Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 2

Learning Journal Activity

Some  of the best known poetry in modern culture is expressed in song. Songs  have the power to move us, to entertain, to stir memories of friends and  fond days. This week's writing activity asks you to choose a  song and analyze the lyrics in terms of concepts we are discussing in the course. The choice of song is entirely up to you. Write your analysis in paragraph form using complete sentences. This activity should be posted on your blog by Friday at 11:59pm. Below, please find specific instructions for completing this activity.

1.  Choose a song. Include the lyrics of the song somewhere in your post.  You can either transcribe the lyrics, get them from an album cover, or  find a copy of the song lyrics online. You may also want to embed a video of the song in your blog post.  YouTube videos, for example, can be easily embedded in blog posts by  clicking the "insert video" button in the post creation window. Likewise, you can take the embed code from beneath the video on YouTube and drop it in the body of your post.

2. Write a  paragraph in which you discuss the form of the lyrics, just as you would  analyze the form of a poem. You may want to mention the stanza  organization, refrains, rhyme scheme, meter (syllable count), and poetic  syntax. For definitions of these and other terms that may be of use in  your analysis, check pages 388-395 of Literature and the Writing Process.

3.  Write a paragraph in which you discuss stylistic elements of the  song. Who is the speaker or the addressee? What is the tone of the  lyrics? Are there any examples of poetic language such as symbolism,  imagery, metaphor, simile, personification, paradox, etc.? For  definitions of various kinds of poetic language, please see pages  370-373 of Literature and the Writing Process.

4.  Write a paragraph in which you discuss the content of the song.  You may want to consider cultural, social, or political implications of  the song. What does the song "say" to you? Why do you like it? If other groups or artists have covered this same song, does the message seem to change in different versions?

Overview and Readings for Week 3

On Monday we will be discussing two poems, Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz" and Parker's "One Perfect Rose" with reference to persona, tone, and irony. On Wednesday we will discuss concepts of poetic language, through examination of our only Shakespeare poem for the semester, "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?" On Friday we will be reading Dylan Thomas' “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” in relation, once again, to the concept of poetic form. Questions or comments about this week's activity or readings, drop by my office hours, send me a note through my email address, or leave a comment on this post.