Join the Library in celebrating National Poetry Month

Join the Library’s discussion of:  

 “The Hardness Scale”


Joyce Peseroff


  1. Discuss the importance of science and scientific information in this poem. How does science reveal the theme of the poem? What about its juxtaposition with popular culture?
  2. Peseroff begins with number 7 on the hardness scale, and adds an 11th element to it, creating five “sections” within the poem. How does each item work to illustrate the narrative literally, figuratively, and metaphorically?
  3.  Peseroff makes strong use of enjambment, end‐stops, and word choice to start or end a line. Discuss the crafting of the poem and how it serves to evoke the title and bring metaphor alive.



To celebrate National Poetry Month 2012, the Emmanuel College Library will present poems and discussion questions from Mass Poetry’s second volume of Common Threads, “a celebration of poets and poetry with ties to our great state of Massachusetts.”


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