American Literature Peer Review #4

Peer Review #4


Hey Brooke,

I felt your blog post, which was based upon Thoreau’s ideology on “living deliberately”, was simplistic in nature and hence very appealing to read. You do not delve into a convoluted philosophical approach to answer this question, but rather draw upon a personal experience that is easily relatable for the reader. Undoubtedly, you captured in essence Thoreau’s intention of “living deliberately” in the first few stanzas when you write, “You state where you want to go and develop a strategy to get there”. This idea about having a plan, setting goals and venturing down a self-fulfilling path made for an intriguing read.

Your writing in my opinion was captivating because of its ability to highlight how you personally have lived out what you believe to be Thoreau’s intentions. You generously give the reader an opportunity to understand your own personal journey and life discoveries, with there being no better line then when you write, “I made the choice to live deliberately and choose my path in life and do what I can do to ensure I reach my end goal”. Your drive and determination to live out your occupational dream, enjoy recreational activities along the way and getting a part time job, evidences your transformation to adult hood and your growth in maturity. In essence I believe the path you have chosen encapsulates the essence of Thoreau’s ideas, as you continue to live a self-fulfilling and purposeful life.

Thank you for connecting the subject material with your own personal experience!


Brooke’s URL Blog-

American Literature Blog Post #5

“Without even intending it, there is that little shiver of a moment in time preserved in the crystal cabinet of the mind. A little shiver of eternal space. That’s what I was looking for.”    – Allen Ginsberg

In reference to the above quote, what are your feelings towards Ginsberg’s photographic mission?

I must’ve read the above quote four or five times before the message computed into my brain and then my brain into my thoughts. It was not until I reminisced on my own experiences with photography that Ginsberg’s ideas on his photographic mission were best understood. The ability to capture a moment that so quickly passes by, has been a blessing in the world’s technological advancements. I cannot help but be truly inspired by not only what Ginsberg writes, but further through his ability to spark an appreciation for photography that often goes amiss. It is very much easy in such an accessible twenty first century that we forget to take a moment to appreciate cameras and the sublimity of technology.

Ginsberg’s quote ignited my own intellectual thinking and reminded me of experiences that showcased this ideology. Those treasured memories with family or sporting achievements, whereby my emotions so quickly resurface when looking at an image from the past. Ginsberg writes about preservation and a “crystal cabinet of the mind”, which signifies his own invaluable moments and memories that he recognises go by so swiftly in life. His metaphor alludes to the preciousness of these experiences and how Ginsberg so much wishes to again relive these feelings and emotions that were created.

Yet, he suggests that his goal of “eternal space” for can finally be achieved through photography. The words eternal space for Ginsberg symbolise an opportunity that has now been created, to allow the mind to like the role of a cabinet store these priceless memories that will never be forgotten. He suggests that this is the comfort and self-fulfilment in finds in his photographical mission, the ability to forever look at an image and figuratively transport into that moment of time.

When put like that, I cannot help but sincerely agree with his perspectives. As an upcoming trip to the USA awaits, I’ll be sure to remember this quote and have my camera in hand.



The Visionary Imagination Peer Review #3

Peer Review #3

Hey Aylin,

Such a captivating blog post filled with both imaginative ideas and religious illusion. Personally, I thought the utilisation of symbolism and rhetorical questions were the language features that made your prose so intriguing. I liked the interconnection that you make between the cigarette, the flame, human sin and the devil, as well as the significant impact this then has on the individual. I feel as if you indirectly refer to the imperfections of humanity and our tendencies to engage in activities or sins disapproved by God.

Your metaphoric language when describing the action of smoking was effective in conveying the physical deterioration of the internal organs of the body, “I felt the smoke travel through my mouth, down my throat, and fill my lungs. I felt as though I had let the devil inside and now, I was vulnerable”. Such distinct imagery was thought provoking from both a physical wellbeing standpoint and one’s relationship with their spirituality. The religious undertones reveal the negative connotations that stem from smoking and for me challenged human morality.

