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Alessio and Hamas Piscataway High School CLOSE READING Strategies for Analyzing PO ET RY
What is close Reading? A method of analyzing and evaluating a piece of text by concentrating on the writer’s use of: • Language (diction, syntax, connotation, denotation) • Literary devices • Voice and Tone
Connotation vs. Denotation • • • Connotation: the emotional or cultural meaning of a word Denotation: the dictionary definition; what is literally meant EXAMPLE: The words home, house, residence and dwelling all have the same denotation, but the connotation of each word is very different. Denotation: Where a person lives at any given time. Connotation: Home: cozy, loving, comfortable House: the actual building or structure Residence: cold, no feeling Dwelling: primitive or basic surroundings
Why should we closely read? • Develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for literature • Enhance the reader’s meaning-making skills (ability to analyze) across various subjects • Understand various cultural, historical, and social points of view • Reflect and make personal connections to a text
How do we “closely read” a poem? one time • Read the poem at least in order to get a general understanding of its meaning. • You should be able to identify the: • Meaning of the title • Main idea of the poem • End of the poem (where does it “get” the reader) • Structure of the poem • Tone
How do we “closely read” a poem? second time • Read the poem at least a to develop a deeper understanding. • As you are reading, go line by line to make sense of the poem by annotating notes along the margins. • This includes: • Writing summaries • Defining unknown words • Clarifying the speaker’s thoughts • Commenting on literary devices • Making personal connections • Asking questions
How do we “closely read” a poem? After you have read the poem at least 2 -3 times, you should be able to answer the following questions: 1. What is the genre (form) of the poem? -Examples: free verse, sonnet, elegy, monologue, lyric, etc. 2. Who is the speaker of the poem? -Remember: The speaker is NOT the author of the poem 3. Does the poem make use of setting? 4. How does the poem use imagery?
How do we “closely read” a poem? 5. Are there conflicts in the poem? • Internal, External, Both 6. How does the sound or rhythm contribute to its meaning? 7. What emotions does the poem evoke in the speaker? The reader? 8. How do language and literary devices enhance the poem? • Examples: simile, metaphor, rhyme, alliteration, imagery, puns, etc.
Lets try it out! • • • Angelou's "Caged Bird" Bronte's "Ah! Why Because the Dazzling Sun" Crapsey's "The Properly Scholarly Attitude" Countee Cullen's "Saturday's Child" Countee Cullen’s "Thoughts in a Zoo” Espaillat’s “Find Work”