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Write on Course 20-20
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What Is Poetry?

Read aloud the introduction on page 278. Point out that the Marianne Moore quote captures the essence of poetry in that poetry is, by its very nature, creative and that it often originates from real life. Then read and discuss the four characteristics of poetry on these pages 278 and 279.

After your discussion, ask students to find examples of the points under “Poetry sounds different” in the poems on these two pages. (Possible responses: Rhyming words—stand, sand; ocean, commotion. Repeated vowel sounds—clack, scratch; lonely, poems. Repeated consonant sounds—stiff, socks, soften, start, sweat; wide-eyed, waves. Words that sound like what they mean—clack, scratch; squeak, squish.)

You might also ask students what creative comparisons are included in these poems. (Possible responses: “a book of poems can be like a new friend”; “Even the sun behind the clouds spreads two bright rays like the legs of a compass”; “The clack and scratch of chalk . . . of a marker on whiteboard.”)