Literature is a conversation — between writers and other writers, and between writers and readers. In Literature and Its Writers, Ann and Samuel Charters complement a rich and varied selection of stories, poems, and plays with an unparalleled array of commentaries about that literature by the writers themselves. Such "writer talk" inspires students to respond as it models ways for them to respond. In the fifth edition, the Charters continue to entice students to join the conversation, with adventurous and intriguing new literary works, new literary traditions to discuss, and new features that help them participate as readers and writers.
Ann Charters (Ph.D., Columbia University) is a professor of English at the University of Connecticut and has taught courses in the short story for over thirty years. A preeminent authority on the Beat writers, Charters has written a critically acclaimed biography of Jack Kerouac; compiled Beats & Company, a collection of her own photographs of Beat writers; and edited the best-selling Portable Beat Reader. Her most recent books are The Kerouac Reader, Selected Letters of Jack Kerouac, 1957-1969, Beat Down to Your Soul, and The Story and Its Writer, Seventh Edition, available in full and compact versions.
Samuel Charters has taught creative writing and published widely in a variety of genres, including 11 books of poetry, 4 novels, a book of criticism on contemporary American poetry, a biography (co-authored with Ann Charters) of the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, and translations of the poetry of Tomas Transtromer and Edith Sodergran. An ethnomusicologist, he produces blues and jazz recordings and has published many books about music, among them a history of New Orleans jazz and a study of bluesman Robert Johnson.
It's nearly impossible to come across a significant study of Jack Kerouac without encountering the name Ann Charters. A foremost Beat scholar, she wrote the first biography of the On the Road author and has studied his milieu for over 20 years. Charters also has a personal connection to back up her scholarly interest in the Beats: When she was a junior at University of California, Berkeley, her roommate set her up on a date with Peter Orlovsky. Charters was actually in love with her professor, Sam Charters, whom she later married; as for Orlovsky, he was Allen Ginsberg's boyfriend. Charters said in a magazine interview, "My roommate...said to me, 'I'll fix you up with a wonderful boy who's your own age.' This was Peter Orlovsky, before he was living with Allen, and who considered 'Howl' to be the greatest poem since Whitman's Leaves of Grass."
Though the romance didn't pan out, Charters' love of the Beats endured, and she became the genre's anthologist of note. After completing biographies of Kerouac and the futurist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, Charters assembled the now-classic The Story and Its Writer, a collection of exemplary short stories and commentary by and about authors such as Raymond Carver and Anton Chekhov. In addition to her taste and eye for good literature, one of Charters' strengths is her ability to incorporate the author's voice. She got Kerouac's cooperation on her biography of him and included the authors' own analyses of their work in The Story and Its Writer.
This acumen probably reached its apotheosis when Charters edited a collection of Kerouac's letters. By that time, a second Kerouac biography, Memory Babe by Gerald Nicosia, had been released, and as Charters told the Alsop Review, "my book was, I thought, in comparison, woefully inadequate." She continued, "That's why I took on the editing, because I saw with the letters that it could be a way of giving a biography through my selection, which emphasizes Jack's life as a writer.... If I were to write a biography -- and I will not rewrite my first biography -- well, I've done that with this two-volume set."
Though she has focused on Kerouac in her work, Charters has also done a lot to improve the understanding of Beat literature in general, not only by editing well-known anthologies such as The Portable Beat Reader but also by writing introductions and essays in editions of major works. For a British anthology called The Penguin Book of the Beats (which follows the structure of The Portable Beat Reader), she explained her approach in a publisher's interview: "I decided I wouldn't just alphabetically arrange my favorite Beat writers or put them in big sections, like Poetry, Fiction, Essays. I would organize it historically, so that someone who didn't know much about Beat writing could come in and use the book as an introduction to the whole field and have some guidelines."
Charters is appealing as an editor and anthologist because she embraces, rather than trying to distance herself from, her personal connection to the era she covers. With The Portable Sixties Reader, her most expansive collection yet, she continues to illuminate a crucial literary era.
Good To Know
Charters has taught at Brown University, Columbia University, and the University of Connecticut, where she has been a professor of English since 1974.
