I personally love this phase of the writing process. I love gathering facts and making note cards and seeing all the pieces begin to fall into place. I especially love those “wow moments” where you find the PERFECT quote–when someone has already said what you think, but they said it so much better than you ever would have!!! That is like finding a burried treasure!!!
I am hoping that you are having success so far with your note cards. I am a little nervous for those of you who did not come to class on Friday, because I didn’t get to see your cards and make sure you are on the right track. If you turn them in this Friday and they are wrong–YIKES! They are worth a lot of points. So, if you were not there Friday and I didn’t check your cards can you please text or email me several pictures of your cards. I just want you to do them right and get full credit.
This Friday will be a big day for your grade. You have to show me your first rough draft, your outline, 5 source cards (at least 2 print sources like books or magazines, and 3 online sources), and 10 note cards (They need to have the number of the source card they go with in the corner). For your note cards, please identify if each note is a quote (Q), summary (S), or paraphrase (P)– Just so I know that you know.
I need you to turn in this work as soon as you get to Friday School, so that I can grade it and hand it back in class. Because you are turning in so much, I need you to help me out. PLEASE STAPLE your rough draft, PLEASE STAPLE your outline if it is longer than one page. I don’t want papers getting lost. PLEASE put a paperclip on your source cards and another paperclip on your notecards. THEN place your cards in a ziplock bag with your name CLEARLY WRITTEN on the bag.
I don’t want a chance of one of your valuable research treasures getting lost.
Once you get through this part, things get a little easier! So take a breath and keep going!!!
This is like CrossFit for your brain.
Now we will have just a little fun this week . . .
Friday in class, we learned a little bit about some “beat poetry.” Do you remember learning about the beatniks in Mrs. Kim’s class?
Well, on Friday we learned about Allen Ginsburg. Although we can’t learn too much about him for the sake of decency. We read a poem where he writes about a little fantasy he has about meeting Walt Whitman at a grocery store.
A Supermarket in California
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!—and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?
I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?
(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.)
Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we’ll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?
I am not a huge fan of Allen Ginsburg. I used to have one of his books, Howl, but I had to get rid of it because it was gross. But there are certain things that I can appreciate about this poem. First of all, I love the diction; he chooses such interesting and powerful words. I also love the sensory details. I love how the style, free verse, lends itself well to the feeling of fantasy. I also, wanted to share it with you since we had read Walt Whitman in class.
Here is another beat poet (who actually coined the term “beat poet”) named Jack Kerouac. This poem is called “Daydreams for Ginsberg.”
I lie on my back at midnight
hearing the marvelous strange chime
of the clocks, and know it’s mid-
night and in that instant the whole
world swims into sight for me
in the form of beautiful swarm-
ing m u t t a worlds-
everything is happening, shining
blazing in faith, I know I’m
forever right & all’s I got to
do (as I hear the ordinary
extant voices of ladies talking
in some kitchen at midnight
oilcloth cups of cocoa
cardore to mump the
rinnegain in his
darlin drain-) i will write
it, all the talk of the world
everywhere in this morning, leav-
ing open parentheses sections
for my own accompanying inner
thoughts-with roars of me
all brain-all world
it down, swiftly, 1,000 words
(of pages) compressed into one second
of time-I’ll be long
robed & long gold haired in
the famous Greek afternoon
of some Greek City
Fame Immortal & they’ll
have to find me where they find
the t h n u p f t of my
shroud bags flying
flag yagging Lucien
Midnight back in their
be amazed, annoyed-
my words’ll be writ in gold
& preserved in libraries like
Finnegans Wake & Visions of Neal
I don’t want to spend too much time disecting that, but I just wanted you to get the experience of reading it. Don’t do any research into it, who knows what you will find!!! Most of these guys were really into Buddhism too. So you can see some Buddhist allusions in that poem.
She was not a “beat poet” but I want us to read one of her little poems anyway.
We Real CoolTHE POOL PLAYERS. SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL. We real cool. We Left school. We Lurk late. We Strike straight. We Sing sin. We Thin gin. We Jazz June. We Die soon.
Now, listen to her read it. What do you notice about how the poem sounds?
Please leave a comment about what you think about each poet this week 🙂
With Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost I can say, “If you like this poem, you should read some of their other stuff.”
But we are at the point in the school year where I can no longer safely say that.
If you like any of these poets, don’t read their other stuff unless your parents read it first.