Friday, February 15, 2008

Fun with Writing

I've been thinking about this one for a long time. As another term comes to an end, I want to round up some of the best of my bad student writing to share.

My students are writing about Sir Philip Sydney right now. Yes, his "Defense of Poesy," or "piety," as some are naming it, is up for dissection. Many are struggling with how to refer to an author who's a member of the nobility. So far, we have "Sir," "Sir Philip," and my favorite so far, "Mr. Sydney."

And I sort of remember how tired I would get when I was reading philosophy or criticism for classes -- it was difficult to struggle with intellectually challenging stuff. And this essay can be a toughie to get your mind around. Maybe that's the source of the following gems:

"His belief was that poetry is a form of writing and should be highly respected."
"In my conclusion about Sir Philip Sidney, I will have to say that he is definitely a man of self worth. Upon saying this I cannot seem to conjure his actions as a stance in learning for concrete meaning, but he certainly can send one’s mind into a world of poetic twisted fury."

Then we move on to Shakespeare, specifically Sonnet 130 "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun." Remember that gem? Well, it might have been long ago, but apparently social problems really haven't changed, according to one student:
"He believes the Petrarchan poets to be homeless romantics that see things how they want to see them, and not for what they really are."
"This is showing that Shakespeare love is not beautiful as Petrarchan is for his love. "

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