Homework for July 13th

(1) Choose one poem from the handout “The Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movement.”

(a) Make notes on the poem in your notebook.


(b) Make notes and write one paragraph about structure and meaning. Be ready to discuss your ideas in class next time.

Download the handout “The Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movement” (PDF 99 KB)

(2) Prepare a complete draft of your essay, including a title, an introduction paragraph, 2 or more body paragraphs discussing structure and meaning, a concluding paragraph and a list of sources (Works Cited– MLA Style).

Click on “HELP” in the menu bar above to get advice about writing your essay. You can also download a model essay.

Homework for June 29th

Choose a poem the handout “Postwar and Confessional Poetry.”

Make notes on the poem you have chosen OR make notes and write a paragraph explaining the structure and meaning. (By the end of the semester, you are required to write one paragraph only in your notebook.)

Download “Postwar and Confessional Poetry” (PDF 74 KB)

Homework for June 22nd

(1) Read the poem you were assigned from the handout “Poems about War” and make notes OR make notes and complete a paragraph about structure and meaning.

Prepare to discuss the poem in class.

Download the handout “Poems about War” (PDF 65 KB)

(2) Review the information about the Class Notebook.

Download the handout “Notebook Writing Assignments: Schedule of Assignments” (Word 49 KB)

(3) Think about a possible poem for the final essay assignment.

Download the handout “Term Essay: Analysis of a Poem” (Word 29 KB).

NOTE: This handout has been revised with the correct dates for the draft and final version.

Homework for Week 4

I. Read the poem you were assigned. Listen to the poems on the homepage and view the links if you have time. Download the handout “Imagism and Free Verse” (PDF 49 KB).

Listen to “In a Station of the Metro” by Ezra Pound

Listen to “The Red Wheel Barrow” by William Carlos Williams

Listen to “The Great Figure” by Williams Carlos Williams

Listen to “Heat” by H.D.

Listen to “Oread” by H.D.

Listen to “The Fisherman’s Wife” by Amy Lowell

Listen to “A London Thoroughfare, 2 A.M.” by Amy Lowell

2. Write one or two paragraphs about the poem. Discuss structure and meaning.

3. Begin preparation for the Mid-Term test–if you wish. (Download: PDF, 81 KB)

Homework for Week 3

I. Choose another poem by Dunbar or Robinson.

2. Write one or two paragraphs about structure and meaning.

3. Include sound and meter in your discussion of structure. Use the “Phonetic Transcription” widget on the Homepage (below) to help your analysis of sound and stress.

4. Prepare for the Test on Key Terms (metaphor, simile, line, stanza, etc.). The test will include the following sections:

(1) Identification of key terms 
(line, stanza, alliteration, etc.)

(2) Identification of figures of speech 
(metaphor, simile, etc.)

(3) Identification of (full or perfect) rhyme, half-rhyme and double rhyme

Use the flashcards and the in-class worksheet for your review. Test hints will be sent out by Twitter.

Homework for Week 2 (April 13th)

Read the poem you were assigned. Go to the homepage and listen to the poem.

Write one or two paragraphs in your notebook.

(1) Describe the poem’s structure.

(2) Discuss the poem’s meaning or message.

Use the handouts to help you.

Focus Questions:

1. “Miniver Cheevy“:
Who is Miniver Cheevy and what is his problem? Give examples to explain his problem. Check an online encyclopedia to understand  the following the following allusions:  Thebes, Camelot (l. 11), the Medici (l. 17). Choose one and explain.

2. “Richard Cory“:
Who is the speaker of the poem? What kind of person is Richard Cory? Give examples from the poem. Why did Richard Cory kill himself?

3. “We Wear the Mask“:
Who is the speaker of the poem? What problem does the speaker describe? Why does the speaker use “we” throughout the poem?

4. “Sympathy“:
Who is the speaker of the poem? Why does the speaker sympathize with the bird? Explain with examples from the poem.


Listen to “Epilogue” by Robert Lowell

Download Poems by Bishop, Lowell, Sexton and Plath (PDF file 90 KB)

Learn more about Robert Lowell (1917-1977):

Lowell’s life and work (Poetry Foundation)