“Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been
broken up into fragments by
narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from
the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches
its arms towards…”

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I will inhale the emerald rose of silence,
Fold my fears away this month.
I will wash my intentions in your river of energy,
String the heaviness out of my heart
And burn the doubts.
Someday, I will find the harbour in my heart to reach you,
Scrub it clean and embrace the light
as it streams from your hands.
I will blow away the shredded leaves
And plant the seeds of patience
that will hold my center in a storm.
I will seal the book of fantasies,
Let them rot away in void.
Everything curves to a point,
Preparing the pavement to enliven folds of green.
My knowledge is useless without the origin,
So I will close my eyes, feel the breeze
as I sail the seas to your lighthouse.
As love is a give and take,
Recycle it.
Our creativity is merely manifested from The Creator,
So accept the painted music of colour
across our souls.

 

– credit does not belong to me for this poem; the credit belongs to whoever wrote this beautiful piece of writing that I found I could relate to, today

AS English Literature – Unit 1 – AQA – Poetry anthology

This paper is called Aspects of Narrative. In Section B of the AQA paper, you will be given the option of two 42 marker questions and you will need to pick one to answer in the recommended time of one hour.

Revision notes or essay plan/ideas for a past paper Section B question

“Write about how the three writers you have studied use symbolism in their narratives”

Symbolism implies an indirect suggestion of ideas. A veiled mode of communication – conveyed through direct or indirect statement.

FROST

  • manual labour – actively commune with nature through work
  • nature – his poems often include a moment of interaction between a human speaker and a natural subject. These culminate in epiphanies or realisations.

winter – death/sleep/seasonal metaphor for death?/hibernation

nature is indifferent, people learn from nature because nature allows it.

Actively engaging with nature results in self-knowledge e.g. Apple-Picking, a day of harvesting leads understanding of death

  • community v/s isolation – solitary travelers – Frost has great respect for social outcast or wanderer

Speakers who choose solitude to learn more about themselves or civilation

 

ROSSETTI

  • fruit – desire, temptation, religious symbolism (forbidden fruit – Adam+Eve)
  • lilies – sometimes associated with death, innocence, purity, value in the market – virginity (untouched; flowers can be plucked, representing loss of purity)

“new buds” – Laura’s health

 

GREAT GATSBY – FITZGERALD

  • Dr Eckleburg – the loss of spiritual values, neglected, God’s eyes “God sees everything” looking down on the ruins
  • Valley of Ashes – moral decay, where immoral acts take place (Tom’s visit, Myrtle’s death), the fall of American society due to the desire to become rich, beneath the riches there is poverty, the Wilson’s infidelity, immorality is all associated with the failed American dream; hopelessness, decline in morality
  • the green light – the American dream, unobtainable, Gatsby is driven to get Daisy’s attention, pursuit of wealth, morals ignored to gain wealth (corrupt American dream), sign of hope to Gatsby, the physical and emotional from Daisy

it is the elusive future “minute and far away”, green has connotations of new, natural, un-corrupted, green grass indicates that time has passed. the green light has various connotations throughout the book

AS English Literature – Unit 1- AQA – Poetry anthology – Christina Rossetti

This was an unfinished draft of an answer to a practice exam question from Section B of the current AQA AS English Literature exam paper. This paper is called Aspects of Narrative. In Section B of the AQA paper, you will be given the option of two 42 marker questions and you will need to pick one to answer in the recommended time of one hour.

This was my unfinished attempt at answering one of the past paper Section B questions so I thought it may be helpful to share as it does explore popular ideas and interpretations on this aspect of her poems:

 

Write about the significance of the way Christina Rossetti has used places

In Christina Rossetti’s poems, places have often been used to convey to the reader the time-period and the mood in which her poems are set. Additionally, her poems can also be read to interpret the place as a symbol.

For instance, Goblin Market – made evident from the title – is set in a market that sells goods. The physical setting in the poem and much of the language “longed to buy” refers to buying and selling in the market. Rossetti may have designed the poem such to separate Lizzie and Laura into choosing between the domestic, more socially accepted life in Victorian society for women and the commercial life where women were traded as goods to be exchanged in the market rather than businesswomen of their own right. This interpretation also coincides with Rossetti’s interest in fallen women and the Victorian concern about prostitution as a social evil because Laura exchanges her “precious golden lock” for the goblin men’s fruit. The golden hair of the heroine is commonly associated with the beauty and purity of the fair maiden moreover; “precious” suggests that the heroine’s value to Victorian society and value in the “market” lies in these qualities. Thus, by exchanging her purity i.e. her virginity, for the forbidden fruit, Laura has been permanently stripped bare of her maiden status, out of wedlock, because her virtue has been tainted by strange goblin men. Thereafter, her inability to hear the goblin’s cry “Come buy, come buy” emphasises the depreciation of Laura’s worth in the marriage “market” as she has failed to meet the standards set by Victorian society and is now set aside as an outcast; a fallen woman.

Contrastingly, the title The Convent Threshold is used metaphorically rather than as a physical location, to display the persona’s struggle to choose between her lover and the love of God as she stands in the doorway between both. Although, interpreted literally, the poem can be set with the persona as most probably a nun, standing on the doorway of convent.

 

 

Simple analytic notes on Praise Song for My Mother

This was a poem in the poetry anthology section of relationships that I had to study for my GCSE English and so I thought to share my simple notes, which may be helpful to those who have just started looking at Praise Song for My Mother by Grace Nichols

Praise song – traditional African poetic form

there are no full stops in this poem, it is all flowing and continuous

You were

water to me

deep and bold and fathoming

  • “water” – natural imagery. water is essential for living, water is precious just as the mother is to the child and vice versa, the relationship between mother and child is precious. you can see your own reflection in water so does the child reflect it’s mother? Water suggests sea, oceans. ocean depth love? continuous, everlasting, replenishing love?
  • “deep” – theres more than just whats on the surface
  • “fathoming” – solving problems, depth, providing answers/never ending, continuing. a verb that suggests movement

You were

moon’s eye to me

pull and grained and mantling

  • “you” – personal pronoun, more intimate and personal
  • “moon” – radiant, light in the darkness, guidance, the ocean and the moon link because the moon controls the tide “pull” so it is reliant, this is constant as it occurs every night
  • “eye” – guidance, watching out for the persona, personification of the “moon”
  • “moon” symbolises tranquility. the mother provides peace to the child?
  • “mantling” – kept everything together, protection

You were

sunrise to me

rise and warm and streaming

  • “sunrise” – warmth, comfort, spreading light/joy, essential to start everyday, dependent on the sunrise coming everyday
  • “streaming” – constant, flowing to everywhere and around all the rocks and barriers
  • “rise” – lifting us through

You were

the fishes red gill to me

the flame tree’s spread to me

the crab’s leg/the fried plantain smell

                                                            replenishing, replenishing

  • “flame tree’s” – providing shelter, protection, gathering light
  • “the crab’s leg” – is considered to be the tastiest and best part of the meat, its hard to get to
  • repetition of “replenishing” – its ongoing, filling up again, giving more

Go to your wide futures, you said

  • explore the world
  • there is still no full stop which suggests that this is only the beginning of the persona’s life, suggests that searching for the future is the beginning of one’s life?
  • the mother (family) had to be sacrificed in order to explore the world
  • “you said” – an imperative? told by the mother to go seek the future, the potential?