quinta-feira, 31 de março de 2011

I am a Poem

by Brent Phelan
I am a poem.
I see nothing but beauty.
I hear nothing but joyous readers.
I am a poem.
I wonder what life would be like if I were a sonnet.
I wish I could be read to the world.
I feel like I could come alive.
I am a poem.
I dream that I can be in a book.
I understand the nature of beautiful things.
I predict peace within your soul.
I am a poem. 

by Nicole Dancisin
I am a poem, intangible escape.
I see strong emotions expressed by writers.
I hear laughter, tears, and stories.
I am a poem, an expression incognito.
I wonder why I am used and used.
I wish people would face their problems instead of coming to me.
I feel honored and yet disappointed.
I am a poem, a path you might not want to take.
I dream I can speak to express my feelings, as people do.
I understand hidden literary terms.
I predict I can help one or two people.
I am a poem, just a shoulder to cry on. 

Blogged by Sandra Corrêa

quarta-feira, 30 de março de 2011

What is poetry?

I agree with the point of view of my classmates about "What is poetry?"! But there is something that I should add that I believe poetry isn't present only on paper. Even before we start writting a poem, we are already living the poem (connecting with what Lis said about that it can be a moment the person could transmit his/her feelings or thoughts through words).
But differently of what people usually think, to write a poem it's not just to throw your feelings to the paper: it requires a lot of written knowledge (of course there are exceptions, like who have the gift of writting) because usually poems are compounded of many structure things, like the way it will be written, the alliteration, personification, rhyme and many other things that turns a poem as a poem itself.
To summarize, poetry is the union of knowlege resources used in writting with the gift of bringing feelings to words, bringing moments, relief, irony, humor, and what we usually expect from a poem: love.

(Posted by Charon Boscá)

Research I've made on Medieval Romance

Medieval Romance
Le Morte D’Arthur by Thomas Malory

The book is the author’s most famous work and it tells the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Thomas Malory was an English Romancist and published the book in 1485, 15 years after he finished writing it. The work was originally divided into eight tales which comprise the adventures of King Arthur since his birth until death. Most of the stories take place in France and Britain in the second half of the 5th century, a period of expansion of the Roman Empire in Europe.

Marcos Costa

terça-feira, 29 de março de 2011

The Canterbury Tales' curiosities

Hey Guys, here are some of the curiosities found by me concerning Chaucer's most famous work: The Canterbury Tales. I've found on internet some information about the language use in this work. If you guys find anything else, please post it here!

....." The language of The Canterbury Tales is Middle English, spoken and written in Britain between 1100 and 1500. Middle English followed Old English (450 to 1100), the first period in the development of the English language, and preceded Modern English (1500 to the present). "

 "During the Middle English period, rules of pronunciation and inflection were flexible, allowing the language to evolve. A notable characteristic of Middle English as used by Chaucer was the presence of a final -e in words that today are written without a final -e. Generally, the final -e of a word was pronounced if it preceded a word beginning with a vowel. Although midway through the Middle English period speakers were beginning to cease pronouncing the final -e before a vowel, Chaucer usually retained its pronunciation in The Canterbury Tales. It was pronounced like the a in coma and the second a in papa. (Note: A sounded e inside a word was generally pronounced like the modern long a. Thus, the first e in the word swete, the Middle English equivalent of sweet, was pronounced like the a in mate.)."

"Another characteristic of Middle English was the use of the letter y (pronounced as a long e) followed by a hyphen and a verb to indicate the past tense of that verb. Examples from The Canterbury Tales are y-draw (drawn), y-know (known), y-shave (shaven), y-beat (beaten), y-hold (held), y-do (done), y-take (took), y-go (gone), y-crow (crowed), y-fall (fallen), y-grave (engraved), and y-run (ran). Sometimes the y and hyphen preceded verbs already in the past tense in modern English, as in y-bought (bought), y-told (told), and y-nourished (nourished). The use of y- before a verb continued until about 1600. [...]"

Following are examples of words ending in e in lines 1-30 of the general prologue as presented in many popular editions of The Canterbury Tales

Extracted from: http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides3/Canterbury.html
(Posted by Diogo Oliveira)


segunda-feira, 28 de março de 2011

Daniel of Beccles, a medieval author

Daniel of Beccles was a medieval author and also a knight in King Henry II’s court. At the end of the 12th century, he wrote a very interesting book of manners called The Book of the Civilized Man – also known as Urbanus Magnus –, which is actually a 3.000 lines poem teaching men and boys how to behave properly in court society. It seems that this was the first manual of etiquette written in English.  

