“To His Coy Mistress”: The Text and the World

TEXTS can’t but be part of the WORLD
1. How do texts represent the world? Where does a text begin and end? Is the author an inhabitant of the world or a creation of a literary text?
Can literary texts do things to the world as well as simply describe it?
2. This discussion goes back to Plato and his distinction between and ultimate reality and a replica world.
The core of Platonic thought resides in Plato’s doctrine of essences, ideas, or forms. Ultimate reality, he states, is spiritual. This spiritual realm which Plato calls The One, is composed of ‘ideal’ forms or absolutes that exist whether or not any mind posits their existence or reflects their attributes. It is these ideal forms that give shape to our physical world, for our material world is nothing more than a shadowy replica of the absolute forms found is the spiritual realm.
Therefore, he banished poets from his Republic stating that “poets are inferiors who get married to inferiors and have inferior offspring”
3. Therefore, any discussion about mimesis, imitation or even representation assumes that there’s a chasm between the text and the world. But does such dichotomy exist? How deep is this chasm?
4. This is by no means a discussion of Realism or how close to reality texts are, but rather it is a discussion of how texts make up/create realities. In a word, it is about how texts intermingle with real life and how the discrepancy and dichotomy disappear.
5. Now Should ‘To His Coy Mistress” be read as a real poem of seduction? Is the speaker the same as the poet? Did Marvell know a woman and send her this poem? OR should we understand the speaker to be a fictional CONSTRUCTION and the real reader/s being US?
6. Most readings of the poem assume that the latter is the case, that rather than attempting to seduce a woman, this poem represents a fictional dramatization of such an attempt.
7. However, ‘To His Coy Mistress’ dislodges any stable opposition of fiction and the real. HWY? and HOW ?
1) regardless of whether the mistress in conceived as real or fictive, the poem has effects on us.
2) the poem could be considered performative in the sense that it performs an act not so much of sexual but as of textual seduction.
3) it entices us to read and read on and to draw us into another world. A world of reading that is both fictional and real.
4) To talk about texts as representing reality simply overlooks ways in which texts are already part of that reality, and ways in which literary texts produce our reality, make our worlds.
5) The poem does not of course stop here. It can be shown to engage with the world through the use of a number of specific discourses. The seduction for instance is mediated through references to other texts. (poems of love, poems of seduction, carpe diem…)
6) The poem could be seen as an example of what the Russian critic M. M. Bakhtin calls ‘heterogolossia’ in that it embraces a series of overlapping codes and discourses. This complex jumble of references to different discourses positions the text in relation to ‘the world’—even if we try to read the poem as simply fictional.
7) Rather than thinking of the ‘text’ on one side and ‘the world’ on the other, we might reflect on the idea that everything human that happens in the world is mediated by LANGUAGE.
8) Jacques Derrida says ‘There is nothing outside the text’ meaning (Does not mean there is no real world) there’s no perception or experience which is NOT bound up with effects of text or language.
9) Put crudely, there is no access to ‘the world’ except, in the broadest sense, through language.
1) A fiction of immediacy that truly gives a sense that the speaker is addressing a woman who is present and that action of this poem takes place in real time (Now… Now)
2) The references to the woman’s body is a trial to go beyond language. His reference to woman’s blush which ‘transpires/at every pore’ is read by the poet (any by most readers on first readings/impressions) as a sign of the inner ‘fires’ produced by the ‘willing soul'(???) of the woman.
3) That is in fact a way of turning the woman’s body into a text to be read and interpreted.
4) Part of the irony here is that the poet’s/speaker’s reading is highly questionable
5) In a word, the poem’s fiction of immediacy attempts to get a world supposedly beyond language, a world embodied in and as the body of the woman, is compromised at
Why such texts are dangerous
1) This text can’t but be part of the world.
2) To talk about texts as representing reality simply overlooks ways in which texts are already part of that reality, and ways in which literary texts produce our reality, make our worlds.
3) In this respect we may be prompted to ask what is at stake by such representation of the female body?
4) The mixture between the figurative and aesthetic representation on one side and representing the woman as a dead body is , to some readers, repulsive and misogynistic.
5) In her ‘Over Her Dead Body’, Elizabeth Bronfen has explored the multiple ways in which patriarchy figures the conjugation of femininity with death.
6) According to this thinking, the very status of Marvell’s poem as a classic, its reproduction in classrooms, lectures, theatres, anthologies and in books produces and reinforces the cultural construction of a ‘woman’ as allied with death and with the aesthetic.

