Tag Archives: imitation

Pilgrims on the Cam

The Canterbury Pilgrims by William Blake (1757 - 1827)
The Canterbury Pilgrims by William Blake (1757 – 1827)

You are about to read a poem, below, modeled on a core text, The Canterbury Tales by the 14th century celebrated Middle English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer’s original sequence of tales features a Host/Narrator/Pilgrimage leader, in Chaucer’s famous Prologue, who proposes that each pilgrim tell two tales each, coming and going, to pass the tedium of travel. Cycles of tales in medieval Europe were popular, and for today’s students, the concept is easy to grasp and manageable to imitate.

In Fall 2015 Concordia University Irvine began its Concordia Cambridge Program offering students general education and elective options in affiliation with Westfield House and Cambridge University. Continue reading Pilgrims on the Cam

See the Poem, Be the Poet, See the Poem Again

This is the first post of a two-part essay on the pedagogy of poetic imitation.

As the Lead Professor for Concordia University Irvine’s Core English 201: World Literature to the Renaissance, I try to vary the papers I assign each semester, both as a way of discouraging cheating and as a means of staying sane. About three years ago, I came upon a new idea—new for me, that is—that would allow the students to be more creative while helping them understand that most basic block of good poetry, and of writing in general: diction.

Students often take for granted the existence of works of art, as if the poets or painters behind them were not real humans who struggled to compose their pieces or who made difficult choices along the way. Continue reading See the Poem, Be the Poet, See the Poem Again