MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Location: file:///C:/E513DA99/ACTIVEREADINGSTRATEGIESFORREADINGPOETRY.htm Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" ACTIVE READING STRATEGIES FOR READING POETRY





“Poetry has alwa= ys seemed the most natural way of saying what I feel,” poet Elizabeth Bi= shop once said.  How can poetry hel= p us say what we feel?  It can capt= ure intense experiences or create perceptions of the world with musical language.  If prose is like ta= lking, poetry is like singing.  Also,= poems can express deep thoughts or paint vivid images in just a few lines, or they can present extended comparisons and descriptive passages about a single idea.  To get the most from a = poem, try the following strategies.


LISTEN – = Read a poem aloud, concentrating on the way it sounds.  As you read, pay attention to punctuation marks and the form of stan= zas, or groups of lines.  These ite= ms are signals for natural pauses.



¨      What type of rhythm do I hear?  Is it rapid or slow?

¨      What rhyme scheme or pattern, if any, does each stanza have?

¨      Can I detect alliterat= ion (the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words?)<= /span>

¨      Do I hear assonance (t= he repetition of vowel sounds)?

¨      Does the poem have consonance (the repetition of consonant sounds within words or at the ends = of words)?

¨      Is there onomatopoeia = (the use if a word or phrase that imitates the sound it names)?

¨      How do these devices a= ffect the musical quality of the poem?


IMAGINE – Re-create in y= our mind the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feel of objects mentioned in the po= em.


        &= nbsp;   ASK YOURSELF…

¨      Which specific details appeal to my senses?

¨      What comparisons does = the poet make?

¨      What human attributes,= if any, do the inanimate objects have?

¨      What types of visual i= mages does the poet include?

¨      What figures of speech= help me “see” objects in the poem?


CLARIFY –= Work to unlock the me= aning of each line or sentence.


        &= nbsp;   ASK YOURSELF…

¨      What does this image (= or line or phrase) mean?  Why mig= ht the poet have chosen to include it?

¨      How does this image re= late to other thoughts and ideas in the poem?



INTERPRET – Reread the poem sever= al times, focusing on its meaning.


        &= nbsp;   ASK YOURSELF…

¨      What clues about the p= oem’s message does the title provide?

¨      What words or phrases = do the rhyme and rhythm help to emphasize?

¨      How do the images and symbols work together to support this message, or theme?<= /p>

¨      How would I state the = theme of this poem?


RESPOND –= Think about how the p= oem affects you.  React spontaneously.  Consider the i= deas about your own life that come to mind as you read the poem.


        &= nbsp;   SAY TO YOURSELF=

¨      This poem reminds me o= f…

¨      This poem makes me fee= l…

¨      I’d like to read= or write a poem about…

¨      This image is so…= ;






























Source of Information: The Reader’s Choice – American L= iterature.  New York: Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2000.