Ode of Melancholy photo album

We read a poem called “Ode of Melancholy”, in our literature class, written by John Keats. Through a sorrowful and dreadful theme, Keats is able to outline how to embrace melancholy and depression and how to make the most of it. For this e-portfolio, I decided to include some quotes that, in my opinion, deal with the same message Keats expresses. I found more interesting to add a picture to each quote, with pictures I took! According to the speaker, melancholy and sadness are part of the natural human range of emotion, and in order to really experience joy, we have to allow ourselves to experience sorrow as well.

I also connect this poem with something personal that happened to me. We read this poem after we have gone to our spiritual retreat. There I understood something new that actually is very similar with what Keats tells us. I understood we need to fully understand and accept melancholy to be able to enjoy the positive aspects of life. Because without experimenting melancholy, we are not able to feel and understand joy. We wouldn’t be greatful and happy of the good things if we are not able to see the difference between the positive and the negative aspects of life. And we can only understand that difference by living it, by feeling sadness and sorrow. In the spiritual retreat I was able to accept melancholy, to see the difference. Something that is not easy, but worthy, in order to be happy and feel love.

“The Destructors” testimony and war poetry

In our literature class, we read a story called “The Destructors”, written by Graham Greene. This is a story of a gang of kids who live in a fragmented society, after the Second World War, in London, “the site of the last bomb of the first blitz”. Greene emphasizes the fact that children are growing in a society full of hate by presenting a family who has suffered the consequences of the blitz and become part of a lower social class. He outlines how the child of this family ended being a monster and he explains that his behavior is due to society itself, as a consequence of war. So the author criticizes war and exposes its consequences. He portrays how society is creating monsters, rather than children, by illustrating the evil nature of man, the loss of comparison and the destruction for the sake of destruction as his main themes.

I found really interesting to include a testimony of the time, presenting how the situation was for the people who suffered the bombs. I thought that having real evidence of how people lived that atrocities, could emphasise how cruel and horrible the blitz was, in order to understand the consequences it has on society, and the reasons why Greene decided to include the event on his story. After all, Who is more capacitated to speak about the bombs than the ones who actual live them? No one can describe the people thoughts, beliefs and feelings at London’s better than themselves.

I chose a testimony of a couple. Elizabeth Belsey was living in the family home in Keston, Kent, while her husband, Lieutenant John Belsey, served with the Royal Artillery at Thames Ditton in Surrey. Here is an exchange of letters between them.

 

 

I really like to see what people believed at the war. Ir is really interesting to notice how the war affected not only this poor family, but thousands more. Here we can see how a family was forced to live different lives as a consequence of war. War breaks families, and make them miserable.

This letters helped me to understand how society was and how London collapsed. They suggest how fragmented society was at the time and it make me realize the fact that Greene’s story is a great one whose message is effectively portrayed. Greene effectively conveys how damaged London is by describing how damaged Trevor’s family is, as they become part of a lower social class. The author outlines what is happening at his surroundings and he wrote a metaphorical story to explain how terrible war is. He criticizes men for destroying things for the sake of destruction and I believe that he is actually warning us the fact that society can be even more damage than what it already is. Not only Greene presents a fragmented society, but he also exposes how an educated kid, ended being a monster. The author is warning us how awful society can be if we keep on fighting.

 

 

 

I also relate the story with a poem we read called “In Time of the Breaking of Nations”, written by Sir Walter Scott. We read this poem when we were reading war poetry.

I found really interesting what the authors expressed in their literary works, since they transmit a similar message. Scott confesses that war will always happen no matter who is in charge. “Yet this will go on wards the same though Dynasties pass”, even though time passes on, war will always meet the following generations. The poet is telling us that when there are people, there is war. So by illustrating and showing the effects of our horrible encounters, he is trying to warn us the consequences of our acts. He does this with the desire that we can analyse whether the fights worth the destruction they caused. The poem is trying to prevent new wars, by presenting the damages past ones caused. Greene presents a very similar theme, since he introduces a fragmented society in his story to explain how war damages people. He portrays the reason why children are behaving as monsters, and that is due to war. So both Greene and Sir Walter Scott describe the consequences achieved by war, in order to prevent more of them.

Ode on Melancholy

In our literature class, we read a poem called “Ode on Melancholy”, written by John Keats.

