Student Name: ______________________________
English 9 Poetry Packet
“If you know what you are going to write when you’re writing a poem, it’s going to be
– Derek Walcott
Poetry is an important genre in student writing. It gives opportunities to play with
language in novel ways, and sometimes to incorporate art and graphic design skills as
well. Understand that it is the message that is important in poetry, not just the format or
rhyming. Playing with line breaks and white space, exploring repetition and font choices
for emphasis, and focusing on descriptive language that carries meaning are all ways to
enhance (poetic) writing skills.
During the next few weeks, you will be reading, writing, memorizing, studying, and
discussing poems. Your unit grade will be primarily based on the following:
the work done in the packet
writing of your own poems
presentation of at least one memorized poem
Note that the poetry unit is no different than any other unit, in that class participation
plays an important role in your final grade.
It is essential that you keep this packet neat, and organized. I will not make additional
copies to replace lost handouts. If you misplace a handout, you will need to copy it over
In order to understand poetry, you will need to experience the process of writing poetry.
Although I do not expect you to become a world-wide acclaimed poet, I do expect that
you will attempt to write every poem demonstrated for you, and your efforts to be
sincere. As you consider all senses, it is a great opportunity to expand your vocabulary.
We will study a wide variety of poems and songs. You will take notes on these poems,
annotate and answer questions. Most of the material covered by the test will be in this
Finally, you should look up any words you do not know. If there is a word you do not
know – and there should be many – use it! You will not be tested on vocabulary words
found in poems, but there sure is nothing wrong with learning new words.
By the way, keeping this packet presentable, tidy and neat matters! As this packet is an
extension of you, feel free to be creative and use the space you are offered well and to