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Task: Option #2

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Task: Option #2

Option #2: Have a conversation with either the TA, with students in a class, or with a friend, colleague, or group of colleagues about one of the following poems:

  • Robert Frost, “Design”
  • William Cowper, “The Castaway.”

Submit a conversation summary (as a Word document) or recording for activities with people other than the course TA.

Steps for reading a poem:

  1. Begin by reading the poem out loud;
  2. You might profitably start with a simple question like – What did you notice?
  3. Keep the conversation on the text of the poem rather than associations you might make as a result of the poem; (Statement #1: I noticed that the first image in the poem is a white spider carrying a moth vs. Statement #2: The spider image makes me think about the spiders in that poem by…)
  4. Try to begin exploring the “texture” of the poem and keep yourself from trying to determine the “meaning” of the poem; the texture includes the many details that contribute to the sensuous experience of the poem (sound, rhythm, image, poetic language);
  5. Discuss specific words and phrases; the title; or other notable feature;
  6. Read the poem as an “experience” not as an idea nor as a cleverly disguised moral statement;
  7. Share possible interpretations rather than absolute meanings.