This week past we have completed Henry IV parts 1 & 2 in “Shakespeare”, explored Tolstoy in the” 19th Century “and glanced at a number of key contemporary poets in “Introduction to Literature”: Langston Hughes, Wislawa Symborska, Wole Soyinka and Martin Espada.
First year blogs have all been marked, second and third year essay marks are on their way (blogs will have to wait until essays are done!).
And this coming week is an on-line week for first and second years, so check for announcements about starting times. First years begin with a live chat discussion on Ralph Emerson and Joy Harjo at 10am tomorrow (find this in LEO).
Emerson is such a powerful voice for anyone who is trying to find their creative voice or for anyone trying to understand one of the most important functions of literature in our and any times. Here is Emerson speaking to himself of the miraculous power of paying attention to the ordinary things around us in everyday life:
“… A crow’s voice filled all the miles of air with sound. A bird’s voice, even a piping frog, enlivens a solitude and makes the world enough for us. At night I went out into the dark and saw a glimmering star and heard a frog, and Nature seemed to say, Well do not these suffice? Here is a new scene, a new experience. Ponder it, Emerson, and not lke the foolish world, hanker after thunders and multitudes and vast landscapes, the sea or Niagara. “(April 26, 1838)
How is it that something written in 1838 can still speak to us today with such directness and clarity?
And here is one of his most quoted pieces of advice relevant to all caught up in the fret and fever of modern life:
“It is very easy in the world to live by the opinion of the world. It is very easy in solitude to be self-centred. But the finished man [or woman] is he/she who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
Enjoy your on-line week!
And don’t miss this amazing video on Joy Harjo, poet and musician: