Department: English Course: Poetry Teacher: Mr. DeGraff



This class is going to be awesome, because poetry is awesome. We will discover 10,000 things about poetry and, taken altogether, you will start to get the picture. You will be introduced to 30-50 poems in this class and at least one novel (yet to be determined.) 


Students are required to bring the following materials to class EVERY day. 


  1. A large (5X8.25) Moleskine hard-covered notebook for creative writing.                                                                                                                                                                      (Lined or plain. I prefer plain. You can find these for $10-$20, depending on color, on or Please order as soon as possible. You can also find them in most major bookstores.)  You will be required to have them by September 21. You can find them at Staples, and bookstores too. 

  2. 2 pens, either black or blue.

  3. A fully charged iPad (NO battery-charging will be allowed in class.)

  4. The required book or hand-out for the day.

  5. Grace and poise

Class rules:

At the beginning of each quarter you will be given 100 participation points. This is a freebie. However, infractions of the rules will cost participation points; 2 points on the first infraction, then 3 for the second and 5 for the third. If it goes beyond 3 infractions in a class period, it turns into a referral to the dean's office and a call home. If your class participation points drop below 75 in a quarter, this will also result in referral and a call home. 

Infractions include the following:

1. Being late to class. You should be in the classroom and sitting by the bell, in proper dress, (which include a mask) with your notebook and pens and a charged iPad, plus anything else I've asked you to bring to class for that day. 

2. Talking out of turn. The best way to have a good class conversation is if one person speaks at a time. The old raising your hand method works the best for this.

3. Having your phone out. The school policy is a referral for any phone out. You know this. However, I'll wait until the third infraction to give you a referral. Please don't make it an issue. 

4. Having your iPad out without permission. We will spend a majority of this class off the iPad, so please don't turn it on unless you are requested to. 

5. Being out of your seat without permission. (I am sympathetic to your energy levels. I wish you could ride exercise bikes or something in class to burn the energy. Unfortunately the only thing that I can allow, that doesn't disrupt the class, or take too much of your attention away from class, is note-taking, with a pen, and doodling.)

6.  Ear buds worn in class. It is easy to forget to take these out, but please do. 

7. Whistling or singing, or any other distraction, while people are talking. (However, when you have the floor, I'm ALL for singing.)

8. Inappropriate language. 

9. Failure to participate (i.e. by answering questions or reading aloud when asked.) 

10. Cheating. I should have started with this one because it is the biggest problem, and the least tolerated. Cheating generally means copying anyone else's answers, or taking them from the internet, and is seen as an egregious violation. And cheating will be subject to a zero score for the assignment, and an honor code violation! It is low hanging fruit sometimes, easy to get, but the consequences will be severe.

Late papers will be accepted at 10% off per day that they are late.   


Your grade each quarter will be based  (approximately) on the following point system:


  1. Vocabulary quizzes: 200pts. (4 40-pt. quizzes plus homework.

  2. Writing:  200pts.

  3. Homework and in-class assignments: 300pts.

  4. End of quarter test 100pts.

  5. Class participation: 100pts. You will begin the year with 100 points for participation.                                                                                                                                              (Again, as long as you actively participate in class and follow the rules, you will keep these points.)

Alright, now you have a rough idea. The main thing is let's have fun this year, the best we can under the circumstances. I'll do my best to try to make it so, but it will be much easier with your help. Poetry concerns itself with Truth and Beauty. We'll uncover the hard Truths to the best of our ability, but we'll try to do it through the ecstatic agent of beauty.