Short Story: General Notes

What else have you learnt so far?

1) Reading for pleasure and insight. Read for growth and experience.
2) Look up for unfamiliar words/references/expressions and delve beyond the surface.
3) Observe how the plot unfolds and unravels.
4) Note how characters are presented and how and why they develop/change.
5) Beware of the time and place and look for their effect on plot and characters.
6) Take note of the story’s point of view.
7) Take note of the story’s point of view.
8) Do not accept anything in a story. Question everything.
9) Be alert to the author’s use of irony a sarcasm and other literary devices.
10) Probe for (a) central idea(s).

have you done your online homework?

have you done your online home work?

If you do and want to make it easier for me to mark it for you, please go its page


and copy your exact name as you wrote it there.

I will also write names of stds who do not have homework so that if they really did sent it, we can look for it together.

good luck

Note: if your work has plagiarism, you will be penalized for that depending how much much info you copied and pasted.

I can’t find homework of

1) wajdy elshbrawi
2) Bilal Al-assar ; only FIVE?
3) mahmoud sirdah
4) ashraf abu aish
5) taher aldoos

can’t find these
GIRLS Group 203
1) ola mustafa
2) bostan Shaat
3)tasneem ghazal
4) sondos el nono
5) Banias harb only 4?
6) hanaa swailem
7) wojoud meqdad
8) fatma nayef
9) eman irjela
10) alaa in3eem

group 202

رنين جهاد راتب ابو غالي
اسراء عطا حمدي الحبشي
نجوان عبد العال نمر عبد العال
منى منذر وليد الخروبي
ربا نصري سالم الناعوق
نداء حماد أحمد عياد
منى خالد حسن الهبيل
امنه خميس سعيد ابو قادوس
نوال محمد محمود ابو جلمبو
منار هشام عبد الحميد القدره
أريج مطر بحري العشي
نداء عمر رشيد النمر
سمر أسعد محمود عليوة
صفاء صابر محمود الزريعي
رفقه عبد المجيد فارس الغرة
رانيا عاشور محمد الطنة
الاء مصطفى حسين الزعانين
هديل علي رشدي ابو جهل
نوره زياد عبد الكريم الحناوى

sheet of excellence:
most answers are very good but these are exceptionally brilliant/ or have brilliant answers.

1) Nour Elborno got the best answers so far 2) ahmed al qady 3) rawan yagi

updates about Intro exam

updates about Intro exam (out of 55)


1) choose

2) complete

3) True or false

4) contextualise <Use Paragraph formats>

5) discuss briefly  <Use Paragraph formats>

6) identify the poet and/or the literary movement [ALSO identify the Rhyme Scheme, Feet and Syllables] (1-old English 2-Neoclassical/ 3-Metaphysical/4- Romantic/ 5-Victorian)

And we live on…


And we live on…


And another day in Gaza

Another day in Palestine

A day in prison

And we live on

Despite Israel’s very much identified flying objects

That we see more than our family and friends

And despite Israel’s death sentences

Like lead

Cast upon the head

 As we sleep

Like acid rain

Gnawing at our life

Clinging to it like a flea to a kitten

And stuffed in our throats

The moment we say ‘Amen’

To the prayers of old women and men

Despite Israel’s birds of death

Hovering only two meters from our breath

From our dreams and prayers

Blocking their ways to God.

Despite that.

We dream and pray,

Clinging to life even harder

Every time a dear one’s life

Is forcibly rooted up.

We live.

 We live.

We do. 


from Mohammed Suliman to students of English

Mohammed Suliman is one of if not the finest scholar the English Department at IUG ever produced. He is talented and profound. Mohammed is a bookworm, so you better be careful when you're holding book while around him because he might snatch it from you, like some of you used to snatch sandwiches from your weak first grade classmates. I informed him that I am teaching the Introduction to English Lit. course this term. e sent the following to you. I will not alter anything, but you have to excuse the typos as he was under the pressure of his MA studies he is undertaking now in London. 