The Book of Civilized Man has advice for typical social situations that have to do specially with social hierarchy, self-control and sexual morality in medieval times. For example, the lines about social hierarchy usually address those men who want to be part of the nobility, and Beccles advises them:

“Dining at a rich man’s table, say little.”

When it comes to self-control, one of Beccles suggestions is that it is better for a man to keep his thoughts to himself by advising:

"Be careful to whom, what, why and when you speak".

And finally, advice about sexual morality teaches how men should behave with their own wives, with other men’s wives and with prostitutes. Beccles advises his readers that if a lord’s wife makes a sexual proposition to a man, for example, the best solution for this man is to pretend to be ill.

These were the sites I researched at: 

Posted by Fernanda Pedrecal

What is poetry?/?

For me it's a very difficult question. Poetry is something difficult to be defined, but it can define many things. People's feelings, cultute, ideas... I think poetry is something necessary to make this hard world smoother.


Medieval Poets

Giovanni Boccacio, Geoffrehy Chaucer, Dante Alighier

By Lorena Xavier

domingo, 27 de março de 2011

The Wife of Bath

One of the most famous images for The Wife of Bath

In our last class (March 25th), we discussed about Geoffrey Chaucer. We talked mostly about his short poems, but what got me curious was something Professor Sandra mentioned about The Wife of Bath, one of the stories from Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. She said it was very interesting and funny, so I went on a little research about it.

In very brief terms, The Wife of Bath is a tale about independent women in the Middle Ages (seems that some women managed to be independent at that time!). Like all the other stories in The Canterbury Tales, is has a prologue before the tale itself. The prologue is told by a woman named Alison - the wife of Bath -, and she considers herself a very experienced woman, since she's been married five times. The whole prologue is about her telling the pilgrims about her relationship with each one of her husbands and how she felt pleased to control and torture them.

The tale starts with the condemnation of a knight from King Arthur's court accused of rape. But because his lovers intercede on his behalf, the queen decides to give him a second chance by challenging him: he has one year and a day to discover what women want more than anything else. The only way to save his life is bringing the queen a good answer; otherwise, he dies.

So the knight starts the quest, but finds no answer. One year later, when going back to meet the queen, feeling sad because he had failed, he meets a very old hag that promises to help him if she gets a reward from him at a proper time. He agrees and they go together to the court. When they arrive there, he tells the queen that what women want the most is sovereignty over their husbands. The queen accepts the answer and sets him free.

But then the old hag asks him for her reward! She demands that the knight marry her. Under his protests, they get married the next day. That night, during their honeymoon, he tells her how sad he feels because of her poverty and ugliness. The hag tells him to choose between an ugly and faithful wife or a beautiful and unfaithful one. Because he decides to leave the choice up to her, the hag becomes a beautiful and faithful woman, and then the couple lived very happy until the last day of their lives. The end!         

These were the sites I researched at:


Posted by Fernanda Pedrecal

sábado, 26 de março de 2011

Tolkien and Beowulf

J.R.R. Tolkien, writer and Professor of Philology at Oxford University.

Tolkien was a philologist. Commonly known by his wonderful literary woks, his linguistic and philological works are closely related to novels like The Lord of The Rings for a simple reason: it was all his historical, mythological and linguistic knowledge that made him able to create that amazing paralel world.
He was also the first one to recognize the literary importance of the poem Beowulf, at first it was considered only linguistic corpus to the angle-saxon language investigation.

"Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics" was a 1936 lecture given by J. R. R. Tolkien on literary criticism on the Old English heroic epic poem Beowulf. It was first published in that year in Proceedings of the British Academy, and has since been reprinted in many collections, including in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays, the 1983 collection of Tolkien's academic papers edited by Christopher Tolkien.
This paper is regarded as a formative work in modern Beowulf studies. In this talk, Tolkien speaks against critics who play down the fantastic elements of the poem (such as Grendel and the dragon) in favour of using Beowulf solely as a source for Anglo-Saxon history. Tolkien argues that rather than being merely extraneous, these elements are key to the narrative and should be the focus of study. In doing so he drew attention to the previously neglected literary qualities of the poem and argued that it should be studied as a work of art, not just as ahistorical document. Later critics who agreed with Tolkien on this point have routinely cited him to defend their arguments.
The paper remains a common source for students and scholars studying Beowulf and was praised by Seamus Heaney in the introduction to his translation of the poem. Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson call it in their Beowulf, An Edition (1998) "the most influential literary criticism of the poem ever written". The paper also sheds light on many of Tolkien's ideas about literature and is a source for those seeking to understand his writings.
The lecture is based on a longer lecture series, which exists in two manuscript versions published together as Beowulf and the Critics (2002), edited by Michael D. C. Drout.

