And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Choose 1 of the following activities:
♦ “The Star-Spangled Banner” is a narrative poem since the poet desire to tell a story through verse. What is Francis Scott Key trying to communicate through the poem? To whom do you think he is trying to communicate? If you were trying to tell the story in prose, how would you communicate his intended message? As Francis Scott Key, compose a letter to a neighbor describing the events.
♦ Research the War of 1812 and the Battle of Baltimore in 1814. What were the events the led up to the poem? What do you think followed the events of the poem?Write two additional verses, or paragraphs, to add at the beginning and end of the poem that describe the events before and after the poem.
♦ Paraphrase “The Star-Spangled Banner” into your own words.
♦ Create your own poem that expresses your feelings about the United States or about a historic event. You should incorporate some of the poetic devices used by Key in “The Star-Spangled Banner”, such as alliteration or personification. Did you notice that Key did not use any metaphors or similes? Look up metaphor and simile in the dictionary or online if you are unfamiliar with these terms. See if you can use these poetic devices in your own poem.
♦ Some politicians and scholars have tried to replace “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem due to the violent imagery in the poem. Find the violent imagery in the poem and discuss whether the content of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is appropriate for the national anthem. What is your personal opinion of the anthem’s verse and music? Do you think it is well-written poetry? Why or why not? What about the tune? ♦ Each national anthem has its own distinct history and reason for being used as the musical representation of a people and culture. Research the national anthem of a foreign nation and explain the significance of the song to the people it represents.