Week 2

Week 2 (May 28*-June 3):

*Note: no course activities are slated for Monday, 5/28. Enjoy your Memorial Day respite!


  1. Maxine Kumin, “The Woodchucks
  2. Adrienne Rich, “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers
  3. Stevie Smith, “Not Waving but Drowning
  4. John Donne, “The Flea
  5. Countee Cullen, “Heritage
  6. Derek Walcott, “A Far Cry from Africa
  7. Wallace Stevens, “The Emperor of Ice Cream
  8. Robert Frost, “Design
  9. Thomas Hardy, “The Darkling Thrush
  10. Emily Dickinson, “[A Bird, came down the Walk]” #359
  11. Emily Dickinson, “[Wild nights – Wild nights!] #269
  12. Robert Herrick, “Corinna’s Going A-Maying
  13. Ocean Vuong, “Kissing in Vietnamese
  14. Gwendolyn Brooks, “We Real Cool
  15. Langston Hughes, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers


Instructional Content:

  1. Persona and Theory of Mind
  2. The New Criticism
  3. The Intentional Fallacy
  4. The Affective Fallacy
  5. Fakepoets (Activity Instructions)


Task List:

  1. Tuesday 5/29: View the content under “This Week” on the site banner menu for week one, including the linked poems and my instructional pages. Of special note will be the instructions for the “Fakepoets” activity. On Tuesday morning I will email enrolled students directly with assigned roles, but I encourage open online participants to choose a role that looks fun from the page and play that part without telling us which one they’re playing, because suspense. The Fakepoets twitter activity round will begin Wednesday.
  2. Tuesday 5/29: Compose a blog post in which you select one of the week’s poems and say as much about the persona of that poem as you can. Give it the title “[poem name]’s persona.” Illustrate the blog post by finding a picture of a well known historical or fictional character that the persona reminds you of, or (my personal preference, but it only works if we’ve all seen a lot of movies), the actor and the part from a movie that resembles the persona (I suggest imdb.com for an easy place to find casting and reasonably high-quality still shots). After you upload or link your image, make sure to explain why you chose that character or figure.
  3. Wednesday, 5/30: Take to twitter and participate in the Fakepoets activity as directed. I recommend a minimum of three interactions, although those interactions could take the form of retweets or amplifications. Remember, your interactions will be specified by the activity instructions, so please play by the rules.
  4. Wednesday 5/30: Check the netvibes page and see if anyone else wrote on the poem you wrote about in your Tuesday blog post: if so, edit your original post and link to one of them in order to compare your versions of the poems’ personae to your classmates’ versions (including casting decisions!). If not, read one other student’s blog post, edit your original post and link to theirs, and compare their depiction (of an admittedly different speaker, but still of a persona). In order to distinguish old from new writing, I recommend either reblogging the original post with some new sentences and links added, or (my preference) editing the original, but appending some new materials after a line of dashes.
  5. Thursday, 5/31: Read my blog post on “Types of Personae,” to be found under the Examples menu link, and tweeted to #vizpoem by noon.
  6. Thursday 5/31: Compose another new blog post, along the same lines as I described in item #2 above, except in this case choose a separate poem’s persona to characterize. After you have described the speaker, illustrated him or her, and explained your choice, briefly contrast your second persona with the first one you wrote about.
  7. Friday 6/1: Take to twitter and continue with the Fakepoets activity as directed.
  8. Friday, 6/1: Check the netvibes page. Choose another student’s blog post that characterizes the persona of a poem you have not written about yet this week, and compose a blog post of your own that briefly compares that persona to both of the other two personae you wrote about.
  9. Sunday 6/3: Reflect on the Fakepoets activity. Compose a new blog post that embeds at least three role-playing tweets that you felt best conveyed the character of the poem’s persona, and make sure to explain why you thought they were successful. Remember: to embed a tweet in a WordPress post, skip a line and paste in the url without linking it to anything (just plain text). WordPress will expand the tweet out for you upon publication.

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