“If the object of poetry is obscurity, Howard Nemerov is a great poet… I am, perhaps, a confirmed reactionary in poetry, preferring ‘I stood upon a little hill’ and…’Pepsicola hits the spot for just a nickel you get a lot’… Nuts, I say.”
Excerpted from: Bernard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.
“Ovation. In ancient Rome an ovation was an inferior triumph accorded to victors in minor wars or unimportant battle. Its character and limitations, like those of the triumph, were strictly defined by law and custom. An enthusiastic demonstration in honor of an American civilian is nothing like that, and should not be called by its name.”
Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. Write it Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2010.
I don’t know if it’s a word high school students need to know, but if you think it is, here is a context clues worksheet on the adjective haggard. I don’t know that I’ve ever used this (it was a Word of the Day at Merriam-Webster, and writing context clues worksheets on those has become my version of doing a crossword puzzle in the morning), but certainly this word is in sufficiently common use in English that it’s at least worth having students take a quick look at it.
If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.