Many poets are inspired to write by and about social and political conditions, including the relationship between sexes and among races, social classes, and countries, etc. In so doing, they hope to speak out against oppression and to throw light on the human condition in hopes of inspiring change in individual readers and in communities. The poems in this unit seek to do just that: to comment on the human condition and to inspire change. In this light, these poets could be considered activists and their poetry as a form of activism.

In an initial post of at least 200 words, discuss what change two or three of this unit’s poems hope to inspire and what strategies the poets have used to inspire change. For instance, what tone do the poems’ speakers take to their subjects and to themselves? Do they make use of irony or humor and to what ends? What specific language and imagery do these poems contain and what emotions do this language and/or imagery evoke? And so on.

In all of this keep in mind the following questions: how, if at all, does this poem inspire me to act? What, if anything, does my interaction with it inspire me to do or to become?

Once you’ve made your initial post, comment on at least three other posts by the week’s end with posts of at least 50 words.

Post your initial response to the Poets, Poetry, & Activism page on our G+ community then reply directly to your peers’ G+ posts.