Love not my work

Love not my work

ENG1DB Poetry Analysis Test Sample Responses

Below are some sample student responses from our in-class work and our PRACTICE Poetry Analysis Test that exemplify effective poetry analysis and critical thinking skills. Consider that some of these responses may still need work. What are the positive aspects of each response and what are some areas that still require improvement? Use these examples to help you structure your own responses on the actual Poetry Analysis Test (this will be written on Wednesday November 13th).

A Sample Response for “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost (in-class work):

What is the tone of the poem? Explain thoughtfully. Support your observations with direct quotations from the poem.

The most interesting aspect of Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken” is that it uses a speaker with an ironic and remorseful tone to shape its central message, which is not as obvious as it initially seems. Although, by the end of the poem, it reads as if the speaker has taken the road “less travelled by”, and therefore is speaking in a wise tone, in reality, there is no road less travelled by in the poem, and the speaker is anticipating a future lie that he/she must tell in order to make it appear that they have taken this “less travelled” road (Frost 19). As a result, the tone of the poem is far more insecure than anything else. This is clearly proven in the poem when the speaker says, “I shall be telling this with a sigh/Somewhere ages and ages hence:/Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,/I took the one less travelled by,/And that has made all the difference” (Frost 16-20). The “sigh” is the key here, because the speaker will not even believe this lie himself, which reinforces the speaker’s remorseful tone (he/she knows that he/she actually did not take the less travelled path, but that he/she is only telling himself that as a comfort) (Frost 16). Somewhere in the back of his/her mind will remain the image of yellow woods and two...

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