Dystopian Poetry

Hi folks!  Today, we’re going to study the dystopian poem, “September 1st, 1939” by W.H. Auden.

First, read and annotate the poem.

Next, in groups, decide where the tonal “chunks” are and cut one of your poems apart into these chunks and tape it onto a white board.

On the white board, label the poem with the following:

  • An adjective to describe each chunk
  • For each chunk, a list of literary devices used and their effect
  • An analysis of the title
  • A sentence which states the theme.
  • Be sure to always pay special attention to the first and last lines in all poetry!

We’ll be doing a gallery walk so you can see each other’s interpretations.

Modern Poetry

What is poetry?

Discuss this at your tables and come up with a group definition to share with the class.


Is this a poem?

So much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens.


Is this a poem?

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white


This is called “The Red Wheelbarrow” and it’s by William Carlos Williams.


Here’s another one: 

The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.


“Fog” by Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
on little cat feet.


It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.


Take a look at the poem, “This is Just to Say” by William Carlos Williams.  In groups, read, annotate, and discuss the structure and meaning of this poem, trying to come up with a list of ways to analyze a contemporary poem. Be prepared to share back with the class.


How do you analyze a contemporary poem?






All of these become very important when understanding the meaning.

Poetry Analysis Practice (rhythm, meter)

Today is a chance to continue practicing your understanding of rhythm and meter in poetry.

Important Weekend Deadlines:

Friday (by midnight):  Online Lit Circles #3 (last one) questions posted

Sunday (by midnight): Online Lit Circles #3 (last one) answers posted

Monday (by midnight): Poetic Analysis Essay (over “The Century Quilt”) turned in on Google Classroom.


Studying the AP Rubric

Today, we’re looking at sample student essays from a previous AP test.  To start, read the 9-point rubric quietly to yourself.

Now, in groups, you should read the nine student samples and rank them from 1-9.  I will share the answers with you later.

What do you notice higher-scoring essays have that lower-scoring essays don’t?  What about essays scoring in the mid-range?

Here is a generic AP scoring rubric for you to reference all year.

With the time remaining, you may continue work on your “Century Quilt” chunking handout.

Don’t forget Socratic Seminar #2 is tomorrow.