I am away today, and here are the EXPECTATIONS FOR TODAY’S CLASS WORK: BEFORE CLASS ENDS, EMAIL TO firstname.lastname@example.org THE ASSIGNED ORIGINAL LINES YOU HAVE PRODUCED SO FAR. If necessary, complete the project for homework; no need to send a second email before Monday’s class. THIS IS AN INDIVIDUAL EXERCISE; EACH PERSON SUBMITS HIS/HER OWN SET OF ORIGINAL LINES. SUBJECT LINE OF EMAIL: PHYSICAL FEATURES.
In Thursday’s D block class, we listed the physical features of each monster (see below). From that list, we observed patterns. Then we started to consider what overall meanings emerge from these patterns.
Whether you were part of yesterday’s discussion or not, consider what overall meaning comes from the list of descriptions below.
Then in a set of at least twenty original lines, express that meaning–in terms specific to Beowulf, or in more general ways. Given that you are composing so few lines, focus your composition, rather than try to do complete justice to the whole poem or your general idea. I highly recommend specific imagery, since bridges to new ideas are anchored in the concrete.
NOW, here is the kicker–i.e., the special challenge: compose these lines in the Anglo-Saxon tradition used by the Beowulf poet. In other words, compose each line so that two stressed syllables occur in each half-line. A caesura, or natural pause, occurs between the first two and latter two stressed syllables. Remember that the number of unstressed syllables does not matter; use as many as needed.
For those accepting an extra challenge, follow the traditional structure of alliteration (see introduction’s page xxix).
List from D block discussion (24 Oct 13)
M1: rabid hands (158); talon (745); open claw(747); eyes flame (726); latching power in fingers (764); wounded shoulder (815); shoulder & arm, grasping (834); warped in shape of man, larger (1351)
M2: swamp-thing (1518); savage talons (1504); like a woman (1351); impervious/tough skin (1523-4); has a head (1522)
M3: slick-skinned dragon (2274); sharp fangs (2691); belches flame (2312); sky-winger (2314); enameled scales (2577); serpent (2568); hoarder of gold* (2594); hunts trespasser* (2294-6)
*These last two phrases describe the monster’s actions rather than his physical features, but I am including them because they entered our D block discussion.