insects buzzing around the sanctuary they have allowed to partake in. Any scent of gasoline, food, or smog is gone, and yet I still find myself drawn in by the smells. The sweet smells of the flowers, the biting, bitter smell of crushed leaves and grass. This is my place.
This is a discription of a small clearing not far off a campground in Nowra. The campground itself is always rather busy, but the track that leads to the clearing is so overgrown that barely anybody goes there. When I was little I called it Wonderland.
Explore the reasons why Whitman might have called his book of poems Leaves of Grass
Whitman’s book “Leaves of Grass” is a series of poems that ruminate on the nature of life and death, and the simple joys one finds in the world around him. These joys are found in nature and in the connections between all things, and this it is obvious why the title of the book should refer to plantlife. More specifically however, the interconnectedness of man with nature, and moreover with the universe is reflected in title. Grass, being itself a component of nature, is all constantly growing and changing, interconnected with itself in order to create great fields as we see them. This connection of a myriad of tiny blades in order to create a whole is a very important theme in Whitman’s work.
The connection with nature is integral to the meaning of the work as a whole, as everything lends itself to it- from the contents of the poems to the structure of the set as a whole. The poems are ordered as in a biography, with the earlier poems concerning youth and more human and emotional senses and issues, and the latter poems concerning death and the circle of life and the spirit.
It is worth mentioning that the use of symbolism was generally quite personal at Whitman’s time. One might use things important or significant to them. Whitman however used symbols he had observed in nature- in this case using platlife to represent the natural cycle of life and how all things are connected- and this was highly unusual. It has the effect of bringing the idea that nature is a higher power than ourselves into view.