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Analyzing Poetry Introduction. Week 1: Introduction-Analyzing Poetry.

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Analyzing Poetry Introduction

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Analyzing poetry introduction

Analyzing PoetryIntroduction

Week 1 introduction analyzing poetry

Week 1: Introduction-Analyzing Poetry

We are affected by literature -- we love it, hate it, or are indifferent. This is the total effect. "Meaning" is the total effect -- the sum of all of the parts is what it "means" to you. The "meaning" of a work may change as you understand more about it or experience some of what the author has written about. Therefore, "meaning" is how the poem acts on you -- what it is that you feel. As you understand more about a work, its meaning will change -- it will have more effect, or there is also the possibility that you will realize that the work did not mean what you thought it did (you feel differently).


The movie Friday the 13th, Part 23 may be an inspiration for the beginning film maker, a triumph of wise investment for the producer, a boring waste of time for the person who has seen the previous 22, and a terrifying experience for the poor spectator who has seen none of the others. For each of them, the experience, the interpretation, and ultimately, the meaning, will be different. Therefore when you analyze or look at a work of art, you are trying to decipher how it achieves its effect or how did it produce meaning.

Analyzing poetry

Analyzing Poetry

As we read poetry over the next few months, I want you to follow these directions during poetry mini-lessons:

  • Be open to liking or disliking a poem. Try to stay away from indifferent. Formulate an opinion and substantiate it for each poem. Be thoughtful, critical and reflective.

  • Some questions for discussion will be opinion and some will have correct answers. Take both seriously.

  • Read a poem once, without reading the question beside or under it. Don’t worry about anything but the poem on that first read. Focus only on reading the poem and thinking about its meaning.

  • On the second read, evaluate the poem with what’s being asked. ALWAYS HAVE THIS SECOND READ!

Analyzing poetry introduction

  • This poem is written by a teenager. Why do you think the author wrote this poem?

  • What do you think

  • about it---

  • Like? Dislike? Or WHY?

  • 3) How can you connect

  • with the meaning of

  • the poem?

to read

I write

I make

I listen

the food


I’ve taken

the thoughts


I am


I want you

the poems

see the movies

hear the music

to eat

I cook

the walks


I think

the life


By Elaine Schwager

If by rudyard kipling

Ifby Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep you head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings,

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them, "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

1) What is one theme of the passage? Use details from the passage to support your answer. Write your answer in the answer document.

Analyzing poetry introduction

"You Can't Write a Poem About McDonald's“Ronald Wallace

Noon. Hunger the only thingsinging in my belly.I walk through the blossoming cherry treeson the library mall,past the young couples coupling,by the crazy fanaticscreaming doom and salvationat a sensation-hungry crowd,to the Lake Street McDonald's.It is crowded, the lines long and sluggish.I wait in the greasy air.All around me people are eating—the sizzle of conversation,the salty odor of sweat,the warm flesh pressing out ofhip huggers and halter tops.When I finally reach the cash register,the counter girl is crisp as a pickle,her fingers thin as french fries,

her face brown as a bun.Suddenly I understand cannibalism.As I reach for her,she breaks into pieceswrapped neat and packaged for take-out.I'm thinking, how amazing it isto live in this country, how easyit is to be filled.We leave together, her warm aromaclose at my side.I walk back through the cherry treesblossoming up into pies,the young couples frying inthe hot, oily sun,the crowd eating up the fanatic,singing, my ear, eye, and tonguefat with the wonderof this hungry world.

  • Where are the images that the reader can see, think, taste, feel, and smell?

  • What comparisons did the author make? What literary technique did he employ?

  • What is the mood of the poem?

I m nobody emily dickinson

"I'm Nobody“ Emily Dickinson

  I'm nobody! Who are you?

Are you nobody, too?

Then there's a pair of us - don't tell!

They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!

How public like a frog

To tell your name the livelong day

To an admiring bog!

  • What do you think Dickinson means by “I’m nobody"?

  • Based on the poem, what can you infer that the poet feels about being a “nobody”?

  • Why does Dickinson say she doesn’t want “to be somebody”?

    a. She’s not a realistic person.

    b. She doesn’t get along with others.

    c. She’s afraid to make friends.

    d. She doesn’t want everyone to know her name.

    4. Based on the passage, what might the word, “banish” mean?

    a. kill

    b. celebrate

    c. shun

    d. welcome

Analyzing poetry introduction

  • What do you think the author’s purpose was for writing this poem?

  • a. to tell a story

  • b. to express a feeling

  • c. to make the reader laugh

  • d. to praise its subject

  • 2) What is the simile in this poem? What is being compared? Why do you think the author chose to use this literary device?

“Daybreak” by Ted Kooser

On the tidal mud, just before sunset

Dozens of starfishes

were creeping. It was

as though the mud were a sky

and enormous, imperfect stars

moved across it slowly

as the actual stars cross heaven.

All at once they stopped,

and as if they had simply

increased their receptivity

to gravity they sank down

into the mud; they faded down

into it and lay still; by the time

pink of sunset broke across them

they were as invisible

As the true stars at daybreak.

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