FSEM: Writing Ecology: Literature and Environment

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Archive for March, 2008

Ray González, Memory Fever, for Tuesday

Hi all,

For Tuesday’s blog, after reading the introduction up to page 53 of Ray González’s book Memory Fever (1993), what are the main themes of González’s writings?  What are some specific examples that describe the writer’s relationship to the land of the Southwest, where he has not lived since 1979?  Does he feel a sense of “belonging” there?  How does he describe/perceive the physical landscape/the non-human world?  Does he look back with nostalgia on the days spent there during his childhood?  What are some of the changes that he notices in the land upon returning to the Southwest?

Blog for Tuesday: Split this Rock!

Hi all,

For Tuesday I’d like you to write about your responses to the poetry performances we saw last night at Split this Rock! poetry festival.  Some possible questions are:

How did the experience of seeing the poetry performed add to your understanding/experience of Espada’s poetry?   Did the poetry successfully advocate for the causes to which it was directed?  What is the role of poetry according to the poets who performed last night (Sonia Sánchez, Martín Espada, E. Ethelbert Miller, Naomi Shihab Nye and Alix Olson)?  In expressing a clearly pro-peace, anti-war message, were the poets’ cases convincing?  In what ways were they convincing and in what ways could they have possibly been more so?

If you were unable to join us last night, listen to some of the samples on www.poets.org, such as the ones that appear below for Naomi Shihab Nye and comment the differences in your experience of reading the poems versus hearing the poet recite them:

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/174

Martín Espada, for Tuesday

After reading up through “My Native Costume”, address the following questions in your blog:

What are the main themes of this poetry?  How does the poet represent the inner-city and the “sense of place” (their sense of “belonging”) of the residents there?   How is the experience of  residents in inner-city tenements represented as compared to the attitudes of the landlords, judges, and bosses of those people?  How does the poetic voice describe his various professions?

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