Classical Poetry / Traditional Poetry
For a more in-depth course in poetic appreciation and understanding, turn to these units which contain and analyze some of the best poetry from the late Middle Ages through the 19th (Classical) or early 20th (Traditional) century. The poems used are printed right in the loose-leaf text and include works from such notable authors as William Shakespeare, John Keats, Christopher Marlowe, John Donne, John Milton, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and others. Both units begin with a study of "The Ballad," though more attention is given to this form in the Traditional Poetry unit, which also contains a Nursery Rhymes section. The basic organization of Classical Poetry is by "Age" (Elizabethan, Seventeenth Century, Restoration and Eighteenth Century, Romantic, Victorian, and Nineteenth Century) with a discussion about that era and the style of poetry characterizing it. Biographical information about each poet is included, along with a blackline "portrait." After the first two units in Traditional Poetry, that book is organized by poet and also includes biographical information and a portrait for each. Activities follow the poetry. These range from interpretational to a study of poetic devices and are very well-contrived, with ample explanation and background information. Concluding each unit are activities for essay and discussion centering around themes in the poems or asking students to compare or contrast aspects of two or more of the poems. These are excellent units; my only quibble is the lack of a teacher key to evaluate student responses. If you do this study along with your child, this shouldn't be much of a deterrent.