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Poetry
Write a Model of This Poem



Write a Model of This Poem
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.68

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    sensibility, plagiarism, template, faculty, scheme, commentator, critic, compose, writing, unseen, society, poet, poetry, critical, justice, issue
     content words:    John F., Robert Frost, By Woods, Snowy Evening, Road Not Taken, Mending Wall, Amherst College, Atlantic Monthly, Christina Rossetti, Wind By Christina Rossetti


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Write a Model of This Poem
By Brenda B. Covert
  

1     John F. Kennedy, the 35th U.S. president, once gave a speech in honor of the late poet Robert Frost, who wrote poems such as "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening," "The Road Not Taken," and "Mending Wall." Kennedy told the students, faculty, and staff of Amherst College in Massachusetts (where Frost had taught English during the first half of the 20th century) that "if sometimes our great artists have been the most critical of our society, it is because their sensitivity and their concern for justice, which must motivate any true artist, makes him aware that our Nation falls short of its highest potential." According to the February 1964 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, JFK was saying that the American poet acted as "critic, commentator, and champion of the individual mind and sensibility."
 
2     Poets express their ideas in ways that can make us think. Writing poetry comes easy for some people. Others struggle with rhyme and rhythm, not to mention ideas. While it's true that poetry appeals more to some than to others, it can serve as a vehicle with which to make a point and express ideas. Learning how to compose poetry can be very rewarding.
 
3     One way to learn to compose poetry is by imitating famous poets. By using a famous poem as a template, the new poet is able to copy the meter and rhyme scheme while expressing different ideas and feelings from what is found in the original poem. We aren't promoting plagiarism. Poets must be careful when working with someone else's poem. The idea is to create an original poem that flows like the one that is being used as a pattern, not to copy lines word for word.

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