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Teacher Tips and Answers

Responding to a Poem for Assessment

When you closely read a poem on an assessment, pay attention to the sounds of poetry, such as rhythm, alliteration, and repetition. Also note the meaning of poetry, focusing on features like imagery, metaphor, and symbolism.

Closely read a poem.

Read the following poem, paying attention to sound and meaning.

Source 2

Chicago Poet

Carl Sandburg

I saluted a nobody.

I saw him in a looking-glass.

He smiled—so did I.

He crumpled the skin on his forehead,

     frowning—so did I.

Everything I did he did.

I said, “Hello, I know you.”

And I was a liar to say so.


Ah, this looking-glass man!

Liar, fool, dreamer, play-actor,

Soldier, dusty drinker of dust—

Ah! he will go with me

Down the dark stairway

When nobody else is looking,

When everybody else is gone.


He locks his elbow in mine,

I lose all—but not him.

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