MTA Poetry in Motion

Hi Class,

I love it whenever I see poetry in public places. Here’s four poems that our beloved MTA has shared with New Yorkers:



Prof. Scanlan

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Terms and Poems for Final Exam



American Renaissance

Harlem Renaissance








Free verse

Prose poem




Lyric poem



Tendency wit/ Wit













1. My Papa’s Waltz–Sean’s Anthology

2. On Taking a Wife–Comic Poems

3. Union Square–Poems of NY

4. Amateur Terrorist–Poems of NY

5. Dream Deferred–Poems of NY

6. Richard Corey–101

7. Love–Poems of NY

8. The Arrow and the Song–101

9. When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer–101

10. The Owl and the Lightning–Poems of NY

11. Carlotta-Comic Poems

12. Sucking Cider Through a Straw–Comic Poems

13. The Ceiling–Comic Poems

14. Symptom Recital–Comic Poems

15. The Uncertainty of the Poet–Comic Poems

16. Mr. Jones–Comic Poems

17. Observation–Poems of NY



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Essay 2 and Extra Credit Journal Information

Hi Class,

First, I’ve posted the details for Essay 2–go to the “Assignments” tab and print it out. In addition, I’ve posted an example of a comparison essay under the assignment details.

Second, because we missed an entire week due to Hurricane Sandy, and because of our pace, we will end the semester with 6 journals instead of 8. In order to help students improve this aspect of their grade, I want to offer an extra credit journal assignment. This journal will get added to your journal/quiz grade. If you decide not to do it, you will not be penalized. Directions: for this one-page, typed journal you are to write about one of the poets that we have brought into class (Dave Edwards, George Guida, Monique Ferrell, Nina Bannett). This journal is meant to give you an opportunity to reflect on what you learned in class and what you thought about their performance and poetry. You can write about their style, their delivery, their philosophy, or their attitude–anything really. This Extra Credit journal is due on December 12th. No late journals will be accepted.

Third, here is the homework for next Wednesday, December 6th). Read up to page 150 on your Comic Poems book.  Then write the introduction and thesis paragraph for Essay 2. We will discuss this paragraph in class. And I will check to see if you have it and award homework points.


Prof. Scanlan

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Updates for Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hi Class,

1. I’ve updated the “Readings” menu tab. Now you can view the Wit/Humor definitions and the handout on Meter, Stress, and Foot.

2. We will have a reading my Prof. Monique Ferrell on Wednesday, November 28th. 

3. The details for the Poetry Anthology–DUE NOV. 28th–are posted under the “Assignments” menu tab.


Prof. Scanlan

ps. Here is your moment of Zen:

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†The Poet’s Pedagogical Pinnacle: A Limerick

There once was a teacher named Sean
Who vowed he’d never sing songs.
   But once this Scanlan
¬† ¬†Got hip hop poem handlin’-
His notes and voice never went wrong.


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Poets Visiting the Class

Hi Class,


Remember: Journal 5 consists of defining “comedy” and then finding an example of comedy in Poems of New York (1 page, typed).


I have three poets lined up for the end of the semester:

1. George Guida will visit us next week: November 14. Here is one of his well-known poems:

George Guida-life-in-the-new-world

2. Monique Ferrell will visit us on November 28th.

3. Nina Bannett will visit us on December 5th.


Prof. Scanlan

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Hurricane News: Ways to Get Help and Ways to Help Others

Dear students,

Here is the CUNY support website page for various services if you were affected by Sandy and need help:

Here is a City Tech resource if you were financially affected by Sandy:

Hurrican Help For Students

Here is a City Tech counseling resource:

If you want to help others in need, here is a local website that lists several ways to do so:

If you have ideas, you may post them yourself, or you can send them to me.


Updated Weekly Schedule for the rest of the semester:

Week 10: (Oct 31) Journal #5 Due. Theme 7: Pattern and structure. Readings: Halloween Poems. Homework: write Journal #6 and make sure to bring Comic Poems to class.

Third Unit: Comic Poems

Week 11:  (Nov 7) Journal #6 Due. Actually Journal 5 due. What is a comic poem? Homework: readings tba, poetry concepts review and prepare for Quiz 2. Journal #6.

Week 12: (Nov 14)¬†QUIZ¬†2.¬†Journal #6 Due.¬†Discuss Poetry Anthology‚ÄĒwhat do you like when you say you like a poem? Homework: readings tba, write Journal #7. Prepare for Quiz 2.

Week 13: (Nov 21) Journal #7 Due. Quiz 2 Discuss Analysis Essay details. Homework: work on Poetry Anthology, readings tba.

Week: 14: (Nov 28)¬†Poetry Anthology Due.¬†Discuss Analysis Essay‚ÄĒwhat is good academic writing?¬†Homework: write Journal #7¬†and work on Analysis Essay, readings tba.

Week 15: (Dec 5) Journal #7 Due and Analysis Essay Draft Due/peer review. Homework: edit/revise Analysis Essay, readings, tba.

Week 16: (Dec 12) Analysis Essay Due, Final Exam Review, Class Discussion: the future of poetry in America.

Final Exam: Dec 19

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Class Cancelled Wednesday, October 31

Dear Class,

You probably know this by now, but in case you did not, classes are cancelled until Friday, November 2nd.

That means that I will see you all on November 7th. Be sure to bring in your Comic Poems books–along with Journal 5.

Be safe,

Prof. Scanlan

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Homework for October 31st

Hi Class,

First, I want to say thank you for sticking with me as we wrestled with poetic meter. You all did a great job on a difficult topic, and I hope that you gained some knowledge about the intricacies of poetry.

For next Wednesday:

1. Look up these terms: pun, hyperbole, irony, litotes, paradox, synechdoche, metonymy

2. Bring in your copy of the Comic Poems book.

3. Journal 5: after reading the rest of Poems of New York, find an example of comedy/humor and  write a page reflecting why is funny or humorous. It may help to define comedy/humor.

ALSO: Here is a PDF version of the Meter/Scansion handout that we went over in class on October 24th:




Prof. Scanlan

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Poetry Explication

Hi Class,

I thought that last Wednesday’s in-class discussion was very productive, and that it was a good introduction to explication. Please look over this example of explication as it does a fine job of getting at the heart of the project: slowly unfolding meaning, paying attention to connotations, metaphors, and rhymes. I hope that it helps you to craft your explications.


Remember that we do not have class on October 10th, which means that this essay is due on October 17th.


Prof.  Scanlan

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Homework for Wednesday, Oct. 3

Hi Class,

Remember that we do not have class on Wednesday, September 26th.

For the following Wednesday (October 3rd), read up to page 51 in your Poetry of New York book (make sure to bring it to class as well). Then, after carefully and generously reading these pages, write Journal #3: Write a one page minimum (typed, double-spaced) response to a piece of public poetry. Or, alternatively, you can simply respond to a poem in PNY that uses concrete, evocative images. What makes the image work?


Prof. Scanlan

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