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.

Poems submitted after Week 3 of Poetry and Being

Poem and commentary contributed by Andrew Fraser “The core of TS Eliot’s poem Little Gidding, is in my view the line; ‘A condition of complete simplicity’ This ties in with his theme of the ’still point’ running through the complete work , Four Quartets of which Little Gidding is part. When I wrote the Indigenous Prophet,  I was imagining all of creation, as…

Poems from the Call-to-Be group on Poetry and Being Week 2 (September 14th 2022)

Andrew Fraser has submitted another 3 poems based on his responses to class this week. I include the notes he sent me that indicate how the poems arose from the poems we studied and the class interactions. Thank you so much Andrew for your sophisticated responses to the poems and your effort of compiling these…

White Board for Week 2 Poetry and Being: Discussions on R.S. Thomas, Mary Oliver and T.S. Eliot

WHITE BOARD: POETRY AND BEING WEEK 2 Responses to general introduction: John– wondering whether poetry, like in music, uses pauses to create and capture meaning? Jonathan…. That’s why poetry breaks into lines. There is athe  mental pause at end of each line which has a similar function. Michael- also the stanza/verse structure of many poems…

Poems from the Call-to-Be group on Poetry and Being Week 1 (September 7th 2022)

Microsoft Word – Barangaroo and Benelong.docx Barangaroo and BenelongBarangaroo sings sad songs from North centreOf the Grassy Grotto amphitheatre.She fronts and laughs at the White Man’s Phallus, To emasculate Terra Nullius.Benelong wakes from the mist to the EastAnd presides at a grand opera feast.He sings of the Cross raised in 08When World’s Youth saw in…

Greetings and farewell from A/Prof Michael Griffith (Literature: Strathfield)

I am retiring after 45 years at ACU. While it certainly sounds a long time, I remember vividly my first days on Castle Hill Campus in 1977 and then the flow of new literature students, through Castle Hill, then Mount Saint Mary and occasionally MacKillop. Every year a wonderful crop of new faces, new enthusiasms!…

Best Final Summative Entries 2022 Shakespeare and the Renaissance…

These are the best of a wonderful bunch of final blogs by students of ENGL210 in 2022. These blogs show the depth of appreciation for Shakespeare and the Renaissance that these students have uncovered for themselves through writing informally and creatively and through interacting with their peers. Some of the best learning in all my…

Best Final Summative Blogs for Nineteenth Century Literature 2022

Hi All, it is with some real joy that I can post up these final blogs from one of my last two classes (the other being The Age of Shakespeare). These summative entries proclaim loud and clear that the experience of blogging as part of literature studies has profoundly enhanced our students’ experience of literature.…

Nineteenth Century Blogs Fourth and Final Topics: Week 10

Please remember that you are permitted to create your own blog topics on subjects related to what we have been studying – if these topics don’t suit! Tolstoy: The Death of Ivan Illych Tolstoy brings us to one of the high points of 19th Century Literature. He explores with such uncompromising depth, issues of profound human…

Blog 3 Topics for Nineteenth Century Literature- due due Friday 29th April: extended to Monday 1st May

Choose any ONE of the following topics: 1/How do the opening paragraphs of Matthew Arnold’s The Study of Poetry present a view that poetry could solve The Condition of England Question? 2/What makes Matthew Arnold’s poem “Dover Beach” such a personal response to the loss of belief in Victorian England? 3/Prepare a digital kit on…

Best Blogs First Round 1 “Show and Tell”- Shakespeare and the Renaissance 2022- ENGL210

Here are some of the amazing blogs and peer reviews produced by mid-semester: This is a feast of responses to the art that was around in Shakespeare’s time, to the impresssions gleaned from the Shakespeare Room at the Mitchell Library and the amazing Shakespeare statue which sits in Shakespeare Place, outside the MItchell, but now…

Show and Tell 19th Century Literature Mid-Semester Blogs… See the best here… THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR AMAZING WORK…

