Sunday, April 11, 2010

Book review # 2 - Regeneration by Pat Barker

Hello everyone! Andi here. I figured why I have the time in between homework that I would update you all on a book. Now... which one to chose?

I'm going to do something that is not really my cup of tea (since I adore young adult fiction and fantasy fiction) but I really enjoyed the book!

Regeneration by Pat Barker is half fiction and half historical, using characters from Pat Barker's personal life to tell the gripping tale of S. Sassoon and Dr. Rivers and the Great War. I say gripping because once you begin this novel, I guarantee you won't put it down! Barker uses poetry and prose to relive the nightmares of shell-shocked soldiers held at Craig Lockheart mental hospital. With interesting relationships, romance, secrets and terror, Barker presents a tale that is all too real and chilling to dismiss.

The greatest thing about this book is how Barker presents the world between men and women and the questions we have in gender equality. There are women present within this novel, but they have jumped out of their stereotypes and entered into a brand new world that is being shaped by their contributions. While some men in Lockheart hospital take the traditional role of the male stereotype, others resort to a more feminine approach and so the lines in which our world has set themselves upon gender-wise becomes blurred in an intriguing way.

I definitely recommend going into this book with an open mind and you'll find that you love it!

Links for thought:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Challenge #1 - There's More to Poetry than Rhyme? What?

Let's do something a bit different this time around, shall we?

Raise your hands if you've ever been assigned poetry in a class and have either sighed with discontent, rolled your eyes, were discouraged, etc.? Yes, you have? Good, so have I. But there's something about poetry that I wasn't aware of until this semester in school.

As few may know, I'm what you'd call a "super senior" in school. I've been studying literature and everything about literature for the better part of five years now at my college. It's been a weird and fun journey. But it wasn't until this semester that a new door of literature was opened to me; that's right, I'm speaking of poetry.

Now, when I was in high school, we studied poetry (mainly the works of Shakespeare and a few other well known authors such as Whitman and Hughes), but we never really divulged into the world of poetry. It always made me cringe when I would see a poetry week on a syllabus or see it in a packet that our teacher provided. It would make my heart sink rather lowly in my chest. I didn't realize the world I'd been missing out on!

This semester (even after taking the beginning poetry classes that are required for the Creative Writing track), I've learned about several new forms of poetry that I've never even heard of before. Ekphrastic poetry [a poem written in response to a piece of artwork, whether it be a painting, sculpture, etc.], Prose poetry, even Furniture poetry were all introduced to me. It's exciting to learn new ways of expressing ourselves and our ideas, and trust me, once you get going and realize that there is a way of expressing yourselves without being rigid and having a cookie-cutter way of writing things, you'll enjoy the poetry topic just that much more!

So here's what I'm wanting to do this week. If you're reading this, I suggest that you take some time at night, in the mornings, on the weekends, whenever it is you have time and write. It doesn't have to be rhyming poetry, and it doesn't have to contain meter or a rhythm - it can contain whatever you want it to. Pick a piece of furniture and write about the memories, what might happen to it, give it a life, a name, etc. Pick your favorite piece of artwork (painting, sculpture, what have you) and write an ekphrastic poem that represents how you feel when looking at that piece of art; give it a story with characters or leave it all by its' lonesome in a cold, abandoned room. Just write! You'd be surprised at what you discover!

That's my "review" for this week. I hope you all search for different types of poetry and lyrical verse on the internet and discover something creative to do with a few spare moments. It really is something different and exciting in the world of literature! :)