Poetry Grade 12 Level 2




Before you read our first poem or start this unit, I want to explore with you what your experience with poetry has been.
Tell us about how you have studied poetry before, what poems you remember, what you did with those poems and whether or not you liked them.
Tell us anything else that seems relevant about your study of poetry. You will be sharing your written responses with the class, so keep that in mind as you write.
300 words minimum
QuickTopic free message boards

Discuss 1042-2 Poetry Experience


First, we are going to read our quickTopics to the class.

Then, we are going to watch this video. Write some questions in your Dialogue Journal as your read it. Think about it for a minute. Then, we will discuss it as a class.

Homework: Write a 350 word interpretation of Collins's poem. Proofread it, edit it, and be ready to type it into your blog tomorrow.

**Introduction to Poetry**

Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.


Copy your homework into your blog.

How To Read a Poem (Three Things)

1. Read the poem all the way through without stopping.
2. Read the poem again with your Dialogue Journal opened, and write questions you have about the poem. The questions could be about individual words. Or, the questions could be about ideas or images or allusions in the poem. The questions could be about who the speaker is, about the tone or about the person to whom the speaker is talking. I call this the interrogation.
3. Read the poem AT LEAST one ore time, so you can investigate the answers to the questions you have and draw some conclusions. You may want to use google or the dictionary or wikipedia to research some concepts in the poem that you do not understand. Do not use wikipedia to research the poem itself. That is cheating.

I can’t imagine that anyone could construct an interpretation of a poem without reading it AT LEAST three times.


A Study of Reading Habits
Philip Larkin

When getting my nose in a book
Cured most things short of school,
It was worth ruining my eyes
To know I could still keep cool,
And deal out the old right hook
To dirty dogs twice my size.

Later, with inch-thick specs,
Evil was just my lark:
Me and my cloak and fangs
Had ripping times in the dark.
The women I clubbed with sex!
I broke them up like meringues.

Don't read much now: the dude
Who lets the girl down before
The hero arrives, the chap
Who's yellow and keeps the store,
Seems far too familiar. Get stewed:
Books are a load of crap.

Homework: Read the poem above and do a dialogue journal for it.




Students will write in their blogs answering the question: What is poetry? Students may use the internet to investigate the definition of poetry. But, they must site their sources. Use APA Style. Minimum of 30 words.

What is my name?

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Homework: Download and Read


Listen to this song by U2 and write an interpretation of in in your blog.
1. Who is speaking?
2. Who is that person speaking to?
3. What is the speaker saying to the other person?

And love is not the easy thing

The only baggage you can bring...

And love is not the easy thing...

The only baggage you can bring

Is all that you can't leave behind

And if the darkness is to keep us apart

And if the daylight feels like it's a long way off

And if your glass heart should crack

And for a second you turn back

Oh no, be strong

Walk on, walk on

What you got they can’t steal it

No they can’t even feel it

Walk on, walk on...

Stay safe tonight

You're packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been

A place that has to be believed to be seen

You could have flown away

A singing bird in an open cage

Who will only fly, only fly for freedom

Walk on, walk on

What you've got they can't deny it

Can’t sell it, can’t buy it

Walk on, walk on

Stay safe tonight

And I know it aches

And your heart it breaks

And you can only take so much

Walk on, walk on

Home... hard to know what it is if you’ve never had one

Home... I can’t say where it is but I know I'm going home

That's where the hurt is

I know it aches

How your heart it breaks

And you can only take so much

Walk on, walk on

Leave it behind

You've got to leave it behind

All that you fashion

All that you make

All that you build

All that you break

All that you measure

All that you steal

All this you can leave behind

All that you reason

All that you sense

All that you speak

All you dress up

All that you scheme...

Homework: Finish writing your blog on WALK ON.

Listen to this song by Sheryl Crow and write an interpretation of in in your blog.
1. Who is speaking? (Are there multiple voices?)
2. Who is that person speaking to? (Are they talking to each other?)
3. What is the speaker saying to the other person?
4. Use at least three examples from the lyrics to prove your point. (Quote the lyrics.)

