Examination, Lesson 1


Lesson 2

The Elements of Poetry
This lesson may stretch you as a reader. Remember what you’ve learned about critical reading so far. You’ve learned to look up words you don’t know, and you’ve learned to read slowly and carefully. You’ve also learned to complete the selfchecks, check your answers, and, if you make a mistake, to go back over the material until you find your error. You’ve learned to consider the pictures created by the words the authors use. You’ll use all of these and more skills as you read poetry. You may never have read any poetry before, or you may already be familiar with and enjoy poetry. Most of us know at least one popular song that we can sing, or at least repeat the refrain. If you can do that, you can read and enjoy the poetry in your textbook. Songs are just poetry set to music, and the poems you’ll find in these pages are like the words to songs. Poets, like songwriters, use poetry for several reasons. They want to make language sound good, and they want to tell a story or share an observation. As you read, keep a pen and paper at your side, and remember to ask the four questions you’ve used already:
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What do I notice most? What do I like most? Least? What questions do I have? What pictures come to mind from the words the author uses?

An important thing to remember about poetry, as in prose, is that the speaker of the poem isn’t necessarily the author of the poem. He or she may be, but sometimes isn’t. Poets can write in voices of an older man or woman, a teen, a child, or perhaps an animal or inanimate object.