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Table of Contents

Ars Poetica………………………………………………………………..…....……..Page 1

Published Poems The Scientist by Chris Martin…………………………………………….….Pages 4-5 The Noble Old Elm by James Whitcomb Riley……………………………..Pages 6-7 What do Animals Dream by Yahia Lababidi………………….…………….Pages 8-9 If by Rudyard Kipling……………………………………………………….Pages 10-11 The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost……………………………………….Pages 12-13

Explication of Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe.................................................…...Pages 14-15

Original Poems Orchard Acres Drive………………………...………………………………Pages 16-17 Young Love…………………………………………………………………Pages 18-19 The Old Lighter……………………………………………………………..Pages 20-21 Snow Day……………………………………………………….…………..Pages 22-23 Rocky Point……………………………………………………….…..……Pages 24-25

Cited Work……………………………………………………………………...….Page 26

Ars Poetica Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in it after all, a place for the genuine. “Poetry” -Marianne Moore But all they want to do is tie the poem to a chair with a rope and torture a confession out of it. “Introduction to Poetry” -Billy Collins

I used to think poetry was something that you were forced to read and write in school, and those who had a liking for it would waste their time and make a career out of writing it. I never thought I would find poetry interesting, and I for sure never thought I would enjoy writing it. I used to believe that all poems were boring, and there was nothing you could learn from them. I was also so narrow minded that I thought all poems rhymed. Through this poetry unit and studying poetry in greater detail I have learned that poems can be challenging to write, but at the same time enjoyable. Also you can dissect a poem and learn a lot about the author or subject in the poem, or you can simply read the poem aloud and enjoy its simplicity. The first few poems I wrote in this unit were not exactly fun to write. They were just an assignment that I had to complete on time and stay within the requirements in order to get a good grade. Looking back I had not yet broken through the surface of understanding how to truly write a good poem. As the unit went on I began to inform the reader of things about myself that were particular to me, and I started to write about ideas I had an interest in. Just as writing poetry was getting fun to write it began to get very challenging. I had no idea there were so many poetic devices. The struggle to count every syllable or rhyme the ending words began to become a challenge in an exciting way. I made it somewhat of a competition with myself to succeed in successfully using alliteration or enjambment. I found the challenge entertaining and 1  

soon learned to love the poetry assignments and writing poetry. My poems slowly began to incorporate metaphors and similes, and share with the reader deep and meaningful experiences. Towards the end of the poetry unit I did not only enjoy writing poems I began to love the discussions the class had when we would try to understand a published poem together. When trying to understand a poem one needs to go into reading it open-minded. This was my first mistake. I quickly caught on in sharing my personal opinion of the poem and sometimes noticing something about the poem no one else in class had seen. When taking poems apart piece by piece, I learned to recognize literary devices began to grasp poetry in a way that I had not ever before. I loved trying to understand why the poet had indented one line or italicized the last two words. These mysteries that seemed irrelevant soon began to make sense and help me understand the true meaning of the poem. After having taken multiple poems apart to gain a better understanding I began to want to simply read and enjoy the poems. When we would first read the poems aloud in class I would just listen to the sound the poem had when said aloud. If we were to read the poems silently to ourselves for the first time I would get lost in the poem, and let myself picture the images the author created for me. I am surprised I was ever able to write a poem and want to write another when I was done, or get excited about contributing to a conversation about a poem that lasted the entire class period; I am most surprised that I could ever enjoy reading poems. The poems I found I enjoyed the most were poems that had topics I was interested or poems that talked about something I could relate to. We never came across a poem I absolutely hated because I had a new respect for poetry and the way the author had chosen to portray what was on his mind or the idea he wanted to share. If we would have not had this unit I would have continued to avoid poetry and possibly never grown a liking for it.


This unit forced me to open up my eyes to what I had been avoiding and dreading since the beginning of the year. Without this unit I believe I would have never understood the true passion behind writing and reading poetry. I know there are still ways I can improve my poetry, and this wanting to challenge myself in better describing the subject of my poem and using more advanced literacy devices will drive me in the future to pursue poetry. Poetry is no longer just a homework assignment that I have to do well on but it is something I can enjoy reading and deciphering, writing and sharing, and most of all it is now a unit I will not dread but look forward to doing in the future.


