Celebrating Poetry: The Anthology

The object of this assignment is to involve you deeply with poetry, to get you into the pleasures of poetry in all its varieties. The final product will be your very own anthology of poems.

(1) Go to where some poems are, and stay long enough to find some that get you. Collect them. Aim for a minimum of 20 poems, aim for a variety -- humorous, serious, rhyming and not. You may photocopy poems or copy them by retyping them. Be sure to include the source of your poems (the book(s) they come from), and the authors' names. You might want to include a date for a particular poem, if it is readily available. Get your poems from a variety of books -- at least 3, and more is better. Include poems of your own, if you'd like.

(2) Sort your poems out and reflect on why you collected these particular poems. Think about ways you might want to organize them. The end result should be your very own poetry anthology, arranged attractively. Decorate it as lavishly as you'd like. Put it together in any way you please. You might want to include a table of contents, and a pretty cover. You might want to make the book flexible enough so that you can add to it at a later time. Give your anthology a name. As you look at the ways other anthologists have collected poems you will get many ideas.

(3) At the end of your anthology include a bibliography of favorite poetry books, including the ones your poems have come from. If you annotate this list, it can be counted as part of your book list.

(4) Write an introduction to your anthology, discussing what you looked for in assembling your poems. You may wish to discuss your categories, your organization, your methodology, or specific poems that attracted you. Consider how grouping the poems in various ways affects their meanings. If you'd prefer, write introductions to various groups of poems or "chapters" of your book.

(5) Include the checklist on the back of this sheet with your book.

On poetry project day, be prepared to display your anthology, and also be prepared to read aloud at least one favorite poem in a small group. (Make extra copies of this poem.)

Think about ways this poem could be performed by a group.

Class time will be given for small groups to select a poem or poems to practice and then perform for the class.

Bonus work: Reflect upon the history of your own relationship with poetry -- good experiences and bad.

Poetry Collection Assessment

Authorís Name: _______________________________ Date:_________________________

Title of Collection____________________________________________________________

Guidelines: 5 should mean truly outstanding in this area, 4 excellent, 3 good, 2 adequate, 12 could be better 0 not done


  1. Appearance of the book: neatness, attractiveness, binding, cover, design, title
  2. 5 4 3 2 1 0

  3. Introduction: Why I chose these poems and how I chose to organize them and why. What have I learned and what have I attempted to communicate? Clarity of expression, mechanics, logic, neatness:
  4. 5 4 3 2 1 0

  5. Organization: Neat, attractive, easy to follow, logical/imaginative. Poems correctly copied and attributed to author and source. Care and thought put into selection:
  6. 5 4 3 2 1 0



  7. Bibliography: At least 3 sources, conventionally listed:

5 4 3 2 1 0

Readerís comments: Responder: _________ Total points: _______