2. What does Marianne Moore say in her poem?
3. What do you think Marianne Moore meant by these lines in her poem? (slashes to show line breaks are intentionally omitted): “Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in it after all, a place for the genuine.”
4. Why do you think Marianne Moore wants poets to present “imaginary gardens with real toads in them”?
5. How did Margaret Atwood become a poet?
6. Was Margaret Atwood’s first poem a good one? How does she describe it?
7. What does Margaret Atwood’s speech tell you about the stereotype of poets?
8. Name three specific “poet stereotypes” that Margaret Atwood discusses or hints at in her speech.
9. What were Margaret Atwood’s very first poetry experiences?
10. What are your earliest memories of poetry? Were they similar to Margaret Atwood’s first poetry experiences?
11. Do you think of the songs you listen to on the radio (or on cd, or online) as poetry? Why or why not?
12. Did you enjoy Maya Angelou’s poem? Why or why not?
13. What was Maya Angelou’s poem about?
14. What did she mean by the “dried tokens” left by the mastodon and the dinosaur? What dried tokens do we have today which let us know these animals once existed?
15. What does the river in Maya Angelou’s poem want from mankind before coming to the riverside? “Yet today, I call you to my riverside, if…”
16. About 3 minutes into the video (3:20 left) there is a section of the poem which strongly rhymes. What does the rhyme and rhythm do for the poem at this point?
17. When Maya Angelou mentions people “arriving on a nightmare, praying for a dream,” what do you think she is talking about? What images from history come to mind?
18. “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived. But if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” What do you think Maya Angelou meant by these lines in her poem?
19. “The rock, the river, the tree” are a framing image throughout the entire poem. Did you find them effective? Why or why not?
20. Many poets intend that poems should not be read with pauses at the ends of lines, but with pauses only when punctuation in the poem calls for pauses — even if the poem rhymes. Do you find this effective in Maya Angelou’s reading of her poem?