To know more about Professor Drout work you can click here.

A curiosity

Tolkien was a genius. And one of the demonstrations of his brilliacy are the languages he created alone. The most complex of them are the Quenya and the Sindarin talked by the elves in his mythology. To know all the genesis of the Middle Earth, I would recommend the book The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings, after that there is a big number of books telling particular parts of the story.
His languages are clearly influenced by his knowledge of Greek, Latin, German and Old English. But the elvish languages are also very strongly influenced by Old German and Gothic language but mainly by Finish language:

The ingredients in Quenya are various, but worked out into a self-consistent character not precisely like any language that I know. Finnish, which I came across when I first begun to construct a 'mythology' was a dominant influence, but that has been much reduced [now in late Quenya]. It survives in some features: such as the absence of any consonant combinations initially, the absence of the voiced stops b, d, g (except in mb, nd, ng, ld, rd, which are favoured) and the fondness for the ending -inen, -ainen, -oinen, also in some points of grammar, such as the inflexional endings -sse (rest at or in), -nna(movement to, towards), and -llo (movement from); the personal possessives are also expressed by suffixes; there is no gender.

The alphabet looks much like the germanic languages old letters, and here you can see in the left, the first page of Beowulf and in the right, the longest poem in Sindarin found in The Lord of the Rings trilogy:

 A Elbereth Gilthoniel is an Elvish hymn to Varda in J.R.R
Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
First page of Beowulf in Cotton Vitellius A. xv.



 And that's all, folks!
by Bárbara Prado.


What is Poetry? 2

Now, the quotations about poetry:

Poets are masters of us ordinary men, in knowledge of the mind, because they drink at streams which we have not yet made accessible to science. (Sigmund Freud)

Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject. (John Keats)

Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world,  and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar. (Percy Bysshe Sheley)

Poetry is more philosophical and of higher value than history; for poetry tends to express the universal, history the particular. (Aristotle)

And that's all, folks!
by Bárbara Prado.


What is Poetry? 1

Hi there!

I've changed the configuration of the blog (as you can clearly see, rs) because the old layout was a bit confusing. I guess it is more to the point of an academic blog now. However, if you disagree, please change it back ok???

Now, going to the point: What is poetry???

Well, poetry is a text written in verses that makes huge use of language stylistic devices (such as aliteration and/or rhyme) and depending on the artistic school the author is evolved it can have a fixed structure (a "right" number of syllables and verses) or be completly free in its structure.
On the other hand, poetry tells much about feelings, it is very personal. So, it is also an artistic way to escape from reality, to expose the self, to talk about politics. Concluding, it is all about humanity.

And that's all, folks!
by Bárbara Prado.


Arthurian texts

    • If you like text about The Knights and King Arthur, you can see more visiting the page below. For those not collected here, see the Camelot Project, and especially the Camelot Project Author Menu for beautifully presented, introduced, and annotated texts of:
      • The Alliterative Morte Arthure
      • Annales Cambriae (Annals of Wales), Arthurian References in (c. 960-980)
      • The Avowyng of Arthur
      • The Awntyrs off Arthur
      • The Carle of Carlisle
      • Culwch and Olwen (translated by Lady Charlotte Guest as Kilhwch and Olwen)
      • The Greene Knight
      • The Jeaste of Sir Gawain
      • King Arthur and King Cornwall
      • The Knightly Tale of Gologras and Gawain
      • Lancelot of the Laik
      • The Marriage of Sir Gawain
      • Sir Gawain and the Carle of Carlisle
      • Sir Perceval of Galles
      • Sir Tristrem
      • Stanzaic Morte Arthur
      • The Turke and Sir Gawain ((c) TEAMS)
      • The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle
      • A selection of post medieval Arthurian literature [Tennyson, Emerson, Swinbourne and so on.]
    • WEB The Robin Hood Text Archive [At Rochester]
      With both medieval and post-medieval texts.
Fonte: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook2.html#lit2
Posted by Antonio Deodato Leão