Charters on Kerouac's detractors: "Most people are, at heart, good people, but fairly conservative. They really like to think that there's a tried-and-true way of writing, and you sit and write 13 revisions. And when they hear that he's bragging that he's written it in one draft they kind of get their hackles up." (online zine interview)
B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1957; M.A., Columbia University, 1959; Ph.D., 1965
Table of Contents
Table of Contents Preface for Instructors
Introduction: Connecting with Literature Student Essay:Raymond Carver’s “Creative Writing
Part One: Fiction
1. What Is a Short Story? Grace Paley,Samuel Commentary: Edgar Allan Poe
2. The Elements of Fiction: A Storyteller’s Means Plot • Character • Setting • Point of View • Voice and Style • Theme Commentaries: Anton Chekhov, Flannery O’Connor, Frank O’Connor, David S. Reynolds
3. The Art of the Story: Reading, Thinking,
and Writing about Short Fiction Reading Short Fiction Guidelines for Reading Short Fiction
Sample Close Reading Critical Thinking about Short Fiction Writing about Short Fiction Sample Essay: Paley’s Point of View in Samuel Commentaries: Ralph Ellison, Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, J. Hillis Miller, Grace Paley Related Section: Part Four: Writing about Literature
4. Stories and Storytellers Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Commentary: Sherman Alexie Isabelle Allende, An Act of Vengeance Commentary: Isabelle Allende Margaret Atwood, Happy Endings
James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues Commentary: James Baldwin Toni Cade Bambara, The Lesson
Russell Banks, Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat Connections: Ernest Hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants; David Foster Wallace, Good People Aimee Bender, The Rememberer Connection: Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis
Raymond Carver,Cathedral Commentary: Raymond Carver Lan Samantha Chang, Water Names
Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Pet Dog Connection: Joyce Carol Oates, The Lady With the Pet Dog Commentaries: Anton Chekhov; Richard Ford Kate Chopin, Desiree’s Baby; The Story of an Hour Commentary: Kate Chopin Junot Diaz, How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl,
Whitegirl, or Halfie Ralph Ellison, Battle Royal Commentary: Ralph Ellison Louise Erdrich, The Red Convertible William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily Commentary: William Faulkner Richard Ford, Leaving for Kenosha Commentary: Richard Ford Gabriel García Márquez, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper Commentaries: Charlotte Perkins Gilman,
Sandra M. Gilbert, and Susan Gubar Susan Glaspell, A Jury of Her Peers Connections: Susan Glaspell, Trifles; Lynn Nottage, POOF! Commentary: Leonard Mustazza Nadine Gordimer, Some Are Born to Sweet Delight Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown Commentarie: Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe Ernest Hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants Connections: Russell Banks, Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat;
David Foster Wallace, Good People
Amy Hempel, Church Cancels Cow
Zora Neale Hurston, Spunk Commentaries: Zora Neale Hurston; Alice Walker Shirley Jackson, The Lottery Commentary: Shirley Jackson Ha Jin, A Bad Joke Edward P. Jones, Bad Neighbors Commentary: Wyatt Mason James Joyce. Araby
Franz Kafka, A Hunger Artist; Jackals and Arabs; The Metamorphosis Conversations: Gustav Janouch; John Updike;
R. Crumb and David Zane Mairowitz; John Gardner Jamaica Kincaid, Girl Commentary: Jamaica Kincaid Jumpha Lahiri, A Real Durwan Commentary: Jhumpa Lahiri D.H. Lawrence, The Rocking-Horse Winner Related Commentary: D. H. Lawrence Jack London, To Build a Fire
Guy de Maupassant, The Necklace Commentary: Kate Chopin Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener Commentaries: Herman Melville, J. Hillis Miller Lorrie Moore, How to Become a Writer
Alice Munro, Dance of the Happy Shades
Joyce Carol Oates, The Lady with the Pet Dog; Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Connection: Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Pet Dog Conversations: Joyce Carol Oates, Don Moser; Matthew C. Brennan Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried Commentary: Bobbie Ann Mason Flannery O’Connor, Good Country People;A Good Man is Hard to Find Conversations: Flannery O’Connor; Sally Fitzgerald Tillie Olsen, I Stand Here Ironing
Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado;The Fall of the House of Usher Conversations: Edgar Allan Poe; D.H.
