Knowledge Topics for Further Study
by Kim Addonizio

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Topics for Further Study

(Poetry for Students)

  • Take the first line of Addonizio's poem "Knowledge" and use it as the first line of your own poem. Your poem should contain at least twenty lines and should continue Addonizio's line to whatever conclusion fits your own subject or ideas. Your poem may mirror Addonizio's technique, in that it can be free verse, without a specific rhyme scheme. Your poem should also incorporate a similar style. For instance, try to create a lengthy dependent clause that leads into the main point of the poem.
  • Research the history of al Qaeda and its relationship to the Taliban. Write an essay in which you discuss your research and the roles that the United States and the former Soviet Union played in the creation of the conflict in Afghanistan. Be sure to include information about how the Taliban became associated with al Qaeda and the role of Islamic extremism in Afghanistan's history.
  • Write a report in which you compare the philosophical ideas of Arthur Schopenhauer and Thomas Hobbes. Then create a poster that details the differences and similarities of these two men's ideas and present the poster and your report to your class.
  • Nelly Sachs also wrote poems about the horrors that men inflict upon one another, such as in her book The Seeker and Other Poems, published in 1970. Select at least two poems written by Sachs and compare them to Addonizio's poem. Consider the similarities and differences found in the verse of these two women. Write an essay in which you discuss the different ways in which they give voice to death and fear. Be sure to include quotations from the authors' poems in your essay.