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Poetry Analysis
O What is that Sound
~W. H. Auden
Dream Deferred
~Langston Hughes
For Poets
~Al Young
My Papas Waltz
~Theodore Roethke

O What is that Sound

Title: The poem is about a sound that the author hears.
Paraphrase: Paraphrased poem
Different narrators
Rhyme pattern
Repetition of words
Scarlet soldiers
Assonance and slant rhyme
Point of view
Attitude: Sorrow, mocking humans
Two shifts
Second to last stanza
Last stanza
Now we know that the couple is listening to the soldiers
approaching them.
Human instincts to flee when trouble comes can bring out the

Auden served in the Spanish Civil

war in the 1930s. He saw British
soldiers, known for their red
uniforms, on the battlefield. This
likely told influenced the line
scarlet soldiers in the poem.

Dream Deferred
Langston Hughes
Title: From the title, I inferred that the poem will be
about what happens when a person put offs their
Paraphrase: Paraphrased Poem
Rhyme scheme
Depressing vs. Joyful
Negative tone
Going from questions to a statement
Going back to a question
Title: The speaker of the poem discusses what
happens to the dream itself when it becomes
forgotten or gets postponed. Does it stay with you?
Does it disappear? What happens to the dream?
Theme: If you dont follow your dreams when they

Langston Hughes liked to use his

own personal experiences to
inspire his works. He used his own
memories about dreams and his
and their relationships. He also
used his prior engagement with
jazz music to add a touch of
rhyming to the poem.

For Poets
Al Young
Title: Just by reading the title of the poem, it seems
like it is dedicated to poets.
Paraphrase: Paraphrased poem
Involvement of Life
Attitude: inspirational, uplifting
Al Young has been writing ever since he
was a young child. Young has taught
poetry, fiction writing, and American
Last three lines
literature at some of the most prestigious
schools in America. Often times, he uses
For Poets as an example during his
Young is not only giving advice for new poets on how to presentation, as it teaches how to write
successful poetry.
write successful and interesting works, but giving an

overall outlook on how life should be as well.

Human instincts to flee when trouble comes can bring
out the worst in people.

My Papas Waltz
Theodore Roethke
Title: the poem may be about a child and their
papa waltzing.
Paraphrase: Paraphrased poem
ABAB rhyme scheme slant rhyme)
But I held on like death, is a simile that is
trying to show how the boy held onto his father
and how much he did not want to lose him.
Attitude: abandonment, but some happiness
Second, third, fourth lines
Lines six and seven
Lines ten and eleven
The poem is about a boy and his drunken father
waltzing around the house while trying to get the
boy to bed.
Theme: All memories have their smooth and
rough edges.

Theodore Roethke lost his father and

uncle at a young age. He had a sense of
abandonment and loss just like the boy in
the poem. The poem was influence by his
childhood experience and the feeling of
losing someone very close to him.

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