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Published by: d-fbuser-93565745 on Aug 11, 2011
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  • Personal Response and Critical Thinking
  • Robert Hayden, "Those Winter Sundays"
  • Marge Piercy, "Barbie Doll”
  • Countee Cullen "Incident"
  • Writing To Describe
  • Staying Anchored in the Literature
  • Choosing Details from Literature
  • Writing to Compare
  • Possible Worlds
  • From First Response to Final Draft
  • Genre and the Elements of Literature
  • Close Reading
  • Annotating the Text
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ozymandias"
  • Literature in Context
  • Narration
  • Setting
  • Conflict and Plot
  • Plot
  • Character
  • Language and Style
  • Theme
  • Getting Ideas for Writing about Fiction
  • Blank Verse
  • Free Verse
  • Interpretation/Explication
  • Types of Poetry
  • Set and Setting
  • Aristotle's Poetics
  • Periods of Drama: Greek, Shakespearian, and Modern Drama
  • Sophocles, Antigone
  • Tips on Reading Antigone
  • Chinua Achebe, “Marriage Is a Private Affair”
  • Louise Erdrich, “The Red Convertible”
  • D.H. Lawrence, “The Horse Dealer's Daughter”
  • Connecting through Comparison: Remembrance
  • Elizabeth Gaffney, “Losses that Turn Up in Dreams”
  • Michael Lassell, “How To Watch Your Brother Die”
  • Theodore Roethke, “My Papa's Waltz”
  • Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin, “From Father with Love”
  • Maxine Hong Kingston, “No Name Woman”
  • Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun
  • William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily”
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • Ernest Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants”
  • Rosario Morales, “The Day It Happened”
  • Connecting through Comparison: Be My Love
  • Christopher Marlowe, “A Passionate Shepherd To His Love”
  • Walter Raleigh, “The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd”
  • Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”
  • Margaret Atwood, “You Fit Into Me”
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How Do I Love Thee?”
  • Robert Browning, “Porphyria's Lover”
  • A.E. Housman, “When I Was One-and-Twenty”
  • Alberto Rios, “The Purpose of Altar Boys”
  • Connecting Through Comparison: Shall I Compare Thee?
  • Howard Moss, Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day
  • Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, “Cinderella”
  • Virginia Woolf, “If Shakespeare Had a Sister”
  • Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House
  • Frank O'Connor, “My Oedipus Complex”
  • Connecting through Comparison: The Mask We Wear
  • T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
  • Gloria Anzuldua, “To Live in the Borderlands Means You”
  • Elizabeth Bishop, “In the Waiting Room”
  • e.e. cummings, “anyone lived in a pretty how town”
  • Martin Espada, “Latin Night at the Pawn Shop”
  • William Butler Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream”
  • Neil Miller, “In Search of Gay America”
  • William Shakespeare, Hamlet
  • Multiple Interpretations of Hamlet
  • Liliana Heker, “The Stolen Party”
  • Flannery O'Connor, “Everything that Rises Must Converge”
  • Edwin Arlington Robinson, “Richard Cory”
  • William Carlos Williams, “At the Ball Game”
  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “Constantly Risking Absurdity”
  • Billy Collins, “Introduction to Poetry”
  • Susan Glaspell, Trifles
  • Luis Valdez, Los Vendidos
  • Frederick Douglass, "Learning to Read and Write"
  • Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal”
  • Web Sites: Writers of the Harlem Renaissance
  • Langston Hughes, From The Big Sea
  • “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”
  • "The Weary Blues"
  • "One Friday Morning"
  • "Theme for English B"
  • Countee Cullen, “Yet Do I Marvel”
  • “From the Dark Tower”
  • Thomas Bulfinch, “The Myth of Daedalus and Icarus”
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown”
  • Pam Houston, “A Blizzard under Blue Sky”
  • John Steinbeck, “The Chrysanthemums "
  • Connecting through Comparison: September 11, 2001
  • Deborah Garrison, “I Saw You Walking”
  • Stephen Crane, “A Man Said to the Universe”
  • Emily Dickinson
  • “Tell all the truth but tell it slant”
  • “After great pain, a formal feeling comes”
  • “Much madness is divinest sense”
  • “There is a certain slant of light”
  • “She sweeps with many-colored brooms”
  • “Success Is Counted Sweetest”
  • “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died”
  • John Donne, “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning”
  • “Death, Be Not Proud”
  • A.E. Housman, “To an Athlete Dying Young”
  • John Keats, “When I Have Fears that I May Cease To Be”
  • Galway Kinnell, “Saint Francis and the Sow”
  • William Stafford, “Traveling Through the Dark“
  • Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night”
  • Connecting Through Comparison: The Impact of War
  • Exploring Othello: Making Connections
  • Philip Simmons, “Learning To Fall”
  • Henry David Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience”

