Original Poem#1—further explanation of assignment (due Wed Sep 6; at least 16 lines)

The general subject of this poem is human connection to, or distance from, each other.

In his poem “Ars Poetica?” Czeslaw Milosz says poetry reminds us how hard it is not to be connected to other human beings. It’s not natural for us to remain separate from each other.

Robert Frost, in his poem “Mending Wall,” claims that to detach ourselves from one another is unnatural. His poem begins with this statement: “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.

John Keats wrote an Italian sonnet called “To My Brothers.”  In his poem, Keats wishes that he and his brothers can have more evenings like this one—peacefully spent together by the quiet fireside.

Newspapers as recent as today’s  make mention of the border wall between the US and Mexico.

In the student writings called “I used to think but now I think,” many people said they used to think of Jekyll and Hyde as two separate people but now they think of these two beings as part of the same, single person.

Lastly, I wonder about the core reason Jekyll wants to separate himself from morality. Why does he try to do this? What basic impulse drives this attempt? In other words, what detaches him from morality? In this question, I hear an echo of Milosz’s observation that poetry reminds us how hard it is to remain just one person—i.e., to live as just one person not connected to any other persons.

SO, in this original poem of yours, somehow use the idea of connection as your subject, or as your starting point. Since separation is the opposite of connection, you might start with, or focus on, that idea. Though I am not sure either of the Rilke poems (“The Panther” or “The Gazelle”) fit this assignment, they do show you some poetic tools to try—for example, the ones named in our table of contents, as well as others like concrete imagery.

OK, enough. You have a conceptual focus, several published poems for reference, and a handful of tools to try out. Good luck. Have fun. Take advantage of the time given to compose the original poem. Feel free to come by my office for help, advice, or feedback. Your poem is due to TURNITIN (human connection poem) before class on Wed Sep 6 (next Day 8).

Advertisements