Spoken Words

Tom Hiddleston seems to be all the craze right now. I’ll admit he is a charming bloke. Listen to this poem by e.e. cummings, recited by Mr. Hiddleston before reading the next paragraph.

Often, teachers in school concentrate entirely on the meaning of the poem and ignore the nuance, rhythm and play on words. I believe, and this is what most people forget, is that poetry is meant to be read aloud. If you listen to a good poetry reading, you will catch the meaning of the poem through the tone, the little stops and pauses and the pitch.

A well read poem can delight the senses and make you view the poem in a way you never did studying it in the classroom.

e.e. cummings poem ‘May I feel said he’ is all about innuendo. But more than that, it’s about relationships; a man and woman embarking on a one night fling or the beginning of an affair. It’s about sensuality and love; the man and woman have different ideas about love.

‘may i stay said he, which way said she.’
‘may I move said he, it is love said she’

and the last line…..
‘you’re divine said he, you are mine said she’

They seem to be wanting different things. It makes one wonder; what is love? How is it perceived? How is it expressed?

There is always so much more to a poem once you’ve heard how it is read and a different reading will lend a different meaning. This could be a fun and sensual poem or it could be a love affair that would end too soon.

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Are you a sociopath?

The mind is a hallway full of rooms and locked doors. In this TED talk video Jon Ronson relates his experiences dealing with sociopaths. It’s an amusing, funny and just slightly creepy encounter.

After watching this, think about this: what makes a psychopath; genetics or environment?
In the event that a drug is created to ‘cure’ psychopaths, should we administer it?
And finally, here’s a test that you can take for fun!

http://personality-testing.info/tests/LSRP.php

Fun Puns :)

I love puns. I really really do. I’m not very good at them myself but I think they are the fundamentals to any good comedy. Shakespeare loved puns and he had some very dirty ones up his sleeves and in his play. But here are few to make your day!

  • Let’s talk about rights and lefts. You’re right, so I left.
  • Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
  • When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
  • A boiled egg every morning is hard to beat.
  • Two fish are in a tank. One says to the other, “Err…so how do you drive this thing?”
  • I went to buy some camouflage trousers yesterday but couldn’t find any.
  • I’ve been to the dentist many times so I know the drill.
  • Being struck by lightning is a shocking experience!
  • Without geometry, life is pointless.
  • A chicken crossing the road is truly poultry in motion.
  • The roundest knight at King Arthur’s table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from far too much pi.
  • I went to a seafood disco last week….and pulled a mussel.
  • She had a photographic memory but never developed it.
  • Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was brilliant!

(try reading them aloud)

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Talk English Online!

Hello! It’s time for speaking English once more! As a non-native speaker myself i think it would be great if those of us trying to speak English would get a chance to practice English with other speakers. So here are a few sites that allows English speakers to communicate with one another and practice.

 

http://www.english-corner-online.com/site/ – here you can sign up and chat with other English speakers all over the world. I haven’t tried it myself but it sounds promising. So if anyone does try, let me know how you like it!

 

http://www.speaking24.com/ – speaking24 uses mostly Skype as a medium for speakers to interact. The people sound friendly and most of them aim to learn English!       

 

http://www.eslfast.com/robot/ this is a hilarious one. It’s chatting with an ESL robot or AI. So if you’re the kind who is too shy to speak to people, feel free to try this one out.

 

 

Listening – Art

Art has always been a passion of mine. So it was great fun to discover that BBC has a programme by Alastair Sooke on the world’s most expensive painting from Van Gogh to the most expensive artist ever auctioned, the controversial Picasso.

Watch the video and try to think about these questions:
a) What do you think of Lord Jeffrey Archer’s character?
b) What is the meaning or value of art now that it is such a coveted object for the wealthy?
c) Try to reflect on the different attitudes of art collectors.
d) What raises the price of art in the market?