Ode on Melancholy by JOHN KEATS

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist

       Wolf’s-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;

Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss’d

       By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;

               Make not your rosary of yew-berries,

       Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be

               Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl

A partner in your sorrow’s mysteries;

       For shade to shade will come too drowsily,

               And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall

       Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,

That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,

       And hides the green hill in an April shroud;

Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,

       Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,

               Or on the wealth of globed peonies;

Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,

       Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,

               And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die;

       And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips

Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,

       Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:

Ay, in the very temple of Delight

       Veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shrine,

               Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue

       Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine;

His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might,

               And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

 

After reading it, Pato told us to watch a video and analyze it. I work with Vignesh Manwani and Rosario Vago.

After we analyse the poem, we had to answer some questions of the following guide.

 

The Destructors

In our literature class, we read the short story called “The Destructors”, written by Greeme Grehene. I took notes while we were reading the story and we talked about the rite of passage and  the temes of it.

 

Afterwards, we had to answers some questions in groups. I did this with María Roggero and Milagros Montanelli.

 

“Dulce et Decorum Est” illustration

After reading the poem “Dulce et Decorum Est”, written by Wilfred Owen, I thought that it could have an illustration to emphasize his emotions in a more realistic way. By presenting a scene based on the incident, I believed it would call the reader’s attention, making us feel pity for the voice of the poem who had the bad luck of living the moment when his friend died at war. I really like the drawing I chose because it shows the scary, gloomy and obscure face of war, while at the same time it shows the fear of the soldiers and their desperation of the attack. The painter wanted to express the dark side of war, rather than the honorable one that the church and the government showed. He achieves portraying the “Old lie” in his paint: “It is sweet and honorable to die for your own country”, since he illustrates the fact that there is nothing sweet in that. It is the “old lie”.

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

 

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This drawing is done by someone called Haizeel.

 

War Poems

In our literature class we are reading with our literature teacher, Pato Chujman, war poems. We started reading the poem called “Dulce Et Decorum Est”, written by Wilfred Owen. Afterwards, we read “Soldier rest!”, written by Sir Walter Scot and “The Death Bed”, written by Siegfied Sassoon. Then we read other poems related to war too from a webpage she gave us. Here you can see which poems were. Hope you like my post!

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Task 1: 

Pato gave us a task to work on with it, we had to answer some questions about the poem “Dulce Et Decorum Este” in pairs. I worked with Vignesh Manwani.

 

 

Task 2:

Afterwards, Pato gave as a new task. We had to read two poems: “Soldier, Rest!” and “The Death Bed” and prepare an analysis of them. I did this with Vignesh Manwani.

 

 

Task 3:

After that we had to choose two different poems from this website, prepare an analysis of them and illustrate them with pictures. I worked with Vignesh Manwani and we chose the poems “The Kiss”, written by Siegfried Sassoon and “In Time of The Breaking of Nations”, written by Thomas Hardy.

 

After analyzing so many poems we had to write an essay about them (individually). This was the task:

Compare and contrast 2 of the poems you have worked on. Comment closely on the themes, tones and how the writers convey their message.

The Lady in the Looking Glass: A Reflection

In our literature class, we had to answer some questions in our blogs about the story we read “The Lady in the Looking Glass”. I did this assignment with Vignesh Manwani. After that Pato told us to find a picture of a room inside and a garden to illustrate the house in the story. I did the second task individually.

Questions: Group work (Done with Vignesh Manwani)

 

Picture of a room and a garden: Individual work

In order to illustrate the house in the story I chose the following picture. I chose it because it has antique wooden furniture and because of the fact that the dinning room matches with the “Italian glass” which has a “marbled topped table opposite” it and it reflects a garden beyond with “a long grass path leading between banks of tall flowers”. The only thing that the picture does not provide, is the constant movement the room in the story has. However, we can image chaos and intranquility in this picture.

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The story is related with this text since Sandra Gilbert, Susan Gubar and Virginia Woolf were all feminist literature writers. Over 1980 women writers were badly seen and they were discriminated by men writers for their work. What they have in common is that they fought for their rights in both their poetic identity and in their role in life rights. Virginia argued that women should kill the “angel” and the “monster” topology on her storys in order to end with the masks invented for women. We can see this in the story as the Isabella at the beginning of the story, the one who only shows her appearance, is dead, as that is not reality. At the same time, the Isabella at the end of the story is almost also killed as she is dead laive for not  having feelings or thoughts. So Virginia applies to the story her ideas of how woman must behave in order to make themselves be respected by men in their day to day life and in their literature works.

“The Lady in the looking-glass”

We read the story called “The Lady in the looking-glass”, written by Virginia Woolf. This is a story of a woman that seems to be perfect and to have a perfect life. However, inside her house there is a mirror that framed Isabella’s personality. Through its reflection, we are able to see her true colours, how she really is.

At the end of the story, we found out that she was “perfectly empty”. The mirror is used as a kind of metaphor in which it compares the mirror itself and Isabella as they are very similar. The mirror is an object and so is Isabella. She is just a product of mankind. Isabella has been framed by society ever since she was created, and the mirror too. The mirror in this story it’s a motif that symbolizes what your real personality is and Virginia warns us that we may not like it. The mirror is used to criticize society, as it has been framed by men and Isabella too. Representing women in the 19th Century, Virginia illustrates how thoughtless, careless and feelingless Isabella is and blamed society for it for having created her that way.

 

After reading the story I prepared the following presentation to express my interpretations of the story.

 

 

 

“Home is So Sad” Song

Furthermore, I would like to add to my e-portfolio another activity on the poem called “Home is so Sad”, written by Philip Larkin

Home is so Sad

Philip Larkin, 19221985

Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back. Instead, bereft
Of anyone to please, it withers so,
Having no heart to put aside the theft

And turn again to what it started as,
A joyous shot at how things ought to be,
Long fallen wide. You can see how it was: 
Look at the pictures and the cutlery.
The music in the piano stool. That vase.

 

The fact that the poem starts saying “Home is So Sad”, makes reference to the fact that, for Larkin, they are uncomfortable. This contradicts normal houses, since they should be happy places. In this case they are not cosy, since he is talking about an abandoned house, that need attention from someone: “stays as it was left”. This exposes the fact that an abandoned house has nothing, since it can not be called home. The poet emphasizes this with the words “bereft” and “theft”, in order to express how lonely the house is plus the fact that it lost someone important.

The poet describes a house “with no heart”, since its an inhabited place. So when the ‘heart’ is removed from it, the humanity, the house has lost whatever makes it a ‘home’. So it is now empty. The poet describes that “comfort of the last to go” by presenting a few images of how the house was left, when someone lived there. In order to make this possible he mentions the “pictures” and “cutlery” that the house has from her previous owners.

Through an auditory image, he is also able to portray a familiar sound: “the music in the piano stool”. By presenting this, the poet expresses the memories that the house has about her previous owners. Here the room is personified to a memory, as inanimate objects bring back specific memories no one else can see. The fact that the piano does not have any description at all, emphasizes the fact that only the owners of the room can really picture it, because it was their memory.

So when I was reading the poem, I realized something was missing. I could not understand what it was, but later I had an epiphanic moment. The poem is full of images such as tactile, visual and auditory. So I imagined that I could increase those nostalgic and melancholic emotions about home, by adding the piano music and images to visualize and set to music the magnificent alliterative poetry.

This is the song I chose to musicalize the poem:

 

I also found this quote which I relate it with the poem, because both talk about it as something that is horrible and sad, that’s the reason we want to leave it. However, when we grow old, it is a place we want to get back to.

Resultado de imagen para home is a place you grow up wanting to leave and grow old wanting to get back to

 

“Rooms” Collage

In our literature class, we read the poem called “Rooms”, written by Charlotte Mew.

Resultado de imagen para poem rooms by charlotte mew

The poem “rooms”, written by Charlotte Mew, describes two double meanings for that place. On the one hand, Charlotte describes rooms, simple rooms. She describes their smell and their noises. “ceaseless maddening sound”, in order to make us see how rooms look like. She talks about rooms in every part of the world, and she also talks about an specific one, a grave. On the other hand, by the repetition of “rooms”, we are not only able to read how she uses it, but we are also able to understand what does it really symbolize. The poet talks about abandoned “rooms”, that symbolize memories. In order to express those feelings, she portrays the fact that memories, rather happy ones or sad ones, die: “Rooms where for good or for ill—things died”, it does not matter if the memory is about love or abandonment, since all of them are going to die in our minds some day. In order to express this, she describes a specific room, a “dustier bed”. By mentioning a grave, Charlotte is able to emphasize her feelings about the fact that every memory is going to die someday, “Out there in the sun—in the rain”, it does not matter when, some day they will.

In this post I made a collage that shows many kinds of rooms: happy ones, abandoned, forgotten, rotten, colorful, etc. I created this to portray Charlotte’s point of view about the fact that rooms are memories, and memories die in our minds. No matter if they are delighted or sorrowful memories, what matters is that, at the end of the day, all of them will disappear, they will die.