You are on page 1of 8

Liam Merkle Mrs.

Lemaire AP Literature IV 02 April 2012 PSSSTTT (20 Poems)

1) Lucille Clifton, Homage to My Hips, pg. 1084 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShiftToneThemeTitleThe Speaker expresses that she is proud to have her large hips. She has nothing to be ashamed about; she feels there is no reason to hide her hips. She embraces her curves. The speaker is the voice of a woman who has got curves, and is possibly the poet. The poem is written in free verse, with repetition and personification. At the line, These hips are mighty hips, the poem switches from a physical description of her hips to the speakers pride. The tone is proud/shameless, full of self-worth. The poet inspires the reader to love themself. The poets purpose is to show that everyone is beautiful in a unique way. The title alludes to the purpose of the poem: everyone is beautiful and perfect in their own way.

2) Anne Bradstreet, To My Dear and Loving Husband, pg. 1077 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShiftToneThemeTitleThe speaker is expressing her irrefutable love for her husband. The speaker is the voice of a woman, madly in love with her husband, and is likely the poet. The first nine lines of the poem each hold ten syllables and the last three lines each hold eleven syllables. At the line, I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold, the poem changes from praise of love to worth of love. The tone is grateful, heartfelt, and compassionate. The poet makes the reader feel like they are watching a romantically cheesy movie. The poets purpose is to tell her husband she loves him irrevocably. The title of the poem is exactly what the poem is: a love note.

3) William Blake, The Tyger, pg. 1072


The speaker wonders where and how the Tyger has come into existence. The speaker is unknown, likely just the poet. The poem is written in quatrains and contains much repetition. The poem has a rhyming scheme of aa, bb, cc, etc. At the line, When the stars threw down their spears, the speaker switches from wondering how the Tyger came to be to hypothesizing about God. The tone of the speaker is astonished and wondrous. The speaker makes the reader feel contemplative. The speaker wonders how the tiger was created and by what majestic powers. The title tells the subject of the poem: the Tyger.

4) Eavan Boland, Anorexic, pg. 1073 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShiftThe speaker seeks to cleanse by fasting to be close to God. The speaker is unknown, likely the poet. The poem is written in stanzas of three. At the line, Once by the song of his warm breath, to speaker shifts from telling how she is going to cleanse herself to what the cleansing will do for her: bring her closer to God. The tone of the poem is reverent, repentance. The speaker shows the reader her compassion for God. The speaker seeks to connect with God by means of fasting. The title alludes to the suffering the speaker feels she must endure to grow closer tot God.


5) W. H. Auden, Funeral Blues, pg. 1064 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShiftToneThe speaker has lost the most important person in their life and sees no reason for life to go on. The speaker is someone who has suffered the loss of a great friend, could possibly be the poet. The poem is written in quatrains. At the line, He was my North, my South, my East and West, the speaker switches from wishing all of life to stop to declaring that he has lost everything. The tone is distraught and hopeless. The speaker makes the reader feel empathy.


The speaker feels as though his life is over when he loses someone who was everything to him. The title depicts exactly what is occurring: the speaker is grieving.

6) Rosario Castellanos, Chess, pg. 1046 ParaphraseSpeakerThe speaker depicts their complex relationship with someone, full of intricate emotions and manipulation. The speaker could possibly represent a group of people--perhaps even a nation that has been inconsistently on good and bad terms with another countryor just a single person with an intense, multifaceted relationship with anotherin which case could be the poet speaking. The poem is written in a stanza of four, then five, and them four again. At the line, Weve been sitting here for centuries, meditating, the poem changes from talking about establishing a mind game to the effect of the mind game on the speaker. The tone is casual, yet intense in subject and underlying emotions. The speaker obviously has a lot of mixed feelings, making the reader very contemplative. Someone is trapped in a frivolously dangerous mind game with a close counterpart; their relationship is convoluted and uncertain. The title of the poem very appropriately represents the complexity of the speakers relationship with anotheror, quite possibly, simply states exactly what the speaker is depicting, a game of chess.


7) Krishna Tateneni, Valentine for Amy, pg. 1039 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShiftToneThemeTitleThe speaker remembers a cat lying atop him whilst he sleeps and wishes for Amy to do the same. The speaker is presumably a man whom feels passionate about Amy; he is possibly the poet. The poem is a narrative written in stanzas of three. At the line, Today I want to hold you, the poem goes from remembering cat sitting to wishing for a love (Amy). The tone is sweet and sincere; the speakers feelings emanate through his words. The speaker makes the reader reflect on love. The poets purpose is to express his love for Amy. The title reflects the poets purpose and ironically represents the cat he describes.

8) Jane Kenyon, Peonies at Dusk, pg. 1035 ParaphraseThe speaker stares deeply at a blossoming flower, as if it were a loved one.


The speaker is unknown, probably is the poet. The poem switches from a stanza of three to four repeatedly. Close to the end, at the line, Search it as a woman searches, the poem takes a turn from simply analyzing a flower to thinking of a loved one. The tone is very fanciful and dreamy. The poet puts the reader in pleasant atmosphere, open to thoughts of dear ones. Someone ponders a flower, thinking of a loved one. The title reflects the just the surface of the poem, but not the theme of the poem: thinking of loved ones.

