Tag Archives: Sylvia Plath

Is Ms. Plath afraid of

29 Jan

something?

Maybe her own work?

Love?

Poetry?

Rejection? Acceptance? Maybe they’re the same thing?

27 Dec

100 – Meeting 3, 8/29/16

29 Aug

Just a note, keep everything in one place.  This is something I’m learning I have to get really into and have my head utterly wrapped around.  You don’t want to be scattered, and you don’t want to be stressed— consolidate, simplify, go forward.

Plath… troubled or truthful?  That was my focus in this first reading.  AND, her language.  The way she gives us a picture of what’s around her, what it says to her, what the repeated messages and statements, guiding ideas (or “themes” if you wish) were in these initiating chapters.

If we’re talking identity, where do you see her having some identity, whether happy or sad, optimistic or pessimistic?  Or as I always say: ‘yay-saying’ or ‘nay-saying’.

And writing, reading, what we want.. how to be better at both.

-Active reading… don’t rush.  Speed-reading is STUPID

-Writing… first, love your voice.  Worry about the mechanic and all the prettiness later.  First, just move the pen, or start typing.

Usually don’t blend my own freewrite with a

24 Aug

lesson or “lecture” plan, but today I will.  Doing things different, right?  One thing I remember in being a student, and still appreciate as I still consider this aging self a student, is that my words are mine.  They weren’t prompted or instrumented by anyone or anything outside ME.  They’re a sense of identity we should find as readers and writers that can’t be found elsewhere.  It’s empowering, yes, but as well educational in so many dimensions.

For the authors we’re about to dive into, look for their identities, look for their voices and what they want from life, from their readers.  Better, ‘What do they want their readers to do?’  They must have some desired reaction in their works.  That’s an ingredient in their identity.  For ‘100’, our first author is Sylvia Plath, for 1A we’ll meet Mr. David Sedaris.  Both have distinct personalities and attitudes, and what they want us to do helps us better understand their motivation for writing altogether.

So then, why do WE write?  I know, “‘Cause we have to, Mike.. GOD!” Okay, but iff you were to write a story, fiction or non’, what would you write and why would you write it?  What would you want your readers to see and understand about you?  What do you want them to do?  It’s a weird question to ask, and an even harder one to answer.  So think about it.  And, think intently before taking a position on an author’s motivation for writing what they did, or even what you think the point to the piece is.

If we write from experience, what’s happening with us, then we want to share our reality.  It’s not so much “confessional” as it is intimate, and an eagerness to share, have others see us, learn from us, or at least judge us to some degree.  Why would we want to be judged?  Why do we, they (Plath, Sedaris, and all the others) put ourselves in a spot to be judged?  What does that do to our identity?

More I think about it,

14 Mar

the more I realize I have yet to learn.  About Life, yes, but more crucially myself.  Just when I think I have so much pinned, understood, there’s a variable introduced.  Something about Life and my role in it.  I guess my “advice”, if any, is be patient.  Don’t rush.  The more control is sought the less attainable it is.

2:40 on Monday.  The day still very much in motion…  What are you learning from the authors we’re reading?  What are you teaching yourself?  What has the semester’s Story taught you?  For me.. I’m seeing rewards for not acting too quickly; taking my time, and let the Story show me what to do.

You?

3/14/16

English 5 –

7 Mar

She, Us, Poetry, Life, and all of IT

Thank you for bearing with me this morning, with my cold or whatever it’s called, and all.  Enjoy Plath’s works, and again for the record what I mean by ‘wide’ when I say read “far and wide” is look into her work.  Reach with your interpretations, have fun, let Plath talk to you.  And please ask yourself as you read: “What is she teaching me?” And at the very least, “What is she showing me?”

Don’t worry so much about arguing something from her pieces.  I’d rather you collect observations in her work and bring them to our next meeting to share and collectively interpret.

Have a Zen-ful Monday…

Mike

Surviving (English 5)

29 Feb

Lots of heavy questions to ask…  I mean, “Who is she?” and “What does she want?” Not questions we can just answer, even after tonight’s reading assignment.  But, we can get a pretty strong sense, or even a slight sense of this author in front of us.  Like I said today, she’s immeasurably powerful but still so vulnerable.  And how she brought herself to the point of composing such mythic and sensual poetry, I’ll never know.  What I do know, is that there persists that level of intimacy I addressed in her work, that I’ve mentioned before.  And by intimacy, I’m referring to a successful connection to her readers, and an eagerness/direness from her, that she needs to share what she’s sharing.

No wonder she took on the form of poetry, arguably the most intimate and personal of literary modes.  This is much of the reason I love her work and even more adore her as an author, talking about what she’s committed to page.  It is hard to get through sometimes, I know, but that is just what engages her readers and elevates her to an author so worthy of study and discussion.  How many of us can relate to just having to get something ‘off the chest’?  Or, feeling like you don’t know what you should do in life, being faced with some decision whether crucial or somewhat commonplace.  Plath is there for us, and she’s letting us as modern readers know that she gets it, she knows what we’re going through.

In one of Plath’s journal entries she cites, to herself, being crucified by her limitations, and how blind choices can’t ever be changed.  This is a dire tone, a sense of urgency which is motivating but crippling at the same time.  Who is she?  Perhaps someone so self-aware that she herself acts as her own anchor, her own ‘chilled seas chained to her ankle’ (“The Everlasting Monday”).  Half-empty AND half-full.  An oxymoron trot across the page…

And now that I think about it, maybe the questions aren’t so “heavy”.  They’re simple, and regular, just with considerable depth.  Remember, she was a teacher as well as a penner, poetess, authoress.  Her complexity is universal yet staggering.  A reader can’t help but read on, on, till they find something, even if it’s a word they’ve never seen before—  She’ll make you sprint to the dictionary to find its gravity and application.

One of my questions from the end of today’s meeting, on your relationship with her…  What is it?  What could it be if you don’t already have one—  Maybe you’re not aware you have one!  (Something to think about…)  She’s in the room, as I said.  We’re reading her.  People will continue to read her and follow her, see her as a literary celeb’.  She’s more that a simple “Mick Jagger” of literature.  No… no…..  She’s a stratospherically musical priestess; a goddess of verse and expression.  Elevated far past what’s patterned and regular in what’s from today’s pages.

2/29/16