Poetry Performance & Discussion

Formative Work


  • Develop your listening, speaking and academic discourse skills as well as your reading writing skills.

  • Lay the groundwork for future success in summative assessments.

  • Create some of the evidence needed to demonstrate competency in the context of your Semester Portfolio.

How to prepare to perform a poem:

    • read the poem several times - aloud and slowly.

    • relax, practice reading the poem aloud in a normal voice.

    • pay attention to the punctuation in the poem. It will show you when to pause.

    • use www.m-w.com to help you understand the meaning and pronunciation of unfamiliar words.

    • consciously decide to enjoy the process of reading aloud.

How to prepare to discuss a poem:

    • read the poem several times.

    • pay attention to the punctuation in the poem.

    • use www.m-w.com to help you understand the meaning of unfamiliar words.

    • identify connections ("text to text", "text to world", "text to self") to the poem

    • identify questions prompted by the poem

    • identify imagery/word choice you find interesting.

Each month, we'll be performing and discussing poems from the Poetry 180 collection at the Library of Congress.


1 "Introduction to Poetry" by Billy Collins

2 "The Good Life" by Tracy K. Smith

3 "Abecedarian Requiring Further Examination of Anglikan Seraphym Subjugation of a Wild Indian Rezervation" by Natalie Diaz

4 "Question" by May Swenson

5 "Thanks" by Yusef Komunyakaa

6 "How Bright It Is" by Brian Turner

7 "Do You Have Any Advice For Those of Us Just Starting Out?" by Ron Koertge

8 "Numbers" by Mary Cornish

9 "The Cord" by Leanne O’Sullivan

10 "At the Un-National Monument Along the Canadian Border" by William Stafford

11 "Girls, Look Out for Todd Bernstein" by Jason Bredle

12 "The Bat" by Theodore Roethke

13 "Did I Miss Anything" by Tom Wayman

14 "Neglect" by R. T. Smith

15 "The Poet" by Tom Wayman

16 "Radio" by Laurel Blossom

17 "Bad Day" by Kay Ryan

18 "The Farewell" by Edward Field

19 "The Partial Explanation" by Charles Simic

20 "Dorie Off To Atlanta" by Mark Halliday

21 "Wheels" by Jim Daniels

22 "Remora, Remora" by Thomas Lux

23 "Tour " by Carol Snow

Poetry Performances in the "Real World"

Poetri's "Krispy Kreme"


24 "After Us" by Connie Wanek

25 "Domestic Work, 1937" by Natasha Trethewey

26 "Before She Died" by Karen Chase

27 "Poetry" by Don Paterson

28 "American Cheese" by Jim Daniels

29 "Advice from the Experts" by Bill Knott

30 "One Morning" by Eamon Grennan

31 "Walking Home" by Marie Howe

32 "Publication Date" by Franz Wright

33 "The Meadow" by Kate Knapp Johnson

34 "The Summer I Was Sixteen" by Geraldine Connolly

35 "Hand Shadows" by Mary Cornish

36 "El Florida Room" by Richard Blanco

37 "She Didn't Mean to Do It" by Daisy Fried

38 "Cartoon Physics, part 1" by Nick Flynn

39 "Snow" by David Berman

40 "Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter" by Robert Bly

41 "Halloween" by Mac Hammond

42 "The Poetry of Bad Weather" by Debora Greger

43 "The Green One Over There" by Katia Kapovich

44 "A Man I Knew" by Margaret Levine

45 "Nights " by Kevin Hart

46 "Grammar" by Tony Hoagland

Poetry Performances in the "Real World"

Poetri's "Money"


47 "Fault" by Ron Koertge

48 "Thanks For Remembering Us" by Dana Gioia

49 "Because You Left Me a Handful of Daffodils" by Max Garland

50 "Otherwise" by Jane Kenyon

51 "A Little Girl Tugs at the Tablecloth" by Wisława Szymborska

52 "Love Poem With Toast" by Miller Williams

53 "The Blue Bowl" by Jane Kenyon

54 "Song" by Eamon Grennan

55 "Biscuit" by Jane Kenyon

56 "Red Wing" by Joseph Millar

57 "White-Eyes" by Mary Oliver

58 "To Help the Monkey Cross the River" by Thomas Lux

59 "Lesson" by Forrest Hamer

60 "Football" by Louis Jenkins

61 "Sister Cat" by Frances Mayes

62 "The Bagel" by David Ignatow

63 "What I Would Do" by Marc Petersen

64 "For My Daughter" by David Ignatow

65 "I've Been Known" by Denise Duhamel

66 "The Moon" by Robert Bly

67 "Eddie Priest’s Barbershop & Notary" by Kevin Young

68 "Bringing My Son to the Police Station to be Fingerprinted" by Shoshauna Shy

Poetry Performances in the "Real World"

Taylor Mali's "You Know?"


