Thursday, October 15, 2009

2 for 3 and Catch Up...

Well, I made it 2 for 3 of my classes today...Quiz in Greek, check...Paper for Theology, check...Quiz for Literature, crap. And, not only just a quiz, but a quiz on James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man. A unique novel containing a few patches of rather good writing, and quite a few descriptions of the movement of the soul from a receptivity to reality to a turned-inward, exaltation of the creative powers of man. ...It has some distubring images and leaves one feeling rather heavy. While I was happy to keep that book out of my bag as I went to class today, the 10 question quiz left me feeling just as heavy as I realized how many of the details didn't stick...

Oh well. And now the name of the game is Catch Up. While laying in bed, watching House and taking a 2 and 1/2 hour nap sounded and felt great yesterday, it has left me behind in 3 of my 4 classes, and we'll take the tally again tonight to check for progress on the 4th class.

To continue in the color of grey, I'll leave you with one of the poems we read in 2oth century literature today. It's by Wilfred Owen, a war poet, I think most known for his poem Dulce Et Decorum Est. This poem is called The Last Laugh.

'O Jesus Christ! I'm hit,' he said; and died.
Whether he vainly cursed, or prayed indeed,
The Bullets chirped--In vain! vain! vain!
Machine-guns chuckled,--Tut-tut! Tut-tut!
And the Big Gun guffawed.

Another sighed,--'O Mother, mother! Dad!'
Then smiled, at nothing, childlike, being dead.
And the lofty Sharpnel-cloud
Leisurely gestured,--Fool!
And the falling splinters tittered.

'My Love!' one moaned. Love-languid seemed his mood,
Till, slowly lowered, his whole face kissed the mud.
And the Bayonets' long teeth grinned;
Rabbles of Shells hooted and groaned;
And the Gas hissed.

In this poem, Owen uses the opposite of rhyme: rather than changing the consonants to have rhymes, he uses consonant rhymes and changes the vowels: example, the end of lines 1 and 2: died and indeed. and the end of lines 6 and 7: Dad and dead. Anyway, at this point the movement of poetry went from a glorified sense of war to the dismal war that ended all wars--humanity is dying and technology in warfare is now killing us. The machinery takes on a personal tone as it chuckles, guffaws, gestures, hoots, groans and hisses. Sometimes don't you just feel this way? Everything is kicking you while you're down, even things that don't kick.

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