Closer Readings Commentary

National Poetry Month: Exemplars from EDSITEment: Poetry for the Classroom

A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom — Robert Frost

This year for National Poetry Month, in response to the Common Core State Standards initiative, EDSITEment has strung a garland of multimedia resources for students of all ages. The Common Core Standards encourage students to develop deeper literacy skills. The depth and rigor found in the study of poetry can be a vehicle by which the CCSS grade level goals of complexity, quality, and range can be accomplished.

For each of the following poetry exemplars identified in ELA: Appendix B of the Common Core State Standards, students and teachers will find a link to the poem, commentary about the poem, and a host of multimedia resources to assist teachers in unpacking the poem with students. These resources include EDSITEment lessons as well as EDSITEment-reviewed websites that discuss the poem, the poet, and its context. Media incorporated into these resources include audio clips and video, as well as primary source documents and photographs, along with other useful tools such as interactives. They offer both the content and skills needed to support student success in implementing the Common Core State Standards.

EDSITEment's Literary Glossary of terms cross-referenced with EDSITEment lessons serves as a ready reference to poetic devices and forms. Students may want to refer to it as they work through the lesson activities.

Each EDSITEment resource has been labeled by content type with a symbol in parenthesis.

The legend for the content type symbols:

  • (L) Lesson
  • (W) Website
  • (B) Blog
  • (Pr) Prezi
  • (P) Poem
  • (F) EDSITEment Feature
  • (I) Interactive, Launchpad
  • (V) Video
  • (RC) Related Content
  • (A) Audio, Podcast
  • (PS) Primary Source
  • (E) Exhibition
  • (S) Seminar
  • (H) Humanities Magazine


Emma Lazarus: “The New Colossus”

Emily Dickinson: “A Bird came down the Walk”– (359)

Robert Frost: "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

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Middle School

Lewis Carroll: “Jabberwocky”

Robert Frost: “The Road Not Taken”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “Paul Revere's Ride”

Carl Sandburg: “Chicago”

Walt Whitman: “O Captain! My Captain!”

William Butler Yeats: “The Song of Wandering Aengus” 

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High School

Wystan Hugh Auden: “Musée des Beaux Arts.”

Elizabeth Bishop: “Sestina.”

Emily Dickinson: “Because I could not stop for Death” – (479)

John Donne: “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning”

Rita Dove: “Demeter’s Prayer to Hades”

T.S. Eliot: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

Robert Frost: “Mending Wall”

A.E. Housman: “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now”

John Keats: “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

Ezra Pound: “The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter”

William Shakespeare: “That time of year thou mayst in me behold”

Percy Bysshe Shelley: “Ozymandias”

Phillis Wheatley: “On Being Brought from Africa to America” 

Walt Whitman: “Song of Myself”

Additional Resources:

Academy of American Poets

Poetry Foundation

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