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19th Century Literature: Week Twelve Comments

Posted on 2009.05.23 at 23:27

Hey Emma,

I really enjoyed reading your poem, I'm glad to see that I am not the only one who feels like their poems have no form to them. I always feel like my poems are "just gasps between thoughts."
I would have to say that the two stanzas that stand out to me are:

I lean on you so,
you my moral compass,
my logic,
my reasoning,
my light in the snow.

You have no dollar value,
you are what you are,
annoying or not,
you're all i've got,
i could never go far.

It shows a connection, a true relationship, whether it be family, friends or a partner there is no price that you can place on it. They are a guide to you through the tough times and a shoulder to lean on. As you said a "moral compass...logic..reasoning" when we need help. GREAT POEM!!!


Hey Lucy,

Wow Wow Wow !!!
I really enjoyed reading your poem. It is so expressive and full of deep and vivid emotions. It shows the reader your true feelings, you aren't hiding anything. I admire that, it is something I struggle with constantly, but your poem has such flow it beautiful. For me it expresses a great and personal loss, one that you can not renew or replace, its a terrible thing to go through if that's the case.
Great post!!!
Karina :)


Hey Liz,
How are you?
I think i can easily say that everyone is looking forward to a well deserved break. Enjoy it!!!

Just thought i would comment on your post. You talked about what stood out for you during our lecture this week. For me it would have to have been watching part of the film of The Importance of Being Ernest, it seemed to put everything in place, letting it all come together. I could see the words leap off the page and form the act that we saw in the film, I really liked that production of the play. The wit that Wilde uses (mentioned in your post) could be seen throughout the scene MG showed us. I think maybe even the body language and facial features of the actors added another dimension to the humour that can not be seen when you read just the script.
See you next semester and good luck with exams.
Karina :)


19th Century Literature: Week 12

Posted on 2009.05.23 at 22:32
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted

Hey literature enthusiasts,

I know I have said this for the past two semesters but I can’t believe it is week 12!!! This semester has been so jam packed for everyone and I think that is why it has gone by so quickly. Amongst all the assessments and presentations and events held this semester...I just don’t know where it has all gone. If all goes according to plan I will be half way through my arts degree and to be honest that really freaks me out!!!

So this being our last week, in tutes we debated about the underlying meaning of Rudyard Kipling’s poem The White Man’s Burden. The question raised was whether Kipling was in support of imperialism or anti-imperialism and actually mocking the United States and their colonisation of the so called less civilised. It was quite difficult to be forced to debate on a side that you did not agree with entirely...if at all.

MG talked about the many criticisms that could be found on the net that displayed these two opposing views. So I thought that I would go on to our trusty Google and see what this search would bring.

From the pro-imperialist point of view it was said that, Kipling wrote the poem as:

“an appeal to the United States to assume the task of developing the Philippines
It “urged the U.S. to take up the “burden” of empire, as had Britain and other European nations.”

Roosevelt is even quoted as saying that in his poem Kipling displayed some:

“rather poor poetry, but good sense from the expansion point of view.”

On the other hand, sources from the anti-imperialist view state that the poem is a:

“warning about the responsibilities of empire that was
directed not at
London but at Washington and its new-found
imperial responsibilities in the
Some commentators also point to Kipling's history of satirical writing,
and suggest that "The White Man's Burden" is in fact meant to undermine imperialism

 However, it doesn’t matter which stand point one takes the issue of suppression and loss is brought to light. There is the obvious suppression that the people of the so called less civilised culture are subjected to which involves a slaughter of their culture, religion, general lifestyle and how they go about their daily activities. But one aspect that the poem mentions in the opening stanza which I found really interesting (and one of the things that makes me sway towards Kipling being anti-imperialistic), is the issue of loss for the family and friends of the men who are sent to civilise the savage countries. They too are victims of this obsession with domination, they risk and may lose their lives, and they leave their comfortable homes and family for an apparently justified cause. Kipling portrays this perfectly when he states “send forth the best ye breed – go bind your sons to exile to serve your captives’ need.” This is a clear depiction of the sons leaving and sacrificing their lives.