Lawrence; Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren; J. Gerald Kennedy; David S.
Reynolds Annie Proulx, Job History
Leslie Marmon Silko, Yellow Woman Commentary: Paula Gunn Allen Helen Simpson, Homework John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums
Amy Tan, Two Kinds Commentary: Amy Tan John Updike, A&P Commentary: John Updike Helena Maria Viramontes, The Moths Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Harrison Bergeron
Alice Walker, Everyday Use Commentary: Alice Walker David Foster Wallace, Good People Connections: Russell Banks, Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat;
Ernest Hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants
Brad Watson, Seeing Eye Commentary: Brad Watson Eudora Welty, A Worn Path Commentary: Eudora Welty William Carlos Williams, The Use of Force
Tobias Wolff, Say Yes
Hisaye Yamamoto, The Brown House
5. Commentaries on Stories and Storytellers Sherman Alexie, Superman and Me Paula Gunn Allen, Whirlwind Man Steals Yellow Woman Isabelle Allende. Short Stories by Latin American Women James Baldwin, Autobiographical Notes Raymond Carver, On Writing;Creative Writing 101
Anton Chekhov,Technique in Writing the Short Story Kate Chopin, How I Stumbled upon Maupassant Ralph Ellison, The Influence of Folklore on Battle Royal William Faulkner,The Meaning of A Rose for Emily Richard Ford, On Chekhov’s The Lady with the Dog Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, A Feminist Reading of Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Undergoing the Cure for Nervous Prostration Zora Neale Hurston, How It Feels to Be Colored Me Shirley Jackson, The Morning of June 28, 1948 and The Lottery Jhumpa Lahiri, On Writing Fiction
Bobbie Ann Mason, On Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried Wyatt Mason On Edward P. Jones’s Fiction Herman Melville, Blackness in Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown J. Hillis Miller, Who Is He? Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener Grace Paley, A Conversation with Ann Charters Elaine Showalter, On Glaspell's A Jury of Her Peers
Amy Tan, In the Canon, for All the Wrong Reasons Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston: A Cautionary Tale and a Partisan View Brad Watson, On Southern Fiction
Eudora Welty, Is Phoenix Jackson’s Grandson Really Dead?
6. Conversations on Stories and Storytellers On Meaning and Intention in Franz Kafka’s Stories Gustav Janouch, Kafka’s View of The Metamorphosis John Updike, Kafka and The Metamorphosis R. Crumb and David Zane Mairowitz, A Hunger Artist
John Gardner, On Myths and Literary Fairy Tales On Revisions of Joyce Carol Oates Joyce Carol Oates, Smooth Talk:Short Story Into Film Don Moser,The Pied Piper of Tuscon Matthew C. Brennan, Plotting Against Chekhov:
Joyce Carol Oates and The Lady with the Dog On Flannery O’Connor’s Fiction Flannery O’Connor, From Letters, 1954-55; Writing Short Stories;
The Element of Suspense in A Good Man Is Hard to Find Sally Fitzgerald, Southern Sources of A Good Man Is Hard to Find On Critical Views of Edgar Allan Poe’s Short Stories Edgar Allan Poe; The Importance of the Single Effect in a Prose Tale D.H. Lawrence, On The Fall of the House of Usher and The Cask of Amontillado Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, ANew Critical Reading
of The Fall of the House of Usher J. Gerald Kennedy, On The Fall of the House of Usher David S. Reynolds, Poe’s Art of Transformation in The Cask of Amontillado
Part Two: Poetry
7. What Is a Poem? Muriel Rukeyser,The Sixth Night: Waking Archibald MacLeish,Ars Poetica Marianne Moore,Poetry Lawrence Ferlinghetti,Constantly Risking Absurdity Ann Merebroker,A Mere Glimpse Nina Penfold,My Poems Ted Kooser,Selecting a Reader Alice Walker,I Said to Poetry Commentary: Louise Glück
8. The Elements of Poetry: A Poet’s Means Emily Dickinson,A word is dead Words and Their Sound Alliteration and Assonance Walt Whitman,A Farm Picture Onomatopoeia Rhyme A.E. Housman,Loveliest of trees, the cherry now Gwendolyn Brooks,Notes from the Childhood and the Girlhood A Range of Rhyme Robert Frost,A Time to Talk Stevie Smith,Not Waving but Drowning Poems for Further Reading Sir Thomas Wyatt,They Flee from Me Ben Jonson,On My First Son