Maybe this is forever
Forever fades away
Like a rocket ascending into space
Could you not be sad?
Could you not break down?
After all, I won't let go
'Till you're safe and sound
'Till you're safe and sound
There's beauty in release
There's no one left to please but you and me

I don't blame you for quitting
I know you really tried
If only you could hang on through the night
Cause I don't want to be lonely
I don't want to be scared
And all our friends are waiting there
Until you're safe and sound
Until you're safe and sound
There's beauty in release
There's no one left to please but you and me

Until you're safe and sound...

Feel like I could've held on
Feel like I could've let go
Feel like I could've helped you
Feel like I could've changed you
Feel like I could've held on
Feel like I could've hurt you
Feel like I was a stranger
Feel like I was an angel
Feel like I was a hero
Feel like I was a zero
Feel like I could've touched you
Feel like I could've sealed you
Feel like I could've held you
Feel like I could've moved you
Feel like I should've healed you
Feel like I could've told you
Feel like I should've told you
Feel like I could've loved you
Feel like I could've loved you
Feel like I really loved you
Feel like I really loved you...
Feel like I could've saved you...

Homework: Finish writing your blog on SAFE AND SOUND.

Listen to THE WEARY KIND song by
by Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett
and write an interpretation of in in your blog.
1. Who is speaking?
2. Who is that person speaking to?
3. What is the speaker saying to the other person?
4. Use at least three examples from the lyrics to prove your point. (Quote the lyrics.)

Your heart's on the loose
You rolled them seven's with nothing to lose
This ain't no place for the weary kind

You called all your shots
Shooting 8 ball at the corner truck stop
Somehow this don't feel like home anymore

And this ain't no place for the weary kind
This ain't no place to lose your mind
This ain't no place to fall behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try

Your body aches
Playing your guitar and sweating out the hate
The days and the nights all feel the same

Whiskey has been a thorn in your side
It doesn't forget
The highway that calls for your heart inside

And this ain't no place for the weary kind
This ain't no place to lose your mind
This ain't no place to fall behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try

Your lover's warm kiss
Is too damn far from your fingertips
You are the man that ruined her world

Your heart's on the loose
You rolled them seven's with nothing to lose
And this ain't no place for the weary kind

Homework: Finish writing your blog on THE WEARY KIND.

Listen to the podcast:

The god of loneliness

by Philip Schultz May 5, 2008

It’s a cold Sunday February morning
and I’m one of eight men waiting
for the doors of Toys R Us to open
in a mall on the eastern tip of Long Island.
We’ve come for the Japanese electronic game
that’s so hard to find. Last week, I waited
three hours for a store in Manhattan
to disappoint me. The first today, bundled
in six layers, I stood shivering in the dawn light
reading the new Aeneid translation, which I hid
when the others came, stamping boots
and rubbing gloveless hands, joking about
sacrificing sleep for ungrateful sons. “My boy broke
two front teeth playing hockey,” a man wearing
shorts laughs. “This is his reward.” My sons
will leap into my arms, remember this morning
all their lives. “The game is for my oldest boy,
just back from Iraq,” a man in overalls says
from the back of the line. “He plays these games
in his room all day. I’m not worried, he’ll snap out of it,
he’s earned his rest.” These men fix leaks, lay
foundations for other men’s dreams without complaint.
They’ve been waiting in the cold since Aeneas
founded Rome on rivers of blood. Virgil understood that
death begins and never ends, that it’s the god of loneliness.
Through the window, a clerk shouts, “We’ve only five.”
The others seem not to know what to do with their hands,
tuck them under their arms, or let them hang,
naked and useless. Is it because our hands remember
what they held, the promises they made? I know
exactly when my boys will be old enough for war.
Soon three of us will wait across the street at Target,
because it’s what men do for their sons.

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/poetry/2008/05/05/080505po_poem_schultz#ixzz1a7O46Nr0

DAY NINE (10/18)

Test on Terms

Blog Share

Homework: Read and do a dialogue journal on
Ode on a Grecian Urn

DAY TEN (10/19)

What is happening in this poem? 40 words minimum.
Ode on a Grecian Urn
by John Keats

Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? what maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal--yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty'--that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

DAY ELEVEN (10/20)

Read the following downloadable doc for homework:

Then read all your blogs on poetry and choose the one that you will transform into an extended essay on a poem.

