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A Soldier’s Dream – Anonymous

Last night as I toasted
	My wet feet and roasted
A small bit of beef by a similar blaze,
	While nought but the wheezings,
	The snorings, and sneezings
Of comrades grouping in Dreamland's haze
	Disturbed the fine vision --
	The picture Elysian --
That Fancy's weird wand conjured up to my thought,
	As she stood like a spooke,
	In a garb of blue smoke,
And amid the hot embers her wonders she wrought.

	Adown a highway
	We were marching so gay
An army with banners bedecked o'er and o'er
	With the brightest garlands
	Wove by fairest of hands,
While a flaming bouquet stuck in each musket bore.
	Each triumphal arch
	It met on the march
Was blazoned with "Peace"; "Welcome home each loved one";
		While maid, wife, and mother
		Would with rapture discover
And rush out to meet lover, husband, and son!

	I forgot all my sore toes --
	Nay, all of my woes --
As I sprang to the threshold and clasped her dear waist;
	And every campaign
	I'd gone over again
To get from those ripe lips another such taste.
	But as I flew to her
	I dropped my fine skewer,
And with it my supper. I mastered my grief
	As the vanishing vision
	of joy's Elysian,
But I couldn't get over the loss of the beef

When reading this poem, I could not help but think about the many video clips, pictures, and heartwarming sights
that everyone has seen of soldiers when they reunite with their loved ones. I chose this poem because it gave a
detailed story of a soldier who is going through the hard times of the Civil War. He endures the cold weather, and the sick
soldiers all around him. When I think of war, I think of the horrible times soldiers have to go through, always
dreaming of home.  To me, this poem represents the mood of war by describing a soldier who cannot wait to be home
in the presence of his Elysian, family, and friends; just like the soldiers today.
 
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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Civil War Poetry

 

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Belizean Pledge of Allegiance

As
we unfurl your colors true,

The
White, the Scarlet and the Royal Blue.

We
pledge allegiance and with pride,

Salute
you and your heaven wild ride.

We
pledge to make you always fly,

In
this or bit of London style.

May
the unity for which we stand,

Infuse
each heart and join each hand.

As
under God our nation rules,

And
so we say, “Fly High” Fly Proud” “Fly Free”,

Always
our standards be.

_______________________________________________________

Children reciting the Belizean Pledge in school:

http://youtu.be/Dhtdq8F9rQc

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Pledges

 

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John Keats

John Keats is considered to be one of the greatest English poets of the 19th century.  He was born on October 31, 1795.  After the death of both of his parents when he was at the young age of 14, Keats was taken from school to begin an apprenticeship with a surgeon.  Keats later ended his quest in the medical field to become a poet.  He began writing poetry as early as 1814, and Percey Shelley was instrumental in helping Keats publish his first collection of poems in 1817.  At the age of 25, John Keats died on February 23, 1821 of consumption, otherwise known as tuberculosis, which was the same illness that killed his mother and brother.

When I Have Fears

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;–then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

I picked this poem by John Keats because, not to sound sappy, but it spoke to me.  The poem is about Keat’s fears of dying before he truly gets to live.  In the line, “Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,” John Keats specifically expresses his fear of not being able to share his knowledge and gift of poetry with others.  He also has a fear of not being able to love the woman of his dreams completely.  I can relate to how Keats felt about living in fear of death, because sometimes you just never know.  I too, want to be able to live my life to the fullest before it is my time to go, and I think that we all feel this way to some extent.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Poets

 

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T.S. Eliot

 

T.S. Eliot was one of the most important English-language poets of the 20th century.  He was born in St. Louis, Missouri of an old New England family on September 26, 1888.  Eliot attended college at the University of Harvard.  In 1927, Eliot became a British citizen.  He died on January 4th, 1965.  Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, a collection of whimsical poems written by T.S. Eliot, is the basis for the record-setting musical Cats.

HYSTERIA

by: T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

S she laughed I was aware of becoming involved
in her laughter and being part of it, until her
teeth were only accidental stars with a talent
for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps,
inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally
in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by
the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter
with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading
a pink and white checked cloth over the rusty
green iron table, saying: “If the lady and
gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden,
if the lady and gentleman wish to take their
tea in the garden …” I decided that if the
shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of
the fragments of the afternoon might be collected,
and I concentrated my attention with careful
subtlety to this end.

I chose this poem because of the immense detail it had in it.  The woman has a frantic state of mind; she seems crazy.  I was able to picture her sitting at the table, at first being funny and able to laugh with, and then getting to be annoying with her over-excessive and obnoxious sense of humor.  I also chose Hysteria because it was one of the easier poems by Eliot to comprehend.  “‘If the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden…'”  The old waitor wants them to leave the dining area because she is causing a scene.  The woman’s hysterical laughter disturbs who she is sitting with, and it even disturbed me.  This is present in the last line: “I decided that if the shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might be collected, and I concentrated my attention with careful subtlety to this end.”  The woman’s laughter is causing her breasts to shake excessively; one more annoying factor that is disturbing her guest.  I liked this poem because I could identify with encountering irritating people in public places.  When you’re out and see someone laughing, you can enjoy their happiness.  But, when they go too far it just becomes maddening.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Poets

 

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Are You Being Watched?

