This page is a commonplace book, gathering flowers of eloquence that I encounter in teaching and research. The rest of the site (see above) is about more expressly vocational things.
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Migration to Wordpress
Posted 13 May 11
The material on this site is gradually transitioning over to my Wordpress blog. That's where new material will appear from now on.
Posted 27 Oct 10
These M4a files were recorded in October 2010 for my English 410 class (Elizabethan Literature).
They are also on my iTunesU page.
Shakespeare (Video) Podcast
Posted 11 Oct 10
The Elizabethan Stage, for Shakespeare 205
For Part 2of2, click here.
Working in Concert
Posted 16 Sept 09
I decided not to use this picture on the poster for the first Humanities Pedagogy Seminar of 2009-10.
Astrophil & Wordle
Posted 27 Nov 08
Here's what comes out when you paste the complete text of Philip Sidney's "Astrophil and Stella" sonnet sequence into wordle.net.
Sorted Books Project
Posted 26 Sept 08
As a book-ordering obsessive, I was tempted by Nina Katchadourian's arrangements of books for unintended meanings to hazard some spine-poetry of my own.
Posted 19 March 08
If a history of man were written with proportionate space given to each stage of our development, ... we would be nomadic hunter-gatherers for 200 pages; there would then be one page of settled agrarian society. The modern world -- everything that has happened in the last two centuries -- would be a final paragraph.
Posted 17 January 08
"It was, indeed, a place of great delight, for through the midst of it there ran a sweet brook which did both hold the eye open with her beautiful streams and close the eye with the sweet purling noise it made upon the pebble-stones it ran over; the meadow itself yielding so liberally all sorts of flowers that it seemed to nourish a contention betwixt the colour and the smell whether in his kind were the more delightful. Round about the meadow, as if it had been to enclose a theatre, grew all such sorts of trees as either excellency of fruit, stateliness of growth, continual greenness, or poetical fancies have made at any time famous. In most part of which trees there had been framed by art such pleasant arbours that it became a gallery aloft, from one tree to the other, almost round about, which below yielded a perfect shadow, in those hot countries counted a great pleasure."
~ ~ Philip Sidney, The Old Arcadia (c.1577-80)
Time for Reading
Posted 6 June 07
"What I am asking you to do is to slow reading down, to preserve and expand the experience of reading -- at any level, be it in elementary schools, high schools, colleges, or graduate seminars. What I am asking for is a revolution in reading."
Lindsay Waters' polemic in the Chronicle Review advocates a 'slow reading' movement. (I was alerted to it by his appearance on CBC Radio's podcast 'Words at Large,' 22 May 07.) It's eloquent on the benefits of rereading literary texts, and is part of a growing campaign against unreflective living in a world that values novelty over persistence; cf. Yann Martel's reading suggestions for the prime minister.
My only contention is Waters' use of Keats' poem on Chapman when "On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again" would have made his point--about the benefits of re-reading--more effectively. But that's a minor quibble with Waters' very worthwhile argument. "Cavil you may," as Alexander Pope advised, "but never Criticize."
Scorn not the Sonnet
Posted 25 April 07
Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned,
Mindless of its just honours; with this key
Shakespeare unlocked his heart; the melody
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound;
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound;
With it Camoens soothed an exile's grief;
The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned
His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp,
It cheered mild Spenser, called from Faery-land
To struggle through dark ways; and, when a damp
Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
The Thing became a trumpet; whence he blew
Soul-animating strains--alas, too few!
~ ~ William Wordsworth, Poetical Works (London: Longman, 1827)
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