Monday, April 26, 2010

Final Grades and Papers Available

Please pick up your papers with your final grades attached from our class box in the English department copy room. Let me know as soon as possible if you have any questions about your grades. They will be posted formally on Wednesday.

It has been a joy! Thank you for a great class. Good luck in your future writing endeavors.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Last Class

This Thursday is our last class.

To prepare, print your final paper and get hungry for a mid-afternoon snack. We will have a conversation about the semester and you will fill out evaluations before we say adieu.

Then, next Monday, swing by the copy room and pick up your graded paper from our class box. Each will be in an envelope with your final grade in the class. PLEASE pick up your paper and contact me immediately if you have any concerns, as your grade will be submitted Wednesday, April 28.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Upcoming Class Meetings

Mandatory meetings for the second long paper will be scheduled Tuesday, April 20 during our regular class times and will be held in Jazzman's on the first floor of Woodruff Library. If you do not sign up for a meeting, email me immediately to arrange a meeting time. We will not be having class in our regular classroom that day.

Reminder: rough drafts are due this Thursday, April 15 and final drafts are due April 22. You must turn in the final draft in class and on paper on the 22nd. There will be no extensions unless previously arranged.

Sinead Morrissey supplement

Watch Sinead Morrissey reading "Through the Square Window."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Long Paper #2

This is the second of two long papers this semester and the last paper for this class.

Each long paper is made up of three grades. The first grade is for your rough draft, the second for a mandatory meeting with me to go over suggested revisions, and the third is for the final draft.You can also find this and additional information on your syllabus.

I will pass around a sign up sheet next week for the meeting times on March 2. If for some reason you cannot meet on that date, we can arrange an alternative time. You will receive your rough draft at your meeting.

Final drafts will be returned via the box in the copy room. Once I put a note on this website, go to the copy box and find your paper. Your paper will be covered with an envelope with your name on it. Please pick it up! On it will be your final grade for the entire long paper project as well as your expected grade for the semester.

If you have any concerns about your final grade, email me immediately.


You may want to meet with me or send me a draft before you turn in your rough draft. I will make meetings if you email me at or I will accept preliminary rough drafts up until noon on Wednesday, April 14. You can send me ideas, paragraphs, whatever you would like.

Each student is given the opportunity at one "free read" before each paper (or rough draft and final draft) is due. This policy will apply throughout the remainder of the semester. It is in your best interest to take advantage of this policy. Free reads for the final draft must be emailed to me by noon on Wednesday, April 21.


Rough Draft: April 15
Meeting: April 20
Final Draft: April 22


Each paper should be 5-6 pages long, double spaced in Times 12 point font with standard spacing and margins, and turned in on paper. Students should follow MLA guidelines on the formatting of their paper and in their citation methods. Papers will be evaluated according to the following criteria, although +/- grades may be present in order to indicate the relative strength of the work within these general categories.

A: This paper addresses the question in a manner that demonstrates a comprehension of the assignment as well as the social and political contexts discussed in class. The thesis is clear and concise, allowing the argument to develop in a structured manner. Additionally, the paper is original as it provides a unique perspective. All MLA guidelines are correct and there are minimal technical problems.

B: This paper completes the basic requirements of the assignment, follows MLA guidelines, and is generally clear and concise. It does, however, need to improve in one or a few of the following areas: organization, argument development, or mechanics.

C: This paper answers the question of the assignment, but lacks useful citation from the primary text and contains an underdeveloped thesis statement. MLA citations may be incorrect, and/or other technical problems may be present.

D: This paper does not complete the requirements of the assignment.


1. Discuss the sexual metaphor implied in "Act of Union" by Seamus Heaney. What country is the male? What country is the female? How is pregnancy an apt metaphor for the Troubles?

2. Choose two poems about the islands off the West Coast of Ireland (W.B. Yeats's "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," Derek Mahon's "Thinking of Inis Oir in Cambridge, MA" and Michael Longley's "Leaving Inishmore") to compare and contrast their depiction of nostalgia.

3. Derek Mahon disagreed with the portrait of himself and Michael Longley in the latter's poem "Letter to Derek Mahon." Locate the contentious language and argue either for Michael Longley's right to portray their shared time or Derek Mahon's reservations about appropriating their experience.

4. The Belfast Group tended to write poems to and about one another. In our packet, Michael Longley wrote two to Seamus Heaney. Choose one of these poems and find echoes of Seamus Heaney's distinctive poetic style. (Note: You must situate your reading of Longley by locating quotes from the original Heaney poems)

5. How does Ciaran Carson portray Belfast in his long poem "Queen's Gambit"? Pay close attention to the moments of ekphrasis and his interest in branding and advertising imagery.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Revisions due

Remember, your paper revisions are due today.

Ciaran Carson supplement

Ciaran Carson recently published a short poem called "The Tag" in the New Yorker.

Read about him in an interview by the Guardian, a British newspaper, to learn what Belfast Confetti really is and about Carson's tie to Belfast.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Michael Longley supplement

Watch Michael Longley read "Ceasefire." He explains the poem in advance and dedicates it to Seamus Heaney, both of whom are pictured above.

You can also see his office and read an interview with him by Dr. Margaret Mills Harper, a professor from Georgia State University.

Hungry for more? Hear recordings he made reading his poetry.

Bog Bodies verses Pompeii Casts

If you have time, watch this video on BBC news about Pompeii victims as an interesting comparison to the bog bodies we discussed in Seamus Heaney's North.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Next Week's Packets

Remember to pick up your Michael Longley (Tuesday) and Ciaran Carson (Thursday) reading in the copy room box. It will be available by 3 PM Friday.

Derek Mahon supplement II

Loved "Thinking of Inis Oirr in Cambridge, Mass."? The man he dedicated it to, Eamon Grennan, is reading next Tuesday, April 6 at Emory!

Inis Mor is the largest of the three Aran islands. Inis Oirr is the smallest. Can you see the limestone?

W.B. Yeats is also known for his early poem, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree." He was nostalgic for the west of Ireland from his residency in London. How do you think these two poems use memory as consolation? What does it mean to desire a place from a position of exile, however chosen that exile may be?

Derek Mahon supplement

This is the first follow up to discussion from April 1 on Derek Mahon.

Read "Easter 1916" by W.B. Yeats and compare the stone imagery in this poem to what we saw in "Spring in Belfast." Additionally, how does Yeats's questioning contrast against Mahon's "casual pity"?

Derek Mahon also is noted for his ties to his predecessor, W.H. Auden (1907-1973).