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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

“Conversations and Skylines”

Status Current
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 06/01/2009
End Date 05/31/2010
Funding Source Undergraduate Research Grant
Funding Amount 1,137
Community Partner
Related Course HNRS 192
Last Updated 04/29/2009 02:35PM
Keywords poetry, new york, poems, city


  Don Rearden

Student Researchers


Poetry, in any culture, is a medium unlike any other. Through poetry we can communicate history, thoughts, feelings, events, knowledge and so much more. Like any other literature, poetry we write now will help others far away or in the future understand our culture and inspire in them thoughts tied directly to the author and the era and place he or she comes from. For my research, I am proposing a project that deals directly with what poetry is most familiar with: inspiration. Billy Collins, the current poet-laureate of the United States, writes “the trouble with poetry is that it encourages the writing of more poetry.” Unlike Collins, I think this is a benefit of poetry, a benefit that I suffer from. I feel that the voices of poetry today are exclusive to more established and older men and women. By drawing from these poets, I wish to remain loyal to poetry’s inspiration-clause while bringing my own voice into the mix. I feel that poetry in my generation is under-represented, and with this project I hope to change this through my writing, the help of writers before me and the inspiration these writers drew from.
My project will allow me to create poetry in response to some of the most influential poets of all time and bridge major cultural gaps through poems. One of the most differing cultures to that of Alaska is the culture of New York City. Where we have skylines made of mountains and trees, they have a skyline of steel and lights. Alaskan culture and New York culture is something rarely put together. The lifestyle of the people who live in each state differs wildly. New York could quite possibly be the antithesis of the “Last Frontier.” Through the medium of poetry, a medium able to communicate thoughts, feelings and knowledge, the things cultures are built on, I aim to compare the two lifestyles. In doing so I hope to shorten the gap between them and shed some light on some of the more controversial topics that divide the two cultures.

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