We’ve often heard in popular culture the binary that is “nature” and “city” or “

We’ve often heard in popular culture the binary that is “nature” and “city” or “country” and “city”–so I’ve gathered poems that represent these terms. You might discover as well that these terms can be applied as a lens not only to read “paysage” (landscape) by Baudelaire or but even “Poetry” by Moore.

Therefore… your entries should discuss narrowly-selected material from the named work(s) and should provide a close reading that demonstrates how two or three substantial passages from the work build a particular theme or motif or pattern. Each submission will be 300 words long (2 double-spaced pages using Times 12 font with 1-inch margins).
At a basic level, a journal entry may take this form: “Olson writes Z, and here is some of what I think about Z.” Journals should not provide broad overviews of or impressions about the readings (for example, discussing why you like or dislike a particular character) or merely summarize themes or plot. I suggest that you begin with substantial passages that stood out to you as you were reading and develop an explanation of how these passages are relevant to something about the work that stands out to you. Don’t think of your entries as definitive or complete statements about the works in question—you’re not writing a SparkNotes entry—the ideas you develop in the journals will be considered works in progress, not your final thoughts. The entries may also be used to alert me to uncertainties you have about specific readings—for instance, you can paraphrase what Olson writes in a difficult passage to get feedback on it. I encourage you to work with material that you find unclear or challenging. One of the purposes of the assignment is to provide a space to clarify what seems opaque, or test ideas or interpretations you have without the responsibility of finality. Think of the journal as an ongoing draft of thoughts for later work in the course (or outside the course!).
Use a writing style that is natural to your own voice. Responses can be informal and essayistic, not formally structured like a conventional academic essay. On the other hand, the entries should reflect thought and craft— don’t think of the assignment as an unedited free-write. Consider in advance the thought(s) you wish to record, and the structure you wish to employ.

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