Tag Archives: Emily Brontë

Gutenberg Books

from Gutenberg:
Easy
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Medium
Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas père
Winesburg, Ohio; a group of tales of Ohio small town life by Sherwood Anderson
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Father Goriot by Honoré de Balzac
Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
The Virginian, Horseman of the Plains by Owen Wister
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
My Antonia by Willa Sibert Cather
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Difficult
The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Portrait of a Lady — Volume 1 by Henry James
The Portrait of a Lady — Volume 2 by Henry James
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Moby Dick, or, the whale by Herman Melville
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

The Night Aunt Dottie Caught Elvis’s Scarf When He Tossed It From The Stage Of The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center

This exercise is simple: write a poem about a family member meeting a famous person. All of us have such incidents embedded in family history or folklore: the day Dad shook hands with Ike in France; the time Mom spilled coffee on Elizabeth Taylor in a pizza parlour in San Mateo; the night Aunt Dottie caught Elvis’s scarf when he tossed it from the stage of The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. In most cases, our loved ones’ encounters with the famous or powerful tend to be fleeting and bittersweet, however memorable they may later seem — and it’s this aspect of the encounter that helps us to envision our family members in contexts that avoid easy sentimental gestures. These are situations that, in a small way, the forces of public history and private history collide, and these meetings help us to see our loved ones as individuals, not as types.

Guidleines for the exercise:

  1. The encounter can be real or imaginary, but at least should be plausible — no meeting between Cousin Ed and Genghis Khan
  2. The family member, not the famous person, should of course be the protagonist of the poem and it is his or her consciousness that the poem should try to enter or understand.
  3. The writer of the poem should be an effaced presence, understanding the inner workings of the family member’s mind but seeing the family member as a character referred to in the third person (“my father” and not “Dad,” in other words).
  4. The famous person can be anyone in politcs, entertainment, or the arts; JFK to Mel Gibson, Emily Brontë to Madonna
  5. Since the exercise tends to demand a fairly complex profile or portrait of the family member in question, it is best suited to longer poems — at least 30 lines.
  6. Submit completed poems via trackback