Poetry

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Poetry can evoke strong feelings in readers. Select three poems we’ve read and examine the literary techniques the poets used to evoke a reader’s emotional response (note: not your emotional response.) How do the poets’ various techniques connect to their readers’ feelings?

Because a writer wants to evoke strong feelings into their writings, they use a variety of techniques from wording to the sense of the feeling the reader feels. In the poem, “Harlem,” by Langston Hughes, he uses the descriptive words to describe how many people’s dreams have been put on hold or eliminated totally due to the era of war. It reflects on how many African Americans have been among those who have left their dreams behind, or deferred them. It follows where they are in the present time. In the poem, “My Papa’s Waltz,” the writer expresses the feelings he has towards his father and the affection felt. He shares his experience with the times he shared with his father as they danced. As you read the story, the writer then expresses some resentment he might have towards his father, as interpreted by the reader.

In the poem, “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” the writer is expressing the strong feelings he has for someone he loves. He compares the woman he writes about to a summer day and that her beauty will never fade.

In the poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” it is written in a 1st person voice using the word “I.” The writer speaks of bathing in the Euphrates, the hut he built near the Congo and watching the sun set on the Mississippi. He compares the African American history to the history of the river he speaks of.

In the poems “The Lamb” and “The Tyger,” the writer uses words that describe how the Lamb is one of innocence and purity. The Tyger is one that has the reader interpreting that he is one of evil and no remorse. It has the reader comparing the two different beings to what life is now as we know it.

So when writers write their poems and want to...
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