Poetic Analysis Introduction (1 paragraph) State the poem and poet. Give a brief (1 sentence) summary of the poem. What is it about? State what you will analyze (i.e. imagery, theme, mood, figurative language, rhyme). Body (1 paragraph) Show how the poet uses that technique. Explain how the technique is important to the poem. Include at least 1 direct example from the poem. Tell how it did or did not work for you as the reader. Conclusion (1 paragraph) Restate the importance of that technique in the poem. Emphasize why it is worth reading. Poem Analysis for “Miss Rosie” by Lucille Clifton (p. 638) We’ve all seen them—the man standing on the corner with a cardboard sign, or the tired old woman walking her equally tired old dog down the street. We see them, but rarely stop to look harder. Poet Lucile Clifton did in her poem “Miss Rosie,” and through her eyes we perceive the scene differently. It is through her skillful use of imagery that the poem comes alive. Within its short eighteen lines, Clifton manages to pack in extraordinary images that bring the scenes to life. In our mind, we can picture this woman, who is nothing more than “garbage” to the rest of the world. She wears worn out shoes and filthy clothes. As the reader approaches her, their nose is assaulted by the “smell of too old potato peels,” definitely not a pleasant image. The poet makes deliberate use of common images in order to allow all of us to have this experience with her. The feel, and smell, and sight of a paper grocery bag, slowly dissolving become the woman herself when Clifton writes, “you wet brown bag of a woman.” This is an object to be discarded and swept away at the end of the day. Yet it is in the final lines that the poem’s images become most powerful. Clifton intentionally leaves us with an image of the woman being defended, being protected. There is someone who cares for her, someone to “stand up” for what she once was. And Clifton leaves us with the knowledge that we may be there ourselves one day. And this final image of the poem’s speaker makes it all the more powerful.
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