AP III Frost, Whitman, Hughes Visions of America, Starting


AP III- Visions of America

An Introduction to American Poetry

Name: _________________________ Date: _________ Per: _____


Read the introduction and then flip the page over to read Frost’s

The Road

Not Taken.

Then, on the front of this paper, answer the following questions.

Robert Frost

Robert Frost was born in San Francisco on March 26, 1874. He moved to New England at the age of eleven and became interested in reading and writing poetry during his high school years in Lawrence,

Massachusetts. He was enrolled at Dartmouth College in 1892, and later at Harvard, though he never earned a formal degree.

Frost drifted through a string of occupations after leaving school, working as a teacher, cobbler, and editor of the Lawrence Sentinel.

Photo by Karsh

Frost is anything but a merely regional or minor poet. The author of searching and often dark meditations on universal themes, he is a quintessentially modern poet in his adherence to language as it is actually spoken, in the psychological complexity of his portraits, and in the degree to which his work is infused with layers of ambiguity and irony.

In a 1970 review of The Poetry of Robert Frost, the poet Daniel Hoffman describes Frost's early work as

"the Puritan ethic turned astonishingly lyrical and enabled to say out loud the sources

of its own delight in the world," and comments on Frost's career as The American Bard: "He became a national celebrity, our nearly official Poet Laureate, and a great performer in the tradition of that earlier master of the literary vernacular, Mark Twain."


What views are offered in this poem? Be specific by citing evidence from the text.

How do/ could you see these views as American? Utilize


ideas of “American” here.

Define individualism in your own words.

How does the message of the poem relate to the idea of individualism? Be specific. Cite.


Read the poem below. Mark it up and use the margins to have your own thoughts throughout your reading.

The Road Not Taken

By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Visions of America

Name: _________________________________ Date: ________ Per:_____

I Hear America Singing

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,

Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,

The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,

The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,

The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,

The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,

The woodcutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,

The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,

Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,

The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,

Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

---Walt Whitman (1819-1892), poem first published in Leaves of Grass, 1867


What’s the effect of the poem? How is it created? Think back to yesterday. What can you do with this poem?


What is Whitman’s vision of America?

AP III American Literature

Visions of America

Name: _______________________________

I, Too

Date: ____________ Per: ____

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

When company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well,

And grow strong.


I’ll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody’ll dare

Say to me,

“Eat in the kitchen,”



They’ll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

--Langston Hughes, 1925


1. What can you do with this poem? Consider its form and meaning. Consider speaker,


audience, tone and purpose.

What vision of America does Hughes offer in this poem?

Choose ONE follow-up to complete over the weekend:



Write a remix of Whitman’s poem for 2013. Make a clear effort to employ a few of

Whitman’s poetic strategies as you do so. Show you understand his purpose, but be sure your poem shares a contemporary view of America. Give it your own voice.

Find a 4 th poem –one that works (complimenting, contrasting, extending, updating, etc.) with the three poems we have discussed (Frost, Hughes, Whitman). Share the poem on top of your document, then provide a thoughtful explanation of how your chosen poem works with the others.



American Poet Laureates

. Choose one. Explain your choice. Share a poem by the poet laureate and your thoughts on how your chosen poet’s vision or voice compares to at least one of the other American poets we have examined this week.

Your response should:



Demonstrate thoughtful, accurate consideration of the poems.

Be clear and sufficiently developed in light of the ideas you present.

Be ready to share, compare and discuss!




Reveals a thoughtful consideration of the chosen task and the texts.

__Uses specific examples/details to illustrate ideas.

3 2 1



__Organized, appropriately developed and moves to a clear conclusion



__Engaging, polished, effective, suits purpose

Mechanics and presentation


Present tense, punctuation, subject/pronoun, usage, sentence structure, spelling

Neat and effortful.

1.5 spaced: word –processed

A = most checks (3) B = most checks (2) C = most checks (1)

No response

D/F = No evidence