Poem Analysis:Essay 1

Pick ONE of the following poems and do a literary analysis.

Your thesis should focus on two or three elements of the poem that you are going to explore in your essay: images; sound patterns such as repetition, alliteration, rhyme; emotion and mood; form and rhythm.

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Support your claims with quotes from the poem. Make sure your quotes are no more than a line or two. You can even quote phrases from the poem to help you with your analysis. Make sure to analyze quotes.

Your conclusion should not repeat your first paragraph.

Choose ONE poem: Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz;” Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays;” Billy Collins , “Divorce;” Linda Paston,”To a Daughter Leaving home,” ; Li-young Lee,”Persimmons,” ; Brian Turner, “Jundee Ameriki” . (Page #s are listed on your syllabus).

Consult learning module on “Poetry and Music” and “Themes in Poems” on Blackboard and look at sample analyses in your textbook.

Freewrite on the topic. Then formulate your essay with the points in your freewrite.

Your essay should be two pages, typed double-space, and in #12 font, with 1″ margins.

Each paragraph should have a topic sentence that needs to be supported by the rest of the paragraph.

State your introduction and thesis in your opening paragraph.

Use examples from the poem to support your claims.

Your concluding paragraph should not repeat your opening paragraph.

Proofread your essay for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.

Poetry and Music
Poetry and Music are essentially the same thing. Both use many common elements:
sound effects: rhythm; rhyme;alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia, internal rhyme, and so on;
images (visual, tactile, auditory, olfactory, and kinesthetic;
emotion; story; voice; anaphora/repetition; chorus.
(Look up any of the words here that you do not understand).
Listen to the song “Birmingham Sunday” by Joan Baez and hear what are the elements you identify that attracts you to this song. Now take a look at the lyrics. What musical and poetic elements do you notice in the lyrics? Do you notice any of the elements I have listed above?
Listen to John Lennon’s song “Imagine.” What do you hear? Now take a look at his lyrics. What do you see that you did not totally hear?
For Baez’s song go to:
For Lennon’s song, go to:

Themes in poems
On reading a poem, look for patterns that emerge in the poem. Ask yourself if you note any change either in idea or emotion. Are there opposite elements you notice? Is there something that is repeated? Once you begin to make note of some of these things, you can articulate one or more themes. A theme is like a thread in a pattern. It is very different from message or moral.
For example, in the poem by Julia Alvarez, the theme is the daughter’s departure from a female role.
Take a look at the other poems assigned for this week and see if you can articulate the theme for each of them.

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