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I have been experimenting, slowly, with introducing my FYC students to poetry as well. While it's not my main text, yet, I did have a successful class by reading William Carlos Williams "This is Just to Say."

I wanted to show my students that arguments can be constructed in many different forms, not just books or essays. We examined Williams' poem from the point of view of "what's the argument" and "what develops the speaker's ethos" (is he rubbing it in "you's" face that he ate the plums, or is he really sorry). We also looked at pathos (how the form of a poem was in itself an appeal to emotion), logos, and so on.

The poem is sweet and not at all what my students expect of poetry. And they really seemed to have fun discussing it from an argumentative stance.

The Illinois Poet Laureate web site also has several poems that students may be interested in. There are straight texts, but there are also several videos of poets reading their work as well as audio clips of poets and student poets. It's worth a look.


I forgot that I also wanted to mention Yale's Modern Poetry course, with Professor Landgon Hammer, available streaming-freely on yr nearest PC:

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