“The Scientist”, by Chris Martin, is a poem which is sung as a song.  The song is about a  relationship that is coming to an end.  The themes throughout the poem are loss and new beginning.   Chris Martin sings about loss and how loosing someone is never easy and no one ever tells you how hard  is going to be.  This theme is so important to the speaker repeated many times in the chorus.  This poem  tells about new beginning when Martin sings about the want to go back to the start.  In the music video  there is a play on the theme of wanting to go back to the beginning by having footage played in reverse.   Martin sings about running back to the start, but finds that you can run in circles trying to fix the  problem that has already happened but you might come up with the same result and in the same  situation.  His closing line is a line that is repeated throughout the poem and this line in particular has a  different tone then the rest of the poem.  The tone in this line is more hopeful and shows optimism for  the future.  Martin also uses incorrect grammar intentionally with words like comin’, goin’, guessin’, and  more.  He uses these words so the poem has a smoother meter and rhythm when sung and to lighten  the tone.  This successfully lightens the tone of the entire poem because it putting words that kids use  when talking to their friends in the middle of a very meaningful statement that talks about the serious  theme of loss.   

I like this song because I can apply it to my life in many different situations.  When I don’t have 

a good day or I am faced with difficult situation I can listen to this song and realize that not everything is  easy.  No matter how much I want to go back to the start and erase the past, I can’t.  I have to face  reality and move on and start from a new beginning.   


The Scientist Chris Martin Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry You don't know how lovely you are. I had to find you, tell you I need you, Tell you I set you apart. Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions, Oh lets go back to the start. Running in circles, Comin' in tails Heads on a science apart. Nobody said it was easy, It's such a shame for us to part. Nobody said it was easy, No one ever said it would be this hard. Oh take me back to the start. I was just guessin' at numbers and figures, Pulling the puzzles apart. Questions of science, science and progress Do not speak as loud as my heart. And tell me you love me, come back and haunt me Oh and I rush to the start. Runnin' in circles, Chasin' tails Comin' back as we are Nobody said it was easy, Oh it's such a shame for us to part. Nobody said it was easy, No one ever said it would be so hard. I'm goin' back to the start.


“The Noble Old Elm”, by James Whitcomb Riley, examines the idea learning to share. Both groups of children want the big old elm tree to be theirs and they do not want to share it. The lesson in the end of this poem is that the tree is everyone’s and can be shared. The young girl who asks the tree whose he belongs to is the one who comes up with the idea to share the tree because of course the tree did not actually tell her that he is everyone’s. The tree is also timeless and is shared between generations. The tree belongs to before the time of the children’s fathers and it belongs to them now. In this poem the speaker is very unique and has a noticeable accent by the way words are spelled, italicized, and the punctuation. The spacing in this poem leaves the reader hanging after reading certain lines because Riley uses enjambment. There are words that are indented and on their own line which puts extra emphasis on the sentence and make the tone of certain lines serious. I like this poem because it reminds me of in my childhood the tree at my grandmother’s house. Her tree is not between her house and the neighbors it is right in the middle of the orchard and is the biggest tree out of all the hundreds of trees. All my cousins and I would climb this tree and try to claim it as ours if we were at the top or the highest that any of us could climb. It wasn’t until my grandmother came out one day and told us how old the tree actually was and that our aunts and uncles used to climb on this tree as children too. She told us that we have to share this tree with our aunts and uncles and cats and squirrels and each just like what happened in this poem.


The Noble Old Elm James Whitcomb Riley O Big Old Tree, so tall an' fine, Where all us children swings an' plays, Though neighbers says you're on the Line Between Pa's house an' Mr. Gray's Us children used to almost fuss, Old Tree, about you when we'd play. We'd argy you belonged to us, An' them Gray-kids the other way! Till Elsie, one time she wuz here An' playin' wiv us - Don't you mind, Old Mister Tree? - an' purty near She scolded us the hardest kind Fer quar'llin' ' bout you thataway, An' say she'll find-eff we'll keep stillWhose tree air fer shore, she say, An' settle it fer good, she will! So all keep still: An' nen she gone An' pat the Old Tree, an' says she,"Whose air you, Tree?" an' nen let on Like she's a-list'nin' to the Tree,An' nen she say, "It's settled, -' cause The Old Tree says he's all our treeHis trunk belongs to bofe your Pas, But shade belongs to you an' me."


