Sunday, January 3, 2010

Harmony in Beauty Essays

The following excerpts are taken from student output. Following the belief that writing is a process (NCTE), the students went through several stages. First, students wrote a short reflection followed by sharing of ideas with a writing partner. In between the stages of writing were discussions on Horace's Art of Poetry specifically the ideas of dulce et utile, some Odes of Horace, and the Beatles's song "Across the Universe" including a listening exercise. The students exchanged first drafts of the Harmony in Beauty essays with their partners and focused on identifying weak and strong sentences. The teacher then edited the second draft.

The final published/printed essays were graded following a ten-point scale; most of the works merited 8's, 9's, and 10's due to the noticeable improvements in writing. While still in the rough, the following samples are noted for the writers' emerging style and voice. I marvel at what these high school students have accomplished.

Since life is beautiful, there is harmony not only in beauty but also in life. This is about the harmony between sorrow and joy. Looking at the opposite meaning of a word helps to the better understanding of a concept. Having to experience sorrow means to experience happiness also. This is the reality of life. “No pain, no gain”, “Peace in war”, “Pools of sorrow waves of joy”, all of these mean that. In the midst of bad events, there always come good happenings as well. One needs to be open-minded to see both sides of the coin. People should learn to be thankful not only when they are joyful but also in times of difficulties and trials, aware of the reality that these are the means in attaining a meaningful life, a life that is beautiful.
- Simon

Intimidation is an additional obstacle which is attached to the difficulty of interpreting poems. It is an additional obstacle because it clouds the intellect and it prevents a person from understanding the core meaning of a poem. Because of the hindrance which it poses, I think that people should first work on how to fight intimidation before they analyze a poem. If additional obstacles are removed out of the way, then it would be easier to analyze a poem. If this is the case, then what are the ways in order to fight intimidation? After last week’s discussion in our Literature class, I realized that in order to fight intimidation, we should first know what makes the poem beautiful because understanding the beauty decreases the pressure and diminishes the difficulty of analyzing the poem. As the pressure decreases, the intimidation also fades away and the harmony between the context of the poem and the interpretation follows. Maybe I should try this technique in the near future so that I could test its effectiveness and share it to my classmates.
- Rafael

The beauty of a poem may be shown in different ways. A poem may contain different types of figurative language which could make it sound more pleasing. A poem may also convey a message which could contribute to its beauty. In each of these ways, a poem can be considered beautiful. In the beauty that each poem shows, harmony can be expressed. It might be harmony in terms of how the poem may become pleasing to the ears or it might be harmony with reality. The reality that life would be filled with problems is part of the message conveyed by the poems. It conforms to a reality of life which should be accepted. Through the acceptance of this reality, a person may live beautifully by being tranquil and living in harmony whatever he may encounter in life.
- Dene

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