Medieval Literature - The Poets and Authors

Medieval literature was written by a variety of authors and poets, many of which are included in the following list:
Caedmon (657–680) was the first English poet of whom we have any knowledge and credited with the authorship of "The Dream of the Holy Rood"
Venerable Bede (673-735) who wrote the Ecclesiastical History of England and the scientific treatise, De Natura Rerum
Margery Kempe (1373 - c1438) Famous as the author of the first autobiography in English
John Gower (1325 - 1408) was famous as a Medieval Poet and friend of Geoffrey Chaucer. He is remembered primarily for three major works, the Mirroir de l'Omme, Vox Clamantis, and Confessio Amantis, three long poems written in French, Latin, and English respectively, which are united by common moral and political themes.
William Longland (c1332 - c1386) who was famous as an English Poet who wrote the Vision of Piers Plowman.
Raphael Holinshed (c1529 - 1580) Famous as the Medieval Author of Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Posted by Antonio Deodato Leão

My poetry

Unmeaning Love

Falling down into unbelief
Admitting it never really believed
And it feels its life has been
Sucked up into a vacuum clean
It knows that it was wrong
But this feeling it was so strong
Sometimes it doesn’t want to do some things
But this unmeaning love has his wings
There aren’t real connection or cum
There is only one fucking sensation of fun
It doesn’t even see a future
Living its wide torture
One unmeaning love
It is dying inside
Why it is falling in love
When it knows it won’t survive?
It makes feeling cold
Like the winter has to be
It spreads poison in blood
Like a unforgettable grief

A. D. M. LEÃO – 04/08/2007

Your eyes

You look
  Inside of my eyes
   With a smile in your face
     But I know that you lie
You tell me
  That you are bliss
    But your eyes
     Can’t hide your deep
You are ashamed
  That your heart is
    Building up your mausoleum
      Drying up what was blooming
Your eyes
  Ever was too bright
    They passed over storms
      But now there are not light
You look as if there wasn’t more
     As if you never had seen before
           Pretending the necessity to see
                You look at me trying to hide
                       [That you want to come back to me]

A. D. M. LEÃO – 11/09/2008

Posted by Antonio Deodato Leão

quinta-feira, 24 de março de 2011

Alliterations in Beowulf's text

I found alliterations in these verses:

"Grendel came creeping, accursed of God"
"Storming the building he burst the portal"
"Though fastened of iron, with fiendish strength"
"And rushed in rage o'ver the shining floor"
"Many a warrior sealed in slumber"
"To feast his fill of the flesh of men"
"The demon delayed not, but quickly clutched"
"Tore him in pieces, bit through the bones"
"Gulped the blood, and gobbled the flesh"
"But Beowulf grappled and gripped him hard"
"To win his freedon and flee to the fens"
"The raid that the ravager made on the hall"

Posted by Adalton Silva

quarta-feira, 23 de março de 2011

Alliteration in Beowulf

I found some alliteration in Beowulf 's poetry, but  I don't know if what I did  is correct, I tried.

“Grendel came creeping, accursed of God”
“Spoil of heroes in high-built hall…”
“And rushed in rage o’er the shining floor.”
“A host of kinsmen. His heart rejoiced”
“To feast his fill of flesh of men.”
“Gulped the blood, and gobbled the flesh,”
“But Beowulf grappled and gripped him hard,”
“The hardy hero, Hygelac’s kinsman,”
“To win his freedom and flee to the fens.”
“The house so fair; it was firmly fastened”
“Within and without with iron”

(Posted by Rafaela Souza)

My Medieval Poet - JOHN GOWER

Is an English poet (1330 – 1408), nothing is known about his training but speculations are that he was trained in law. His three main works are: Mirour de l'Omme (an allegorical poem about the fall of man and the effect of sin in the world), Vox Clamantis (also deals of sin and corruption of society) and his most acclaimed Confessio Amantis.

  • Confessio Amantis or The Lover's Confession is written in English at the request of Richard II who was concerned that so little was being written in English. It is a collection of tales dealing with courtly love narrative poems are short. It is a poem of patterns and postures, divided into a prologue and eight books that are divided by themes, the narrative structure has three levels which are: the external question, the narrative structure and the individual tales that make up the work. Considered one of the great works of the 14th century with the works of Chaucer, Langland and the Pearl poet. It is considered a poem of consolation, a medieval form that was inspired by Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy”.  It is most studied along with collections of short stories with similar structures as "Decameron" of Boccaccio and particularly Chaucer "Canterbury Tales", for the Confessio has several stories in common.
 (Posted by Rafaela Souza)

What is Poetry?