Write an explication of "In the Waiting Room." No less than 300 words.
In the Waiting Room
by Elizabeth Bishop

In Worcester, Massachusetts,
I went with Aunt Consuelo
to keep her dentist's appointment
and sat and waited for her
in the dentist's waiting room.
It was winter. It got dark
early. The waiting room
was full of grown-up people,
arctics and overcoats,
lamps and magazines.
My aunt was inside
what seemed like a long time
and while I waited I read
the National Geographic
(I could read) and carefully
studied the photographs:
the inside of a volcano,
black, and full of ashes;
then it was spilling over
in rivulets of fire.
Osa and Martin Johnson
dressed in riding breeches,
laced boots, and pith helmets.
A dead man slung on a pole
--"Long Pig," the caption said.
Babies with pointed heads
wound round and round with string;
black, naked women with necks
wound round and round with wire
like the necks of light bulbs.
Their breasts were horrifying.
I read it right straight through.
I was too shy to stop.
And then I looked at the cover:
the yellow margins, the date.
Suddenly, from inside,
came an oh! of pain
--Aunt Consuelo's voice--
not very loud or long.
I wasn't at all surprised;
even then I knew she was
a foolish, timid woman.
I might have been embarrassed,
but wasn't. What took me
completely by surprise
was that it was me:
my voice, in my mouth.
Without thinking at all
I was my foolish aunt,
I--we--were falling, falling,
our eyes glued to the cover
of the National Geographic,
February, 1918.

I said to myself: three days
and you'll be seven years old.
I was saying it to stop
the sensation of falling off
the round, turning world.
into cold, blue-black space.
But I felt: you are an I,
you are an Elizabeth,
you are one of them.
Why should you be one, too?
I scarcely dared to look
to see what it was I was.
I gave a sidelong glance
--I couldn't look any higher--
at shadowy gray knees,
trousers and skirts and boots
and different pairs of hands
lying under the lamps.
I knew that nothing stranger
had ever happened, that nothing
stranger could ever happen.

Why should I be my aunt,
or me, or anyone?
What similarities--
boots, hands, the family voice
I felt in my throat, or even
the National Geographic
and those awful hanging breasts--
held us all together
or made us all just one?
How--I didn't know any
word for it--how "unlikely". . .
How had I come to be here,
like them, and overhear
a cry of pain that could have
got loud and worse but hadn't?

The waiting room was bright
and too hot. It was sliding
beneath a big black wave,
another, and another.

Then I was back in it.
The War was on. Outside,
in Worcester, Massachusetts,
were night and slush and cold,
and it was still the fifth
of February, 1918.


IN THE JOURNAL/BLOG: Choose one line from this poem to analyze and do so in 100 words or less.

Do not go gentle into that good night
Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.



IN THE JOURNAL/BLOG: Write a response that interprets these two poems by contrasting them.
The Lamb
By William Blake

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight;
Softest clothing, wooly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and he is mild;
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!

The Tyger by William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Before I workout, I do a warm-up. I stretch, so I don't hurt myself. I don't want you to hurt yourself either, so I have placed this link to a series of stretches and warm-ups. Stretches & Warm-ups


A Season in Hell
by Arthur Rimbaud
Translated by Bertrand Mathieu

A while back, if I remember right, my life was one long party where all hearts were open wide, where all wines kept flowing.

One night, I sat Beauty down on my lap.—And I found her galling.—And I roughed her up.

I armed myself against justice.

I ran away. O witches, O misery, O hatred, my treasure's been turned over to you!

I managed to make every trace of human hope vanish from my mind. I pounced on every joy like a ferocious animal eager to strangle it.

I called for executioners so that, while dying, I could bite the butts of their rifles. I called for plagues to choke me with sand, with blood. Bad luck was my god. I stretched out in the muck. I dried myself in the air of crime. And I played tricks on insanity.

