Pages 5 (1040 words)
What do the different names for Chicago tell you about the city’s economy at the time this poem was written?
Different names like Hog Butcher (meat slaughtering), Tool maker (tool manufacturer), and Stacker of Wheat (grain storage distribution) tell us that Chicago was a bustling and diverse city at the turn of the century.
What three adjectives are used to describe Chicago? How does the poet counter this negative view?
The three adjectives were:
Poet counters with “come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
What adjectives used to describe Chicago reveal the poet’s attitude toward the residents of the city? Describe his attitude.
He thinks they’re hardworking and determined.
Identify three examples of personification in line 18 of the poem “Chicago”. What is the effect of these personifications?
1. dust all over his mouth
3. white teeth
Effect: No matter what happens, there is a sense of hope
Identify two similes in lines 19-20 of “Chicago”. What is the effect of these comparisons?
1. laughing as a young man laughs
2. laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle
Effect: The power of youth and the power of the experienced
How is Chicago personified in line 21 of the poem?
Chicago is a person because it is given an attitude by bragging, a sense of humor by laughing, and life through a pulse and heart.
How are the last two lines of “Find Work” different from the rest of the poem in form and content?
The last two lines are a couplet (gg) and have a different meter. The poem is about the grandmother, but the last two lines are about the poet.
What role does work play in the life of the speaker’s grandmother in “Find Work”? Explain.
Work becomes a therapy for the speaker’s grandmother.
Who is the subject of the poem “My Mother Enters the Workforce”? Who is the speaker? Identify the lines that help you answer.
The subject of the poem is the author’s mother. The speaker is the daughter. The title and author helped me identify the answer.
Give a brief summary of the events described in the poem, “My Mother Enters the Workforce”.
This poem shows a mother going to the ABC Business School who is paying her way through school with a seamstress job. She worked hard making piecework to better support her family.
What is the effect of the personification of the sewing machine in “My Mother Enters the Workforce”?
It says that it is “singing”, meaning it has a steady rhythm and sound.
In “My Mother Enters the Workforce”, how might the effect of this poem have been different if it had been written with a regular pattern of rhythm and rhyme rather than a free verse?
It would not have created the effect of speech if it wasn’t written as a free verse.
In “My Mother Enters the Workforce”, identify three examples of metaphors and similes in lines 9-16. Identify what is being compared in each. What is the impact of these metaphors?
1. “velvet deep as a forest”
—–> compares velvet to a forest (velvet is plush and thick like a forest)
2. “treadle with its locomotive whir”
—–> compares a train to a sewing machine (in terms of the sound each one makes)
3. “through quicksand taffeta”
—–> compares taffeta (fabric) to quick sand (in terms of the feeling of each)
Of the three poems you just read, which two have the same form? Identify characteristics that make these two poems similar in structure.
“Chicago” and “My Mother Enters the Workforce” have the same form, free verse. They don’t have a rhyming pattern or rhythmic pattern.
Compare and contrast what the poems “Find Work” and “My Mother Enters the Workforce” have to say about the subject of work. What role does work serve for each of the mothers?
These poems focus on the different uses of work. In “Find Work”, the work is therapeutic to help her get over the past. In “My Mother Enters the Workforce”, work is a stabilizer of her family and paying for the ABC Business School. With this, she is paving the way for her future.
Compare and contrast the last two lines of “Find Work” with the last two lines of “My Mother Enters the Workforce”.
—–> past tense
—–> has a rhythm
“My Mother Enters the Workforce”
—–> present and future tense
—–> free verse
—–> no rhythm
—–> doesn’t rhyme
—–> last two lines are outcomes
—–> the author is the speaker
Identify several examples of words and phrases that help establish the tone in the poems “Chicago” and “Find Work”. Compare the tone in the two poems.
In “Chicago”, the tone is busy, proud, and admiring. For example, the line that reads “bareheaded, shoveling, wrecking, planning, building, breaking, rebuilding” shows what a bustling city Chicago is. “The terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs” and “come show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning” show how Chicago is hopeful and proud.
“Find Work”, on the other hand, has a tone of grief. Throughout the poem, we are shown the story of a woman who has lost everything twice and is looking for recovery in work. The tone is exemplified in the line “She spoke so little, it was hard to bare.”
How is the kind of figurative language found in “Chicago” similar to that in “My Mother Enters the Workforce”? Give examples.
Both poems use personification and similes. The city is personified in “Chicago” and the treadle is personified in “My Mother Enters the Workforce”. There are numerous similes found in both poems. For example, “Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs” and “Laughing even as an ignorant father laughs who has never lost a battle” are two similes found in “Chicago”. In “My Mother Enters the Workforce”, an example is “velvet deep as a forest”.