This Reading Response Journal is based on your readings from
Section II: THE HUMAN BEING AND THE LIFE CYCLE
Chapter 7: Why Not Immortality?
e.e. cummings: Two Poems
Murasaki Shikibu, Sôku, and Dogen, Three Japanese Poems

Cherry Tree in Morning Sun by Hashimoto Meiji (Color on paper, 1970)

The eastern passageway leading to the Imperial Palace’s seiden (state hall) has cedar sliding doors with two works called Sakura and Kaede (Maples). Hashimoto Meiji was the painter of Sakura which he based on his sketches of Miharu Takizakura, the thousand year old weeping blossom in Tamura, Fukushima.

Read about the history of cherry blossoms in the Washington, DC area. (Links to an external site.)

Watch the video Sakura 4:16 (Links to an external site.)

1. Why is death a “rhythmic” lover? Why is the earth his couch? How is spring an answer “true” to death?2. Do either of these naturalistic accounts of the cycle of life and death adequately address the fear of death, the loss of a loved one, or the desire for immortality? What does your answer imply for the meaning of any individual’s life?3. Why might Skikibu see in the example of the mountain cherry an explanation of our own suffering? Does this make sense?4. Sôku finds in the same image a model for noble self-sacrifice. How does this differ from Shikibu’s vision? Are the two poems at odds with one another or do they share a common understanding?5. Does having the painting for illustration improve the experience of reading the poems?6. How does the music for Sakura fit with or enhance the poetry? What mood does it represent to you?

Rubric

Response Journal Rubric (1)

Response Journal Rubric (1)

Criteria

Ratings

Pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEngagement

5 pts

Exceeds: Student fully engages the assigned topic with breadth and depth of thinking that explores various worldviews

4 pts

Meets: Student engages the assigned topic with less successful detail

3.5 pts

Minimally Meets: Student refers to the topic but lacks sufficient development of ideas

2 pts

Does Not Meet: Student attempts but does not successfully engage the topic

0 pts

No Attempt

5 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeHumanisticApproach

5 pts

Exceeds: Student is able todescribe history, culture, values and/or aesthetics from the film or reading selection with confident understanding of ideas

4 pts

Meets: Student is able todescribe some of the relevant ideas from the film or reading selection

3.5 pts

Minimally Meets: Student refers to the topic but lacks sufficient development of ideas

2 pts

Does Not Meet: Student attempts but does not successfully use a humanistic approach to the topic

0 pts

No Attempt

5 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeExplanationand Analysis

10 pts

Exceeds: Student is able toexplain ideas from the film or reading selection by applying multiple perspectives toward an examination of the meaning of the work and its relevance to humans

8 pts

Meets: Student is able todiscuss the meaning of the work to humans but perhaps without great depth or detail

7 pts

Minimally Meets: Student can describe or identify how a text holds meaning or importance to humans but lacks great variety of expression

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