This discussion assignment builds upon the ideas discussed on the lecture titled “The Poetry of Nature.” Consider the idea, as explained in the lecture, of poems that are centered on one object/artif

This discussion assignment builds upon the ideas discussed on the lecture titled “The Poetry of Nature.”  Consider the idea, as explained in the lecture, of poems that are centered on one object/artifact of nature vs. poems illuminating nature itself (or a broad element of nature). Identify one poem that exemplifies the former and one that exemplifies the latter.

Then, compose a two-paragraph discussion post (about 250-300 words). Focus one paragraph on each poem. The first will discuss how the first selected poem focuses on an object of nature as metaphor; the second will discuss how the second selected poem illuminates the grandness (for better or worse) of nature or an element of nature and its importance. Identify and discuss how you see the relationship of the poet to nature or the object or element of nature portrayed in the poem.

 Lecture: Poems of Nature

As long as poets have been composing verse either in the oral or written tradition, they have been writing about the natural world. During this segment of the poetry unit, we read many poems that explore, ponder and sometimes celebrate the relationship between human beings and nature. These poems explore the wonder of life and landscape; flora and fauna, wilderness and proximity to human society, viewing nature from afar, with awe and aloofness or right beside us, perhaps, with intimacy. Some explore the violence and terror of the natural world, conveying its extraordinary power over humankind. 

You will notice two important trends in the poems here. The first category of poems is centered on one single object or artifact of nature. In these, the poet, who is typically the subject, explores his/her/their life and emotions by illuminating the object – a bird, mountain, ray of light, lily, pumpkin, creek, for example] usually written as a way to express the feelings of the author. A specific flower’s life cycle may be a metaphor for the poet’s dying love, or a mountain range may represent seemingly insurmountable obstacles to gaining what the poet needs or wants. The second category of poems, on the contrary, observes the grandness of all of nature. Rather than centering on individual plants, animals or even landforms, these poems take a broader view of the wonder or terror of the natural world itself.For these poems, you will complete two assignments. The first is a discussion post and the second is a formal poetry explication. You will use the poetry lectures provided in this unit as a guide and reference for the explication. The section on writing about poetry is “How to Write Essays about Literature” is also a good reference.

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