3Title Ponder the title before reading the poem. “Fifteen” What might it mean?What is it about?Fifteen an age, a number, a quantity?ETC.
4Paraphrase Translate the poem into your own words. What is going on in the poem?Think plot
5Connotation Contemplate the poem for meaning beyond the literal. Although this term usually refers to the emotional overtones of word choice, here it indicates that students should examine any and all poetic device, focusing on how such devices contribute to the meaning and/or effect of a poem.
6Attitude Observe both the speaker’s and the poet’s attitude (tone). Examination of diction, images, and details suggest the speaker’s attitude and contribute to meaning.
7Shifts Note shifts in speaker and in attitudes. Rarely does a poet begin and end the poetic experience in the same place (mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.)
8Title Examine the title again, this time on an interpretive level. What does it suggest no that you have read the poem?
9Theme Determine what the poem is saying. List the subjects of the poem moving from literal to abstract; then, determine what the poet is saying about each of those subjects and write a complete sentence. What does the piece say about the subject of the work?The students have identified the theme. This method reduces anxiety about stating theme.
10Try on in composition book “Fifteen” by William Stafford