Poem of the Week

What is it?

One of the regular assignments in this class is the "Poem of the Week," which I'll usually abbreviate as POW. It's very simple. Each week we'll read a poem in class near the start of the week. We'll write and talk about it a bit in class, referring to it throughout the week.


Your work with the poems gets graded in a few different ways. We'll always write about and discuss the poems in class, so they count as class work. Some of the poems may also show up on tests, quizzes and other projects, where they'll count as test grades. Finally, if you regularly participate in Moodle discussions about the poems, you'll earn extra credit points at the end of the quarter.

While I'll choose a lot of the poems we read, I'd like to have you choose poems as well. In general, I'm looking for fairly short poems we can link to the themes / stories we read in class. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

(Steve Jurvetson/Flickr/CC-A)
(Steve Jurvetson/Flickr/CC-A)

Poems of the Week -- 2010-11

Quarter 1

Sep. 8 - Billy Collins, "Introduction to Poetry"
Sep. 13 - Tom Wayman, "Did I Miss Anything?"
Sep. 20 - Pablo Neruda, "We Are Many"
Sep. 27 - Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken"
October 3 - Alaíde Foppa, "Poets Always Speak to Someone"
October 12 - Bertolt Brecht. "I, the Survivor"
October 18 - Hanus Hachenburg, "Terezin"
October 25 - Emily Borenstein, "I Must Tell the Story"
November 1 - Czeslaw Milosz, "Dedication"
November 7 - Marie Howe, "Hurry"

Quarter 2

November 15 - Nikki Giovanni, "Legacies"
November 22 -- Poetry of Antigone (in-class study of the choral songs)
November 29 -- Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ozymandias"
December 6 - Anne Sexton, "Her Kind"

December 20 -- (Honors) Roethke, 'My Papa's Waltz" and Hayden, "Those Winter Sundays"
January 3 -- Burns, "To a Mouse"
January 10 (Reg.) Hayden, "Those Winter Sundays"
January 14 (Hon) Young-Li, 'The Gift"
January 18 -- Emily Dickinson, "435" ("Much Madness is Divinest Sense")

Quarter 3

January 31 - Thomas Sayers Ellis, "Sticks"
February 7 - Archibald MacLeish, "Ars Poetica"
February 14 - Ronald Wallace, "The Student Theme"
February 22 - Julie Sheehan, "Hate Poem"
Feb 28 - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Nations' Strength"
March 7 - Langston Hughes, "Theme for English B"
March 14 - Martín Espada, "Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper"
March 21 - W.B. Yeats, "An Irish Airman Forsees His Death"

Quarter 4

April 4 - Marge Piercy, "To Be of Use"
April 26 - Billy Collins, "On Turning Ten"
May 12 - Major Jackson, "How to Listen"
May 18 - Seamus Heaney, "The Otter"

Scorecard: (updated May 18)
  • Poems by men: 23
  • Poems by women: 9

To be done in the future:
Martha Collins, "Lines"