Transcript Slide 1

If I knew where poetry came
from, I’d go there.
-Michael Longley
Reader-Response Theory
We respond to literature
1. Life experiences
2. Literary experiences
Judging poetry is like judging wine.
Don’t pretend to like something you
don’t like. Don’t be afraid to admit
liking what you do. Don’t slam the
door either. Leave room for a poem
to grow on you.
Ask questions. Think about how the
poem connects to you or someone
else. Compare ideas.
Questions about poetry?
1. Is the poem’s purpose accomplished?
2. Are their excess words? Inexact?
3. Is the language fresh or canned?
Inferior Poetry, generally is:
1. Sentimental—indulges in
emotion for its own sake,
expresses more emotion than
an occasion warrants. Gushy.
Oversimplifies. Is unfaithful to
the complexities of human
Rhetorical—glittering language,
spewing of language without reality
of thought or emotion underneath.
“whereat with blade, with bloody,
blameful blade, / He bravely
broached his boiling bloody
3. Didactic—preachy, moralistic; use
as a vehicle to teach something
overrides poetry, leaving flat
diction, lack of specific situation…
God’s Will for You and Me
Just to be tender, just to be true,
Just to be glad the whole day through,
Just to be merciful, just to be mild,
Just to be trustful as a child,
Just to be gentle and kind and sweet,
Just to be helpful with willing feet,
Just to be cheery when things go wrong,
Just to drive sadness away with a song,
Whether the hour is dark or bright,
Just to be loyal to God and right,
Just to believe that God knows best,
Just in his promises ever to rest—
Just to let love be our daily key,
That is God’s will for you and me.
Pied Beauty
Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-color as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow and plow;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.
Why Bother With Poetry?
1. Develop language skills
2. Emotional intelligence
3. Holistic– how it’s said, context
4. Face the world– see through
other’s eyes…
When might we use poetry?
“Poetry is not just words,
but ____ for the cold, ____
let down to the lost, and
_____ in the pockets of the
The Journey
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice-though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do-determined to save
the only life you could save.
Mary Oliver
The BIG FIVE Elements of Poetry
 Diction—
 Imagery–
 Rhythm and Sound–
 Structure–
Inspiration to write comes
1. experience
2. other literature
3. memory
4. imagination
Well, Black Fox off on the edge of the poplars in the snow,
are you too wild to admit it is Christmas?
Too cagey, bad word, cage, for the silent dark that moves
against the silent white
where color under the snow light
is a matter of the red, tiny, high bush cranberries
I know you are out there
and see you--with my eyes closed
and can scent your deep mother's smell
and my fingers are stinging from
the sleek, smooth touch of your pelt
Lurk there, or haunt--there, that's the better word
Haunt, hunt in the snow beneath the branches
of the white hooded pine trees
and revel in the new moon and the Word
You are blessed, creature of light, even moon light
star light and the light that rises from the snow itself
You are blessed, hailed, full of grace,
and I know you are there and so, in my blessing, love,
may you sleep in peace--I know you hear me dreaming.
-Rick Watson
How do we become writers?
1. Pay attention– look closely at
your life. Read and listen attentively.
*Try this critical response tool:
Notice-Remind-Feel-Questionand Speculate.
We need inspiration to live.
Inspire: to breathe