Thursday, September 30, 2010

Additional Sonnets by Donne, and Milton

Death Be Not Proud
 John Donne (1572-1631)
DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,

For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,

Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.

From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,

And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,

Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.

Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,

And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,

And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;

One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,

And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

On His Blindness
John Milton  (1608–1674)
WHEN I consider how my light is spent

  E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,

  And that one Talent which is death to hide,

  Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent

To serve therewith my Maker, and present
  My true account, least he returning chide,

  Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd,

  I fondly ask; But patience to prevent

That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need

  Either man's work or his own gifts, who best
  Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State

Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed

  And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:

  They also serve who only stand and waite.

The Marking Period's Half Over - Watch Out!

Read Blake's poem "The Sick Rose."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Here are the poems in Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Go to:
click on a title and read the poem. Have Fun!

Songs of Innocence:
The Shepherd
The Echoing Green
The Lamb
The Little Black Boy
The Blossom
The Chimney-Sweeper
The Little Boy Lost
The Little Boy FoundLaughing Song
A Cradle Song
The Divine Image
Holy Thursday
Nurse's Song
Infant Joy
A Dream
On Another's Sorrow
Songs of Experience:
Earth's Answer
The Clod and the Pebble
Holy Thursday
The Little Girl Lost
The Little Girl Found
The Chimney-Sweeper
Nurse's Song
The Sick Rose
The Fly
The Angel
The Tyger
My Pretty Rose-Tree
Ah, Sunflower
The Lily
The Garden of Love
The Little Vagabond
The Human Abstract
Infant Sorrow
A Poison Tree
A Little Boy Lost
A Little Girl Lost
A Divine Image
A Cradle Song
The Schoolboy
To Tirzah
The Voice of the Ancient Bard

A Modern Poet's Response to "To His Coy Mistress"

To You, Andrew Marvell

   Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982)

And here face down beneath the sun   
And here upon earth’s noonward height   
To feel the always coming on
The always rising of the night:

To feel creep up the curving east   
The earthy chill of dusk and slow   
Upon those under lands the vast   
And ever climbing shadow grow

And strange at Ecbatan the trees   
Take leaf by leaf the evening strange   
The flooding dark about their knees   
The mountains over Persia change

And now at Kermanshah the gate   
Dark empty and the withered grass   
And through the twilight now the late   
Few travelers in the westward pass

And Baghdad darken and the bridge   
Across the silent river gone
And through Arabia the edge
Of evening widen and steal on

And deepen on Palmyra’s street
The wheel rut in the ruined stone   
And Lebanon fade out and Crete
High through the clouds and overblown

And over Sicily the air
Still flashing with the landward gulls   
And loom and slowly disappear   
The sails above the shadowy hulls

And Spain go under and the shore   
Of Africa the gilded sand
And evening vanish and no more   
The low pale light across that land

Nor now the long light on the sea:

And here face downward in the sun   
To feel how swift how secretly
The shadow of the night comes on ...   

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Homework Post

HW #1 Read, sign, fill in, and return the course contract.
HW #2 Write an essay in which you compare and contrast Spenser's "One Day I Wrote Her Name Upon the Strand" to Shakespeare's Sonnet 18. Be sure to discuss the form and the content of both poems, their rhyme schemes, and their sonnet structure. IN OTHER WORDS read, reread, annotate and comprehend the poems you are to compare and contrast, Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 and Spenser's "One Day I Wrote Her Name Upon the Strand." Discuss each poem, the language, syntax, imagery, structure, rhyme scheme, flow of thought (thesis/antithesis), tone, personae, audience(s), conventions (not Star Trek) of the genre, tone, figurative language (metaphor, simile,personification, etc.) and whatever other poetic techniques or literary devices you observe. Discuss the poem's meaning as well as its style. After writing at least a paragraph about each poem, devote the remainder of your essay to a comparing and contrasting these poems. These are only guidelines; you may generate a more innovative essay structure, so long as you accomplish what has been asked of you.
HW #3 Negation Prefixes: Go to your dictionary and find words you do not know that are negated by the following prefixes: a, an, dis, il, im, in, ir, non,and un. You have now learned the word and its antonym. Please use negated words in your writing. It makes writing more concise. Realize, however, many words have antonyms not formed by negations that are totally different words, and some words have both forms of antonyms . You may which to visit:  or because it is much easier to remember a word if you know the word as well its opposite; the word will remain in your memory longer. Of course some words don't have antonyms.
CW: Write the antithesis of Sonnet 130.
HW #4 Read,then reread the posted Marvell, Herrick, and Williams poetry. Read what your classmates have written then enter the discussion of this poetry on the class blog.
HW #5 Write a three to five paragraph essay in which you compare and contrast two of Shakespeare's "procreation" sonnets.
HW #6 Go to the SUNY website posted on the class blog and examine what the SUNY system is all about. Zoom into the websites of individual colleges or universities of interest to you. Remember, your COLLEGE PORTFOLIO is due in November.
HW #7 Write a three to five paragraph essay in which you compare Blake's 1789 "Chimney Sweeper" to his 1794 "Chimney Sweeper" poems.(This was recently
on an A.P.Exam.) Please consider using the historical background information that is posted on the blog.
HW #8 Read and annotate, as you were instructed in class, the essay given to you in class,"Shooting An Elephant" by George Orwell. Blog about it.
HW #9 Choose a book and a reading partner by this coming Monday.
CW: After the essay you annotated is returned to you, answer the questions written on the board, and posted on your class blog.
For now, THAT'S ALL FOLKS. Please advise me if I omitted

