This poem assignment has been postponed (on Tue Feb 16).  Stay tuned for new due date.

The basic assignment: To our next Celebr-8 Poetry Day (Thu Feb 18), bring a typed copy of your original poem.  Everyone’s poem has the same title, “Rosa Parks.”  This does not mean that all the poems take this title in the same direction.  The title refers to a particular historical person, but the poem does not have to focus on this woman.  It could, but does not have to.  As you compose the poem, feel free to use Rosa Parks as a starting point, a reference point, a symbol, a theme.  Also feel free to set the poem where and when you want.  For example, your poem might use the Montgomery Bus Boycott as background, or it might use another event (actual or imaginary, large or small).

speaker: You decide who is the speaker of your poem.  You are the author, but the speaker is the person whose voice we hear when someone reads, or says, your poem.

concrete imagery, metaphor: As a poet, you have two friends.  Keep them close to you while you are making your poem.  They will reward you in ways you cannot fully appreciate, until your poem is ready.  Appeal to our physical senses in specific (concrete) ways.  As a general rule, the more concrete the better.  For example,  “red-tailed hawk” is more concrete than “bird.”  Remember the list of images you have recorded from Homer’s   Odyssey  and Sophocles’ Antigone.  While you do not have to use any of these, some of them may spark your thinking and writing.  Be judicious with metaphors.  Pick a few, and go with those. Or pick one central one.  At least, that is how I might approach this project.

poetic tools: Finally, remember the list of tools from our first-semester poetry studies.  Keep a weather-eye out for how one or two of these might propel your poem.

length: at least twenty lines (avoid temptation to make short lines simply to satisfy this expectation; let the poem take shape over time on its own terms)

 

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