Disclaimer to Part 5
-I've left out a whole lot of what happened during residency, more dinners with the faculty, meetings with first semester students about their work and the program, lunches with some of our guests lectures and readers, and the many private conversations I had with students and faculty. These were precious times for me. It's valuable to list these items for you, dear reader, in case you want to apply for the GA or learn more about the going-ons of the program. But to divulge the inner-workings and conversations that occurred would be to sacrifice the sacred...
So I bring you the highlights:
GRADUATE LECTURE: WOW, THAT DESCRIPTION MAKES ME FEEL BAD
- The visual info provides thematic hints.
- If a character walks by a baby deer versus road kill…different tone
- B/c it’s there (passive imagery). You feel something, not plot.
- Images can go beyond (literal interpretation).
- Style versus content. Images can make for a pretty reading.
- Using style of image to convey information.
"I road a horse to my friends house." (The Fall of the House of Usher).
I rode past the general store and waved hello to Mary the shopkeeper. She stopped and wiped her hands on her apron and grinned. "I’ve got some candy you can take to Marybeth’s." I slowed Nelly down and hopped off. I ran to Mary. “Hold tight a minute. I’ll get it.” I pulled on my shirt to get some cool air. When she returned, she handed me a bag. I peeked inside and saw the shiny candy red coating on the apples. Then I said goodbye and hopped back on the horse to hurry to Marybeth’s.
- Content based imagery- objective description of what’s there
- Tone based imagery- subjective experience of narrative voice
A few snippets from the crew.
“A comma splices through my fragmented thoughts.” From her piece about teaching her first grammar class.
“I don’t know who’s in my bed!” What he whispered to his roommate across their bedroom when he waking up to a strange girl laying next to him.
“A scaredy cats fear is not a wall built in a day.” From her middle grade novel.
Sheree Renee Thomas
“Nothing on his mind but the heat…he don’t know the heat’s gonna bring him down.”
“Heart lookin’ like a crooked knife.”
“Those things might make people think the wrong things and we don’t want that do we?” “No one was willing to correct me in detail.” From her piece about the first time she came out.
“No way I was buying sex items in the same place my mom bought chicken.”
“Even though I currently qualify as a thief, I had a hard time lying.”
“Why is he taunting me? Doesn’t he know I’m about to die?”
“I hate white cars. They make me want to kill my mother.”
“It is neither repelling nor inviting. It just gets you through the day.”
Jackie Brown (intro)
“The only thing these poems have in common is that they have people in them.”
"If that mocking bird don’t sing. It’s dead.”
GRADUATE LECTURE: CROWD AS CHARACTER
Individuals (people on a highway)–in a major traffic jam–get out and talk–camaraderie, boundaries gone.
This morning’s Boston Globe
Porter Square yesterday, 447 passengers trapped
- No cell phones
- Then, camaraderie
- Haircut appointments and meetings and job interviews
Cinematic and fiction crowd characters
Cricket in Times Square- destructive, crowd character
Seven Chances- 1000 brides show up, crowd chasing, credible. Angry, wanted to destroy him.
GRADUATE LECTURE: EASING ANXIETY ABOUT UNDERSTANDING POETRY
Exercise: In A Dark Time Theodore Roethke
1. Write three words to describe how you feel before you read the poem
2. A few people to share
3. Now teacher asks for volunteer to read the poem aloud
4. Then ask, what do you notice about the poem?
5. After you discuss it, then rate how you feel on a scale of 1-10, Light bulb!
If you get a whole class, it brings a lot to it. Teacher doesn’t need to say much during this.
Graduate Lecture: THE FICTIVE DREAM AND ITS IMPACT
Melissa Ford Lucken
Fictive dream, commercial versus literary.
What’s the difference?
Wants us to think about this.
Discussion in small groups.
Then she goes through what we have put on the board:
- More accessible language
- Entertainment versus art
- Craft versus form
- Enveloping action
- Exposition (not in commercial)
- Read aloud
Close 3rd person (author intrusion is a bad thing)
Branding, swag, promo, prepackaged and shaped.
Lunch q & a with Iain Pollock
Iain considers audience, wants reader to be conscious of the racial perspective. Cites Robert Hayden.
Wants to push reader to have to do the research but not Google everything.
He says to us to think metaphorically when you are reading poetry. This happens faster in poetry than in fiction. Descriptive 'cause short.
That’s why reading out loud is so important.
The poem must resist the intelligence . Almost successfully.
People feel shut out by poetry. How do you feel? Iain asks his students this.
Tomorrow read Part 6...the dream ends.
Yeah, I'm one of those made anxious by poetry, in awe of its murky depth. Using the referenced poem "In a Dark Time" I wrote 3 words that described my feelings before I read it (afraid, conflicted, curious). I read it aloud but did not have a class of others with whom to discuss it. Nevertheless, I was able to note a couple of points about it, that the 5th & 6th lines of each of the four 6-line stanzas end in rhymes, although they alternate between actual rhyming words and sight-rhymes as follows: actual, sight, actual, sight. Because I've not discussed it with anyone I didn't rate it 1-10. However, I made note of some ease of my three feelings from prior to reading. Still curious & conflicted, but less afraid, at least about this poem. As always, splendid post!
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