How To Read a Poem:

Next, we're going to look at two different poems which use the body in interesting ways. First, read this poem ‘Ode to my Shoes’ by Francisco X. Alarcon.

Ode to My Shoes.pdf

Now, watch this poem, 'Dear White America' by Danez Smith:

For each poem, I want you to answer the following questions. You can do this as a mind map on a big sheet of paper, or as bullet point notes, or as full sentences – the important thing is that you record your ideas.

  1. What is your first reaction to the poem? 
  2. What does the poem remind you of? 
  3. What does the poem make you feel?
  4. Do you like the poem? If so, why? If you don’t like the poem, why don’t you like it? 
  5. If you don’t understand the poem, don’t worry, that means the poem can be about whatever you like! You get to decide.