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How to Read a Poem
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AP English Language
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Symbolism, Imagery, Wordplay
RepetitionHey, if something sounds good the first time, chances are it'll sound even better the second time. Or the third time. Or the twenty-eighth time. It's irrefutable logic from your childhood...
Form and Meter
Too loose to be formal, too free to be loose"Alone" lives somewhere in the no man's land between formal regularity and an absolute free-for-all. There are some absolutes: every other stanza, for ex...
The speaker in this poem is a funny sort of character. She starts out as your regular, run-of-the-mill insomniac, a person who lets all sorts of thoughts run through her head because she just can't...
From Bed to the Great BeyondWe know right where this poem begins: in the speaker's bed, late at night. Where it ends, however, is another matter entirely. You can almost see the thought bubbles com...
Have you ever listened to a gospel choir in concert? The sound FILLS the room. It sends shivers down your spine, brings tears to your eyes, and makes you forget about everything else but the music....
What's Up With the Title?
Well, if there's one word that appears in this poem more times than any other, it's "alone." It makes sense (mathematically speaking) that the mode for the poem should also be its title. If we're...
The Doctor's InWe've got to confess – we were horribly tempted to say that Angelou's calling card was "Hallmark." But that would just be too easy.Instead, let's focus on another one of her pet pr...
(2) Sea LevelBesides the fact that this poem is (let's face it) something of a downer, it's not all that tricky to navigate. As long as you can acknowledge that your sorry, sorry soul is alone, you...
Who would've guessed it? Before turning into a world-renowned writer, Angelou danced with the Alvin Ailey troop in multiple TV specials (source). Talk about a well-rounded woman! Maya Angelou is s...
GNothing to see here, folks. There's nothing very steamy about being all alone.
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