And Spring brought me the frightening laugh of the idiot.

So, just recently, when I found myself on the brink of the final squawk! it dawned on me to look again for the key to that ancient party where I might find my appetite once more.

Charity is that key.—This inspiration proves I was dreaming!

"You'll always be a hyena etc. . . ," yells the devil, who'd crowned me with such pretty poppies. "Deserve death with all your appetites, your selfishness, and all the capital sins!"

Ah! I've been through too much:-But, sweet Satan, I beg of you, a less blazing eye! and while waiting for the new little cowardly gestures yet to come, since you like an absence of descriptive or didactic skills in a writer, let me rip out these few ghastly pages from my notebook of the damned.


Lot's Wife
Anna Akhmatova
Translated by Max Hayward and Stanley Kunitz

And the just man trailed God's shining agent,
over a black mountain, in his giant track,
while a restless voice kept harrying his woman:
"It's not too late, you can still look back

at the red towers of your native Sodom,
the square where once you sang, the spinning-shed,
at the empty windows set in the tall house
where sons and daughters blessed your marriage-bed."

A single glance: a sudden dart of pain
stitching her eyes before she made a sound . . .
Her body flaked into transparent salt,
and her swift legs rooted to the ground.

Who will grieve for this woman? Does she not seem
too insignificant for our concern?
Yet in my heart I never will deny her,
who suffered death because she chose to turn.

(The reference is to Lot’s wife in the Bible, Genesis 19:26)



[ invalid file: 06 Be Still My Beating Heart.m4a ]
Charles Baudelaire

Sois sage, ô ma Douleur, et tiens-toi plus tranquille.
Tu réclamais le Soir; il descend; le voici:
Une atmosphère obscure enveloppe la ville,
Aux uns portant la paix, aux autres le souci.

Pendant que des mortels la multitude vile,
Sous le fouet du Plaisir, ce bourreau sans merci,
Va cueillir des remords dans la fête servile,
Ma Douleur, donne-moi la main; viens par ici,

Loin d'eux. Vois se pencher les défuntes Années,
Sur les balcons du ciel, en robes surannées;
Surgir du fond des eaux le Regret souriant;

Le soleil moribond s'endormir sous une arche,
Et, comme un long linceul traînant à l'Orient,
Entends, ma chère, entends la douce Nuit qui marche.



Be quiet and more discreet, O my Grief.
You cried out for the Evening; even now it falls:
A gloomy atmosphere envelops the city,
Bringing peace to some, anxiety to others.

While the vulgar herd of mortals, under the scourge
Of Pleasure, that merciless torturer,
Goes to gather remorse in the servile festival,
My Grief, give me your hand; come this way

Far from them. See the dead years in old-fashioned gowns
Lean over the balconies of heaven;
Smiling Regret rise from the depths of the waters;

The dying Sun fall asleep beneath an arch, and
Listen, darling, to the soft footfalls of the Night
That traits off to the East like a long winding-sheet.

— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)


Be good, my Sorrow: hush now: settle down.
You sighed for dusk, and now it comes: look there!
A denser atmosphere obscures the town,
To some restoring peace, to others care.

While the lewd multitude, like hungry beasts,
By pleasure scourged (no thug so fierce as he!)
Go forth to seek remorse among their feasts —
Come, take my hand; escape from them with me.

From balconies of sky, around us yet,
Lean the dead years in fashions that have ceased.
Out of the depth of waters smiles Regret.

The sun sinks moribund beneath an arch,
And like a long shroud rustling from the East,
Hark, Love, the gentle Night is on the march.

— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)


Rest still, lie quiet, be chastened, O my Grief,
Who summoned evening. Lo, it falls! The air
Deepens as dusk receives the town in fief,
Bringing content to some, to others care.
While the base herds of mortals seek relief
Under the lash of hangman Pleasure where
Timeless, Remorse crowns passions that are brief,
Grief, O my grief, your hand; let us repair

Far hence, aloof.
Behold the spent Years press
On Heaven's high balconies in old-world dress;
Regret rise from the waters, smiling bright;
Under an arch, the sun die somnolent,
And shroud-like, trailing to the orient,
Hark, Love, my love, how softly steals the Night.

