LITR 221 Week 3 Discussion

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INSTRUCTIONS: To post, click on the Topic title to access the topic and then click the "Post New Thread" button.

Select one author whose work we are reading this week. After carefully reading this week's introduction to the Literary Renaissance (pp. 128-133), please comment on how this author fits into the genre of American Literary Modernism. Use lines from the text itself as well as the poems to support your points. Then, actually discuss your RESPONSE to the poems. What appeals to you and what doesn't, and why?

Let's start things off with something fun that some of you may want to consider: a song by Paul Simon. It's called "Richard Cory." It's posted below. Compare it to the poem you're reading this week by the same title, "Richard Cory," by Edwin Arlington Robinson, since the poem inspired the Paul Simon song. Perhaps some of you are familiar with this song already. (The lyrics can be found below.) What elements of the original seem to intrigue Simon? What has he added and omitted, and why? Also, if you have the opportunity, listen to Simon's song on Youtube or elsewhere so you can "hear" the tone.

The song "Richard Cory" by Paul Simon:

They say that Richard Cory owns one half of this whole town

with political connections to spread his wealth around

born into society a banker's only child

He had everything a man could want power, grace and style

But I work in his factory and I curse the life I'm living

and I curse my poverty and I wish that I could be

Oh I wish that I could be Oh I wish that I could be Richard Cory

The papers print his picture almost everywhere he goes

Richard Cory at the opera Richard Cory at a show

and the rumor of his parties and the orgies on his yacht

oh he surely must be happy with everything he's got

But I work in his factory and I curse the life I'm living

and I curse my poverty and I wish that I could be

Oh I wish that I could be Oh I wish that I could be Richard Cory

He freely gave to charity he had the common touch

and they were greatfull for his patronage and they thanked him very much

so my mind was filled with wonder when the evening headlines read

Richard Cory went home last night and put a bullet through his head

But I work in his factory and I curse the life I'm living

and I curse my poverty and I wish that I could be

Oh I wish that I could be Oh I wish that I could be Richard Cory

The poem "Richard Cory" by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,

We people on the pavement looked at him:

He was a gentleman from sole to crown,

Clean-favoured and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,

And he was always human when he talked;

But still he fluttered pulses when he said,

"Good Morning!" and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich, yes, richer than a king,

And admirably schooled in every grace:

In fine -- we thought that he was everything

To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked and waited for the light,

And went without the meat and cursed the bread,

And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,

Went home and put a bullet in his head.

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