Example research essay topic: Class Project On Effective Poetry And Theme Usage – 1,056 words

I was angry with my friend; I told my wrath, my
wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it
not. my wrath did grow. And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears: And I sunned it
with smiles, And with soft deceitful wiles. And it
grew both day and night, Till it bore an apple
bright, And my foe beheld it shine, And he knew
that it was mine. And into my garden stole.

When
the night had veild the pole; In the morning glad
I see; My foe outstretchd beneath the tree. In the
1997 school year I decided to introduce students
to the Enneagram in conjunction with our unit on
poetry. My objective was to enlist Enneagram
understanding to help focus discussions of poetry,
and to allow poems to raise issues of concern for
each Enneagram-type (E-type) of reader. Several
considerations prompted this fortuitous decision.
After attending the National Educators Institute
for Enneagram Studies in July 1997, I was
encouraged by Janet Levine and her colleagues to
begin Enneagram studies at my school. There is
more flexibility in presenting poetry than in
other area of our English curriculum, so I felt
fairly safe launching an experiment here.
“Together, over time, we figured out the power and
paradox of our experiment. The poems stood as
objective texts for analysis and commentary hich
laid back Nine Peacekeepers (or introspective Five
Observers) might need to filter or channel the
intensity of personal interactions.” I introduced
the Enneagram with one class of seventy minutes,
which included: a self-scoring indicator test (as
a suggestion, not a strict definition); then brief
descriptions of each type, starting with my own
number Point Nine, the Peacekeeper; some family
stories of my husband (Point Five Observer),
mother (Point Two Helper), father (Point Six
Questioner), so on; and an explanation of the
Triads and Arrows.

Within the “frame” of teaching
the Enneagram, I felt quite free to let my motives
and emotions surface. I hoped modeling such open
self-disclosure would set a tone for others of
trust, respect and safety. Almost all of the
students found an E-type to suit them during this
class. Most seemed surprised, intrigued, amused,
amazed, and relieved to find their personality
described with such clarity. Even the few who were
not sure where they fit, wanted to learn more
about the system. They wondered whether my Point
Nine character required poetry to structure
classes on personality.

Of course I responded to
their intuitions, and admitted the truth of this
insight. Together, over time, we figured out the
power and paradox of our experiment. The poems
stood as objective texts for analysis and
commentary which laid back Nine Peacekeepers (or
introspective Five Observers) might need to filter
or channel the intensity of personal interactions.
But the majority of students saw their poem as a
mirror which freely reflected their energies, or
as a lens through which Enneagram strategies
became clear. Each class was divided into three
segments of about 20 minutes: some group
discussions, presentation of a poem, followed by
observations and questions from the class. The
Point Eight Bosses began, and then we followed the
path of Enneagram numbers according to Triads:
8-9-1, 2-3-4, 5-6-7. Results from these classes
impressed me for a number of reasons, as this
report will disclose.

In our course “The Bible
as/in Literature,” William Blake holds a place of
honor, so I picked his poem “A Poison Tree”-a text
that often sparks strong reactions-to launch a set
of nine lessons. “I was angry with my friend, I
told my wrath, my wrath did end; I was angry with
my foe, I told it not, my wrath did grow.” The
students bold enough to admit to being Point Eight
Bosses were quick to identify with the narrator.
Comfortable with confrontation and the energetic
charge of open anger, vengeance and revenge, they
were right at home. They agreed that wrath
expressed subsides quickly, while plotting revenge
is a pleasure best prolonged. Some described a
situation where an insult or injury preyed on
their minds until they confronted their foe and
settled the score. “And he knew that it was mine,”
is an important line, as Eights report that the
target must know who delivers the fatal blow. The
Eight students could relish the narrator’s delight
at the results: “In the morning glad I see My foe
outstretch’d beneath the tree.” These lines
sparked debate around the source of the narrator’s
pleasure.

Was he glad because his foe was dead, or
because his plan had succeeded? Was he pleased at
having recognized and exploited the weakness of an
enemy (in this case, greed for the shiny, bright
apple, the forbidden fruit?) Was he satisfied that
he had designed and crafted the perfect weapon,
turning his vulnerable “fears” and “tears” into
deadly, potent, poison? As students engaged in
lively discussion, varying E-types vied for
attention. Students who were cautious, fearful
Point Six Questioners found the poem unsettling
and they raised some thought-provoking questions
around loyalty and safety, quite in keeping with
descriptions of this E-type. Sixes focused more on
the friend and foe in the poem, rather than on the
speaker. They wondered how either one could know
where they stood with the poet, since he sent such
mixed messages. Can anyone be trusted in a world
where friends are greeted with wrath, while
enemies are treated to sunny smiles? The Sixes
were alert to Blake’s threatening world of
hostility and revenge, but they did not join the
poet (or the Eights) in applauding the success of
his plot. Those most alarmed by the poem turned
out to be Point Nines, not surprisingly as this is
the E-type that avoids conflict and in whom anger
takes a passive aggressive form.

They were
bothered by both the initial angry outburst and
the seething, vengeful plot. They found the deceit
in the poem disturbing. A Nine began to wonder
aloud about anger; was it a venom, a poison, a
toxin? The poet’s emotion did find expression in a
bright, beautiful apple. Was the gardener
projecting or working through his anger in a
productive way? Was he distracting himself from
the conflict rather than resolving it? Nines
agreed that keeping the peace requires honest,
open communication with others, not wily smiles..

Research essay sample on Class Project On Effective Poetry And Theme Usage