What did you like about the poem, English homework help

                                    USE THE QUESTION BELOW AS A GUIDE WHEN RESPONDING TO THE POEMS( READ AND RESPOND TO ALL THE POEMS SEPARATELY) just use few of the question below not all.

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for Reading and Responding to Poetry

One of the main things I learned
about reading poetry when I was a freshman in college was to look up words that
seemed unfamiliar or important—even words that I thought I knew. Poets often
use words that have double meanings or that add intensity to a thought. Poetry
is about “words,” as much as rhyme and meter. Blake’s use of the word
“appall” comes to mind. It means to dismay or horrify, and could also
mean (if made into two words–a pall) the cloth spread over a coffin or tomb.

are the questions for a personal response to the poetry:

  • What did you
    like about the poem?
  • What didn’t you
  • Do you relate to
    the poem personally? In what way?
  • What are your
    favorite lines? 
  • What did you
    learn from the poem? (This could be something factual or historical, or it
    could be something you learned about life in general.)
  • Would you read
    this poem to a friend? Why?
  • How does the
    poem reflect the poet’s philosophical beliefs?
  • How does the
    poem relate to the poet’s life?
  • What words did
    you look up as you were reading the poem? Be sure to include

1-10 come directly from Writing Essays about Literature (6th edition) by
Kelley Griffith (Harcourt 2002). You do not need to answer all of the

1. Who is

2. What
characterizes the speaker? (What kind of person is the speaker?)

3. To whom
is he or she speaking?

4. What is
the speaker’s tone?

5. What is
his or her emotional state?

6. Why is
he or she speaking?

7. What
situation is being described?

8. What
are the conflicts or tensions in this situation

9. How is
setting–social situation, physical place, and time–important to the speaker?

10. What
ideas is the speaker communicating?

11. What
figures of speech does the poet use?

12. How
does the poet use rhyme and rhythm?

13. What
allusions does the poet use? How do these affect your understanding of the

This is a wonderful discussion about how to read a poem by
Edward Hirsch, Houston poet, from the Academy of American Poets website


Here are the questions he includes.

Talking Back to a Poem

It would be convenient if there were a short list of
universal questions, ones that could be used anytime with any poem. In the
absence of such a list, here are a few general questions that you might ask
when approaching a poem for the first time:

  Who is the

  What circumstances
gave rise to the poem?

What situation is

  Who or what is the

  What is the tone?

What form, if any,
does the poem take?

  How is form related
to content?

Is sound an
important, active element of the poem?

Does the poem spring
from an identifiable historical moment?

  Does the poem speak
from a specific culture?

Does the poem have
its own vernacular?

  Does the poem use
imagery to achieve a particular effect?

What kind of
figurative language, if any, does the poem use?

  If the poem is a
question, what is the answer?

If the poem is an
answer, what is the question?

  What does the title

  Does the poem use unusual
words or use words in an unusual way?


Georgia Dusk

The sky, lazily disdaining to

The setting sun, too indolent to

A lengthened tournament for
flashing gold,

Passively darkness for night’s barbecue,

A feast of moon and men and barking hounds,

An orgy for some genius of the south

With blood-hot eyes and cane-lipped scented mouth,

Surprised in making folk-songs from soul sounds.

The sawmill blows its whistle, buzz-saws stop,

And silence breaks the bud of knoll and hill,

Soft setting pollen where plowed lands fulfill

Their early promise of a bumper crop.

Smoke from the pyramidal sawdust pile

Curls up, blue ghost of trees, tarrying low

Where only chips and stumps are left to show

The solid proof of former domicile.

Meanwhile, the men, with vestiges of pomp,

Race memories of king and caravan,

High –priests, an ostrich , and a juju-man,

Go singing through the footpaths of the swamp.

Their voices rise…. the pine trees are guitars,

Strumming, pine-needles fall like sheets of rain….

Their voices rise.. the chorus of the cane

Is caroling a vesper to the stars…….

O singers, resinous and soft your songs

Above the sacred whisper of the pines,

Give virgin lips to cornfield concubines,

Bring dreams of Christ to dusky cane-lipped throngs.