Poetry questions on close reading will get your students analyzing modern, relevant poetry and engaged in texts that matter. By examining the four poems below, students will gain perspective and empathy for people whose lives are likely very different from their own. They will also sharpen their poetry analysis skills and their critical thinking skills.
The pain of missing home is a universal experience, but for immigrants, that feeling is especially powerful. Additionally, defining home when you no longer live where you were born or where you grow up can be tricky.
These poems will make a great addition to your unit on immigration, poetry, exile, leaving home, or the American dream.
The poems for these lessons are not included because of copyright.
“The Tropics of New York” by Claude McKay
“Postcard from Kashmir” by Agha Shahid Ali
“My Uncle’s Favorite Coffee Shop” by Naomi Shihab Nye
“The Island Within” by Richard Blanco
Pairings: These poems could be taught with any texts that deal with the immigration experience, the American Dream, culture clash, the family, home, or the past; suggestions include The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Othello, The Oedipus Cycle, Night.