Well it is at this point that I say farewell for another semester, still can't believe this is the end. Enjoy your break and hopefully see you next semester.

Until next time
Stay safe
Keep on smiling
Karina :)



19th Century Literature: Week 11 Comments

Posted on 2009.05.17 at 14:46

Hey Silvana,

I really liked your entry this week, it was very reflective. A nice change to the analysing of texts that we post week after week. On that note I totally agree with all that you have said in this post. Sometimes it is appropriate to just read a poem or any text for that matter and take it as it is and appreciate it. None of this over analysing...what is the tone, what techniques are present in the poem??? It all gets too much sometimes.

Also just quickly on your last paragraph, I have come to that realisation as well. There are so many different ways that the one text can be interpreted. Its good sometimes to sit back and listen to all the different interpretations and then come to your own, or see who agrees with your interpretation. Uni definately opens your mind to different points of view.


Hey Camie :)

I loved reading your post this week, your poems are so expressive and beautiful. I think the first two stood out the most for me.
The first poem is so truthful, I can picture this person putting on a false facade of what other people expect. But on the inside there is another totally different person who is wanting to break out, but ever time they do they are pushed back and the false person comes and covers up their true self.
I also really liked the Anzac poem, it is so simple but it expresses such a deep and treasured meaning. The comparison between the two mothers is great, it shows the commonality between the two people even though they are seperated by a great distance. Also how their commonality is expressed through the same recipe, not just the food that they are baking but their love for their children!!!
Talk soon
Karina :)


Hey Shelley,
Just thought i would comment on your post this week. I really liked your poem, its short but to the point, suscinct but so expressive. I can see the thoughts running through your head. I think that these questions would cross many people's mind when they are thinking about this topic. There seems to have always been a superiority issue where one so called race is depicted as better and more civilised than others and it is their responsibility to aid those who are supposedly less civilised and savage like. It worries me that there is a need to make everything similar or common, just because some people have different beliefs, looks or cultural practises doesn't mean that they are less or uncivilised. What is wrong with diversity?



19th Century Literature: Week Eight

Posted on 2009.04.23 at 17:05
Current Location: my room
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: hellogoodbye - here in your arms

Hey literature enthusiasts,

Looking back on this week I thought that the poem from last week that we covered in tutes, The Gypsy Scholar by Matthew Arnold, links in very well with Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilych.  

Both texts seem to raise questions regarding the quality of a person’s life and whether they have lived it to its fullest potential. I think this is one of the main themes that Tolstoy focuses on in his short story. Through Ivan’s long and drawn out death, he is able to reflect and question the life that he has led. His artificial way of life is highlighted through his false and lacking relationship with his wife and his focus on his social and occupational position. This becomes even more present when Ivan himself comes to a realisation of the type of life that he has led. 

One aspect of the novel that stuck out for me was in the opening pages when Ivan’s so called friends and work colleagues, show little emotion towards his death and instead focuses on the consequences that his death will have on them. No sympathy is expressed towards the loss of a friend or the hardships his family are experiencing at this loss.   They too, like Ilych was, are leading an artificial and false life.

“In the case of his death Alexeev might receive his appointment, and that either Vinnikov or Shtabel would succeed Alexeev. So on receiving the news of Ivan Ilych’s the first though of each of the gentlemen present in that private room was about the changes and promotions it might occasion among themselves or their acquaintances.”

This focus on the artificial importance aspects of life is highlighted further by the conversation which follows the announcement of Ilych’s death. The “gentlemen”, (if they can be called that), converse and think about their own family and the profits they will gain from his death, money they could receive, the amount of property that Ilych owns and inheritance. There is an egotistical attitude seen from these characters and a focus on the material aspects of life. Tolstoy brings his message across to the readers with bluntness and force within the opening pages of the story. They even see the attending of their so called friend’s funeral as a annoying and intruding on their daily schedules.

“...now they would have to fulfil the very tiresome
demands of propriety by attending the funeral
service and paying a condolence call on the widow.”

To have such an attitude towards a friend’s death can they really be considered to be Ivan Ilych’s friends??? I think not.

