Journal Six: Poetry and the Jeffersonian/Utilitarian Pursuit of Happiness

Don't forget--midterm book club presentation in class on Monday

In class today, Laura spoke about poetry isn't often viewed as a democratic, maybe egalitarian, literary form, but instead something for the "elites." One hope I have is that this brief introduction to poetry over the last two weeks has made it more accessible, more of something that anyone can find pleasure and value in. I just wrote in a blog response that when Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we should be free in our "pursuit of happiness" as a fundamental right. What he meant is not a debauched sense of license, a sex, drugs and rock n' roll attitude, but that we should be free to pursue the development of the self in a way that fulfills our innate potential. As you see it, how would you say that the poetry from this week (and last if you want to work it in) contributes to this pursuit of Jeffersonian and utilitarian happiness? Why might that be of interest and importance? As you examine this notion, be sure to illustrate each point with specific examples from the readings.

Having posted your thoughts, respond to at least two other journals and one response to your journal, for a minimum of three responses. Due date for the journal is midnight Sunday. Responses are due by midnight Tuesday.