Successful second session of the reading club

Hi clubers,
Last night we held the second session of the reading club and it was great! We would like to thank all those who attended and shared their feelings and opinions about Cat Person, a story that gets you hooked like a gust of fresh air with weird and naive characters that  may seem simple but turn out to be quite the opposite. So, if you couldn’t attend the club, remember you can always read and even listen to the story (read by the author) in the Reading Club section of this blog, though for the warm discussion and beautiful insights from our clubers you have to join the club. What are you waiting for?
Out next session will be on March 4. Would you like to join us? Go to  Reading Club 

Pospuesta la segunda sesión del Club de Lectura

Les informamos de que la segunda sesión del Club de Lectura programada para el día 4 de Febrero de 2021 ha sido pospuesta al próximo Jueves 11 de Febrero a la misma hora, debido a posibles causas meteorológicas adversas.

Les pedimos disculpas por las molestias y lamentamos los inconvenientes que hayamos podido ocasionar con esta decisión.

First session EOILL Reading Club

It’s not my fault. So you can’t blame me. I didn’t do it and have no idea how it happened.
 

These are the first lines in the short story discussed in the Reading Club which started yesterday 10 December in our EOI. Sweetness by Toni Morrison was the short story chosen for the reinauguration of the club and it left no-one unmoved. A powerful story about racism that is a must read. 

Presentation Sweetness (used in the club session)

As a result of the discussion, the following film recommendations were made: A United Kingdom, Self-Made, Hidden Figures and The Help.

The video hereunder was the one chosen to open the session:

A short poem for the weekend

We read this short poem somewehre in the cyberspace and wanted to share it with you.

 

The Dark Maw

by Dovas, Bored Panda staff member

 

There is a beast with heart of cold stone

that dashes like lightning, shreds flesh from bone. //

Bewitched by this beast, I fell to my knees.

My mouth babbled madness and mumbled soft pleas. //

I stared down the ravenous, gnashing dark maw of a cute cuddly kitten with yarn in its paw.

(https://winterthyme.blog/owned-by-2-cats/)

WHAT IS A READING CLUB?

Reading is a solitary activity, but when a book has moved or stimulated you, it’s natural to want to discuss it with someone else. A reading group gives you that opportunity.
A Reading Club -also called a Book Club- consists of a group of people who meet regularly to discuss books they are reading, or have read before the meeting. The aim of a reading club is to share opinions, feelings and points of view about the book.

Reading clubs usually meet in a library or bookshop, creating an opportunity for people to share their enthusiasm about the wonderful world of literature. Monthly meetings work well because it gives everyone a chance to get hold of the book, or find it in the library, and to read it.

Short Story Reading Club at EOI La Laguna

Our aim is to encourage our students of advanced levels (B2, C1 & C2) to read in English and to share their thoughts with other students in a relaxed atmosphere, while practising their spoken English in a real context and with a real purpose.

The stories are selected by the teachers, and they are usually by contemporary authors (20th century onwards). You can have a look at the stories we read last year in this blog. In the Reading Club section of this blog you will also find the new stories for this academic course 2020-2021 and a google form that you have to fill in if you want to join the club on its next session.

Man holding Open book in hands. Male hands hold a hardcover book. Education, literature, knowledge, reading concept. 

10 of the most famous poems in the English Literature (X)

Hello beautiful people! This is it, our last poem in this series of 10 of the most famous poems in the English Literature, the famous The Tyger by William Blake. This poem is so well-known in the history of literature that it needs no introduction. Tigers can’t burn, nights don’t have forests , do they?… It’s widely known that his poem works on a metaphorical level, but what is this poem really talking about? What are your thoughts?

 

The Tyger

Poet: William Blake

Published: 1794

Excerpt: 

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,

In the forests of the night;

What immortal hand or eye,

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand, dare seize the fire?

 

Quick fact:

 It is one of the most analysed poems and Cambridge calls it the “the most anthologized poem in English”. The Tyger is not only the most famous work of William Blake but also one of the best known poems of all time. In The Tyger, the speaker focuses on the subject of creation asking who could have made such a terrifying beast as the tiger.

You can read and listen to the whole poem here. If you would like to read about William Blake’s biography, click here. And if you are interested in reading an analysis of the poem, read this article.

10 of the most famous poems in the English Literature (IX)

Hello there!

