Essay should be 2-3 typewritten pages, double-spaced, using Modern Language Association (MLA) format. (See Strategies for Successful Writing, p. 385, “MLA System for Preparing Papers” and p. 403 for sample paper.)
The Hindu poet Kalidasa wrote the following poem:
Salutation to the Dawn
January 1, Look to this day, For it is life, the very life of life. In its brief course lie all the varieties and realities of your existence, The bliss of growth, the glory of action, the splendor of beauty; For yesterday is but a dream; and tomorrow is only a vision, But today well lived makes Every yesterday a dream of happiness And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day!
Analyze and interpret this passage. Respond to the topic within the Discussions tool, discussing your understanding of the ideas that Kalidasa expresses.
Review chapters eight and nine of Strategies for Successful Writing to review narrative and descriptive essays.
Write a narrative essay focusing on one incident in your life that illustrates the ideas presented in Kalidasa’s poem.
Include descriptive details to convey clear imagery of the elements of your story. Remember to consider all of the senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound. Create a dominant impression.
You will make at least one reference to an idea from the Kalidasa poem by quoting a word or phrase from his work. The quote can appear anywhere in your essay, where it most logically emerges.
Next, provide some transition that links the poem to the opening of your story.
Throughout the essay, you might occasionally refer to ideas from the poem to provide a connection to the details of your experience.
You might use the three major statements-“The bliss of growth, the glory of action, the splendor of beauty”-to organize the major points and events of your story.
Since this essay is a narrative, you must focus on presenting action. A narrative recreates action.
The action is often motivated by conflict. The events of our lives and our world are often shaped by conflicts that need to be overcome or resolved.
Remember you are focusing only on one specific incident as the basis of your narrative.
In your concluding paragraph, you may make a reference to the poem. Your reference should reveal the thesis of the narrative-the main point that you are making with the story or the main lesson learned.
The audience for this paper is your classmates. Assume that you are telling them your story to illustrate a specific point.
The verb tense in telling your story should be past tense, unless a statement logically requires present tense. Be consistent in maintaining the verb tense.
You may use the pronoun “I” in the narrative. This is your story. However, avoid overusing “I.” It often is not necessary to use it while explaining events.
Choose only key events in telling the story. Avoid explaining every detail that occurred. You will bore the reader with too much verbiage.
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