Saturday, March 21, 2015

A New Blog on the Study of the "Music" of Poetry in English

I have started a new blog on the technical study of poetry, called "prosody". Prosody describes how poets utilize rhythm, rhyme, and other tools of developing the "music" of poetry.

The new blog is named "Ne'er So Well Expressed".

Saturday, December 13, 2014

My New Blog about English (Intended for U.S. College Students--or Anyone Else Who Might Be Interested)

I have not blogged here in a long time. I do intend to the process, though I doubt it will be daily.

But for today, I wanted to call attention to my new blog, intended to be about English, both language and literature. Unlike my earlier focus with this blog, which was for my ESL friends, this is intended for my U.S. college students. I hope that some of my students will find this of interest. The new blog is called "What's All This Then?" I have a new post there today about resources to listen to poetry and literature.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Day to Remember

The lovely French countryside, 1917.
 Armistice Day.

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.


The signing of the Treaty of Versailles.


Slaughter and carnage as never before. The last survivors of the Great War--the War to End All Wars--died only in the last year or two, but they are all gone now, and most of their children, and we diminish their suffering and turn from it to make this day "Veterans Day". Even Google's image for today is of a Civil War-era bugler boy; we can't tell by color whether North or South. A third of a generation of young men destroyed in England, in France, in Germany, unparalleled loss through all Europe and the Commonwealth. This is not a thing to be forgotten or whitewashed or diffused.

At the end of August, 1914, Germany printed in German newspapers the claim that French dirigibles had flown over German cities and bombed them; eleven years after Kitty Hawk, the 1914 version of "weapons of mass destruction". Not only had the French NOT done that, they didn't even have dirigibles, let alone a fleet of them. (Who DID have dirigibles capable of bombing raids? Germany.) The next day, hundreds of thousands of righteously indignant young men in a paroxysm of febrile nationalism enlisted in the German Army. Germany used this false claim of WMD as the excuse to begin their murderous, destructive campaign through Belgium and on to their invasion of France. Alliances stirred into action, and the horror began. This practice of lying, of inventing invasion and threat to justify war for the basest of reasons, was unspeakably contemptible. My Nana's brothers died horrible trench and No-Man's-Land deaths for no better reason than that....Yes, what the Germans did, to lie of invasion and WMD was vile, and the liars who did that earned the execrations of untold millions, and so it should be. But the ray of hope that kept many going was that this horror was so extreme that "we"--humanity--would learn from it, and never repeat the lies and carnage. Many children born in August 1914 lived through the Tomkin Gulf incident, and if they lived to 88 they lived through Dubya's WMD--a play learned from the German High Command.
The War to End All Wars, the Great War, the war we now call the First World War, the first war to involve multiple continents--six--has lost its power to counter the call to division, destruction, control, and war because we now forget. We forget the mass suffering, the terrible destruction, the annihilation of talent and beauty and hope that it brought about. We should not forget; but to not forget, we have to remember.
Today is a day to remember. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

More Irish-American Literature, Theatre, Art, and Music!

There will be a series of free readings of poems put on by the Fallen Angel Theatre Company. These are staged readings: Actors will be on the stage, but reading from scripts, rather than performing from memory and they will not be in costume or moving about the stage.

This will be a wonderful opportunity to hear first-class Irish actors and actresses performing in English for free, and I highly recommend that any of you with an interest in literature take advantage of this wonderful series to attend and enjoy.

The readings will be at the Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 West 22nd Street between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue on the south (downtown) side of the street.

The next event will be on Monday, April 30, 2012: The play is called Airswimming, and information about it can be seen at Fallen Angel Theatre Company's Web page.

New Classes After the Old Center Dies!

I am going to continue my classes by holding Meetups. Please take a look at  the  Meetup page to keep informed!

Meetup is free to join. But there will be a cost per each class: When we meet at cafes, diners, or whatever, it is only fair to purchase something--coffee, tea, dinner, whatever you can afford. But we must be fair in using their space.

And I might ask people to buy the book(s), since we will no longer have access to a copy machine.

Irish-American Literature, Art, Theater, and Music!

There is a "salon" for Irish-American writers and artists here in New York City. On Tuesday, April 17, 2012, there will be a performance that will include, among others, the incomparable Aedin Moloney reading the final part of the last chapter of Irish writer James Joyce's masterpiece, the novel Ulysses. Aedin is the best reader of poetry I have ever heard, and her performances are transcendent. I hope that some of you will be able to attend.

I won't be able to be there until late, because that evening is also the last time I will ever meet my class at the International Center, where I have been volunteering since 1985. (I would also invite all of you to my last class!)

But after my class, I will attend, and I hope that I will bring my students with me.

The performance will be at The Cell, a theater at 338 West 23rd Street. The event will begin at 7:00 and continue to about 9:30.