English 1100 Project 2: Poetry
As part of our poetry unit, we are covering the Harlem Renaissance, which was an important movement in American poetry that drew upon and reflected upon American society—especially from the African American perspective. For this project, I want our class to have our own “Renaissance.” You will be writing me two poems that together meet the following requirements:
- Both poems need to focus on some aspect of American history, culture, or current events. They do not need to focus on the same thing.
- Each poem should have some sort of narrative thesis (a claim, theme, moral, idea, image, feeling, sensation, or experience that somehow ties the poem together as a whole). Generally, your narrative thesis should be left unsaid.
- For one poem, you should make an extra effort to emphasize the use of the situation and setting in interesting ways to help convey your narrative thesis.
- For the second poem, you should make an extra effort to emphasize the use of symbols and figurative language in interesting ways to help convey your narrative thesis.
- For both poems, as a less crucial but still important focus, try to use the other tools of writing good poetry that we have discussed, including:
- The speaker
- Language (word choice and order)
- Visual imagery
- Internal structure
- External form
- You do not need to do any research or cite anything at all.
There is no page requirement, but you still need to write an effective couple of poems. Sometimes, writing a short poem is harder than writing a longer one. It may also be easier to write about something you feel passionate about. If you are not sure where to start, try just writing a paragraph in which you try to put as much of your genuine emotion about something as you can. Then, try breaking that paragraph into lines, so that each line emphasizes some part of your reaction, such as an image, that you want to focus the reader’s attention on. Then, for each line try playing with revising the words while thinking about the tools of good poetry we have discussed in class.
There will be a take-home quiz. You can use your books and work on it together. It is due in class by November 3rd. If you cannot make it to class that day, you can take a picture or scan it and email it to me by 11:59 pm on November 3rd.
- Take-Home Poetry Quiz: November 3rd
- Poetry Final Draft: November 10th by 11:59 pm
- Take-Home Poetry Quiz: 25%
- Poetry Final Draft: 75%
This project will comprise 20% of your final grade for the class.
- Your poems may be turned in late any time prior to 11:59 pm on the Friday of final exam week. However, your grade on your final drafts will decrease by 3% for every day overdue up to a maximum penalty of 15%. If you turn in your poems late, I cannot guarantee I will have time to grade it until the end of the semester.
- You may turn in your revised version through Elearning as a pdf using the “Late Work” dropbox.
- If you turn in your quiz late, a 5% penalty will be assessed against your quiz grade.
After you receive your grade for your peoms, I will permit you to turn in a revised version once to try to get a better grade. To receive a better grade, however, your revised version must demonstrate substantial improvement and revision. Superficial changes will not result in a better grade. You are encouraged to meet with me prior to turning in your revised version.
If you choose to revise your poems, you may turn it in at any time in the semester prior to 11:59 pm on the Friday of the final exam week. However, any late penalties you received from turning in your final draft late the first time will carry over to your revised version. You may turn in your revised version through Elearning as a pdf using the “Revision” dropbox.
You may also retry the quiz during the final exam period. If so, please notify me beforehand.