Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Literary Criticism

Isaac is "enjoying" his first high school English class this year.  He's actually in the honors section.  I made sure he'd be in that section because the teacher is so excellent. She's quirky, intense, and demands the best effort from her students.  In return she gives her students an excellent foundation.  Both Diana and Calypso had the same teacher for the same class and it served them well although at the time they thought the experience was a thing to be endured. Over the course of this school year it's been amusing to hear the three kids comparing notes about their experiences in this class.

D: Whaddya think of the lit circles?

I: I noticed if I can connect something in the passage to death she loves it.

C: Yeah, always go for death.  It makes her very happy.  She's totally fixated on death.

D: You reading Poe yet?

I: Yeah,  Fall of the House of Usher was pretty cool.  Right now though we are beating The Bells to death.

M: That poem has my favorite word in it.  Tintinabulation.

D, C, & I: (blank stares from all three)  Mom, you are so weird.

Me: What?  It's a fun word.

I: Yeah it is kind of a fun word.  I think I'd enjoy Poe more if we didn't pour over a single story for 2 weeks at a time though.  Just draws it out and makes it boring.  But there is NOTHING that's going to make me like the Puritan writers.  Reading them just makes me want to stab myself in the neck.

Well, maybe if he merely dramatized the effect the Puritans have on him the teacher might be impressed with the suggestion of death.


Craig said...

I LOVE 'The Bells'! It's just such a wonderful poem for the whole 'sonic texture' of it. But 'tintinabulation' has stuck with me for nigh unto 40 years. . .

Beach Bum said...

The Raven is my favorite, but since I read the poem years ago those birds freak me out about as much as clowns.

Mother Theresa said...

Oh yes, I remember reading The Bells back in high school. I think I like Poe's stories better...I'm more of a story person than a poem person. And you're right, tintinabulation is a fabulous word...now if only I could find a way to work that in my conversations. :D

Bijoux said...

Lit Circles are very cool! I love it when teachers get creative instead of just lecturing all day.

G-Man said...


furiousBall said...

Tintinabulation... wait isn't that the happiness a man feels when a woman's boob pops out at the beach? Oh no, wait that's spelled differently

Suldog said...

Poe is definitely the go-to guy if you want to have any hope of kids enjoying older poetry. For prose, sic Twain on 'em.

(My word veri is "damplit". That would be Longfellow.

"Leaped into the rushing river,
Washed the war-paint from their faces.
Clear above them flowed the water,
Clear and limpid from the footprints
Of the Master of Life descending;
Dark below them flowed the water,
Soiled and stained with streaks of crimson,
As if blood were mingled with it!"

Actually, that's pretty damn good, too - full of slayings and war cries and blood - my kind of stuff.)

Jocelyn said...

Well, it figures that we'd share a favorite word, too, dunnit?

Great conversation amongst the kids...I remember my junior year honors English being when I knew to always say something was a Christ Figure. That always got the teacher going and got me an A.

S said...

your kids are so funny!

TorAa said...

Interesting about E A Poe.
I think I did read "everything" from him when I was as teen-ager, and was very fascinating.
Maybe I best remember the Murder in Rue Morgue?

Thanks for your comments.

btw. My old Mother, 91+ is not in good shape, on the conterary, in the past, so I've been both a bad commenter and bloger in the past.

Craver Vii said...

Speaking of the Puritans, I happen to be carrying one of the works of Jonathan Edwards in my vest pocket.

San said...

Loved the dialog, Lime. Don't know if tintinabulation is my favorite, but if I drew up a Top 10, it'd probably make it to the list.

I agree with Isaac's take on the Puritan writers. Where's a sharp implement when you need it? Forget stabbing your own neck. Go for Hawthorne's.