Paraphrase this passage from “When Lilacs Last in the Door Yard Bloom’d” by Walt Whitman, written to mourn the murder of Abraham Lincoln. Paraphrasing is hard work, but keep in mind as you struggle along that nearly every college degree and professional job requires lots of paraphrasing. You will use this skill again.
Week 7: Congratulations, You Are Poet of the Week! List the metaphors you find in the passage from “When Lilacs by the Dooryard Last Bloomed” Check your list against the key at the back of this book. Over the past weeks, you’ve learned about several aspects of poetry. Now you are ready to try your hand at writing a poem.
Poetry Writing Assignment #2 (Completed as homework over three days this week)
Homework Day 1
Make a list of concrete words to describe your room. The words on the list should all show a dominant impression (ex: the room is dismal, the room is cheery, the room is messy…). DON’T MAKE THE DOMINANT IMPRESSION PART OF THE LIST! We’ll start this part in class so I can give you some assistance
Now, you will use that list to compose a poem. Start by deciding upon a dominant impression from the abstract list. Do you want to describe the holiday as funny, sad, exciting…?
Next, put an X through your abstract list. Poems usually contain more concrete imagery than abstraction. Then, cut any details from the concrete list that don’t fit your dominant impression.
Group the images you’re your concrete list logically here. A good rule of thumb is to move around the scene described by starting with one side of the scene and moving from one side of the scene to the other.
Order of images
Think of at least one metaphor and one simile to add to your descriptions. The metaphor and the simile may take the place of more straightforward descriptions you’ve thought of earlier.
Your poem should have a turn. For now, it is enough for your turn to summarize the main feeling of the poem. Make your turn in the last two lines of the poem. You may use an abstraction in the turn.
Put your poem aside and rest your mind for a day before proceeding with the next day’s work. You’ll write better after a rest.