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Understanding Poetry

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Understanding Poetry Answer Key

Instructions: A poem is very different from a story. It has special lines, a unique form and creative ways of using words. Learning to recognize these elements can make it easier to understand a poem.

There was an Old Man with a nose,
Who said, "If you choose to suppose
That my nose is too long, you are certainly wrong!"
That remarkable Man with a nose.

There was an Old Man on some rocks,
Who shut his Wife up in a box:
When she said, "Let me out," he exclaimed, "Without doubt
You will pass all your life in that box."

There was an Old Man on a hill,
Who seldom, if ever, stood still;
He ran up and down in his Grandmother's gown,
Which adorned that Old Man on a hill.
1. 
Which words are repeated in the poem There was an Old Man?
  • There was an Old Man
2. 
Which type of poetry does this poem represent?
  1. Free verse
  2. Limerick
  3. Sonnet
  4. Cinquain
3. 
Each stanza follows which rhyme scheme?
  1. AABA
  2. ABBA
  3. BBAC
  4. AABC
4. 
Take one of the stanzas from There Was an Old Man and write it as a paragraph instead of a poem.
  • Answers will vary.
5. 
Write another stanza to add to the poem There was an Old Man, starting with "There was an Old Man..."
  • Answers will vary, but should follow rhythm and rhyme of existing stanzas.
6. 
Each stanza of the poem There was an Old Man is an example of...
  1. A sonnet
  2. A cinquain
  3. A concrete poem
  4. A limerick
7. 
How many lines are in the poem There was an Old Man?
  1. 4
  2. 8
  3. 12
  4. 16

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