It was a brilliant imaginative piece Aylin and I would’ve loved to have read more.



Aylin’s URL Blog-

The Visionary Imagination Blog Post #4

Creative: Using something of Patrick White’s style of writing describe a totally ordinary person in such a way that you reveal their inner humanity, totally different from what their exterior appearance might suggest.

Wake up! The alarm sounds like a sledgehammer connecting through a brick veneer wall.

Must be 7:00 am. The usual five hours sleep if his lucky. His got to get them ready and take them to school. Shower, brush teeth, get changed, get them there early or you’ll be late…

and then get bus to station…

8:22am now, train into Wynyard ETA 8:46am.

Short walk, in office by 8:58am.

“A snail moves quicker than this clock”.

 5:00pm finally, at worst on a bad day 5:05pm.

Administrative office job for a finance company, occupation now completed for the day.

Wynyard to home, train leaves at 5:12pm.

Monday – Friday same schedule every week… fifty-two weeks a year.

Ryan Day was just your “Average Joe”, no more extraordinary then most of the men or women that sat next to him on that train on any given day. Strangled and suffocated by his 9 to 5 job that only provided him with entrapment… maybe I’m not telling the whole truth, it provided him with money too. That always helps!

His just another blank face on that train, stuck in his own psychological labyrinth… no one ever wants to talk about it, talk to a random person on the train, who would?

Like the rest of them he has no desire to interact. His immersed in that twenty first century smart phone, earphones in for those twenty-four minutes… an opportune time to just to forget that world.

 As critical and condescending as it may sound, he was nothing ‘special’, unfortunately the world would go on without him. For if you walked onto that train, used your eyes as if they were magnified glasses and stared purposefully into his sea blue eyes, that is what you’d find. It is your generalised and stereotypical perspective that would categorise him in one single word… “Ordinary”.

I’ve utilised a pessimistic tone more then I probably should’ve, but I needed to set the scene. My mum taught me that saying from my earliest years in childhood, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Ryan Day will always be ordinary to you and me, but to the people that know him, by boy he is everything but ordinary.

He doesn’t work 9-5 to be ordinary, it’s his obligations that permit him from doing anymore. He leaves on time to get home on time, the babysitter needs to leave by 6pm. Dinner needs to be cooked, school work needs to be started and finished, dishes washed, clothes washed, ironing, garbage, kitchen cleaned, lunches ready for tomorrow… Am I boring you yet?

Ryan Day is 22, his parents passed away in a car crash last year. He has one brother Darius (13) and one sister Skylar (11). Cousins and grandparents live overseas, there are no family members to help. Bills still need to be paid and life most go on…

There is no time to feel sorry for adversities you and I cannot fathom. He did not choose this life, but selflessly he takes upon the responsibility to give his siblings the best opportunities he can.

He did not choose ordinary. Ordinary chose him. Though, extraordinary is truly what symbolises who Ryan Day is.

 Don’t ever forget… there is always a story behind that blank face on the train which travels to an expiring destination.


American Literature Peer Review #3

Peer Review #3

Hi Rawan,

Such an emotive and inspiring blog post. I felt you encapsulated brilliantly Emerson’s ideology and symbolism in his essay “Nature” that can be derived from “The Transparent Eyeball”. It stems upon one’s ability to look beyond just the self, but their interconnection with the natural world and their way of life. The motif evidenced throughout your writing is on this idea of ego, I cannot help but agree with your viewpoints and opinions on this subject matter. Lines such as, “I failed to see society for what it was, a ticking time bomb run by echo driven individuals that fail to see the world deteriorating around them”, stuck out to me most because it challenges a truth that society wishes to ran away from. Yet, what enhances these ideas is your ability to recognise the role both you, myself and humanity play in aiding to this demise in our own personal lives. That we are also in fault because of our own self driven egos and societal wants.

