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Conversations in Literature
Conversations in Literature — Workshop
About CONVERSATIONS IN LITERATURE

Individual Program
Descriptions

1. Responding
as Readers


2. Envisioning

3. Stepping In

4. Moving Through

5. Rethinking

6. Objectifying
the Text


7. The Stances
in Action


8. Returning to the
Classroom





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[Channel-talklitconversations] Responding to "Sympathy" by Dunbar

From: Janie Slater <janieloveslife@hotmail.com>
Date: Thu Jun 23 2005 - 01:16:09 EDT

I do not know the heavy burden of racial prejudice. However I KNOW how a
caged bird feels. I don't know how this will sound or be taken by my fellow
e-mailers here...but I well remember the feeling of "imprisonment" and being
trapped as the mother of two babies (a 22 month old and a newborn...and the
months that followed). I felt overwhelmed. Like nobody cared. Like I was
"beating my breast" against the bars. And the particularly poignant line
that touched me was:
"For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing."
I know that longing to be "out there" but knowing that it can't be, won't
be.

The difference, of course, is that my own situation was inherantly a "happy"
one....one more of the mind and hormones to be worked through to get to a
place of more "normality." All the while enjoying and marveling at this new
life and the joys of being a mom....la la la.

The other connection point with the caged bird is being a Christian in a
fallen world--indeed being a sinful, fallen person myself--and dealing with
the consequences of both. There is a longing for deliverance from what is
truly a temporary situation--life in this world with it's shackles and
burdens--it's only a shadow-life of what life could be and WILLl be
hereafter. Jesus said, "In this world you will have many troubles. But take
heart, for I have overcome the world." There it is. We long in our souls for
"home." Meanwhile, we beat our wings on the cruel bars, but fly back to our
perch and cling.

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Received on Thu Jun 23 08:43:49 2005

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