Poetry: the Language of Life

Take Sir Philip Sidney’s lines (above) in which he values poetry over history and philosophy and develop his argument in your own words, based on your own experience of the value of poetry to you.

History can teach us what is done and philosophy can tell us what is though; poetry tells us what is felt, what is shared and what is lived. Poetry communicates what it is to be human and what it means to love, laugh, smile, cry and form relationships with each other, the world, and even people we have never even met like the poet. History and philosophy merely concern the mind but poetry is all encompassing of the mind, heart and spirit which are all important aspects of life and crucial to our development as people.

History tells us that Shakespeare’s plays were performed in the globe theatre- an interesting and important historical fact. But what history cannot describe is the excited murmur of the crowd as they file in to watch, breathe and live the wonder to be performed. It cannot tell us of the actor backstage more nervous than a pig in a bacon factory, sweating like a horse and shaking from nervous excitement. It cannot tell us about the hearts of all the audience beating as one like a steady rhythm of applause as their soul is nourished by the love, action and emotions playing out before them. History leaves out what it means to be human and poetry picks up it’s slack.

History tells tales of heroes but not of their insecurities; we know many historical figures but we cannot know their emotions without the expert interpretation of the poet. History deals with numbers- a historian may tell you of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, but what about the experience of the 1,the individual. History often does not give individuals a story but groups them in which disconnects us with the fact that each of the 6 million, is an individual. Poetry has the power to reconnect us. To give a voice to the mute. What of the forgotten ones of history who did no great deed other than to love with all their heart? What if the women, the poor, the slaves? History does not give them a chance to speak for it does not consider loving to be a heroic deed, it does not consider living to be a heroic deed. Poetry does and therefore gives a pedestal to anyone who wants it. To anyone who feels and knows what it means to be human, what it means to live. History gives us an outline of the world in facts and figures, poetry fills in the gaps with life.


Peer Review 4

Posted to: http://www.beatricefait.wordpress.com

Hi Beatrice,
I really enjoyed the way you used language in your entry this week, it seemed almost mystical due to all the imagery used which is very fitting considering it is from the moon’s perspective. I completed the same question as you this week and it was so interesting to see the vast differences between our entries; yours was incredibly dire while I spoke about a world of wonder. Our pieces could almost work as a before and after sequence! The only tip I have is to double check for typos, they interupt your flow (eg: “Man is the craziest specie”).
Keep up the great work!

Reflection 5

ICT use in the classroom has become increasingly prominent in recent years. The change in use of ICT over my schooling was possibly the biggest transformation in regards to technology and education. When I was in kindergarten, the school had about 20 desk top comuputors which students got to use abut once a week in their library lesson. By the time I reached year 12, every student had their own device and used it for most of their class work. This is such a large transformation in a relatively short amount of time. For the most part, this has had a largely positive effect on my education as I had an increasing access to information and was able to effectively take part in problem based and individual learning. Sometime however, it was easy for me to be distracted as it is easy to disguise the fact that you are doing nothing behind the computer screen and students are very quick to learn this. 

In my placement technology can be helpful but can also be a large problem for some students. The positive aspect of ICT is that it can be used so that students can conduct their own research and find resources that are easy to understand at their own and at their own pace. It can be a problem however when, instead of reading and understanding information, students copy the websites information without understanding it. ICT use in the classroom is also an issue for a student who recently moved to Australia from Iraq. He has no computer skills and finds even a simple google search challenging. The fact that he struggles with the primary tool used in the classroom means that he spends more time trying to learn this than the actual lesson content. Clearly, use of technology logo needs to be examined and not used when appropriate for the intent of the activity and if it is appropriate for the student. 

Reflection 4

The use of modelling as described by Bandura can be examined in my placement and is used to varying degrees of success. Modelling is the use of a person as an example in order to encourage others to do the same as the model. In my own education, modelling could be seen in the way that a teacher would praise a particular student for a certain behaviour. For example, “look how quietly Tom is sitting, I wonder if we can all be as still as him.” This was effective in many cases as students want praise from the teacher. In the cases that this did not work, it may have been due to the fact that the other students then see Tom as a ‘teachers pet’ and would therefore avoid copying him. This was particularly true in older grades. 
In my placement, modelling is particularly useful as many of the students have difficulties interpreting social cues. We are strongly encouraged to make a point of making eye contact and speaking clearly so that the students begin to do the same. When we enter the room, it is also important to act as a mode, on how to greet a person. Another way modelling is used in the classroom is through the use of the kitchen provided. The teachers always clean up after themselves and wash up which encourages the students to do the same also. This is highly effective with the majority of the students as they have respect for the teachers. For some students however, this is ineffective as modelling is only effective if the students can relate to the model. 

Everything and Nothing

From the perspective of the moon, in a paragraph, describe the current situation on earth as you see it.

When I look down at the ever turning blue and green sphere of earth, I see nothing and everything all at once. A tiny one bedroom house; nothing compared to the ocean, pointless in the scheme of the universe. And yet, there are two happy specks, a young couple. They are overjoyed with their acheivment of buying their first home together; overwhelmed with excitment about spending a life together inside.

