Appreciating Poetry (M4D2)

| August 23, 2015

John Ulrich citing Brooks’ “We Real Cool” from Brooks, Gwendolyn. “We Real Cool.” [Narrated by John Ulrich in video produced by Natatcha Estebanez]. Retrieved from the Favorite Poem Project at Earlier in this module, you watched videos and heard how others recited their favorite poems and explained what the poems meant to them. Then you chose a video and a related poem to explain what it meant to you. You also read about how Seamus Heaney in his poem “Digging” wrote about his family heritage and Irish roots. Now, you will read three (3) poems that all express sentiments about America, i.e., the United States, and what it means to be an American, and you will describe how at least one (1) poem expresses some specific sentiment about its subject. This activity will help you recognize and describe elements that contribute to the power of poetry and allow you to move forward into your own personal exploration of a poem. For this activity, you will read the following three (3) poems that all express sentiments about America, i.e., the United States, and what it means to be an American: •Whitman, Walt, “I Hear America Singing” at •Hughes, Langston, “I, Too,” at •Hughes, Langston, “Let America Be America Again” at To complete this activity, you will: 1.Read carefully the article “How to Read a Poem” at the website. 2.Select one (1) of the Langston poems or the Whitman poem to discuss in depth in your discussion post. 3.Select three (3) questions from the list of questions in the “How to Read a Poem” article section titled “Talking Back to a Poem.” 4.Answer your three (3) questions for the one (1) poem you choose to discuss and clearly identify (include) the questions in your discussion post.1.Apply the three (3) questions you selected to the poem [you selected] by doing a little “digging” of your own. For instance, Langston Hughes’ “I, Too” poem at the Poetry Foundation website includes a link you can click on titled “Related Content.” In this case, you can also use Wikipedia, BUT be sure to verify your sources and cite them! You also can use the “Glossary of Poetic Terms” and/or VirtuaLit’s “Elements of Poetry” to help you apply these tools in your analysis given in your discussion post. 2.For each of the three (3) questions you answer about your selected poem, supply one (1) quote (totaling three (3) quotes) from the poem to support and illustrate your point/s. 5.Gathering together all of the evidence in Steps 1 to 5 here, complete your discussion post with a concluding sentence about what you think the primary “theme” is for the poem. Your initial post should be no fewer than 150 words and should include correct APA citation of cited information from your readings.

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