“What do Animals Dream”, by Yahia Lababidi, has a theme of unknowingness. The speaker questions what an animal sleeping would be thinking about; what thoughts are running through its head. The dreams of an animal are something that we do not have the technology or ability to know and the fact that we have no way of truly knowing what was on the animals mind makes us more apt to question it more . This unknowing factor is what the poet was focusing on in all of his questions that seek for an answer about what the animal is thinking. The poet uses a very complex vocabulary which makes the tone less relaxed. There are certain lines where the author used enjambment to make, in my opinion, the question when read aloud sound more complex. I like this poem because I always wonder what my dogs are dreaming. When one of my dogs is laying there twitching as he lets out a quiet bark I wonder if he is chasing a squirrel or barking at my cat in his dream. When I read this poem it gave me more ideas to wonder what my pets are thinking because the poet came up with complex ideas that the animal might be having that I never thought to wonder if my pets were thinking.


What Do Animals Dream? Yahia Lababidi Do they dream of past lives and unlived dreams unspeakably human or unimaginably bestial? Do they struggle to catch in their slumber what is too slippery for the fingers of day? Are there subtle nocturnal intimations to illuminate their undreaming hours? Are they haunted by specters of regret do they visit their dead in drowsy gratitude? Or are they revisited by their crimes transcribed in tantalizing hieroglyphs? Do they retrace the outline of their wounds or dream of transformation, instead? Do they tug at obstinate knots inassimilable longings and thwarted strivings? Are there agitations, upheavals or mutinies against their perceived selves or fate? Are they free of strengths and weaknesses peculiar to horse, deer, bird, goat, snake, lamb or lion? Are they ever neither animal nor human but creature and Being? Do they have holy moments of understanding deep in the seat of their entity? Do they experience their existence more fully relieved of the burden of wakefulness? Do they suspect, with poets, that all we see or seem is but a dream within a dream? Or is it merely a small dying a little taste of nothingness that gathers in their mouths?


In the poem “If”, by Rudyard Kipling, there are many ideas covered. The ideas that stand out the most to me are the ideas of never giving up, trust oneself, humbleness, and to stay true to your morals. The poem tells you that if you have all of these qualities you will reach your dreams. If you never give up on yourself and always push yourself you can never be dissatisfied with your best efforts. Also if you trust yourself with all your decisions and not listen to the persuasions of others you will find yourself on the right path in life. The poem shares that you should live your life with the idea if you are lied to you will not lie back, that if you are hated don’t give out hatred, and that you don’t have to look like a million bucks or be the wisest to live your life the right way. If you stay true to these morals and are humble and put others first you will be on the right path in life. This right path will lead you to your dreams and you will accomplish your goals along the way according to this poem. The flow in this poem is very smooth and with the repetitive line “if you” it successfully sends a strong motivational message to the reader. Each line in this poem is an end stop which I think is very successful because the speaker is trying to send a very meaningful and encouraging message to the reader. I like this poem because I can read it for inspiration and also as a reminder of how I should be living. It is sometimes difficult to always remember that if someone says hurtful words to you, you should say kind words back. It helps me remember that sometimes hearing the truth is hard, but also that sometimes telling the truth is harder. If I look to this poem for inspiration it helps me see that my dreams are reachable if I live my life the right way.


If By: Rudyard Kipling If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise; If you can dream-- and not make dreams your master; If you can think-- and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds-- and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings-- nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And-- which is more-YOU’LL BE A MAN, MY SON!


“The Road Not Taken”, by Robert Frost, has a theme of choice. The poem explains the thought behind choosing which path to take when given a choice. The result in the poem is to take the path that not as many people have taken. I think of this as being an individual and a leader. Those who are scared with every step in life will take the path that most have already traveled; whereas those who are not afraid to venture into the path that is undiscovered are those who learn about themselves along the way and I believe are the most satisfied when they reach the end of the road even if they never come back. The rhythm in this poem shows a similarity in the syllables in just about every line. There are either eight nine or ten syllables in each line. When read aloud the rhythm and syllable count creates a tone of mystery because it is what is at the end of the path is unknown. At the end of the poem the tone shifts to certainty because the speaker seems to be sure of him or herself in his or her decision to take the path less traveled by. I like this poem because I often find myself with two paths I can take in life and have taken both the path less and more traveled by. I find that the path less traveled by has always had the best outcome for me. I would rather be the one to lead and discover then follow and never see it first, whatever it may be in life. Another reason I enjoy this poem is because the speaker in the poem does what I rather choose, which is the path less traveled by. I feel I can relate to the speaker that is looking down both roads contemplating in his or her head about which road to take, but in the end makes the right decision in my mind.


