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How to Read a Poem

How to Read a Poem

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How to Read a Poem

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  1. How to Read a Poem

  2. Some General Rules: • Read the poem at least twice • Read it aloud in order to hear the rhythm and cadence

  3. The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls The tide rises, the tide falls,The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;Along the sea-sands damp and brownThe traveler hastens toward the town,And the tide rises, the tide falls.Darkness settles on roofs and walls,But the sea, the sea in darkness calls;The little waves, with their soft, white handsEfface the footprints in the sands,And the tide rises, the tide falls.The morning breaks; the steeds in their stallsStamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;The day returns, but nevermoreReturns the traveler to the shore.And the tide rises, the tide falls.

  4. Begin at the Beginning: the Title “The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls” • What does it suggest about the poem that follows? • What questions does it raise? • Consider the diction specifically: • Why “The”? • Why the tide, why not waves? What’s the difference? • What words weren’t chosen? Why “rises” and “falls” instead of “comes in” and “goes out”?

  5. Settling in… Look up unknown vocabulary words • “Curlew” • “Efface” • “Hostler”

  6. Diction, Denotation & Connotation Diction = Word choice Denotation = Dictionary definition i.e., Christmas = December 25 Connotation = Associations i.e., Christmas = (for a Christian?) = (for a shop owner?) = (for a Secularist?)

  7. A Few Choice Words: The tide rises, the tide falls,The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;Along the sea-sands damp and brownThe traveler hastens toward the town,And the tide rises, the tide falls.Darkness settles on roofs and walls,But the sea, the sea in darkness calls;The little waves, with their soft, white handsEfface the footprints in the sands,And the tide rises, the tide falls.The morning breaks; the steeds in their stallsStamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;The day returns, but nevermoreReturns the traveler to the shore.And the tide rises, the tide falls.

  8. Take a Breath and Look Back • What sets of words do you see? • Darkness, light • Night, day • Shore, ocean • Traveling, stillness/confinement • Rising, falling • What can you make of these pairings? What do they signify?

  9. Look at the Details: • Any poetic devices? • “the sea in darkness calls” • “The little waves, with their soft, white hands” • Personification, but why? What purpose does it serve in this poem? • Look at the structure and punctuation…

  10. The tide rises, the tide falls,The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;Along the sea-sands damp and brownThe traveler hastens toward the town,And the tide rises, the tide falls.Darkness settles on roofs and walls,But the sea, the sea in darkness calls;The little waves, with their soft, white handsEfface the footprints in the sands,And the tide rises, the tide falls.The morning breaks; the steeds in their stallsStamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;The day returns, but nevermoreReturns the traveler to the shore,And the tide rises, the tide falls.

  11. In Summary: • Describe • Analyze • Interpret • Evaluate

  12. Credits Images: • http://www.photo.net/photo/pcd0942/reading-17.jpg • http://wwwdelivery.superstock.com/WI/223/1527/PreviewComp/SuperStock_1527R-235018.jpg