9/9 Writing Day, MiniLesson on Elliptical language

Today we’ll start with a mini-lesson on elliptical language. One of the challenges of poetry for high school students is that we tend to think of poems as regular sentences that are simply arranged visually on the page into lines. In a sense, we see it as no different than prose.

Of course that’s not true.

One of the things that sets poetry apart is the permission we have to use elliptical language, language that leaves things out, avoids fully completing the thought, or turns unexpected words into verbs and nouns. To study this phenomenon, we’re going to look at a poem by Cory Hutchinson-Reuss. She’s a local poet here in Iowa City, and her poem, Group Portrait in Siloam Springs, Arkansas makes use of elliptical language.

The rest of the day belongs to you for writing and conferencing.


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