POETIC DECONSTRUCTION: A Digital Approach to Poetry Annotation - English 10th Grade

Margaret Roth, August 10, 2011 - #jhusmed

Objective: Students will use the Oxford English Dictionary to deconstruct poems and create a digital dictionary. They will look up the definitions and etymologies to understand the historical and contextual meanings of the words.

Essential Question: How does improving your familiarity with the etymologies and historical definitions of words change your understanding of the meaning of the poem?

Directions:

Evaluation:

Standards: from MD Core English Goals - http://mdk12.org/instruction/clg/english/goal1.html

EXAMPLE POETIC DECONSTRUCTION

Emily Dickinson - “There came a day at summer’s full” - http://www.americanpoems.com/poets/emilydickinson/10274

There came a day at summer's full

Entirely for me;

I thought that such were for the saints,

Where revelations be.

The sun, as common, went abroad,

The flowers, accustomed, blew,

As if no soul the solstice passed

That maketh all things new.

The time was scarce profaned by speech;

The symbol of a word

Was needless, as at sacrament

The wardrobe of our Lord.

Each was to each the sealed church,

Permitted to commune this time,

Lest we too awkward show

At supper of the Lamb.

The hours slid fast, as hours will,

Clutched tight by greedy hands;

So faces on two decks look back,

Bound to opposing lands.

And so, when all the time had failed,

Without external sound,

Each bound the other's crucifix,

We gave no other bond.

Sufficient troth that we shall rise --

Deposed, at length, the grave --

To that new marriage, justified

Through Calvaries of Love!

Resources:

Oxford English Dictionary: http://www.oed.com.proxy3.library.jhu.edu/

Wikipedia: Dickinson’s Page

Emily Dickinson Museum: http://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/

Google Images Search: Emily Dickinson

Google News Archive Search: Emily Dickinson, Amherst Massachusetts 1830-1886

Google Books: Dickinson’s hand-written fac-simile of the poem

Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/search/?q=emily%20dickinson&fa=digitized:true

Social Technology: Delicious, Twitter, TodaysMeet, etc.