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 .
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June 7, 1917
portrait of Blake by John Flaxman

William Blake Archive

An online library of the visionary British poet's illuminated publications and includes a biography, an online glossary of his terminology, and further resources.

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

American Verse Project

Electronic archive of American poetry prior to 1920 with find tools and Boolean search.

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.

  • Midnight Ride of Paul Revere: Fact, Fiction, and Artistic License

    The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, Grant Wood

    This lesson encourages close study of Wood's painting, American Revolution primary sources, and Longfellow's poem to understand the significance of this historical ride in America's struggle for freedom. By reading primary sources, students learn how Paul Revere and his Midnight Ride became an American story of patriotism.

  • Lessons of the Indian Epics: The Ramayana: Showing your Dharma

    The Citadel of Lanka, a detail from "Hanuman Visists Sita in Lanka,"

    The story of the Ramayana has been passed from generation to generation by numerous methods and media. Initially it was passed on orally as an epic poem that was sung to audiences by a bard, as it continues to be today.

  • 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.

  • Emily Dickinson and 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.