Wednesday, March 24, 2010

1. Freewrite: Today in class we read from a package of poems, "War Poems," compiled by Alexandra Kostoulas, a colleague of mine years ago. Students were to read the Thomas Paine prose piece and then two poems and respond on-line. You can post the freewrite responses ehre. Identify the poem(s) and the writer(s).

2. Half the Sky peer reviews. We talked about introductions and conclusions (handout) and using Microsoft Office Comment (tools in MS '03 located in Review MS '07), students commented on each other's essay looking at a few key areas: thesis, topic sentences, conclusion, evidence.

I also wanted students to look at 3 areas of the writing where the student is doing something well, and name the skill demonstrated or describe it and how it affects the overall piece.

3. Homework: Write Half the Sky paper. Due by Friday, March 26, via email, new address:

5. Con't. in SPHE part 5.

6. Special Guest: Farad will speak about a poster campaign on "Rape" through the organization: Health through Art, Signs of Recovery. Visit or (510) 549-5990.

For extra credit, students are encouraged to locate the posters and photograph them. Send the photos to me via email (the new address) with a descriptive tag line with your immediate response to the art and its impact on its audience.

Sonry Chhoth
Professor Sabir
English 201A 10-1150 MW
24 March 2010

“Rain on a Battlefield”

Yehuda Amichai's poem caught my attention. His poem was quite short but it had a big message, for me at least. Those who are alive are weeping for their dearly departed. Their heads are under the covers to hide their tears. On the battlefield, their loved ones are dead and there is nothing to cover them. Without a proper burial, it continues to rain on their dead faces.
Sareth Chhoth
Professor Sabir
English 201A MW 10-12
24 March 2010
In class we read a poem by Thomas Paine and two other poems. In the poem by Thomas Paine he says that war is a cruel fate for anybody and being forced to go in to war is like being a slave. The other poem that I read is Dedication by Czeslaw Milosz. This poem was interesting to me because he wrote like he was a soldier fighting against an enemy and writing the poem to the enemy. Dedication is about the soldier is being sorry that he has to kill the enemy but it has to be done. I just thought it was interesting the way the author wrote the poem.
Sandy Saeteun
English 201 B MW-10
Professor Sabir
24 March 2010

The poems that I have read in the packet was “Facing it” and “Mourning a Sparrow.” I think these poems are mainly talking about war veterans and what they faced when they were at war. The two poems both talk about death and trauma. “Mourning a Sparrow” is making a comparison to a death of a bird to a death at war. “Facing it” a man is reflecting on his experience at war and when he sees certain things, it reminds him of the violence that had happened when he was at war. These poems are about the experiences people go through at war.
Gilbert Canlas
Professor Sabir
English 201A MW10-12
24 March 2010

Give Back Peace

I read the peom "Give Back Peace" by Sankichi Toge(1917-1953) from Japan. She wrote about the people she had lost during the war and how as well the peace fades along with the killings. She was never the same after all the losts she had experienced. This just show how war affect people lives. The killings that are being done reflects to the people that wanted peace, in a way that these people lost the hope of living. Japan was invovled in World War II, and also the first country to experience the wrath of an atomic bomb, which was dropped twice in two cities of Japan. The total casualties of the two atomic bomb that were dropped in Japan was 200,000. Sankichi Toge was only one of the Japanese people that lost their hope because of the war. Other people that experienced the same grief Sankichi was feeling at that moment expressed their sadness in a different way, but all of them shared the same losts.
Demel Bullock
Ms. Sabir
English 201b
24 March 2010

Speaking: The Hero Reflection

The poem I read was written by Felix Pollak, called Speaking: The Hero. As I read I thought of all the times I’ve done something that I wasn’t truly proud of, that others gave me praise for, a can remember thinking to my self if they only knew. For instance, I never like school, my whole life. I never planned on going to college. I never thought of getting married nor having kids. As the chapters of my life where kind of unveiled to me as one would present a powerpoint presentation I’ve come to find myself in school, loving the idea of learning new things, at a college. I’m now a proud father to be and husband. Still I battle with who people see me as and who I really am. What one thinks of me oppose to hidden facts of who I am. The poet seems to have been engaging physical and mental warfare. Sadly ending in passing and tears, Im living in a similar war time, mentally on the front line, I'll win this battle of mine.
I chose “Speaking: The Hero”

I find this story very sad and a cry for help with much pain and sorrow.