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chose Book and Reading Partner by Monday - Fall Semester

By Monday, I want you to have chosen the book you will reading in partnership with a classmate this semester. Start looking at the titles on the list. I suggest you visit  then click on books to read  the comments people who have read the book have written.  Visit a library, take home a bunch of books, peruse through them, then decide the one you want to read. This can also be done in an air conditioned bookstore; just gather together several of the titles sit down and look through them.  You may wish to do one or all of these these things together with the classmate you have chosen to be your partner. Just be sure you have selected the book and the partner you will be reading the book with by Monday. Okay?

Here are the authors the Educational Testing Service has listed as “acceptable” authors whose books you may write about on the A.P. English Literature and Composition Test. This list changes from year to year, it is not inviolable.
Chinua Achebe; Kingsley Amis; Rudolfo Anaya; Margaret Atwood; Jane Austen; James Baldwin; Saul Bellow; Charlotte Brontë; Emily Brontë; Raymond Carver; Willa Cather; Sandra Cisneros; John Cheever; Kate Chopin; Colette; Joseph Conrad; Stephen Crane; Anita Desai; Charles Dickens; George Eliot; Ralph Ellison; Louise Erdrich; William Faulkner; Henry Fielding; F. Scott Fitzgerald; Ford Madox Ford; E. M. Forster; Thomas Hardy; Nathaniel Hawthorne; Ernest Hemingway; Zora Neale Hurston; Kazuo Ishiguro; Henry James; James Joyce; Maxine Hong Kingston; Joy Kogawa; Margaret Laurence; D. H. Lawrence; Bernard Malamud; Katherine Mansfield; Gabriel García Márquez; Bobbie Ann Mason; Carson McCullers; Herman Melville; Toni Morrison; Bharati Mukherjee; Vladimir Nabokov; Flannery O'Connor; Cynthia Ozick; Katherine Anne Porter; Jean Rhys; Jonathan Swift; Leo Tolstoy; Mark Twain; John Updike; Luisa Valenzuela; Alice Walker; Evelyn Waugh; Eudora Welty; Edith Wharton; John Edgar Wideman; Virginia Woolf; Richard Wright

Due Tomorrow: Annotated Essay; Essay Comparing "Chimney Sweeper" poems.

If you wish to, you may use this post to discuss "Shooting an Elephant."
Also, please proofread and then email me your essay on
Blake's poems to: - unless you wish to use
another method of submitting it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Research, SUNY, College Applications, and Your College Portfolio

Please wisely use your time researching colleges to find those best suited to your needs. I expect you to be familiar with the State University of New York system.  I want you to go to the website: to get an overview of SUNY. Proceed to research individual colleges and universities that are of interest to you online.  On your application are able to select six SUNY schools.  I want you to know which schools you are going to apply to and why you have chosen them. I already am writing college recommendations for  a few students who are moving full speed ahead. You have no time to lose. In these distressed economic times there are more limited financial aid packages and scholarships out there. I expect the early birds will be catching the worms. So get a move on. NOW!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Chimney Sweeper (1789 & 1794)

Here are the two poems that were on the A.P.Exam. shown to you in class today. They come from Blake's book  Songs of Innocence and of Experience.

