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Poetry Reading Response Assignment

By gwapoctope Aug 24, 2013 1050 Words
Poetry Reading Response Assignment

Select a book length collection of contemporary poetry by one or more poets, or put together your own collection of 20+ poems; at least half of them must be contemporary (1960 to present) and a maximum of 3 can come from song lyrics, children’s poets, non-professionals, or anonymous authors. Read the collection you select, and narrow down to 10 poems you like enough to reread several times and respond to. List the 10+ poems you choose not to respond to on one page. For the 10 you like best, identify the poet, title, and source as you respond using the guidelines below. Be sure some of the ten you choose for response are contemporary.

You may choose either of the following methods of organizing your responses:

Method #1:
This method works best if something is tying your selected poems together, i.e. they are all by the same poet or only two different poets, they are unified thematically or by subject, or they are all of the same sub-genre or pattern or perhaps only two different sub-genres or patterns. For this method list; your ten poems, poets, and sources on a separate initial page. Then address your responses by the following subjects, and use specific titles to illustrate your more general comments in each area. Be sure to use some details concerning each of your ten poems. Write 3-5 typed pages, making sure to address all 5 of the following topics and discuss all 10 poems:

R-1 Content/Ideas/Purpose/Themes (What does the poem mean to you? What do you think the poet is trying to communicate with his/her audience? What thematic ideas can you identify?)

R-2 Large-Scale Techniques (Focus on the poem as a whole--sub-genre or pattern as sonnet, haiku, villanelle, etc.; type of poem as lyric, narrative, dramatic; visual format; meter; rhyme scheme, freeverse, blank verse; organization; speaker identification & point of view; tone, mood, setting, and atmosphere; humor, irony, satire; dialogue, dialect; etc.

R-3 Small-Scale Techniques (Focus on language and individual lines--figurative language as metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, metonymy; sensory imagery & concrete detail; sound devices as alliteration, assonance, consonance, onomatopoeia, rhyme, slant rhyme, internal rhyme; diction and connotation; humor, irony, satire; dialogue, dialect; etc.

R-4 Favorite Passages & Commentary (Include quotes and page #'s) Copy the passages and discuss why you selected these passages. Analyze the passages and their significance overall.

R-5 Personal Response, Evaluation, & Application to your own writing (Give yourself advice for working in this particular genre. Whenever possible address specific writings in progress.)

Method #2:

This method works best if you have selected 10 different poems with little or no connection. Begin by identifying the poet, title, and source of each new poem. Then respond to each of the 10 poems separately. Address as many of the following issues as possible in responding to each poem separately. Make connections to previous poems discussed as you proceed whenever possible. Write a total of 3-5 typed pages on you 10 poems, numbering each response R-1 through R-10. Address each of the following issues as you discuss each poem:

* Content/Ideas/Purpose/Themes (What does the poem mean to you? What do you think the poet is trying to communicate with his/her audience? What thematic ideas can you identify?)

* Large-Scale Techniques (Focus on the poem as a whole--sub-genre or pattern as sonnet, haiku, villanelle, etc.; type of poem as lyric, narrative, dramatic; visual format; meter; rhyme scheme, freeverse, blank verse; organization; speaker identification & point of view; tone, mood, setting, and atmosphere; humor, irony, satire; dialogue, dialect; etc.

* Small-Scale Techniques (Focus on language and individual lines--figurative language as metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, metonymy; sensory imagery & concrete detail; sound devices as alliteration, assonance, consonance, onomatopoeia, rhyme, slant rhyme, internal rhyme; diction and connotation; humor, irony, satire; dialogue, dialect; etc.

* Favorite Passages & Commentary (Include quotes and page #'s) Copy the passages and discuss why you selected these passages. Analyze the passages and their significance overall.

* Personal Response, Evaluation, & Application to your own writing (Give yourself advice for working in this particular genre. Whenever possible address specific writings in progress.)

Oral Presentation

Based on your responses, focus in on one to three poems to share with the class. Be prepared to do the following:
1. read one or two poems aloud (rehearsed reading/oral interpretation)
2. point out some of the techniques you noticed in the poem(s)
3. trace a common theme or compare/contrast two or more themes
4. comment on how the poem(s) affected you personally both as a reader and as a writer 5. present orally beginning on the assignment due date

Suggested Poets for Poetry Response Assignment
Maya Angelou
John Ashberry As We Know, 1979
W. H. Auden (1907-1973)
Houston Baker Spirit Run, 1982
Joe David Bellamy
Robert Bly Sleepers Joining Hands, 1973 &The Light Around the Body, 1967 Gwendolyn Brooks
Olga Cabral
Lorna Dee Cervantes From the Caples of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger, 1991 Diana Chang
Sandra Cisneros Loose Woman, 1994
Lucha Corpi
Mark Craver Seven Crowns for the White Lady of the Other World and Blood Poems, 1992 E. E. Cummings (1894-1962)
Toi Derricotte Captivity, 1989
Annie Dillard Tickets for a Prayer Wheel, 1974
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)
Bob Dylan Writings and Drawings, 1981
Lawrence Ferlinghetti A Coney Island of the Mind, 1958
Carolyn Forche Gathering the Tribes, 1976
Robert Frost (1875-1963)
Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926) White Shroud: Poems 1980-1985, 1986 Nikki Giovanni
Robert Hayden
Langston Hughes Selected Poems, 1974
Denise Levertov
Phillip Levine Ashes, 1980
Claude McKay Selected Poems of Claude McKay, 1953
E. Ethelbert Miller where are the love poems for dictators? 1986 Marianne Moore (1877-1972)
Simon Ortiz
Alicia Ostriker
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) Ariel
Adrienne Rich
Carl Sandburg
Anne Sexton
William Stafford
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)
Henry Taylor The Flying Change, 1985 & The Horse Show at Midnight and An Afternoon of Pocket Billiards, 1992 Diane Wakoski Inside the Blood Factory, 1968
Alice Walker Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful, 1984 Margaret Walker
Robert Penn Warren Selected Poems 1923-1975, 1976
Richard Wilbur (b. 1921)
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) Selected Poems, 1969
James Wright

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