Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Poetry Analysis


by Aisha Madhi, Teacher, School District of Philadelphia, Constitution High School

Instructions: Read your selected poem by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and complete the poetry analysis below.

  1. What is the action in the poem (what is happening)? Summarize the poem in your own words.

  2. Write one line from the poem that you think shows the theme or conflict of the poem.

  3. What images does Harper create in the poem? List two examples of imagery.



  4. What is your favorite line from the poem? Write it below.

  5. What is the tone, or mood, (cheerful, sad, serious, etc.) of the poem? Does it change from the beginning to the end?


  6. What do you think is the message of this poem? How does this relate to the social issues of the time in which it was written?


  7. Based on this poem, why do you think Frances E.W. Harper was one of the most respected writers of the 19th century?