69 "The Space Heater" by Sharon Olds

70 "Sentimental Moment or Why Did the Baguette Cross the Road? " by Robert Hershon

71 "Smoking" by Elton Glaser

72 "Gratitude to Old Teachers" by Robert Bly

73 "Love Song" by Carol Muske-Dukes

74 "The Revolt of the Turtles" by Stephen Dunn

75 "To a Daughter Leaving Home" by Linda Pastan

76 "June 11" by David Lehman

77 "A Birthday Candle" by Donald Justice

78 "Doing Without" by David Ray

79 "Birthday" by Stanley Plumly

80 "Reckless Poem" by Mary Oliver

81 "After Years" by Ted Kooser

82 "Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper" by Martín Espada

83 "Turtle" by Kay Ryan

84 "Knowledge" by Philip Memmer

85 "Fight" by Laurel Blossom

86 "Sure" by Arlene Tribbia

87 "The Distances" by Henry W. Rago

88 "How To Tell Your Mother There Will Be No Grandkids In Her Future" by Ira Sukrungruang

89 "Sidekicks" by Ron Koertge

90 "A New Poet" by Linda Pastan

Poetry Performances in the "Real World"

Sarah Kay's "Point B"


91 "Timely Enumerations Concerning Sri Lanka" by Oliver Rice

92 "Birth Day" by Elise Paschen

93 "Do You Love Me?" by Robert Wrigley

94 "Slumnight" by Colette Inez

95 "The Halls" by Mark Halliday

96 "Second Estrangement" by Aracelis Girmay

97 "The Hymn of a Fat Woman" by Joyce Huff

98 "My Father's Hats" by Mark Irwin

99 "Exotic Treats" by Laura McKee

100 "Loud Music" by Stephen Dobyns

101 "Some Clouds" by Steve Kowit

102 "When Death Comes" by Mary Oliver

103 "Decades" by Gerald Stern

104 "To Stammering" by Kenneth Koch

105 "A Birthday Poem" by Ted Kooser

106 "The Grammar Lesson" by Steve Kowit

107 "Blind" by Charles Webb

108 "In the Well" by Andrew Hudgins

109 "Fast Break" by Edward Hirsch

110 "On a Cape May Warbler Who Flew Against My Window" by Eamon Grennan

111 "The Kitchen Shears Speak" by Christianne Balk

112 "Slow Children at Play" by Cecilia Woloch

113 "Lift Your Right Arm" by Peter Cherches

114 "Machines" by Michael Donaghy

Poetry Performances in the "Real World"

Boston University's Favorite Poem Project "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks read by John Ulrich


115 "The Death of Santa Claus" by Charles Harper Webb

116 "Cat Scat" by Eamon Grennan

117 "Ladies and Gentlemen in Outer Space" by Ron Padgett

118 "Notice" by Steve Kowit

119 "The Courtesy of the Blind" by Wisława Szymborska

120 "The Swan at Edgewater Park" by Ruth L. Schwartz

121 "The Hand" by Mary Ruefle

122" Soccer Moms" by Paul Muldoon

123 "Coffee in the Afternoon" by Alberto Ríos

124 "Morning" by Mary Oliver

125 "Animals" by Miller Williams

126 "God Says Yes To Me" by Kaylin Haught

127 "Hate Poem" by Julie Sheehan

128 "An Apology" by F.J. Bergmann

129 "Bedecked" by Victoria Redel

130 "A Toast to the Baltimore Oriole" by Don McKay

131 "I Ask My Mother To Sing" by Li-Young Lee

132 "Leaving the Island" by Linda Pastan

133 "The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver

134 "Ode to Dirt" by Sharon Olds

135 "Video Blues" by Mary Jo Salter

Poetry Performances in the "Real World"

Boston University's Favorite Poem Project "O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman by Mike Eruzione


136 "We Lived Happily During the War" by Ilya Kaminsky

137 "Morning Swim" by Maxine Kumin

138 "This Moment" by Eavan Boland

139 "How Many Times" by Marie Howe

140 "The Dead" by Susan Mitchell

141 "The End and the Beginning" by Wislawa Szymborska

142 "Tinnitus" by Robert Wrigley

143 "The secretary chant" by Marge Piercy

144 "Family Photo Around Xmas Tree" by Thomas Lux

145 "Proof of Life" by Tony Hoagland

146 "Blue Willow" by Jody Gladding

147 "Tuesday 9:00 AM" by Denver Butson

148 "Happiness" by Jane Kenyon

149 "Dress Rehearsal" by Brandon Kreitler

150 "96 Vandam" Gerald Stern

151 "My Moral Life" Mark Halliday

152 "It Took All My Energy" by Tony Wallace

153 "Once upon a Time There Was a Man" by Mac Hammond

154 "Aunties" by Kevin Young

155 "A Walk in Kensington Gardens" by Dorothy Parker

156 "Dandelion" by Julie Lechevsky

157 "Ox Cart Man" by Donald Hall

Poetry Performances in the "Real World"

Boston University's Favorite Poem Project "Casey at the Bat" by Ernest Lawrence Thayer Read by Lee Samuel


158 "Forgotten Planet" by Doug Dorph

159 "Loyal" by William Matthews

160 "Something" by James Valvis

161 "Gone" by Eamon Grennan

162 "Herd Of Buffalo Crossing The Missouri On Ice" by William Matthews

163 "Mentor" by Timothy Murphy

164 "Unconditional Day" by Julie Lechevsky

165 "The Rider" by Naomi Shihab Nye

166 "Kyrie" by Tomas Transtromer

167 "The Last Wolf" by Mary TallMountain

168 "Gee, You're So Beautiful That It's Starting to Rain" by Richard Brautigan

169 "Shakespearean Sonnet" by R.S. Gwynn

170 "Summer in a Small Town" by Linda Gregg

171 "Entrance" by Dana Gioia

172 "How to Listen" by Major Jackson

173 "Immortality" by Lisel Mueller

174 "Our Other Sister" by Jeffrey Harrison

175 "Gretel" by Andrea Hollander

176 "How to Change a Frog Into a Prince" by Anna Denise

177 "Eagle Plain" by Robert Francis

178 "End of April" by Phillis Levin

179 "Bike Ride with Older Boys" by Laura Kasischke

180 "Break" by Dorianne Laux

Poetry Performances in the "Real World"

The White House: An Evening of Poetry, Music and the Spoken Word "Alexander Hamilton" written and performed by Lin Manuel Miranda