"English Rose, " A Love Poem

The song, “English Rose” by Ed Sheeran appears on his album, Multiply: Wembly Edition. The first time I heard this song, I immediately fell in love with both its musical and lyrical elements, and it has been my favorite song for almost two years.

This song is most certainly poetry in every way, through its flowing metaphors, rhythm, diction, imagery, rhymes and deep emotion that helps the listener understand the strong love and longing Sheeran is expressing through his music.

In this song, Sheeran is describing being on tour and playing shows in Tennessee, across the sea from his home in England.

I spend my days, just traveling and playing shows

But my heart still beats, for my home and my English Rose

In these particular lines of the song, the metaphor “English Rose” Sheeran is describing is his love interest, an English woman back at his home in England. The term “English Rose” is often used to describe a very beautiful English woman, as well as a type of beautiful and vibrant rose, and this is whom Sheeran is describing his longing for throughout this song. Sheeran is also describing, through powerful diction and imagery, how he loves to perform and tour with his music, but that his heart really belongs with his love interest back at home.

In addition to the metaphors in these lines of the song, the words “shows” and “Rose” rhyme, which is another poetic element that adds rhythm to the lyrics of the song.

I told my dad, on the phone it’s amazing
From the street to the craziest places I’ve seen

but I’d long to be
In the arms of my true love
Like he loves my mother, he understands me

In this section of the song, Sheeran is describing how he discussed, with his father, his feelings of longing towards the woman he loves. His father describes his love for Sheeran’s mother, and is able to understand the pain Sheeran feels in not being able to be with the one he loves. Sheeran uses the imagery of yearning to be in the arms of his “true love”, which helps the listener to understand the deep desire he feels to be with his “English Rose.”

The use of multiple poetic devices as well as the strong and deep emotion and desire conveyed in this song make it poetry in every sense, as it made me, and so many other listeners, feel these deep feelings along with Sheeran in this beautiful song.

English Roses!

Beloved and The Middle Passage

In class one day, we discussed that passage in which Beloved talks about where she came from. Beloved doesn’t name a specific location of her origin, but rather gives the reader a detailed description.

Beloved described the place that she came from as “dark” and “hot. Nothing to breathe down there and no room to move in” and that “A lot of people is down there. Some is dead.”

This description sparked much discussion and interpretation among the class. Some commonly agreed upon ideas within the classroom were Hell, a coffin, and a womb.

Then, Mr. Heidkamp gave a suggestion that nobody in the class had brought up, that Beloved was describing her journey through The Middle Passage.

The Middle Passage is the route slaves took from Western Africa to North America, where they would be sold into slavery. The Middle Passage was described by some slaves as the worst form of punishment, and in most slave autobiographies, this middle passage through the Atlantic Ocean isn’t even mentioned.

About 50% of Africans forced onto these slave ships died in The Middle Passage due to little to no food, water or shelter, as well as disease. Many debates in the colonies and later on, the states, involved whether these slave ships should be “tightly” or “loosely” packed with slaves.

The extreme dehumanization and of these people on The Middle Passage speaks to the horrors of slavery, and the disgusting actions the European colonists in North America.

Beloved expressed her dislike, and possibly even fear, of the place that she came from earlier on in the novel. It made me think a lot about this Middle Passage, and the other horrors that people faced due to the abuse of European power and force.

After I left that day in class, I heavily reflected on the emotional and physical impact of this passage, and how if a person was able to survive it, they would still be left with the horrible emotional trauma of the gruesome journey.

Did Nadia And Saeed Ever Love Each Other?

In the story Exit West by Mohsin Hamid shows that in the extreme and deadly city Nadia and Saeed seem to fall in love based on normal reasons for example behavior and looks. As the war increases and spreads further into the city causing deaths you see a change in the relationship between the young couple. The relationship becomes more forced like when Saeed’s mother passes away and no one speaks much it began to set a principle for dislocated conversations and communication. When Nadia promised Saeed’s dad to stay with him she made this promise until they made it to a new piece of land through the doors Saeed meets a prests daughter that he began to like and the same went for Nadia; this shows that even though a war and through a promise neither off the two characters actually felt true love but a need to want to be together only to reach a place for them to be able to find their way and be able to leave each other in separate worlds as they were before they meet .

Woman at War and Maternity

The movie Woman at War tells the story of a woman named Halla, who is a social activist fighting to end climate change in Iceland. Halla’s strong passion for protecting the environment has led her to extreme actions, as she has repeatedly turned off and even completely destroyed power lines that power the city.

In the midst of Halla’s extreme political activism, she received a call that her application for adoption has been approved, and there is a young girl from the Ukraine named Nika who is in need of a new home.

This news did not stop Halla from continuing to fight for the environment, and she was eventually arrested for her crimes.

After her arrest, Halla’s sister had agreed to be the new mother of Nika, and had planned to go to the Ukraine and bring her back to Iceland.

But, during a prison visit, Halla’s sister was telling her about her plan to move to the Ukraine when she gets Nika. Halla’s sister chooses to switch places with Halla in order for her to become the mother of Nika, which is something she has always wanted.

Halla then makes the journey to the Ukraine, and is able to adopt Nika and start her new life in the Ukraine.

Halla is depicted as an independent, resilient and determined woman, and is a strong, influential female protagonist.

In society, women who become mothers are often told to “settle down” and only focus on raising their children in the home. For Halla, this reality of motherhood is quite the opposite.

Even immediately after she leaves the orphanage with Nika, the bus they are on breaks down and they are forced to walk through extremely high levels of water.

Halla’s strength and aspirations will most certainly not “slow down” as she begins to parent Nika. Halla represents an independent woman who will be both a loving mother towards her child, as well as an activist that will keep on working persistently to change the world they live in.

First Days of School Mix

And speaking of music and mixes and soundtracks, I put together my own First Days of School Mix — new music that puts everything in perspective and provides some needed boosts of inspiration. Any new songs I should add? Anyone have their own back-to-school soundtrack?

Music Poetry, Thanks to the Class of 2019 …

I don’t know about you, but I like to have a soundtrack to pretty much everything I do. And in that spirit, a class should have its own soundtrack.

But a soundtrack is personal — or at least should reflect the community that listens to it. So our class soundtrack is going to come from you — in the form of a Music Poetry assignment we will get to later in the first semester.

In the meantime, last year’s AP Lit classes have created their own soundtrack that we can borrow until we get up to speed. Enjoy!

Welcome!

Welcome to the blog for our AP Lit class. It is the space in which we will continue conversations from class and start new ones. We’ll be discussing and debating literary conundrums and so much more. We might even see a little poetry.

So, what’s a blog? And how will we be using it class? For information on blogging and how to join and post to our blog, see “All About Blogging.”

We’re looking forward to a great year.

Make sure you check your e-mail for your invitation to join the blog. Also – and this is very important – the first step you should take after you accept the invitation is to edit your user profile so that you control how your identity and your communication preferences.  Click on the icon in the upper right corner of the browser and edit your profile

You can fill out as much of it as you want, but the only requirement is — under “Identity” — make sure your “Display name” is your first name and last initial only — so we provide some anonymity while still allowing your classmates and teacher to be able to identity who you are. For example, change “Bernie Heidkamp” to “Bernie H.”