English 112 BBoard
Bulletin Board for English 112, Section 2 Spring 1998
It's the last Virtual Friday of the semester.
Up for discussion today are two poems, one by Robert Frost, whose work we
have been looking at, and one by John Keats.
You know the rules of engagement by now:
you are only "present" to the extent that you contribute to the
discussion, and those
who contribute more, and more thoughtful comments, will get higher marks
for participation. Make specific reference to the parts of the work
that support your observations.
Make this a dry run for next Friday's In-class
Essay: for at least some of your comments, do the kind of thoughtful
analysis that you want to have show up in your paper.
The Frost poem is not in your book. It is
"The Onset," and you can find it
If you wish to refer to them, the
other Frost poems are on Lit 931-36.
The Keats poem to read is "La
Belle Dame sans Merci," which you can find here
and on pp. 955-57 of the Literature anthology.
If you're not familiar with the traditions of the faery folk, glance at
this folk song about
the "little land" (See also, perhaps, this tale of Oisin [usheen]
and Niamh [nee-yav] in the Land of Youth). You may want to look at
about the poem by the Air Academy High School English Department.
Here are some starter questions:
Click here to go to the posting-place.
- For both poems, run through the checklist of elements that we have
studied for the last five weeks and choose what you think might be
relevant to this discussion. Those items include
- word choice
- genre (lyric, narrative, dramatic)
- figures of speech (simile, metaphor, symbol)
- pattern & repetition
- rhyme scheme and form
- Frost often talks about snow and whiteness, as
he does in "The Onset."
Is it useful to think about some of his other poems in this context?
(Think of the comments made on that videotape.)
- In his poetry, John Keats often addresses an abstraction like Beauty,
Sleep, or Death. He seems to be concerned not just about ordinary human
relationships, but how such experiences as love signify something
larger--in one of his letters, he exclaims, "O for a life of Sensation
rather than of Thought!" Very roughly, I suppose he might draw parallels
with a conversion
experience. Suppose for the moment that "La Belle Dame" is more
than just a fairy tale; what do you
think this hauntingly
beautiful, merciless lady might stand for? (Look at the imagery.) (Here
are a couple of famous illustrations of this poem,
one by John
Waterhouse [here's a larger,
better version of the Waterhouse,
which takes a lot longer to load] and one by Frank Dicksee.)
back to the UTM English
page; to Everett's English
page; to The English 112