Although, I would like to challenge your ideas with this notion. Perhaps, our egos can evolve from the pessimistic tone you suggest to a rather optimism for the future. I believe our egos can be powerful in transforming the world to which we live in, ego for one means self-importance and our very own self-esteem. If our egos entwine with ideas that benefit both the self and the world around us, then they can be used for good in my opinion.

Your final stanza when you write, “I myself in a world bound together by expired glue, is not immortality” was quite empowering in nature. It required for my own self-discovery and analysis to look at how I can become more influential in supporting the world around me and not being dictated by materialism and a destructive self-ego.

Thank you for such a thought-provoking piece of writing Rawan!


Rawan’s Blog URL- 

American Literature Blog Post #4

Creative/Critical: Try to write either a William Carlos Williams, an Ezra Pound or an e.e. cummings poem using your own subject matter but sticking to their language and form. As a starting point you might try either “The Red Wheelbarrow”, or “In a Station of the Metro” or e.e.cummings “in Just-”


“In a Station of the Metro” (Ezra Pound)

The apparition of these faces in the crowd:

Petals on a wet, black bough.


Personal Poem:

Life Potential

I stare at a product of its environment:

One tainted autumn leaf; spring awaits.


I’m not sure if I nailed the language and form of Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro”, but nonetheless presented my own unique subject matter. Whilst Pound delves into the ghostly faces of those who accompanies him in the station of the metro, I comparatively convey ideology that stems from my very own personal experiences. Like Ezra I attempt to use nature to juxtapose light and dark, a symbolic representation of the natural sublimity of the physical world.

I attempt to challenge and accept that the ideology on an individual becoming a product of their environment bears truth. That in response to the circumstances, influences and people that surround their upbringing, an individual is moulded into a way of life they cannot necessarily control, or can they? They often find themselves engaging in a life that perhaps would’ve been different depending upon their nurturing environment.

The second line metaphorically acknowledges the natural world as being representative of the imperfections of humanity. It ascribes that bad decisions can often be attributed to the environment in which one has grown up in, hence the “tainted autumn leaf”. Yet, a change of environment or in the physical world a change of season can allow for the potential for new growth. Thus, the poem is left ambiguous, not knowing if the individual or leaf fulfils its potential, if it will regrow into the prosperous beauty it can become.


The Visionary Imagination Peer Review #2

Peer Review #2

Hey Julena,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your perspective on what prevents humanity from being divine. Your selection of Blakes poems, “The Divine Image” and “The Human Abstract”, were effective in distinguishing both the similarities and differences between God and humanity.

I liked your reference to the motifs of “Mercy, pity, peace and love” and the correlation you make of these themes in both poems. Your opinions were refreshing in nature and caused for my own revaluation of Blakes ideas, in particular his ideology on divinity.

The comparison and contrasting aspects of both poems aided your perspective and showcased a development of Blakes ideas from “The Diving Image” towards “The Human Abstract”. Your final lines asserted this best when you write, “The reason in which man cannot be divine is because suffering is needed for these qualities to exist and we create God in an image of our own”. Your reference upon humanities imperfections and their essential need for virtuous growth was compelling to read.

I would only recommend that you referenced and analysed further a quotation or two found within both poems. Despite this, I felt your prose was intriguing and thought provoking.

Thank you for a great post!



Julena’s Blog URL-

The Visionary Imagination Blog Post #3

Critical: Say whether Blake’s view of the Divine challenges or expands your own views of Religion.

Blake’s ideology conveyed in his book “Heaven and Hell” not only expanded my own views on religion, but also transformed my perspective on the world around me. Blake delves into humanities imperfection and evidences an indisputable reality that every individual will at times reflect the contrary to Gods beliefs. His perspective suggests that it is necessary to engage in these behaviours in order to distinguish good from evil, as well as for human growth and life progression.

