Extra Credit Assignment 4

Due via e-mail before Wednesday, October 27

One page, up to 20 points

This assignment draws on the discussion of Angel Island poetry that we had in class on Monday. Note that in addition to writing the poem you should also provide some commentary about the artistic choices you made.

Write a four-line poem expressing an emotion you would expect an inmate of Angel Island to feel and provide about a paragraph of explanation for the decisions you made while writing the poem. Draw on historical background and detail (for instance, immigration enforcement, geography, the weather, and conditions in the prison camp), and try to structure your poem like a classical (8th century) Chinese poem.

Of course, since English is very different from classical Chinese you will not be able to follow the rules for classical Chinese poetry exactly. Instead, try to come up with some sort of equivalent for a few of the rules and state the rules that you followed in writing the poem.

Here are the basic rules for "regulated verse" in classical Chinese poetry:

  • Four lines or eight lines
  • Each character is a word; poems based on images
  • Alternating tones, caesura
  • Rhyming couplets; lines within couplets connected to each other
  • A "turn" in the poem
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