Welcome to the Poetry 2018-2019 Summer Reading Program.

In order to meet the demands of a semester-long poetry course, it is important to begin developing the close, critical reading skills necessary to be a successful interpreter of poetry. The books listed below, offer a range of reading and interest levels. I suggest you research a little about each poet and book before making your selection.

You will select ONE book from the list over which to complete the following summer reading assignment.




Before you begin reading, do a webquest over your poet. Put your notes in a notebook OR write them inside your copy of the book (wherever there is empty space, like the inside front cover or a blank page). Include a brief bibliographic citation (MLA is preferable, but not required). Some focus areas for background notes include (but are not limited to):

  • Brief biography of the poet’s life.

  • Description of the era during which he/she lived and its representation in his/her poetry. (trends)

  • What the public thought/thinks of this poet, i.e. critics, awards, etc.

  • Interesting bits of trivia about this poet.


Read the book and *annotate for the following:


  • Where you notice recurring motifs, images, allusions, references, actions, moments, etc.

  • Where you notice themes and/or ideas that continually emerge.

  • Comment on your OWN personal connections to these emerging themes/ideas.


  • Where you notice the use of poetic devices: metaphors, similes, allusions, personification, sound devices, turns,  

           imagery, etc.

  • Comment on WHY those devices matter and HOW they contribute to the poem’s meaning.

  • Comment on stylistic trends that you notice about this poet.

*Annotating – Adding notes to give explanation, to make comments, or to ask questions. This is different from simply highlighting text. Although it is expected that you might do both – annotate and highlight – the assignment requires annotating specifically. Colored pens work best; but if you do not want to write in your book, try using colored sticky notes.

Any questions during the summer months on the reading program, the above assignment, or the reading options below should be directed to Susan Summers ssummers@sacs.k12.in.us.