I read “They said I gave my life, I had struggled to keep it.
They said they were proud of me, I had been ashamed of them”

This person died in the end, they were called a coward and was labeled a hero.

By Felix Pollak
Torre Major
Professor Sabir
ENGILSH 201A/B 10-11:50

Speaking:The HERO

This poem is hard hitting. I like how it talks about what is said and what really goes on. The poem shows how people change what really happend to make everything seem ok. this happens with the small things and life as well as the big things. It is best to listen to what people say with a critical ear, and to never forget that if the story sounds to good to be true it probably is.
Sodchimeg Ulziiutas
Professor Wanda Sabir
English 201A M, W 10:00-11:50
24 March 2010
I like the poetry Give Back Peace by Sankichi Toge Japan (8). I liked it because the poetry says in simple words about how the war taking away from you your family, your loved ones and even yourself. He is calling for Peace, where all men can live together as men never fight with each other. It is so important in now days too. The war does not matter when and where it happens, all of them the time same. We need our families around us, men in their home, peace in the world.
The second poetry I picked up is State of the Union, 2003 (11). The author tells during the war how children’s behavior changing, they can not stop the war themselves but what they can do is they pray for God to stop it, they saw so many death in their life it is not scare them. It is truly not normal at all. Children should play, study in school, laugh be happy. Instead of these, the children look for water and bread. Also the author telling what the Government, presidents talk about freedom, but they do not do much about it in real life.
Tasha Louza
English 201A 10-11:50 MW
Professor Sabirs
24 march 2010

“War Poems” Thomas Paine explain what was going on at the war he dealt with. I Didn’t really know if was talking about the war he dell with where he lived at. But when I starting reading the first peom By Yusef Komunyakaa ,Basically his thought seeing all those name thinking maybe his name was on the grave. Give back peace By Sankichi Toge mainly stand out to me because, all those all poem was really sad But just the Give back peace, that a good point.Because we need more peace,then talk about their sad story.
Obada Natouf
Proffessor Sabir
Engl 201b 1-2:50
24 March 2010
From America, America
this is the poem i chose. I felt that the poem had expressed the politicians of the United States for the past 8 years. (from 2000-2008). Saadi Youssef explained how the culture of USA moved from being Peaceful to being in everybody's buisness. Youssef explaind how wars are fought and how bad it is to be a murderer. I didn't necessary think the poem was describing warit self. i thought that it represented being in war is fully cruel. Moreover, i thought that Youssef was asking america to help him become american. Becasue he likes jazz and Mark Twain but can not became known as an american.
Khan Ly
Professor Sabir
English 201B-1:00-2:50p.m.
24 March 2010

After reading Thomas Paine and other two poem which are “Rain on a Battlefield” by Yehuda Amichai and “Speaking: The Hero” by Felix Pollak. Each of the poems has their own significant meaning. But amount the 3 poems, the poem by Felix Pollak give me a strong impression. Because the poem has point out what a soldier heart really feel when they go to war. Inside a person heart, no one really wants to be calling a hero when they die. Instead people want to live in a peaceful world. This poem also point out the negative meaning of the war and the world “Hero” that was given to the death soldiers.
Richard Myers
Professor Sabir
English 201B – 1 – 2:50pm
24 March 2010

