Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Poetry Analysis due on Thursday

Dear Juniors,

Well done on your poetry presentations. For the most part, I have been impressed with the information you have shared about your poet. If you missed class, we completed the following:

1. Presentations for the following poets:
  • Donald Justice
  • Sylvia Plaith
  • Anne Sexton
  • Maya Angelou
  • E.E. Cummings
  • Gwendolyn Brooks and
  • William Carlos Williams
1. I gave each student a poem entitled "Ready to Kill" by Carl Sandburg and asked that they analysis it using the TP CASTT method as their guide. I have included a copy of the assignment below. You will need to locate a copy of the poem through the Internet.

Poetry Analysis
Junior English

Name ________________________________ Period _____________ Score_____________

Instructions: Please TP-CASTT the included poem using the TP-CASTT organization sheet provided for you. Remember to read your piece outloud a minimum of two times,as you complete the TP-CASTT method, doing so will assist you in gathering significant data that you can use to devise a valid interpretation of the poem.
  1. Annotations and notations for each of the TP-CASTT meanings must appear on the poem.
  2. Please complete the included TP-CASTT organizational sheet.
  3. An analysis of the poem using the TP-CASTT method as your guide needs to be included with your TP-CASTT organizational sheet. The analysis must be written using academic voice. Please structure your response using MLA format.






Poetry Analysis Example:

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us-- don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Ryan Bailey

Mrs. Crampton

Junior Honors


“The Somebody in Emily Dickinson's Nobody”

               Emily Dickinson's poem “I'm Nobody! Who are you?” offers the reader a different perspective regarding popularity. Many times people believe that in order to have self-worth they need attention from others. Dickinson indicates that this view does not always possess merit.. The speaker in Dickinson's poem, admits to accepting the role of the outsider. She even seems to enjoy it. She states, “How dreary to be somebody!” Initially the reader questions Dickinson's purpose. One may ask, “Who would want the role of an outsider?” In contrast to that question, “Who would want the role of insider?” As an outsider, a “nobody,” the speaker does not have to face criticism or disapproval from other people. She does not have to “play games” or put on an act in order to receive approval. The speaker realizes that her role as a “nobody” gives her the opportunity to express her individuality.

        The poem's first stanza indicates that the speaker meets a fellow “nobody.” Together the two nobodies can enjoy each other's company and their shared anonymity. As a pair, they exist as two “somebodies” rather than two “nobodies.” The speaker indicates this in the line, “Don't tell! They'd banish us, you know.” The speaker values this newly found friendship; she experiences a sense of comfort in her association with the other nobody.
            In the second stanza, a significant shift becomes apparent. The attitude of the poem changes, as the speakers sounds more confident. Perhaps the discovery that other people exist similar to herself gives the speaker this more confident tone. This realization makes her feel that recognition as a “somebody” possesses little importance. The speaker uses a simile where she compares a frog to a “somebody” to illustrate this point. She states, “How public, like a frog.” Why does the speaker use a frog in comparison with the public forum? Frogs make themselves known due to the fact that their croaking make so much noise. The poem states that frogs, though they can croak and make themselves heard and noticed, that only the “admiring bog” notices them. The bog represents the frog's environment, not the frog's friend; therefore, the bog's admiration has no importance.
       Dickinson's intent concerns the reader understanding that the relationships between “somebodies” represents an impersonal and distant association. The “somebody” who becomes noticed by an admiring public never experiences an authentic friendship. “Somebodies” may have many admirers, but they will not have personal connections that real friendships offer to “nobodies.”