Friday, 27 September 2013

Ezra Pound and the hundreds of essays submitted last weekend on ModPo

I have been working on these 20 words for over a day. I didn't really want to move beyond the title! It is 'In a Station of the Metro' by Ezra Pound. Actually, let's add in the 4 spaces and the 3 pieces of punctuation.

In a Station of the Metro

The apparition       of these faces       in the crowd   :
Petals      on a wet, black    bough   .

The essay assignment on 'I taste a liquor never brewed' by Emily Dickinson was due last weekend. I did one! The number of assignments listed per page, 25, multiplied by the current number of pages listing individual assignments, 78, = 1950. Can you even imagine that number of 500 word essays? Each of the assignments are allotted to 4 other people to peer assess. I did my 4 peer assessments. That was a very hard thing to do. I agonised and fussed and deleted and altered mine.

I deliberately decided to do mine raw. So I didn't look at any other reviews, just worked it out for myself. Since then I have done maybe 3 more. From just reading 7 or so essays I am amazed at the sheer variety in thought processes between different people. My thing is the vocabulary the writers' use. It shows so clearly the qualities they value. Based on the same short poem we were asked to do a close reading on, out came an endless stream of different takes on the world. Does English have enough words to cover the variety of views? Clearly, yes.

The main lesson of this course so far is "focus". It is absolutely impossible to do all the work. Dealing with this impossibility is crucial. I still feel like a horse which went out for a canter and found itself on TV doing the Grand National. Pleased to have finished standing! That was week 3 and there are 10 in all :)

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