Romantic Poetry Assignments
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Assignment #1 due Friday, February 1
Read the five poems by Blake. Two are “Songs of Innocence” – The Lamb and the Chimney Sweep. The other three – The Chimney Sweepers, London and The Tiger – are “Songs of Experience.
Choose either the two chimney sweep poems or the lamb and tiger poems to write a short comparison. Compare the two chimney sweeps or compare the lamb to the tiger. Consider how the voice of innocence differs from the voice of experience.
Three paragraphs. About 200 words.
Write a short (three paragraph) comparison of the innocent chimney sweep to the experienced chimney sweep. Or compare the lamb to the tiger.
Assignment #2 due Tuesday, February 5
Write your own song of innocence or experience, in poetry or in prose.
Choose something that has happened to you or something you have noticed in the world around you. Write about it emphasizing innocence and lightness and optimism or in a darker vein emphasizing its sad or menacing qualities.
If you like, you could partner with a friend and write about the same thing, one of you choosing innocence and one choosing experience. If you are ambitious, you could try writing two poems yourself, one innocent and one experienced.
Assignment #3 due Wednesday, February 6
Describe in writing a childhood memory that seems to you to support an observation in the poem.
This can be poetry or prose, but it must be composed with care.
Assignment #4 due Monday, February 11
Choose a scene from Kubla Khan to illustrate and to caption with a line from the poem. I would like you to take care and thought with this assignment. Try to find an unusual perspective or perhaps an unexpected interpretation. It is also ok to use different media – photography, collage, etc.
Assignment #5 due Wednesday, February 13
Read La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats and answer the following study questions:
Please type or write neatly in INK and use full sentences. There are many possible answers. Do your best to support your answers from the text of the poem.
1. The Narrator:
The poem begins with someone asking a question and making a series of observations about a knight. What is the situation that the narrator observes? Can we infer anything about the narrator from the things that he / she says or notices?
2. The Knight
The knight encountered a lovely lady, and now he is clearly in poor health. What has happened to him? What is the meaning of his dream? What do you think will happen to him? Is there any hope for him?
3. The Lady
Who was the lady? Is she to blame for what happened to the knight?
Assignment #6 due Thursday, February 14
Choose one of Keats’ sonnets and practice reading it out loud. I will ask everyone to read the sonnet they have chosen out loud in class, and I will grade you on how fluent and expressive you are. You may have to research the meaning a little in order to read it intelligently.
I will give you one extra credit quiz point for every line that you memorize.
Assignment #7 due Tuesday, February 26
Three choices - Choose one
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Think about where in a happy experience the moment of highest happiness might fall? Do you agree with Keats that the highest happiness is in the moment of anticipation before the goal is achieved? Choose a happy experience and describe the “frozen moment” when everything is at its peak.
Poetry or prose, but beautifully written.
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,--that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."
State what you think this could mean and whether you agree.
Describe an instance where beauty and truth seem to you to be the same.
Poetry or prose, but beautifully written.
Assignment #8 due Friday, March 1
Read “Ode to the West Wind” and paraphrase the First Canto
This is a difficult poem but do your best to understand Shelley’s message to the wind in each of the five cantos.
Paraphrase the First Canto. Put it in your own words. Although it won’t fit exactly, try putting the five stanzas of the Canto into five sentences. Try to make your sentences simple and direct, and avoid repeating Shelley’s words as much as you can.