For this essay, you will demonstrate critical thinking: comparison/contrasting etc. Your essay will require you to identify two poems from the list below and analyze how each work expresses a common theme. In your analysis, you will compare and/or contrast how each author approaches the theme through their use of literary devices.
- Your essay should be 5-8 pages in length, include a Works Cited list and be written in MLA format.
- Your essay should compare/contrast a poem with any other poem listed below.
- Your essay should link the two works being discussed thematically and discuss how each author approaches his/her theme through their use of literary devices
- Review the poems for the following
- Near(slant/imperfect) rhyme
- Open/Free form poem
- Some other items to consider when looking at the two pieces of work:
- Who is speaking?
- How would you characterize the speaker?
- To whom is he or she speaking?
- What is the speaker’s tone?
- Why is he or she speaking?
- Word Choice, Word Order
- What type of diction is the poet employing?
- How does the poet’s word choice affect the meaning of the poem? the tone?
- Does the poet employ figures of speech? (simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, understatement, metonymy, synecdoche) Does the word order impact the reading of or the meaning of the poem?
- Did you note any descriptive passages? For each image, name the sense that is being appealed to.
- What is the dominant impression being created?
- What is the relationship of the descriptive images to the speaker’s state of mind?
- How do images create sense of time of day? season of year? atmosphere? mood?
- Do the images progress? (day to night, hot to cold, soft to loud, color to color, etc)
- Does the poem contain an obvious meter or rhythm?
- What sounds are emphasized by the rhyme scheme?
- Are there sight rhymes, slant rhymes, alliteration, assonance, etc?
- Is the poem in a closed or open form?
- Is the poem presented in a traditional form?
- Is there a pattern of end rhymes? a syllabic line count? a set metrical pattern?
- How are the stanzas arranged? the lines?
- What seems to be the point of the poem?
- Wwhat ideas are being communicated by the speaker?
- How are the ideas being reinforced by the elements of the poem?
Other factors to consider
Is the poem a lyric or a narrative or other?
If it is a narrative, is there a setting? a conflict? a plot line? (elements of fiction)
Does the poet employ the use of symbol? allegory? allusion? myth?
Marianne Moore – Poetry 1921
Percy Bysshe Shelley – Ozymandias – 1818
John Keats – Ode to a nightingale – 1819
William SHAKESPEARE – That time of year thou mayst in me behold 1609
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE – My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun – 1609
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE – Shall I compare thee to a summers day? – 1609
SYLVIA PLATH – Metaphors – 1960
SYLVIA PLATH – Daddy – 1965
Sylvia Plath – Morning Song – 1962
Gwendolyn Brooks – We real cool – 1959
Gwendolyn Brooks – What shall I give my children? – 1949
E.E. Cummings – in Just – 1923
E.E. Cummings – anyone lived in a pretty how town – 1940
Margaret Atwood – The City Planners – 1966
MARGARET ATWOOD – you fit into me – 1971
Langston Hughes – Negro – 1926
Langston Hughes – Harlem – 1951
Robert Browning – My last duchess – 1842
Robert Browning – Porphyria’s Lover – 1836
William Carlos Williams – Red Wheelbarrow – 1923
William Carlos Williams – The great figure – 1938
Walt Whitman – When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer – 1865
Robert Frost – Fire and Ice – 1923
Robert Frost – “Out, Out- “– 1916
Rhina Espaillat – Bilingual/Bilingue – 1998
Adrienne Rich – Living in Sin – 1955
FRANCISCO X. ALARCON – “Mexican” is not a noun – 2002
Jim Sagel – Baca Grande – 1982
Adrienne Su – The English Canon – 2000
Mark Halliday – The value of education – 2000
Paul Laurence Dunbar – We wear the mask – 1896
Edmund Spencer – One day I wrote her name upon the strand – 1595
A.E. Housman – To an athlete dying young – 1896
Emily Dickinson – I’m nobody! Who are you? – 1891
Louise Gluck – Gretel in Darkness – 1971
Leslie Marmon Silko – Where mountain lion lay down with deer – 1973
Janice Mirikitani – Suicide Note – 1987
Thomas Hardy – The Man he killed – 1902
Amy Lowell – Patterns – 1915
William Wordsworth – The world is too much with us – 1807
Robert Herrick – To the virgins , to make much of time – 1646
Sherman Alexie – Evolution – 1992
Jane Flanders – Cloud Painter – 1984
F.J. Bergmann – An Apology – 2003
Ezra Pound – In the station of the metro – 1916
Gary Snyder – Some good things to be said for the iron age – 1970
LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI – Constantly Risking Absurdity – 1958
AUDRE LORDE – Rooming houses are old women – 1968
Robert Burns – Oh, my love is like a red, red rose – 1796
- SCOTT MOMADAY – Simile – 1974
ANDREW MARVELL – To his coy mistress – 1681
COUNTEE CULLEN – Incident – 1925
RICHARD LOVELACE – To Lucasta Going to the Wars – 1649
NANCY MERCADO – Going to work – 2001
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