AP Poetry Close Reading Assignment 10-5-12

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Close Reading

NOTE: I am allowing pairs on this, but it means each pair has to do 2 poems.

Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing ways to approach the analysis of poetry. Now, you are going to take the lead and teach the poems in depth. Read more

AP Poetry Writing Assignment 10-5-12

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You’re a Poet (and didn’t know it)

For this assignment, you will compose at least 14 lines of poetry. Your poem(s) should follow one of the following forms: Read more

Syllabic Verse

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This time, Mr. Fry led a study of syllabic verse – stresses need not apply.

Part 1: Write at least two stanzas of alternating seven- and five-syllable syllabic verse: subject rain.

Drip, drop, drip. In drier climes

That rhythm brings joy.

In the world’s rain forests, though:

Just another day.

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Anglo-Saxon verse

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More from The Ode Less Travelled:

Write 18-20 lines of Anglo-Saxon verse (2 beats per half line following a bang-bang-bang-crash alliteration pattern on the stressed beats) on the topic of what I’d like to eat.

Eggs scrambled with sausage, I seem to recall

Taste perfectly pleasant, a paean of sorts

For when I’m down in the dumps or just desperately tired. Read more

More Stephen Fry exercises

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Once more, I’ve dipped into Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled. This time, he asks me to write some anapaestic hexameters describing how to get to my house. Because I am an English teacher, I cannot count and ended up writing anapaestic pentameters. Never fear … I redid the exercise with the proper syllable count. I’ve included both results below. 😉

The miscount:

It’s off Kensington. Go all the way to the end of the street.

Take a left there at Rackliffe – you’ll see a big tree at the fence.

At the end of the fence take a right. Will you honk? Should I watch?

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Writing again!

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It’s been a long dry spell, but after a year of tremendous change I feel ready to begin writing again. More importantly, I am ready to write and post regularly. I’m using Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within as my impetus. Fry, an incredibly funny actor and writer, penned this book as both a personal love letter to poetry and a fun how-to guide to would-be poets like me. Included in the book is a series of writing exercises, the result of which I will share here.

Just to be clear: this is not earth-shattering, Pultizer-winning poetry. This is me playing with meter, rhyme and form.

My hope is to post daily. This first post will include the results of the first four writing exercises from Fry’s book. I will give you Fry’s instructions so you know what I’m trying to accomplish. That said …

Exercise 1: Write out 20 lines of iambic pentameter (some are pairs, others are free-standing)

The subway car rocks to and fro and fro.

I don’t know what to do with all my books. Read more


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A ripple sounds

Ears alert, nose to the air

Stark stillness returns

Acrostic poems

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Just a few acrostics that I wrote for the Central Connecticut Student Writing Project, where I’m instructing this summer.

Bunches of water

Under the spout

Catching the rainfall

Kick it for fun

Empty it onto the flowers

Try to spit into it from a distance



Over the top




Window to my soul

Route to the unknown

Imagination at play


Into dreams

No limits

Go for it!

Poetry is fun project

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Here’s an independent assignment I gave my American Literature students to do during our final week of state testing. I wanted to give them something that was content-light but still academic. Most of them really enjoyed it.

I should point out that all of this (except for the samples, which I wrote) was stolen from the web. Read more

Random kitty tankas

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Kitty sits in the window

birds swoop by — ack! ack!

Frustration emerges now.

I want to eat birds!

I want to eat birds!

Hackles rise as space contracts

ears back, bellies shown.

first swipe, then the fur flies fast.

wounds nursed, glass broken

Mommy’s left to sweep.

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