Allusion is often difficult to explain, especially given that many students don’t have a wide background of knowledge and other famous works of literature, art, music, and of events in history yet. Using short poems to show how allusion works is a great way to introduce or reinforce the concept. Using “Nothing Gold Can Stay” may be a good start. A little more challenging might be “The Gift Outright.” Students can connect the history referenced in the poem, and then they can connect the use of this poem (and the story around it) for President Kennedy’s inauguration.
“The Gift Outright”: