This week our poem of the week was from Elegy in X Parts by Matt Rasmussen taken from "The Black Aperture" I believe it was called. I thought this poem was much easier to understand in general than the first POW but especially the metaphors and imagery. I think about two blog posts ago I said that I never really like poetry but Ben let me read this book and honestly it was really sad but it was really good. The poetry was still metaphorical and used a lot of imagery but a lot of times it was vague and then really straight forward. It was quite the transition but ultimately really helpful in understanding the more vague parts scattered in the rest of the poem. My favorite poems from the book were "Tom Black", "Outgoing", "Elegy in X Parts", and "After Suicide". These stood out to me because they all conveyed the author's feelings really well and had great uses of imagery. I am a very visual person so imagery really helps when I read things in general, including poems. Maybe even especially poems because I think poems are harder to understand than a novel so having more imagery in a poem can make more of a story in my head, making it easier to understand. We also got to discuss this poem a lot which I liked because as I stated, I sometimes struggle with poems so discussing and seeing what other people noticed really helped in writing the final analysis essay. I liked this week a lot, and I hope we have more poems like this one for our POW.
Yes, I did make one of my notes that I learned "How to draw a horse". Of course in further detail what truly I mean is that we used illustration to create a visual metaphor this week. We were told to connect a "How to Read Literature like a Professor' chapter to our own summer reading books using a drawing. This was interesting and I think at first it took me a second to wrap my head around but once my group had picked out a chapter the ideas came more easily. We connected our chapter which was "Every Trip is a Quest" to a horse pulling a carriage because you need the chapter to carry the reader and the books into a deeper meaning. I actually really liked this activity in the end, because it let us use our brains to come up with a visual way to see it that makes sense to us, and then we explained why it made sense to us to other people. This was much better and more involved than if e hd just written them down or just talked about them. We also spent some time towards the end of the week on what separates a story from literature. I actually found out that it is more about what they do for you together that you don't get with just one on its own, and how they benefit and compliment each other in terms of reading. I had never thought of it in terms of them being a pair but I understand now that they very much go together.
This week we spent a lot of time reading and analyzing The Eagle. For me, it helped me learn and improve my analytical skills especially in poem reading. I have always been a person who could see and understand metaphors, similes, personification and other literary elements but struggled to talk about or explain them. I feel as though they are kind of a challenge to talk about because everyone interprets them a little bit differently. I am not typically a huge fan of poetry at all, I find it even more of a challenge for me to write about because the easiest things for me to write personally are things I could almost ramble about, things I could go on about for hours, and poems are not that. I still struggle to write a paper longer than a couple paragraphs about a six line poem, let alone a couple pages. There was a time restraint but I stopped typing before the time was up because I genuinely just felt like I had typed everything I had to say about it like there was nothing more to discuss. It helped this week to practice this and be able to discuss with my group and the class about what we interpreted from this poem. Every group did kind of come up with something different but in this case that is not necessarily a bad thing. For me, this is something I really need to improve on, even though I believe English/language arts are my strong suit, within that, poetry is sort of my weak spot.
I was told to discuss what I have learned this week in class. In our little warm up we did on the sticky note, I wrote down four things that I believe I learned this week. The first one was that reading should never be a race but rather you reading at your own pace, just within a reasonable amount of time. In previous classes if you finished the book faster you were ahead, essentially it was considered better. I've realized that comprehension and understanding matter more than the speed in this classroom, which I quite like. I am not a slow reader but I do like to fully understand what I read. The second thing I learned which ties into the first was how to calculate my reading pace, which I honestly didn't know you could do. I like the aspect of me trying to reach my own 120 page goal in a week, which I should be able to do, rather than reading a certain amount of chapters in two days or something of that sort. The third thing I learned(which seemed pretty universal in the class after talking to everyone) is that it is hard and a bit weird to write in third person. After having it explained to me why we did it I understood even though, I didn't particularly like it but I can conclude why we did our "biographies" in that manner. The last and maybe over arching theme of the week was that we are each our own reader and writer. We each read and write differently, with different motivation and inspiration, pace, experience and knowledge. This week was really about learning about myself as a reader and writer.