With only two weeks left…

…I feel like it’s finally appropriate to ask the question we’ve all been dying to hear answers to:

Who do you like better? Whitman or Dickinson? Why?

Words of Encouragement, Warning, and Apology from your Fearless Leader

Encouragement:

You are over the hump!  You have only one more full week and one partial week to go. Week 4 module unlocks today at 5 and Week 5’s module is abbreviated.

Warning:

The last week of the course is intense: some reading and a short voicethread, two papers in quick succession, final free blogging, and the final project.  So buckle up and plan accordingly.

Apology:

Rhonda drew my attention to the fact that I had mistakenly made Quiz 4 due on June 10 instead of June 17.  I have now corrected that, and I’m sorry if it worried anyone.  Thanks, Rhonda, for catching that!

Brainpickings and WW

You will see in your readings this week that I’ve linked you out for one feature on the site brainpickings. I’ve seen a few posts on our friend Whitman there in the last several weeks, and share them here if you are missing the Good Gray Poet.

This one focuses on advice that WW gave to the young about building character and bringing change.

This one focuses on WW’s (odd) morning workout.

Scraps of Genius

I have two recent books that I wish I could pass around to you all: The Gorgeous Nothings and Envelope Poems.  These volumes reproduce in facsimile the bits of Dickinson’s composition that were found on recipes, small pieces of paper, the insides and backs of envelopes, etc.  I will post a few images here for your enjoyment.

First Wednesday Reminders

Camerados–

Tonight at midnight we have our first deadline and the turn into new material; I know some of you are already ahead of the game. Make sure you’ve done your sign-ups, tours, and intro post as detailed in the module.   After tonight I will assign anyone who hasn’t chosen a Conversation Starter date for themself, and I will post those dates here for easy reference.  If you’ve registered on the blog but haven’t seen me mark that as “complete” on Canvas, it may be that you’ve forgotten your avatar and still have the monster default. I love the monsters, but this is one more way we can personalize our experience in this virtual classroom.

When you begin your VoiceThread commentary on our focal artifacts, make 100% sure you are in the right group. Next week this assignment will move to the Monday-Wednesday frame so you can focus on your short essay Thursday-Sunday.

Also, I encourage everyone to quickly rewatch the syllabus thread at the end of the week.  There are many good questions being asked there, and I’ve been replying to them, so you may have things even further clarified about the course.  You can use the bar along the bottom of the page to jump ahead to new comments; replies show up as a circle rather than a square.

I’m really happy to see free-blogging beginning on the intro posts! Don’t lose track of Jordan’s Conversation Starter, which is a little buried in the intros. She was a champ to go first! Jordan, a kosmos!

Are you falling a little in love with the Good Gray Poet?  I hope his voice gives you shivers when you listen. He’s an incredible spirit and this summer I’m finding his faith in our nation to be an important reminder.

Song of mns

Camerados, this is a selfie of me and Whitman taken last week in the National Portrait Gallery, where I had gone to see a special exhibit on Sylvia Plath (a 20th-century confessional poet, a movement that owed much to Uncle Walt’s frankness).  I didn’t have to look like a weirdo in the corner, almost as grizzled as WW himself; I was with a friend who could have taken a better shot.  But my relationship with the poets we are studying is personal and so this seemed more appropriate.  Also, sometimes I feel I can only access Whitman and Dickinson partially as their genius astounds me, so my partial face can symbolize that. Though I have been a Dickinson devotee for many years, it took me into my middle age to love Whitman– I had admired him, but I had to find a less hypermasculine Whitman to really connect, and I did (oddly, given that war is a masculine enterprise, by immersing in his Civil War works).  I can and will fangirl about these two poets. You’re forewarned.

Some things I could venture to say about me:
I am honestly not nearly as nice as people are making me sound on this blog.
I believe literature matters and spend much time thinking about how and why.
I too would rather be in fresh air and I am also a vegetarian.
I would like to like gardening but.
I have two children and three pets.
I overwatch British drama and mystery tv.
I am a Pittsburgher and miss mountains.
I have names for my two imaginary future goats.
I am personally affronted by very hot sunny days.
I have an unusually(?) large collection of literary-themed jewelry and clothing.
I specialize in fruit-based desserts.
I actually do love poetic scansion.
I fixate on the moon.