War Poems

Felix Pollak’s poem “Speaking: The Hero” is a contrast in irony. It explores the thoughts of an individual who does not want to go to war, but is drafted in. He portrays the glorification by the media and various defense departments of a soldier who has died in battle, but never wanted to go in the first place. It’s just about as simple as that. He discusses certain situations where his own thoughts are completely juxtaposed to what is said by the government as a response. Particularly interesting is the line, “They said I gave my life. I had struggled to keep it” (6).
In, “Rain on a Battlefield” by Yehuda Amichai she discusses (in brief) her own feelings for friends and family that have gone off to war. I would imagine her sitting down in front of the television and imagining her friends as she writes, “It rains on the faces, On my live friends’ faces” (3). She laments at the thought of seeing people she knows and loves dying in battle or war. It’s a testament to the heartache of loves ones still at home while their family members are at war.
Luis Arechiga

Professor Sabir

English 201 B

24 March 2010 1:00pm – 2:50pm.

War Poems

Rain on a Battlefield by Yehunda Amichai had a deep impact on a aftermath of a battlefiled. This showed me how the impact of war is. Someone knows another, and in a instant, they are gone. Life comes and goes. I think that the ones who were covered mourned over their fallen comrades, yet didn’t have enough blankets to go around. Better use of blankets for the live ones then the dead.

Speaking: The Hero by Felix Pollak really speaks many of the innocent forced to battle.
Many people who have been drafted did not want to fight, or even kill another human being, yet they were scolded for it. People who did not want to fight or leave their home, died in another foreign land. This is something that has happened and repeated throughout the years.
Darrius Sutton
Professor Sabir
English 201 a 1-3pm
24 March 2010
Rain on a Battle Field by Yehuda Amichai, (translated by Assia Guttman)
In, “Rain on the Battlefield” by Yehuda Amichai, the poem was about rain out on the battlefield. The poem to me was vague with the scenery of the battlefield. He was saying how rain is falling down on the faces on the battlefield. In his head his friends faces live on to see another day. Then he goes on to talk about others have decided to cover their heads with blankets. I assume by this point in the in battle some of his friends have died. He says the rain, rains on their faces when they die. The last part I was very unclear about what Yehuda says, “Those who are covered by nothing”. I did not understand this line at all.
Grass by Carl Sandburg
In, “Grass” by Carl Sandburg, he has taken on the role of grass. He starts by saying that the bodies are piling up. He names various places where I can only assume large battles took place and many lives were lost. He says that he covers all. I don’t think that he necessarily meant grass in this line but just the ground in general. He goes on to name two more place where great battles were also fought. He says to bury the bodies under him and let him work. After long periods of time the bodies under him will ask “What place is this now?” and “Where are we now?” this is where he concludes the poem and finishes by saying the he is grass let him work.
Tracey Lee
201B 23075
MW 1-2.50pm

In Speaking: The Hero by Felix Pollak is a poem of contrasting emotions. The soldier was drafted by the army and had to go to war. The solider expressed his emotions of not wanting to fight in the war. When the solider was in the battlefield, he was killed and was given an honorary death as a hero. But he felt he was a coward undeserving the merits that is given in honor of his death.

In Give Back Peace by Sankichi Toge he talks about peace as life generating to humankind.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelaisha Birdlong
Professor Sabir
24 March 2010
English 201 A
Rain on a Battlefield by Yehuda Amichai (3)
“It rains on the faces, on my live friends’ faces. Those who cover their heads with a blanket. And it rains on my dead friends’ faces, those who are covered by nothing.” When I read this poem I imagine that it was centered in a battlefield. It shows the bloody colors of the war. Thinking about your friends dropping dead before your eyes, that’s just the worst thing to see and feel. People who you are so close with and having to be each other’s support group. Thinking that you might not return home to your loved ones, that’s a messed up feeling. You’re out there in a field and everyone is fighting for their lives and you have your friends who are still living and others that are gone. It makes you wonder who else is going to drop dead next.
Grass by Carl Sandburg (4)
“PILE the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo. Shovel them under and let me work? I am the grass; I cover all. And pile them high at Gettysburg. And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun. Shovel them under and let me work. Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor: what place is this? Where are we now? I am the grass. Let me work.” Reflecting on this poem it somehow puts an image in my head about the earth and mankind being one. When we were created, we were formed out of dirt. There wasn’t any piece of a human body, and once we are buried we go back to that origin. It’s like we are returning for which we came. We die and them we are put to rest underneath grass and dirt. Leaving our loved ones a special place for them to come and celebrate our life and the changes and impact we had on them when we were living. But how they seem to explain it in the poem is that they had to place those bodies in a pile and bury them together. Instead of paying to send those home to have their life celebrated the right way
Shakira Makanjuola
English 201B
1pm -2:50
24 March 2010

