English Literary Analysis: Poetry


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Unit 2- Literary Analysis: Poetry
Poetry (ancient Greek: ????? (poieo) = I create) is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional
and semantic content. It consists largely of oral or literary works in which language is used in a manner that is felt by its user and audience to differ from ordinary
Poetry/Poems may use condensed or compressed form to convey emotion or ideas to the reader’s or listener’s mind or ear; it may also use devices such as assonance and
alliteration to achieve musical or incantatory effects. Poems frequently rely for their effect on imagery, word association, and the musical qualities of the language
used. The interactive layering of all these effects to generate meaning is what marks poetry.
You have the freedom to choose from any of the poems we have read for this semester. Within your poetry explication you should discuss themes or messages, imagery or
symbolism, tone and language, and if applicable rhyme scheme and form.

For this second paper, students should consider their poem chosen, and think about specific questions that could help the explication process for their paper such as:
* What tone is this poem being written in? Why does the poet choose to write in this tone? What does his/her language say about the subject matter or the poet
*What does the imagery allude to? What is being described in this poem? Is there a deeper meaning? What is it? (purpose)
*What message is the poet trying to express? Is there a message? (stance)
*Who is the audience? Why?
If you choose to look up information about the poet/author, that is fine, but your essay will need to include not only the parenthetical citations for the poem itself,
but also any outside information you choose to include.

During the drafting process, the class will focus mostly individually on understanding explication, organization of ideas, and explore concepts relating and supporting
the essay’s structure, development, purpose, consistency, and MLA format (including of course not only correct parenthetical citations but also a works cited page).

Your Purpose: Your purpose is to present an arguable and reasonable explication/critical analysis for the poem you have chosen. You should present an arguable thesis
at the end of your introductory paragraph that directs the frame of the paper for the support that will follow.

Your Audience: Your actual audience for this essay is your instructor; for your ideal audience, think of your reader as someone who is new to the idea of interpreting
poetry and would like to know more about the poem you have chosen.

Format: Your essay should be no less than 3 full pages, word processed and in MLA format. You should avoid both first and second person.

Related Links:
• Writing about Poetry from the Purdue Owl: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/615/01/
• Poetry Explication https://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/poetry-explications/
• Cliff Notes- Questions for analyzing Poetry https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/a/american-poets-of-the-20th-century/how-to-analyze-poetry

*******************Literature to Go Book******************
Reading: The Elements of Poetry Literature to Go Reading Poetry: 321-325; 341 “Snapping Beans” “Those Winter Sundays” “Introduction to Poetry”
Word Choice, Word Order, Tone: 353-358; 375 “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” “We Real Cool”
Images: 379; 389; 392 “Dulce and Decorum Est” “To Autumn”
Figures of Speech: 394; 398 “The Author to Her Book”
Symbol, Allegory, Irony: 411; 412; 416; 418; 426 “Acquainted with the Night” “Richard Cory” “Next to Of Course God America I” “My Last Duchess”
Sounds: 429; 431; 439 “A Bird Came Down The Walk” “I Heard a Fly Buzz- When I Died” “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
Patterns of Rhythm: 445; 458 “The Lamb” “The Tyger”
Poetic Form: 461; 466; 467 “The World is too Much With Us” “ Shall I compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” “My Mistresses Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun”
Open Form: 483; 486 “The Red Wheelbarrow”


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