Robert Herrick,To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time Christina Rossetti,Song Dorothy Parker,Indian Summer
Theodore Roethke,My Papa’s Waltz
Elizabeth Jennings,One Flesh Song and Rhyme Lou Reed,Chelsea Girls Bruce Springsteen,The River Rhythm Accent and Meter Blank Verse The Pattern Poem George Herbert, Easter Wings Commentary: T.S. Eliot, Richard Howard
9. The Elements of Poetry: A Poet’s Meanings Tone Edwin Arlington Robinson, Miniver Cheevy
Edwin Arlington Robinson, Richard Cory Words and Their Meaning Lewis Carroll, Jabberwocky Denotative and Connotative Meaning Diction Syntax Imagery John Keats, To Autumn Elizabeth Bishop, The Bight Simile and Metaphor Galway Kinnell, The Road Between Here and There Figurative and Literal Language Symbol Figures of Speech Rolf Aggestam, Lightning Bolt Poems for Further Reading Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress William Wordsworth, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud George Gordon, Lord Byron, She Walks in Beauty Emily Bronte, If grief for grief Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ulysses Commentaries: Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Wordsworth, Mark Strand
10. The Types of Poetry: A Poet’s Forms Types of Verse Elinor Wylie, Village Mystery Narrative Poetry The Ballad Barbara Allan Ballads for Further Reading The Daemon Lover
Robert Duncan, The Ballad of Mrs. Noah Dudley Randall, The Ballad of Birmingham
Robert Creeley, Ballad of the Despairing Husband Lyric Poetry H.D., Mid-day e.e. cummings, (O sweet spontaneous) Carolyn Kizer, For Jan, in Bar Maria Li-Young Lee, Eating Alone Lorna Dee Cervantes, The Body as Braille
Hilda Morley, I Remember The Ode John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode to the West Wind The Elegy
Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Margaret Gibson, October Elegy The Sonnet
William Shakespeare, That time of year thou mayst in me behold Sonnets for Further Reading Francesco Petrarca, Love’s Inconsistency John Donne, Death, be not proud Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How Do I Love Thee? Countee Cullen, Yet Do I Marvel
Rita Dove, Sonnet in Primary Colors
Billy Collins, American Sonnet The Epigram and the Aphorism Dorothy Parker, News Item Dorothy Parker, From A Pig’s Eye View of Literature Wendy Cope, Two Cures for Love The Limerick
Dylan Thomas, The last time I slept with the Queen Wendy Cope, The fine English poet, John Donne J.S. Walker, On T.S. Eliot’s “Prufrock” Richard Leighton Green, Apropos Coleridge’s
“Kubla Khan” A. Cinna, On Hamlet Commentaries: Rita Dove, Erica Jong
11. The Types of Poetry: Other Poetic Forms Elizabeth Bishop, Sestina Judith Barrington, Villanelles for a Drowned Parent, VI Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night Open Form
Sharon Olds, The Summer-Camp Bus Pulls Away from the Curb The Prose Poem Robert Bly, Welcoming a Child in the Limantour Dunes Marcia Southwick, A Star Is Born in the Eagle Nebula Robert Hass, A Story about the Body Haiku Matsuo Basho, Ripening barley Matsuo Basho, Day by day Matsuo Basho, Having no talent Tanaguchi Buson, The sea in springtime Koboyashi Issa, Children imitating cormorants
Masaoka Shiki, The ocean freshly green Richard Wright, I would like a bell Richard Wright, A soft wind at dawn Ronald Baatz, as though the whole earth Ronald Baatz, our beautiful old love Imagism Ezra Pound, In a Station of the Metro T.E. Hulme, Images H.D., Oread William Carlos Williams, The Red Wheelbarrow Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird Dramatic Poetry The Dramatic Monologue Robert Browning, My Last Duchess Poems for Further Reading Nick Carbo, American Adobo
Marisa de los Santos, Because I Love You
Naomi Shihab Nye, Making a Fist
Margaret Atwood, Siren Song Wislawa Szymborska, True Love Commentaries: Ezra Pound, Mark Strand
