By: Skylar Postma and Kate Campbell

First Sorrow - Robert Schumann

- Born on June 8, 1810

- Despite his parents lack of musical talent, they encouraged their son to pursue his interest

- In his teen years, his father and sister passed away

- During his college years, Schumann suffered a tragedy of his own; He lost his finger, which is vital for a pianist.

- As he grew older, he suffered from a mental illness which caused him to be put into an asylum. Years later, he was to die there from the later stages of syphilis.

"Allow tragedy to fortify your strength; refuse to let it weaken you"

Facing It - Yusef Komunyakaa

- Yusef Komunyakaa was born on April 29, 1947 in Bogalusa, Louisiana

- He was raised during the beginning of the Civil Rights movement

- He served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1970 as a correspondent

- He was a managing editor of the Southern Cross during the Vietnam war and earned a Bronze Star

My black face fades, hiding inside the black granite. I said I wouldn’t, dammit: No tears. I’m stone. I’m flesh. My clouded reflection eyes me like a bird of prey, the profile of night slanted against morning. I turn this way--the stone lets me go. I turn that way--I’m inside the Vietnam Veterans Memorial again, depending on the light to make a difference. I go down the 58,022 names, half-expecting to find my own in letters like smoke. I touch the name Andrew Johnson; I see the booby trap’s white flash. Names shimmer on a woman’s blouse but when she walks away the names stay on the wall. Brushstrokes flash, a red bird’s wings cutting across my stare. The sky. A plane in the sky. A white vet’s image floats closer to me, then his pale eyes look through mine. I’m a window. He’s lost his right arm inside the stone. In the black mirror a woman’s trying to erase names: No, she’s brushing a boy’s hair.

Tragedy. Disaster. Calamity. Misfortune.

The Tragedy - Pablo Picasso

- Painted in Barcelona in 1903

- Picasso framed it to make us feel real empathy

- The colors that Picasso used created a mood of blue empty coldness of the sand, sky, and sea

- The period of "blues" started after good friend named Casagemas committed suicide

- The title is quite provocative; we have no clue what the tragedy may be

- Currently on display in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

The Masque of the Red Death - Edgar Allan Poe

- He was born to two actors on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massechusets

- His works have been in print since 1827

- He was married and engaged many times

- Tuberculosis took the lives of his mother, brother, foster-mother and his wife Virginia

- He attended the University of Virginia

- Enlisted in the United States Army and two years later joined the United States Military Academy at West Point

In the short story The Masque of the Red Death, the land that the story is placed in is infected with the "Red Death." Death from this disease is very painful and quick. Even with the disease is raging in the land, the prince, Prospero decides to have a very elegant party and locks the gates to the sick. In the castle, there are seven rooms each decorated differently. The seventh room is painted red and black. The guests don't go into that room because there is also a big ebony clock in the center. Halfway through the night a guest arrives wearing very dark clothing and has red splatters on blood on his face. The guests were very scared of him and so the prince followed the guest all the way to the seventh room to tell him to leave, and as soon as the prince got there, Prospero died. The other party guests went to attack the dark guest they find there is no one in the costume. Everyone died because the Red Death has infiltrated the castle. "Darkness and Decay and the Red Death" have at last triumphed.

"Deep in earth my love is lying and I must weep alone."