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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   

13. Southern Renaissance

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Activities: Author Activities

John Crowe Ransom - Teaching Tips

Back Back to John Crowe Ransom Activities
  • Although many of Ransom's poems focus on common domestic scenes, each uses unexpected words and turns of phrase to question the contradictions of everyday life. For example, in "Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter," a dead child's expression "Astonishes us all." At the end of the poem, the readers are "stopped" and "vexed" by the child's expression. Ask your students to think about the effect of these verbs in this context and to look for similar, unexpected language in Ransom's other poems.

  • Ransom is known for his frequent use of archaic language and references to classical texts and myths. Have your students identify some of these elements in Ransom's poems and discuss their contribution to the poems' overall effect.

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