Here's something i wrote, once again at work...I think it is becoming my place of thought and inspiration when there are no customers around.  Hope you like it.

             Karina Pannucci

Born of burning passion
She holds herself with pride.
Walking with her flame
Held strong and high.

No barriers broken, no cracks appear,
She is one and whole,
Standing valiant
With no sense of fear.

Jaded eyes sear through
                        Falsehood and lies,
While scarlet hair sets alight, her
                        Determination and drive.

Never diminished is her
                        Resilience and power
Her voice, ringing clear through
                        Peace and war.

But behind the mask of fire lies,
A delicate flower,
Both gentle and kind.

And while dancing in the wind
She reveals, a softer side,
One of truth and love
One, only seen by those she holds dear.


Until next time
Stay safe
Keep on smiling
Karina :)



19th Century Literature: Week Seven

Posted on 2009.04.16 at 18:58
Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: sarah mclachlan - fallen

Hey everyone,

So this week in tutorials we covered the poem the Scholar Gypsy by Matthew Arnold and I have mixed feelings about the poem itself but I absolutely love the concept behind it or the main issue being addressed. The poem is inspired by Joseph Granvill’s Vanity of Dogmatizing (1661) and discusses the life of a scholar from Oxford who left university and went to live with the gypsies. Arnold implies that by living with the gypsies the scholar was able to experience and live out a more fulfilled and worthy life than if he had stayed at the university and followed the path that the majority of people do. 

The poem made me question so much...what is a fulfilled life? How do you live out your life and experience all it has to offer and still do what society expects of you? How do you go to uni, get a job and still do what you want to do? Is it possible to achieve both the life of the scholar gypsy and go to university and have a career?


One of the things that stood out to me in the poem was that even though the scholar gypsy has passed away, his memory and the way he let go of the constraints of a stereotypical life and went to live with the gypsies to discover the meaning of life still continues to live on. Ironically, it is through the halls of Oxford University that his story continues to be told.

“Two hundred years are flown
Since first thy story ran through Oxford halls,
And the grave Granvill did the tale inscribe
That thou wert wandered from the studious walls
To learn the strange arts, and join a gypsy tribe...
No, no thou hast not felt the lapse of hours!”

 I think that this message is still present in a contemporary setting and will continue to be so for a very long time. People go about their busy lives attempting to achieve this one long term goal of getting a job and earning money etc. but there is still this longing, this yearning present (in I would say most people) that they want to break free from these stereotypes and go on road trips or be spontaneous and achieve something for themselves and not just achieve what society believes they should.

Continuing from this, Arnold also seems to imply that the life lived by the majority of society wears us out so much that we are not able to experience and appreciate what life has to offer. It is as if this monotonous lifestyle that we lead has blinded us from the beauty and possible experiences that surround us. For me an image of a person being pealed of layer by layer is conjured and with each layer removed they have less and less hope to truly experience life. Also it seems that by the time that we realise that we have lost the chance to be spontaneous and attempt to seek the true meaning of life it is too late. One would now be filled with regret at not accepting the opportunities they were showed; to follow that different path.

“For what wears out the life of mortal men?
Tis that from change to change their being rolls;
Tis that repeated shocks, again, again,
Exhaust the energy of the strongest souls
And numb the elastic powers.” 

Ok so for my creative writing this week I have two poems, one from my common place book that I actually wrote at work while standing at registers when there were no customers. It takes in elements of the poem the Gypsy Scholar and also I was inspired by people continually walking past in their own little world and not taking any notice of anything else but what is preoccupying their mind.


             Karina Pannucci

Feet tap to the sound of
Busy beats.

Drumming along to a
Life of routine.

Where no clash of spontaneity
Or silent rest is ever heard.

What life is this?
To live a life with only
                             Repeated beats.

To my dear friend who was my inspiration for this poem, I thank you :)

Once More
               Karina Pannucci

Elated bliss,
to see you smile once more.

Your laugh,
the dark, deserting silence.

Heaven's hand
has stretched to you
answering moonlight prayers.

Light now shines,
your darkened dreams of late.

Until next time
Stay safe
Keep on smiling
Karina  :)


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