Salaam man 

Sorry this is a bit late. 

Didn't have time to go over it again. So don't mind the typos please.

When I first attended Mr. Refaat's classes, I felt a bit intimidated since I used to randomly listen to other students' views about him and his teaching methods. I was told time and again that he is a very tough and demanding teacher. Many told me that I will barely stand a chance to pass the course. Consequently I started to seriously consider dropping the course, but I decided to give myself a chance and try to form my own opinion of him as a teacher and his classes.

I started going to his classes. From the very beginning, just from the first day when he introduced himself to the students and the course syllabus, I had a very positive attitude toward him. I found out that he was a very good teacher, encouraging and that he was not tough at all. He was demanding to some extent tough. This in fact was the very reason why I decided to continue with this class since I could understand that he was a teacher who exhausts himself for the student's sake. In other words, he is ready to spend more time and exert more effort for his students only if they show willingness to learn and go beyond the course syllabus into the timelessly inspirational fountain of knowledge he will open up before them.


I decided to take the challenge and put an end to this deceitful and crippling worry and in no time, I developed an overwhelming interest in his classes. I used to come and listen with the utmost dedication and care, jotting down my notes and doing research at home.

I never thought of the exam or the course assessment because he simply never made me think about it. He does not evaluate his students by their exam results but by the level of dedication and interest they show during the class. No matter how badly one might do at the exam, he is ready to help and give them more and more opportunities to enhance their grades. In short, he will never let you down with regards to grades and course assessment if you don't let him down during the class.


The most important point is that after I finished this course and moved to second year, I started to realise how much lucky I was to be taught this course by Mr. Refaat. All of our group was just well prepared for second year courses and we surprised our teachers by how much we knew about literature. For example, if I failed to answer a question posed by Mr. Ayman, my mate will answer it just straight away. When we were asked about how we came to know the answer, we said that we were taught this by Mr Refaat before. 

This course is the basis upon which you will build up any literary knowledge you will have in the coming years. If you have this basis in place, you need not worry about taking classes with Dr. Ayman or Dr. Akram or whoever. If you work hard now, you will make things much more easier for yourselves in the three coming years. 

Be the masters of your own opinions. Do not let anyone makes decisions on your behalf just because they are not as intelligent and hard-working as you can be. Do not let anyone influence your decisions. Do not feel intimidated. Break the barriers. Reach out to Mr. Refaat and show him how competitive and competent you can be. Make friends with him. Challenge him in class. Articulate your own opinions. Never ever undermine your capacities to contribute in class. Never think that what you can add to the class discussion is not important. Just say whatever comes to your mind without hesitation. That is what he wants from you. And that is the way to get the grade you want from him. 

Best wishes,

bonus and other activities

Dear all (Novel and Intro classes). please post a reminder of any extra activities you did for the class. Write your name, number, section, and what exactly you did(in one sentence). 



guys, if you breathed or laughed at the so many bad jokes of mine, that does not count as extra activities.

Over the Wall…

my latest poem…


Over the Wall…


‘There,’ points Grandma.

She had a tent that was a home.

She had a goat and a camel.

She had a rake and a fork and a trowel.

She had a machete and a watering can.

She had a grove and two hundred plants.

She had a child and another one and another one.


‘There,’ she insists.

I could not see

Because of the wall.

I could not hear

Because of the noise.

I could not smell

Because of the powder.


But I can always tell,

I am sure of Grandma

Who always was

And is still

And will always be.

She smells like soil.

And smiles like soil.

And blinks like soil

When touched by rain.


She has a house that is a tent

She has a key

And a memory.

She has a hope

And two hundred offspring.


Grandma is here

But lives there.

'Over there!'

“Men in the Sun” the Movie

















































intro midterm updates



Bonus added already, but if you miss the next class, it will be deducted.



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stay tuned for more.

so, how was the meeting?

One word i want to say about the students: they were more than amazing.

I am very thankful for everyone of you for making the meeting a success.

click picture to enlarge

click to enlarge





will talk more when tonight!

"I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."