Poetic Structure
Line Analysis
Elements of Poetry

The poet establishes an informal voice by using —

Line Breaks


From the title of this poem, the reader can infer what about the speaker? (age, personality?)

The speaker is an older person.


Read lines 2–5 of the poem. The figurative language in these lines affects the message of the poem by —

Drawing attention to those with negative outlooks


What is imagery?

When authors use words that appear to the 5 senses. It helps paint a picture in the reader's mind of what is happening.


Who is the author of this poem?

Gwendolyn Brooks


What is a Lyric Poem?

A short poem with song like qualities. It expresses the speaker's personal feelings and experiences.


The reader can infer that the poet’s main purpose of writing the poem is to —

Encourage readers to be persistent in life.


What is the central message presented in lines 10–11?

Do not focus too intensely on the past or the future.


What does "speaker" mean in reference to a poem?

The person who is narrating the poem.


What is the author's purpose of writing this poem?

Focus on the now and not on the past or the future.


What do Line Breaks do for a poem?

It helps to add a rhythm to a poem and have the reader concentrate on a specific part of the poem.


Read line 2 of the poem.

say to the down-keepers,

The poet is most likely referring to people who —

Are discouraging to others.


What is the main purpose of lines 6–7 of the poem?

They contain the central message of the poem.


When an author repeats a word, phrase, or line of a poem for emphasis.



Who do authors use rhythm in their poems?

To add a creative flow to their writing.


What word is repeated in the last three lines of the poem? 

This repetition  helps build a tone that is —

1. Live

2. Encouraging


The repetition of the word live in the last three lines of the poem helps build a tone that is —



How do the last five lines of the poem help the reader understand lines 6–7?

By giving additional examples


Words that have the same ending sound add this to a poem.


What does figurative language do for writing pieces?

It makes the reader think about what is being said instead of being told. It also adds an artistic feel to the writing piece.


Which two elements of poetry does “Speech to the Young” use to convey ideas? Give examples of each.

Alliteration and Repetition of sounds


What advice does the speaker give at the end of the poem and how does this wrap around to the theme of the poem?

The speaker advises readers not to live “for battles won,” meaning that they should not dwell on their past successes and forget about making new ones. The speaker also advises them not to live “for the-end-of-the-song,” or the end as a result of their efforts. Instead, the speaker advises them to “live in the along,” or to enjoy life as it happens. This advice develops the theme of living for the day and finding pleasure in life, rather than dwelling on the past or focusing too heavily on the future.


What literary device is used in Lines 3-4?



Give one example of an assonance and one example of a consonance

assonance: "It beats as it sweeps as it cleans"-repetition of "e" vowel

consonance: blank think, strong string- repetition of endings.


What is the main theme of the poem? Why do you think this?

Stay positive and don't dwell on the past.