Weekly Assignment Instructions


Each week you will write a short paper (approx. 2 pages, double spaced) or undertake a creative response on some aspect of the upcoming week’s materials. This will be your opportunity every week to not simply regurgitate what the materials assert, but to think independently, originally, and critically about how the material functions: what it tells us about this poem and how it tells us that. My advice is to approach the week’s work this way: read the poem very carefully, memorize it (or part of it) if you have to, get inside it first, then read the materials, and as you read ask yourself: “How does this help me or hinder me from understanding the poem? How useful is it? What kind of work is this doing? How does it change my experience of the poem?” After you finish the reading, you can focus on one piece of it, or you can think about a combination of pieces. Write in response, which means, respond to the ideas, the style, the work it does or doesn’t do. Be creative, be scholarly, think independently, question the texts, show that you know the poem inside out. I am open to almost any angle you want to come at it from. My only requirement for the kind of work you do is that you over the course of the semester you try several different approaches. Here’s a rough rule: Write at least 2 analyses of the scholarly articles and undertake at least 2 creative projects (poems, films, collages, drawings, photographs, etc.). In all cases, approach the poems with curiosity and passion, whether you like them or not. You should post this response to the course website by Monday evening and a hard copy of this work will be due to me at the beginning of class on Tuesday. Only under extenuating circumstances will late papers be accepted.

Weekly Assignment Links:

Bradstreet Weekly Assignment
Bryant Weekly Assignment
Whitman Weekly Assignment
Dickinson Weekly Assignment
Stevens Weekly Assignment
Williams Weekly Assignment
Hughes Weekly Assignment
Bishop Weekly Assignment
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Plath Weekly Assignment