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Innocence Unit: Poetry. C. Edge English I ECHS 2007-2008. Reading Skills and Strategies: Poetry. Look for punctuation in the poem telling you where sentences begin and end. Do not make a full stop at the end of a line if there is no period, comma, colon, semicolon, or dash there.

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innocence unit poetry

Innocence Unit:Poetry

C. Edge

English I

ECHS

2007-2008

reading skills and strategies poetry
Reading Skills and Strategies: Poetry
  • Look for punctuation in the poem telling you where sentences begin and end.
  • Do not make a full stop at the end of a line if there is no period, comma, colon, semicolon, or dash there.
  • If a passage of a poem is difficult to understand, look for the subject, verb, and complement of each sentence.
reading skills and strategies poetry1
Reading Skills and Strategies: Poetry
  • Be alert for comparisons—for figures of speech.
  • Read the poem aloud.
  • After you have read the poem, talk about it and read it again.
  • Read the poem a third time.
speaker
Speaker
  • DEFINITION—the voice that talks to the reader
  • Every poem has one
  • May NOT be the poet
  • May be a fictional person, an animal, or even a thing
  • Similar to the narrator in prose writing
lines of poetry
Lines of Poetry
  • DEFINITION—a word or row of words that may or may not form a complete sentence
  • Similar to sentences in prose writing.
  • EXAMPLE: (there are four lines in this poem)

Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

You look like a monkey

and you smell like one, too.

stanzas
Stanzas
  • DEFINITION—a group of lines forming a unit of poetry
  • Stanzas are separated by blank spaces.
  • Similar to paragraphs in prose writing
  • EXAMPLE: (There is one stanza here)

Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

You look like a monkey

and you smell like one, too.

rhythm
Rhythm
  • DEFINITION—the pattern of sound created by the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line.
  • Can be regular or irregular
  • EXAMPLE:

Ro-ses are red. (4 beats)

Vio-lets are blue. (4 beats)

You look like a mon-key (6 beats)

and you smell like one, too. (6 beats)

meter
Meter
  • DEFINITION—a regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables, which sets the overall rhythm of certain poems
  • Stressed syllables are marked ( ’ ) and unstressed syllables are marked (~)
  • EXAMPLE:

‘ ~ ~ ‘

Ro-ses are red.

‘ ~ ~ ‘

Vio-lets are blue.

~ ‘ ~ ~ ‘ ~

You look like a mon-key

~ ‘ ~ ~ ‘ ~

and you smell like one, too.

rhyme
Rhyme
  • DEFINITION—the repetition of the same stressed vowel sound and any succeeding sounds in two or more words
  • Internal rhyme—occurs within a line of poetry
    • Example: “life is full of strife”
  • End rhyme—occurs at the ends of lines within the same stanza
    • Example:

Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

You look like a monkey

and you smell like one, too.

rhyme scheme
Rhyme Scheme
  • DEFINITION—the pattern of the end rhymes
  • May be designated by assigning a different letter of the alphabet to each new rhyme.
  • EXAMPLE:

Ro-ses are red. A

Vio-lets are blue. B

You look like a mon-key C

and you smell like one, too. B

imagery
Imagery
  • DEFINITION—descriptive language that appeals to the senses—sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell.
  • Some images appeal to more than one sense.
  • EXAMPLE:

The whistle of a boat

Calls and cries unendingly

(this image appeals to what sense?)

imagery1
Imagery
  • Imagery contributes to a poem’s forcefulness.
  • Imagery helps readers see things freshly like the poet sees them.
  • Imagery is part of poet’s individual personal style.
  • Imagery that is fresh and powerful helps to create a strong emotional reaction.
simile and metaphor
Simile and Metaphor
  • Simile—a figure of speech using a word such as like or as to directly compare seemingly unlike things
    • Example: He ran as fast as a cat.
  • Metaphor—a figure of speech that compares or equates seemingly unlike things, but does so indirectly
    • Example: His speed was almost feline.
metaphor
Metaphor
  • In a direct metaphor, a comparison is made using a verb such as is.
  • In an implied metaphor, a comparison is suggested rather than stated directly.
personification
Personification
  • DEFINITION—attributing human characteristics to an animal, object, or idea
  • EXAMPLE:

The trees danced in the moonlight…

slide16

A Narrow Fellow In The Grass

by Emily Dickinson.

