Focus statement

One way to begin writing is to create a focus statement.  Always write in present tense. Statement should include the following components:

  • Name of poem
  • Specify the narrative or situation
  • Indicate the tone (attitude) and any shift in the tone
  • Contain the meaning, purpose or thematic level

Jean Toomer’s poem, Reapers, illustrates the cycle of life as reapers mechanically clearing a field take the life of a field rat.  The narrator introduces us to the reapers as they sharpen their scythes and collect their tools in preparation for a day’s work.  The reapers slice through the fields “silently swinging” their scythes…….


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