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President and Fellows of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA 02138-3800)
Helen H. Vendler (Project Director: March 2006 to April 2008)

Seminars for K-12 Educators
Education Programs

[Grant products]

$123,021 (approved)
$123,021 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2006 – 9/30/2007

Poetry as a Form of Life, Life as a Form of Poetry

A three-week seminar for fifteen school teachers on the patterns of poetry and how they mirror the patterns of life.

Teachers of English Language Arts are invited to Harvard University for a complete literary experience. The centerpiece will be the poetry seminar with Helen Vendler. Our aim in the seminar is to deepen and enlarge high-school teachers’ sense of how poetry might be discussed. One of our objectives will be to see how poetry meditates on life, and why it has to have pattern in order to accomplish its task of reflecting life. Readings will range from the Shakespearean sonnet to contemporary American poetry; specific readings will be drawn from Vendler’s Poems, Poets, Poetry and the Norton Critical Edition of Whitman’s poetry, Leaves of Grass. Weekday excursions to Harvard’s libraries and museums, Longfellow House, and Boston’s Freedom Trail, and weekend trips to Concord (Thoreau’s Walden Pond) and Amherst (The Dickinson Homestead) will augment classroom study.