See demo link below (look at first video) or you can view the Sample Poetry Analysis Essay.
Objective:The beauty of poetry and its message or, for our purposes, theme, comes through the style of the poet. Each poet will utilize various literary elements to enrich their work. These elements then work together to help to elicit theme(s). Here are some examples of literary elements: sensory imagery, similes, metaphors, symbolism, personification, dialect, tone (tone can shift and change as the poem unfolds), irony, sound devices such as alliteration, consonance, assonance, and so forth.
First, let’s talk about selection:
Selection: You must choose from one of the poems discussed in class within the discussion board forums.
Then, you should carefully read, re-read, and annotate or take notes on the poem in terms of what literary elements you feel are at play and how these elements enrich interpretation of various lines of the poem and ultimately, how they contribute to theme.
Select at least three literary elements (you can choose more if you wish), and create an essay where you identify and analyze these elements and how they enrich the poem.
Strategies for the essay:
- Your essay should contain a brief, relevant, and engaging introduction which then leads to your thesis statement.
- Thesis: The thesis statement presents the central, analytical idea to be explored within your essay. Ideally, it should indicate, either implicitly or explicitly, the poetic devices used to enrich the poem. Your analysis will support that claim.Here’s a hypothetical example:Through the use of irony and graphic imagery juxtaposed by a distant, nonchalant tone of the speaker of “Saboteur,” Ha Jin effectively emphasizes the political corruption in his native China. Here, the writer explicitly mentions the poetic devices used within the poem and how they contribute to theme. If the writer chose to present this implicitly it could be presented as: Through the use of various poetic elements within the work “Saboteur,” Ha Jin effectively emphasizes….etc. Often, if you have more than three literary elements to examine, an implied thesis can be effective. Remember to avoid the use of first person or that “announcement” tone for thesis—i.e. My essay will examine…
- Citations from the selected poem: You should incorporate direct lines from the poem to support your analysis. If citing more than one line, please use a forward slash to indicate where a line ends and a new one begins. Here’s an example: The poem opens with an eerie, somewhat disturbing image and the introduction of a mysterious woman: “Even the long-dead are willing to move. / Without a word, she came with me from the desert” (1. 2-3). Please follow the parenthetical citation format for citing lines of poem according to MLA. Here, this indicates stanza 1, lines 2-3. If your selected poem is one stanza only, just cite the line number(s). Also note that when quote is introduced by a full signal sentence, as this example does, a colon is placed after that signal sentence. This avoids what are known as “dropped in” quotes. You can also opt to smoothly integrate the quote into your sentence—i.e. An eerie, somewhat disturbing image of a mysterious woman is presented when the poet writes, “Even the long-dead are willing to move. / Without a word, she came with me from the desert” (1. 2-3).
- Organization of Body of Essay: As mentioned, you should have a clearly delineated, engaging introduction ending with your thesis statement. Please include poet’s full name and title of poem somewhere in your introduction. Titles of poems are placed in quotation marks.
- The body of your essay will contain your analysis, divided into paragraphs. Stylistically, this will depend on the number of literary elements you are examining. If you have three literary elements, you can devote a body paragraph to each element. Often, you might need two body paragraphs to discuss one literary element. This will be dictated by your poem selection. Be sure to have clear transitions/topic sentences between paragraphs that take readers smoothly from one paragraph to the next. Within your body paragraphs, be sure to include quoted lines to support your points. You should close with a clearly delineated conclusion where you can re-emphasize thesis, highlight key points, and discuss theme or message of the poem.
- Guidance with literary elements. Some elements you might discuss in your analysis are below. These are just some examples; feel free to discuss other elements such as sound devices if they are dominant within your selected poem:
“Mother to Son:” central metaphor of the staircase, symbolism of the “tacks, splinters, etc.”, dialect of the mother
“Facing It:” simile, metaphor, sensory imagery, shifting tone of the speaker
“Happiness:” simile, metaphor, personification, imagery
“Those Winter Sundays:” shifting tone of the speaker, imagery, personification, repetition
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