a break ... my feet hurt ... i haven't seen you yet ... there's
still time ... i'm in room 401 ... i'm the guy leaning on the
bookcase or propped on the heating ledge ...
open house today ... i'm in the english room ... 401 ... stop
in ... and distract me ... please
there are no good poems anymore ... here are one
thousand four hundred and ninety-six poems from 2005 (to date)
... as selected by jordan davis
sets up an
... The articulation of affect in poetry
is a rather complex subject. What are the basic questions? Not
just what the underlying tonality or mood of the poem is, but
the basic approach taken, the attitude toward the emotion, the
strategies for articulation or evasion.
... just as my senior
class sits to write an ap essay based on Hardy's "Convergence
of the Twain" ... Read the following poem carefully. Then,
taking into consideration the title of the poem, analyze how the
poetic devices convey the speaker's attitude toward the sinking
of the ship.
so it's not
expected that readers will have an affective response to the poem?
or it is not considered at all relevant to the task of analysis?
identify/isolate the speaker's attitude ... identify/isolate the
poetic devices ... apply the latter to the former ... get a good
should an english
teacher not do some penance for this ... this crude exploitation
of a poem ... this abuse of a poem's own good nature .. this mugging
... of the butterfly ?
... it's called "reading the papers" ... on a one-day
weekend ... just before progress reports are due ... just before
the short thanksgiving week ...)
hardy's poem is no butterfly, any affective repsonse to any poem
almost certainly is ... my students are not being asked at this
moment to attend to their feelings about the poem ... in order
to meet the task they'll probably find it more useful to ignore
those feelings ... some are thinking man, i really hate poetry
... maybe because all they mostly know of poetry is how it's used
in these analytical exercises ... maybe not ... but as jonathan
notes: Our emotions about poetry include the actual emotions
of the poem as well as our feeling about poetry itself.
would it be worth posing to the
class a question about strategies for the evasion of emotion in
writing a poem .... in reading a poem? about why a person might
feel the need to evade it in writing or reading it?
of poems ... doesn't attract much attention ... because nothing
is actually being said ... you make too much silence out of a
blog of poems ... it occupies a corner of the room where there's
some talk... it usually stares at the wall ... it doesn't talk
... it makes the wall seem beautiful ... maybe interesting ...
but even quieter than before ... when nobody was looking
plop a whole article down on the blug ... but i just can't help
myself with this one ...Herald.com
| 11/11/2005 | We've slipped from the moral high ground We've slipped from the moral
I guess that settles that.
do not torture,'' President Bush said on Monday.
Never mind all those torture pictures from Abu Ghraib.
Never mind all those torture stories
from Guantánamo Bay.
mind the 2002 Justice Department memo that sought to justify torture.
Never mind reports of U.S. officials
sending detainees to other countries for torture.
Never mind Dick Cheney lobbying to exempt the CIA
from rules prohibiting torture.
do not torture,'' said the president. And that's that, right?
I mean, if you can't believe the Bush administration, who can
you believe? No torture. Period, end of sentence.
But . . .
does it say to you that the claim even has to be made?
spoke in Panama on the last day of a five-day swing through Latin
America to promote free trade. He was addressing controversy over
secret CIA prisons in foreign countries. America, Bush reminded
us in case it had slipped our minds in the 20 minutes since he
last reminded us, is at war.
that would explain all the dead people. And yes, war is not a
nice business under the best of circumstances. It is less so when
you fight a stateless enemy that strikes from shadows.
But we've been at war before, nasty, brutish wars,
one war with civilization itself on the line, yet somehow, we
always managed to be the good guy. That is not to say our soldiers
and sailors and fliers were always good, immune from committing
atrocities. It is not to say our officials were always good, untouched
by dirty deeds done in clandestine ways. Finally, it is not to
say our cause was always good, free from the taint of imperialism
But we -- the
collective we, the official we, the face shown in light of day
we -- were the good guys.
occurs to me that maybe I've larded that statement with so many
caveats as to drain it of meaning. I'm not trying to be cute.
Rather, I'm trying not to sound naive, while at the same time
getting at something important:
were the nation of moral authority, the nation of moral high ground,
the nation that lectured other nations about human rights. And
you know what? People believed us. They rush to our shores because
there is freedom here, yes, because there is opportunity here,
yes, but also because we stood for something, which was more than
the tin-pot tyrants who ran their countries could ever say.
What a difference a presidency
makes. ''We do not torture,'' he said.
When I heard that, my first thought was a one-liner:
He's been torturing me for years.
you know, this just ain't funny.
In the name of fighting
terror, we have terrorized, and in the name of defending our values,
we have betrayed them. We have imprisoned Muslims in America and
refused to say if we had them, why we had them or even to provide
them attorneys. We have passed laws making it easier for government
to snoop into what you read, who you talk to, where you go. We
have equated dissent with lack of patriotism, disagreement with
And we have tortured.
Yes, Bush says we don't do that
kind of thing but, to paraphrase Groucho Marx, who you going to
believe, him or your lying eyes?
ignore our lying eyes, I think, because we are afraid, because
we saw what happened Sept. 11 and we never want to see it again.
I'd never suggest we ought not
fear terrorism. But we should also fear the nation we are becoming
in response. We should fear the fact that we have abrogated moral
authority, retreated from moral high ground, become like those
we once chastised.
not torture,'' says the president.
can remember when that went without saying.
from Thomas Merton
...We have to recognize that a
spirit of individualism and confusion has reduced us to an ethic
of 'every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.'
This ethic, unfortunately sometimes consecrated by Christian formulas,
is nothing but the secular ethic of the affluent society, based
on the false assumption that if everyone is bent on making money
for himself the common good will automatically follow, due to
the operation of economic laws.
ethic of barely disguised selfishness is no longer a Christian
ethic. Nor can we afford to raise this to the national level
and assume that the world will adjust itself if every nation seeks
its own advantage before everything else. On the contrary,
we are obliged to widen our horizons and to recognize our responsibility
to build an international community in which the right of all
nations and other groups will be respected and guaranteed.
We cannot expect a peaceful world society to emerge all by itself
from the turmoil of a ruthless power struggle we have to
work, sacrifice and cooperate to lay the foundations on which
future generations may build a stable and peaceful international
community. Every Christian is involved in this task, and
consequently every Christian is obliged to seek information and
form his conscience so that he may be able to contribute his own
share of intelligent political action toward this end.
from Peace in the Post-Christian
, by Thomas Merton. Orbis Books; Maryknoll, New York.