12. Poet to Poet John Keats, On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer Quotation Paraphrase Allusion Samuel Charters, A Man Dancing Alone on an Island in Greece Imitation Parody Leigh Hunt, Jenny Kissed Me T.S. Kerrigan, Elvis Kissed Me Address and Tribute Ezra Pound, A Pact Allen Ginsberg, A Supermarket in California
Maxine Kumin, Mother of Everyone
Galway Kinnell, Oatmeal Commentaries: Marilyn Chin, T.S. Eliot,
13. The Art of the Poem: Reading, Thinking,
and Writing about Poetry Reading Poetry Anonymous, Western Wind e.e. cummings, since feeling is first Guidelines for Reading Poetry
Sample Close Reading
Linda Pastan, To a Daughter Leaving Home Critical Thinking about Poetry Writing about Poetry Sample Essay: A Moving Lyric: Pastan’s "To A Daughter Leaving Home" Related Sections: Part Four, Writing about Literature
14. Poets Speaking Out Poetry of Protest and Social Concern Nikki Giovanni, Adulthood Lawrence Ferlinghetti, The World Is a Beautiful Place Denise Levertov, Mid-American Tragedy
Carolyn Forché, The Colonel Joan Jobe Smith, Feminist Arm Candy for the Mafia and Sinatra Fred Voss, I Once Needed a Chance Too
Charles Bukowski, Beach Boys Faces of War Stephen Crane, War is Kind Thomas Hardy, The Man He Killed Wilfred Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est Stephen Vincent Benet, 1935 Randall Jarrell, The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner Ed Webster, From San Joaquin Valley Poems:
Yusef Komunyakaa, Facing It Black Consciousness, Black Voices Phillis Wheatley, On Being Brought from Africa to America Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sympathy James Weldon Johnson, Sunset in the Tropics
Etheridge Knight, The Idea of Ancestry Amiri Baraka, Legacy Audre Lorde, Hanging Fire Lucille Clifton, to ms. ann Women’s Consciousness, Women’s Voices Muriel Rukeyser, Myth Mina Loy, One O’Clock at Night
Louise Glück, First Memory Alicia Suskin Ostriker, The Change
Marilyn Chin, How I Got that Name The Living Earth From a Zuni Invocation
Primo Levi, Almanac Kenneth Rexroth, Heart of Herakles Gary Snyder, Straight-Creek—Great Burn Mary Oliver, Mussels Mark Strand, Shooting Whales John Clellon Holmes, Fayetteville Dawn (1)
15. Conversations on Modern Traditions in Poetry Poets of the Harlem Renaissance Alain Locke, From The New Negro Langston Hughes, From The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain James Weldon Johnson, The Creation Angelina Weld Grimke, The Black Finger Angelina Weld Grimke, Tenebris Claude McKay, If We Must Die Claude McKay, The Lynching
Langston Hughes, The Negro Speaks of Rivers
Countee Cullen, From Heritage Countee Cullen, Incident Arna Bontemps, A Black Man Talks of Reaping The Beat Poets John Clellon Holmes, From This Is the Beat Generation Allen Ginsberg, From Kaddish Gregory Corso, I am 25 Bob Kaufman, From Jail Poems d.a. levy, perhaps #5 Diane DiPrima, Revolutionary Letter #57 Frank O’Hara, The Day Lady Died Richard Brautigan, It’s Raining in Love Gary Snyder, What I Have Learned Joanne Kyger, October 29, 1963, Wednesday Philip Whalen, I Give Up Poetry of the Chaps and Zines Dennis Donoghue, The Issue Is Not the Dearth of Poets or Poems Gerald Locklin, The Small Presses and Little Magazines: A Few Reflections Ann Menebroker, Repossessed Ann Menebroker, The Second Flood and then the Fire Ann Menebroker, Love Tom Kryss, Of Dry Strings and River Beds Tom Kryss, What Harmonica? Tom Kryss, Night Storm Joan Jobe Smith, The Carol Burnett Show Joan Jobe Smith, Dancing in the Frying Pan Ronald Baatz, The Oldest Songs
Ronald Baatz, Only for the Old and Fragile Gerald Locklin, A Loser
Gerald Locklin, So It Goes
Gerald Locklin, Second Hand Television
Charles Bukowski, writer’s block Charles Bukowski, huge ear rings Difficult Poems Charles Bernstein, The Difficult Poem
Charles Olson, Projective Verse
Charles Olson, Le Bonheur Denise Levertov, From Matins Amy Clampitt, Beach Glass Les Murray, An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow Jorie Graham, I Watched a Snake Connection: Emily Dickinson, A narrow fellow in the grass.
