Responding to Poetry

25 Feb

Image: ‘Can I skip to step 3?’

It’s great to write poetry, but learning to respond to poetry is an excellent way of learning to improve your own writing. Remember all that work we did on creativity? Well responding to poetry is just a formal way of looking at a poem.

  1. Start by reading the poem atleast three times: once to yourself, once aloud and again to yourself.
  2. Take a pencil and underline a word from each line (or stanza if it is a long poem) that stands out to you, seems important, or maybe you just like the sound of it in the sentence.
  3. At this point it might be a good idea to define any words you don’t understand. Get out the dictionary.
  4. Now write about the topic of the poem. Look at your list of important words, as they might give you a clue. What does it make you think about the topic?  The poem _____ by ______ is about _____. It makes me think that ______. 
  5. Now put those annotation skills to good use. Can you find a: simile, metaphor, alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia, or something else?
  6. In your notebook write about some of the things you found. Use a two column planner to organise your answer: The simile on the fourth line makes me think about how ____. 
  7. Finally respond in poetry. Use the skills you learnt when investigating creativity and apply them. Are you going to write about the same topic but change perspective? Are you going to take the structure or does it give you a good idea for a metaphor?

Image: Image: ‘Can I skip to step 3?

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