Watch the Symbolism & Theme PowerPoints and read/annotate the Symbolism & Theme poems before beginning this response.  

Preparing for the Journal

Watch the Symbolism & Theme PowerPoints and read/annotate the Symbolism & Theme poems before beginning this response.

Completing the Journal

Section 1:  Initial Response

Read both of this week’s poems.

For each poem, write a 1-2 sentence quick response.  Don’t think too hard about it, just write down your thoughts immediately after you complete each poem.

Section 2:  Window/Mirror Response

A window/mirror response is all about empathy.  In a window/mirror response, you write about a poem that gave you a look into someone else’s life experiences (window) OR reflected your own life experiences (mirror). Sometimes, a poem can do both!

Choose 1 of the poems we read this week. (I suggest using one of the ones you wrote about for the initial response.)  If you are writing a window response, discuss what this poem showed you about someone else’s life experiences and then talk about how the poem made you feel. If you are writing a mirror response, discuss why this poem reminded you of your own experiences and then talk about how the poem made you feel. If a poem did both, you are welcome to discuss that as well.

Your window/mirror response should be at least 1 developed paragraph (5-7 sentences) in length.

Section 3:  Analytical Response

Choose of the poems we read this week.  (You can use the one you wrote about for the window/mirror response or you can choose a different poem.)  Then, choose at least 1 of the poetic devices we went over in this week’s PowerPoints:

  • symbols (these may be universal, conventional, or unconventional)
  • allegory
  • myth
  • allusion

Note: theme isn’t listed here because you are connecting these devices to the meaning of the poem, and the theme IS the meaning of the poem.

Where does the author use the device in the poem?  Include at least 1 direct quote from the poem.  (To see how to clearly format a quote from a poem, click here.)  How does the device connect to the poem’s meaning?

For more helpful prewriting questions, look at the Analyzing a Poemworksheet.

Your analytical response should be at least 1 developed paragraph (5-7 sentences) in length.


Sample Journal 

To see a sample journal entry, click the link above.  Your own journal entries don’t have to look exactly like it, but the sample will give you an idea of what I’m looking for in the poetry journals.


Expectations for the Journal

  1. In this journal, you will not be graded on grammar, punctuation, format, or structure.  Its purpose is to help you to think about the poems in a low-stress format.
  2. You will receive full credit as long as you make an honest attempt to answer the prompts and meet the stated length requirement.
  3. If there is anything else you want to write in addition to the given questions, feel free to do so!
  4. Journal entries should consist of your original thoughts and words.  Outside sources should be kept to a minimum:  I want to hear what YOU think! If you do use any outside sources to help you, they must be credited by giving a link to each source. Word-for-word borrowings should be put in quote marks and the source credited in-text.  Outside sources are not required for journals.


Submitting the Journal

Writing journals may be submitted as

  • text box entries
  • attached Word files
  • photos of a paper journal (include a readable photo of each page written)
  • links to an online file

Use the method which is most comfortable for you.  The only method not allowed is a video or audio recording:  As this is a writing journal, written responses must be submitted.



Often, you don’t really process your feelings about a work until you write down your thoughts about it.  Journaling is stress-free, as you will earn full credit as long as you reply thoughtfully to the readings and meet the length requirement.  You can choose whatever written method (Word file, text box, paper journal, etc.) you choose:  The process is what’s important.  Through your journals, you’ll have a chance to think deeply but write freely about what you’re seeing in the works, and that will help you with assignments that require greater levels of analysis, like the papers.

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