Continued from last week’s article. If you don’t feel like scrolling back, just see this as a “pick a quote and get a tragedy” game. Or free therapy. Or the opposite of that.
You see the foreshadowing. You knew from the very beginning, from the moment you plucked it off the bookshelf, or from the second you clicked into the first chapter, that it’s a story with a bad ending. But you chose to read it. You keep waiting to get hurt, asking to be broken. Maybe you’re so drawn to tragedies because you are one in the making too.
What is a Top Choice for a Writing Class and Why is it Sarah Lawrence College’s Virtual Writers’ week? (Part 2)
(still not sponsored, unfortunately.)
You ask someone their opinion on something and they describe the thing with words like amazing and cool and really cool, which most likely does not answer your question at all. You ask someone their opinion on a writing class and they tell you oh I learned so much and I think it’s really helpful and yeah you should totally take it too and it gets exhausting, doesn’t it? You want answers that actually mean something because you want the class to mean something more.
Look no further. Here is a list of specific things that you’ll learn from SLC’s writers’ week program:
“He jests at scars that never felt a wound./But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?/It is the East, and Juliet is the sun.” (Romeo & Juliet, 2.2.1-3).
The above line begins one of the most iconic soliloquies in Romeo & Juliet. Arguably one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, these lines are spoken by Romeo alone for only the audience to hear. Part of what makes the monologue so memorable is it’s format: it’s written in blank verse.
Major spoilers for Dead Poets Society & trigger warning near the end for suicide.
Before I dissect the many issues I have with the movie itself, I want to shed light on why this is important. Being a cult classic starring the legend Robin Williams, the movie is integral to this save the arts idea, the reminder that poetry is worth studying and enriching. And yet, there is no studying poetry in this movie.
And people today love it — with the Dead Poet’s Society tag on Tumblr having 14k followers and over 403k posts on Instagram. There are iconic dark academia accounts such as @deadpoets tribe on Instagram and at least 4 large and active ship blogs on Tumblr.
Young people love this movie as much as the millennials did when it came out. I think the movie is misguided and maybe and even a little dangerous due to the pedestal it’s put upon. Not only is it full of intense themes taken to terrible extents, but it also portrays poetry as this passion over intellectual art as well as something to be loved rather than understood in the classroom.
What is a Top Choice for a Writing Class and Why is it Sarah Lawrence College’s virtual writers’ week? (Part 1)
(not sponsored, unfortunately.)
So you want to be a writer.
It’s what you’ve always wanted to do. It’s what you promised yourself in the corner of your elementary school library. But you don’t say that out loud. You tell no one about it, not even your reflection on the glossy cover of your favorite novel.
Things have changed. The bookshelves in your bedroom are loaded with AP prep books and you don’t remember the last time you added something to your to-read list. You know, the bulleted catalogue in your iPhone notes app, along with the unfinished poems you wrote at twelve and the not-so-original novel pitches with endings too happily-ever-after for your likings now.
It’s a pretty safe bet that when people read the comics section of the newspaper, they aren’t thinking about the theory behind the art form. They’re looking to see what whacky shenanigans Snoopy and the gang are getting into, and whether Garfield got his lasagna. But using those colorful boxes, artists can manipulate time and space on the page.
Part I: august
“The sun drenched month of August, sipped away like a bottle of wine. A seventeen-year-old standing on a porch, learning to apologize. Lovestruck kids wandering up and down the evergreen High Line. A cardigan that still bears the scent of loss twenty years later.”
It started with an Instagram countdown on July 23rd, 2020; 24 hours later, the 8th studio album folklore has redefined Taylor Swift’s place in the music industry. Along with the release of her would-be third Grammy album of the year, Taylor Swift has told the public — "I found myself not only writing my own stories, but also writing about or from the perspective of people I've never met." In folklore, three tracks — cardigan, august, and betty — are told from the perspective of three kids and a summer that changed everything, for worse or for better.
As long as you’re alive, there really isn’t a point where you can say that you’re done with writing a piece. Even several years down the line, when you stumble upon something you’ve kept untouched for a long while, it’s impossible to fight back the urge to alter some parts of the piece.
But there’s a problem: you no longer feel the same way.
In every piece of writing, there’s a speaker we’ve come to know as “the narrator”. As you are currently reading these words, there’s a voice guiding you along the page, saying these words to you. The role of the narrator is to move the story along and provide a voice for the sentences of a story or poem.
The narrator takes on many roles, but one thing that stays consistent is their point of view. Regardless of what you read, you are reading from a perspective provided by the author and funneled through the narrator. Different points of view can accomplish different things in writing, such as distancing the audience from the action or fully immersing them in the story.
Let’s take a look at the points of view: