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'Explain how rhyme, rhythm, and other sound effect such as alliteration, assonance, and onomatopoeia, can contribute to a poem's mood. Support your ideas with examples from the two poems 'American Hero' and 'The Gift'


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  1. *sorry, I meant the poems 'American Hero' and 'Combing'


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  2. Be sure you read each poem aloud -- better yet, read it aloud to someone -- with feeling!

    Listen to the sounds and how they strengthen the poet's message.

    Then write up what you learn.

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  3. The poem, “Combing,” by Gladys Cardiff gets its rhythm from different poetic tools. There was a lot of repetition used in the poem to tie it together. As seen in the first line of the poem, “Bending, I bow my head”, alliteration was used. Secondly, the poem contained assonances, like in line 20 of the poem: “A comb made out of bone.” Lastly, repeating certain words or phrases in a poem give it more importance or bind related thoughts together. In “Combing”, Cardiff repeated words such as “comb” and “braid” several times to put weight on them and to put an image in the reader’s mind.
    The mood of Essex Hemphill’s poem “American Hero” is of excitement in the beginning; you can completely picture what’s going on as the player shoots for the hoop. The last few lines switch from talking about the game to thoughts about racism. “American Hero” is full of onomatopoeia, especially when the game is being described. That’s one reason the scene is so easy to picture. The rhythm is steady and the structure of the poem is free verse so the words don’t rhyme.

    Is this alright?


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  4. Not bad!

    Make sure the two paragraphs are clearly separated.

    Rephrase so that there are no instances of "you" or any of its forms anywhere in the write-up.

    There are places where you need to add specific examples. Remember that when you write about poetry, you need to give line numbers for whatever word, phrase, or line(s) to which you are referring.
    Read the paragraph starting with "When quoting from a poem..." and see the examples in the box below that.

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