— Jacques LeClercq, Flowers of Evil (Mt Vernon, NY: Peter Pauper Press, 1958)


Calm down, my Sorrow, we must move with care.
You called for evening; it descends, it's here.
The town is coffined in its atmosphere,
bringing relief to some, to others care.

Now while the common multitude strips bare,
feels pleasure's cat o' nine tails on its back,
and fights off anguish at the great bazaar,
give me your hand, my Sorrow. Let's stand back;

back from these people! Look, the dead years dressed
in old clothes crowd the balconies of the sky.
Regret emerges smiling from the sea,

the sick sun slumbers underneath an arch,
and like a shroud strung out from east to west,
listen, my Dearest, hear the sweet night march!

— Robert Lowell, from Marthiel & Jackson Matthews, eds., The Flowers of Evil (NY: New Directions, 1963)


lie still, my Dolour; let thy tossing cease.
didst call for Night: 'tis falling now: for see!
bearing to some her care, to some her peace,
the evening robes the town with mystery.

while all the herd in vulgar revelries,
'neath Pleasure's lash, that falls implacably,
now runs to cull remorse from vanities,
my Dolour, give thy hand and come with me

to ways apart. lo, all our years gone by,
in robes outworn, bend from the balconied sky:
from waters deep arise our Joys deceased:

the sun is dying now beneath an arch:
and, like a long shroud trailing from the east,
— hark, dear! — Night softly starts her shadowy march.

— Lewis Piaget Shanks, Flowers of Evil (New York: Ives Washburn, 1931)


Be wise, O my Sorrow, be calmer.
You implored the evening; it falls; here it is:
A dusky air surrounds the town,
Bringing peace to some, worry to others.

Whilst the worthless crowd of humanity,
Lashed by Pleasure, that merciless torturer,
Go to gather remorse in slavish rejoicing,
Give me your hand, my Sorrow; come with me,

Far from them. See the dead years leaning,
In worn-out clothing, on the balconies of the skies;
See how Regret, grinning, rises from the deep waters;

The dying sun goes to sleep in an archway,
And, like a long shroud dragging from the East,
Hear, O my dear one, hear the soft night coming.

— Geoffrey Wagner, Selected Poems of Charles Baudelaire (NY: Grove Press, 1974)

Literary term of the day presentation.
Homework: Download and read

September 1, 1939
W.H. Auden

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
"I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,"
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

Literary term of the day presentation.

Homework: Download and view-

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
T. S. Eliot

S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,
Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question…
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!"]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!"]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

. . . . .

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? …

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

. . . . .

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep… tired… or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all."

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all."

. . . . .

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old… I grow old…
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Homework: Re-read and choose one poem from this poetry unit to study and write about.


You are going to write an essay in the form of a "superblog" on a poem we studied.
It will be 400-600 words long. That’s 5-7 paragraphs.

This approach will require you to read the poem and then interpret it by closely examining “the text of the poem.” You will look at what the title means, what the words mean, investigate why they are arranged as they are, how the different parts of the poem relate to the whole poem and how figures of speech* affect the meaning of the poem.

*figures of speech are metaphors, similes, symbolism, personification, imagery, etc.

You will NOT be discussing feelings, thoughts and experiences from your life. You will only be discussing the poem. You will also NOT be discussing the poet’s life, only the poem. You do NOT need to, nor should you do any research on the poem you choose.

PARAGRAPH ONE: (Introduction) State what the poem means. Here is an example. The poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is about a person who is making a decision. Then, explain what your reasons are for thinking that the poem means what you say it means. Here is an example. The reason the poem is about a decision is because Frost is writing about a person who is standing at a fork in the road. The road is a symbol of for this person’s journey in life. If the person goes down one road, his life will be different than if he goes down the other.

