Structuring Poetry with Jane Yeh

For poet Jane Yeh’s Advanced Critical Reading class in week 7, please read the poems listed below and consider the following question:

How do poets use elements like sentences, line breaks (enjambment), and stanzas to structure their poems? What kinds of structures (arc/movement/progression) are at play in these poems?


Finding My Bearings – Martha Kapos, My Nights in Cupid’s Palace (2003)

Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota – James Wright (1927-1980), Above the River: The Complete Poems (1990)

Housekeeping – Lucie Brock-Broido, The Master Letters (1995)

[listen mother, he punched the air; I am not your son dying] – D.A. Powell, Cocktails (2004)

Freddie – Patrick Rosal, Uprock Headspin… (Persea Books, 2004)

The Captain of the 1964 Top of the Form Team – Carol Ann Duffy, Mean Time (1993)

Happy as the Day Is Long – James Tate, Worshipful Company of Fletchers (1994)

The Hummingbirds – Adam Thorpe, Nine Lessons From the Dark (2003)

The Colonel – Caroline Forche, The Country Between Us (1981)

Taking in Wash – Rita Dove, Thomas and Beulah (1986)

(Stills) – 2 poems from a sequence by Kevin Young, Black Maria (2004)


Hope you’re all enjoying a very enriching reading week.


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