Wednesday, November 1st

Reminder! Please send me an email with you first three choices for the Lit Journal Exploration Project!

Wednesday, November 1st 

  • Detail Question: What’s the most memorable costume you’ve ever seen (or worn?)
  • We read the poem of the day, Dorethea Tanning’s “All Hallows Eve” and discussed how it fit into the basic consideration of a sonnet, which are, at its heart, how sonnets have fourteen lines and a turn, or volta.
  • We discussed how this structure allows sonnets to act as an argument, sometimes describing a situation or idea (as in “The Lull” or “Country Song”) and then turning back to consider it or look at it in a different light. The difference between a sonnet and a 14 line poem is that the sonnet will at some point reflect back on itself in some way
  • Other markers of sonnets that we discussed included: the presence of meter (traditionally iambic pentameter) and a rhyme scheme (usually abab cbcb efef gg for a Shakespearean sonnet). These techniques are not required for a modern sonnet, however.

Homework for Friday November 3

  • Choose: A literary journal to explore by going to the Poetry Resources pages on this blog, looking over the journals, and then Emailing Miss Cole ( with your top three choices. I’ll give the journals to the first person that emails me and do my best to accommodate everyone’s first choice.
  • Read: Some poems in syllabics: “Cash Register Sings the Blues” by Maria Nazos, “Corpse Bird” by Ron Rash, “The Air Smelled Dirty” by Marge Piercy
  • Write:  Keep working on your poem drafts! Here’s another prompt for you to try:


Based on what you learn today’s reading, write a sonnet. It doesn’t have to be a perfect sonnet, and it doesn’t necessarily have to employ meter, or even rhyme (although if you want to challenge yourself, I invite you to do both of these things). What it should have is 14 lines (sonnets are always 14 lines, after all) and also a volta, or turn, where the speaker comes to conclusion or begins to reexamine the issue discussed in the first part of the sonnet.


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