Facilitator’s Notes – August 2015

LANDSCAPES IN LITERATURE – FROM WASTELANDS TO WONDERLANDS

Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 by William Wordsworth
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty;
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Group discussion
Exercise one – write down a list of emotions generated by this poem

LONDON by William Blake
I wandered through each chartered street,
Near where the chartered Thames does flow,
A mark in every face I meet,
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
In every cry of every man,
In every infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear:
How the chimney-sweeper’s cry
Every blackening church appals,
And the hapless soldier’s sigh
Runs in blood down palace-walls.
But most, through midnight streets I hear
How the youthful harlot’s curse
Blasts the new-born infant’s tear,
And blights with plagues the marriage-hearse

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FACILITATOR’S NOTES JUNE 2015

THE WORKPLACE

This session will take a look at how writers have presented the workplace and at how we refer to the workplace in our own writing. There are accents and dialects all over the country that are inextricably linked with their local industries. Market vendors and dockworkers are good examples of workers who see their work shape their language. We will look at gender issues in the work place and the inequalities and iniquities that occur. We will look at working conditions, pay scales and stare up to glass ceilings. We will discuss the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch in the workplace and in any workplace we will find the usual five bums in the staff room, wanting to know the Who, What, When, Where and Why of everything. This follows our workshops this year on house, home, family, garden and town, so we are building up a reference between literature & real life, and developing our own style of addressing that relationship.

Item one: group discussion about previous jobs. Create list – create job specific vocabularies: what words are used in what jobs.
Exercise 1: write 100 words entitled A Job To Be Done – use appropriate job-specific language.

Item two: think about one of your work places – write down the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch of the place. Write down the who, what, when, where and why of the place.
Exercise two: write 100 words entitled Colleagues – discuss with group what books tell us about workplaces

Item three: write down your dream job
Exercise 3: write 100 words entitled “I Live To Work” or “I Work To Live”
Homework: BUSY DOING NOTHING

FACILITATOR’S NOTES APRIL 2015

travelling the write way

FACILITATOR’ NOTES – APRIL 2015

GARDENS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE:
Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, ‘Second Adam’

Throughout English literature, the idea of a garden is a recurrent image; these images largely stem from the story of the Garden of Eden which is found in the Genesis, the first book of the Bible.
Adam and Eve
Original perfection
Genesis tells how God created the first human being, Adam. Then, because Adam needed a companion, God created the first woman, Eve, from one of Adam’s ribs. God created for these first two humans a perfect garden (known as the Garden of Eden and later called paradise), where everything was beautiful and full of good things for them. However, also in this garden was the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve were told by God that they could eat anything in the garden except the fruit of this tree (which, in some later traditions, was an apple tree).
exercise one:
Write fifteen lines under the title of My Own Garden Of Eden
The Fall of Humankind
Eve was tempted by a serpent, which is traditionally held to be the devil in the shape of a snake (see also Big ideas: Serpent, Devil, Satan, Beast). The serpent spoke to her, telling her that if she and Adam ate the fruit, they would ‘be as gods, knowing good and evil’ (Genesis 3:5). Eve gave in to the temptation and also persuaded Adam to eat. They were then, for the first time, aware of shame, and instead of being innocently naked, tried to make themselves clothes out of fig leaves. Their disobedience of God is known as the Fall of Humankind and fractured the relationship between God and humans. Adam and Eve were then expelled from the garden and kept out by an angel with a flaming sword. The serpent was cursed as an enemy of humankind.

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Facilitator’s Notes : Workshop 5th February 2015

FACILITATOR’S NOTES – FEBRUARY 2015
travelling the write way

The facilitator asked members to place a comma in the line:

God rest ye merry gentlemen, and the following responses were given –
god rest, ye merry gentlemen
and
god rest ye, merry gentlemen

but the correct answer is:

god rest ye merry, gentlemen (ie; sleep contented)

each different placement of the comma lends a different meaning*
*Please consider this, as we will discuss this further next time, to illustrate the importance of precise punctuation.

The main topic of the workshop was to write about a HOUSE (not a home).
We discussed, therefore, the difference between a house and a home, and the facilitator then asked members to offer alternative words for house. Some answers seemed more applicable to home than to house and I have placed these in the right hand column.

Creepy!
dwelling
shelter
abode
residency
millstone
construction
bricks
mortar
hitching*
safety
• a colloquial word used by one member that refers to a a first home for newly weds when they have become ‘hitched’.

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