“If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chances of survival increase with each book one reads.”

 – Sherman Alexie 

“A book is a version of the world.”
 – Salman Rushdie 

 “A book, too, can be a star, ‘explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,’ a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”
 – Madeleine L'Engle 


Rubric Two focuses on short stories, Native American oral literature, and the Shakespearean sonnet.

Consult the "Exams" page of this website for a list of terms, ideas, works, and artists to learn.

Required reading and viewing:

Saki (H.H. Munroe): "The Blood-feud of Toad-Water: a West-country Epic" 
This story is in our textbook. 
You may enjoy a recording of it on podbay.fm.  

"A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children" by Gabriel García Márquez, translated by Gregory Rabassa 
Follow the link in the title above to read the story online.
To listen to a recording, click here
For a video adaptation, click here.

"Rabbit's Wish for Snow," told by Tchin (in class listening activity)

Tlingit tale "Rabbit," told by Gene Tagaban (in class listening activity)

HaudenosauneeConfederacy.pdf HaudenosauneeConfederacy.pdf
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Type : pdf
Haudenosaunee_legend.pdf Haudenosaunee_legend.pdf
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Haudenosaunee story "Hodadenon: The Last One Left and the Chestnut Tree" (online here, pdf above)

Maiden of Deception Pass, Guardian of Her Samish People: documentary by the Samish Indian Nation (in class viewing; film trailer here)

Online versions of the story:

Makeshift directions for water protectors' camps at Standing Rock, North Dakota 2016

"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost (textbook)

- Frost reciting the poem here 

- illustrated reading for children here

- musical interpretation of the poem here

- and here 

"The Seven Ages of Man" by William Shakespeare (textbook)

- recited in dialect Shakespeare would have used here
- Morgan Freeman's interpretation here
- Benedict Cumberbatch's interpretation here
- scene from the play As You Like it enacted here 

TheSonnet.pdf TheSonnet.pdf
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3 sonnets by William Shakespeare: #18#19#29

Akala: "Hip-hop and Shakespeare?"


Below: original sonnets 
composed by HUM101A students 
during an in-class creative activity
Spring 2017

Sonnet 66.5
Stuck inside of a bleak and tasteless hole
Slaving nine to five is a hopeless life
Running in circles of a life so dull
Paying monthly bills is an endless strife
Living, laughing and loving we never
Although we enter life with naught but skin
We shall die internally forever
Our future finds itself rich with burden
Adolescent memories in the sun
The memories of a carefree youth, like
Running and playing, solely having fun
No obligations, but riding my bike
   Till death we come unto the fateful day
   From now till then we children laugh and play

Movement through the motions
I am going to get y'all jumpin'
Pace yourself this isn't a speedy sprint
Speakers so bad got the city bumpin'
Just like your new haircut can't take a hint
Swipin' left on Tinder these girls passing
Just like your checks peasant you need to bounce
Your repulsing odor I find harassing
Move out the way my lyrics will pounce
Your death won't be quick choke you out so slow
Repent for crossing me you got to pray
Call the bad wolf your raw mixtape shall blow
House still standing eating fresh fish fillet
X-ray vision cannot find your swagger
Too sharp I'll cut you up like a dagger

Jackson Pollock
He lay the empty canvas on the ground
With brush in hand he reached forward to dip
Inside his mind the masterpiece was found
He watched as the wet paint fell from the tip

With dancing hands around the piece he moved
Each color intertwined a different mood
He had lost his mind, the painting had proved
Circling around he had begun to brood

The whirling lines no longer seem to flow
He could no longer see the work inside
All the emotions were starting to show
Unsorrowing he cast the piece aside

An empty canvas he started anew
Again a vision came into his view

Samish story pole celebrating Ko-kwal-alwoot

Located on Rosario Beach, Deception Pass State Beach (WA)

Hiawatha wampum belt, the national belt of the Haudenosaunee, 
recording when the nations of Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk buried their weapons to live in peace. 

Each square represents one of the nations, with a line connecting them in peace. 


Listen to stories written by Tom Waits, Nick Cave, and other artists, read by Danny Devito, Zach Galifianakis, and more: Open Culture 

Read the Constitution of the United States online: here or here

Pacific Northwest Seismic Network: Native American Stories

Punk Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq: here and here

Magical realism paintings by Rob Gonsalves

Axolotl Magazine: original works of fiction, drama, poetry, art, and essays in and about the genres of magical realism and slipstream. In both English and Spanish.

Gabriel García Márquez: "Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes

Magic realist literature here

Short magical realism drama, Journey's End

Animated magic realism films by Hayao MiyazakiHowl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away (films available in numerous places)

Guillermo del Toro's film, Pan's Labyrinth (available to stream online)

You Tube on Gabriel García Márquez here

Salman Rushdie on truth in fiction: Magical Realism Is Still Realism

You Tube explaining magical realism here
Letters of Note blog

Leonard Nimoy reads Ray Bradbury stories from The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man

Akala's TED Talk on connections between Hip-Hop and Shakespeare

Daniel Radcliffe performing Blackalicious' "Alphabet Aerobics" 

International literature in translation: Words Without Borders

Interview with Mark Edmundson: "Why Read?"

"The power of literature and human rights": LSE Human Rights

Lewis Desimone's article, "Gay Fiction is Everybody's Fiction"

Japanese author Haruki Murakami's short fiction, Samsa in Love

Scientist and science fiction author Isaac Asimov's short story, Nightfall

Read about contemporary South Korean author Jung Young Moon's A Chain of Dark Tales

TED Talk:  "How literature can change reality"

Huff Post article: "Why Poetry Is Necessary"

Listen to recitations here
Listen to Robert Frost reciting "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" here
Listen to the London Gay Men's Chorus of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" here
Another musical interpretation here

Melissa Block on NPR: "All Things Considered" interview with poet laureate Charles Wright here

Boonaa Mohammed poem, "Kill them with love"

Toni Morrison reading from her novel, Home

The Writer's Almanac, with Garrison Keillor

Shakespeare's As You Like It: full text here
Aristotle's Three Stages of Man here
Shakespeare: Original Pronunciation here
Shakespeare's London Globe Theatre here

Short Stories by Saki / H.H. Munroe

Comedian John Branyan on language and reading the classics: The Three Little Pigs 

Listen to "The Cook's Tale" here
Canterbury Tales: Listen to the General Prologue in Middle English here and here
Short video on the history of the Middle English period of English here

by Paul David Bond Pesqueira

The above painting is entitled "Shelter." The artist tells us:

"This image plays further with the idea that we all have open, exposed spaces in our lives and also closed, sheltered ones. It could be home vs work. Or solitude vs relationship. It also symbolizes the new place I had reached in my life at the time - where after much mindful contemplation (represented by the open sided temple) and raw exposure to my own suffering, I found a place of emotional and physical shelter in my new relationship with my wife (as represented by the closed, intimate hut). "

View more of the artist's work here

Of the painting below, "The Effects of Departure from Ideal Proportions," the artist writes:

"I was at Ghost Ranch where Georgia O’keefe lived near my home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I saw this door leading into what was a root cellar for the old ranch house that has become a museum. It was a beautiful metaphor for what we often experience in times of turmoil and doubt: the dark night of the soul. The globe with the flame in the center represents a human soul in its purest state. Here seen emerging from [its] dark night purified, delivered, enlightened. And the ravens represent the shepherds of the unfolding mystery. This is one of my most deeply personal paintings."


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