Thursday, October 31, 2013

Biff and Sturla and The Painted Ear

            “Sturla where are you?”
            It was an odd question to ask while entering his room. Sturla, his best friend and neighbor, popped his head out from under the bed with an expression of panic plastered across his face.
            “Biff, how the hell are we gonna get out of here?”
            A little less than two hours ago Biff had received a call from Sturla. Biff was entering the weight room at his school to blow off some steam. He had just taken his third final and he needed to stop studying. He checked his phone and found two missed calls back to back from his best friend Sturla. He immediately called him back.
            “Yo Biff”
            “Yo what’s good?”
            “Do you know if anyone is home at your house?”
            Well that was an odd question.
            “Uhh… no I don’t think so. My mom is teaching until normal time and my dad is at work. Why, whatsup?”
            Sturla mumbled something and Biff heard a high-pitched giggle on the other line.
            “Well, uhh, I’ve got Darla with me.”
            “Oh that’s cool, garage code is 9601 and I’ll be coming home in about an hour or so, so do whatever just be a bro and don’t make out on my bed please.”
            “Will do man, thanks for the spot.”
            An hour later Biff was heading home with his sister, Sara, making sure to text Sturla when he left school to give him and Darla ample time to get out of the house. It was a quite car ride home as usual until the buzzing began.
            “Biff your phone is blowing up, who keeps texting you so much?”
            Biff quickly grabbed his phone, opened the messages all from Sturla, and immediately starting laughing. “Oh my god”; “We heard a noise downstairs”; “The door just opened”; “Who the (EXPLITIVE) is at your house?”; “What the hell”; “Oh my god they are coming upstairs”.
            Biff pulled into the driveway to the familiar view of the cleaning ladies’ car.
            “Sara, Sturla is here getting a book he needs for his final exam tomorrow,” Biff explained. “I’m gonna go grab him.”
            And there he stood, in his room figuring out how to get his friend and his girl out of the house without being seen. Speaking of the girl…
            “Where’s Darla dude?”
            A small, weak “I’m right here!” crept from the closet door.
            “How the hell are we getting out of here?”
            “Oh Hi Sturla!” said Sara, who was prancing up the stairs.
            “Hey Sara, just looking for a book in here!”
            Now that’s best friend telepathy right there.
            Escape routes and plans were speeding through Biff’s head. What he needed was to distract Sara or get her downstairs or get her out of the way…
            “Biff why is the bathroom floor all wet? Ugh, why do I always clean up after you?”
            “Darla now!”
            Darla jumped out of the closet and tip toed as fast as she could past the bathroom where Sara was scrubbing the floor dry and into Biff’s parent’s room.
            “Biff, what about the cleaning ladies!?”
            “Sturla, go downstairs and open the front door. Darla, don’t move until I tell you to.”
            “Biff,” Sara angrily exclaimed, “Your clothes from yesterday are still on the bathroom ground, are you really gonna make the cleaning ladies clean up after you? This is pathetic.”
            She stormed off downstairs with the pile of clothes to put them in the laundry bin. It was now or never.
            Darla sprinted from her hiding spot behind the wall right down the stairs and right out of the door, followed by Sturla. As they sprinted across the lawn to the car, Sturla looked back at Biff and a large smile covered his face. Just some partners in crime at it again.            

