Week 17–Introduction To Poetry


Now most of you aren’t people who would go around telling your friends that you are into poetry. Most of you don’t read poetry in your spare time (I think a couple of you do). But I don’t want you to think of poetry as an art form that excludes you or people like you. Poetry is for everyone. Poetry gives a voice to common average people. Poetry isn’t for girls, and it isn’t only written by guys. Poetry is universal. During this unit I need you to do two things.

1.) Find a poem that speaks to you

2.) Find a poet you can relate to a little bit or in some way

If you can do those two things then regardless of anything else, I can walk away knowing I have done my job.

Although I would much prefer that you learn how to analyze poetry–picking out and unraveling the meaning of the metaphors, scanning the rhythm, and solving the mystery–If you can just CONNECT to something–I have done my job.

John Keats (my favorite poet), said, “A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving in a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore; it’s to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out. It is an experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery.”

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Poetry is about FEELING as much as it is about thought and logic. I want you to keep this idea in your head the next 6 weeks. I want you to try to understand the poems by how they feel as well as what they mean. Be in the lake, luxuriate in the sensation, accept the mystery. ❤

This week we will do a lot of what we always do. You are going to write down new literary terms in your literary terms journals, do some grammar, study some vocab, and read some introductions to the poetry.

There is an online textbook that I want to take advantage of for the sake of convenience, and since these are the exact poems we were going to focus on anyways.

For your work, I want you to make a Poetry Analysis Folder that will help me when I grade your work. Get a manila folder, manila envelope or a report folder and collect all of your homework in one place. When you come to school I will check your work, initial it, go over it with you, and you will take it back home to keep adding to each week.

So, this week, bring your work to class in some kind of small folder or envelope with your name on it.

You do not have the Poetry of Music Project this week!!!

We will start our Jon Foreman unit NEXT WEEK.


  • Holiday


  • Read the “Writers on Writing” essay by Judith Ortiz Coffer and the section on literary terms (page 612-619)
  • Answer the “Your Turn” questions on the bottom of page 619, where you get a chance to analyze the poems “Dust of Snow” and “Lost”(put this in your poetry folder–labeled “Assignement 1”)
  • Literary Terms Project–Copy down the forms of poetry from speaker to ballad


  • Read “Analyzing Visuals” (pg. 620-621) Answer the 4 questions on pg. 621 (and put them in your poetry folder labeled “Assignment 2”)
  • Read “What Skills Help You Understand and Enjoy Poetry” (pg. 622-623) and answer the “Your Turn” questions on page 623 (put this in your poetry folder labeled “Assignment 3”)
  • Literary Terms Project–Copy down from Imagery to Simile


  • Today you are going to read one of my FAVORITE poems, “My Father’s Song”by, Simon J. Ortiz–Notice the metaphor, rhyme, and alliteration. You will also read a poem called “First Lesson.” Go ahead and read the two poems from pages 624-627, as well as the biographies of the poets. Then do the “Into Action: Elements of Poetry Checklist on page 627. You do not need to answer the 4 “talk about questions” but I would like you to answer question 5 underneath your checklist/chart. (put this in your poetry folder labeled “Assignment 4”)
  • Literary Terms Project–Copy down from Metaphor to Personification
  • No Poetry of Music Project this week 🙂

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