Freewrite: I read two poems name Speaking: The Hero by Felix Pollak and Rain on a Battlefield by Yehuda Amichai

i read the hero, I think they were talking U. S army because they were talking about is he don’t want to go to war and they make him go because they call him coward and he dead a coward. And when he dead they call him a hero. They say my mother should be proud, my mother cried. I think is about someone in the war and at the end he die.

Rain on a Battlefield by Yehuda Amichai

I think the poem is good. I also thought they were thinking about people that die in war and people that are still living.
Thomas Paine

I think his poem was about the Revelutionary War, and them coming together as a whole trying to overcome whats keeping them back.It discuses the problems they faced, and they sum the poem up by basicly saying only God knows your destony.

Tuset Komunyakaa

To me this poem is expressing how this person felt visiting a Vietnam Veterans Memorial.They seemed very imotional discribing how they feit, what the atmopher was like, and what their suroundings where like.

Czestaw Milosz

I think this poem discribes a person havig simpathy for the people of a city. It gives off the sence that he wants to lend some help to those people.

Alicia Candies
201 english m/w
Adilene Velazquez
Professor Sabir
English 201A MW10-12
24 March 2010

Speaking: The Hero

One poem in particular that caught my attention is called Speaking: the Hero by Felix Pollak. It is about how some soldiers actually felt about going to war. Through out the poem one soldier is speaking the real truth that no one knows and tells a story through his perspective. Even though he doesn’t want to go to war, he is forced to. Since he doesn’t want to murder the enemy the others make fun of him. When he dies, they said that he had been a role model when in reality he had tried to escape. I thought it was really deep when he says “they said my mother should be proud. My mother cried. I wanted to live. They called me a coward. I died a coward. They called me a hero.” I can imagine how hard it must have been to have to do something against their will.
Neil Chu
English 201A MW 10- 12
Professor Sabrir
24 march 2010

The poem that I found interesting was “facing it”. This poem focuses you on the lives of veterans. The poem gives you a view into the life of one mans experience in war. It describes what he saw. Mainly the poem is about the horrors people go through during war. The second poem I chose was “rain on the battlefield”. This was a sad poem about the casualties of describes mourners who are crying but hide their sorrow. I think the intended title was for the tears to represent the tears on the battlefield.
Adrianna Sterling
Professor Sabir
Eng 201A/B 10=11:50a

In class we read a short poem that really had me feel the way the poet was feeling i realize that people do weep over many things expecially if its over there loved ones who may have passed away. To me death is one of the hardest paths we have to walk in my eyes the poem reaaly touched me because it makes me think about all the people who passed away in my life :)
Nseke Ngilbus
Wanda Sabir
Eng 1a
April 23, 2010
This was a very short but interesting poem. Obliviously it is centered on war; the author conveys a sense of lost and of pain. The tone is really sad and mournful. I assume that the author is a soldier fighting a battle, and as he looks around himself, he sees the many of his friends that are dead and alive. This was a very powerful piece; it shows how close life and death is related. I love how he reverses the uses of the covers to illustrate life and death. I enjoy this poem; it proves a lot can be said without saying anything.
Damian Jackson
Professor Sabir
English 201B 10-1150 MW
24 March 2010

In class we read a short poem by Thomas Paine that really had touched me and made me feel the poet. Ive come to understand that people do weep over many things expecially if its over losing a loved one. To me death is one of the hardest paths we have to walk, but everyone will oneday take that journey. This is one og the reason i love to live a productive lifestyle.
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