Read the two poems below and answer the questions.



     Eve Merriam


In the heel of my thumb

are whorls, whirls, wheels

in a unique design:

mine alone.

What a treasure to own!

My own flesh, my own feelings.

No other, however grand or base,

can ever contain the same.

My signature,

thumbing the pages of my time.

My universe key.

My singularity.

Impress, implant,

I am myself,

of all my atom parts I am the sum.

And out of my blood and my brain

I make my own interior weather,

My own sun and rain.

Imprint my mark upon the world,

Whatever I shall become.



the drum

     Nikki Giovanni


daddy says the world is

a drum tight and hard

and I told him

I’m gonna beat out my own rhythm










1.     The theme of each poem deals with

A.    the world

B.    individuality

C.    birth

D.    solutions

2.     Poets often use the rhythm of their poems to reinforce the theme.  Which statement below is true about the rhythm of these poems?

A.    Both poems have a set rhythm.

B.    Only “Thumbprint” has a set rhythm.

C.    Only “the drum” has a set rhythm.

D.    Neither of the poems has a set rhythm.

3.  Poets use punctuation and capitalization to suit the effect they wish their poem to have.  Why does Nikki Giovanni not use any punctuation or capitalization?

A.    She is stressing the individuality of her speaker.

B.    She is showing the lack of education of her speaker.

C.    She is deliberately omitting the standards of the world.

D.    She didn’t carefully proofread her poem and her editor thought she meant to omit them.

4.  “the world is/a drum”

        What is this line an example of?

A.    alliteration

B.    personification

C.    simile

D.    metaphor

5.  Study both poems.  What in each poem leads you to believe that the speaker is young?

6. Why do you think the poets chose to use young speakers for their poems?