Jack Keffer
Mr. O’Brian
British Literature E
October 20, 2013

            “You will be taking the SAT in room 104. Best of luck!”
            Lee didn’t need luck: he had Brett. Well, technically speaking, Brett wasn’t right there with him, but he could hear him alright. “That was one fat teacher my friend” Brett said.
            It was really Lee’s father that Lee should credit. After all, it was he who made the technology that made it possible for Brett to see through Lee’s eyes and speak into Lee’s ear. Never before had earpieces and cameras been so small that people couldn’t see them. And it was also his father’s $500 just casually sitting around that Lee had stolen to pay Brett for his service.
            “This is easily the most badass thing we have ever done. I just hate that I have to take this God damn test again.”
            It’s not like it’s a challenge for you thought Lee. You already aced it, you can do it again.
            Lee walked into room 104 and found dirty desks and some miserable looking people in them. He strategically sat in the back left corner of the classroom, where no proctor or student would be able to see the miniscule black earpiece in his left ear. The camera was placed in between his left eye and his nose and looked like a tiny pimple. This is going to work, and I don’t have to do a damn thing…
            The proctor entered the classroom with a suspicious air following her in. Her eyes were filled with skepticism and the scowl on her face screamed “fear me”.
            “Dude, that is one scary female” whispered Brett.
            The proctor, whose name according to the board was Ms. Fish, sat down at the desk and slammed her books down on the table.
            “There will be absolutely no cheating during this SAT or else you will be sent home immediately if caught. Do I make myself clear?”
            A loud gulp bellowed from Lee’s throat.
            Ten minutes later Lee found himself opening up the SAT booklet to the first test. “Here we go buddy, let me do the thinking and you just do the circling” Brett said.
            Everything was running smoothly until Ms. Fish started to walk around the room. With every slow step, her high heels sent a resounding click echoing around the room. It was driving Lee mad. His body became increasingly warmer until he started to develop a sweat and his eyes darted every time he heard those high heels clicking. Brett kept coming with the answers and Lee kept circling them.
            The high heels stopped and Lee’s heart skipped a beat. Ms. Fish was standing right next to his left side.
            “Sir, what is that on your ear?”
            It was over. She had caught him and he would never pass high school or get into college. His family would disown him and Brett would be just as screwed. Tears welled in his eyes as he awaited the screaming and screeches from this terrifying woman.
            “You’ve got paint on ear! Why on earth do you have paint on your ear?!”
            His heart started beating again. Blood started to pump into his body as he regained his senses and his mind.
            “Oh I was painting my room last weekend and my brother decided it would be funny to paint my ear.”
            “Well isn’t that wonderful! I love painting don’t you?!”
            A wide smile replaced the frown on her face as she strutted away from the desk. Lee checked his heartbeat, chuckled lightly in relief, and continued taking his test.

Each Fair Familiar Feature Of Thy Face

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XXXIX. "Each fair familiar feature of thy face" By John Barlas

Each fair familiar feature of thy face
Shines through the darkness where my soul abides
As on the bridegroom's love-bright eye the bride's,
Or dimly through the pillared outer space,
Forth of the rich remotest holy place,
Between the o'er-arching sculptured temple-sides,
A taper, like a star the cloud half hides,
Lends each pale worshipper a little grace.
Ah cold the frozen marble to my knees,
Cold, cold; but warm the heart that prays. Still show
Thy face forth of the chancel to me here.
Still shine upon me darkling, where I freeze
Here in thine outer courts and pray, one glow
To lend my labouring soul a little cheer.

Not a great workout.

Wed, 10/30--Neighborhood.  5.7M in 41:30

Tues, 10/29-Henderson HS.  6x800 with 200m jog rest.  Did only 5. Not a great workout.  Tired legs.
2:48, 2:53, 2:55,--2:48, 2:35

Mon, 10/28--YMCA. Brief Leg work

Sun, 10/27--YMCA.  Miles/Upper Body Lifting (4:00)
6:50 on donut track
4:00 of lifting

6:40 on treadmill
4:00 of lifting
6:30 on donut
4:00 of lifting
6:20 on treadmill
4:00 of stretching
6:10 on track
4:00 of lifting
5:55 on treadmill

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What Sonnet 29 Means To Nile Hardy

When I am not on the good side of people and fortune
I cry to myself because, I am a social outcast,
I cry to heaven, but no one hears.
And look at myself, and curse my existence,
I wish, I was someone who had more hope,
Wishing I had that man’s skill, and that man’s luck.
But when I think of these thoughts, I begin to hate myself,
I think of you, and then I look at myself and become overjoyed
Like to the lark at break of day arising.
From the darkness of the earth I sing to the heavens,
Thinking of your love brings me sweet happiness,

That then I would change nothing about myself, even to be a king
Nile Hardy
Mr. Obrien
Brit Lit E

