Journal writing

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Journal Instructions

Choose ONE poem to write about this week and submit a 250 word (minimum) response to that poem’s prompt (below) before class on the day the poem is scheduled to be discusses.

Gwendolyn Brooks, “We Real Cool”

Describe the speaker in this poem (whose voice speaks these words?). Who is the speaker speaking to? Explain which social rules are being rebelled against, referring to specific moments in the poem. How does the poem invite readers to feel about this type of rebellion?


Carl Sandburg, “I am the People, the Mob”

Describe this poem’s speaker? What is the effect of having this kind of speaker? Who do you think Sandburg was addressing in this poem? Is his speaker talking to itself—to “the mob”—or to people of a different social class? Make an argument for one or the other (or both) with reference to specific moments in the poem.


Walt Whitman, “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”

What type of conformity does this poem’s speaker rebel against? What does he do instead? Does this poem criticize education in general or does it promote one way of learning over another? Explain your answers, referring to specific moments in the poem.

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