|Love-poetry contest celebrates Valentine's Day
RELEASED: Feb. 10, 2005
DANVILLE, KYCentre College may focus on academic excellence, personal growth and success after graduation, but community members appreciate the other aspects of campus life too: from admiring the intriguing shapes of Stephen Powell's glass sculptures in the windows of stately Old Centre, to athletes preparing for the next game or meet; from discussions under beautiful old trees to . . . young love. This year the campus will celebrate Valentine's Day with a love-poetry contest.
When French professor Karin Ciholas and German professor Ian Wilson sat down to develop some common activities for two of their spring courses, Valentine's Day came immediately to mind. Since French 420 and German 420 both focus on the theme of love, they settled on sponsoring a campus-wide love-poetry contest.
Entries in English, French or German were due on Feb. 7, and winners will be announced on Valentine's Day at a reception that celebrates centuries of great (and some awful) love poems. Prizes include a romantic dinner for two, DVDs and volumes of love poetry. Dean John Ward will participate, reciting one poem in English and another in French, and other faculty members will be on hand to read, too. The event will be held in the Davidson Room in Old Carnegie at 4 p.m. on February 14. "I can't wait to see who wins," Wilson says. (The winning submission will be posted on the Centre Web site in a follow-up story.)
"One of the most enjoyable and fun courses I teach at Centre is the course on the theme of love in French literature and film," says Ciholas. "From the troubadours (the medieval equivalent of today's rock stars) to modern French cinema, we delve into the Gallic twists on the most potent of all human emotions. The very word 'romance' comes form the Old French word 'romans.' Ah, what would the world be without the French view of amour and Piaf singing La vie en rose?"
Wilson adds, "I enjoy teaching courses focused on themes rather than periods for the variety of materials with which we can work. This semester my students and I are looking at plays, poetry, short stories, novels, films, an opera and pop songs. We'll examine the way different types of loveromantic, familial, religious and "platonic" among themhave developed and changed over time, and the variety of entries in the love poetry contest will help us appreciate the diverse views of love all around us on campus. Many of the entries praise a beloved, but at least as many complain bitterly about a lost love. Some are deeply serious, others tongue in cheek and really quite funny."
Participants in the two courses will also meet later in the semester to compare notes on the French and German views of love.
For more information on the French program at Centre College, visit: http://web.centre.edu/french/. For more information on German Studies at Centre, visit http://web.centre.edu/ger/, and for more information on German 420, visit the course website, http://web.centre.edu/ger/420/.
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