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Category: Poetry and Literature

One woman watches as another examines with a magnifying glass an ornate, decorative image on a printed page

Reconstructing a Civil War Battle from a Poet’s Letter Home

Posted by: Cheryl Lederle

In the May/June 2017 issue of Social Education, the journal of the National Council for the Social Studies, our “Sources and Strategies” article features a letter that Walt Whitman wrote to his mother on December 29, 1862. Whitman wrote the letter to let his mother know that he had found his brother George alive and healing from an injury sustained during the Battle of Fredericksburg.

One woman watches as another examines with a magnifying glass an ornate, decorative image on a printed page

Explore the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature for National Poetry Month

Posted by: Cheryl Lederle

National Poetry month, a month to celebrate poetry, is a perfect time to explore the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. Some of the readings focus closely on the poems; others include musings on the selections and what inspired them. Some of the recordings are of a single poet, and others are panels or conversations between two or more poets. Hearing a poem in the poet's voice brings it to life in unexpected ways, and the range of poets offers something for all lovers of poetry.

One woman watches as another examines with a magnifying glass an ornate, decorative image on a printed page

The Great Gatsby: Establishing the Historical Context with Primary Sources

Posted by: Cheryl Lederle

F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby is one of the most often taught in American literature classes. However, the further we move away chronologically from 1922, a time of economic boom following the devastation of World War I, the less students know about this significant time between the Great War and the War to end all Wars.

One woman watches as another examines with a magnifying glass an ornate, decorative image on a printed page

Edgar Allan Poe: Using Primary Sources from the Library of Congress to Deepen Understanding of “The Raven”

Posted by: Cheryl Lederle

Because of his tendency toward the macabre, the stories of Edgar Allan Poe are frequently associated with Halloween, but his writing has had a far deeper reach than connections to the holiday. As National Poetry Month approaches, students can explore his work and its cultural impact through primary sources from the Library of Congress.