He speaks of humanities inevitable human desires, “Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained”, acknowledging the self-interests and ambitions that can often contradict religious beliefs. Personally, the knowledge he evokes expands my own views as a result of its relatability from comparable experiences. Blakes viewpoint on the Divine strengthens my own faith from the standpoint of recognising my own faults and imperfections. In essence, by accepting my failures and humane desires I do not intentionally live a life based upon fear of God, rather I acknowledge my mistakes and attempt to live a moralistic life based upon my religious beliefs.

It is in these instances where Blakes views have transformed that of my own, however, he expands and reaffirms my own understandings of religion. He references religious ideology that provide the framework of my own personal beliefs, “Eternity is in love with the productions of time”. Motifs of love highlight the invaluable role it plays both intrinsically and extrinsically. Blakes ideas on this concept, act as reminder personally of living a life purposefully based upon love. That each and every day I am expressive in both my love for the people in my life, the opportunities I’ve been gifted, for religion and love I have for myself. It is in these instances that Blake expands the similar views that I share, again so potent when he writes “For everything that lives is Holy.” His language challenges me to continually appreciate everything that surrounds me, most importantly the sublimity that stems from simply being gifted with life. It is Blakes views on the Divine that also remind me to not only strengthen my relationship with God and with my loved ones, but also with my neighbour who too often we unintentionally forget.

American Literature Peer Review #2

Peer Review #2

Hey Bruno,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your perspectives and analysis of Walt Whitman’s ideology and poetry. I was intrigued by your ideas on affinity and how for you that resonated throughout Whitman’s poetry, specifically in “Crossing Brooklyn Bridge”. I felt that your own personal experiences that you comparatively made whilst analysing the poem, enhanced this view point and transformed my own understandings of the text.

Your opinions on the human experience through personal examples, unearthed the beauty of poetry in find meaning for the self. It was interesting to note how certain lines in Whitman’s poetry were symbolic of connotations you made with previous monotonous experiences. Perhaps, it was your final line that stuck out to me most, “same faces around you, a sense of attachment begins to grow for these people”. I felt this encapsulated best Whitman’s ideology, that through human experiences and being observant of the world around you, one can suddenly become attached and interconnected to people and places they’ve never truly known.

The only criticism Bruno was that I wish the blog post was a little lengthier. I would have loved to see further analysis from lines of Whitman’s poems and having you connect your personal experiences to these ideas presented.

Awesome post nonetheless!


Bruno’s Blog Url-

American Literature Blog Post #3

CRITICAL: How do you understand Faulkner’s extraordinary statement in his Nobel Prize speech “the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself … alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat”?

Link to 1950 Nobel Prize Speech-


William Faulkner 1950 Nobel Prize Acceptance speech challenges his context’s youth to overcome their complacency in looking at the world from face value, rather to delve deeper into the self and the intrinsic value to which he possesses. Within the attached quotation, Faulkner draws upon preconceived stigmas that have shaped humanities perspectives about themselves and the world, “old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any stories is ephemeral and doomed”. He suggests that one can rediscover the human heart and all the emotions it encompasses through writing and experiences. He notes the inherent value that this provides the self in living a fulfilling life.

Faulkner instructs societies youth to become vulnerable, “teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid”, and through adopting this approach a genuine depiction of the world will ensue. His Nobel Prize acceptance speech unearths a conflict with the self that has been forgotten. Faulkner conveys the necessity to rediscover “the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself”, as necessary to appreciate the sublimity of humanity and the soul. He suggests that the current society has been exposed to tragedies and fears that have reshaped the life of the individual. Faulkner indirectly refers to the challenges posed by the war and how this has hindered discoveries of the self and one’s intrinsic values.

Religious illusions within the speech draw upon eternal life, Faulkner then tasks his audience to take notice. To recognise the ‘spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance’, these being existential human qualities which enrich our life significance. It is these assets that he suggests needs to resurface in literature, to remind and uplift humanity in remembering ‘the glory of his past’. It is the writer and poet’s ability to encourage humanity to endure the testing times and recognise the problems of the human heart, as necessary to enrich their individual life journey