Poetry Night – I Think I’m Achilles

So…I’m allergic to alcohol.

This comes as not an entirely unseen or unwelcome surprise. I’ve never really reacted to the jolly stuff terribly well, and I’ve had some pretty horrible experiences, both physical and mental, with drink and those who drink. Having a medical reason, I’m finding, makes not-drinking a hell of a lot easier however, as most people seem to immediately worry when you tell them you’re not drinking, worrying that you won’t be ‘any fun’ or that you’ll stop their fun. I’m not about to stop anyone having fun. I’ll just have a slimline-tonic-and-lime-ice-and-a-slice if you’re going to the bar.

Continue reading “Poetry Night – I Think I’m Achilles”

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How *to* read poetry :) (or, I didn’t read it so fast this time)

Another go at the ‘reading poetry aloud to strangers’ game, and this time far more successful.

This time, I read Andrew Marvell’s ‘To His Coy Mistress’ and my 16-year-old response to it. (I have promised to actually write something for the next one in Oct…which I’ll try to do but I’m promising nuffing.)

Continue reading “How *to* read poetry 🙂 (or, I didn’t read it so fast this time)”

‘The (New) Merchant’s tale’, or ‘How Not To Perform Poetry’

Tonight, convinced by a student who is rather a fan of my writing, I went to a poetry open mike night.

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I have now moved house…and apparently opened a bookshop. (Yay!)

As stated above, I have been rather busy.

The moment came when this was my view:

Far too many books.
Far too many books.

Continue reading “I have now moved house…and apparently opened a bookshop. (Yay!)”

Teaching Prometheus

As a Classical Civilisation teacher, I abhor nearly all of the recent slew of ‘based on’ films that lazily grab names and deeds from Greek myths and make an action-hero film out of them: Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (also the students say the book is better), and, most of all, The Immortals – a film that is now famous among my students due to the way that saying those two words makes my eyes roll skygod-wise. (We took some ex-students to see it. I think we really annoyed the rest of the cinema by laughing, really really hard. What utter nonsense. It reminded me more of those weird Boddingtons adverts from the 90s than any actual Greek myths.)

In a recent lesson, I wanted to prove that myths could be used intelligently to inform storytelling and the language of film by providing a subtext that enhanced the narrative. I used the example of Prometheus by Ridley Scott.

Now, Prometheus isn’t actually out yet, and won’t be until 8th June 2012. However, the film franchise of Alien, to which it is the prequel, already informs us of much that we need to know to understand what Prometheus might be about. Also, the Prometheus camp have created some really interesting viral advertising videos to accompany the trailer, all of which have the central theme of the myth of Prometheus at their center.

The powerpoint for the lesson is located here for download and perusal. It is meant to inspire discussion, and I’ve included my students’ responses. I’ve put the slides from the powerpoint below, although you’ll need the actual powerpoint for the links to the media (0r you can look them up yourself on youtube using the handy visual cues.)

NOTE: my students have no clue about film, so the beginning about Alien is a bit didactic.

I own no copyright on the pictures used in this powerpoint, which are purely there for illustration of the ideas within.

Can you add to the discussion? Do you have any questions? I’d welcome comments…