Audre Lorde’s poem “Hanging Fire” is an accessible and relevant poem that has been a favorite of my students for years. In this free verse poem, the teenage speaker worries about everything from braces to her own death. Students will love this poem because of its natural sound and its portrayal of the teenage mind. You will love this poem because it will broaden your students’ understanding of what makes great poetry.
Pairings: This poem would make a great addition to any unit that deals with themes of family, childhood, or coming of age such as Romeo and Juliet, Great Expectations, Lord of the Flies, Jane Eyre, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, A Separate Piece, Annie John, Hamlet, The House on Mango Street, Huckleberry Finn, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, or Wuthering Heights.
The text of the poem is not included because of copyright.
The questions are ready to go with minimal prep on your part.