Robert Herrick's subtle poem, "Corrina's Going A-Maying," reveals much about conflicting human values.  It's also, in part, a poem about spring.  

Respond to one of the following questions through the online discussion, and then respond to one of your classmates.  Be sure to use textual evidence to support your claims.

  • In the speaker's mind, what are the chief characteristics of spring?  Why is spring important to him?   

  • What opportunities does spring provide?  Why are those opportunities important?

  • What does the poem say about seizing the day and taking advantage of the abundant opportunities life affords?

  • What shift occurs in the poem?  What purpose does this serve?
  • Which allusions made by the author best promote the theme?  How?
In George Herbert's "The Collar," the speaker begins by voicing an intense resistance to divine authority. But by the end of the story the speaker has moved to a position of profound yielding. Post a message that responds to one or more of the following questions:

  • In what ways does the symbol of the collar appropriately represent the relationship depicted in the poem?
  • What is the paradox at the heart of the metaphor of the collar (the conceit)? How is the tension of the paradox resolved?
  • What things constrain the speaker? What's the speaker's attitude toward these constraints? Is his attitude consistent throughout the poem?
As a follow-up posting, state whether you agree or disagree, and why, with a classmate's interpretation of the poem.

Understanding what motivates a narrator is key to interpreting a work of fiction. Post a message (by 6:00pm on Wednesday Sept. 5) that responds to one or more of the following questions about the narrator in James Joyce's short story "Araby":
  • What striking images help you understand the narrator's feelings?
  • What reveals the narrator's attitude toward his home?
  • What do you know about the physical appearance of the narrator? What do you know about how he thinks?
As a follow-up posting, respond to a classmate's thoughts about the narrator in the story. Do you agree or disagree with their interpretations? Why?