PARAGRAPH TWO: Explain your first reason for thinking that the poem means what you say it means. Here is an example. In the first stanza the speaker in the poem says, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” In this quotation, the word “diverged” means split and “the roads” are symbols for options in life. This means the speaker is standing at a fork in the road. He has to decide which way to go. Notice how I quoted the poem. You should do this too.

PARAGRAPH THREE: Explain your second reason for thinking that the poem means what you say it means. Here is an example. The poem’s speaker describes how he or she looks down both roads, but can’t decide what to do. He or she says, “Though as for the passing there/Had worn them really about the same,” which means he is having a hard time making up his mind. Both roads are good options.

PARAGRAPH FOUR: Explain your third reason for thinking that the poem means what you say it means. Here is another example. The speaker finally makes a decision in the third stanza when he says, “I kept the first for another day.” This shows that he chose the second road. And he knows that he probably won’t get to go down the first road or path in life if he takes the second. You can see this when he says, “Yet knowing how way leads onto way,/I doubted if I should ever come back.”

PARAGRAPH FIVE: (Conclusion) Restate what the poem means. Here is an example. The poem, “The Road Not Taken” presents a picture a moment when this speaker is having a hard time deciding which way to go in life, because he is confronted by two options that seem equal. Then, make a concluding statement about the meaning of the poem. Here is an example. The speaker then makes a decision and predicts that it will make “all the difference.” He knows that this decision with affect the rest of his life.

•Your rough blog needs to have a title that is not the title of the poem.
•Your rough blog should have 400-600 words.
•Your rough blog should have a thesis statement.
•You should indent paragraphs.
•Your blog draft should have at least three reasons to support your thesis.

Your blog draft will be graded on the following areas:
1. Idea/topic development-Thesis statement
2. Organization-paragraph structure
3. Details/examples/quotations
4. Language and style-vocabulary and sentence structure
5. Grammar
6. Spelling, capitalization, punctuation and formatting.

FOR THIS ESSAY. This is not a research paper.

All students will workshop their poems.







Click here for thesis help.



Writing The Introduction



Writing Body Paragraphs

When your write your body paragraphs, you have to quote the poem that you have chosen frequently. How does one do this properly? Here are some things to keep in mind:
•You aught to have at least three body paragraphs.
•Plan them so they are in an order that makes the most sense.
•Each body paragraph should have a topic sentence.
•Each body paragraph should have a concluding sentence.
•Each body paragraph needs to have at least one quotation. Two is better.
•Each time you include a quotation, you need to introduce it and explain it.
•Every body paragraph needs to have evidence that relates back to your thesis.

Writing the Concluding Sentence

One of the toughest things to do when you are writing your body paragraph is to write a concluding sentence to your body paragraphs. There is no easy solution to this problem, but here are some ideas.

You do not always need to have a concluding sentence to each body paragraph in your essay. But you usually do, or it will not seem to be finished. Your concluding sentence, sometimes called a closing sentence, will serve as a transition to the next paragraph.

Here are some things you can try:

  1. Re-write your topic sentence.
  2. Wrap-up, close, finish or paraphrase your whole paragraph in that sentence by reviewing the details and ideas.
  3. You can summarize your paragraph by touching on the key ideas that are included in it, but summaries are usually lame.
  4. Remember that your concluding sentences are supposed to encapsulate the subtopic of your paragraph, so concentrate on the ideas in that paragraph to get your concluding sentence right.
  5. Writers of formal essays do not usually use quotations in their concluding sentences, but this sometimes works.
  6. Making predictions, suggestions or asking questions sometimes works too.

Here are some things you should not do:

  1. Do not use the words "In closing."
  2. Do not use the words "In conclusion."
  3. Do not repeat something you already said.
  4. Do not introduce a new idea.
  5. Do not confuse the reader.

All writing requires trial and error, so start early, experiment and revise. If you think I spent too much time writing about how to write one kind of sentence, without even giving you any concrete formula about how to get it done, you are right. There is no formula, and I am overly concerned with writing, but I am an English teacher.
external image pdf.png Concluding sentence.pdf

Homework: Read Hamlet Act One, Scene One. Use iTunes U to download the podcast for help.