A narrow fellow in the grass Occasionally rides; You may have met him, did you not, His notice sudden is.

The grass divides as with a comb, A spotted shaft is seen; And then it closes at your feet And opens further on.

He likes a boggy acre, A floor too cool for corn. Yet when a child, and barefoot, I more than once, at morn,

Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash Unbraiding in the sun, When, stooping to secure it, It wrinkled, and was gone.

Several of nature's people I know, and they know me; I feel for them a transport Of cordiality;

But never met this fellow, Attended or alone, Without a tighter breathing, And zero at the bone.

slide17

A Narrow Fellow In The Grass

by Emily Dickinson.

A narrow fellow in the grass Occasionally rides; You may have met him, did you not, His notice sudden is.

The grass divides as with a comb, A spotted shaft is seen; And then it closes at your feet And opens further on.

He likes a boggy acre, A floor too cool for corn. Yet when a child, and barefoot, I more than once, at morn,

Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash Unbraiding in the sun, When, stooping to secure it, It wrinkled, and was gone.

Several of nature's people I know, and they know me; I feel for them a transport Of cordiality;

But never met this fellow, Attended or alone, Without a tighter breathing, And zero at the bone.

Identify the subject, verb, and complement of l.4 and rearrange the syntax into standard word order.

Subject: notice

Verb: is

Complement: sudden

What do you think l. 4 means?

You don’t notice he is there until you are right on top of him; he just seems to appear from nowhere.

slide18

A Narrow Fellow In The Grass

by Emily Dickinson.

A narrow fellow in the grass Occasionally rides; You may have met him, did you not, His notice sudden is.

The grass divides as with a comb, A spotted shaft is seen; And then it closes at your feet And opens further on.

He likes a boggy acre, A floor too cool for corn. Yet when a child, and barefoot, I more than once, at morn,

Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash Unbraiding in the sun, When, stooping to secure it, It wrinkled, and was gone.

Several of nature's people I know, and they know me; I feel for them a transport Of cordiality;

But never met this fellow, Attended or alone, Without a tighter breathing, And zero at the bone.

What two things are compared by the author?

He compares the path made in the grass to hair parted by a comb.

How does this comparison help the reader imagine the “narrow fellow’s” movement?

Although readers may be unfamiliar with a snake’s movement, they can easily visualize a comb parting hair.

The speaker describes his reaction to a snake as “zero at the bone.” What do you think he means?

when i heard the learn d astronomer

“When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”

By: Walt Whitman

Elements of Literature, p. 496

scene
Scene
  • DEFINITION—The location of the events of the poem.
    • Poets use images to establish scene.
      • A scene can be an external physical setting
        • A hillside, a city, a pond, a room, etc.
      • A scene can be internalized
        • Inside the speaker’s mind
repetition
Repetition
  • DEFINITION—elements that are repeated
  • Sounds can be repeated as well as words, phrases, and images.
  • Examples of sound repetitions:
    • Alliteration
    • Assonance—the repetition of vowel sounds within a line of poetry
alliteration
Alliteration
  • DEFINITION—the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginnings of words
  • EXAMPLE:

Peter Piper picked a peck

of pickled peppers.

