Author: michaelgriffith1

I am a university teacher in Sydney Australia. I am passionate about using blogging and internet technologies to stimulate creative responses in my students towards the literature they are studying.

Hamlet Lecture Week 4

Hello All, well this is the beginning of our totally on-line teaching for Shakespeare. And we begin with a short video (myself lecturing you from home) and from there we will turn to audio focussing more closely on the key sections of the play. Having worked through all these pieces, keep your ears and eyes…

ENGL104 Week 2: Introductions and Bell Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the Opera House!

Today we began with introductions from everyone in the class. So great to meet you all: Stephen, Patricia, Mei(Wei?), Glen, Ken, Alan, Brendan, Branko, Benjamin, Gretta, Ian, David, Michael, Jimmy and Bert! From there we went into a brief introduction to the difference between the three main genres of literature: drama, poetry and prose. From…

Week 3 Shakespeare Audio

This week the lecture moved from a consideration of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 146 and its relevance to Hamlet through to a survey of how the language of drama is a very specific literary genre and how, in the case of Shakespeare, it embraces ALL the genres. Enjoy! First Blog Topic- Questions: 1/Post a review of your…

Updated my Literature and Life Site.

Hoping you all enjoy this update of my WordPress Web/Blog site. I have now created separate pages for all the various activities in which I am engaged, from University Teaching, through to Extra-Mural (off campus teaching), through to leading contemplative pilgrimages, through to enjoying the wilderness around Sydney. Enjoy all the new content and links…

Top of the Class ePortfolios in The Visionary Imagination ENGL329

A Section of Brett Whiteley’s Alchemy on display at the Brett Whiteley Studio, Surry Hills Here are the top 9 ePortfolios presented for marking in Visionary Imagination ENGL329- and again indeed it was very hard to pick between them, although the top 2 in the list scored the maximum marks possible. All are outstanding examples…

Top of the Class ePortfolios in American Literature

Here are the top 12 ePortfolios presented for marking in American Literature ENGL204- and indeed it was very hard to pick between them. All are outstanding examples of the art of blogging and of creating an effective ePortfolio in WordPress. More importantly they all demonstate a passionate interest in the way that literature can shape…

Poetry Workshop 24/11/2019

Hello All, this is where you will find all the materials used in the Workshop held on 24/11/2019. Enjoy! Music and Poetry- in Francis Webb Poems workshopped: Dennis General comments on poems: Commentson9poems Audio Recordings of Key Sessions: Invitation to Pilgrimage June 30- July 13, 2020 Further Details and for Expression of Interest contact: Reho…

Cream of the Crop for Australian Literature 2019!

Thank you all for some fabulous blogging this semester. It has been a real feast to trawl through your many rich and creative insights into the literature of Australia. So many of you were able to express yourselves freely and openly, giving voice to what concerned you the most and finding ways of expressing your…

Little Gidding

Hello All, this is the first in a series of four sessions held at the Aquinas Academy in Sydney on T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets.  This is where you will find an audio recording of the event and the visual images that go with that event. This is also where I will post any useful links to…

William Blake- Grand Finale

Today was the day that our illustrious group of students put their bodies, hearts and souls into dramatizing aspects of William Blake’s life and work. It was a wonderful display of how Blake’s ideas and life stories have touched the hearts of these young students. Their environmentalism, their concern for social justice and their care…

Robert Frost and Robert Lowell 2019

Two Roberts- Frost and Lowell This week we are exploring the contrasting worlds of Robert Frost and Robert Lowell, two iconic poets of North America who have done so much to “Sing America” in the Twentieth Century. Robert Frost, inheritor of the transcendentalists and of the energy of Walt Whitman, powerfully expresses his deep love for the American landscape…

The Beats & Postmodernism

I hope you have enjoyed exploring, interrogating this group of poets and artists. Perhaps top of the list, in my estimation, comes Patti Smith who gigantically carries forward the subversive, passionate impulse of Ginsberg, Kerouac, O’Hara and Ashberry. Here she is singing her heart out, challenging all the heartless stereotypes that infect contemporary America: https://youtu.be/LNnC8hYOmlw Blog…

Sacred Silence in Literature and the Arts

ACU students are welcome to attend this event for free on presentation of their student ID on the day. Come and be enlightened as never before and enjoy the company and the good food.  You can find the full program details right here: Sacred Literature Conference Program Final

American Modernism and Manifestos

Please find the audio lecture followed by the slides used and then the audio tutorial followed by the whiteboard image discussed. Modernism American 2019 Hi All, today we had a saunter through the highways and byways of American Modernism, beginning with William Carlos Williams and ending with Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin’s parody of Adolf Hitler in The…

