Identifying your favorite poem, out of
all the millions of poems written, is not a simple task. Complete
this project in the following order:
First, you must choose three friends and
form a "poetry circle"; these are the people who are going to help
you in presenting your poem to your peers. Next, you
must individually do some general research and find out which poems speaks to
you most passionately and eloquently. Search the World Wide
Web, consult with friends, family, and teachers, and then narrow
your search for your favorite poem down to a handful of final
candidates. Give each poem a fair hearing, and then choose one that
you like the best of all. Trust your instincts and listen to your
gut. Which poem moves you the most? Impresses and influences you?
you identify the poem, you need to prepare to share it with the class,
analyze it in front of them, explain why it is your favorite, and then
lead a short discussion with your peers. You should explain the poem clearly and
thoroughly, and you should explain what the poem means to you; the
discussion you lead afterwards should be guided by certain pre-defined
questions, and you should ably and skillfully direct the conversation.
The other members of your poetry circle will help you distribute materials
and run the computer during the presentation.
sure your presentation answers the following questions: Why
did you choose this poem? What in it appeals to you? Where did
you find it? Who suggested it to you? What
elements of poetry does the poet employ? What is the tone and form
of the poem? What is poet trying to say? How can you explain
this poem to students so they can clearly understand what
it is you love in it? How can you communicate your passion and
enthusiasm to your fellow students? During your
presentation, what do you want students to understand? Your
final grade will depend on your presentation answering these questions.
the quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Nothing
great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." Be
enthusiastic about your poem, without overdoing it. Be honest and
"Poetry is, above all, an approach to the
truth of feeling.... A fine poem will seize your imagination
intellectually—that is, when you reach it, you will reach it intellectually
too— but the way is through emotion, through what we call feeling."
The following resources will assist you
in your quest to locate a favorite poem:
Poem Project. Robert Pinsky, former Poet
Laureate of the
United States, leads a project asking ordinary Americans about their
favorite poems. A great source of material for this project!
Poem Project Archive of
Robert Pinsky's nationwide initiative to record Americans reading
their favorite poems, as well as explaining what these poems mean to
Monthly Poetry Section Literary criticism of verse, as well
as many successful contemporary poets reading their poems (ra
collection of poetry, ranging from classical Greek works to the
Selection of poems and biographies of poets including Walt Whitman,
Emily Dickinson, and Robert Frost, as well as contemporary writers.
Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1900
From the 1919 Arthur Quiller-Couch edition.
Greatest Love Poems Ever Written
Selected by Poetry.com.
Love Poems on the Web
to poems which express every permutation of love. Poets included are
Emily Dickinson, Donald Hall, e.e. cummings, Robert Burns, John Donne,
and Amy Lowell.
in Poetry: Love Poems
Archive of web published love poems.
Guide for Classic EnLove Poems Includes Edmund Waller's
"Song," Emily Dickinson's "If You Were Coming in the
Fall," Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Sonnet XLIII, from the
Portuguese," and Christina Rossetti's "Echo."
Corner Collection of public
domain works indexed by author, title, and subject.
with Words with Bill Moyers Covering the events and the
poems shared at the 1998 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. With
sound clips, poems, poet biographies, teacher's guide, lesson plans,
and links. Good site about poetry today!
Poets, artists, writers, and performers who embrace the electronic
media as a venue and home for their art. Features a library, The
Incomplete History of Slam, The Book of Voices, poetry news, and sound
A great site has famous poetry, as well as a board and archives for
Poetry on the Web from Yahoo! Many cool links of poetry
sites put up by and for teenagers.
- Mr. Geib's
Favorite Poems A few
words on the most prized poems of one individual who lived during the
late-20th/early 21st century.
Your presentation will be evaluated
according to the following criteria:
- Did you
explain why you chose this poem? Explain what in it appeals to you?
you say where you found it? Tell who suggested it to you, if anyone?
elements of poetry does the poet employ? What is the tone and form
of the poem?
- What is poet trying to
say in poem? What is the theme(s)?
- How can you communicate your passion and
enthusiasm to your fellow students? How can you explain poem to students so they can clearly understand what
it is you love in it?
you demonstrate your expertise in
- During your
presentation, what do you want students to understand? What should
they walk away remembering about your favorite poem?
THE HUMAN CONVERSATION
Poetry, the most lordly of all the
writing arts, is one of the primary heritages of our species; in the very
beginnings of human literacy, and long before that, men and women chanted
their war poetry in ancient Greece, and communicated myth and history over
campfires to their children. The cadence of language and the music
of words appeals to some primal part of the brain, and today in a
computer-filled classroom in 21st century Ventura that is no different
than three thousands years ago when small bands of
humans fought to survive on the
desolate plains of Central Asia. Poetry is a large part of what it means to be
human, and to examine closely and learn to love poetry is what links us to
our ancestors; as T.S. Eliot asserted:
|And what the dead had no speech for,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with the fire beyond the
language of the living.
A long dead poet sometime and somewhere in
history has written a poem directly addressed to you, even if you didn't know
it yet! From the past the dead still speak, and what was
most vital and "human" in their souls is retained in their
poetry. Will you take the time to listen to them? Pause to hear
Poets across the millenniums have written
powerfully and memorably about every topic under the sun. Find and
treasure the poems that will change and fortify your life. Participate
in the human conversation that started long before your birth and will
continue long after you are dead, buried, and turned to dust. The
conversation of humanity goes on. Will you not contribute with your own voice?
"Poets are the unacknowledged
legislators of the world."
Percy Bryce Shelley