In this lesson, our instructor Rebekah Hendershot, teaches about Poetry Passages. Youll find out where these passages come from, what makes poetry questions different from prose questions, and some great techniques to make reading poetry much easier. Expect/Not/Least questions can be tricky, but with Rebekahs clear explanations youll learn how to pin point the right answer. Lastly, the lesson ends with why you should watch out for grammar in poetry questions and a great group of poets you should read before the exam.
Poets you’ve read in class, but works you haven’t read.
Twentieth century and later
A variety of poetic forms
Rhyming and non-rhyming
Poetry and Prose Questions
More questions about literary terminology and poetic devices
You might see a question about rhyme scheme or structure, but probably not.
More grammar questions (because poetic syntax is harder)
How to Read Poetry
Read poems like they’re prose. They use the same words; it’s just that those words are arranged strangely and sometimes rhyme.
Focus on the main idea of the poem. (Repetition is helpful there.)
Watch for what the poet didn’t have to include. (No, “all this poetry stuff” does not count.)
EXCEPT/NOT/LEAST questions can be some of the trickier ones on the exam.
Example: All of the following aspects of the windhover are emphasized in the poem EXCEPT …
To answer these questions, cross out the negative word and eliminate any answers that work for the remaining question.
Whatever’s left is your answer.
Watch Out for Grammar
Poetry questions are more likely to involve grammar simply because poets use much stranger syntax than prose authors do.
However, the grammar in these questions is usually still pretty simple—they are disguised comprehension questions.
If you understood the sentence, answer based on that understanding. Don’t sweat the grammar.
Example: “I took my Power in my Hand And went against the World ‘Twas not so much as David—had— But I—was twice as bold—”
In this poem, the “it” in “’Twas” refers to … (Power)
One Group of Poets to Read
Well-suited to standardized testing
John Donne, Andre Marvell, George Herbert, etc.
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.
This book includes five full length practice exams with all questions answered and explained. It includes a review of test topics covering details test takers need to know, such as poetry,prose fiction, and drama. It also includes sample student essays with critiques of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as a detailed glossary defining 175 literary and rhetorical terms.
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; New ed edition
This book is a reprint of the Shakespeare Head Press edition, and it presents all the plays in chronological order in which they were written in an easy to read format. It also includes Shakespeare's Sonnets, as well as his longer poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece.
Grammarly is the world's leading software suite for perfecting written English. It checks for more than 250 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, enhances vocabulary usage, and suggests citations.