According to the Oxford dictionary
  • literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature.
  • a quality of beauty and intensity of emotion regarded as characteristic of poems.
  • something regarded as comparable to poetry in its beauty.
For me poetry has rhythm, is a form of expression. One way to expose good or bad feelings, maybe for some it's just a way to expose ideas and depending on who is going to have to interpret a particular vision.

(Posted by Rafaela Souza)

My Medieval Author - William Langland

The medieval author that I’ve choose is William Langland (c. 1330 – c. 1400).  He was a medieval poet. He was born in Ledbury (Herefordshire) and used to write about religious themes as in The Vision Concerning Piers Plowman. Nowadays there are just a few manuscripts but and none of them were written by Langland hands. This poem can be found in three versions and has a simple and colloquial language powered by his directed discourse. The story begins in Malvern Hills and is a prologue of seven steps that are turned to the live of the humans in society and this includes the seven capital sins. A guy named Will, that will be the narrator of this story, sees in his dreams a tower in a hill and a fortress in a valley, and all of it represents the humankind and he starts giving a lot of examples in his narrative about this humankind. The story is divided in two parts. The first one is the part that Will, the guy that fall asleep and also the narrator of the story, offers himself to be the one that will guide the Truth. And in the second part Will starts a journey to find “Do-well, Do-bet, and Do-best”, and these three “men” can personify Christ (goodness). The complete version of The Vision Concerning Piers Plowman can be found in the internet, and can be found either in three different versions.

(Posted by Lis Machado)

Alliterations in Beowulf

I've found some alliteration in Beowulf’s poetry. I don’t know if I’m correct, but I tried to found it by the sound that the sentence has. Here it goes the alliterations that I've found:

“of human shape the superhuman size”

“Spoil of heroes in high-built hall…”
“And rushed in rage o’er the shining floor”
“A host of kinsmen. His heart rejoiced”
“To feast his fill of the flesh of men.”
“The demon delayed not, but quickly clutched.”
“A sleeping thane in his swift assault,”
“Gulped the blood, and gobbled the flesh,”
“But Beowulf grappled and gripped him hard,”
"The fellowship of devils. Far different his fate.”
“To win his freedom and flee to the fens.”
“The raid that the ravager made on the hall…”
“Savage the strife as the warriors struggled.”
“Within and without with iron”

(Posted By Lis Machado)

What is Poetry?

The first thing that I thought when the teacher made the question was that the poetry can be a relief. Can be a moment where a person is intimately only with their own thoughts and have the power to transmit it through the words. It can be sad, happy, or just simple phrases of love. For me everything can be poetry if the person wants it to be poetry.

(Posted by Lis Machado)

What about African poetry

It's not that I'm  sick and tired of english poetry, but, what I want to say it's that we learn poetry written in english language, but almost all the authors we learn are from Europe, USA, what about the african poetries, don't they have their place here?.
I'd love if we had the opportunity to talk about them, about these black, strong and awareness poetries.

To start up, i bring you, Chinua Achebe, nigerian author who is part of the so called "post-colonialism literature". If you guys have more informations about him, please post it here.

"Butterfly," by Chinua Achebe

Speed is violence
Power is violence
Weight is violence

The butterfly seeks safety in lightness
In weightless, undulating flight

But at a crossroads where mottled light
From trees falls on a brash new highway
Our convergent territories meet

I come power-packed enough for two
And the gentle butterfly offers
Itself in bright yellow sacrifice
Upon my hard silicon shield.
Why do you guys think he repeatedly uses the word "violence".

Beowulf's alliteration

Hi, guys, I'm Diogo

Since we're supposed to find alliteration in Beowulf's text, i'm gonna start with a Longman"s online dictionary definition of it.
According to it alliteration is "the use of several words together that begin with the same sound or letter in order to make a special effect, especially in poetry". It's not that complicated, in fact, it's not at all. But, i confess for me it's not that clear...Help me if you guys find different things.

"to feast his fill of the flesh of men"
"the house so fair, it was firmly fastened"
"within and without with iron"
"to win his freedom and flee to the fiend"


Longman's dictionary