Of the three pieces, this one was written closest to the time of the event. It’s
what I would call a “witnessing” poem. The poet’s intent is to capture and
record the emotion of the moment. Deborah Garrison does this exceptionally
well in the imagery of this poem.

Brian Doyle, “Leap”

This poem/essay in many ways defies classification by genre. And it certainly
defies the notion of “delicacy” as it takes on one of the most unpleasant
elements of 9/11—those who jumped from the burning towers. And yet I
can’t think of any event that more deserves a sense of, in this case, positive
defiance. Despite its subject matter, it finds (in the joined hands of two
“leapers”) “faith” not doubt as its theme.


Billy Collins, “The Names”

Those who know the droll wit of Billy Collins’ poetry may be surprised by
his entirely serious tone in this poem—but probably not. Those who lost their
lives, and those who lost their loved ones, deserve no less a tribute than this
touching poem. The key word here is “lives” because this memorial poem
celebrates the “lives” of those who are gone rather than emphasizing
their “deaths.”

Prompts for Discussion and Writing: September 11, 2001

1. Which of these poems moves you the most or best represents what you
feel about the events of September 11, 2001? Explain.

2. Speaking about the need for poetry following this event, Seamus Heaney
said, “…people needed interior possessions that would keep standing, as
it were, even as the rubble of the outer world kept falling around them.”
Do you agree? To what extent are these poems “interior possessions that
…keep standing”?

3. Take a look at the photograph on page 1067 that opens this theme section.
What does it mean to you? Compare it to “I Saw You Walking,” “Leap,”
or “The Names.”

Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach”

This poem is a clear expression of the later Victorian Age when intellectuals
were questioning and turning away from so many traditional beliefs. And
while it is of some interest to know that, this poem and its powerful images
still speaks to us today. Many people, of course, find their doubts eased by
their "faith" in religion. But many do not. So there is great potential for a
thoughtful discussion among students about "meaning" in the world and
where they believe it is to be found.


Prompts for Discussion and Writing

1. Describe the setting of the poem. To whom is the speaker addressing
himself? Does it matter?

2. What causes the speaker’s "sadness" ? What is the speaker's response to
the ebbing "Sea of Faith"? What do you think has caused the "Sea of
Faith" to be retreating like the tide?

3. To what extent is there a connection between the images of the sea in the
first three stanzas and the imagery of darkness in the last?

4. Does the speaker have a solution to the loss of religious faith? If so, what
is it? Do you agree or disagree with his conclusion? Explain.

William Blake, “The Lamb” and “The Tyger”

Taken from Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, these poems seem
to represent opposite poles. Both are creatures of the natural world, but their
contrasting impression makes the speaker wonder about their creation. Is it
possible for the same creator to have created both?

Prompts for Discussion and Writing

1. What do the lamb and the tyger seem to symbolize?

2. The speaker in “The Tyger,” asks, “Did he who made lamb make thee?”
What do you think? Explain.

3. Make a list of the word choices in each poem. To what extent does the
kind of words Blake chose in each case match the poem’s content? Cite
your choices for support.

Robert Bridges, “London Snow”

It helps, of course, to be familiar with snow to fully appreciate this one. The


best responses to this poem that I’ve received from students were written on
a final exam on a snowy day. Beyond the snow, the speaker poses some
interesting questions about the “business” of the rest of our lives and the
“charm” that’s broken as we go about our business.

Prompts for Discussion and Writing

1. This poem is filled with images of snow changing the landscape. Pick out
some of these images, identify which sense(s) is/are affected, and discuss
the poet’s word choices in creating those images.

2. Discuss the structure, rhythm, and rhyme and how they affect the pace of
this poem and your response.

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