Poetry is fun project

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Here’s an independent assignment I gave my American Literature students to do during our final week of state testing. I wanted to give them something that was content-light but still academic. Most of them really enjoyed it.

I should point out that all of this (except for the samples, which I wrote) was stolen from the web. Read more

Fool by Christopher Moore

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I’ve been hearing great things about Christopher Moore for years, but it took his writing a “re-telling” of King Lear from the Fool’s point of view to get me to pick up one of his novels.

More fool me for waiting so long.

Moore is deliciously funny, with a wicked streak a mile long. Naughty doesn’t quite cover it. And I loved every minute of it.

I won’t get into too many details, as this is not an adult blog (naughty writer, remember?), but here’s a quick rundown of the plot. The set-up is the same as Shakespeare’s play: King Lear’s an egomaniac who pits his daughters against each other. The elder two are evil suck-ups,  while the youngest speaks the truth and is banaished. Lear gets taken advantage of, and eventually dies.  Along the way, Moore references 10 or so others of the Bard’s works, including Macbeth (3 witches) and Hamlet (a troupe of traveling actors performing Green Eggs and Hamlet. Go ahead-try to not giggle like an idiot.). But it’s Lear’s Fool who runs this show — and is sometimes run by it. He’s a bawdy wit who’s a tad frustrated with rhyming ghosts and witches.

Despite being American, Moore does a great job with British slang. Those unfamiliar with British witticisms need not fear, as Moore provides a series of footnotes, which are just as funny as the prose proper. I’d give examples, but again, I’m trying to keep this family-friendly.

So why recommend it here? Like I said: It’s funny. And smart. And it references no fewer than 12 Shakespearean plays. I’m an English teacher. I’m required to recommended stuff like that.

So go read it. I’m off to find more of his work.