Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Understanding Poems"— Presentation transcript:
1 Strategies for Understanding Poems Reading PoetryStrategies for Understanding Poems
2 Six-legged scribblers 1. Identify the SpeakerWho is “saying” the poem?The speaker isn’t always the poetfrom “Fireflies” by Paul FleischmanLightis the ink we useNightWe’refirefliesflickeringflashinggleamingInsect calligraphersCopying sentencesSix-legged scribblers
3 SpeakerThe speaker is the imaginary voice you hear when you read a poem – who is “saying” the poem.
4 Who do you think the speaker is in this poem? If I were in charge of the worldI’d cancel oatmeal,Monday mornings,Allergy shots, and alsoSara Steinberg.There’d be brighter night lights,Healthier hamsters, andBasketball baskets forty-eight inches lower.If I were in charge of the worldYou wouldn’t have lonely.You wouldn’t have clean.You wouldn’t have bedtimes.Or “Don’t punch your sister.”You wouldn’t even have sisters.A chocolate sundae with whipped cream and nuts would be a vegetable.All 007 movies would be G.And a person who sometimes forgot to brush,And sometimes forgot to flush,Would still be allowed to be in charge of the world.
5 Speaker Answer:The speaker is probably a young boy, about years old.We can tell this by the things he would change if he were in charge of the world.The height of basketball hoopsThe treatment of his sisterThe rating of 007 (James Bond) movies
6 2. Use Your Senses Poetry uses all 5 senses Use the sounds, smells, etc. to help yourself paint a mental picture of what the poem is describingBashoAn old silent pondA frog jumps into the pond,splash! Silence again.SosekiOver the wintryForest, winds howl in a rageWith no leaves to blow.
7 3. ListenMuch poetry is musical – it’s designed to be heard rather than read.Either read the poem aloud or listen to someone else read it.“Boa Constrictor” by Shel SilversteinOh, I’m being eatenBy a boa constrictor,A boa constrictor,I’m being eaten by a boa constrictorAnd I don’t like it – one bit.Well, what do you know?It’s nibblin’ my toe.Oh, gee,It’s up to my knee.Oh my,It’s up to my thigh.Oh, fiddle,It’s up to my middle.Oh, heck,It’s up to my neck.Oh, dread,It’s upmmmmmmmmmfffffffff...
8 4. Read According to Punctuation “On the Skateboard” by Lillian MorrisionSkimmingAn asphalt seaI swerve, I curve, ISway; I speed to whirringSound an inch above theground; I’m the sailorAnd the sail, I’m theDriver and the wheelI’m the one and onlySingle engineHuman automobilePause at commas, semicolons, and end marks (?,!,.)Only pause at the end of the line if it has a comma, semicolon, or end mark at the end of it.
9 Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates a sound. Examples: crash, bang, plop
10 What examples of onomatopoeia are in the following excerpt? Bram rackety-am-m, OM, Am:All – r-r-room, r-r-ram, alabaster –Am, the world’s my oyster.I hate plastic, wear it black and slick,Hate hardhats, wear one on my head,That’s what the motorcycle said.Answers:bramr-r-roomr-r-ram
11 PersonificationPersonification gives human characteristics of a nonhuman object.Example: The wind whispered in the trees. The stars danced in the skies.
12 Explain the personification in the poem below: Once a snowflake fellOn my brow and i lovedIt so much and i kissedIt and it was happy and called its cousinsAnd brothers and a webOf snow engulfed me thenI reached to love them allAnd i squeezed them and they becameA spring ran and i stood perfectlyStill and was a flowerAnswers:Both snowflakes and the flower are being personified:Snowflakes don’t have families and can’t call themFlowers can’t kiss and squeeze the snow
13 Explain the personification in the poem below: Late that mad Monday eveningI made mermaids come from the seaAs the black sky satUpon the wavesAnd night came creeping up to meAnswer:The black sky sat upon the wavesThe sky can’t sit.Night came creeping up to meThe night doesn’t creep.
14 Rhythm Rhythm is the pattern of beats in a poem. The pattern is formed by stressed and unstressed syllables.Not all poems have a rhythm pattern.
15 LimerickA limerick is a short, usually funny poem with a very specific form:The 1st, 2nd, and 5th lines rhyme and have 3 stressed syllables.The 3rd and 4th lines rhyme and have 2 stressed syllables.There was an old man from PeruWho dreamed he was eating his shoeHe awoke in the nightWith a terrible frightTo discover it was totally true
16 There was a young fellow named Hall Who fell in the spring in the fall‘Twould have been a sad thingTo have died in the springBut he didn’t – he died in the fallAn epicure dining at CreweFound quite a large mouse in his stewSaid the waiter, “Don’t shout!And wave it aboutOr the rest will be wanting one too!”
17 Haiku Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry with a specific rhythm 1st line – five syllables2nd line – seven syllables3rd line – five syllablesHaiku are often about nature and the five senses.
18 A frog jumps into the pond, splash! Silence again. BashoAn old silent pondA frog jumps into the pond,splash! Silence again.SosekiOver the wintryForest, winds howl in a rageWith no leaves to blow.
19 MetaphorA metaphor is the comparison of two objects without using the words “like” or “as.”Instead of one object being similar to another, one object IS another.Example: “This room is a pigsty!”
