Litonline Introduction to Literature
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Hints for Using This Module
First, please read the poem at least twice--once to try to see the various pictures it presents and again (and again?) to begin seeing the images and hearing the sounds that Frost presents as a way to piece together his idea, his "theme," the image of how life works that the poem embodies. Use your textbook or click on the image of the birch-lined road that appears on each page of this lesson to access an online version. Feel free to annotate the poem in your textbook or to open a word processor on your computer to paraphrase the poem, translating some of its imagery, and state its theme, or main idea.
Next, you can read the sample essay straight through simply by clicking "Next Page" at the bottom of each part or by viewing it whole in the Appendix. On each page, a portion of the student's essay is printed in a bordered block. Then, you are invited to open a word processor to jot down notes, reactions, responses as you read. Files containing all the writing prompts in this lesson are linked to the site map. Be sure to note your final impression of this essay and anything it has shown you about written analysis of a literary work before you finish with this computerized lesson. Each page ends with commentary on the section of the sample shown on that page.
Finally, consult your textbook for other sample essays and any coaching the text offers for writing about poetry. Although people naturally react to a work of art emotionally, that first reaction shouldn't be the final reaction or the only reaction to any work that merits a closer look.
The URL for this page is: http://vccslitonline.cc.va.us/birches/hints.htm