Part 1: Poetry Discussion (connected to Units 3 and 4)
1. To do the research for your primary posting to the Poetry discussion, you will visit "Poetry 180," a new Website from the American Library of Congress in Washington DC. "Poetry 180," is the brainchild of former U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, and it was designed initially by Collins as a way to introduce the pleasure of poetry into the lives of high school students.
2. The site consists of 180 poems, personally selected by Collins from poems published in the U.S. in the previous year. The poems are meant to be read aloud (but not discussed) by a teacher, one every morning, for the whole school year. Collins believes that just by listening to a year's worth of good poems, young ears will learn to appreciate the fusion of sound and feeling that makes reading or listening to a poem a pleasing and stimulating experience.
3. All too often, says Collins, who has taught poetry at university for more than thirty years, students come into his Poetry 101 class thinking that what they have to do is tie a poem to a chair and "torture" a confession out of it. We hope that this process doesn’t sound too familiar, though we have probably all been guilty of it in our formal attempts to write about poetry.
4. Step 1: As the first step in preparing your primary Poetry posting, please go to the Poetry 180 Web site and read "Introduction to Poetry," by Billy Collins (retrieved from: http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/001.html.) As you will see, Collins' poem might well be subtitled "how not to torture a poem."
5. Step 2: Now you are ready to do your research and prepare your primary Poetry posting. Your task is to pick any one of the poems from Poetry 180 and “hold it to the light” until it shines for you. Then prepare a brief essay/posting (about 200 words or six to nine sentences) in which you introduce the poem to your fellow students, indicate its subject and what you take to be its theme.
6. Describe what you saw when you “held it to the light.” You will want to focus on one particular aspect of the poem—or one stylistic device—to show how this conveys meaning. But remember, no torturing allowed! Include the poem at the start of the posting. (The poem is not included in your word limits.) Be sure your posting indicates the correct title, author, and paste and copy your "pick" into the beginning of your posting, so that others may read it easily.
All of the poems are listed on the Library of Congress’ website Poetry 180 / A Poem a Day for American High Schools. (Retrieved from: http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/p180-list.html.)
Step 1: This part of Assignment 3 assumes you have read through Shakespeare's Othello and the Unit 5 material. If you have not yet done this, you should do so now.
Step 2: Your first task here is to prepare one primary posting to the Drama discussion of Shakespeare's Othello. Choose ONE Study Question posed in the printed “Guide to Reading Othello, Unit 5” in the Course Units to answer in your posting. Your primary posting should consist of about 200 words or six to nine sentences.