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Introduction to Poetry. Grade 9. How to Read a Poem. Look at the title ~What might the poem be about?. Read the poem silently…. First reading : Let the poem come to you Second reading : Let yourself come to the poem Third reading : Listen to the poem as it is meant to be read.

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Introduction to Poetry


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    1. Introduction to Poetry Grade 9

    2. How to Read a Poem • Look at the title ~What might the poem be about?

    3. Read the poem silently… • First reading: Let the poem come to you • Second reading: Let yourself come to the poem • Third reading: Listen to the poem as it is meant to be read

    4. Start with what you know… • Vocabulary, etc. • Look for words you do not understand, use context clues, use a dictionary

    5. Check for understanding… • What is your impression? ~Do you like it/dislike it? ~Why?

    6. Look for patterns… • Rhyme scheme, stanzas, image, organization, repetition, etc.

    7. Identify author and speaker… • What do you know about author? • Who is the speaker? • When was the poem written? • author’s tone?

    8. Critical moments/changes… • When do they happen? • Are they effective?

    9. Form and function… • What type of poem is it? (ode, ballad, lyric, elegy, haiku, limerick, free verse, etc.) • Why is the form effective for the subject?

    10. Check your feelings… • What are the mood and tone of the poem? • How does the poem make you feel as you read it? • Do you make any connections to your own life and experiences?

    11. Check for understanding again… • History, what you now know, etc. • Go back to the title – were your predictions correct?

    12. After Reading… • Pause and reflect… ~Do I feel comfortable explaining what the poem is about? ~Do I have a clear picture of the poem in my head? ~What particular words or images come to mind? ~What is the “big idea” of the poem?

    13. Poetic Terms to know • Copy and save these terms in your binders. You will need to refer to them as we work through the poems in this unit.

    14. denotation • The meaning of the word you will find in the dictionary Example: squander – to spend wastefully or extravagantly

    15. connotation • The emotional response or suggestions that a word triggers within you Example: squander – to be careless with what you have; to not appreciate something’s value

    16. alliteration • The repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginnings of several words of a line of poetry or a sentence Example: There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground, And swallows calling with their shimmering sound; (Sara Teasdale – “There Will Come Soft Rains”)

    17. assonance • Repetition of similar vowel sounds that are followed by different consonant sounds, especially in words that are close together in a poem Example: Moses supposes his toeses are roses.

    18. allusion • A reference to something with which the reader is likely to be familiar, such as a person, place, or event from history or literature Example: She drank from a bottle called DRINK ME And up she grew so tall, She ate from a plate called TASTE ME And down she shrank so small And so she changed, while other folks Never tried nothin’ at all. (“Alice” by Shel Silverstein)

    19. figurative language • Made up of all the tools that a poet uses to create a special effect or feeling. • It includes metaphor, simile, alliteration, personification, onomatopoeia, and hyperbole.

    20. metaphor • A comparison of two unlike things in which one thing becomes another thing without the use of the word(s) like, as, than, or resembles. Example: “My love is a red, red rose”

    21. simile • A comparison between two unlike things, using a word such as like, as, resembles, or than. Example: Your eyes sparkle as brightly as the stars.

    22. personification • A metaphor in which a nonhuman thing or quality is talked about as if it were human Example: This poetry gets bored of being alone, it wants to go outdoors and chew on the winds, to fill its commas with the keels of rowboats… (Hugo Margenat, from “Living Poetry”)

    23. onomatopoeia • Use of a word whose sound imitates or suggests its meaning (“comic book words”) Example: “boom” “crash” “swoosh”

    24. couplet • Two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme Example: I am his Highness’ dog at Kew; Pray tell me, Sir, whose dog are you? (Alexander Pope)

    25. diction • A writer’s or speaker’s choice of words. • Diction is an essential element of a writer’s style. • Connotations of words are an important aspect of diction.