They say dust turns to dust which is true, I see it all the time; a life is created and a life fades; a lifetime is not as long as it sounds. As the light fades from a person’s eyes, the rivers do not stop flowing, the earth does not stop turning, time does not pause. A life has no influence on the ways of the universe. And yet, there are hundreds of mourners gathered to celebrate the life of a child who’s time on earth was “cut short” by a terminal illness; he has had an influence on all the people he had met.

The happenings on earth are both miniscule and significant. The oceans roll and on dry land there is a man eating himself to sickness and a man dying from hunger. Winds rush through the sky but on the ground there are politicians cutting back education funding and a child giving up on reading because her parents cannot afford books. The cosmos is unending and on earth a baby is born and an elderly man passes away.

The vastness of the universe is all consuming and the earth is a speck of dust, it’s inhabitants even smaller. But joy, love, despair, sadness, life and death; they are powerful and extend beyond that tiny house, beyond the church filled with mourners, beyond the ocean, beyond the sky, beyond myself. They stretch to the edges of the universe- and I could not say myself that I know if that exists.

Peer Review 3

Posted to: https://jesseshakespeare.wordpress.com/

Hi Jesse!

I really enjoyed your analysis of Ralegh’s thoughts about death and the knowing of oneself. I loved the way that you paralleled this to receiving a credit card bill for all the extravagent materials you’ve been buying and then reflecting upon whether they were necessary at all- a situation many people know all too well.

It would be interesting to consider whether Ralegh’s statement is true for everyone- would an unrepentant criminal still experience the same realisation? Strangely enough, I think that more often than not, those who have led positive lives are more critical about themselves than the people who the realisation should effect most in their final moments.

I liked the questions you posed at the end of the post too, it would be interesting to hear what you think the answers might be!

Keep up the good work!

Elisabeth Klingler Röist

Chose any one of the paintings that you fell in love with yesterday and write the back story behind the painting. In other words imagine the artist, the sitter, the event that produced this painting and describe the painting itself with as much rich detail as you possibly can. 

Francesco Xanto Avelli’S beautiful plate depicting an allegory for the sack of Rome inspired me to investigate the event in further detail and write a creative piece from the perspective of someone there at the event. I conducted further research into the sack to learn about the individuals involved. While reading, I came across Kaspar  Röist who was the commander of the Swiss Guard at the time who defended the entry of Saint Peter’s Basillica while the Pope escaped. All 147 of his men were killed and he was badly wounded and took refuge in his home where he was followed by the Spaniards and killed in front of his wife. This event inspired me to write in the perspective of his wife, Elisabeth Klingler Röist.


 My brave husband, my Kaspar. Defending our Pope from those evil wretches on the steps of the Basillica; defending our faith from those red-clad devils; defending our livelihood from those who theive all that is good. I know he will return. God is watching over this Holy fight and if by all misfortune he falls, Saint Peter will call him to those glorious gates where he will be rewarded for the protection of all that is good. But dear God if it be in your will, bring him back to me, Amen. Kaspar is all I have, I have no sons to protect me; no daughters to weep with me and my parents, well I do not know if they live. I must stay positive. He will be back in my arms soon after succeeding on those blessed steps of the Basillica. 

Those cursed steps of the Basillica! Woe to any man who dared to defend them- all of them dead! My Kaspar wounded and in surrender returned to me only to have been followed by all that is evil in the world into my house. Kaspar, my brave husband; Kaspar who provided for me; Kaspar who loved me- killed, neigh, slaughtered in front of mine own eyes. I cannot leave my hiding place in my chambers for fear of death or worse- to be confronted by the bloodied and beaten body lying on the kitchen floor. It is unbearable. There is supposed to be comfort in the fact that he died protecting the Pope but… all I find is despair and darkness and questioning- why Lord have you done this? Why was he cut down in front of his poor wife his poor… widow? That tragic thump plays over in my mind.

Will I ever find peace? Will I ever find sleep? Will I ever find hope? Will I ever find God?

Reflection 3

The family of a student has a large impact on the way in which they learn and their approach to schooling. In my household, from the beginning of my schooling my parents were very encouraging; they sat and helped me with my homework and encouraged me to read to them and on my own. They put an emphasis on school but also encouraged me to make friends and to take part in activities after school such as dancing, cricket and little athletics as long as they did not interfere with my school work. While this was my individual experience growing up, it is important to remember that each student comes from a very different background. 
I was informed by a teacher on my community engagement this week that one of the students would be away for two weeks as their parents owned a company that provided amusement rides to various fairs and he would be travelling with them to help out. This was shocking to me as for my parents school was the first priority and we never holidayed during the school term while for this student, regular breaks from school to go and work occurred. Another way family influence could be seen on my placement can be seen through another student who sees women as inferior due to his family background. In his household, his father is authority and sometimes is violent towards his mother and sister. This has been reported by the school and is going through processes of investigation. As a result of this, the student is rude to his female classmates as well as disrespectful to female teachers. As the majority of learning support teachers are female, this not only has a negative impact on them, but also the learning of the student.