POETS YOU SHOULD KNOW
1. What does the title mean?
2. What does the poem mean? (Content)
Think about the meaning of the poem, not just the obvious meaning of each word
but what they mean beyond the literal. Do these words suggest something else?
Who is the subject of the poem?
What are they talking about?
Why do you think the author wrote the poem?
When is the poem happening?
Where is the poem happening?
What is the poets attitude?
What is the message of the poem?
3. Poetic devices: Tools of the poet (Form)
Identify different poetic devices and how they convey the poems message.
Simile comparison using like or as
Metaphor a direct comparison
Personification giving human qualities to nonhuman things
Tone what emotion does the speaker use as he talks
Point of view who is the telling the poem
Imagery creating pictures with words
Alliteration repeating the same letter
Line/Stanza how does this exemplify the message or the meaning?
4. If you were to teach the poem, what are two questions you could ask about the poem?
Like a Letter, I'm Never Coming Back
No signs outside my window,nothing to read into autumn.
The wind with suchvelocity,it reminds me weve said too many things.
Most animals, most animals prefersilence.The distances at which we know each othertell us little of how the dead know theearth.Do you think restraint is a feeling you can aim with
when its bloodless at thecenter?Do you think you havetime?
Im not sure whats more importantanymore,our American past or future. And today is athread
Ive had in my mouth fortoo long.Its color has dissolved on mytongue.
It no longer remembers the fabric it camefrom,it no longer wants to remember atall.
Ocean is a Word in This Poem
One centimeter on the map represents one kilometer on the ground.
River I can cover with a finger, but it's not the water I resent. Ocean
even the word thinks itself huge, and only because of what it meant.
I remember its lip on a road that ran along the coast of Portsmouth.
Waves tested a concrete brim where people stood to see how far
the water went. Sky was huge, but I didn't mind why. The sea
was too choppy and gray, a soup thick with salt and distance. Look,
sails are white as wedding dresses, but their cut is much cleaner.
No, I never planned to have a honeymoon by water, knew it'd tempt
me to leave your company, drop in. Ocean may allow boats to ride
its surface, but its word cannot anchor the white slip of this paper.
It cannot swallow the poem. Turbulence is on the wall. The map
I would tear it, forget how I learned land's edge exists. I would sink
into the depth of past tense, more treacherous than the murk into
which our vessel went. Now when I pull down the map, eat its image
and paper, I'll swallow what wedding meant. Salt crusts my lips.
Gabrille CalvocoressiSAVE ME JOE LOUIS
When I was small no one stopped the fights.A man could beat you till you died,the crowd leaning in, you on your knees,maybe somewhere someone says,No,
but it's like spoons dropping in kitchens:enough to make someone look up,not enough to get them moving.The ref's just glad it isn't him
trying to stand, shading his facelike he's coming out of the moviesinto winter sun, shock of the worldmade real again brutal, to be sure,
but America is like that,unrelenting, you get what you ask forin the ring or on the kitchen floor.Someone always wants you to give up,
shake hands, wipe the blood away and talkof lighter things. And you dobecause you've been fighting long enoughto know there's no one here to save you.
is my heart. A stranger
berry there never was,
Gone sour in the sun,
in the sunroom or moonroof,
No poetry. Plain. No
fresh, special recipe
All Ive ever made
with these hands
and life, less
substance, more rind.
Mostly rim and trim,
but making much smoke
in the old smokehouse,
Fatted from the day,
overripe and even
toxic at eve. Nonetheless,
in the end, if you must
know, if I must bend,
to that excruciation.
No marvel, no harvest
left me speechless,
yet I find myself
somehow with heart,
fighting fire with fire,
That loud hub of us,
meat stub of us, beating us
Spectacular in its way,
its way of not seeing,
but in everydayness.
In that hopeful haunting
way of saying
in darkness) there is
for the pressing question.
Heart, what art you?
War, star, part? Or less:
playinga part, staying apart
from the one who loves,
TRACY K. SMITHSci-Fi
There will be no edges, but curves.
Clean lines pointing only forward.
History, with its hard spine & dog-eared
Corners, will be replaced with nuance,
Just like the dinosaurs gave way
To mounds and mounds of ice.
Women will still be women, but
The distinction will be empty. Sex,
Having outlived every threat, will gratify
Only the mind, which is where it will exist.
For kicks, we'll dance for ourselves
Before mirrors studded with golden bulbs.
The oldest among us will recognize that glow
But the word sun will have been re-assigned
To a Standard Uranium-Neutralizing device
Found in households and nursing homes.
And yes, we'll live to be much older, thanks
To popular consensus. Weightless, unhinged,
Eons from even our own moon, we'll drift
In the haze of space, which will be, once
And for all, scrutable and safe.
AND YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE THE ONLY ONE
Someone waits at my door. Because he is
dead he has time but I have my secrets
this is what separates us from the dead.
See, I could order take-out or climb down
the fire escape, so it's not as though he
is keeping me from anything I need.
While this may sound like something I made up,
it is not; I have forgotten how to
lie, despite all my capable teachers.
Lies are, in this way, I think, like music
and all is the same without them as with.
The fluid sky retains regret, then bursts.
He is still there, standing in the hall, insisting
he is someone I once knew and wanted,
come laden with gifts he cannot return.
If I open the door he'll flash and fade
like heat lightning behind a bank of clouds
one summer night at the edge of the world. -
Down to the basics of the basics,deep star on the horizon, full blownvision in the mountains. These are the cavedrawings, the beginning of our preciouspieces of self worth, our arms holdingourselves, our arms made of paper,our paper arms holding our beatingorgans inside our paper selves.
Dream blood, dream red, dream.Therand then theeaand thedm.Let the letters ride there, then subtract it.The roof of a shelter, the grandeurof smoke, a sun print on a rocket.
I have come to the border town.Take away theIand put it in a shelter dream,now fill it up with bullets, now dreambull. Now take thebout of it which isthe engine that makes it go.
Theres a baby in a basket. Theres a burningbasket lullabye. You know the words.The words are mixed with the soil whenthe soil is lifted with a shovel.
Place the soil on top of the wooden boxeswhose bodies dreamoos andahs,of fireworks branching out in the skyon holiday, pots and pans clanging,children playing by dawn, a dreamnailed down to a box.
MEDITATIONS ON A MOTH
How splendid yellow is.-Vincent van Gogh
My poor eye. It has doneso much looking--at the sky, at the dark-frettedtrumpets in the frescoes of the Chrysler Building,at the opium dens ofHigh and Low,where bodies sway like white flowers--amount due, amount due.Is the blue the blue you think of when I tell you?Do ghosts have neuroses?What is the point of the haunting they do?Here--look. No, look.I am trying to rid myself of myself;to see past the tumbling clouds.All evening drums rumble in the corner park.The mobsters convene when the cops leave.What goes down stays down,the street at three A.M. a fantastic absence of color.Outside the studio windowa river slides along its dulcimer bed,aquifers and accordions and Alcatraz.But you have to get up in the morning.The brute blind glare of snow in sun.Look again, and up you may riseto something quite surprising in the distance.
THE MORTICIAN IN SAN FRANCISCO
This may sound queer,but in 1985 I held the delicate handsof Dan White:I prepared him for burial; by then, Harvey Milkwas made monumentno, mythby the yearssince he was shot.
I remember when Harvey was shot:twenty, and I knew I was queer.Those were the years,Levis and leather jackets holding handson Castro Street, cheering for Har