Defining the Genre


For this assignment you will draw evidence from the ten sample poems linked at the top of the Week 1 task list (currently labeled “This Week“) to define the major genre of “poetry” and provide examples for the characteristics you mention as part of your definition. Keep in mind that the other instructional pages linked to this week’s task list are designed to help you make assessments about poetry as a genre, and that what may be true of certain types of poetry may not be true for the entire set of texts.


Your work will be due periodically this week, and will include twitter interactions as well as blog posts that refer to other tweets and blog posts. The major objective is to establish the feeling of a learning community without necessarily forcing you to do group work — though in a sense we will all be collaborating to build a better definition. Define poetry in your own words — it’s not a race to find the one true definition, or to consult the best authority on the topic. Poets and scholars have been arguing over how best to define it for thousands of years, and as tastes have changed over time, so have our definitions. But it will be for the best to start the process of writing about sometimes pretty slippery and shifty texts.


Please do feel free to illustrate your definition, even though it’s not an absolute requirement of this assignment. We ought to get into that habit, as well.





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