Writing Your Conclusion

Homework: Read Hamlet Act One, Scene Two. Use iTunes U to download the podcast for help.


3.17 Deliver formal presentations for particular audiences using clear
enunciation and appropriate organization, gestures, tone, and vocabulary.
3.18 Create an appropriate scoring guide to evaluate final presentations.

Students will identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the themes, structure, and elements of
poetry and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

14.6 Analyze and evaluate the appropriateness of diction and imagery
(controlling images, figurative language, understatement, overstatement,
irony, paradox).
For example, students examine poems to explore the relationship between
the literal and the figurative in Mark Strand’s “Keeping Things Whole,”
Elinor Wylie’s “Sea Lullaby,” Louis MacNeice’s “Prayer Before Birth,”
Margaret Walker’s “Lineage,” A.E. Housman’s “To an Athlete Dying Young,”
W.H. Auden’s “Unknown Citizen,” Emily Dickinson’s “I Taste a Liquor
Never Brewed,” and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias.” They report
their findings to the class, compare observations, and set guidelines for
further study.

GENERAL STANDARD 15: Style and Language
Students will identify and analyze how an author’s words appeal to the senses, create imagery,
suggest mood, and set tone and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.
15.9 Identify, analyze, and evaluate an author’s use of rhetorical devices in
persuasive argument.
15.10 Analyze and compare style and language across significant cross-cultural
literary works.
For example, students compose essays in which they analyze and compare
figurative language in a variety of selections from works such as The Epic
of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, The Hebrew Bible, The New Testament, The
Bhagavad-Gita, The Analects of Confucius, and The Koran.

Students will write with a clear focus, coherent organization, and sufficient detail.

For imaginative/literary writing:*
19.28 Write well-organized stories or scripts with an explicit or implicit theme,
using a variety of literary techniques.
19.29 Write poems using a range of forms and techniques.
For informational/expository writing:
19.30 Write coherent compositions with a clear focus, objective presentation
of alternate views, rich detail, well-developed paragraphs, and logical
For example, students compose an essay for their English and American
history classes on de Toqueville’s observations of American life in the
1830s, examining whether his characterization of American society is still
applicable today.

GENERAL STANDARD 20: Consideration of Audience and Purpose
Students will write for different audiences and purposes.

20.6 Use effective rhetorical techniques and demonstrate understanding of
purpose, speaker, audience, and form when completing expressive, persua­
sive, or literary writing assignments.

Students will demonstrate improvement in organization, content, paragraph development,
level of detail, style, tone, and word choice (diction) in their compositions after revising them.

21.9 Revise writing to improve style, word choice, sentence variety, and subtlety
of meaning after rethinking how well questions of purpose, audience, and
genre have been addressed.
For example, after rethinking how well they have handled matters of style,
meaning, and tone from the perspective of the major rhetorical elements,
graduating seniors revise a formal letter to their school committee, detail­
ing how they have benefited from the education they have received in the
district and offering suggestions for improving the educational experience
of future students.

GENERAL STANDARD 22: Standard English Conventions
Students will use knowledge of standard English conventions
in their writing, revising, and editing.

22.10 Use all conventions of standard English when writing and editing.

GENERAL STANDARD 23: Organizing Ideas in Writing
Students will organize ideas in writing in a way that makes sense for their purpose.

23.14 Organize ideas for emphasis in a way that suits the purpose of the writer.
For example, students select a method of giving emphasis (most important
information first or last, most important idea has the fullest or briefest
presentation) when supporting a thesis about characterization in Edwin
Arlington Robinson’s narrative poems, “Richard Corey” and “Miniver
Cheevy.” Or students use one of five methods (comparison and contrast,
illustration, classification, definition, analysis) of organizing their ideas in
exposition as determined by the needs of their topic.
23.15 Craft sentences in a way that supports the underlying logic of the ideas.
For example, after writing a critical essay, students examine each sentence
to determine whether the placement of phrases or dependent clauses supports
the emphasis they desire in the sentence and in the paragraph as a whole.

Students will gather information from a variety of sources, analyze and evaluate the quality of
the information they obtain, and use it to answer their own questions.