It is sometimes frightening to think about how similar today’s society is to George Orwell’s 1984.  In his novel, Orwell describes a nation of no privacy.   Big Brother, the main leader of The Party, controls every aspect of life in Oceania.  Telescreens and Thought Police lurk everywhere, just waiting to catch people that act or think negatively towards the government.  “A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself” (Orwell, 220).  The privacy factor in today’s world is much like Orwell’s prediction.  Due to our supreme advancements in technology, “Big Brother” now has an even greater ability to oversee everything that we do.

Google is a definite form of “Big Brother”, in that it has the capability of monitoring everything that we do through their service.  As stated in the article Forgot What You Searched For? Google Didn’t, depending on how much personal information you have given them, Google can know a great deal about you, and they even log everything that their users search for.  “Google stores a “tracking cookie” or small file on each user’s computer to store items such as the address of their computer, type of Web browser used, and date and time of each query submitted” ( Walker, 13).  This quote exemplifies how far Google really goes to track the things that you do.  This is seen in 1984 in the way that The Party monitors each and every individual’s activities.  “You had to live-did live, from habit that became instinct-in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized” (Orwell, 6 & 7).

There are many ways to manipulate public opinion, one of which being advertising.  According to Wikipedia’s page on advertising, advertising is “a form of communication intended to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to purchase or take some action upon products, ideas, or services” (“Advertising”, par. 1).  Advertisers get us to buy because they convince us it is what we need and that it is the best product and the best thing for our well-being.  Advertising does most of the work for us so we no longer have to make decisions for ourselves, we can just simply follow what they say.  This is quite similar to what occurred in 1984. The government was easily able to persuade the citizens of Oceania of such things as The Ministry of Truth, which was made up of anything but the truth.  In reality, it was falsified history to make the government always right.  Big Brother and The Party didn’t allow the people to do any thinking for themselves, and if they were caught doing so, harsh punishments would follow, such as being vaporized from the nation.  “In the vast majority of cases there was no trial, no report of the arrest.  People simply disappeared, always during the night.  Your name was removed from the registeres, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten” (Orwell, 20)

Thinking about these technologies and how they will affect me later in life, I have come to the conclusion that they will have a major impact.  Google is a search engine that I use almost daily, and having my every move being tracked is something I need to watch out for.  As I grow older and have more control over my own money and future, advertisements will have a much stronger effect on me.  There is a “Big Brother” always watching us and making the attempt to control our everyday lives.  Indeed, Orwell was spot on with his prediction of the future.

 

 

Walker, Leslie. “Forgot What You Searched For? Google Didn’t – Washingtonpost.com.” The Washington Post: National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines – Washingtonpost.com. 21 Jan. 2006. Web. 06 Apr. 2011. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/20/AR2006012001799.html>.

“Advertising.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 06 Apr. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advertising.

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Beyond 1984

 

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Medieval Literature vs. Renaissance Literature

Medieval and Renaissance literature were influenced by two completely different eras in human history.  During the Middle Ages, (A.D. 1066- 1500) the toils of daily life affected the mindset of those at this time.  As a result, these ideas found its way into the making of Medieval literature.  However, after the great rediscovery of the classical civilizations during A.D. 1500- 1660, men began creating what is now looked upon as Renaissance literature.  Though they are both forms of writing, their history as a part of society greatly differed from contrasting philosophies of life, leading to two different personalities.

Medieval Literature

During the Middle Ages, a great emphasis was placed on the blend of fantasy and reality.  Though characters were given human characteristics, their personalities transcended  to those of fictitious figures (God, Saints, and revered leaders).  Additionally, these stories incorporated the codes of romance and honor, reliving the ideals of chivalry in writing.  Furthermore, there was a religious overtone hidden in these works.  Because only monks could hand- copy these manuscripts in monasteries, only a few were made available to the rich and noble.  As for the peasants, the only way to pass down these stories from generation to generation was by words of mouth.

For example, Geoffrey Chaucer (1343- 1400), the famous author of The Canterbury Tales, practiced these forms of writing in his narration of the social classes at this time.  He was later known as one of the best medieval writer of all time.

 

Renaissance Literature
In contrast to the religion- driven aspects of literature found during Medieval times, Renaissance thinkers reverted back to the idealism of classical civilizations during A.D. 1500- 1660.  Instead of focusing on the dreams of the future, Renaissance men and women were concerned with the “here and now”.  During this period, feelings and emotions were key to illustrating humanism, with the story more oriented on the character rather than the adventure.  In addition, Renaissance literature revolved more around having a real humanistic protagonist with a real story to tell.  These basic ideals evolved from a humble place in life to a materialistic dream steeped in luxury.  Moreover, with the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johann Gutenberg, manuscripts were no longer needed to be meticulously hand- copied, and were able to be printed and delivered to the mass public inexpensively and swiftly.  With more men and women educated due to the indirect results of the printing press, literature became widespread throughout Europe.
For example, John Milton (A.D. 1608- 1674), in his notorious epic poem Paradise Lost, illustrated a more humanistic and prideful Lucifer who craves power in Heaven.  This represents the change in ideas from the religious Medieval literature into the secular themes of Renaissance literature.
“John Milton (1608-1674).” Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature. 26 Dec. 2006. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. <http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/milton/&gt;.
“Medieval Literature.” Medieval Life and Times. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. <http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info/medieval-life/medieval-literature.htm&gt;.
“Introduction to the Renaissance.” 29 Mar. 2009. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. <http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/ren.html&gt;.
“Medieval Literature.” Medieval Life. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. <http://medieval-life.net/literature_main.htm&gt;.

 

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2010 in Thomas More's Utopia

 

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