ENG 4U 2011: A Bad Poem and Good Advice

I wrote this poem last year. It is as bad as the title suggests.

Why No One Should Write Poetry At 5 AM

So far, students, there is much we have learned:

Hamlet to Denmark recently returned.

His father? Dead, but haunting the castle;

His uncle, the king, a murd’rous rascal.

What of his mother? Did she mourn the dead?

Too quickly she jumped into Claudius’ bed.

Polonius, a well-meaning fool,

Can’t beat Hamlet in a word-witty duel.

What of Ophelia, dutiful daughter?

Why does she have a penchant for water?

(Okay, I admit, the last line sounds odd,

But by Act 5, in agreement, you’ll nod).

Her father  used her to test our young Prince,

Callous treatment especially since

Young O loves Hamlet and he, her…

Wait…actually….I am not really sure.

Does the Prince love? He sent her a letter,

But if he loves her, shouldn’t he treat her much better

Then dismissing her, abrupt and cold

To live in a nunnery until gray and old?

“To be or not to be?” Are you man or boy?

Oh, why must you such cruel methods employ?

Catch the king’s conscious? All good and fine,

But you risk all: your girl, your life, your mind.

Writing an Advice Column:

After we consider Act IV scene v, I’d like you to write a 1 page, single-spaced advice column responding to one of the questions below. While you may be as creative as you wish, you must include specific references to the events of scenes in Act III or IV. One way to do this is to use the events of the play as an example of what to do (or not to do).

Here are your options:

Dear Advice Columnist,
I am obsessed with thoughts of revenge. Should I seek vengeance and, if so, when is the best time to do so?
Haunted by Ghosts

Dear Advice Columnist,
I am about to return home from Christmas break. I’ve been at university for a while, and I can’t wait to have a decent meal!

Anyway, the word on the street is that home has, well, changed. My sister has gone a little crazy; she does nothing but talk in bizarre rhymes and pick flowers. I am not sure why. It may be that guy she used to see; he may be a little unstable, too.  Apparently, the break-up wasn’t pretty.

I’ve also heard that this same guy wronged my father in some way. I don’t know the details, but it may have started with the guy in question calling my dad a rat. A shame. I used to trust this guy; I just hope he didn’t stab my dad in the back.

I have a two part question: how do I deal with all this madness, and should I confront this guy who keeps wronging my family?

Leery of Lunacy

Dear Advice Columnist,
A friend recently told me a secret: my current boyfriend sabotaged my previous relationship to be with me! I am shocked (and, to be honest, a little flattered). I know what you are thinking. I should leave him, right? Unfortunately, this really isn’t an option for me. People don’t ”leave” each other where I am from.
I don’t know what to do. My friend has advised me to keep a safe distance from my boyfriend, and wait for events to unfold.  The problem is that my friend isn’t exactly stable. In fact, he has been seeing things. Odd things.

Should I listen to my crazy, yet loyal, friend?
Sanity vs. Sabotage


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