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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

JANE ADDAMS, by         Recitation by Author     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

“Jane Addams" was published in Gwendolyn Brooks' collection of poetry, "In the Mecca," in 1968

Form: The poem consists of three stanzas, each with four lines. The lines are written in free verse, without a consistent rhyme scheme.

Theme: The central theme of the poem is the admiration and appreciation for Jane Addams' contributions to social justice and community building.

Imagery: The poem uses visual imagery, such as the description of Addams' "high courage" and the "bread of welcome" she offers to those in need, to create a vivid picture of Addams' work and character.

Tone: The tone of the poem is reverent and celebratory, as the speaker reflects on Addams' legacy and the impact of her work.

Sound: The poem does not have a consistent rhyme scheme, but the repetition of the phrase "praise to Jane Addams" at the end of each stanza creates a musical effect and emphasizes the poem's message.

Language: The language used in the poem is simple and direct, reflecting the speaker's admiration and respect for Addams' work.

Figurative language: The poem uses metaphor, such as the comparison of Addams' work to a "light" that "illumines," to emphasize the impact of her social reform efforts.

Structure: The poem is structured with three stanzas, each consisting of four lines. The repetition of the phrase "praise to Jane Addams" at the end of each stanza helps to unify the poem.

Symbolism: The "bread of welcome" offered by Addams symbolizes her commitment to providing for those in need and creating a welcoming community.

Emotion: The poem evokes a sense of gratitude and admiration in the reader, as the speaker reflects on the impact of Addams' work and her legacy.

The poem is a tribute to Jane Addams, a social reformer and founder of the Hull House settlement in Chicago. The speaker celebrates Addams' commitment to social justice and her work to improve the lives of the poor and marginalized.


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