Saturday, April 22, 2017

Reading Period 24: April 21-27: The Little Prince


Long Read: 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, chapters 22 to the end.

Poem:

“Demain dès l’aube”
de Victor Hugo

Demain, dès l’aube, à l’heure où blanchit la campagne,
Je partirai. Vois-tu, je sais que tu m’attends.
J’irai par la forêt, j’irai par la montagne.
Je ne puis demeurer loin de toi plus longtemps.

Je marcherai les yeux fixés sur mes pensées,
Sans rien voir au dehors, sans entendre aucun bruit,
Seul, inconnu, le dos courbé, les mains croisées,
Triste, et le jour pour moi sera comme la nuit.

Je ne regarderai ni l’or du soir qui tombe,
Ni les voiles au loin descendant vers Harfleur,
Et quand j’arriverai, je mettrai sur ta tombe
Un bouquet de houx vert et de bruyère en fleur.

"Tomorrow at Dawn"
by Victor Hugo

Tomorrow, at dawn, the moment the countryside is whitened,
I will leave. You see, I know that you await me.
I will go through the forest, I will go across the mountain.
I can no longer remain away from you.

I will trudge on, my eyes fixed on my thoughts,
Without seeing anything outside, without hearing any sound,
Alone, unknown, back bent, hands crossed,
Sad, and the day for me will be like the night.

I will not look upon the gold of nightfall,
Nor the sails from afar that descend on Harfleur,
And when I arrive, I will place on your grave
A bouquet of green holly and heather in bloom.

Creative Assignment:

Write a poem of three stanzas, using only sensory images: sights, sounds, sensations, smells. Each stanza must present a different emotion, either from the ones we brainstormed in class, or ones of your own choosing. Pick two negative emotions and a positive, or to positives and a negative, and think strategically about how you will arrange them in your poem. Take the reader to that emotion without the benefit of explanation of feelings. Colors, noises, objects, lights -- that is how you must communicate your feelings in this poem. We will be working on doing an in-class reading, so prepare yourself mentally for that.

Writing Assignment:

In class we discussed the challenges that face a translator. In a 250 word essay, write about what those challenges are. What pitfalls does a translator have to avoid, and what choices does a translator have to make? Now consider what type of translator you would be, if you were given the task to translate a poem from another language. Would you try to stick to the original as much as possible? Or would you change it to make it sound better in English? How would you keep the new work from becoming your own creation? Or would you go in that direction on purpose? You can use the different translations of "The Sick Muse" as illustrations if you like.

OR

Read about Antoine de Saint-Exupery in his entry on biography.com. Write a short essay that answers the following questions: What was his job and what kind of person was he? What facts about his life relate directly to his novella, The Little Prince? Do you think it's important that we know this about him, in order to fully understand the novel? Using this as an example, do you think it's important to always find out whether authors have personal experience with the story elements in their books?

Quiz:

1. The little prince says that only the children on the train know what they are looking for. What are they looking for?
2. Based on the prince's response to the salesclerk with the water pills, what is the little prince's opinion of the pills? How can you tell?
3. According to the little prince, what makes the desert beautiful?
4. Can you think of anything else invisible that makes something beautiful, like a flower you can't see near a faraway star?
5. Why does the prince drink water, even though he doesn't need it to live?
6. Do you think it is better to avoid tears by never letting yourself be tamed? Why?
7. Find a simile in chapter 26.
8. How will it be different for the pilot now when he looks at the stars?
9. Why does the prince ask the snake to bite him? Why can't he just fly back to his planet by whatever means he arrived?
10. List four things in the story that are yellow.

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