Don't sell yourself short by thinking that a poem is beyond you. The poet had a message, so use the acronym for "Title, Paraphrase, Connotation, Attitude, Shifts, Title, and Theme" to guide you as you figure it out.
Step 1: React to the title
Determine what you understand of the poem's title without referring to the actual poem. Don't intellectualize it, either -- make a wild guess at first.
Step 2: Paraphrase the poem
Paraphrase the poem, finding a way to simplify and relate to what's going on. Rely on your gut instinct and your own words.
Step 3: Contemplate symbolic content
Consider the connotation of the poem, studying the poet's deeper intentions through symbolism, allusions, imagery, metaphors, and more.
Poets use words like conductors use music -- to lead the reader to feel and think a certain way. Investigate like a detective, logically figuring out the author's intent.
Step 4: Observe the tone
Observe the poem's speaker's attitude and intent through the poem. Like anyone convincing you of their viewpoint, poets will intentionally influence with a tone -- at times friendly, conspiratorial, or adversarial.
Step 5: Note shifts
Pay attention to shifts in the speaker's tone or new directions and cadences signaled by punctuation, transitions, stanza length, or even structural changes often meant to draw your attention. Ask yourself what these might mean.
Step 6: Turn to the title again
Turn to the title again, this time re-evaluating your first impression in light of the new information you have gleaned.
Keep in mind that most great poems are not jotted down in one impressionistic draft, but revised many times over months of work.
Step 7: Identify the theme
Identify the theme and how it relates to the poem or what it says about the human condition rather than just what it subjectively means to you.
Mr. Keating, giving an example of how to find your own voice and look at things from a new perspective.Uploaded Jan 19, 2018
Joni Mitchell's song, performed by The Counting Crows.Uploaded Jan 18, 2018
In his latest book, Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower, convincingly explains why one should read Herman Melville's intimidating Great American Novel.
In July 2011, the Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) will unveil an original short film showcasing Nantucket's natural beauty and its significant role in global history. Written and produced by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Ric Burns, Nantucket will serve as a transformative gateway experience for today's island visitor. It chronicles the vibrancy of Nantucket's history, from its original Wampanoag Native American population and early Quaker culture to its international significance as the whaling capital of the world and eventual rebirth as an art and resort colony.
The film is narrated by actress Barbara Feldon, known for her role as Agent 99 in the "Get Smart" series from the 1960's. It includes commentary by historians, islanders, and writers including New York Times best-selling author Nathaniel Philbrick, all of whom share personal stories and unique island insight.
After a free community film premiere on July 2, this 26-minute film will be shown twice daily at the Nantucket Whaling Museum, 13 Broad Street, throughout the summer and beyond.
In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story.Uploaded Nov 04, 2017
This is a short video detailing a modern day hunt taking place. For these Indonesian fishermen, a sperm whale can dramatically change their fortunes and feed their families for months. This small-scale whaling, using traditional hand-made boats and harpoons, has been happening for over 600 years and does not threaten whale numbers in these oceans as the fisherman only take around 6 a year.Uploaded Nov 04, 2017
Although this is not the book we are reading in class, the video contains a helpful background on the whaling industry in the early 1800s.Uploaded Nov 04, 2017
This is a great way to digest the document and help you understand the specific grievances Jefferson outlined as reasons for separation from England.Uploaded Oct 27, 2017
Short video segment from the History Channel's docu-series about the birth of the American nation.Uploaded Oct 22, 2017
In this scene from the film National Treasure, Nicolas Cage's character (Ben) is convinced there is a treasure map on the back of the Declaration. As he reads a passage from Jefferson's pen, he hits upon the very heart of why the colonists rebelled. We will discuss this in class.Uploaded Oct 22, 2017