2/25 – Revision

February 21, 2019

As you continue to work on your essay, I would like you to write a short letter (300-500 words) describing your revision process, to include with your final paper. In this letter, you should:

– restate your thesis or argument, explaining why it is (1) arguable, that is, an interpretation that someone could disagree with; (2) a narrow, textual argument about the poem; and (3) an interpretation that could be convincingly be supported by textual evidence.

– describe the reaction to your essay by your partner or partners during the peer review, and the changes you have made to your essay because of your conversation.

– describe any other changes you make to your draft, and the reasons you have made them.

– tell me what you thought about the whole writing process. How comfortable do you feel with this essay assignment? In what ways do you perhaps feel unprepared, or still unsure?

2/13 – Response 2.5

February 13, 2019

Apologies, first, for the late posting. I have no excuse. Because it would be unfair to ask you to write a required, graded response at this point, I will only ask you to finish reading all the poems in the Poetry Packet 3. Any response below will be counted as extra credit. Please also read Gordon Harvey’s “Elements of the Academic Essay,” which is the standard text Queens College uses to teach college writing.

Below, I would like you to post a short response––thinking toward a thesis––about which poem you would like to write about among the three packets. What kind of interpretative question does this poem raise for you that you think you can answer in a 3-4 page essay? What are the challenges of analyzing the poem, and how do you think you can confront those challenges? Although these are general questions, I would like you to answer them specifically, with direct examples.

Also, a note: I would like to emphasize, after attendance flagged last class, that arriving to class on time each day is an important part of your participation for the class. You will otherwise miss important information about assignments.

2/11 – Response 1.4

February 7, 2019

Reading Assignment:

Read the Poetry Packet 2. Read each poem multiple times, out loud and silently, and take notes in the margins of all that interests, confuses, or frustrates you.

Writing Assignment:

Write a short response (250 words) to one of the poems. You should remember the Richards and Eagleton reading as you first write about what attracts you to (or repels you from) the poem. What is your poetic experience? Remember to use the language of literary criticism that we have been practicing. You should then move from this discussion of experience into the beginning of an analytical interpretation. Identify an interpretative problem in one of the poems that may serve as a potential question for a thesis to answer. You may ask, for example, what is the meaning of repetition in this poem? Of what use is this mixture between high and low diction? Or some similar question.

2/6 – Response 1.3

February 4, 2019

Reading assignment

I. A. Richards, “The Poetic Experience”

Writing assignment

Write a short response (250 words) to the Richards chapter by trying to apply his way of describing the “poetic experience” to your experience of one of the poems in the Poetry Packet 1. Use direct quotations from both Richards and the poem to describe the interests, impulses, attitudes, and emotions that comprise your poetic experience.

2/4 – Response 1.2

February 1, 2019

Reading Assignment:

Read the entire Poetry Packet 1. You should read each poem several times, noting in the margins ideas or lines that interest you.

Writing Assignment:

These poems are each, in their own ways, difficult. Choose one poem and write a response (250 words) about what makes it difficult. First try to accurately describe the form of the poem using the vocabulary of literary analysis. (This website may help with your vocabulary.) Pay attention to the length and number of lines, the shape of the poem on the page, the rhyme scheme (or lack of rhyme), the regularity of the meter, and so on. As you describe the form of the poem, you should draw conclusions about the purpose of the form: what does how the poem is written have to do with how you might interpret it? Or with how the poem resists interpretation? The point of this response is not to develop a fully formed analysis of a poem, but to begin to understand how to formulate interpretative questions to ask about a poem’s form. If a poem utterly confuses you, it can be useful to describe exactly why it confuses you.