Poetry

Lesson 11

Objective

Explain how the poet uses repetition to convey the theme.

Explain how repetition enhances the speaker’s tone in the poem. 

Readings and Materials

Target Task

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Question 1

What is the purpose of repetition in a poem?

A.

To make the mood more positive and upbeat

B.

To cue to the reader to say the words more slowly 

C.

To highlight the limited perspective of the speaker

D.

To make an idea clearer

Question 2

In “Phenomenal Woman,” how does the repetition of “Phenomenally / Phenomenal woman” affect the tone of the speaker?

A.

It makes her sound more confident.

B.

It makes her tone more mournful.

C.

It makes her tone more stuck up.

D.

It makes her tone more naïve. 

What is the theme in this poem? 

A.

A woman is phenomenal when she makes men fall in love with her. 

B.

A woman is phenomenal if she has faith in herself and believes in her inner beauty. 

C.

A woman is phenomenal when she dresses confidently.

D.

A woman is phenomenal if she always tells the truth. 

Which detail from the text supports the answer to Part B? 

A.

“But when I start to tell them, 
They think I’m telling lies.” (stanza 1)

B.

“Then they swarm around me, 
A hive of honey bees.” (stanza 2)

C.

“It’s the fire in my eyes, 
And the flash of my teeth, 
The swing in my waist,” (stanza 2)

D.

“The grace of my style.” (stanza 4)

Question 3

Explain how the repetition helps develop the theme in “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou.

Key Questions

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Read “Alone” by Maya Angelou.

  • What is the purpose of repeating the lines “Nobody, but nobody / can make it out here alone”?
  • What is this poem about? 
  • How does the repetition help the poet convey her theme? 
  • What other poetic devices does the poet use to convey the central idea of the poem?

Read “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas.

  • What is the purpose of repeating the first and third lines of this poem? Do not go gentle into that good night / Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
  • What is this poem about? 
  • How does the repetition affect the tone of the speaker?
  • How does the repetition help the poet convey his theme? 
  • What other poetic devices does the poet use to convey the central idea of the poem?

Vocabulary

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repetition 

Notes

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This lesson connects with a unit test question.

Common Core Standards

  • RL.6.4 — Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.