The Road Not Taken Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the tother, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by And that has made all the difference.


The poem “Annabel Lee”, by Edgar Allan Poe, is a poem that shows how strong love can be. It is about two children who grow up loving each other in a kingdom by the sea. The two main characters are Annabel Lee and her lover, who is the speaker. The speaker in the end of the poem has so much love for Annabel that he lies down in her tomb and dies next to her in her sepulcher by the sea. There are many poetic devices that are hidden throughout this poem. The stanzas in this poem follow an approximate meter pattern. With the line “In this kingdom by the sea” (20) repeated throughout the poem it gives the poem a pattern of an eight syllable line in between lines of usually ten or eleven syllables. This repeated stanza allows the poem to follow somewhat of an iambic pentameter. The pattern is stressed, unstressed and which reoccurs and is especially noticeable in the repeated phrase. This repeated phrase is repeated six times throughout the poem which means it has importance. It addresses the location of where the story takes place but it also adds a mythical and fictitious aspect to the poem. It makes the poem mythical and fictitious because when one thinks of a kingdom by the sea one would think of a fairy tale with a luxurious castle overlooking the sea. The poem also follows a visual pattern of indented lines and not indented lines. The end of every indented line is a word that rhymes with sea to relate back to the repeating stanza; which is why the poem flows so well and is almost lyrical. There are also two words in the line “she was a child and I was a child” (7) that are italicized which show importance of the two main characters in the poem: the speaker and Annabel Lee. This poem starts off addressing the fact that this story takes place long ago and gives the reader an understanding of how intense the love of Annabel Lee and the speaker is. The second stanza tells the reader how the two lovers are children and how they believe they “loved with a 14  

love that was more than love” (9). This line is an example of alliteration and stands out because children do not know what love is but in this poem they claim to know. This stanza ends by informing the reader that those in heaven wrongfully desire the love of the speaker and Annabel Lee. The third stanza begins the conflict of the poem which is when the angels in heaven send a kinsman of Annabel Lee to take her away from her love. She is locked up in hopes their love would cease. This event in the poem is somewhat mythological because the gods are sending for Annabel Lee to be locked up; much like when the Greek gods would control the humans on earth in the novel The Odyssey. The next stanza describes how the angels and demons are “not half so happy in heaven” (21) or in hell and are jealous of the love the two have for each other. Again this is very similar to the ways of the Greek gods when they would get jealous of humans on earth. The last two stanzas tell how even though Annabel Lee dies their love does not. Not even the “far wiser” (29) can understand how the two lovers continue to love each other and no one can possibly stop their love. The poem ends where the speaker of the poem conveys how he still dreams of his love and makes the decision to lay down beside her and die with her so they can be together. The overall theme of this poem is the importance of true love that never ends. It shares the message of how it is possible to find love when young and never love another person again. The poem portrays the immense love that is so rare that these two characters have for each other. The poem’s main purpose is to show that even when people and events get in the way one should never stop loving or give up.


Introduction to “Orchard Acres Drive”

The poem “Orchard Acres Drive” is a terza rima that shares some of the many events that took place on the road that leads to my grandmother’s house and orchard. This poem tells about the past and present of the road leading to her house and some of the things it has seen. It explains how when all of my family flies in for the holidays her house can be chaotic at times; however, when everyone leaves the property seems abandoned.


Orchard Acres Drive Hannah Akre Before I was born this road led to a place that was very alive. Now, at first glance it seems to have quitted down and slowed, However, when all the family returns its life will always revive. Countless memories surround the house at the end of this road. This road that is now old and has not been maintained very well, But no one minds the cracks, not even the lone toad. If this road could talk it would have many stories to tell. It has seen my uncle sneak out for his girlfriend at night, And my aunt going off to college when everyone says farewell. The men working in the orchard every morning were in its sight; As well Sunday mornings when all ten kids squeezed in the car. Now this road rarely sees a single head light. But when the holiday season arrives family comes in from near and far, And those nights the road can see kids running around catching fireflies in a jar.


Introduction to “Young Love”

This poem is a fictional sonnet about the love that two people think they have when they are young. It goes into detail about how the girl thought they were perfect for each other and she was so in love; swept up in the feeling. As the girl matured and the couple grew older she saw things about him she did not see before, and learned they were not meant to be.


