LiveJournal Garnering: Years 2 and 3

So I have now finished my saunter through the fields of creativity in Second and Third year LiveJournalers…. it has been a feast, but I have had to much swimming and bush walking to keep my appetite alive…. over 200 journals in all!….. So again while many many journals had interest, merit and originality, I want to list the best and the most interesting journals in order that we can all learn from each other. And I also want to collect together a number of comments I made on individual journals to help you all learn from each others efforts. All in all I think this whole process is a very exciting way of expanding our literary understanding and our creative capacity…. So here we go:

Best Second Year (Nineteenth Century Literature: Prudence & Passion) LJs – please have “a taste and see”

Candice Insuasti
Elise Mckenzie
John Mahoney
Madison Taylor
Marc Ghigonone
Georgina Dickinson
Marnie Cuy

Best Third Year (Shakespeare & the Renaissance)

Marie Backo
Marc De Laconzi
Timb Hoswell
Anissa Chatt
Alison Aitken
Roselie Arena
Noelle Zeitouni

Now here is a group of comments I made on different LJs…. many of these are examples of how I have been trying to get budding writers to see that less is more and that music in poetry IS important… as a support to meaning…. so listen up folks!

1/ Some good ideas in this poem ——–… but it needs a good prune to allow the poetic juices flow more powerfully. Let me try my hand at pruning a stanza of yours… Here is yours:

Trees were his foundations, the branches and leaves provided him with shelter.
The earth, and its inhabitants became his subjects.
Alas! he was able to write again.
He could finally see and feel life and ,most importantly transform these simple existences into words .

The foundations trees,
Branches and leaves gave him shelter.
Earth, and inhabitants became his subjects.
Writing again he could see and feel life
Simple existences into


2/ If this is your poem —– (I take it it is) please put your name after it- that is your copyright. The poem has some powerful images but its form and rhythm need a little adjusting in order to make the meaning sing. Here is my attempt to jostle the words around a little… Your version first:

To question ones ideal.
To seek a new philosophy of thought.
Peeling away the evolution of bibles man.
The crux of society.

To see the black buildings.
The rib cages protruding into the street
In hunger of societies hand
One enclosed with soot and grime.

Questioning ideals,
Seeking new philosophies.
Black buildings, rib cages
Jutting into hungry streets
Enclosed with soot and grime.

So it is not simply adjusting words… but pruning, pruning, pruning… the dead wood so that the alive wood can shine and grow……. hope that helps….

3/ You write well —-, but there is room for more flexibility in the way you approach this task. Instead of the straight literary critical commentary you could try writing a letter to a character, or writing a short short story based on one of the situations from your reading that really appeals. Also look in the direction of adding some visual appeal to your LJ… there is a whole team of LJ helpers eager and willing to help. Contact them through this link:

4/ For the first poem in the unit this is excellent.. .clearly inspired by the mood of the Romantics…. I like its language and imagery. I would like its movement to have more connection with the meaning. You need to read it aloud and adjust the line breaks, even the words in some places. Here is one of your stanzas and underneath it how I would rearrange things slightly.

I saw through eyes that were not mine,
Worlds I’ve never heard of,
Sights I’d never seen,
Places I’ve never dreamed.

You help up a mirror to my face,
I looked long and hard and saw truths that did not frighten me,
I did not cringe,
I was inspired.

Through eyes that were not mine,
I saw
Worlds I’ve never heard
Sights I’ve never seen,
Places never dreamed.

