Week 18–Imagery and Form

“Being alive is a common road. It’s what we notice that makes us different.”

–Naomi Shihab Nye.

Image result for naomi shihab nye

This week we are going to look at imagery and form in various poems. But because of the fact that we are not meeting on Friday I want this week to be more interactive. I need you to participate in a discussion in the comment section below.

Because Mitchell was having problems accessing the online textbook, I am going to do something different this week. If he is able to access it, then next week we can go back and use it again. I just don’t want him left out 🙂


  • Read the article on Imagery by John Malcolm Brinnin. 
  • Read “A Blessing” by James Wright. Print it out and do the “Before You Read” Activities. Then mark up the poem, following the directions in the margin. On the back of the page I want you to list 5 images and tell what emotion each image conveys.
  • Answer “The Blessing” Literary Response and Analysis Questions below on a sheet of notebook paper. Write “Activity 5” on the top of the page 🙂 Use complete sentences (you know who you are 🙂 )
  • Literary Terms Project (copy rhyme–alternating rhyme)


  • Journal 10
  • FormCatalog Poems (read about Catalog Poems below)
  • Read “Woman Work,” “Daily
  • Answer the Literary Response and Analysis Questions at bottom of page. Write “Activity Six” on the top of your paper
  • Literary Terms Project (copy alliteration–onomatopoeia)



  • Write your own Haiku poems (3-4). I want them typed on a properly formatted page.
  • Literary Terms Project (copy types of metrical feet)
  • Read, study, and understand the Grammar Lesson on Sentence Fragments (do the activity tomorrow)


“A Blessing” Literary Response and Analysis Questions

Discuss the following questions and write “Activity 5” on top of the page

  1. What is the setting of the poem–where and when does it take place?
  2. What were the ponies doing all day?
  3. How do the ponies feel about the visit? How do they feel about each other?
  4. Why does the speaker feel especially fond of one of the ponies?
  5. Most images in this poem appeal to the senses of sight and touch. Which sense do you think has more images? Sight or touch, make a chart where you list each image for sight and touch and see which column has more.
  6. What human qualities and feeling does the speaker give to the ponies?
  7. The tone of the poem is joyful. It expresses the pleasure that comes from springtime and love. what images in the poem help create the tone?

Catalog Poems 


“You know the kind of catalogs that come from stores, filled with pictures of almost anything in the world you’d want to buy. Like those catalogs, a catalog poem brings together many different images and presents them for your attention. Unlike a retail catalog, though, a poem does not want you to part with your money; it wants you only to enter the poem and, with your imagination, share an experience with the speaker.

The repetition of images in a catalog poem crates a rolling rhythm when the poem is read aloud. Try reading the two poems we are studying aloud, and see how the piling up of images creates the poems’ rhythmic beat.” (Holt, Elements of Literature)

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Literary Response and Analysis Questions “Daily” and “Woman Work”

  1. Name 5 activities listed by the speaker of “Woman Work”
  2. Name five activities listed by the speaker of “Daily”
  3. What does the catalog of images in “Woman Work” tell you about the life of the speaker? Where do you think she lives? What do you learn from the images in “Daily” about the life of the speaker?
  4. Both catalog poems list daily activities in a woman’s life, but the tone of each poem is different–the speakers express different attitudes toward their lives. How would you describe the tone of each poem? Is it complaining? bitter? Angry? resigned? accepting? loving? joyful? Is it something else? Cite details from each poem to explain the tone you hear in it.
  5. The second through fifth stanzas of “Woman Work” use apostrophe–they address, or speak directly to, someone or something. What things does this speaker address? What does she ask for?
  6. The last two lines of daily are not part of the poem’s catalog; rather, they sum up the speakers message. What do you think the poet is saying about daily work in these lines?
  7. Both of these poems were written by women about their daily work. If the poems had been written by men and were called “Man Work” how might they be different. (Don’t be misogynistic).

Image result for naomi shihab nye

Image result for maya angelou quotes courage



Image result for haiku

Haiku, the most famous form of Japanese poetry, can capture moments of life with the speed and precision of a snapshot. While snapshots usually record only the outside appearance of the moments, haiku can take you inside to reveal an insight or truth.

To unlock the meaning of a haiku, read each word or phrase carefully. Let yourself see, hear, smell, taste, or touch each single element  of the original moment. Let these images serve as a starting point for your own thoughts and associations. In the end you will find yourself standing inside a special moment in someone else’s life–whether the experience was captured three minutes ago or three hundred years ago.

(Holt, Elements of Literature)

Image result for haiku original language

Literary Response and Analysis Questions for Haiku

  1. These haiku are, of course, translated. Which of the four haiku follow the rule of five syllables in lines 1 and 3, and seven syllables in line 2?
  2. Describe the two images you see in each haiku.
  3. Which haiku relies most on the sense of hearing?
  4. What season of the year do you think each haiku describes? Which word or words give you a clue?
  5. Haiku often balances two contrasting images. In Chora’s haiku, for example, the toad in the road, probably resting, contrasts with the human, busy planting his bamboo. What contrasting images can you find in the other three haiku?

Image result for haiku original language


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