In 1788, there was an attempt to pass an act to improve the treatment and working conditions of these young children. This would have made many people, including Blake, aware of the lives that these chimney sweeps would live. For instance, they slept in cellars on bags of the soot that they had swept , and they were poorly fed and clothed. They would sweep the chimneys naked so their masters would not have to replace clothing that would have been ruined in the chimneys, and they were rarely bathed. Those who were not killed by fires in chimneys usually died early anyway of either respiratory problems or cancer of the scrotum.

The Chimney Sweeper (1789)
      William Blake (1757-1827)
When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue,
Could scarcely cry weep weep weep weep,
So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.

Theres little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lambs back was shav'd, so I said.
Hush Tom never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair

And so he was quiet. & that very night.
As Tom was a sleeping he had such a sight
That thousands of sweepers Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack
Were all of them lock'd up in coffins of black,

And by came an Angel who had a bright key
And he open'd the coffins & set them all free.
Then down a green plain leaping laughing they run
And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.

Then naked & white, all their bags left behind.
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind.
And the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father & never want joy.

And so Tom awoke and we rose in the dark
And got with our bags and our brushes to work.
Tho' the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm
So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.

The Chimney Sweeper (1794)
A little black thing among the snow:
Crying weep, weep, in notes of woe!
Where are thy father & mother? say?
They are both gone up to the church to pray.

Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smil'd among the winters snow:
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.s

And because I am happy & dance & sing,
They think they have done me no injury:
And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,
Who make up a heaven of our misery.

Remember what Susan said in class about the date 1789.
What significance might the French Revolution have had
on the English? Is there a political position Blake is taking? 
How does it differ in the two poems? 

Blake was a printer, an artist, a poet, and a visionary.
In his lifetime, his work  was not taken seriously, and 
he was not well known.  Go onto the Internet to see more
of the artwork Blake created and printed with his poetry. 


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Your Classmates' Rewrite of Sonnet 130

Antithesis to Sonnet 130

My mistress' eyes are brighter than the sun.
Her lips are more red than coral.
Her breasts are whiter than the snow
Her hair is as soft as a sheep's bosom.
Red and white roses could never compare
To the roses that bloom in her cheeks.
And in the breath from my mistress
Is more delight than all perfumes.
If I listen to her spoken words
The harmony and tone is nicer than music.
Godesses may gracefully walk through the night
My mistress, when she walks, dances on the ground.
And yet I do not love her so;
She is a liar, as well as a hoe*
      * And please notice that Susan 
          ends the sonnet with a "so" "hoe"
          couplet. Why do you agree
          or disagree with her ending?

Shakespeare's "Procreation" Sonnets 1-17

Please go to the website below and choose two sonnets you wish to analyze and compare:
Be mindful of tone, organization [structure], attitude, irony, comparisons [simile/metaphors], imagery, argument [thesis/antithesis], syntax [word order], and things attention has been drawn to either in class or on your class blog in looking at poetry. If you wish to, discuss the sonnets you have chosen on our blog. Perhaps you will link up with a classmate and have a mutually rewarding and insightful discussion. Have fun! I am recharging today. I will see you tomorrow.
    These are portraits of the  two 
monarchs who were Shakespeare's patrons: Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Queen of England from 1558-1603 and James I (1566-1625), King of The United Kingdom 1603-1625. Why do you think there are eyes and ears on the orange fabric that adorns Queen Elizabeth? How about the snake on her arm? What do you make of how they look? (There are no authentic portraits of Shakespeare. Those that exist, including engravings, were made after his death.)
In this section of an engraving of London, from Shakespeare's time you can see the Globe Theatre in the foreground on one side of the Thames River and old St. Paul's Cathedral on the other.  (Click on the images to make them larger.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Robert Herrick's Poetry

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.

Delight in Disorder

SWEET disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness;
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction;
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher;
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribands to flow confusedly;
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat;
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility:
Do more bewitch me, than when art
Is too precise in every part.

The Bracelet: To Julia

WHY I tie about thy wrist,
Julia, this silken twist;
For what other reason is't
But to show thee how, in part,
Thou my pretty captive art?
But thy bond-slave is my heart:

'Tis but silk that bindeth thee,
Knap the thread and thou art free;
But 'tis otherwise with me:
--I am bound and fast bound, so
That from thee I cannot go;
If I could, I would not so.


ERE a pretty baby lies
Sung asleep with lullabies:
Pray be silent and not stir
Th' easy earth that covers her.


YEARES! and Age! Farewell
Behold I go,
Where I do know
Infinitie to dwell.

And these mine eyes shall see
All times, how they
Are lost i’ th’ Sea
Of vast Eternitie.