A mirror to my face,
I saw
Truths that didn’t frighten
That didn’t make me cringe
5/ Dickens [not Dickins]…. your LJ has lots of potential ——-, but you are falling behind… week 10 coming up! and I can only see week 6 here??? So try to move ahead and catch up and produce your best work in these last three weeks…. I know your passion for art: it would be good to include more of this in your discussion of literary texts. Also experiment with some creative ways of responding to the literature (through poetry, letters, stories)…..
6/ Good to hear your enthusiasm and your growing understanding… but you MUST take more care with your entries. This is YOUR window on the WWW world… and could be a future portfolio…. I notice in a few lines sooooo many spelling errors…. edit please..
Gogols [Gogol’s] pertersburg [St Petersburg], writting [writing] etc etc……
7/ excellent fresh, challenging ruminations on Tolstoy. LJ is really working for you when it is prompting you to get your immediate thoughts on your reading into focus. Well done. Having said that, my earlier comments apply here too… be a more rigorous editor of your words… Write them out in heat… and then work on them until they shine… and then you will understand your own thoughts with far more clarity. Overall your LJ is terrific!

8/ … you are working diligently, doing good thinking and sharing your research- well done. But you must also take more care with your postings. Remember this is the public face of —- on the WWW for all to see. So edit more carefully. This sentence for example is rather troublesome:
“As we continue to delve into Romantic poetry this week, I become further entrenched into minds of these remarkable poet and their unspoken and eluded to thoughts. ”
This doesn’t make much sense… it needs a good prune too: something like

As we read more deeply into Romantic poetry this week, I become even more interested in what they have to say.

You see – simpler is better… and clearer… don’t fall into the trap of finding words that “sound” good… when they end up not meaning very much at all. And don’t worry you are not the only one to fall into this trap. Some of the greatest philosopher and literary critics do just the same sort of thing. Read George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” (in your Norton- we will be studying it next semester- now is a good time for you to read it…..
9/ Your LJ is very good —-… lots of hard work has gone into each of these entries. That is excellent. However I would encourage you now ( I have said this to a few people who can and do write well) to experiment working with other FORMS of language. Let’s see you write a letter to one of the characters who really interests you. Let’s also see some poetic responses to some of the texts… and lets see your own life flowing into your responses……
All ideas to help you to flex your literary and writing muscles….
10/ that is a fabulous poem ——.. but it needs shaping and reshaping….. here is my attempt with a few of your lines:


I went walking one night along the beach.
My mind in a world of its own.

As I walked along this strip of white colour I looked back
at the imprints of my feet in the sand – and I remembered.

The explosion of sound and mystery intertwined into the depths of the ocean.
Looking out, all I see is the darkness of the night together with the beauty of the waves.
Such a captivating image – so empty yet so full.


Walking along the beach at night
In a world of its own my mind

As I looked back at the strip of gold
At the prints of my feet in the sand

I remembered

The explosion of sound and mystery
Intertwined in the depths of the ocean.
All I see is darkness of night
the beauty of the waves.
So empty
So full.

Now work on the rest of the poem- listening to the words, the phrases, their relationship to the meaning, the music they create….

11/ You have some real poetic skills ——… but they need a little taming, pruning…. Let me give me a version of how you might do this. Here is your stanza and my version:


Pathways filled with faded prints of people trodding, running, standing alone, together.
Ashes scattered along the ground, gravel streets.
Graceful music played by hungry hearts, tattered clothing in empty parks.


Pathways filled with faded prints
People in groups or all alone
standing treading, running,
Ashes scattered, gravel streets.
Graceful music from hungry hearts,
tattered clothes in empty parks.


that is a fabulous response to the passage —–… well done. But having said that I won’t say it can’t be improved. Here is my attempt to make your words shine more brilliantly… maybe you think it works… maybe not…..


She Is colourful in nature and a rare beauty in the world,
Often appearing after the raindrops have fallen over the earth.
I love the warm feeling she creates inside me,
Its like music playing deep within my soul.
When I am standing high on the mountain top I feel like I can almost touch the edge of her arc…


Rare beauty in the world, nature’s bright colours
Shine after raindrops cling to the earth.
A warm feeling inside me,
Like music sounding deep
Standing high on the mountain
I touch the edge of her arc…


Marks will be going into the Grade Book very soon… but there are a couple of students whose LJ URLS fell through the cracks in my floorboards… and I just need another half day to sort those out before I put all the marks up in one big hit…… Ciao

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