How to Read a Poem


The Eagle tutorial


Structured Poetry

The Romantic Poets

Slam Poetry

Good Poetry Websites:

Fast Run in the Junkyard

by Jeannette Nichols (Note how the SOUNDS add to the MEANING of the poem.)


That junkyard fell down the side of the hill

like a river: baby buggy, black leather

cracked car back seat, sofa wind-siphoned

by a clutch of tangled wire hangers hanging on

like spiders. We stood and fell as momentum took us

toward somebody's sodden Sealy dying of galloping miasma

jumped on bedsprings sprung to pogos and leaped

for king of the mountain where boxes and cans fountained

up the hill's other side. Sailing saucers we rode

back down flinging hat racks burlap sacks chair cropped

of backs and flotsam crockery, breezed in league boots

back out of everybody's past hazards up to the road

to break tar bubbles all the way home where things

were wearing out as fast as we were growing up.

Poem Assignment - One Moment

Taylor Mali poem on speaking with authority:


Taylor Mali, "Undivided Attention"

Katie Makkai, "Pretty"

"Pretty" lyrics: (Look at the rhythm, alliteration and assonance, creative metaphoric language, and "WOW" verbs.)

Marshall Davis Jones, "Touchscreen"

"Touchscreen" lyrics: (What do they lose being read rather than heard aloud?)

We Real Cool

Gwendolyn Brooks, (1917 - 2000)




We real cool. We

Left school. We

Lurk late. We

Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We

Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We

Die soon.

Quiz Practice Questions Using "Digging" by Seamus Heaney (p. 238 in blue book)


1. Heaney uses rhyme in which stanzas in the poem?

a. 1 and 3

b. 3 and 4

c. 1 and 2

d. 2 and 5

2. The phrase "snug as a gun" in line 2 is an example of all of the following EXCEPT:

a. assonance.

b. apostrophe.

c. a simile.

d. imagery.

3. The tone of stanza 6 at the top of page 239 could be best described as:

a. angry and vindictive.

b. fearful and anxious.

c. gleeful and imaginative.

d. confident and methodical.

4. Heaney's apparent feeling toward his father and grandfather, as expressed in the poem, is:

a. admiration.

b. sadness.

c. confusion.

d. jealousy.

5. Which of the following is the best paraphrase of the final stanza?

a. I've enjoyed remembering my father and grandfather, but now I must get back to work with my writing.

b. My pen is my instrument, and I can do equally important work with it as my forefathers did with shovels.

c. All I have is this little pen for doing my work, so I guess it will have to do.

c. With my pen, I can uncover many secrets about my father and grandfather.