Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What happened in the last class

Arka Mukhopadhyay started the first session by reading out "In my craft or sullen art" by Dylan Thomas.
His interesting session which worked as an intro to performance poetry saw him reading/performing two of his poems as pieces for performance:
"Not reading from a chair" and "The middle class Bengali intellectual makes love to his wife."
The students got a chance to listen to Auden reading "On the circuit" as an example of the power of the spoken word and loved it.
They also watched Ginsberg read Cigarette Rag and had a bit of Howl read out to them.
Benjamin Zephaniah's "I'm listening to the wrong radio station" and Kelly Tsai's performance poems were also new learning experiences for them.
In the afternoon session after serious discussion the audio visual presentation of one poem each by the students was postponed for the time being. However the discussion was fruitful and led to the conclusion that something good should be produced and it would have to include at least two elements out of image/s, sound/s, voice/s, text and music.
In the course of this discussion David Antin and hypertext poetry was mentioned and introduced. Random, not so fine examples of hypertext poetry were shown.
The students' poems were looked at after this and the conclusion was reached that each of them had now come to a basic and a real understanding of what a good short poem and a good lyric is. They were also beginning to grasp what the difference was between the poetic and poetry and what was meant by the lyrical and the notion of influence.
This was shown in their application and practice - in their attempts to master the art of poetry.
The students looked at Rimbaud's and Verlaine's poems so that the film Total Eclipse, viewed last class, could make more sense to them. They read "The Sleeper in the Valley" and two of Verlaine's poems. The sources of power poetry draws on includes experience, suffering and deviance, they were told in this connection.
They also looked at the technique of defamiliarization and one kind of foregrounding.
As an example of the former they read and enjoyed Craig Raine's "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home." As an example of the latter, dealing with the matter of graphological foregrounding, they read an amusing poem laden with sexual innuendo by e.e. cummings.
They also looked very briefly at Harold Bloom's revisionary ratios.
The class ended with the usual assignment of having to write and submit a poem or lyric by Wednesday midnight.


Effort/timeliness Imagery Music Figures of Speech Detailing Editing

Roshan 5, 5, 5, 4, 3, 4 --- 26/30 A

Samia 5, 3, 4, 3, 4, 5 --- 24/30 A-

Shyamli 5, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3 --- 24/30 A-

Pratap 5, 2, 3, 3, 5, 4 --- 22/30 A-

Aditi 5, 3, 4, 3, 4, 3 --- 22/30 A-

Prerna 4, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4 --- 21/30 B+

Roanna 5, 2, 3, 2, 4, 5 --- 21/30 B+

Vaibhav 5, 2, 4, 3, 4, 3 --- 21/30 B+

Aashim 5, 4, 4, 3, 2, 2 --- 20/30 B+

Ashwin 3, 3, 3, 2, 4, 5 --- 20/30 B+

Detailing = such things as using line breaks, spacing, graphology, punctuation, line lengths, syllabic count, capitalization etc well.

Editing = re- reading, editing, re-writing to get that perfect final draft.

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