How many pecks of pickled peppers

did Peter Piper pick?

assonance
Assonance
  • DEFINITION—the repetition of vowel sounds within a line of poetry
  • EXAMPLE:

The rain in Spain

falls mainly on the plain

slide24

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

By Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn'd astronomer;When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

repetition1
Repetition
  • What words or images are repeated in ll. 1-4?
    • Repetition includes the use of “When I” to begin each line, the phrase “heard the astronomer,” and the words “lectured” and “lecture”. The image of numbers and charts is also repeated.
  • How does the repetition help the reader understand the speaker’s mood?
    • The repetition creates a monotonous rhythm, echoing the boredom felt by the speaker; readers can almost hear the astronomer drone on and on.
imagery and scene
Imagery and Scene
  • How does the image of the “mystical moist night air” help the reader identify the external and internal scenes in this part of the poem?
    • The words moist, night, and air appeal to the senses of sight and touch and describe the external physical setting, the word mystical reveals the speaker’s mental state, which is the internal scene.
  • How does this scene differ from the lecture room?
    • The night sky has a feeling of expansion and freedom while the lecture room feels closed and contained; this scene conveys mystery and wonder, while the lecture room seems rigid and dull.
question 1 p 498
Question #1, p. 498
  • When you think of images in the world that give you joy or that fill you with wonder, do you look at ordinary things or at cosmic things, as Whitman does? Or do you find wonder in abstractions like math (or astronomy)? Talk over your responses to each poet’s source of wonder and joy.
question 3 p 498
Question #3, p. 498
  • What scenes do you see and share in Whitman’s poem?
  • External scenes include a lecture hall and the outdoors under the stars. Internal scenes are the speaker’s opposite states of mind; inside, he feels stifled; outside, he feels at peace.
question 4 p 498
Question #4, p. 498
  • What do you think sick means in Whitman’s poem—what was bothering the speaker as he listened to the astronomer? At the end of the poem, what part of the speaker has been restored by the “mystical” starry night?
  • The speaker was sick at heart and unsettled because the astronomer reduced the beauty of the stars to charts and diagrams. Outside, the speaker’s mood is restored.
question 5 p 498
Question #5, p. 498
  • Suppose you, the learn’d astronomer, came upon Whitman’s poem a week after your lecture. How would you respond to the poet?
  • The astronomer may feel annoyed by Whitman’s irreverence and lack of respect for learning. Others may think that the astronomer would disagree with Whitman and claim that astronomy makes people appreciate the night sky all the more.
slide31

“Fog”

By: Carl Sandburg

Elements of Literature, p. 502

simile and metaphor1
Simile and Metaphor
  • Simile—a figure of speech using a word such as like or as to directly compare seemingly unlike things
    • Example: He ran as fast as a cat.
  • Metaphor—a figure of speech that compares or equates seemingly unlike things, but does so indirectly
    • Example: His speed was almost feline.
metaphor1
Metaphor
  • In a direct metaphor, a comparison is made using a verb such as is.
  • In an implied metaphor, a comparison is suggested rather than stated directly.
slide34

“Fog”

By: Carl Sandburg

The fog comes on little cat feet. 

It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.

metaphor and imagery
Metaphor and Imagery
  • Do you think the comparison of fog to a cat makes sense? Why or why not?
    • Yes, both fog and cats move silently and seem mysterious and elusive; no, fog is more dangerous than a cat.
  • What details extend the image of the cat in these lines?
    • Like a cat, the fog sits and looks; it rests “on silent haunches.”
question 4 p 507 fog
Question #4, p. 507 “Fog”
  • Why do you think Sandburg thought the fog was like a cat? What other cat actions could fit into “Fog”? 
  • Fog creeps in silently life a cat; cats also move quickly, as can fog.
question 8 p 507 fog
Question #8, p. 507 “Fog”
  • Read Sandburg’s “Fog” again. Pretend you are actually standing at the edge of a harbor and watching the fog come in across the water. How do you feel about everything around you disappearing? How does the fog feel against your skin?
  • The moment feels mysterious and spooky; the fog feels clammy. 
in just

“in Just”