 Once there was a boy name Nile, who loved to play.  Anywhere, anytime, or anyone, it did not matter to Nile  he just wanted to play.  In one particular morning, Nile had watched Casper the friendly ghost. Casper was a good ghost, who liked to help people rather than scare them.  Nile liked Casper a lot, and decided for that day he was going to be a ghost.  But instead of being a 
 friendly ghost like casper, nile wanted to be a scary ghost. Nile's mom, dad, and sister were home, and Nile planned to scare them all.
      Nile decided to scare his mom first.  Nile knew that his mom was severely  scared of cats, so he thought that since his mom would literally shriek in the presence of something as harmless as a cat, she would easily be scared by a ghost. But first Nile had to make himself look like a ghost, so he went into his closest and looked for a blanket he could wear.  There was blue, green, and white blanket, and Nile choose to wear the white blanket, because to Nile it made him look most like a ghost. Nile went to bathroom, put the white blanket over his head, looked at the mirror, and said a good boo. Nile was certain that he would scare his mom. Now, Nile had to go find his mom so he could scare her. Nile searched throughout the house but he could not find her, so he asked his sister, named Camryn, where his mom was.  Camryn told Nile that his mom was outside gardening.  Nile quickly ran outside, and spotted his mom gardening the tulips.  Nile decided to hide behind one of her pine trees and would yell boo, and he thought he would certainly scare her. Nile saw his mom about to walk by the tree, so he jumped out said boo, and Nile's mom screamed.  Nile's mom said "Jesus Nile! I almost had a heart attack" Nile ran into his house, in search for his next victim.
    Nile decided to scare his sister next.  He knew she would be harder to scare them his mom, but since she was only four, he thought it would not be too hard to scare her. Nile was so happy after scaring his mom, he decided to jump on couch, but Nile was unaware of his surrounding because of the blanket over his head, and tripped and smacked his head on his families concrete fireplace, and became unconscious.  Nile's mom saw him laying there lifeless, and screamed, his mom quickly took the blanket off his head splashed water on his face. Nile regained conscious, woke up and his mom said "Nile no more ghost for you". Nile did not know what she was saying because he did not remember ever being a ghost. Nile the went outside to play, as if nothing had happened.

Terrell Smith Story

Terrell Smith

Mr. O’Brien




The Deadly Banana


My vacation began in Brazil when I landed in the beautiful tropical savannah of Rio de Janeiro. As being the second largest city in Brazil behind Sao Paulo, the streets were crowded and the delightful smell of feijoada lingered. My taste buds were soaring as I was ready to try one of the most famous dishes in Brazil. From the intricate designs of the favelas to calm clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Brazil seemed like the perfect place to live. Although I was starving as I drooled over the Brazilian style meats and fruits, I knew that there was an adventure for my mother and I that we would enjoy.

We began our adventure with travelling to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, which towers over Rio. Listed as one of the New Wonders of the World in 2007, this statue was one of the first things my mother and I planned to see. My mother and I were filled with smiles as we began our journey up the mountain. After a half an hour our bodies were tired because the mountain to get to the statue was very steep and it was about 90 degrees and humid. Luckily we remembered to fill our canteens with water that saved us through mountainside. Heavy breathing and numb legs were dragged as our tired bodies finally reached the statue. The long and strenuous hike was definitely worth it. It was a fascinating sight as we look over the city of Rio. I felt on top of the world as we surveyed the city, its people, and mesmerizing scenery. The statue welcomed my mother and I as it stood proud and tall with open arms. To over look the extravagant landscape of beaches and mountains was mind blowing, a sight that I could never forget.

After experiencing this unforgettable view from the Christ Redeemer statue, we unwisely decided to continue on our travels and skip a meal. Making this decision to continue without eating we knew was a health risk but this was the only day we would be able to see the Iguazu Falls. Once again we had to take a long hike to the falls because there were not any paved roads near the Iguazu Falls. Thankfully I still had water but knew that my energy was running low and I would need to eat at least fruit to give me energy. My mother and I decided we would eat once we reached our destination. My desire to eat ultimately motivated me to not complain and continue with a quick pace towards the Falls.

It was tough making our way through rocky paths filled with steep hills. While hurrying, we wished we brought bikes because it was demeaning to our motivation seeing people ride by us in mo-pads and bicycles. Nevertheless, we kept our heads up and finally reached the falls. Rainbows and mist surrounded the area as the water splashed everywhere. We finally made it to a fruit stand where we would be able to refuel in order to enjoy the rest that Brazil had to offer. I bought two bananas not knowing that one of them would contain one of the most deadliest animals in the world. I peeled the lethal banana and before I go to eat a spider comes rushing out. Due to my athletic like reflexes I smash the little spider. I bring it to the cashier and she screams as she must know something I do not. She tells me to throw it out in a loud screeching voice as if the spider is a monster.  I do what she says and then ask her why she reacted that way. According to the store clerk and what I later find out in the Guinness World Records Book is that the Brazilian Wandering Spider is the world’s most venomous spider. Once hearing this, I stood with a blank stare knowing that my life just flashed before my eyes.

Terrell Smith story

Terrell Smith

Mr. O’Brien




My Hero: Lotion



The first weekend of summer break was suspected to be spectacular filled with tan girls, big waves, and an over-whelming amount of food. Little did I know that a bottle of lotion would save my life.

