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The House by the Side of the Road Who is the speaker (voice–not always the poet) What does the poem reveal about the speaker’s character
Please answer the following questions. They are from the house by the side of the road. The House by the Side of the Road Who is the speaker (voice–not always the poet) What does the poem reveal about the speaker’s character In some poems the speaker may be nothing more than a voice meditating on a theme, while in others the speaker takes on a specific personality. Is the speaker addressing a particular person If so, who is that person and why is the speaker interested in him or her Many poems are addressed to no one in particular and therefore to anyone, any reader. Others, while addressed to a specific person, reveal nothing about the person because the focus of the poem is on the speaker’s feelings and attitudes. Does the poem have a setting Is the poem occasioned by a particular event The answer to these questions will often be no for lyric poems. It will always be yes if the poem is a dramatic monologue or a poem that tells or implies a story. Is the theme of the poem stated directly or indirectly Some poems use language in a fairly straightforward and literal way and state the theme, often in the final lines. Others may conclude with a statement of the theme that is more difficult to apprehend because it is made with figurative language and/or symbols. From what perspective (or point of view) is the speaker describing specific events Is the speaker recounting events of the past or events that are occurring in the present If the past events are being recalled, what present meaning do they have for the speaker Does a close examination of the figurative language of the poem reveal any patterns What is the structure of the poem Since narrative poems–those that tell stories–reveal a high degree of selectivity, it is useful to ask why the poet has focused on particular details and left out others. Analyzing the structure of a non-narrative or lyric poem can be more difficult because it does not contain an obvious series of chronologically related events. What do sound and meter contribute to the poem Alexander Pope said that in good poetry, “The sound must seem an echo to the sense”–a statement that is sometimes easier to agree with than to demonstrate. What was your response to the poem on the first reading Did your response change after study of the poem or class discussions about it


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