Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cheryl M. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Cheryl M. reading D.H. Lawrence's "The Song of a Man Who Has Come Through"

this is an audio post - click to play

James S. reading D.H. Lawrence's "The Song of a Man Who Has Come Through"

this is an audio post - click to play

James S. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Assignment for ENG 218: Preparing for your conference

[I emailed this to you all last week, but some of you can't open Word documents from home. Here it is as follows.]

Assignment for ENG 218: Preparing for your conference


"You must write for yourself, above all. That is [your] only hope of creating something beautiful."--Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary

There will be no class this coming Thursday, February 16. Instead, we will have individual conferences. These are the items you need to have on hand and the tasks you must prepare for your conference:


1. A printed copy of your Praise Poem.
If you look at our Class Blog, you will see that I am posting more background information and examples of Praise Poems and its connection to the oral traditions of poetry on up to country singers, rappers, and hip-hop culture.

Part of the Praise Poem tradition is the idea of the manifesto; you'll find some materials on that as well. I will not be quizzing you on these materials; however, I will be asking you questions about your process of writing your Praise Poem and how you think it relates to the idea of oral traditions as it relates to the oral interpretation of literature.


2. Your audioblog entry of your Praise Poem performance, which must be on the Course Blog by 11pm this Sunday, February 12.

3. Two more audioblog performances of two more poems. Yes, I didn't mention this in class. So now you know how important it is to read your email! You must choose from four poems I've placed in the Week 5 folder. I will be asking you about these performances in our conference as well. Please do this by 10pm the evening before your scheduled conference.

4. You will also be reading, from memory, a poem you have written. This can be your Praise Poem or another poem. Either way, have a printed copy of it for me. I will be documenting these performances as well, either by sound recording or videotape.

We will meet in my office in Mandelbaum Hall, 441 Western Avenue, 1st Floor. A missed conference counts as a missed class (i.e., one absence), and cannot be made up.

Laura P. reads Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

this is an audio post - click to play

Laura P. reading D.H. Lawrence's "The Song of a Man Who Has Come Through"

this is an audio post - click to play

Kristen T. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Kristen T. reads Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

this is an audio post - click to play

Crystal R. reading D.H. Lawrence's "The Song of a Man Who Has Come Through"

this is an audio post - click to play

Crystal R. reading Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Amber R. reads Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

this is an audio post - click to play

Stephanie A. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Stephanie A. reading D.H. Lawrence's "The Song of a Man Who Has Come Through"

this is an audio post - click to play

Amber R. reading D.H. Lawrence's "The Song of a Man Who Has Come Through"

this is an audio post - click to play

Marina V. reads Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

this is an audio post - click to play

Marina V. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Amy W. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Amy W. reads Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

this is an audio post - click to play

Canaan B. reads D.H. Lawrence's "The Song of a Man Who Has Come Through"

this is an audio post - click to play

Canaan B. reads Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

this is an audio post - click to play

Patty T. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Patty T. reads Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

this is an audio post - click to play

Rita B. reads D.H. Lawrence's "The Song of a Man Who Has Come Through"

this is an audio post - click to play

Rita B. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Jessica S. reads Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

this is an audio post - click to play

Jessica S. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Kristyn H. reads Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

this is an audio post - click to play

Kristyn H. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Jessica S. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love" (first take)

this is an audio post - click to play

Erica L. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Erica L. reads Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

this is an audio post - click to play

Nicole G. reads Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

this is an audio post - click to play

Nicole G. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Merissa S. reads Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

this is an audio post - click to play

Merissa S. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Melissa S. reads Sharon Olds' "Sex Without Love"

this is an audio post - click to play

Melissa S. reads Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

this is an audio post - click to play

Manifesto and Praise Songs: Some recordings for you to listen to.


Malian kora player and Grammy nominee Mamadou Diabate
We are going to be writing some poems in class today to get an idea of where poems come from; namely, the oral tradition.

We will begin with griots. For thousands of years, the job of the African griot has been to keep the tradition and history of their tribe or family alive through poetry. The griot's works--called toasts, boasts, and praise songs--were never written down. The griot recites song-poems to an audience, and in turn passes them down to others in the griot's family. The death of the griot, music producer Quincy Jones once wrote, is like a "library full of stories burning down."

There's direct connections between this oral storytelling to rap and hip-hop culture. Snapping, the art of verbal put-downs, and tall tales all fed into and nourish the dawn of rap and hip hop culture.

In part because rap is such a part of our popular culture, I think it's fruitful we look at some of these rap songs within this frameword of oral tradition, poetry in performance, and the griot-poet storyteller.


What follows are rap songs that fit directly under this idea of a praise song, of celebrating one's self or others; of, in effect, "representing" a group of people.

The lyrics to these songs are taken from a book called Rap: The Lyrics. You can find them in a PDF file here.

Praise Songs
The Beastie Boys, "Rhymin' and Stealin'" song*
De La Soul, "Me Myself & I" song
Eric B. & Rakim, "Follow The Leader" song
LL Cool J, "Rock The Bells" song
Vanilla Ice, "Ice Ice Baby" song

Manifestoes
Kurtis Blow, "The Breaks" song
NWA, "F--- Tha Police" song*
Public Enemy, "Fight The Power" song*
Salt-n-Pepa, "I'll Take Your Man" song
Stetsasonic, "Talkin' All That Jazz" song
*some offensive language

Praise Song resources
"Keepers of History," an article about griots and griot scholar Tom Hale
Link to "Senegalese music in mp3"
A great article on Doudou N'Diaye Rose with some great information on oral traditions

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