1. Meet the poem • Read it all the way through (including the title) and get to know it. Understanding may not happen all at once…like getting to know a new person! “Howdy, POEM! I’m just gonna read you through all at once to see what you’re about…” POEM
2. Read it Again, Slowly • Look for Figurative Language • Look for repeated ideas • Think and write about what each stanza might be meaning “Let’s see here…I see some metaphors…and you keep repeating ‘Nevermore!’ What the heck? Is Lenore an old girlfriend?” POEM
3. Identify the Tone/Mood • Tone = how the AUTHOR was feeling as he/she wrote the poem • Mood = how YOU should feel after you read the poem “I feel sad, confused, and a little scared. That Raven is creeping me out. Edgar Allen Poe must have been really depressed about something when he wrote this.” POEM
4. Look at the Form • Free verse vs. rhymed • How many stanzas • Length of lines • Graphic Elements “I hear a rhyme scheme, but not all the lines are the same length. This is a long poem…it always circles back to that Raven quoting “Nevermore!”” POEM
5. Connect with the Poem • Imagine/Picture, in your mind, what this poem could “look like” – how might you draw it? • How would you describe the poem to someone else? • Memorize your favorite verse “I can see a creepy black raven sitting on the doorframe to my room. I think this is a poem about a depressed guy who lost his girlfriend. I cannot get that line out of my head: “Quoth the Raven, NEVERMORE!”
Happiness Epidemic • Meet the poem – just read • Read Again SLOWER - look and write about the deeper meaning • Identify Tone and Mood • Look for Form - graphic elements, line length, poem style, rhyme scheme,stanzas, etc. • Connect with poem - favorite line, how would you explain it, how would you illustrate the poem
Happiness Epidemic By David Hernandez Without any warning, the disease sweeps across the country like a traveling circus. People who were once blue, who slouched from carrying a bag of misery over one shoulder are now clinically cheerful. Symptoms include kind gestures, a bouncy stride, a smile bigger than a slice of cantaloupe. You pray that you will be infected, hope a happy germ invades your body and multiplies, spreading merriment to all your major organs like door-to-door Christmas carolers Until the virus finally reaches your heart: that red house at the end of the block where your deepest wishes reside, Where a dog howls behind a gate every time that sorrow pulls his hearse up the driveway.