20 What is the metaphor in this poem? The rose is a rose,And was always a rose.But the theory now goesThat the apple’s a rose,And the pear is, and so’sThe plum, I suppose.The dear only knowsWhat will next prove a rose.You, of course, are a rose –But were always a rose.Answer:Various fruits (apple, pear, plum) are compared to a rose.The reader is also compared to a rose.
21 What is the metaphor in this poem? Seeing that there’s no other way,I turn his absence into a chair.I can sit in it,gaze out through the window.I can do what I do bestand go out into the world.And I can return then with my useless love,to rest,because the chair is there.Answer:The person’s absence is compared to a chair. The speaker doesn’t have to wallow about the loss of love because the chair will stay while the speaker goes into the world.
22 SimileA simile is a comparison of two objects using the words “like” or “as.”Example: She is as blind as a bat.
23 What is the simile in the following excerpt? Oh, my love’s like a red, red roseThat’s newly sprung in June.O, my love is like the melodyThat’s sweetly played in tune.Answers:Love is compared to a newly blossomed rose.Love is compared to a sweet melody.
24 Metaphor and SimileRemember – these are comparisons, not descriptions. The object should be compared to another object, not described with an adjective.
25 Identify the metaphor and simile in this poem: Forgetfulness is like a songThat, freed from beat and measure, wanders.Forgetfulness is like a bird whose wings are reconciled,Outspread and motionless –A bird that coasts the wind unwearyingly.Forgetfulness is rain at night,Or an old house in a forest, - or a child.Forgetfulness is white, - white as a blasted tree,And it may stun the sybil into prophecy,Or bury the Gods.I remember much forgetfulness.Similes:Forgetfulness is compared to a wandering songForgetfulness is compared to a bird coasting in the sky.MetaphorsForgetfulness is compared to rain at night, an old house in a forest, and a child.
26 AlliterationAlliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words.Example: “With blare of brass, with beating drums.”Often used in tongue twisters.
27 Find the alliteration in this excerpt: Little hoppy happyToad in tweedsTweedsLittle itchy mousesWith scuttlingEyes rustle and run andHidehidehidewhisk
28 Alliteration is underlined: Little hoppy happyToad in tweedsTweedsLittle itchy mousesWith scuttlingEyes rustle and run andHidehidehidewhisk
29 Find the alliteration in the poem below: He clasps the crag with crooked hands;Close to the sun in lonely lands,Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;He watches from his mountain walls,And like a thunderbolt he falls.
30 Alliteration is underlined: He clasps the crag with crooked hands;Close to the sun in lonely lands,Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;He watches from his mountain walls,And like a thunderbolt he falls.
31 ThemeThe theme is the moral or lesson – it’s what the poet is trying to teach the reader.
32 What is the theme of this poem? The summerStill hangsHeavy and sweetWith sunlightAs it did last year.The autumnStill comesShowering gold and crimsonThe winterStill stingsClean and cold and whiteThe springLike a whisper in the dark night.It is only I who have changed.AnswerAlthough the seasons remain the same from year to year, the speaker changes as time passes.
33 What is the theme of this poem? Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry i could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowth;Then took the other, as just as fair,And having perhaps the better claim,Because it was grassy and wanted wear;Though as for that the passing thereHad worn them really about the same,And both that morning equally layIn leaves no step had trodden black.Oh, I kept the first for another day!Yet knowing how way leads onto way,I doubted if I should ever come back.I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.AnswerIn this poem, the two roads symbolize two different ways to live life. One is the “traditional” path that everyone takes; the other is one less commonly taken. The theme is that the speaker has found it more beneficial in life to take risks and do things in life that are not necessarily traditional or “safe.” Being unique rather than a follower has made a difference in his life.
34 ToneTone is the speaker’s attitude or emotions communicated in the words of the poem
35 What is the tone of this poem? I like the plates on the ledgeof the dining room wall (to the north)standing on edge,standing as if they thought they could stay.Confident things can stand and stay!I am confident.I always thought there was something to be done about everything.I’ll stay.I’ll not go pouting and shouting out of the city.My name will be Up in Lights!I believe it!They will know me as Nora-the-Wonderful!It will happen!Mother says “You rise in the morning –You must be the Sun!For wherever you are there is Light,and those who are near you are warm,feel Efficient.”Answer:The tone of this poem is confident, even bragging at times.
36 ImageryImagery is the mental pictures the words of the poem create in the reader’s mind.
37 What imagery does this poem contain? a gallon ofrichcountry creamhand-whippedinto stiffpeaksflungfrom the beaterinto dollopsacross the blue oilclothThis poem, about cumulus clouds, evokes the image of someone taking fresh whipped cream and flinging it from the beaters into the sky to create the clouds.
38 What imagery does this poem contain? who knows if the moon’sa balloon, coming out of a keen cityin the sky – filled with pretty people?(and if you and i shouldget into it, if theyshould take me and take you into their balloon,why thenwe’d go up higher with all the pretty peoplethan houses and steeples and clouds:go sailingaway and away sailing into a keencity which nobody’s ever visited, wherealwaysit’sSpring) and everyone’sIn love and flowers pick themselves.This poem evokes the image of the moon turning into a hot air balloon that takes people over a city into a new place in which everyone is happy. The imagery of flowers picking themselves is particularly strong.