Friendly Tips on Analyzing Literature

Hello hello and hello again all you sexy motherfuckers. This is supposed to be a nice little short so I can be out of your hair till next week, when I’ll go over a long awaited poem.

Back to what I was supposed to be talking about. We’re looking at ways of analyzing literature, namely poetry, in this post. We’ll see a few things that can really make time used in deconstructing and understanding a poem more fruitful with less headaches and anxiety. I’m sure we all know the insanity of understanding what in God’s green earth the poet means by saying “The cow in my heart pumped its milk into my mind”.

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I’m sure we’ve all felt like this at one point or another. Since I’m from the future, let me make the struggle easier for you :-). Read on …

Here are some things that should help you:

  1. Lose the fear blocking your mind, by clearing it out – I’m going to drop a knowledge bomb here. Some studies have shown that students with exams or test anxiety can release stress by writing it down on paper to address what they feel before writing their test. Now, I know it sounds totally foreign and unlike yourself. I’ve actually done this before but not in an exam room because I already dealt with most of my baggage before entering the room – and not as often either or in the exact way described. But if you’ve started work already and half an hour goes by and you find your brain wondering, you may not end up writing much of what’s bothering you. But what’s important is bringing your mind back home to address what’s in front of you and clear out the unnecessary stuff so there’s enough space for the poem. No more fears. Free your mind.
  2. Want to read the poem AKA getting in the mood. Y’know, whatever turns you on. Literaturally 😉                                                                                                               Sorry guys, you’ll have to figure that one out.
  3. Prepare to read the godforsaken poem. Find a nice, quiet or loud spot, or somewhere in between – whatever suits you best. Sit or stand in a way that’s both comfortable and healthy for you and have short 2-5 minute rests after about 10-20 minutes of consistent work. Get your notepad or book or laptop out if you want to write down and record anything you get from the poem and/or anything that intrigues you about it.

Now that you’ve done all that, you can begin reading through, preferably aloud so you can hear yourself. Read through twice or more. Feel free to note stuff down. If you think you need a booster, then find the time later to read aloud to a more adept student or your teacher. Afterwards, start thinking about what the poet is trying to portray. Look at the poem and keep on examining what you believe it’s trying to put across based on what you’ve read. That’s right… Just like that.

Ok that was a nice warm up. Yes, you heard me. Remember though, Literature is your sugar pie honey bunch. Your companion. If you’re going to approach it beefing and hating and reeling, things will only get complicated and ugly cuz y’all don’t wanna sort your asses out.

After you’ve gotten comfortable and managed to do your readings, that’s where more of paper and pen ( or insert fancy technology here ) come in. Sure paper to pen may be old school to some of you. Nevertheless …

WRITE!!!

In your notebook! If you’ve bought a textbook and reading material, don’t be scared to write into it too. It’s your stuff and you know what works for you better than anybody else.374

Like I said, I’d post snippets later this week and I stuck to it. Yaay me! This post is quite short but there will be more in store. So come on by next week, don’t be shy at all. I’ll be here writing and being the awesomesauce alphabet soup I am. There will be more things to learn about analyzing literature later. Information is loading. Until then, get some sleep you knowledge hungry devil, you. 🙂

Bye bye now.

The Legend of the Alphabet Soup

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The phases of love and torture, all in one study session.

Readers Advisory: Language in these posts may not be typically PG 13 so if you’re controversial and righteousness conscious, get the frog out!! Enjoy the post otherwise!! ;-P

Let me tell you how this blog was born and explain myself for the uncomfortably long space of time in which I refused to post anything. Getting it out always made more sense to me. Alright, let the legend begin!!!

“The internet is for porn!” a wise muppet once said – or a wierd, pervy scriptwriter ( can’t really tell at this point ) – and true to those words ( some, at least ) every teenager in their socially perceived and sometimes self-repressive minds would enjoy Youtube or porn or other kinds of things we do online for fun. I know I would. Then I sat down to think about my experiences and aspirations and career. Literature was my subject of study back in senior high. It was glorious … ( Insert googly eyes here ). Yes, I was knees deep in the Literature nerdpocalypse and I gave no flying fucks about it. But I noticed one thing that irked me through my experience.

Spark notes and Wikipedia and other web pages catered to deconstructing and evaluating the written word in line with some of what our syllabi demanded from us. Few webpages by African bloggers ever analyzed African prose, poetry and drama in standards that were barely on par with the competition. I was a bit sad that we couldn’t generate enough national and continental buzz through a followership on blogs that catered to students’ needs – and there was a total lack of interest in aiding those struggling with the ever changing, ever demanding shitstorm we call WASSCE, and the scourge that is its syllabus. We’d been beat out of our own market. Hell, we didn’t even have one!

And I couldn’t take that. I wanted to make a difference. The truth is, many teens caught up in our West African Education System love this subject, but intimidating teachers, stifled emotions and daunting perspective would only make parental dismissiveness, teasing and dissing from peers and trailing grades a bigger cross to bear. I once had an E in Literature when I was in second year (good for me, right? People have had it so much worse). My Dad was furious though and he really let me have it. My Mom was in shock. I switched from my science course that I began upon admission to senior high at the end of the second term for first year – dodged that bullet – so they were probably expecting more fabulous grades as I climbed the academic ladder. Not so. Not every time, at least.

Nevertheless, I fucked over everything that everyone else was saying about me and listened to my heart – the cheesiest regurgitation ever uttered by man … But true for me!!!

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Yeah. Fuck roadblocks and obstacles. And bears too.

I kept chasing success in the subject I loved because I was good and I knew it! I was going to respect my wishes in order to accomplish what was valuable to me. Trust me, I was good – despite my fair share of fluctuating grades.

So after years of toil, studying and being faithful and thorough in my subject of study, I had an A in the WASSCE exams. So it is possible, very much so, to succeed. Additionally, what gave me conviction for setting up this blog was that I was good at helping out a number of people with studying and I wanted to personalize the studying experience and make it more inviting, accessible and welcoming for students. I wanted whoever had an interest in Literature to grab it by the horns and ride it to the finish. It was a fun journey for me and a good choice. I have no regrets about any of it.

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#EMPOWERINGSELFIEMOMENT

And there you have it. The Legend of the Alphabet Soup ( stands over a cliff, wearing a cape that blows in the wind ). Also, I wasn’t actively blogging because I was doing a lot of soul searching and all that. Finding myself and figuring out my writing and my life. But now, I’m back baby (Austin Powers kissy face).

So without further ado, welcome to the world of stories, power and imagination, deep intellect and powerful messages. We’ve been expecting you and I reassure you, if this is the place you want to be and you are solid on what you want … You. Will. Thrive!!!

I’ll be posting snippets here and there every week. Feel free to leave a comment or send an email. And remember, you have within you the power to love and become who you truly are and evolve into who you want to become. Bye bye.