Writing the college Essay in Poetry?

<p>My daughter is a strong humanties student. She is applying to various colleges that have art programs such as CMU, WAsh U, RISD, etc. All colleges have essays. My daughter is a published poet and is reasonbly good at writing poetry. </p>

<p>What do you think of the quicky idea which is to write her essay in poetry? It would answer the topic presented but be in poetry. I can't imagine admissions offices getting this type of essay.</p>

<p>Do you think that this would be too quirky?</p>

<p>I have seen lots of things by adcoms saying they loathe getting essays like that. They really want to see examples of students' essay writing, not poetry, song lyrics, rap, etc.</p>

<p>Agree with Northstarmom....conventional wisdom from all sources I have seen align with that.</p>

<p>It will work if it is amazingly wonderful. But a mediocre-good essay will serve her much better than a mediocre-good poem.</p>

<p>it won't work at all. If you're good at poetry, send in a supplemental poetry package. Writing your essay in poetry could potentially irritate the adcom.</p>

<p>My son started his essay with 4 lines of verse, not really poetry, that flowed directly into his essay. I think it worked amazingly well but was nearly impossible to format with the commonapp software!!!! This was very different from writing an entire essay in poetry. I read an example in one of those books, (Was it "50 essays that worked"?) It was a funny poem and I was very surprised that it "worked."</p>

<p>My attitude is that the student applying should FOLLOW the DIRECTIONS of the application to a "T." If it requests an ESSAY, then the student should submit same, and not deviate from what is requested. If they want something in addition, say a portfolio of artwork, or poetry, that is another thing. I agree with Davidrune, have her submit it in addition to an essay.</p>

<p>if you ARE a serious poet, that is. you can't just decide that you are a poet for this essay. my friend wrote a poem for college and she got into yale. she's also a presidential scholar for the arts and very published. you make the judgment for yourself--no one else is fit to do it--poetry's strength lies in the writer's own conviction.</p>

<p>it can't be corny and it definitely shouldn't have an obvious rhyme scheme. what do you mean when you say she's published? you mean she has a collection that I could buy if I went to barnes and noble?</p>

<p>jsut don't say that she has stuff on poetry.com
She would have to be really good, i would go with just a few lines to make a point.</p>

<p>i would say too gimmicky-- but thats just my .02</p>

<p>This idea is not quirky--it comes up often enough to be addressed in many college essay books. The common wisdom says do not do it. However, in The Gatekeepers, the central admissions officer delights in telling the kids they can break all the 'rules', and gives examples of students admitted who did the 'wrong' thing, including one who wrote poetry. </p>

<p>It's highly risky.</p>

<p>The reason that I posed this question is that my mom, many years ago, applied for a graduate program in administration and supervision. At that time, they didn't take woman into the program, and my mom's grades from NYU weren't the most sterling. She was told to write an essay as to why she wanted to study at Columbia and why administration; and they would consider it.However, she was told that she probably had almost zero chance. She wrote the essey in prose. </p>

<p>Well, it was so well recieved that they circulated to many of the professors, and my mom got admitted the following week. </p>

<p>I don't know if my daughter is as talented as my mom was (which is, frankly, the crucial question),but I do know that the idea worked very well.</p>

<p>Who was it who said, "I woke up one morning and realized I'd been writing prose all my life?" :-)</p>

<p>umm prose is regular speech without metrical structure.
Did you mean she wrote it as poetry?
plus it may be a lot different applying as a grad school applicant than an undergrad</p>

<p>also, things are different now. what was novel then has become cliche in many cases.</p>

<p>I'm in favor of the straight forward, heartfelt essay that reveals something about the personality and character of the writer. Having said that most How To essay books that I pick up include something off the wall, like a comic strip or drama script. The main point to remember is who's going to read it. The AdCom is trained to evaluate essays, not poetry. They do however appreciate poetic prose and a beautifully written, compelling essay can be creative without being in iambic pentameter.</p>

<p>Many colleges encourage supplemental materials, so your daughter could certainly include some of her poems with her application. Usually the AdCom passes them along to the English/Creative Writing department for feed back.</p>

<p>My son included poetry in some applications. One school -- and this was an artsy one -- told him specifically "Don't send it! We wouldn't know what to do with it." They said it was better to include a recommendation from a teacher who could talk to his talent than to include the actual work.</p>


<p>Probably a variation on Moliere's Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (1670):</p>

<p>Mr. Jourdain to his private tutor:</p>



<p>Unfortunately it didn't work for me. :( I thought I would combine poetry with a regional flavor that would appeal to the New England native. And so, my Harvard essay commenced:</p>

<p>There once was a man from Nantucket,</p>


<p>The dreaded doggerel, the loathsome limerick. :)
There once was a man from Nantucket
Who rowed to Cambridge in a bucket....</p>

<p>The Nantucket one is rated G compared to "There was a young lady from Dallas...."</p>