16. Poems and Poets Matthew Arnold
Dover Beach Commentary: James Dickey.
Musée des Beaux Arts Stop All the Clocks Lay your sleeping head, my love Elizabeth Bishop
The Fish One Art Commentary: Brett C. Millier.
From Songs of Innocence: Introduction The Lamb Holy Thursday The Little Boy Lost The Little Boy Found From Songs of Experience: Introduction The Sick Rose The Tyger London A Poison Tree The Garden of Love Anne Bradstreet
To My Dear and Loving Husband Before the Birth of One of Her Children In Memory of my Dear Grandchild Elizabeth Bradstreet, who deceased August, 1665, being a Year and a Half Old Gwendolyn Brooks
We Real Cool The Mother The Bean Eaters Commentary: Robert Hayden.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Kubla Khan: or, a Vision in a Dream Frost at Midnight Connection: Richard Leighton Green, Apropos Coleridge's Kubla Khan.
Tuesday, June 4, 1991
Memento Mori By a Swimming Pool Outside Siracusa e.e. cummings
somewhere i have never travelled Buffalo Bill’s in Just- Emily Dickinson
You love me—you are sure—
I’m “wife”—I’ve finished that—
I taste a liquor never brewed—
Wild Nights—Wild Nights!
“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
There’s a certain Slant of light,
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
After great pain, a formal feeling comes—
Much Madness is divinest Sense—
I died for Beauty—but was scarce I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—
Because I could not stop for Death—
A narrow Fellow in the Grass I never saw a Moor— Connection: Jorie Graham, I Watched a Snake Conversations: Thomas Wentworth Higginson,
Thomas H. Johnson, Thomas Bailey Aldrich,
Richard Wilbur, Linda Gregg.
A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning The Sun Rising Batter my heart, three-personed God Connection: Wendy Cope.
Singsong Maple Valley Branch Library, 1967
The Porch, Pond View: Six P.M. Early Spring Commentary: Rita Dove.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Connection: J. Walker Commentaries: Cleanth Brooks Jr. and Robert Penn Warren, T.S. Eliot.
Soliloquy at Gunpoint Public School 190, Brooklyn, 1963
Sleeping on the Bus Robert Frost
The Pasture Mending Wall Home Burial Birches Fire and Ice To Earthward Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening The Road Not Taken After Apple-Picking Conversations: Rose C. Feld, Robert Frost,
Robert Lowell, Joseph Brodsky, Philip L. Gerber,
James Wright. Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays A Letter from Phillis Wheatley Night, Death, Mississippi Commentary: Robert Hayden/
Digging Mid Term Break Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Windhover Pied Beauty God’s Grandeur Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord Commentary: Bernard Bergonzi Langston Hughes
Mother to Son I, Too Bound No’th Blues Song for a Dark Girl House in the World Florida Road Workers Merry-Go-Round Down Where I Am Theme for English B Dream Deferred Conversations: Langston Hughes, Jessie Fauset,
Arnold Rampersad, Kevin Young, Carl Phillips John Keats
Ode to a Nightingale When I Have Fears Robert Lowell
Skunk Hour For the Union Dead Departure Commentary: Robert Lowell Marianne Moore
In the Public Garden Commentary: Marianne Moore Sharon Olds
Parents’ Day Summer Solstice, New York City Sex without Love Commentary: Sharon Olds.
