Week 4

Week 4

This week you will cover, among other things, a few poems by John Haines. Haines was a long time Alaskan, and many in Fairbanks knew him well and still miss his cantankerous presence quite a bit.

Photo by Dan O’Neill


John Haines’s poetry isn’t very difficult in an intellectual sense. Haines challenges his reader to see the landscape in the same way he does, to respond emotionally rather than mentally. Haines is a very “Alaskan” poet, and not just because he is clearly talking about a place. What kinds of personality traits do you think Alaskans share and how does Haines exhibit these traits in his work?



Reading Assignment

In The Last New Land read 188-248

Read the following poems by John Haines:

Fourth of July at Santa YnezIce ChildIn the House of WaxIn the Sleep of ReasonNotes on the Capitalist Persuasion

Read more about him on the Poetry Foundation website.

The New York Times published a captivating obituary after his death.

The features editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Suzanna Caldwell, collected some interesting perspectives on the man.



Blog Entry 2

This week your assignment is to write about the work of John Haines. Rather than talking about Haines himself, find photos, videos, and other links that are similar to the tone and feel of Haines’s poetry. In your blog post, discuss the ways in which visual images play a role in Haines’s poetry.

Try using photos from Alaska’s Digital Archives.

  • Entries should consist of at least one visual and 3-4 paragraphs of writing.
  • Writing must be appropriate for a 300-level English course (good grammar, spelling, and punctuation and an educated level of academic inquiry).
  • You must in some way refer to what you’ve been reading in the weeks leading up to the blog entry. This can be in the form of quotes, references, or any extra information you might be able to find on the author or work.
  • If you use a web-source for photos, additional media, quoted text, or any other source material you must cite the source and link to it.