Develop an open question about one or more of the poems we read this
semester. Your thesis should be a thoughtful answer to that open question. You will
support your answer with a detailed close reading. A close reading will require you to
explain the poem’s use of language and form as essential to the poem’s meaning.
Therefore, you will need to explain its use of figurative language (metaphor, simile,
personification, metonymy, and/or synecdoche), its tone, denotations, rhyme, meter, and
its overall poetic structure. Regarding the latter point, it is important to consider how and
why the poem begins, develops, and ends as it does. You should assume that the poem
has an organic unity: all of its words have meaning in relation to each other.
Make your answer as detailed as possible.
Your interpretation should be based on a close textual analysis of what the texts say. Use
the text as your proof.
Your interpretation needs to be argued, explained, and supported.
PICK ONE POEM AND QUESTION
Open questions & poems
Dreams – Langston Hughes
Why does the speaker think you cannot survive life without dreams?
Was the speaker’s dream ruined?
Did the speaker not go after his dream?
Are dreams essesntial to live?
Cross – Langston Hughes
Did the speaker accept his family members?
Did he hates his mom more? If so why?
Why does he feel resentment towards his parents?
Why use the title “Cross”?