When I heard the news I was going to Ocean City New Jersey, a myriad of activities raced through my mind while I packed my bag filled with strictly swim shorts and white tees. Mini-Golf, Go-cart racing, swimming, and my favorite, eating at buffets, were some of the many things I wished to do in just one weekend. For my family and I we make this trip annually, enjoying each other’s company as we do all of these activities together. With everyone’s busy life of school and work it is rare that we all get together and spend time with each other, so we always take advantage of this weekend filled with laughter and love.

The suns out and so are the guns(muscles) as my cousin’s and I stroll out to the beach. With each step, anxiety increases as we cannot wait to feel the unforgettable sensation of the waves splashing against our body. Before the fun begins it is essential that we stop at the nearest store to buy accessories such as glasses and hats. At least one of us usually buys a buggy board knowing that none of us knows how to use it. My oldest cousin who you would think would be the smartest of the group, shows that he is actually the least intelligent when he buys a hat that delays our beach adventures. He buys a hat that takes about an hour to make, the store clerk tells us because of the spray paint. Due to his creative imagination he gets a hat that says only “Quinn” on the front made of what he describes as “cool” letters. Instead of rubbing our feet in the smooth and gentle sand, we walk around aimlessly looking for something to do, although he have already eaten and spent most of our money in the store. Finally after an hour goes by because of a hat, we begin our path toward the beach.

Not able to hold in my anxiety I sprint towards the beach ahead of my cousins. Without looking back, I find a spot near the tide and lay my hat and glasses down and dive in the ocean. The chill sent a spine-tingling sensation down my back as I enjoyed my first splash into the waves. The perfect combination of the hot sun and the chill waves made me forget about all troubles in life, as I floated to the rhythm of the waves. Rocking back and forth, I noticed my cousins just arriving to the spot where I laid my items down. “Terrell come get Sun Screen lotion!!!!”. These words I never thought would save my life. Minutes later after I departed from the sea to spray on sun screen, there was a shark warning, because a shark reached shallow water and ultimately had washed up where I had been swimming minutes before. I realized that I could have been that shark’s lunch if my cousin would have never called me over to put on sun screen. That shark was swimming where I was and it was a miracle I had not been attacked. If it wasn’t for CopperTone sun screen spray I would not be hear today. That lotion saved my life and I will forever use that lotion whenever I visit any beach.

Terrell's Sonnet

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By Shakespeare 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

Paraphrase-In this sonnet Shakespeare defines love. In the first quatrain when he says "Admit impediments," means that love is perfect and it never changes for a certain loved one. In the next quatrain, Shakespeare demonstrates the power of love through a metaphor, when he talks about a guiding star to lost ships that cannot be effected by storms. The third quatrain he explains that love is also not susceptible to time and once again says love does not change with hours and weeks and goes through the worst of times. In the final couplet he says he is certain about love and that if he is wrong, he must never write again and no man can ever be in love again.

sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds 
Admit impediments. Love is not love 
Which alters when it alteration finds, 
Or bends with the remover to remove: 
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark 
That looks on tempests and is never shaken; 
It is the star to every wandering bark, 
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken 
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle’s compass come: 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom. 
   If this be error and upon me proved, 
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

by John Drinkwater
A Town Window

BEYOND my window in the night 
  Is but a drab inglorious street, 
Yet there the frost and clean starlight 
  As over Warwick woods are sweet. 
Under the grey drift of the town         5
  The crocus works among the mould 
As eagerly as those that crown 
  The Warwick spring in flame and gold. 
And when the tramway down the hill 
  Across the cobbles moans and rings,  10
There is about my window-sill 
  The tumult of a thousand wings.

It is a simple poem about what John Drinkwater is seeing on the street. He does with a lot of imagery, and he is mostly likely explaining all the sounds and sights one would see and hear in the morning.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Shakespeare's Sonnet #65

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o'ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wrackful siege of batt'ring days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong but time decays?
O fearful meditation! Where, alack,
Shall time’s best jewel from time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil or beauty can forbid?
  O none, unless this miracle have might,
  That in black ink my love may still shine bright

This beautifully cynical sonnet discusses how unavoidable death is and the process of growing older as the poet wants to preserve this person's beauty. Only in the ink of the poem can beauty be preserved.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Sonnet #43- "How Do I Love Thee?" -Elizabeth Barret Browning

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How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my love; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

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Sonnet 123 by William Shakespeare

No! Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change.
Thy pyramids built up with newer might
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
They are but dressings of a former sight.
Our dates are brief, and therefore we admire
What thou dost foist upon us that is old,
And rather make them born to our desire
Than think that we before have heard them told.
Thy registers and thee I both defy,
Not wond'ring at the present nor the past;
For thy recórds and what we see doth lie,
Made more or less by thy continual haste.
  This I do vow and this shall ever be:
  I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee.

