Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Look at the poems in the packet linked to the right as "Donne Packet." Rank about 10 of them in order of preference: one poem for a memorization, one for an explication, one for an IMAGINATERPRETIVE WORLD ROCKER THING. See the ManageBac calendar for due dates. You may have up to THREE (no more, absolutely not) working on the IWRT.

Here is the complete set of assignments for the first five weeks:

English 5 IB, Q1, Weeks 1-5
J. Koon, instructor

The first set of assignments consists of a drafted writing piece (an explication of a John Donne poem), a performance piece (a memorized recitation of a separate Donne poem), and an imaginative interpretation of a third Donne poem. For the third piece (the imaginative interpretation), students may pair or form groups of three.
First, students should prioritize their choices from the Donne packet of poems posted on my website. I will attempt to spread the assignments for maximum exposure for each poem, so students might not get their first choices for all three assignments. Have these choices prioritized by class on August 30 for B-day and September 3 for A-day.
On September 9/10, two assignments come due: students should perform their memorized recitations, and they should submit a draft of an explication covering at least the first five lines of their assigned poem. I will mark the explication drafts and return them. Students then should explicate the remainder of the poem to the best of their abilities, address all comments and suggestions from me, and turn in a typed, MLA-formatted draft attached to all previous explication work.  I will mark again and return them. Students then revise as instructed to the final, which is due attached to all previous explication work on September 23/24. Students MUST submit preliminary drafts before the subsequent ones. They must follow that process to receive credit. There is no rubric: students are finished when they have done as instructed.
On September 19/20, students should present their imaginative interpretations of a third Donne poem. The poem should be presented in its entirety as at least a soundtrack to the interpretation. Students may create video, Powerpoints, Prezis, musical scores, paintings, dances, or other creations I have not thought of. Students should be prepared to discuss their interpretive choices after the presentations.

September 9/10            *First draft (five lines) explication (Drafted essays)
                                    *Recitation performance (Performance task)

September 16/17          *Entire poem explicated in MLA style (Drafted essays)
September 19/20          *Imaginative interpretation project (Project)

September 23/24          *Explication final (Drafted essays)



Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday, B-Day

Continue the assignment started by A-day below. Be sure to add something substantive to the conversation. Some of you with interest in visuals might link or paste some Seventeenth Century art that reveals something about the poetry of Donne. Be sure to comment on it in  a way that makes it clear to us -- and REMEMBER to cite your source informally. Right, Jeb?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday, A-Day

Some of you have not complete the first blog assignment!

Do a little research. Document it informally. Report it as a comment on the blog. Someone volunteers to go first. Then, the next post should provide a clear and MEANINGFUL transition that connects his post to the previous one. Say, for instance, that Dara starts with. "According to William Benson in 'A Poet's Life,' John Donne was born to Catholic parents in 1572." Then Morgan follows with, "Although Dara reports that Donne was born Catholic, according to 'The Life of Donne' in The Literary Journals of the Seventeenth Century by James Jones, he later renounced his faith." Due Tuesday.

Connections to investigate

Henry VIII to Elizabeth
Catholic/Protestant tensions
relations of Donne with Thomas More (who was Thomas More?)
relations of Donne with Anne Moore (who was Anne Moore?)
relations of Donne with Ben Jonson (?)
contempory critical responses to his poetry
family life

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Do the same thing as assigned to A-day on Wednesday, but put your comments after this post. Also, in the same comment box, tell which quote from a classmate is your favorite (after your own, of course). You may choose from either A-day or B-day quotes.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Look into any source you want and find a quote from a smart person that you find very striking, profoundly true, or highly inspiring. Post the quote, spelled and punctuated exactly right, as a comment under today’s post.