This assignment asks you to immerse yourself in one Yeats focus poem (at least twelves lines in length), learning it by heart and becoming familiar with the way(s) it "works." You will need to to pick a poem from the reading assignments for the rest of the semester and choose it as a special "focus poem" to use for your memorization project. You need to memorize the poem, but also type it out--leaving plenty of space on the page--and annotate it, marking significant repetitions, syntactical oddities, rhyme scheme, and stressed and unstressed syllables, identifying the predominant metric pattern of the poem, identifying the type of poem it is (if it falls into a category such as sonnet, ottava rima, etc.) and identifying any significant allusions to other literature, myths, political figures, people in Yeats's life, etc. You should also look to find out whether your poem appeared earlier in any different form(s) and how it was revised. You must recite and present the poem the week that it is scheduled on the syllabus. You will not be expected to work on any other focus poems for the week in which you choose to do your memorization presentation, though you still need to turn in a weekly writing that gives your response to the week's readings.

The paper you turn in after reciting and leading discussion on your focus poem should include a substantial discussion of the poem's structure and meaning, as well as an annotated and scanned copy of the poem.

I am happy to confer with you and to assist in the preparation of your focus poem.


Resources that may be helpful for this assignment --

Bradford, Curtis B.  Yeats at Work (PR5907 .B79) [On Reserve]

Jeffares, A. Norman, ed. A New Commentary on the Poems of W.B. Yeats  (PR5907 .J39 1984) [On Reserve]

Stallworthy, Jon.  Between the Lines: Yeats's Poetry in the Making (PR5907 .S75) [On Reserve]

Allt, Peter.  The Variorum Edition of the Poems of W. B. Yeats (PR5900 .A3 1957)


The Cornell Yeats Series [On Reserve]:

The Wind Among the Reeds: Manuscript Materials (PR5904 .W6 1993)

The Wild Swans at Coole: Manuscript Materials (PR5904 .W5 1994)

Michael Robartes and the Dancer: Manuscript Materials (PR5904 .M5 1994)

The Winding Stair (1929): Manuscript Materials (PR5904 .W65 1995)

Words for Music Perhaps and Other Poems: Manuscript Materials (PR5904 .W68 1999)

Purgatory: Manuscript Materials Including the Author's Final Text (PR5904 .P8 1986)