He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

1. While you read, what image comes to your mind? Using colored pencils, draw that picture on the puzzle. (This should be something like an eagle, possibly diving, above an ocean.)

2. Next, write the title across the top edge pieces. (“The Eagle”)

3. Look at the format of the poem. What type of stanza is used? Write the answer along the left edge pieces of the puzzle. (Triplets)

4. What is the rhyme scheme of the poem? Write the rhyme scheme along the right edge pieces. (AAA)

5. What poetic devices does the poet use? Fill in the pieces in the middle with whatever poetic devices you can identify. (Personification: “wrinkled sea beneath him crawls,” simile: “like a thunderbolt he falls,” alliteration: “clasps the crag with crooked hands”)

The next time you’re tempted to let poetry intimidate you, remember that it’s a puzzle, and it’s...fun! Go, read poetry, and immerse yourself in the words, images, and emotions that it evokes. When you’re ready to dig a little deeper into your favorite poems, print out a copy of the Poetry Puzzle Graphic Organizer and put that puzzle together for a greater understanding of the poem.

Melissa Craig and her husband, Jim, are in their thirteenth year of homeschooling. They live with their four strong-minded children in southeastern Michigan. When she’s not wrangling children, building character (her own included), or praying for wisdom, Melissa works for Bright Ideas Press. She is co-author of A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers and the upcoming A Young Scholar’s Guide to Poets and Poetry.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

Publication date: July 17, 2013