Today we bring you an excerpt from which could be one of the most motivational poems ever. Nowadays, motivational quotes are in vogue, they are trendy and everywhere, printed on t-shirts, on Mr. Wonderful notebooks and diaries or even used as an advertising strategy on the walls of Meridiano shopping center. However, this poem surpasses them all.

A Psalm of Life

Poet: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Published: 1838

Excerpt: 

In the world’s broad field of battle,

In the bivouac of Life,

Be not like dumb, driven cattle!

Be a hero in the strife!

You have only read a tiny little excerpt from this powerful poem and we invite you to read the whole poem here or listen to it here.

 

Meaning of the poem:

We might think of the entire poem as a clarion call to do great things, however insignificant they may seem in the present and on the empirically observable surface. That may mean writing a poem and entering it into a poetry contest, when you know the chances of your poem winning are very small; risking your life for something you believe in when you know it is not popular or it is misunderstood; or volunteering for a cause that, although it may seem hopeless, you feel is truly important. Thus, the greatness of this poem lies in its ability to so clearly prescribe a method for greatness in our modern world.

10 of the most famous poems in the English Literature (VIII)

Hello readers! Today we bring you a poem with a naughty opening line containing a four letter word, yes, that one… f***! While the first line of a poem isn not the most important for the whole poem to work, it can often guide whether a reader keeps reading through to the end.  Have a look at the first line of today’s poem now…go go! scroll down! …

Now, what do you think? Do you think parents shape their children’s personality? For good or for bad? Maybe for both? Let’s see if you have a change of heart after reading the whole poem.

This be the verse

Poet: Philip Larkin

Published: 1971

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.   

They may not mean to, but they do.   

They fill you with the faults they had

And add some extra, just for you.

 

But they were fucked up in their turn

By fools in old-style hats and coats,   

Who half the time were soppy-stern

And half at one another’s throats.

 

Man hands on misery to man.

It deepens like a coastal shelf.

Get out as early as you can,

And don’t have any kids yourself.

 

Quick fact:

Without doubt the naughtiest opening line in poetry, the first line of Larkin’s ‘This Be the Verse’ sees Larkin speaking to us in a bluff, blokey, colloquial voice which later gives way to a more thoughtful and lyrical tone, meditating on how our parents shape us into the sort of people we become.

If you want to read more about the author, click here. And if you want to read an analysis of the poem click here.

10 of the most famous poems in the English Literature (VII)

Hi there! Today we bring you a beautiful, touching, stirring poem by W.H. Auden. We have no introductory questions or comments, we will let the poem do the talking.

‘Funeral Blues’ or “Stop all the clocks”

Poet:  W. H. Auden

Published: 1938

Excerpt: 

He was my North, my South, my East and West,

My working week and my Sunday rest,

My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;

I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

 

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,

Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;

For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Quick fact: 

This poem had no official title when it was initially published but it’s now popularly known as ‘Funeral Blues’ or “Stop all the clocks” and has become one of the most famous funeral elegies in the world thanks largely to the 1994 film Four Weddings and a FuneralYou can listen to the whole poem in this moving scene from the film.

You can also read an analysis of the poem here, and if you are interested in reading about the poet, you can do it here.

10 of the most famous English poems in the English Literature (VI)

Hello! Today we would like you to ponder on the advantages and disadvantages of being under the spotlight.  Read the following excerpt by Emily Dickinson and leave us a comment below. Do you like going unnoticed and unobserved or do you prefer being widely known? Is anonymity valuable for you? Are the perks of being famous worthy of what is being sacrificed?

I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Poet: Emily Dickinson

Published: 1891

Excerpt: 

I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Are you – Nobody – too?

Then there’s a pair of us!

Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

Quick fact: 

The poem may be summarised very simply as being about how it is actually quite nice to be a Nobody rather than a Somebody – that anonymity is preferable to fame or public recognition. Nobodies can stick together and revel in their anonymity, but it’s more difficult to find companionship and an equal when you’re in the public eye. As the old line has it, it’s lonely at the top.

Click here if you want to read the whole poem (it is just two short stanzas). And if you are intrigued by this poem and its author, you can read an analysis of the poem here.  And last but not least, Efrat Ben Zur, an Israeli singer-songwriter , released an album in 2012 with poems by Emily Dickinson as lyrics. Have a listen here: