Examples in Teaching: Poetry

 

Vice and Virtue Class

Students in the Vice and Virtue class spend a good amount of time reading poetry and learning poetics. Each year they are assigned to write a poem of their own. Click on the class year to see the students’ work.

Class of 2009

Class of 2014

Class of 2015

Class of 2016

Class of 2017

Class of 2018

Foundations Class

Students in the Foundations in Literature and History class spend a good amount of time reading poetry and learning poetics. Each year they are assigned to write a poem of their own. Click on the class year to see the students’ work.

Class of 2013

Class of 2014

Class of 2015

Class of 2016

Class of 2017
Class of 2018

Narrative Class

Students in the Narrative Class studied works that told a story, which included poetry, fiction and non-fiction. As part of their composition project, the students read traditional ballads that tell of some personal or group tragedy and used them as models for writing their own poems. Click on the class year to see the students’ work.

Class of 2017



One might conclude that the art of writing metrical poetry is a lost art, if the case were judged by the popularity of free verse poems. Robert Frost compared writing free verse to playing tennis without a net. The comparison suggests that though a net-less court might allow the player to get the ball over to the other side more easily, it also changes the game. The comparison is apt, but I am sure that Frost would have agreed that though writing poems in meter is more limiting, there is a certain freedom within that constraint.

     Experience in writing metrical poetry allows students to learn more directly the technical difficulties as well as pleasure in creating rhythmical patterns. The more astute student will also observe the subtle effect that meter has on meaning.