Young Love Hannah Akre

One time a little girl who thought she knew, She thought she knew of what it meant to love. She thought love was vast like the sky so blue. By his side no better could she think of. Things seemed perfect; not wanting it to cease. Their feelings were true it was no mistake. Love for each other only could increase; Their love as strong as stone would never break. The sweet love transformed as they grew older. She began to see they were not perfect; No more she laid her head on his shoulder. The outcome was one she did not expect. Their love lost, never to be another. Weeks to years, they have not seen each other.


Introduction to “The Old Lighter”

This poem is a free verse poem that examines the curiosity of a young girl. This observant girl found an old fashioned flip open lighter after getting her photograph taken. After figuring out what it’s capability of igniting a flame she became scared because she had never seen anything like this before. Like most children do, she sneakily placed it back where she found it hoping to not get in trouble for finding it.


The Old Lighter By: Hannah Akre

The sun that morning in the garden was providing The perfect lighting for the photograph to be taken. As the two were sitting in the grass, The girl watched as a sleek shiny object slipped Out of the pocket of the man behind the camera.

It glinted in her eye as it hit the ground, And once she was allowed to move She ran over to investigate this new toy. With scratches all over it, its age was apparent. If it could talk it would tell stories of a long life.

She was surprised and startled when she discovered That with a snap the object flipped open, And displayed the internal workings of this strange device. With the flick of her thumb she was able to ignite a flame, And in awe she observed the glow till the wind blew it out.

She snapped it closed afraid of its newly discovered ability, And concealed it in her hands like a mother protecting her child. Looking around to make sure she was alone, She carefully laid it back down on the lawn Right where it was found as if she had never discovered it.


Introduction to “Snow Day”

This free verse poem tells the story of what happens in the morning at my house when my family discovers it is a snow day. The poem leads up to the news that there is in fact a day off school by giving detail of the phone ringing, the warmth of my bed, and my friends calling me.


Snow Day By: Hannah Akre

I woke up with a loud ringing of the phone, however, I did not answer the phone I let it continue blaring Until someone downstairs picked it up and listened To the pre recorded voice on the other side of the line.

I rolled over, wanting to go back to sleep, and noticed The thick white layer of snow keeping the ground warm Like the down feather bed spread keeping me from wanting To leave the warmth of my room; now lit by the morning light.

I heard the footsteps of my mom coming Towards my room to make sure I was getting ready For a long seven or so hour day of school and sports practice, But this was not the case this morning.

My phone would ring with calls from my friends hoping To be the first to share the news with me; Them not knowing I had already been informed Of this rare occurrence of a day off school: a snow day.


Introduction to “Rocky Point”

This poem is a hymnal measure that describes the morning at my lake house which is called Rocky Point. The cabin is located back in a cove where, in the morning, it is very peaceful and quite except for the faint noises of boats and jet skis. A screened in porch wraps around the entire cabin with cots where I always sleep, and wake up to the view of the peaceful lake.


Rocky Point By: Hannah Akre

Waking up to a summer breeze I look and see the lake; The sound of crashing waves, jet skis, And family now awake.

I think how it’s our last day here As I gaze at the cove. The smell of a breakfast fills the air; Ham sizzles on the stove.


Work Cited

“Coldplay: The Scientist Lyrics.” Metro Lyrics. 12 April 2009.<>

Collins, Billy. “Introduction to Poetry” Kelly, The Seagull Reader 74 Frost, Robert. "A Road Not Taken." The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems. Ed. Edward Connery Lathem. New York: H. Holt and Company. 1916. 105. Kelly, Joseph, ed. The Seagull Reader Poems. New York: W.W. Norton and Company. 2008 Kipling, Rudyard. "If."Complete Collection of Poems by Rudyard Kipling. Poetry Lovers Page. 27 Mar. 2010. <>.

Lababidi, Yahia. "What Do Animals Dream?" Signposts to Elsewhere. Ed. Naomi Shihab Nye. New York: Sun Rising. 2006. 27 Moore, Marianne. “Poetry.” Kelly, The Seagull Reader 226 Poe, Edgar Allan. “Annabel Lee.” Kelly, The Seagull Reader 249-250 Riley, James Whitcomb. "The Noble Old Elm." The Complete Poetical Works of James Whitcomb Riley. Ed. James Riley. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1937. 687-88.


Hannah's Poetry Project  
Hannah's Poetry Project  

Tenth Grade English Poetry Project