POL: Analysis of Poem for “Dream Song 14” Dream Song 14 By John Berryman Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so. After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns, we ourselves flash and ye

POL: Analysis of Poem for “Dream Song 14”

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Dream Song 14

By John Berryman

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.   

After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,   

we ourselves flash and yearn,

and moreover my mother told me as a boy   

(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored   

means you have no

Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no   

inner resources, because I am heavy bored.

Peoples bore me,

literature bores me, especially great literature,   

Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes   

as bad as achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.   

And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag   

and somehow a dog

has taken itself & its tail considerably away

into mountains or sea or sky, leaving            

behind: me, wag.

Directions: When you are asked to provide the chunks of your poem, make sure you provide all of them. For the purpose of this activity, do not use more than four lines for a chunk.

Poetry Exploration: Syntax (5)

Directions: Take the poem you are memorizing for POL and divide it by chunks using syntax. Type / copy each chunk on a line. Pay particular attention to where punctuation is, so as to pause appropriately. Re-write your poem based on those chunks/pauses.

Poetry Exploration: Imagery (5)

Directions: Identify every image in your poem. Write the phrase in the appropriate category.






Poetry Exploration: Title (5)

For #1 indicate the prediction you made with the title. If your poem is a sonnet which uses the first line as the little, work with the first line. 

For #2, indicate what the poem actually ended up being about.

For #3, explain why the title is appropriate for the poem. 

Poetry Exploration: Speaker/Situation  (5)

 Explain in a sentence who the speaker of the poem is.  

Next, pull some line/phrase/idea from the poem that supports your assertion of who the speaker is.

 Finally, in one sentence, explain the situation that requires the writing of this poem. What has the speaker experienced to make him/her/it write this poem?


How I know: 


Poetry Exploration: Denotation  (5)

Directions: Define all the words you do not know in your poem. Do NOT use the root of a word to define itself. Use the definition that is appropriate for the poem. If you know the definition of every single word, then choose 4 words that are the most challenging vocabulary and provide that definition. INCLUDE any word you do not know how to say. 



Poetry Exploration: Connotation- All the thoughts, feelings, words, cultural associations, extended definition of a word.(10)

Directions: Copy/paste your POL poem divided by chunks on the left side. In the middle column, identify the MOST important word in the chunk and type that word. To determine the most important word, ask yourself which word makes a difference to the meaning or more of an impact on meaning. Once you have identified the most impactful word in the chunk, spend time writing all of the connotations you have with the word.  Eventually, you will begin to notice a pattern of the same type of connotations emerging from the poem. Note – when working with this step for class, work to identify a minimum of 10 total words in your poem. If you have fewer than 10 chunks, you may have to choose more than one important word for connotation. If you have more than 10 chunks, make sure you work with each chunk.



Your Extended Definition

7. Poetry Exploration: Summary/Paraphrase (5)

Directions: You should already have your poem for POL divided by syntactical units/chunks. In the table below, copy your poem one chunk at a time on the left-hand column. On the right-hand column, summarize or paraphrase what is happening for that chunk or what the meaning is of that chunk. 

Your Poem Chunk by Chunk

Your Summary or Paraphrase of the Chunk

8. Poetry Exploration: Figurative Language (5)

Directions: Identify ALL of the figurative language/metaphor umbrella used in your poem. You may refer to the Metaphors and Meaning handout for your list of figurative language. 

 On the left hand column insert every single chunk of your poem.

 In the next column write N/A if there is not any figurative language. If there is figurative language, identify the type.

 In the next column write a sentence saying what is being compared to what. 

In the final column, write a sentence explaining the significance of the comparison. Explain what more you understand with the comparison.





POL: Tone Analysis of Poem (5)

Directions: Use the provided tone lists in the Poetry section of Classroom to determine the tone that is appropriate for each syntactic unit/chunk. Highlight where you see the major shift in the poem. Remember that a shift in tone can be complementary or contrasting. You must choose a specific tone word. You may not choose a general category. 

Syntactic Unit / Chunk from Poem

The tone you will use in delivery of chunk