There is more material on pages 872-85 than we can possibly
cover in a single day, though you should read it all. In class, we will focus
on the four most important religious poems among the excerpts presented here:
- “The Morning-Watch”
- “‘They are all gone into the world of light!’”
- “The Night”
I will assign poems on e-mail. Here is what you should do with your poem:
- Begin with a paraphrase of each stanza. (You may want
to do this in pencil in the margins of your book.)
- Then prepare to present your poem to the class by
considering the following questions:
- What is the main theme of your poem?
- What images does your poem use?
- What ideas do those images suggest?
- What concepts (especially religious concepts)
do you find?
- What biblical allusions appear in your poem?
- How does the argument develop in the poem?
- Can you make any connections between stanzas?
- What seems to be the speaker’s spiritual condition?
- You may find that applying the elements of critical
thinking helps you unpack your poem. They are as follows:
- Point of view
- Question at issue
- Implications and consequences
- Conclusions, interpretations
- In any case, the above should help you get started on
our poem. Response papers are very welcome. As for your presentations, a
handout would be highly desirable. These are difficult poems, and a visual
aid would help your classmates follow along. If we run out of time, you can
still exchange handouts.