What the poet says
First Reading: Read for the
literal meaning, or what is
“right there.”
What the poet does
Second Reading: Annotate for alliteration, assonance, consonance,
imagery, metaphor, and personification (make a color-coded key).
Is there a shift? If yes, note it and explain in the next column.
by Elizabeth Brewster
“Blueflag” Three-Column Poetry Notes
What the poet implies
Final Reading: Draw conclusions/
assertions about the effect of the tools
used based on the poem
So that I would not pick the blueflag
in the midst of the pond
(and get my clothes wet)
my mother told me that it was poison.
I watched this beautiful, frightening flower
growing up from the water
from its green reeds,
washed blue, sunveined,
and wanted it more
than all the flowers I was allowed to pick,
wild roses, pink and smooth as soap,
or the milk-thin daisies
with butterblob centers.
I noticed that the midges
that covered the surface of the water
were not poisoned by the blueflag,
but I thought they must have
Setting (both time
and place):
a different life from mine.
Even now, if I pick one,
fear comes over me, a trembling.
I half expect to be struck dead
by the flower’s magic
A potency seeping
from its dangerous blue skin
its veined centre.
1. Examine the diction in the poem using the table below.
Dangerous Things that are Forbidden
Safe Things that are Familiar
Example: “poison” (line 4)
Example: “pond” (line 2)
2. Determine the tone of the poem: _________________________________
Cite a line of text from the second column that proves the above attitude:
What device(s) are used in the text provided above?
3. Determine the theme of the poem.
Cite a line of text from the work that proves the thematic statement above.
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