American Lit, 1915-Present (2005)

21 Apr 2005
Oral Interpretation

Orally present for the class one mid-sized poem or several short ones. (3-4 min, plus 3-4 pages of supporting materials.)

You do not need to memorize your poem.

Submit an annotated copy of the poem for the instructor; clean copies of the poem for your classmates; and a 2-page written analysis. (Update: Annotation: in the margins of the text, write definitions of unfamiliar words. Divide the poem up into different sections, or highlight different parts in different colors, or write down notes [such as "loud" or "frightened"] to indicate how you plan to deliver certain lines. Written analysis: Discuss the significance of your selections (how they fit together), or describe how they illustrate something we have covered in class already, or offer your own analysis. Don't just describe the contents of each poem -- I already assume you know that. I don't require any scholarly sources or works cited list for this exercise.)

Make sure you choose an American poem, written or published from about 1915 on.

Update, 17 Apr: In class, we discssed the following.

  • If you prepare 5 minutes of poetry, you may turn in just 2 1/2 pages of written analysis.
  • If you present at least 3 minutes of poetry written by established authors, you may present 1 or 2 minutes of your own poetry. (Remember, this is an "All-American Poetry Cover Slam."
  • Use your body, your voice, the space in the classroom, and even props, if you like.
  • When you recite, don't pause robotically at the end of every line. See my handout, Poetry is for the Ear.
  • When you are finished, I will give you a little quiz, asking you to define a particular word, explain the significance of a mythological or historical reference, ask whether you're sure about the pronunciation.
  • If you don't think you will do a good job orally, put more effort into the written analysis.

You are welcome to blog about what you are doing, but note that recent poetry is still protected by copyright, so it would be inappropriate to type the whole poem into your weblog. (If the poem was published in America before 1922, then you can safely put it online.)


Quick question: why is the aggregator showing ancient posts from both Tiffany's and my blog?? There are some on there from 2003! Any particular reason for that? It's not helping us see who's posted recently in the class with all the old posts taking up space. Just wondering.

Posted by: Karissa at April 19, 2005 12:59 PM

Hmmm... I think this might be because those old entries might have been modified recently (a site design, perhaps?). I'll look into it.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at April 19, 2005 1:27 PM

I think I've fixed the problem.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at April 19, 2005 1:38 PM