By: E.E. Cummings

Elements of Literature, p. 504

imagery2
Imagery
  • DEFINITION—descriptive language that appeals to the senses—sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell.
  • Some images appeal to more than one sense.
  • EXAMPLE:

The whistle of a boat

Calls and cries unendingly

(this image appeals to what sense?)

clich
Cliché
  • DEFINITION—an expression so often used that its freshness and clarity have worn off
  • A cliché is a word that has been “played out.”
allusion
Allusion
  • DEFINITION—a figure of speech that makes brief reference to a historical or literary figure, event, or object
  • Example from music:
    • Led Zeppelin’s “Battle of Evermore” has references to Lord of the Rings.
slide42

“in Just-”

E. E. Cummingsin Just-spring    when the world is mud- luscious the littlelame balloonmanwhistles      far    and wee and eddieandbill comerunning from marbles andpiracies and it’sspringwhen the world is puddle-wonderfulthe queerold balloonman whistlesfar     and     wee and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope andit’sspringand        the             goat-footedballoonMan     whistles farandwee

question 5 p 507
Question #5, p. 507
  • E. E. Cummings is famous for his unusual punctuation and arrangements of words. What are the children doing in “in Just-” that matches the leaps and jumps of the words? Why do you think Cummings made single words out of the names Eddie and Bill, Betty and Isbel? 
question 6 p 507
Question #6, p. 507
  • Both Pan and Hephaestus, like most other Greek gods, were pretty tricky customers. Do you think Cummings depicts the balloon man as completely harmless and kind? Which of the poem’s words and images support your response? 
creative writing bonus assignment
Creative Writing—BONUS ASSIGNMENT
  • Imitate the style of Cummings’s poem “in Just-,” and write a poem presenting fresh images that you associate with a particular season. Avoid clichés and other overused expressions. You might open the way Cummings did: “in Just- . . . when the world is . . .” Play with words and punctuation and typography just as Cummings did. 
fifteen

“Fifteen”

By: William Stafford

Elements of Literature, p. 570

denotation and connotation
Denotation and Connotation
  • Denotation—The basic meaning of a word.
  • Connotation—The emotional implications and associations that words may carry, apart from their denotative meanings.
slide48

“Fifteen”

William Stafford South of the Bridge on SeventeenthI found back of the willows one summerday a motorcycle with engine runningas it lay on its side, ticking overslowly in the high grass. I was fifteen.I admired all that pulsing gleam, theshiny flanks, the demure headlightsfringed where it lay; I led it gentlyto the road and stood with thatcompanion, ready and friendly. I was fifteen.We could find the end of a road, meetthe sky on out Seventeenth. I thought abouthills, and patting the handle got back aconfident opinion. On the bridge we indulgeda forward feeling, a tremble. I was fifteen.

Thinking, back farther in the grass I foundthe owner, just coming to, where he had flippedover the rail. He had blood on his hand, was pale—I helped him walk to his machine. He ran his handover it, called me a good man, roared away.I stood there, fifteen.

question 1 p 574
Question #1, p. 574
  • How do you think the writer of “Fifteen” felt about the conflict that he made into a poem?
question 2 p 574
Question #2, p. 574
  • How does the boy in “Fifteen” feel about the motorcycle? What lines convey that feeling? What have you experienced that allows you to understand his emotion?
question 3 p 574
Question #3, p. 574
  • What do you think the boy in “Fifteen” mean in lines 11-12 when he says that he and the motorcycle could “meet the sky out on Seventeenth”? What else could “meet the sky” mean?
question 4 p 574
Question #4, p. 574
  • The writer uses “Fifteen” as the title of the poem, and the phrase “I was fifteen” as a refrain, or chorus. What is the significance of that number? Could it as well have been sixteen? How about twelve or eighteen?
question 8 p 574
Question #8, p. 574
  • Suppose you are the person who finds the motorcycle in “Fifteen.” The man who owns it calls you a good man or woman. Given what you were just thinking about doing, how does that make you feel?