Where never Moone shall sway
The Starres; but she,
And Night, shall be
Drown’d in one endlesse Day.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Two Andrew Marvell Poems (one optional)


To His Coy Mistress

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast;
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart;
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Carefully read and reread this poem. If you
have questions or observations to make about
it post them on this blog.
If you wish to have this or other Andrew Marvell
poems read to you aloud, go to:

Here is the optional poem by this poet. Alas, again we
encounter a nymph!

The Nymph Complaining for
the Death of her Fawn

The wanton troopers riding by
Have shot my fawn, and it will die.
Ungentle men! they cannot thrive
To kill thee. Thou ne’er didst alive
Them any harm, alas, nor could
Thy death yet do them any good.
I’m sure I never wish’d them ill,
Nor do I for all this, nor will;
But if my simple pray’rs may yet
Prevail with Heaven to forget
Thy murder, I will join my tears
Rather than fail. But oh, my fears!
It cannot die so. Heaven’s King
Keeps register of everything,
And nothing may we use in vain.
Ev’n beasts must be with justice slain,
Else men are made their deodands;
Though they should wash their guilty hands
In this warm life-blood, which doth part
From thine, and wound me to the heart,
Yet could they not be clean, their stain
Is dyed in such a purple grain.
There is not such another in
The world to offer for their sin.

Unconstant Sylvio, when yet
I had not found him counterfeit
One morning (I remember well)
Tied in this silver chain and bell,
Gave it to me; nay, and I know
What he said then; I’m sure I do.
Said he, “Look how your huntsman here
Hath taught a fawn to hunt his dear.”
But Sylvio soon had me beguil’d,
This waxed tame, while he grew wild;
And quite regardless of my smart,
Left me his fawn, but took his heart.

Thenceforth I set myself to play
My solitary time away,
With this, and very well content
Could so mine idle life have spent;
For it was full of sport, and light
Of foot and heart, and did invite
Me to its game; it seem’d to bless
Itself in me. How could I less
Than love it? Oh, I cannot be
Unkind t’ a beast that loveth me.

Had it liv’d long, I do not know
Whether it too might have done so
As Sylvio did; his gifts might be
Perhaps as false or more than he.
But I am sure, for aught that I
Could in so short a time espy,
Thy love was far more better then
The love of false and cruel men.

With sweetest milk and sugar first
I it at mine own fingers nurst;
And as it grew, so every day
It wax’d more white and sweet than they.
It had so sweet a breath! And oft
I blush’d to see its foot more soft
And white, shall I say than my hand?
Nay, any lady’s of the land.

It is a wond’rous thing how fleet
’Twas on those little silver feet;
With what a pretty skipping grace
It oft would challenge me the race;
And when ’t had left me far away,
’Twould stay, and run again, and stay,
For it was nimbler much than hinds,
And trod, as on the four winds.

I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness;
And all the spring time of the year
It only loved to be there.
Among the beds of lilies I
Have sought it oft, where it should lie;
Yet could not, till itself would rise,
Find it, although before mine eyes;
For, in the flaxen lilies’ shade,
It like a bank of lilies laid.
Upon the roses it would feed
Until its lips ev’n seemed to bleed,
And then to me ’twould boldly trip
And print those roses on my lip.
But all its chief delight was still
On roses thus itself to fill,
And its pure virgin limbs to fold
In whitest sheets of lilies cold.
Had it liv’d long it would have been
Lilies without, roses within.

O help, O help! I see it faint,
And die as calmly as a saint.
See how it weeps! The tears do come,
Sad, slowly dropping like a gum.
So weeps the wounded balsam, so
The holy frankincense doth flow;
The brotherless Heliades
Melt in such amber tears as these.

I in a golden vial will
Keep these two crystal tears, and fill
It till it do o’erflow with mine,
Then place it in Diana’s shrine.

Now my sweet fawn is vanish’d to
Whither the swans and turtles go,
In fair Elysium to endure
With milk-white lambs and ermines pure.
O do not run too fast, for I
Will but bespeak thy grave, and die.

First my unhappy statue shall
Be cut in marble, and withal
Let it be weeping too; but there
Th’ engraver sure his art may spare,
For I so truly thee bemoan
That I shall weep though I be stone;
Until my tears, still dropping, wear
My breast, themselves engraving there.
There at my feet shalt thou be laid,
Of purest alabaster made;
For I would have thine image be
White as I can, though not as thee.

See you in class tomorrow. BE PREPARED!