Course Description

This poem is dangerous: It should not be left
Within the reach of children, or even adults
Who might swallow it whole, with possibly
Undesirable side-effects. If you come across
An unattended, unidentified poem
In a public place, do not attempt to tackle it
Yourself. . . .   Even the simplest poem
May destroy your immunity to human emotions.
All poems must carry a Government warning. Words
Can seriously affect your heart.

           From: “This Poem . . . ” 

by Elma Mitchell   

We will listen to poems read aloud, delve into a poem’s language, tone, imagery, rhyme, and metaphors, to reflect upon how the poem has aroused our emotions, memories, sensitivities, and understandings. Our goal: To fall in love with poetry and risk being changed by it. 


Note: We’ll continue with “Staying Human,” reading chapters we did not read in prior semesters. All are welcome, repeaters, poetry lovers, and those new to enjoying poetry.


Text: Staying Human (New Poems for Staying Alive). Edited by Neil Astley. Bloodaxe Books, 2020.

Format: Discussion. Each meeting, two class members will lead discussions about poems they have selected from the chapter of the week; they will provide questions to help the class delve more deeply into the selected poems. The coordinators will provide question sets and guides on ways to read and enjoy poetry.

Coordinators: Linda Shamoon, Chris Rose, Karen Stein. Chris initiated LLC’s popular poetry discussion group at Providence’s Rochambeau Library. Linda and Karen are retired URI professors; Karen taught American literature and Women’s Studies; Linda taught writing and rhetoric. More info here.  

© Linda K. Shamoon 2020