Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winter 2012

Hello All, and Welcome!

This page will be the planet around which your individual blogs will orbit. . .

Blogs can function in any number of ways: as diaries, as journals, as logs, as storefronts, as galleries.  The blog you create for this class will function as a record of your interaction with literature as it evolves over the winter quarter's ten weeks.

For this first entry, create your literature blog (use the "Create Blog" tag at the top of the page).  Make sure your blog reflects your individuality, and give it a unique title.  Once you've finished, post the URL in the "Comments" section below, and I will make a master list of everyone's blogs so that you can see what your fellow students are thinking . . .

Send me an e-mail if you have any questions!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Final Recommendations

Hello All,

Here are your literature recommendations.  Get some reading done over the break!

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie
"Change" by Mandy Mayhem
Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss
Avenue Q by Robert Lopez
"Be the Best of Whatever You Are" by Douglas Mallach
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
"A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
"It Couldn't Be Done" by Edgar Guest
"A Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe
"The Romantic Age" by Ogden Nash
"A Goal in Life" by David Harris
"Again and Again and Again" by Anne Sexton
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Sold by Patricia McCormick
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Flipped by Wendolyn Van Draanen
"Impossible" by Sharon Lampert
"A Phase in Space" by Paul O'Neil
"Don Juan Tenorio" by Jose Zorrilla
"Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou
"What if Life" Ellen Gilchrist
The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker
Burro Genius by Victor Villasenor
The Sacred Fruit by Gary Hees
"What Is Love" by Duncan Mackeller
The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks
"Because I Could not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson
"The Victor" by C.W. Longenecker
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
"The Passport" by Naomi Shihab
"Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" by Mary E. Frye
Letting Go of Lisa by Lurlene McDaniel
The Quran 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monster Poems

Hello All,

Post your most excellent monster poems here . . .

Monday, October 17, 2011

2nd-Person Prose Poems

When you wake up and look in the mirror, you see . . .

Friday, October 14, 2011

Prose Poetry

Hello All,

Post your most excellent prose poems here!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Research Summary

Hello All,

For this post, name the poem or short story and the title of the scholarly article analyzing the text.

Project Muse or JSTOR are excellent databases with which to start looking, but you may also use EbscoHost or WilsonWeb as well.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Poem for Anthology

Hello All,

For this post, go to the Academy of American Poets website, find one poem you will include in your anthology, and write a quick post explaining why it warrants inclusion in your anthology.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Post for Friday, September 16

Explain one literary device in William Blake's poem "Auguries of Innocence":

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

A dove-house fill'd with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.

A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.

A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipt and arm'd for fight
Does the rising sun affright.

Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from hell a human soul.

The wild deer, wand'ring here and there,
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misus'd breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.

The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever's fright.

He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be belov'd by men.
He who the ox to wrath has mov'd
Shall never be by woman lov'd.

The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.

The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the last judgement draweth nigh.

He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.

The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of envy's foot.

The poison of the honey bee
Is the artist's jealousy.

The prince's robes and beggar's rags
Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.

It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

The babe is more than swaddling bands;
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;

This is caught by females bright,
And return'd to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar,
Are waves that beat on heaven's shore.

The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes revenge in realms of death.
The beggar's rags, fluttering in air,
Does to rags the heavens tear.

The soldier, arm'd with sword and gun,
Palsied strikes the summer's sun.
The poor man's farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric's shore.

One mite wrung from the lab'rer's hands
Shall buy and sell the miser's lands;
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole nation sell and buy.

He who mocks the infant's faith
Shall be mock'd in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.

He who respects the infant's faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.

The questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.

The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour's iron brace.

When gold and gems adorn the plow,
To peaceful arts shall envy bow.
A riddle, or the cricket's cry,
Is to doubt a fit reply.

The emmet's inch and eagle's mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.

If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.

The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street
Shall weave old England's winding-sheet.

The winner's shout, the loser's curse,
Dance before dead England's hearse.

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born,
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.

Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.

We are led to believe a lie
When we see not thro' the eye,
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.

God appears, and God is light,
To those poor souls who dwell in night;
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Hello all,

For this first post, briefly introduce yourself (major, career plans, dog's name, and so on) and name your favorite work of literature.  If you don't have a favorite work, describe the quality (or qualities) you like your literature to possess.

