Poetry and Paragraphs: a 16-Week Course of Integrated Literature, Research, and Paragraph Writing for Middle School and Early High School

From William Shakespeare’s Macbeth

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From William Shakespeare’s Macbeth

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

Homework Day 3

You may have heard all kinds of crazy stories about Shakespeare’s true identity. The truth is, we know a lot about him! Some people just have trouble believing that a guy who came from an ordinary family and didn't get to go to school for very long could have taught himself so much. We all know that the human mind is amazing, right? Who knows better than homeschoolers just how much people can learn on their own!

Research Shakespeare’s life, finding answers questions that follow. Copy the answers into the Notes section of your notebook and save them for later. Next week, you will write a paragraph about Mr. Shakespeare.
When did Shakespeare live?

Where did he live?

Who ran the government of his country?

What kind of education did he have?

What various jobs did he hold during his lifetime?

What kinds of things does he mention in his will?

What makes him so famous?

Week 13: End Rhyme

Show your homework to your teacher.
End rhyme is one of the most charming elements of “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day.” Many, many poems contain rhyme, most often at the end of a line. Just like meter, rhyme can follow certain established patterns. When we look at end rhyme, we mark the first rhyming word “A,” and all the other words that rhyme with the first word “A.” The second set of rhyming words will take the letter “B,” and so on.

Here is an untitled little poem from Christina Rossetti, with the rhyme marked for you.

There is but one May in the year,
 A (year rhymes with year)

And sometimes May is wet and cold;
 B (cold rhymes with old)

There is but one May in the year

Before the year grows old. B

Yet though it be the chilliest May,
 C (May rhymes with day)
With least of sun and most of showers,
D (showers rhymes with flowers)
Its wind and dew, its night and day,
Bring up the flowers. D

See how the pattern goes ABAB in the first stanza, and then CDCD in the second stanza? These repeated rhyme patterns help hold the poem together. Very often, rhyme follows an alternating pattern like the one above, or pairs of lines rhyme, as shown in these couplets (paired lines of poetry) by Alexander Pope:

Wou'd you your writings to some Palates fit

Purged all you verses from the sin of wit A

For authors now are so conceited grown B

They praise no works but what are like their own. B

In case you didn’t catch the meaning, Pope is making fun of authors who “purge,” or remove, everything funny from their writing in order the please the “Palates,” or tastes, of other writers who have no sense of humor.

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