William Faulkner – Week 8- As I Lay Dying

This week Jess ventured into the amazing territory of William Faulkner’s re-creation of the world from the inside. He takes us right into the centre of the consciousness of each of his characters Addie Bundren, Anse Bundren and their children (Cash, Darl, Dewey Dell, Vardaman and Jewel [fathered by Whitfield]. Each character has their own way…

Spring has Sprung 2019

A Spring morning walk around Cowan brought hundreds of new colours to life: red waratahs, purple comespermum (pink matcheads), purple boronias (both the ledifolia and the pinnata, yellow hakea salicafolio, bright blue dampiera, brilliant yellow ispogon and the powerfully pink eriostomon Australiensis. Add to this the amazing sight of rare night-jar spotted just before dawn…

Visionary Patrick White 2019: Riders in the Chariot

Patrick White: Riders in the Chariot What a wonderful world Patrick White takes us into in this remaking of the Australian social landscape in line with his own prophetic ambition to re-sacralize a spiritually desolate land. As he says in his essay “The Prodigal Son”: Because the void I had to fill was so immense, I…

William Blake’s Job Series juxtaposed against Brett Whiteley’s “Alchemy”

  What an amazing morning and early afternoon was had by us all today, starting in the Print Room in the NSW Art Gallery where we saw the actual, original prints from William Blake’s The Book of Job series. In this transformation Blake tells Job’s story in order to show how religion needs to move…

Patrick White 2019

Patrick White- Australia’s only Literature Nobel Laureate. “In all directions stretched the Great Australia Emptiness, in which the mind is the least of possessions, in which the rich man is the important man… in which beautiful youths and girls stare at life through blind blue eyes… the buttocks of cars grow hourly glassier, food means cake…

African American Literature- Since The Civil War

Images from Today’s Lecture:  African American Writing Recordings from today’s classes: Today we strode through a host of key writers, men and women, who were powerfully proclaiming the need for free expression and total acceptance as humans. Underpinned by Martin Luther King Jr, all these writers expressed passionately their sense of injustice and their need for healing.…

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

I have also: The Bible of Hell: which the world shall have whether they will or no. For Blake The Marriage of Heaven and Hell occurs when the sanctimonious, commandment-loving Angel finally gives up his/her smug sense of superiority and happily embraces the flames of fire and joins the Devil’s party, a party which believes in the presence…

William Blake Songs of Innocence and Experience- Catch-Up-Week

Please find here the images and the wonderful audio discussions that wove around our exploration of some of Blake’s key songs, especially “London”, “The Divine Image” and “The Human Abstract”. Blog topics arising for this week include the following: CREATIVE: Use the first line of any of Blake’s poems and write your own poem, based…

Later Colonial Australian Literature – around the 1890s!

Tom Roberts Bailed Up: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/833/ Hi All, Building on last week’s excursion into the literature of the first half of the 19th Century in Australia, here is a quick survey of some of the material I will be exploring with you this week: Colonial Literature 1890s 2019 This is the period when the Australian idiom in both…

William Blake The Songs of Innocence- 2 – With The Doors and Patti Smith…

Today we launched into The Doors‘ “Break on Through” and spoke about how this was a Blakean 20thC explosion manifesting musically Blake’s core idea of “cleansing the doors of perception” (from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell). We then plunged right on into Patti Smith’s wonderful “My Blakean Year” in which she sings about her heartfelt sense…

Early Colonial Australian Literature (2019)

Hi All, this week we begin our exploration of Nineteenth Century Literature in Colonial Australia. It begins with the voices of convicts, aboriginals, the first “native” born colonial poets (such as Charles Harpur and Henry Kendall) and some of the first women writers in the colony: Louisa Anne Meredith and Catherine Helen Spence. Browse through…

William Blake The Songs of Innocence and Experience 1

HI All, We had a fabulous morning (despite the sound system glitches) on William Blake’s “Contrary States” and then the way this idea is embedded and dramatized in The Songs of Innocence and Experience.  We talked about the ways in which these ideas have been taken up by Allen Ginsberg, by the Rock Group The Doors…

William Blake Visionary Imagination 1

Hi All, this is where I will be posting up a great deal about William Blake and Visionary Imagination… stay tuned: William Blake’s Death Mask: what a powerful face! In today’s lecture we looked at what is meant by “Visionary” imagination, with a special reference to Allen Ginsberg’s epiphany in reading the poem “Ah! Sunflower”. …

American Literature 2019 Session 1

  Today we romped through an historical and cultural survey of American Literature, beginning with the early 17th Century and ending up with Tupak today! We also had a wonderful tutorial exploring Thoreau’s decision to live “deliberately” and not to die feeling that he hadn’t really lived. This paragraph provoked some powerful deep self-questioning by…