    26. hyperbole • Exaggeration for effect; often humorous Example: He was as big as a house!

    27. imagery • The use of words that appeal to your five senses Example: I peeled my orange That was so bright against The gray of December That, from some distance, Someone might have thought I was making a fire in my hands. (from “Oranges” by Gary Soto)

    28. ballad • A poem that tells a story similar to a folktale or legend. Often has a repeated refrain. Example: The Ballad of Davy Crockett

    29. free verse • Poetry written without a regular rhyme scheme, meter, or form • The early 20th-century poets were the first to write what they called "free verse" which allowed them to break from the formula and rigidity of traditional poetry.

    30. mood • the feeling created in the reader by the poem or story Example:Stark naked flower stalksStand shivering in the wind.The cheerless sun hides its black lightBehind bleak, angry clouds,While trees vainly tryTo catch their escaping leaves.Carpets of grass turn brown,Blending morosely with the dreary day.Winter seems the death of life forever. (from “Winter Garden”)

    31. symbol • When something stands for or represents an idea or emotion Example: Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature's law is wrong it learned to walk with out having feet. Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared. (“The Rose that Grew from Concrete” by Tupak Shakur)

    32. tone • The attitude taken by the author or speaker toward the subject of the work Example: I hoped that he would love me, And he has kissed my mouth But I am like a stricken bird That cannot reach the south. For though I know he loves me, Tonight my heart is sad; His kiss was not so wonderful As all the dreams I had. (“The Kiss” by Sara Teasdale)

    33. rhyme • The repetition of similar sounds Example: Teddy said it was a hat, And so I put it on. Now dad is saying, “Where the heck’s the toilet plunger gone?” (“Hat” by Shel Silverstein)

    34. internal rhyme • Rhyme that occurs in the middle of a line Example: Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary (EAP – “The Raven”)

    35. end rhyme • Rhymes that occur at the ends of lines Example: My last defense Is the present tense. It hurts me now to know I shall not go Cathedral-hunting in Spain Nor cherrying in Michigan or Maine. (“Old Mary” – Gwendolyn Brooks)

    36. rhyme scheme • The pattern of rhymes formed by the end rhyme in a poem Example: My last defense Is the present tense. It hurts me now to know I shall not go Cathedral-hunting in Spain Nor cherrying in Michigan or Maine. (“Old Mary” – Gwendolyn Brooks) Rhyme Scheme of this poem is: aabbcc

    37. speaker • Voice that is talking to the reader in a poem • Sometimes the speaker is identical with the poet, but often the speaker and the poet are not the same.

    38. lyric poem • Poetry that does not tell a story but is aimed only at expressing a speaker’s emotions or thoughts Example: The dead are always looking down on us, they say.while we are putting on our shoes or eating a steak,they are looking down through the glass bottom boats of heavenas they row themselves slowly through eternity. They watch the tops of our heads moving below on earth,and when we lie down in a field or on a couch,drugged perhaps by the hum of a long afternoon,they think we are looking back at them,which makes them lift their oars and fall silentand wait, like parents, for us to close our eyes.(“The Dead” by Billy Collins)

    39. sonnet • Fourteen-line lyric poem that has one of several rhyme schemes • Shakespeare wrote 154 Shakespearean sonnets: rhyme scheme = abab cdcd efef gg

    40. theme • The main idea, or meaning, behind a poem

    41. narrative poem • A poem that tells a story and usually contains all of the elements of fiction Example: Listen my children and you shall hearOf the midnight ride of Paul Revere,On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;Hardly a man is now aliveWho remembers that famous day and year. (“Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

    42. repetition • Repeating of sounds and words for effect Example: And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. (from “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost)

    43. ode • A lyric poem that is serious and thoughtful in tone and has a very precise, formal structure. A tribute. Example: “Ode to Joy”

    44. elegy • a mournful, melancholic or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song or a lament for the dead. Example: “O Captain, My Captain” by Walt Whitman