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Three Things - She doesn't know what I do...
...but she knows who I am.
aimeesworld
aimeesworld
Three Things
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musicforwolves From: musicforwolves Date: December 30th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Wallace Stevens - 'The World as Meditation' might be useful.
On the more definite side, with a dash of art history, William Carlos Williams - 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus'.
Yeats has 'Leda and the Swan', and Keats 'Hymn to Apollo'.

If I really wanted to get 14-year-olds interested in poetry, though, I'd pick something a bit dark, a bit grisly - something by Neil Gaiman. "The White Road' is quite good, but maybe a bit too explicit for a class, so I'd introduce them to the world with his poem 'Instructions'. In particular, close attention to:

'The ferryman will take you.
(The answer to his question is this:
If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free to leave the boat.
Only tell him this from a safe distance.)'
labellementeuse From: labellementeuse Date: December 30th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
On the more definite side, with a dash of art history, William Carlos Williams - 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus'.

And to go with it the WH Auden version of the same painting, Musee des Beaux Arts:

Musee des Beaux Arts

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

-- WH Auden

On the topic of mythology and Gaiman, "The Day the Saucers Came" is quite good for modern myth (as opposed to classical). There's also, for that NZ thing, Glenn Colquhoun's book How We Fell, which is packed with various references. There's one I like particularly with some biblical references. If you're willing to go for the Bible as a mythology, there would be a hell of a lot. (There's the Māori Jesus poem by Baxter, for example.)

Just for the record, I would have loved an English curriculum based around mythology.
musicforwolves From: musicforwolves Date: December 30th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I should've thought of Colquhoun. I guess you're referring to 'That place inside me where she was'?
labellementeuse From: labellementeuse Date: December 31st, 2010 12:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually no, it was another one, but I haven't got it on me - I'll hunt it up and post it tonight.

Aimee, random thoughts on fiction: Orfe by Cynthia Voigt (Orpheus and Eurydice) and Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block (Cupid & Psyche, obvs.) I assume you already have books in mind but, IDK, extra reading list? I read Orfe when I was around 14.
aimeesworld From: aimeesworld Date: December 31st, 2010 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm actually super keen to teach Guardian of the Dead - but extended text very much depends on what's available to me so I'm focusing on poetry until I can roam the resource room and work out texts.

Also, Midsummer Night's Dream because - fairies! And comic misunderstanding and shit.

(But I am also seriously contemplating Twelfth Night in a year 11 course based around identity so I think I just really want to teach Shakespeare in exciting ways)
musicforwolves From: musicforwolves Date: December 31st, 2010 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I think the main reason I'd become a teacher is to teach Shakespeare in exciting ways.
aimeesworld From: aimeesworld Date: December 31st, 2010 02:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Auden - but my year 12s struggled with 'Funeral Blues', so I doubt year 10s will get 'Musee des Beaux Artes'.

Māori Jesus is one of my favourite Baxters and I have an awesome recording of it so it is definitely a potential.

I would have loved it too. I think we'll see how it goes. I am keen to start it off with what mythology means, what they know and personal mythologies - so autobiographical creative writing, in a myths and legends style. And then look at New Zealand mythology, before broadening the perspective.

But we'll see. I have to cover grammar and formal writing and response to text and reading for meaning and speeches and all sorts of stuff in amongst this.
aimeesworld From: aimeesworld Date: December 31st, 2010 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I have mixed ability classes. Yeats and Keats, probably not the way to pull them in.
I want them to love poetry - in my (limited) experience, they tend to enjoy humour and straightforward language and structures at that age.

I am interested in 'Instructions', which I have not yet read. I also have a lot of Carol Ann Duffy, which I can use.

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