Last week ,we read the biography of world-reknown, Brooklyn poet Walt Whitman and reviewed some of his work. Whitman’s influence on modern poets is omnipresent. Here, for example, is a new poem by Billie Collins published this month in The Atlantic Magazine: “Ode to Joy”

For this class (and next), let’s discuss the equally impressive poets: Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe.

Here is Poe’s “The Raven”  (read by Christopher Lee)

Interestingly, Poe spent his last years in the Bronx in a cottage that remains a museum (and a great place to visit).  Please watch this video of his years there.

Watch: Stevie Nicks sings Poe’s “Annabel Lee”

Formal Assignment #1: Personal Poetry Collection (with reflections)

Assemble your selected poems and edited posts into a single file.

Title: “YOURLASTNAMEPoetryCollection”

Upload a draft of this assignment to our GoogleDrive by Tues., Nov. 9


  1. Edward Hirsch’s “How to Read a Poem” (Comment on One Section)
  2. Your response to a selection from Robert Pinsky’s “Favorite Poem Project”
  3. Mad-Lib Metaphor Poem
  4. Response to a Shakespearian Sonnet (include the poem)
  5. Response to a “Romantic” Poem (include the poem)
  6. Response to a poem or selection from Walt Whitman
  7. Response to a poem by Emily Dickinson (include poem)
  8. Response to a poem by Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Substitute one of the above with a response to a poem by Phyliss Wheatley, Rumi, and/or Arooj Aftab


For a review of poetic devices see: Elements of Poetry 

Here are the readings:

Edward Hirsch’s “How to Read a Poem”  (in 16 brief sections)

Robert Pinsky’s Favorite Poem Project 

“Learning About Figurative Language” (for “Metaphor Mad-Lib” poem) 

Shakespeare 101

The Romantic Poets

Declaration of Independence

Phyliss Wheatley

Walt Whitman

Emily Dickinson

Edgar Allan Poe

Documentary: “In Search of Walt Whitman