Sonnet and Chaucer Facts

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Sonnet #74
But be contented: when that fell arrest
Without all bail shall carry me away,
My life hath in this line some interest,
Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.
When thou reviewest this, thou dost review
The very part was consecrate to thee:
The earth can have but earth, which is his due;
My spirit is thine, the better part of me:
So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life,
The prey of worms, my body being dead,
The coward conquest of a wretch's knife,
Too base of thee to be remembered.
  The worth of that is that which it contains,
  And that is this, and this with thee remains.

On top of many fiction works, Chaucer also wrote a book explaining how to use the astrolabe, A Treatise on the Astrolabe.

John Masefield

IS there a great green commonwealth of Thought
Which ranks the yearly pageant, and decides
How Summer's royal progress shall be wrought,
By secret stir which in each plant abides?
Does rocking daffodil consent that she, 5
The snowdrop of wet winters, shall be first?
Does spotted cowslip with the grass agree
To hold her pride before the rattle burst?
And in the hedge what quick agreement goes,
When hawthorn blossoms redden to decay, 10
That Summer's pride shall come, the Summer's rose,
Before the flower be on the bramble spray?
Or is it, as with us, unresting strife,
And each consent a lucky gasp for life?

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Chaucer Fun Fact and Video

Fun Fact: There is a crater on the surface of the moon named after Chaucer and he has 2,100 fans on his Facebook page.

Video: Wife of Bath's Tale: Law and Order

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sonnet, Fun Fact, and Relevant Post

Online recording software >> Sonnet 111 by Shakespeare:

O! for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
That did not better for my life provide
Than public means which public manners breeds.
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
And almost thence my nature is subdued
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand:
Pity me, then, and wish I were renewed;
Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink
Potions of eisel 'gainst my strong infection;
No bitterness that I will bitter think,
Nor double penance, to correct correction.
   Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye,
   Even that your pity is enough to cure me.

Fun Fact about Chaucer:
He has the same first name as my dad "Geoffrey," except it is spelled differently.
Also, there is a crater on the far side of the moon named Chaucer.

Relevant Post:
The Miller's Tale

Interesting fact about chaucer

Did you know that they have a crater on the moon that is named after Chaucer, pretty cool right.

Friday, October 25, 2013

When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be(sonnet)

When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charact'ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripened grain;
When I behold upon the night's starred face
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love! -then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think,
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

"Two Sonnets" part I

Charles H. Sorley. 1895–1915
172. Two Sonnets I

SAINTS have adored the lofty soul of you.
Poets have whitened at your high renown.
We stand among the many millions who
Do hourly wait to pass your pathway down.
You, so familiar, once were strange: we tried
To live as of your presence unaware.
But now in every road on every side
We see your straight and steadfast signpost there.
I think it like that signpost in my land
Hoary and tall, which pointed me to go
Upward, into the hills, on the right hand,
Where the mists swim and the winds shriek and blow,
A homeless land and friendless, but a land
I did not know and that I wished to know.

Charles Sorley was a World War I poet and his poems reflect his time at War.  In this Poem he disscusses and personifies death and its role in life, especially as a soldier. Sorley says, "you, so familiar, were once strange." I believe that this line is a personification of death and its relationship with soldiers. 

Interesting Fact about Chaucer:
2) There’s a crater on the far side of the moon named for Chaucer.

Struggle For Female Equality in "The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale"Paragraph 2:
" No attempt to change the minds of others with regard to social order could possibly be effective without a statement of the shortcomings of the current order.  This is where the Wife may often be written off as a shrew-like bombast simply spouting her dissatisfaction.  She does, however, state several clever examples of how her society currently treats women unfairly.  She states that double standards for women and men are too common and are deeply rooted in culture.  She says that the teachings of Christ tell her, "That by the same ensample taughte he me / That I ne sholde wedded be but ones" (p. 117,  ll. 12-13).  She knows though that many holy men have had more than one wife and states:

            I woot wel Abraham was an holy man,
            And Jacob eek, as fer as evere I can,
            And eech of hem hadde wives mo than two,
            And many another holy man also.  (p. 118,  ll. 61-64)"

Authors: Jonathan Blake
Eng 150, Survey of English Lit
Professor Suzanne Johnson Flynn
Gettysburg College


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