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Favorite Poem Project: Americans Saying Poems They Love

September 22, 2015 0 Comment

Favorite Poem Project: Americans Saying Poems They Love. (1997). [Collection of 50 short video documentaries collected in partnership between Boston U., the Library of Congress and other organizations, funded by the National Endowment of the Arts and the Carnegie Corporation of New York]. Retrieved from http://www.favoritepoem.org/videos.html This discussion builds through two distinct parts. Part 1 First, visit the Favorite Poem Project Videos website and choose a minimum of 3 videos to view out of the 50 videos provided. In the first part of your post, identify the three videos you watched, e.g. We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks read by John Ulrich (plus you’ll list two more videos). For each of the three videos you choose, make sure to clearly identify in your post: 1.the title of the poem 2.the poet’s name 3.the name of the reader of the poem Part 2 Next, visit the Academy of American Poets at http://www.poets.org OR the Poetry Foundation at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/. At one of these sites, you will find the actual text of ONE (1) of the three (3) poems in the videos you chose. Read your ONE (1) selected poem aloud. Describe briefly in your post, in no fewer than 150 words, a reaction you experienced to the video that impacted you the most. Perhaps you might discuss why or how that particular video appealed or related to you or how your reading of the poem differed from the narrator in the video. Be as specific as you can. Part 2 EXAMPLE: In Brooks’ “We Real Cool,” the poem’s depiction of inner city youth presents with irony kids trying to be cool even while predicting they will die a premature death. In Natatcha Estebanez’ video of 20 year old John Ulrich reacting to Brooks’ “We Real Cool,” Ulrich discusses this poem and his life in South Boston where he lost several of his neighbors and peers under the age of 25 to drug overdoses and suicide. Ulrich mentions how he formed “South Boston Survivors” to help fellow young people find art and redirect the despair he felt was “flooding the streets of South Boston.” He mentions how he was introduced to Brooks’ “We Real Cool” in high school when kids he knew were dying. Ulrich describes how the poem reflected on his own skipping school. Ulrich discusses how what seemed innocent at first, like skipping school and playing pool, ended in tragedy in real life, not just in the poem, with young people getting lost and some losing their lives. Now Brooks’ poem helps Ulrich help others. This particular poem and video moved one Excelsior professor in particular [who came from an impoverished inner city youth,] and who to this day facilitates community poetry workshops for inner city youth and/or summer intervention camps for young people in the same spirit as Ulrich’s “South Boston Survivors.” Brooks, Gwendolyn “We Real Cool.” Retrieved from the Poetry Foundation at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/17315 Brooks, Gwendolyn “We Real Cool.” [narrated by John Ulrich in video produced by Natatcha Estebanez]. Retrieved from the Favorite Poem Project at http://www.favoritepoem.org/index.html

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