Choose ONE of the following paired images and poems from the “Poetry and the Visual Arts” section of the textbook (NOTE: This is the section with the thicker, glossy pages in the center of the textbook; the pages have letters rather than numbers).
Choice #1: American Gothic – Analyze the painting by Grant Wood and the poem by John Stone. In what sense can Stone’s poem be regarded as an analysis of the painting? Does Stone see Grant’s depiction of the two figures as a satire or a celebration? What symbolic elements are found in the painting?
Choice #2: Girl Powdering Her Neck – Analyze the woodblock print by Kitagawa Utamaro and the poem by Cathy Song. What does Song’s poem add to the visual information provided in Utamaro’s woodcut? What is the relationship of the final three lines to the rest of the poem and what effect does it have on the reader?
Choice #3: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall – Analyze the photograph of the memorial from the Library of Congress and the poem “Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa. What is the significance of the poem’s title and how are the speaker’s war experiences reflected in the war memorial? Does the speaker’s response to the memorial indicate that the conception and composition of the memorial were successful or unsuccessful as a public memorial?
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