Dog's Dinner

"You're not loved because you're lovable, you're lovable 'cause you're loved."

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Why is a raven like a writing-desk?

Another method I've discovered of eliciting poetry out of my students, besides forcing them to write haiku, is an exercise called "Random Nouns" where you have them each write down ten random nouns (sometimes you have to explicitly tell them to vary the nouns and include abstract, proper and personal nouns so you don't just get "Table, chair, desk, pen," etc... which would take all the fun out of it), swap papers and then team up to make comparisons between pairs of nouns. Unfortunately some groups are more inspired than others, and other groups are more inspired than others on different days... and I've yet to find a group that got into the spirit of the thing like the first group I tried it with. I actually only remember one of their sentences, not even one of the best probably, but I like it a lot: "Rabbit is more intelligent than tulips."

I had the first-year English Philology majors play the game back in December, and these are my favorites:

Waistcoat has the same color as a snowdrop.
Gossip is like an orange-- full of surprises.

Some critic wrote of Gogol that he made "the horrifying discovery that everything is like something else." Yet it need not be horrifying.


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