Week 5: Writing & Revolution

Writers/ Artists have, since Plato’s time, been seen as dangerous to the stability of the state. Why? Because they dare to question! They dare to expose! As Percy Shelley said early in the 19th Century “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators” – by which he might have meant that they saw truths, spoke them, but were not heard or listened to.
This week (in Aust. Lit.) we have listened – in “Nigger’s Leap: New England”- to Judith Wright painfully exposing her own sense of shame at the part her race has played in destroying the indigenous inhabitants of this country. In 20th Century Lit. we listened to Katherine Mansfield who described the pain of the two daughters of the “Late Colonel” whose freedom had been so curtailed during their life that they were painfully unable to express their freedom once their father had died.
In Visionary Imagination we heard William Blake, in his Marriage of Heaven and Hell, celebrating a radical Jesus, the law-breaker who dared to spurn the laws of the ten commandments in his quest for real justice.
In all 3 authors – spread across two centuries- the message has an underlying common aim, namely to challenge and expose aspects of our world that are repressive and that deny authentic life.

ENGL102- chose one of the following three topics:

Judith Wright, Oodgeroo Noonucall, Francis Webb

Use a line from any of the poets looked at this week as the starting point for a poem of protest about some aspect of the world in which you live.

Compile a mini digital reference kit for any one of the authors studied. Find a youtube video, a strong web site and maybe a really insightful introduction to their work.

Take one poem by any of the authors we have studied and say what appealed to you most about this particular poem.

ENGL202- chose one of the following three topics:

Write a short paragraph in the style of Mansfield recording a conversation between two members of your family or two friends. See if you can capture the way in which she evokes such a deep subtext between the words.

Compile a mini digital reference kit for Katherine Mansfield. Find a youtube video, a strong web site and maybe a really insightful introduction to their work.

Write a short review of the Mansfield story that appealed to you most. It does not need to be one that we looked at in lectures or tutorials.

ENGL329- chose one of the following four topics:

In your own words try to explain briefly why you think Jesus, the Imagination and Satan (the devil) are all closely linked in Blake’s thinking.

Go to http://www.blakearchive.org/blake/ scroll through the illuminated plates for the Marriage of Heaven and Hell and chose the one visual image that strikes you as being visually most powerful. Study the image and then write a short paragraph on why you think this image suits this part of the poem.

Take one of the proverbs of Hell and use this as a starting point for your own ten point series of hellish proverbs that point out some of the injustices in the world around you today.

Give an account of what you think is the strong link between “The Voice of the Bard” and the last plate of Blake’s The Book of Job engravings.

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