Thanks you Ashleigh for telling us how reading the Romantics has actually changed the way you live your life right now: Best blog on our Art Gallery visit. Thank you Tia for discovering an epiphanic moment in front of Eugene Von Guerard’s Fig Tree: How entering the Art Gallery is like entering the gates of…

Best Blogs out of Australian Literature (ENGL231) 2021

Best Blogs ENGL231 Thank you Anaïs Woods for your beautiful summary of the relevance of the indigenous content  of this unit and of the power of blogging as a way of creating community: https://anaiswoods.wordpress.com/summative-entry/ Thank you Emily for your understanding of the way that literature can provide a means of deepening our understanding of what…

Australian Literature – Second Trawl through BLOGS 2021- Main topic – Students coping with Lockdown…

image courtesy of Francis Saad’s blog (see below) Best blog on the impact of lockdown is Anaïs Woods’ reflections on the appearance of the cherry blossom in spring: https://anaiswoods.wordpress.com/2021/09/01/just-look-up-week-6-blog/ Zahra Salami’s take on the dramas she has had to face during lockdown. Thank you for your open and honest writing Zahra: Sarah Vella’s powerful description…

Literature through Time and Space- Second Blog Trawl…

How students are coping with lockdown- this was a very popular topic and has produced some amazing creative work. Read on! You will also find below some wonderful poems and prose extracts inspired by the likes of Thomas Gray, Samuel Johnson, Aemelia Lanyer and others… Overall a wonderful creative response to the literature we have…

Blog Topics 3 for Australian Literature 2021

We have traversed quite some terrain in the last weeks. Chose one of these topics for your blog this week: 1/ Capture the seasonal quality of the Australia bush (in Spring) in a short poem that utilizes some of the techniques of Charles Harpur’s “A Midsummer Noon  in the Australian Forest”. Maybe begin your poem…

Blog Topics 3 for Literature Through Time and Space

We have been travelling rapidly through both Time and Space. Chose any one of the following topics for your next blog: 1.Try to write a shaped poem like Herbert’s The Altar 2.Chose one of the women represented in the early 17th Century ( Aemilia Lanyer, Mary Wroth, Katherine Philips, Mary Cavendish), look at their biographical…

Best Blogs from 2021 Literature through Time and Space Group- First Run

Here is a cross section of some of the wonderfully creative responses to the literature we have been studying from the earliest Anglo-Saxon period (starting with Beowulf) through to the early 17th Century – so far! We are heading on through the Restoration and the 18th Century, into the 19th and on to our own…

Second Blog Topics for Literature Across Time and Space- Due Friday 3rd September

Lyre Bird ferreting for food in our back garden….. List of Topics for your second blog: Remember where possible to add illustrations to your blog and also make sure that you have enabled comments so that you can get some peer reviews. Write a first person account of what it is like studying Literature Across…

Second Blog 2 Topics for Australian Literature 2021 (Due Friday 3rd September)

List of Topics for your second blog: Write a first person account of what it is like studying Australian literature during a global pandemic. Give details of how the pandemic has impacted your work (positively and negatively) and how it has impacted the people who you live with. You can of course fictionalise your characters…

Australian Literature: First Crop of Outstanding Blogs Spring 2021

Read Loulay’s amazing experience of visiting her grandfather in Lebanon and how this memory was triggered by Lisa Bellear’s “Urbanised Reebocks Loulay- https://loulayslovelyliterature.wordpress.com/2021/08/13/my-grandfathers-imprisonment-by-the-frenchlanguage/ Read Anaïs’ passionate response to the racism of the taxi drive in Lisa Bellear’s taxi poem Anaïs Woods: https://anaiswoods.wordpress.com/2021/08/13/facing-the-denial-and-acts-of-racism-taxi-by-lisa-bellear-week-3-blog/ Read Chloe’s  powerful entry on Romaine’s Genocide  poem with a real understanding of…

Grand Finalé for Nineteenth Century ePortfolios for 2021.