Morning Song Daddy Elm Commentary: Robert Lowell Adrienne Rich
Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers Diving Into the Wreck Muriel Rukeyser
Madboy’s Song Salamander Waiting for Icarus Connection: W.H. Auden, Maxine Kumin Anne Sexton
The Starry Night
For My Lover, Returning to His Wife
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought Let me not to the marriage of true minds My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun Commentary: Erica Jong Gary Soto
Mexicans Begin Jogging Teaching English from an Old Composition Book Waiting at the Curb, Lynwood, California, 1967 Walt Whitman
From Song of Myself, 1,6, 50-52 A Noiseless Patient Spider Commentary: Ezra Pound.
William Carlos Williams
Spring and All This Is Just to Say The Problem William Wordsworth
Ode: Intimations of Immortality The world is too much with us Commentary: William Wordsworth James Wright
Evening A Blessing Milkweed Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota Commentary: James Wright William Butler Yeats
The Lake Isle of Innisfree Easter 1916
The Second Coming
17. Commentaries on Poetry and Poets Bernard Bergonzi, On Hopkins’ The Windhover Cleanth Brooks Jr. and Robert Penn Warren, On Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Samuel Charters, That First Look into Chapman’s Homer Marilyn Chin, On the Canon
Rita Dove, An Intact World
T.S. Eliot, From Tradition and the Individual Talent Louise Glück, Poems Are Autobiography
Robert Hayden, On NegroPoetry Edwin Honig, On Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess Erica Jong, Devouring Time: Shakespeare’s Sonnets
Robert Lowell, An Explication of Skunk Hour; Forward to Plath’s Ariel Brett C. Millier, On Elizabeth Bishop’s One Art Sharon Olds, From the Salon Interview Ezra Pound, On the Principles of Imagism; What I Feel About Walt Whitman
Percy Bysshe Shelley, From “A Defence of Poetry”
Mark Strand, The Rhetoric of Richard Cory David Wojahn, On Political Poetry William Wordsworth, From the Introduction to
18. Conversations on Three Poets On Interpreting Emily Dickinson Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Emily Dickinson’s Letters Thomas H. Johnson, The Text of Emily Dickinson’s Poetry Thomas Bailey Aldrich, In Re Emily Dickinson
Richard Wilbur, On Emily Dickinson Linda Gregg, Not Understanding Emily Dickinson On Robert Frost’s Poetics Rose C. Feld, An Interview with Robert Frost Robert Frost, The Figure a Poem Makes
Robert Lowell, On Robert Frost (poem)
Joseph Brodsky, On Grief and Reason Philip L. Gerber, On Frost’s After Apple-Picking James Wright, On the Music of Robert Frost’s Stopping
by Woods on a Snowy Evening Conversations on Langston Hughes’ Legacy Langston Hughes, A Toast to Harlem Jessie Fauset, Meeting Langston Hughes
Arnold Rampersad, Langston Hughes as Folk Poet Carl Phillips, Langston Hughes and Poetic Identity Kevin Young, Langston Hughes (poem)
