English Honours 9 Mini Inquiry Poem Project

Light penetrates a canopy
Casting shadows
Revealing a man deep in thought
Approaching a fork in the path.

His conscience divided,
He knew not which path to take.
One, a wild jungle trail, barely visible through the undergrowth,
The other, a calm well-worn road, the destination clear.

How Cliché

The man wanted both and was unsure
The first path beckoned, it offered adventure
Holding a certain allure.
The outcome uncertain, would he venture?

The second, a long path, one many had traveled before
Held a very different prize
And though it seemed somewhat of a bore
It was thought to be the decision of the wise.

The man’s passionate desire
Would have him favor fire.
And his internal reason
Would have him require

The man was being torn in two,
Both sides of his being fighting for control.
And the uncertainty only grew
For the battle was taking a toll

But either path standing alone would not equal two together,
For one path would ignite the flames and the other douse the ember.
There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution,
Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bones.

The wind swayed the canopy, the light shifted.
Only then did he realize
There was, in fact a third path
That had been in front of him all the while.

This one a worn dirt track
Meandering through the wood,
The end still out of sight,
but somewhat more clear.

As it turns out, the deception and turmoil
Was his own doing,
For he had fallen prey to his conscience
And while choosing his way,

The decision had been made
For he had already been walking,
Walking the only path that would bring him true happiness,
The path that was now




“Found” by Erik Rothenberger is a free verse poem that explores the mind’s struggle to find balance. A man walks through a wood tormented by the need to chose the “right path”, but in doing so he seems to be creating his own struggle as near the end of the poem we realize it was all in his mind as he had already started walking the third path of balance. The author appears to reference Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice”, describing how the man would initially want to take the risky, adventurous path but goes on to discover that either path without the influence of the other would create unbalance. It also seems to share the notion of a man walking through a wood with his poem “The Road Less Traveled”. Erik continues with what appears to be two quotes from “The Dead Poet’s Society”, “There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution…” and “Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bones.” These both imply the need for balance and are the turning point for the man in the poem when “the light shifts” causing him to think in a new way. The poem touches on both the theme of finding balance as well as seeing with a different perspective.



Traditional vs. contemporary rebuild of iconic landmarks?

Article link

On April 15, 2019, the infamous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire. Luckily, after a long night, the cathedral, minus the roof made of trees that dated back as far as 1160, was saved, but because there was extensive damage, French president Emmanuel Macron is looking for design ideas to rebuild the beautiful cathedral and I decided to read this article about an issue that I hadn’t previously considered. Obviously, the cathedral needs to be rebuilt, but the author revealed the more complicated problem concerning whether it should be rebuilt exactly as it was, or using a more contemporary design, an idea which has been precedented by building such as the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and the parliament building in Berlin (images below). I enjoyed reading this article, brief as it was, because it gave me a base understanding of both sides of the argument using well thought out quotes such as ““The ability to find around 3,000 more big, strong trees in the next two decades is going to be tricky,” medieval historian Dr. Emily Guerry told CBC News, adding that the Baltic might have enough suitable oak trees…
I also thought it was clever how the author related the issue described in the article to “The Ship of Theseus” and that it was a good base source of information because the author never stated his opinion and so it is non-biased. I would have enjoyed it if the article was longer and included some examples of proposed designs, as it seemed well researched and well written. I did some further research, and am not entirely sure where I stand on the issue. I don’t think it is a good idea to rebuild it exactly as it was, because the reality is it will be difficult (not to mention extremely expensive and bad for the environment) to obtain all the necessary materials, and they do have the opportunity to create something spectacular. I am not sure however to what extent they should “modernize” the structure. I’ve included some images of rough drafts for designs that might be considered, and I am interested to see what comes of the reconstruction of this iconic landmark.

(Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg)

(parliament building in Berlin)


Chapman, Rob, et al. “17 Artists Suggest Notre Dame Cathedral Reconstruction Designs.” Bored Panda, www.boredpanda.com/notre-dame-cathedral-new-spire-designs/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic
(photo source)