The Road Not Taken

Discussion Question: Read Edward Hirsch’s article on How to Read a Poem (Links to an external site.) , so you can understand how to approach what we read in this unit. After that, choose a poem from this week’s unit. Then, answer the questions Hirsch says you should use “when approaching a poem for the first time” (see questions below). In responses to your peers, let them know if you have a different interpretation of the poem.Who is the speaker? What circumstances gave rise to the poem? What situation is presented? Who or what is the audience? What is the tone? What form, if any, does the poem take? How is form related to content? Is sound an important, active element of the poem? Does the poem spring from an identifiable historical moment? Does the poem speak from a specific culture? Does the poem have its own vernacular? Does the poem use imagery to achieve a particular effect? What kind of figurative language, if any, does the poem use? If the poem is a question, what is the answer? If the poem is an answer, what is the question? What does the title suggest? Does the poem use unusual words or use words in an unusual way?

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