Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Reading Period 39: June 11-17: Modern Poetry

READING:

In your textbook, read biographical notes and poems from these authors:
W.H. Auden (p 964-970)
Stephen Spender (p 970-973)
Dylan Thomas (p 975-981)

ASSIGNMENTS:

Art Connection:

Read Auden's "Musee des Beaux Arts", and take a look at Brueghel's "Icarus" in your textbook or in a larger form at this link. Think about the line "But for him it was not an important failure." Read William Carlos William's poem about the same painting, "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus." Consider how regular life goes on around tragic or important events. Now draw or paint your own "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" set in a contemporary scene. What would people in your life be engaged in when they failed to notice Icarus falling out of the sky?

History Connection:

Read Auden's "Spain 1937." The Spanish Civil War started in 1936, and was a military uprising against the government. Write a short essay giving some background on this conflict, to help us understand Auden's poem. Who was the leader of the rebels? Were they successful? Which European countries supported which sides? What was the outcome of the war?

Writing Connection:

Read Dylan Thomas' poem "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night." The poem is written in the form of a villanelle. Here's another example: Sylvia Plath's "Mad Girl's Love Song." In Thomas' poem, the repetition gives emphasis. In Plath's, it gives the impression of obsession. Here's another, by Auden: "If I Could Tell You." Write your own villanelle. The form is here, where A1 is the first repeated refrain, A2 is the second repeated refrain, a is a line ending with the first rhyme, and b is a line ending with the second rhyme:

Dylan Thomas
A1
b
A2

a
b
A1

a
b
A2

a
b
A1

a
b
A2

a
b
A1
A2

QUIZ:

1. Why did Auden move to America?
2. How did Auden feel about Christianity later in his life?
3. Which side did Auden take in the Spanish Civil War?
4. In the poem, "Spain 1937," which seems most attractive: yesterday, tomorrow, or today?
5. What three paintings are referenced in "Musee des Beaux Arts"?
6. What was the goal of Stephen Spender's poetry, according to the biographical note?
7. Would you call the poem "What I Expected" optimistic or pessimistic about modern times?
8. In what part of England did Dylan Thomas mostly live?
9. What is the "force" that Dylan Thomas references in "The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower"?
10. "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" is an example of what poetic form?

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