Frederic-Auguste Bertholdi, Statue of Liberty sculptor, is born

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April 2, 1834
Whitman

American Experience: Walt Whitman

This program, about the life and work of the poet Walt Whitman, partially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, is available to watch online. EDSITEment lesson plans "Walt Whitman's Poetry and Notebooks: The Sweep of the Universe" and "Walt Whitman to Langston Hughes: Poems for a Democracy" will introduce students to one of the most compelling voices of the 19th century.

Poet Gwendolyn Brooks is born

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Repeats every year until Thu Jun 07 2035 .
June 7, 2010
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June 7, 1917
Logo of Poetry Foundation: silhouette of winged Pegasus

Poetry Foundation

Children’s section offers imaginative ways to incorporate poetry in children’s lives, interviews with poets, and more. Includes an interactive poetry tool for searching through poems.

American Verse Project

Electronic archive of American poetry prior to 1920.

Academy of American Poets

Produced by the Academy of American Poets, this site contains biographies of poets and the texts of hundreds of poems, many with images and sound files.

  • Lessons of the Indian Epics: Following the Dharma

    Bathing in the Ganges, India. A 19th-century photograph.

    The epic poem the Ramayana is thought to have been composed more than 2500 years ago, and like the Iliad and the Odyssey, was originally transmitted orally by bards. This lesson plan is designed to allow instructors to explore Hindu culture by examining the characters of the Ramayana, and the choices they make. Students will be able to explore the Hindu concept of right behavior (dharma) through an investigation of the epic poem, the Ramayana.The epic poem the Ramayana is thought to have been composed more than 2500 years ago, and like the Iliad and the Odyssey, was originally transmitted orally by bards. This lesson plan is designed to allow instructors to explore Hindu culture by examining the characters of the Ramayana, and the choices they make. Students will be able to explore the Hindu concept of right behavior (dharma) through an investigation of the epic poem, the Ramayana.

  • Emily Dickinson & Poetic Imagination: "Leap, plashless"

    Emily Dickinson

    Emily Dickinson's poetry often reveals a child-like fascination with the natural world.  She writes perceptively of butterflies, birds, and bats and uses lucid metaphors to describe the sky and the sea.

  • Say Hi to Haibun Fun

    Japanese musician, seated, playing shakuhachi flute

    In a typical high school language arts or social studies curriculum, students are asked to record events of their lives along with emotional responses and reflections. In contrast, the Japanese art of haibun, developed in Japan in the late 17th century by Matsuo Munefusa (Basho), focuses on objective reporting of the everyday moment and focusing the insights of that moment into a theme developed in a concluding poem. In this lesson students will be introduced to the Japanese writing form, the haibun.

  • Walt Whitman to Langston Hughes: Poems for a Democracy

    Walt Whitman.

    Walt Whitman sought to create a new and distinctly American form of poetry. His efforts had a profound influence on subsequent generations of American poets. In this lesson, students will explore the historical context of Whitman's concept of "democratic poetry" by reading his poetry and prose and by examining daguerreotypes taken circa 1850. Next, students will compare the poetic concepts and techniques behind Whitman's "I Hear America Singing" and Langston Hughes' "Let America Be America Again," and will have an opportunity to apply similar concepts and techniques in creating a poem from their own experience.