Topic: You are to write about the
connections you can make between the life, the works, and the
time period in which your approved poet lived. Obviously, you
must read biographical material about the poet and some of
what the poet has written (at least ten poems). Try to imagine what
life was like for your poet. Which writers influenced your
poet? What events would have had greatest impact? What themes dominate your poet’s poems?. In order to
have your poet approved, you must locate at least one of three
reputable biographical resources: an actual book about your person,
a significant biographical entry in one of the school databases, or an entry in Gale research
resources (online or in paper at the public/base library). Wikipedia is not an acceptable resource. Note: You must have your poet and the specific
resources you are reading by that poet approved in advance.
You wll find links for many poetry resources on my Poem-a-Day website, for National Poetry Month (April). Scroll down to the bottom where links for organizations and for individual poets can be found.
General Guidelines: The
quality of your reference sources is much more important than
the quantity. Because you are collecting information that other
people have already published, you have to give credit to these
people for the information you use that is theirs. In other words,
no plagiarism. To protect you from temptation, I expect photocopies
or printouts of your resources. You may make notes on these papers
and/or use a highlighter to help you plan your writing
-- but I will keep everything at the end. No printouts or photocopies of your reference resources -- no credit -- no exceptions.
You may download a Plan Page if you wish. You may also see correct format by examining a My Sample Paper or a Model Longer Paper from Hacker.
Minimum Required Resources:
You must include the following in your bibliography (more resources would be better).
- one biographical resource
- one critical resources (print or online database)
- ten annotated poems
Citing Sources: We will follow MLA style.
Follow directions as given on my Bibliography
page. Excellent resources that break the complicated
process down into greater detail include Citation
Machineand Easy Bib.
Research Links: You have been given a handout with user names and passwords for the online databases available to our school.
Parts of the Project
Cover: Select a meaningful quote
from the works of your approved poet and illustrate that quote
so that it will fit on the front of your report folder. You may
use original artwork, computer graphics, calligraphy, graphic
fonts, cut-and-paste illustrations from magazines -- whatever
will help you make the most of the words themselves. Although
you have the freedom to use varied art materials and papers,
remember that the final quote design must be no larger than 8
1/2 by 11 inches if it is to fit. I have provided several examples
on my Quote Design page.
Letterhead and Business
a logo that is appropriate and relevant for your poet. Use
it for both letterhead and business card -- which do not have to be identical, but which should go together. Be as accurate as possible, but feel free to make up an intersting job title, address, email, etc. Print a sheet of cards on plain paper, no need to actully use card stock. Please do not cut the cards out.
the formats discussed in class, or even one of my resume formats on this website, put all that information
you have gleaned about your poets life into résumé
form. Assume the persona of the poet. Concentrate on accuracy
-- rather than the selective truth real résumés
Personal Alphabet: Browse
through a dictionary, looking for adjectives to describe your
poet. Know the meaning of the words you select and be able
to explain how each word youve chosen fits you. Choose at least
one adjective for each letter of the alphabet. Be sure you choose
the adjective form of words. For example, excite
is a verb and excitable is an adjective. Exciting
is a participle so it can be used as an adjective BUT excitable
and exciting mean very different things.
Personal Metaphors: Make
a list of metaphorical comparisons. Think, If my poet
were an animal, what kind of animal would my poet be?
For each item, write the general label and then your specific
comparison. Be realistic, be somewhat honest, and explain your
choices. Dont say your poet is a rose, if the poet is really
3. Article of Clothing
4. Day of the Week
7. Geometric Shape
9. Type of Building
12. Season of the Year
13. Appliance / Machinery
14. Natural Phenomenon
15. Literary Character
Critical Essay: Develop
and support a thesis sentence that makes a connection between
the life of your poet and the themes in your poet's work. For example:
William Shakespeare was the ideal Renaissance
man because of his interests in exploration, politics, and humanism.
Familiar with all medieval social classes,
Geoffrey Chaucer revealed his cynicism and a hidden faith in
The Canterbury Tales.
Peter Meinkes poems use everyday imagery
and modern verse style to demonstrate the contrast between idealism
You will cite your sources parenthetically within the content
of the essay. Focus your essay on what you can prove from your
reading and research. Narrowing your topic will help. Your essay
should be approximately 3-5 pages, double-spaced. Include at
least three quotes for each body paragraph. Use the guidelines
given in Quoting from a Poem.
Use the TPCASTT format to annotate your copies of the
ten poems (or however many were approved for your poet). Include a legend or a key (color helps) if you have developed a personal shorthand for your annotations. Make sure that you label any poetry terms included in your Poetry Terminology handout.
Final Presentation: Yes, you knew it was coming -- an informative PowerPoint or Keynote
presentation on one of your poets poems. You will need to follow
the example I will share in class, but your presentation will
present talking points on one specific poem -- and
you will be the expert who teaches that poem. Copies of the poem
will need to be provided for all your classmates. Download my
PowerPoint on Edna St. Vincent Millays
Love Is Not All as an example. Or view my webpage on the poem.
Bibliography: Cite all your sources in an alphabetized list that follows MLA
Undress (or whatever) Your Poet -- digital version also required. Follow the example and guidelines given on the Poem-a-Day #21 for Billy Collinss Taking Off Emily Dickinsons Clothes.
Final Order for the Report: Annotated poems, grading checklist, and learning log go in the front pocket of your folder; printouts and photocopies of research in the back pocket. Put everything else in your folder
inside brads (not in pockets or a loose folder or a three-ring
binder) in the following order --
- Cover -- Illustrated poem or quote
- Title page - poet, your name, hour,
- Letterhead and Business Card
- Personal Alphabet
- Personal Metaphors
- Printout of PowerPoint/Keynote Slides -- digital version also required
- Bibliography -- six entries in MLA
- Undress (or whatever) Your Poet -- digital version also required