General09 May 2011 09:36 am


The goal of this assignment is to formulate the poetics of a second generation modern poet and demonstrate it through the analysis of several representative works by that poet. The Houghton Mifflin Free Online Dictionary defines poetics as:

  1. Literary criticism that deals with the nature, forms, and laws of poetry.
  2. A treatise on or study of poetry or aesthetics.
  3. The practice of writing poetry; poetic composition.


In order for you to successfully write this essay I suggest the following steps:

  1. Select one of the following poets from Volume 1 of the Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry:
  1. Charles Reznikoff
  2. Jean Toomer
  3. Robert Graves
  4. Louise Bogan
  5. Hart Crane
  6. Laura Riding
  7. Sterling Brown
  8. Lorine Niedecker
  9. Louis Zukofsky
  10. Robert Penn Warren
  11. Kenneth Rexroth
  12. Louis MacNiece
  13. George Oppen
  14. Theodore Roethke
  1. Read the introduction on the poet and all of the poet’s works in our anthology.
  2. Research the poet, his/her life, poetry, affiliations with poets and/or poetic movements, essays or manifestos written by the poet, and articles written about their work.
  3. Formulate what you think his/her poetics is all about. This is your thesis statement.
  4. Choose 1 long poem or 2-3 short poems by that poet and analyze and interpret it/them in light of those poetics.
  5. Write your essay. Proving your thesis, supporting it with selected analysis of the poems.


The final paper should be about 600 words long (2-3 pages) in MLA format (typed, double-spaced, with 1” margins, and a 12-point Arial, Times, or Times New Roman font). Any use of sources must be documented in impeccable MLA format—parenthetical citation (author’s last name & page number) and works cited page. A printed copy of this essay is due in class on Wednesday, May 18.


Your essay will be evaluated in the following areas, with areas 1-3 carrying most of the weight of the grade:

  1. Assignment (fulfilling requirements, quality of thesis, and depth of analysis),
  2. Organization (clarity of thesis, thorough paragraphing, overall organization),
  3. Development (relevance of claims, adequacy of support, and textual evidence),
  4. Sentence Structure, Word Choice, and Grammar (weaknesses will be identified in these areas, but they will not affect grade significantly unless they get in the way of understanding the essay).

An essay that satisfies all the requirements of the assignment with a clear sense of organization and adequate development earns a “C” in this class. An essay that achieves the goals at an above average level of proficiency, with only minor problems in one or two areas earns a “B.” The “A” is reserved for nearly flawless, elegant essays that excel in all the criteria described above. Essays that do not fulfill the minimum requirements for the assignment earn a “D.” Only essays that are not turned in, are plagiarized, or are not a serious effort to meet the assignment earn an “F” in this class.

General25 Mar 2011 01:03 pm

Here is a link to the assignment sheet for Essay #1.

A printed final draft is due on Friday, April 8, 2011.

General22 Feb 2011 06:38 am

My esteemed students:

I am discontinuing the use of the Forum and replacing it with a different tool: a Facebook Page for the class. This tool has several benefits:

  • It provides a rich multimedia experience.
  • Sharing links, photos, videos, and postings is easy and fun.
  • Allows for social networking within class
  • Will connect the current generation of students in this class with future generations (every spring)
  • It directs attention to this neat little social networking site called “Facebook” which shows much promise of becoming an important communication tool for our times.

Have fun with our new space!

And don’t forget to “like” the page, so you can receive its feeds and communication through that resource.

General16 Feb 2011 04:18 pm

Here are three presentation slideshows I created about a year ago for teaching some basic poetic analysis techniques. I suggest you explore these, especially if you haven’t taken any poetry classes with me.

Your homework is to choose an Emily Dickinson poem that we haven’t discussed in class, scan the whole thing, and post your analysis of the poem’s rhythm (1 paragraph) in the course forum.

Join the forum discussion on this post - (1) Posts
General04 Feb 2011 11:45 am

Click image for link to assigned reading. Read the Preface.

Annotated link.

General31 Jan 2011 01:12 pm

General26 Jan 2011 02:11 pm

For this course, we will be using our UPR Google Apps for Education extensively, particularly Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Documents. You can access these services through the Portal Colegial, but here are some direct shortcuts:

General26 Jan 2011 02:10 pm

This course will be using clickers every day, so it is essential for you to purchase your clicker as soon as possible. The model adopted by the UPRM is the Turning Technologies Response Card XR, which is available at the Campus Bookstore for $53 (tax included). There is a $10 mail-in rebate, so that helps. This clicker will serve you in all the classes which use them during your time at the Colegio, so this is a pricey, but important investment.

I expect you to have your clickers no later than Friday, February 4, and always bring them to class from that moment forward. The moment you get your clicker, register it in my class:

  1. Register your clicker at
  2. Register in my class. My e-mail is
General26 Jan 2011 02:09 pm

Greetings and welcome to our course blog!

This will be our digital meeting space for the duration of the course on this fair Spring 2011 semester. In this course blog you’ll be able to access important course information, such as the syllabus, course calendar, and announcements made during the semester. The course forum will allow us to engage in discussions beyond the limits of our class meeting times. Feel free to post topics in the forum, have conversations, comment on postings, and take advantage of this online space.

I look forward to our conversation!