[Milton-L] Re: Books, documents and texts

Jameela Lares Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Tue Dec 14 07:21:48 EST 2004

I've been able to pick enough about rap--or at least open mike rap--to see
connections with oral formulaic poetry.  I haven't done enough with the topic to
publish or anything, but I do point out the similarities I see with my early
British Lit survey students, with some pedagogical advantages.  When I tell them
that the closest modern analog to Beowulf is open mike rap, I usually have their
attention for the semester.

Maybe next time I'll have them translate _Beowulf_ into rap.  My second paper
assignment is already to write a sonnet that mentions a current event and that
also imitates one of the sonnets in the anthology.

The movie _Renaissance Man_, with Danny De Vito, shows the students
understanding the _Hamlet_ enough to perform a rap on it.  Plus, of course, they
change the boot camp marching song at the end to "Hamlet's mother, she's the
queen. / Buys it in the final scene. / Drinks a cup of funky wine, / Now she's
Satan's valentine." 



Jameela Lares
Associate Professor of English
The University of So. Mississippi
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