"Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words."
(1908-1991) University of Iowa
"Each memorable verse of a true poet has two or three times the written content."
Alfred de Musset
French Romantic Poet (1810-1857)
1. Interpretation Essay: Read a poem by Theodore Roethke "My Papa's Waltz" to form a general understanding of the poem, then listen to the recording of the poem read by Roethke himself to hear the rythm. Now, read the poem again, paying attention to diction, imagery, structure-ANNOTATE the text.
Compose a brief interpretation essay explicating the meaning of the poem. What is this poem about? What does it suggest?
This is a credit/no credit assignment. Not graded on FCA's.
2. Original Poetry-Closed Form: Download the handout, select any two different types of poems. Following the patterns and the guidelines, compose your original poetry. You may use the handout as a worksheet for your first draft. Your final draft must be typed.
The assignment is graded on Form (10 points) and Content (10 points) - 40 points total.
3. Original Poetry-Dialogue Poem: A Dialogue poem presents/reflects a dialogue between two speakers who represent different perspectives on a particular issue, theme, or topic. Consider M. Stuart's "In the Orchard," an echo sonnet by R. Pack "To an Empty Page," or an example below - a dialogue poem "Two Women" by an unknown Chilean poet.
The assignment is graded on the following expectations: Content - 10 points
Use of poetic devices (imagery, figurative language, sound devices)- 10 points
Effective use of two distinct voices-10 points
*You may want to consider getting your inspiration from one of the novels we read in class this year.
4. Original Poetry - Open Form: Open form or Free form poetry does not imply formlessness. It does suggest the freedom to create your own forms or use traditional forms in flexible ways.
Open form poetry comes in many different shapes and forms. Shape poetry is, probably, the most creative type of free form poetry:
Blank verse is the most restrictive, requiring each line to be written in iambic pentameter. Free verse gives the most flexibility.
Compose an original Open form poem.
- Keep in mind, that although some forms of Free form poetry do not have a rhyming pattern, all poetry has rhythm (sometimes even a certain meter) established through the use of sound devices and/or cadence (a rhythm established through repetition of words and sounds).
- Be strategic about breaking your poem into lines and stanzas-consider imagery, diction, and ideas.
-Incorporate figurative language; After all, poetry is often about looking beyond the literal.
The assignment will be graded on the following:
Content/Originality: 20 p.
Effective use of poetic devices (fig. language, sound devices, rhythm): 20 p.
5. Original Poetry (Parody/Response/Blackout): Compose an original poem-closed or open form. You may choose to write either a parody on one of the poems we read in class, a response/counterpoint to one of the poems we studied during this unit, or create an original blackout poem (see some samples below).
The poems will be graded on the following:
Complexity: 10 p.
Content/originality: 10 p.
Effective use of poetic devices (sound/meter/figurative language/symbolism): 10 p.
6. Poetry analysis essay:
Please download the assignment. The essay must be typed in MLA format, with the FCA's listed.
7. Visual Poetry Project (Video)
This is the final project of the Poetry Unit. You are to create a short video (under 5 minutes) converging the spoken word (poetry) with music and imagery. Images and music must be consistent with the content/meaning of the poem and reflective of the poem's tone/mood. Please see the grading rubric and the expectations in visual_poetry_project-rubric.pages document in Resources to Download section on the right.
Select a poem that you really like, that inspires you, or that is reflective of your personal thoughts, feelings, emotions, or experiences. It can be your original poem or a poem by an established poet.
You do not have to appear in the video, but your voice must-the voiceover/reading of the poem must be your original work.
The following examples of visual poetry are very different in nature, and should give you a good idea of what your project should look like/sound like.
These videos are not to suggest what you should do, but to inspire you--be creative. If you are unable to see the imbedded videos, please access them directly through the following links:
Please familiarize yourself with the grading rubric:
Prepare for poetry reading
Consider some examples: