Student-Led Discussion Sign-Up Sheet


At the beginning of each class, there will be three presentations to help us start the lesson.  They are:

1. I Found Poetry: Your letters from the first class all seem to say “poetry is valuable” and “poetry is everywhere” but several articles on poetry paint a much somber picture, saying that “poetry has vanished as a cultural force in America”[1] or that it is a waste of time, can’t put food on the table, no longer important in this digital and hyper-capitalist age.  For this presentation you will explore poetry in the world.  Share with your friends where you have found poetry, what the poem is, and what it shows or proves about poetry in our lives or society. 

2. Background Material: What do you think your friends will need in order to appreciate the reading materials for that day?  Will a certain fact about a poet’s life be useful?  Would explaining the culture or history of the period help in understanding?  You can explicate a literary, art, or historical term, movement, or event.  You can provide information or engage your friends in whatever activity that will help them see an intriguing aspect of the poem(s) to be discussed in class.

3. Poem Discussion: In this presentation you will bring up an aspect of a poem that is worth discussing in depth, explain to the class your ideas about it, and open it to discussion.  Your topic may be on just one word or image from the poem, a few lines, or the poem in its entirely, as well as connections to other poems, events or ideas we’ve already mentioned.

Three students will each have five minutes for their presentation of choice.  Everyone will get to lead discussion three times (once on each of the three kinds of presentations).  These talks should layout your idea or argument in a clear way that engages your friends in close-reading and critical thinking.  Prepare also some questions for further conversation on your topic and allow some time for class discussion.


June 14                        Words and Feeling

Reading: Housman, “Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now”

Discussion: tone

Student-Led Discussion 1      

Student-Led Discussion 2      

Student-Led Discussion 3 Jirawut (poem discussion)     


June 19                        Words and Meaning I: Denotations, Connotations

Reading: Herrick, “Here a Pretty Baby Lies”; Atwood, “Dreams of the Animals”

Student-Led Discussion 4 Aphaporn (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 5 Esther (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 6      


June 21                        Words and the Senses

Reading: Browning, “Meeting at Night”; Lorca, “Snail”

Discussion: imagery

Student-Led Discussion 7 Seubsakoon (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 8      

Student-Led Discussion 9 Suluck (poem discussion)     


June 26                        Words and Associations I: Simile, Metaphor

Reading: Hughes, “Dream Deferred” (simile); Swenson, “Question”; Cullen, “For My Grandmother”

Student-Led Discussion 10      

Student-Led Discussion 11 Narasak (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 12      


June 28                        Making Human

Reading: Collins, “My Number” (personification); Whur, from Village Musings (“The Poet Questions the Ant”); Tennyson, “Break, Break, Break”

Discussion: personification, apostrophe

Assignment 1 given

Student-Led Discussion 13 Amarat (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 14 Sommanutsa (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 15 Esther (poem discussion)     


July 3                        Talking Big, Talking Small

Reading: Donne, “The Sun Rising”; Hardy, “The Walk”

Discussion: overstatement, understatement

*Assignment 1 due beginning of class


July 5                        Intertextuality: Allusion

Reading: Cullen, “Yet Do I Marvel”

Assignment 2 given

Student-Led Discussion 16 Sommanutsa (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 17 Sirikul (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 18 Aunchidtha (poem discussion)     


July 10                        Words and Associations II: Metonymy, Synecdoche

Reading: Larkin, “Maiden Name” (metonymy); Piercy, “A Work of Artifice”

*Assignment 2 due beginning of class


July 12                        No Class (Graduation Ceremony)


July 17                        Words and Meaning II: Symbol, Allegory

Reading: Herrick, “To the Virgin, to Make Much of Time” (symbol); Rossetti, “Up-Hill”

Student-Led Discussion 19 Suluck (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 20 Suwida (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 21 Narasak (poem discussion)     


July 19                        Poetry Jeopardy!

Poetry competition to review for midterm


July 24                        (Midterm Week July 23-27, 2007)


July 26                        (Midterm Week July 23-27, 2007)


July 31                        No Class (Holiday)


August 2                        Imagining Impossibility: Paradox

Reading: Donne, “The Flea”

Student-Led Discussion 22 Sirikul (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 23 Pimwalan (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 24 Suebsakoon (poem discussion)     


August 7                        No Class (Universiade Opening Ceremony)


August 9                        Words and Meaning III: Irony

Reading: Finkel, “They”; Sexton, “Ringing the Bells”


August 14                        Sound and Meaning

Reading: Cleghorn, “The Golf Link”; Perrine, “Janus”; Blake, “Infant Sorrow”

Discussion: rhyme, rhythm, meter, scansion, formal pattern

Student-Led Discussion 25 Pimwalan (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 26 Aphaporn (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 27 Sirikul (poem discussion)     


August 16                        Types and Forms of Poetry, Sonnet

Student-Led Discussion 28 Narasak (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 29 Suebsakoon (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 30 Pimwalan (poem discussion)     

Assignment 3 given


August 21                        Sonnet: Argument in Poetry

Reading: Shakespeare, “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day” (Sonnet XVIII); Wordsworth, “The World Is Too Much with Us”


August 23                        Ballad: The Song Story

Reading: “The Two Ravens”

Student-Led Discussion 31 Jirawut (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 32 Suluck (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 33 Suwida (poem discussion)     

*Assignment 3 due beginning of class


August 28                        Theme: Life

Reading: Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”; Campbell, “The River of Life”; Teasdale, “Barter”

Student-Led Discussion 34 Suwida (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 35 Amarat (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 36 Amarat (poem discussion)     


August 30                        Theme: Life

Reading: Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

Student-Led Discussion 37 Aunchidtha (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 38 Atipong (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 39 Atipong (poem discussion)     

Assignment 4 given


September 4                        Theme: Men and Women

Reading: Spenser, “Of this World’s Theatre in Which We Stay”; Rossetti, “No, Thank You, John”

Student-Led Discussion 40 Isariya (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 41 Aunchidtha (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 42 Isariya (poem discussion)     


September 6                        Theme: Men and Women

Reading: Carew, “The True Beauty”

Student-Led Discussion 43 Atipong (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 44 Isariya (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 45 Alisa (poem discussion)     

*Assignment 4 due beginning of class


September 11                        Theme: Men and Women

Reading: Stallworthy, “Sindhi Woman”

Student-Led Discussion 46 Alisa (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 47 Alisa (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 48 Aphaporn (poem discussion)     


September 13                        Review, Group Media Presentations, Poetry Readings

Student-Led Discussion 49 Esther (I Found Poetry)     

Student-Led Discussion 50 Jirawut (background material)     

Student-Led Discussion 51 Sommanutsa (poem discussion)     


September 18                        Presentation

Group 1:

Group 2:


September 20                        Presentation

Group 3:

Group 4:


September 25                        Final Exam

1 – 3 p.m.

[1] Dana Gioia, “Can Poetry Matter?” Dana Gioia Online, May 1991, 12 June 2007 <>.


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Last updated August 14, 2007