ERIC Number: ED181478
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Interpretation Theory and Teaching Students How to Write about Poetry.
Schafer, John C.
An assignment for high school or college students that requires them to interpret what a poem may have communicated to the poet's contemporaries can be valuable in that it teaches them that there is more than one way to interpret a poem and that the rules of interpretation are neither universal nor unchanging. Such an approach to poetry interpretation repudiates the philosophy of the New Critics that states that a reader should ask "how" and not "what" a poem means and that it is wrong to limit a poem's meaning by identifying it completely with authorial intention. However, such an approach permits students to read poems in their biographical and historical context and to gain practice in stating a thesis clearly (their interpretation of the poet's original intention) and to defend that thesis with proper evidence. It also allows them to accomplish a literary critical paper and a library research paper in one assignment. (AEA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (30th, Minneapolis, MN, April 5-7, 1979).