Question Description

Select one poem from this week’s reading and one short story from the course readings. Read these works again with fresh eyes, but be sure that you read them one after the other. For this written assignment, you will compare these two works to broaden your understanding of these two genres.

In a 2-page Word document:

  • Compare the work of poetry vs. the work of fiction. Explain the ways in which these works are alike. For example, both pieces use humor to move the audience. Imagery, themes, and tones may be areas to analyze.
  • Contrast the two works and explain the ways in which these works are different. For example, the setting of the poem is in a different time than the short story. Point-of-view, style, characters, and setting may be areas to analyze.
  • Analyze the approach of each author as well as the content of each piece.
    • How were they the same and how were they different?
  • How effective was the author in his or her approach to the topic of each piece?
  • Reflect on which piece you enjoyed and why you found either the poetry or the fiction more appealing


Ars Poetica? I have always aspired to a more spacious form that would be free from the claims of poetry or prose and would let us understand each other without exposing the author or reader to sublime agonies. 5In the very essence of poetry there is something indecent: a thing is brought forth which we didn’t know we had in us, so we blink our eyes, as if a tiger had sprung out and stood in the light, lashing his tail. That’s why poetry is rightly said to be dictated by a daimonion, 10though it’s an exaggeration to maintain that he must be an angel. It’s hard to guess where that pride of poets comes from, when so often they’re put to shame by the disclosure of their frailty. What reasonable man would like to be a city of demons, who behave as if they were at home, speak in many tongues, 15and who, not satisfied with stealing his lips or hand, work at changing his destiny for their convenience? It’s true that what is morbid is highly valued today, and so you may think that I am only joking or that I’ve devised just one more means 20of praising Art with the help of irony. There was a time when only wise books were read, helping us to bear our pain and misery. This, after all, is not quite the same as leafing through a thousand works fresh from psychiatric clinics. 25And yet the world is different from what it seems to be and we are other than how we see ourselves in our ravings. People therefore preserve silent integrity, thus earning the respect of their relatives and neighbors. The purpose of poetry is to remind us 30how difficult it is to remain just one person, for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors, and invisible guests come in and out at will. What I’m saying here is not, I agree, poetry, as poems should be written rarely and reluctantly, 35under unbearable duress and only with the hope that good spirits, not evil ones, choose us for their instrument.


BOBBIE ANN MASON (b. 1940) Shiloh