I'll get you started . . . My name is Matthew Woodman, and I've been teaching at CSUB for eleven years.  For fun, I like photography and painting, and when I'm not entertaining my two-year-old son, I'm trying to teach myself how to play the guitar (so far, it's not going well).  I have many favorite works of literature, but if I were to recommend one piece, it would be Orhan Pamuk's The New Life.  It's a great novel about traveling and finding/losing oneself.  While I'm at it, I'd also recommend Pablo Neruda's collection of poetry titled The Book of Questions; here's one such question: "Where is the child I was, / still inside me or gone?"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Literary Recommendations

Hello All,

Here are your Winter 2011 literary recommendations:

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
"How the Camel Got Its Hump" by Rudyard Kipling
When You're Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
"Hope Is a Strange Invention" by Emily Dickinson
"My Dreams, My Works Must Wait Til After Hell" by Gwendolyn Brooks
"I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" by Harlan Ellison
"When a Woman Loves a Man" by David Lehman
"Footprints" by Caroline Carty
Electricidad by Luis Alfaro
"The Fifth Child" by Doris Lessing
Burro Genius by Victor Villasenor
Technicolor Pulp by Arty Nelson
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
"My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke
"A Haunted Island" by Algernon Blackwood
"Reluctance" by Robert Frost
"The Price" by Neil Gaiman
"It Couldn't Be Done" by Edgar Guest
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
"Dreams" by Langston Hughes
"A Dark Brown Dog" by Steven Cain
"Still Here" by Langston Hughes
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
All Quiet on the Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
"Calvary" by Edwin Arlington Robinson
"The Devoted Friend" by Oscar Wilde
"My Mistress's Eyes Are Nothing like the Sun" by Shakespeare
Beloved by Toni Morrison
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
"My Name Is Espada" by Martin Espada
"A Woman Speaks" by Audrey Lorde
Twilight by Stephanie Meyers
Time You Let Me In by Naomi Shihab Nye
"No Woman, No Cry" by Bob Marley
The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa
Toward a Kinship of Faith by the Dalai Lama
"What Do Women Want" by Kim Addonizio

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Post for March 9

Hello All,

Some of you have inquired as to websites that feature short stories.

Here are some sites of literary journals that have current writing you might want to peruse:

Prairie Schooner
The Paris Review
Virginia Quarterly Review
Tin House

Here are some sites that have more of the "classic" short stories:

Short Story Archive
Classic Short Stories
Short Stories at Classic Reader
Short Stories of American Literature

Instead of class on Wednesday, find one short story you will include in your anthology, and post a brief explanation as to why you will include it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Creative Non-fiction

Hello All,

Post a short work (one to two paragraphs) of literary non-fiction. This could be a brief memoir, profile, or meditation, but you should use at least one literary device (metaphor, simile, or so on), experiment with form, and court ambiguity.

Good luck, and have fun!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Post for Feb 2

Hello All,

Post the name of the article you will be discussing for your Research Summary assignment. Remember that this is a two-page summary and response (around 1 1/2 pages of summary and 1/2 page of response).

You can find these articles either through a scholarly database or through the library's collection.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Post for Jan 31

Hello All,

For this post, choose a song whose lyrics you would classify as poetry, and describe/list the literary devices the songs uses.

For example, one song that I like and that I feel can be classified as poetry is Leonard Cohen's "Anthem." I would classify it as poetry because it uses parallelism and antithesis and a multitude of symbols and metaphors, as in this stanza:

The holy dove
she will be caught again,
bought and sold
and bought again:
the dove is never free.

In addition to these literary devices, I like the song's theme, the idea that our imperfections are what give our lives meaning; it's a paradox: our weakness is our strength.

Post for Jan 28

Hello All,

For this blog, you are going to write one entry for the anthology that is due on the day of the final.

Go to the Academy of American Poets website, and find one poem that you like. Then write a paragraph (4-8 sentences) explaining why you find that poem meaningful: you could discuss its theme, its use of literary devices, or how it relates to something you've experienced. Be sure to give your name in the post as well as the name of the poet and the title of the poem.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Post for the weekend of 1/15-1/17

Hello All,

For this post, read William Blake's "Auguries of Innocence" and then pose a question as if you were writing a list of questions for students to answer regarding this poem. The question could concern a literary device, an image, a turn of phrase, or a theme/idea/meaning.

Again, just pose one question, but make sure that your question is not the same as someone else's (read the previous questions your fellow students have posted, unless you're the first, in which case, good work!).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Post for Monday, Jan 10

Hello All,

As we'll discuss in class on Monday, Anne Sexton uses Transformations to re-tell (or revise) 17 tales from the Brothers Grimm.

For Monday's post, read one of the Grimm Brothers' tales and briefly describe one change Sexton has made in her version of the tale.

Here's a link to the Grimm Brothers' Household Tales, and here's a link to Professor D.L. Ashliman's work on fairy tales and the Grimm Brothers.

If you're curious about Anne Sexton, here's a link to her biography and to some of her other poems.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Post for Friday, Jan. 7

Hello all, and welcome to the course blog!

For this first post, read the Academy of American Poets webpage about winter poems, and choose one poem at the bottom of the page that you find interesting or enjoyable.

In your post, give a brief explanation as to why you like that poem and what you think it says about the human condition; be sure to give your name and the name of the poem/poet.