Categories
Writing

Poet Spotlight: Robert Frost

Recommended Poetry Book: Frost: Poems by Robert Frost, edited by John Hollander

Lived: 1874-1963

Favourite Quote:

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

Selected Poem: Into My Own

Closing Stanzas:

I do not see why I should e’er turn back, / Or those should not set forth upon my track / To overtake me, who should miss me here / And long to know if I still held them dear.

They would not find me changed from him they knew— / Only more sure of all I thought was true.

Reflection

Robert Frost gives life to the cold. He reminds me of winter and autumn; of hope as the light fades. He highlights simplicity with complexity and is attentive to the actions of humans and what may lie behind them. He understands the importance of solitude and what it means to find oneself. Frost’s encouragement of solitude is an encouragement for self-discovery and evolution.

Other Poems:

  • Brown’s Descent (Or “The Willy-Nilly Slide”)
  • The Sound of Trees
  • The Road Not Taken
  • The Oven Bird
  • A Star in a Stoneboat
  • Fire and Ice
  • A Boundless Moment
  • An Old Man’s Winter Night
  • Mending Wall
Categories
Writing

Poet Spotlight: Walt Whitman

Recommended Poetry Book: Leaves of Grass

Lived: 1819-1892

Favourite Quote:

And I say to any man or woman, Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.

48, Song of Myself

Selected Poem: Continuities

Opening Lines:

(From a talk I had lately with a German spiritualist.)

Nothing is ever really lost, or can be lost, / No birth, identity, form–no object of the world. / Nor life, nor force, nor any visible thing; / Appearance must not foil, nor shifted sphere confuse thy brain.

Reflection:

Walt Whitman wove words the way a river flows: naturally, not meant to be hindered, not meant to stop. His poetry was fluid and filled with contradictions, but each line seemed destined to follow or be preceded by the one before it. His stories seemed to be written in bold. He appreciated all natures of the world (including his fellow humans) and he strove to characterize beauty through ideals.

Other Poems

  • Song of Myself
  • O Captain! My Captain!
  • Thoughts
  • Song of the Open Road
  • Miracles
  • The Calming Thought of All
  • As I Ponder’d in Silence
  • Life
  • “Going Somewhere”
Categories
Writing

Ancient Legends Appreciation: Myths Reimagined for Different Ages

Ages 8-13

  • The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan (Greek Mythology)
  • The Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan (Greek and Roman Mythology)
  • The Trials of Apollo Series by Rick Riordan (Roman Mythology)
  • The Pegasus Series by Kate O’Hearn (Roman Mythology)
  • The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan (Egyptian Mythology)
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Series by Rick Riordan (Norse Mythology)
  • The Blackwell Pages Series by K.L. Armstrong and Melissa Marr (Norse Mythology)
  • The Pandava Series by Roshani Chokshi (Hindu Mythology)

Check out https://www.readriordan.com for more suggestions and different mythologies

Young Adult and Adult

  • The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller (Greek Mythology)
  • Circe by Madeleine Miller (Greek Mythology)
  • Ariadne by Jennifer Saint (Greek Mythology)
  • Elektra by Jennifer Saint (Greek Mythology)
  • Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myths by Natalie Haynes (Greek Mythology)
  • A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes (Greek Mythology)
  • Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes (Greek Mythology)
  • The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (Greek Mythology)
  • Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin (Greek and Roman Mythology)
  • Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel (Hindu Mythology)

Ancient Novels You Must Understand to Understand

  • The Illiad by Homer
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • The Aenead by Virgil 
  • The Ramayana
Categories
Writing

Shakespeare: Where to Start

The Bard can be overwhelming. Many don’t know where to start and, if forced, starting can leave one as confused as before. Shakespeare is an entirely different language. Not only is the vocabulary quite different from what we use now, but the ways in which he weaves the words and the images he creates with them do not always reflect the scene at hand. Nearly every sentence possesses a meaning beyond the words stated. However, this is no reason to become discouraged. There are numerous strategies to read Shakespeare as well as the gratification of its completion. Shakespeare opens new doors of comprehension, especially of the world and human behaviour.

Inspiring Interest

  • She’s The Man (2006) (Movie based on Twelfth Night)
  • 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) (Movie based on The Taming of the Shrew)
  • West Side Story (1961 & 2021) (Movie based on Romeo and Juliet)

Top 5 to Read First

  1. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (comedy)
  2. Twelfth Night (comedy)
  3. Hamlet (tragedy)
  4. Romeo and Juliet (tragedy)
  5. Macbeth (tragedy)

For an Easier Time, Read…

  • SparkNotes‘ No Fear Shakespeare editions of each play (the original text side-by-side with modern English)
  • CliffsNotes study guide in-depth summary for each play.