9) Mark Doty, Golden Retrievals, pg. 1031 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShiftA dog contemplates his position in life and finds himself superior to his owner. The speaker is a golden retriever who is full of energy, enthusiasm, and thought. The poem is written in quatrains until one couplet appears at the end. The poem utilizes personification and irony. At the line, A Zen masters bronzy gong, calls you hear, switches from the dog depicting his relationship with his owner to declaring that their interactions prove the him, the dog, superior. The tone is honest and analytical, and appropriately reflects the speaker. The speaker makes the reader contemplate their status in life. A dog realizes he controls his owner and therefor is alpha. The title alludes to the speaker of the poem and reflects his contemplative ways.


10) Jennifer Ritter-Compasso, All I Hear Is Silence, pg. 1028 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShiftToneThemeTitleThe speaker is deaf and feels left out, separate, from his hearing family. The speaker is a deaf child who feels a lone. The poem is divided into three stanzas, the first about the speaker, the second about the speakers family, and the third about the speakers grief. At the line, I ask what is going on in their conversation, switches the poems subject from the speakers family to how the speaker feels about his family. The tone is somber, a grievance. The speaker causes the reader great empathy for him. A deaf child feels a lone in a family of hearing people. The title depicts the speakers pain and reflects the fact that he is death.

11) Langston Hughes, Aunt Sues Stories, pg. 1011 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureA dark-skinned child listens to his aunts first-hand stories of slavery. The speaker is unknown, possibly the poet. The poem is divided into three main stanzas, the first about Aunt Sue telling her stories, the second about the contents of her stories (slaves), and the third about the child listening. At the line, Knows that Aunt Sues stories are real stories, the poet begins to reveal that Aunt Sues stories are real events, a history lesson, and a morality teaching. The tone is hopeful. The poet gives the reader hope that slavery and prejudice will diminish as awareness increases. A dark-skinned woman teaches a child about racism with stories of slavery. The title emphasizes Aunt Sues stories, reflecting the power they have on the attentive childs life.


12) Langston Hughes, Consider Me, pg. 1008 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShiftToneThemeTitleA colored boy goes from a nobody to a somebody. The speaker is a dark-skinned man, reflecting his growth. The poem is written in two stanzas of three and implements a rhyming scheme of abc, abc. At the line, Once nobody, the speaker refers to himself once being nothing of value, leading the poem to describe his current value and worth. The tone is simple and up front. The speaker causes the reader to reflect growth in their own life. A man recognizes his growth. The title alludes to the speakers wish for someone to see his accomplishments and consider him for what he is.

13) Langston Hughes, Listen Here Blues, pg. 1008 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShiftThe speaker gives advice for young girls to stay away from booze and boys, based off experience. The speaker is an elder woman who has hit some rough patches in the past. The poem is written in three stanzas of six, utilizing repetition. The poem has a simplistic diction of someone of the South. At the line, I used to be a good chile, the poet introduces the speakers experience dealing with such things as Gin an whiskey.


The tone is a caring warning to all young girls to be careful. The poet makes the reader wary of the decisions they make in life. A woman with experience warns young girls to be careful and smart. The title causes the reader to think of the Good girls the speaker addresses to possibly represent the speakers past mistakes that have caused her sadness. The speaker is demanding her sadness to go away, as she says listen here blues.

14) Langston Hughes, Madam and the Rent Man, pg. 1006 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureA woman will not pay her rent because the landlord will not repair. A woman who is upset with the way her landlord care for her home. In excepting to the first stanza, the poem is written in quatrains. The poem has the rhyming scheme of abab (where a is any sound, not necessarily rhyming with the next). At the line, The sink is broke, he poet anticipates the speakers rant about the landlord being terrible. The tone is aggravation. The poet makes the reader feel for the speaker by showing the reader the speakers innocent disposition. A woman will not pay rent because her landlord is awful. The title exclaims the main subjects of the poem.


15) Langston Hughes, Morning After, pg. 1001 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShiftToneThemeTitleA man drinks too much then has nightmares and wakes up with a hangover. The speaker is a man who drank too much. The poem implements a lot of repetition, utilizing the rhyming scheme ababcb adadedefefgf. At the line, Thought I was in hell, the poet is referencing how the alcohol has made the man feel. The tone is humorous but also allegorical. The poet makes the reader think about a time they have been hung-over. Do not over indulge. The title refers to the time of the poem.

16) Langston Hughes, Song For a Dark Girl, 999 ParaphraseSpeaker-


The poem is written in quatrains, each beginning with the same line We Down South in Dixie. The poem has the rhyming scheme of abab (where a is any sound, not necessarily rhyming with the next).

ShiftToneThemeTitle17) Langston Hughes, My People, pg. 998 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShiftToneThemeTitle18) Langston Hughes, I Too, pg. 996 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShiftToneThemeTitle19) Langston Hughes, Mother to Son, pg. 995 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShift-

ToneThemeTitle20) Langston Hughes, Dream Deferred, pg. 994 ParaphraseSpeakerStructureShiftToneThemeTitle-

Related Interests