I’ve put all the suitable poems I’ve found so far into one big document, which you can view or download through this link.
I’m still looking for more, and would welcome your help.
In general, the poems should be:
- short – so they can be read and imitated within the 10-20 minute time span of a single Poetry Pro-Am round
- easy – so even the weaker reading students can feel comfortable with them
- rhetorically interesting – because one of the biggest benefits of this exercise can be to expand the students’ stylistic repertoires
- easy to imitate in one or more ways (see the existing poems to get a feel for this)
- by well-known poets – because part of the cachet of this exercise for both the students and the administrators will be that “real” poets are being “studied”
- NOT in rhyme or meter – because otherwise, students might get fixated on imitating just the rhyme or the meter and not get as much from the exercise as they could have
If you know any poems you think would be good for this exercise, do let me know!
Note: I believe it should be okay to use these poems without permissions for a few trial runs of the exercise. If this idea catches on and the exercise starts being used on a larger scale, I’ll do the legwork (and personally pay the necessary licensing fees) to secure the reprint rights. As that occurs, poems currently in the list may disappear if their rightsholders refuse to grant permission or demand unreasonable fees for their non-profit use.