Part Three: Drama
19. What Is a Play?
20. The Elements of Drama: A Playwright’s Means Anton Chekhov, A Monologue
August Strindberg, The Stronger Plot • Characterization • Dialogue • Staging •
Theme Willy Russell, From Educating Rita Commentary: Leonard Mustazza
21. The Art of the Play: Reading, Thinking, and Writing about Drama Reading Drama Guidelines for Reading Drama Sample Close Reading Critical Thinking about Drama Writing about Drama Sample Essay:A Reader’s Response to the Opening Lines of Strindberg’s The Stronger Commentaries: Geoffrey Bullough, Frances Fergusson, Leonard Mustazza, Helge Normann Nilsen, Joan Templeton
22. Plays and Playwrights Sophocles, Oedipus the King Commentaries: Aristotle, Francis Fergusson,
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Conversation: Geoffrey Bullough, H.D.F. Kitto,
John Keats, Virginia Woolf, Tom Stoppard,
Sir John Gielgud, (Performance Photos), John Lahr Henrik Ibsen, A Doll House Commentary: Henrik Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, Joan Templeton, Liv Ullmann Susan Glaspell, Trifles Connection: Susan Glaspell, A Jury of Her Peers; Lynn Nottaage, POOF! Commentary: Elaine Showalter, Leonard Mustazza Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie Commentaries: Benjamin Nelson, Tennessee Williams Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman Commentaries: Arthur Miller, Helge Normann Nilsen
Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun Commentaries: Lorraine Hansberry Lynn Nottage, POOF! Connections: Susan Glaspell, Trifles Commentary: Lynn Nottage
23. Commentaries on Plays and Playwrights Aristotle, On the Elements and General Principles of Tragedy Francis Fergusson, Oedipus, Myth and Play Sigmund Freud, The Oedipus Complex Lorraine Hansberry, An Author’s Reflections: Willie Loman, Walter Younger, and He Who Must Live Lorraine Hansberry, My Shakespearean Experience Henrik Ibsen, Notes for A Doll House Arthur Miller, On Death of a Salesman as an American Tragedy Arthur Miller, From the Paris Review Interview Leonard Mustazza, Generic Translation and Thematic Shift in Glaspell’s Trifles and A Jury of Her Peers Benjamin Nelson, Problems in The Glass Menagerie Helge Normann Nilsen, Marxism and the Early Plays of Arthur Miller Lynn Nottage, On Writing POOF!
George Bernard Shaw, On A Doll House Joan Templeton, Is A Doll House a Feminist Text? Liv Ullman, On Performing Nora in A Doll House Tennessee Williams, Production Notes to The Glass Menagerie 24. Conversations on Plays and Playwrights On Hamlet as Text andPerformance Geoffrey Bullough, Sources of Shakespeare’s Hamlet H.D.F. Kitto, Hamlet and the Oedipus John Keats, From a Letter to George and Thomas Keats, 21 December 1817 Virginia Woolf, What If Shakespeare Had Had a Sister?
Stephen Greenblatt, On the Ghost in Hamlet Tom Stoppard, Dogg’s Hamlet: The Encore
Photographs of Hamlet in Performance Sir John Gielgud, On Playing Hamlet John Lahr, Review of Hamlet
Part Four: Writing about Literature
25. Critical Perspectives and Literary Theory Formalist Criticism Biographical Criticism Psychological Criticism Mythological Criticism Historical Criticism Sociological Criticism Reader-Response Criticism Poststructuralist and Deconstructionist Criticism Gender Criticism Cultural Criticism Selected Bibliography
26. Developing Your Ideas in an Essay Keeping a Journal or Notebook to Record Your Initial Responses to the Text Using the Commentaries to Ask New Questions about What You Have Read Generating Ideas for Brainstorming, Freewriting,
and Listing Organizing Your Notes into a Preliminary Thesis Sentence and Outline Writing the Rough Draft Revising Your Essay Sample Revised Draft:The Voice of the Storyteller in Eudora Welty’s A Worn Path Making a Final Check of Your Finished Essay Peer Review Common Problems in Writing about Literature Guidelines for Writing an Essay about Literature
27. Basic Types of Literary Papers Explication Sample Essay:An Interpretation of Langston Hughes’s The Negro Speaks of Rivers Analysis Sample Essay:Nature and Neighbors in Robert Frost’s Mending Wall Comparison and Contrast Sample Essay:On the Differences between Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and A Jury of Her Peers Writing about the Context of Literature
28. Writing Research Papers Three Keys to Literary Research Finding and Focusing a Topic Assigned Topics Choosing Your Own Topic Finding and Using Sources Library Research Using the Web for Research Evaluating Print and Online Sources Your Working Bibliography
Working with Sources and Taking Notes Drafting Your Research Paper Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting Documenting Your Sources MLA Format In-Text or Parenthetical Citations List of Works Cited Footnotes and Endnotes Revising Your Research Paper Student Research Paper: Jennifer Silva, Emily Dickinson and Religion Glossary of Literary Terms Index of First Lines Index of Authors and Titles