Best ePortfolio Summative Entries ENGL200 2021 Andrew Carloss Read Andrew’s  fabulous reflection and powerfully illustrated piece on how we in this digital age need to take on board the insights of the Romantics and the Russians in order to survive as human beings! Read Emilee McNaught’s reflections on how her experience is mirrored in the…

Best Blogs 19th Century Literature 2021- Round 1!

Excellent Peer Reviews: It will be noted that reviews that suggest improvement are well received and have in fact led to improvement in subsequent blogs. Allow some space for your peer to improve- no one’s work is perfect! An excellent peer review, that combines support, insight and gentle recommendations for improvement= thank you Sarah Saud:…

Blog 3 Nineteenth Century Literature Week 8 2021

Victorianism Thomas Carlyle the great Victorian historian, close friend of Charles Dickens wrote these wonderful words which have been carved in stone in the foyer to the Mitchell ( State Library) in Sydney. For those of us studying Romanticism, Charles Dickens and Victorianism, these words have a special resonance. They remind us (in this forgetful digital age) of how important…

The Late Romantic Period: Blog Topics for your Second Blog (includes NSW Art Gallery Visit)

Take this opportunity to write about something that has really touched your imagination in the last few weeks, or that has ignited your interest in our visit to the Romantic and Victorian Halls of the NSW Art Gallery on April 14th. Remember you are permitted to create your own topic as long as it falls…

The Wonderful World of Blogging in the Twentieth Century Literature Unit for 2020

Congratulations to All of You for Creating such Wonderful Readable Responses to the Wide Range of Questions posted Each Week: Blogging has become a powerful transformative aspect of literary teaching that enables students to not only connect creatively with the energies of the writers that they love, but also to share their own intimate connection…

Short Stories by Alice Walker and Tim Winton

What a wonderful closing session we had to day with Ian, Wei, Ben, Jimmy, Rosanna and myself, discussing the themes and ideas in these two powerful stories by two of the world’s best contemporary story tellers: African American Alice Walker and Australian surfer Tim Winton. Listen in to the lecture here: https://acu.zoom.us/rec/share/3re0teYtVLro_wVO_pEFHXf24Mn41U_6O7wlP-CtIO2KsB3rGoDXNbIZxLOQGspe.j7nC9tPHvl9qtr4I And here is…

Short Stories by Kate Chopin and Henry Lawson!

So today is our second week of work on the genre of Prose Fiction and these two authors exemplify a range of techniques and express a variety of themes. Check out our White-Board Discussion file below and listen in to the video lecture that we all enjoyed on Zoom: https://acu.zoom.us/rec/share/1zX6rvpN10xtJRTm0tD6dvw_edRsGOchid6UNB8CeDCfOs5L2GfKZhrTZV4aOGU.H-lrA_IfSK11zYDR

Lecture on our Art Gallery Visit, linking literary texts to some of the paintings.

This amazing painting by Ford Madox Brown in the mid-19th Century shows the powerful interconnections between literature and art. Here is a depiction of the Father of English Poetry, Geoffrey Chaucer, reading his wonder Canterbury Tales to the King. And there are all the medieval people around him who might have formed part of his…

Concluding Blog Topics for 20th Century Literature 2020

We have started exploring some of the work of those writers who challenge the tyranny of English culture on their own lives, while at the same time demonstrating their passionate commitment to English as an expressive medium. What a paradox! We have found this in M.Nourbese Philip and now in James Joyce. We are going…

Mission Australia/ Clemente/ Art Gallery Visit 8th October 2020: How does understanding the visual arts deepen my understanding of the way literature communicates its experiences, its stories…. ??

Audio Recording of our walk round the gallery: Here are the art works that we explored. Look at these along with the audio above:

Some Fabulous Posts from Students working on Twentieth Century Literature in 2020 the year of Covid 19

These students, many of them bound to their home/bedroom offices since March 2020 are working passionately on their literary understanding. These blogs show a heightened creativity in times of crisis and reveal a wonderful range of experiences triggered by their reading of early twentieth century authors. What comes through very strongly is the extent to…