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Posted: October 29th, 2022

Poetry and drama


Instructions Poetry Essay #2: Themes of Love Family, Friendship, and Nature in Contemporary American Poetry I. Purpose This assignment will help you practice the following skills that are important for your success in this course and offer knowledge important beyond the contexts of this assignment, this course, and this college: Analyze significant primary texts as forms of cultural and creative expression. Explain the ways in which humanistic or artistic expression reflects the culture and values of its time and place. Frame a comparative context to critically assess the ideas, forces, and values that shape the texts. Analyze how an established American poet addresses one of the following issues in their work: love, family, friendship, and the examination of the natural world. Skills: The purpose of this assignment is to help you practice the following skills that are essential to your success in this course, school, field of poetry, and in professional life beyond school: Analyzing literary texts Apply an understanding of essential poetic techniques Evaluating the social and cultural merits of an important work of literature Researching college-level sources Knowledge: This assignment will also help you to become familiar with the following important content knowledge in this discipline: Articulate how a poet’s use of word choice contributes to tone and theme Identify how poets use essential literary elements such as simile, metaphor, and imagery Describe the ways in which poets use sonic elements such as rhyme, alliteration, assonance, and consonance II. TASK: Write a 1000-word essay on one of the poems you’ve read that deal with one of the following issues: love, family, friendship, or nature. This essay must incorporate quotations from two reliable, college-level sources of research—you must provide at least one quotation from each source (see below for a list of approved websites and suggested databases from the college library). Use of Wikipedia and similar general knowledge websites is not permitted. All quotations must be integrated, cited, and quoted correctly (check the MLA Documentation Guide posted under the “Content” tab of D2L if have any difficulty with this). Your essay must contain a Works Cited page. Remember to include quotations from the poem to support your observations. Your scholarly sources can comment on the poet, the particular poem you’ve chose, or on a particular poetic technique. Please remember that the elements of poetry you choose to discuss depend upon the poem itself. While one paper might have to spend a significant amount of time discussing imagery and metaphor, another essay about a different poem might focus on sonic elements of a poem like assonance/consonance, alliteration and rhyme. Allow the elements of the poem and its primary theme(s) to decide what you will focus on in your essay. Your essay must have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. It must also have a thesis statement; you are writing a literary analysis, so your essay must make an argument addressing how the poet employs the elements of poetry to address its central issue and convey key themes. Present your thesis in the introduction, then develop each of your points in support of that thesis. Do not spend time too much time on biographical information beyond the introduction—stay focused on the poem. Your analysis should consider each of the following: What point or theme is the poem is trying to convey? It may be helpful to write out a summary of the poem before beginning your essay. What is the poem’s structure and how does it contribute to conveying it central theme(s)? What poetic techniques is the poet using, and how do they contribute to conveying the poem’s central theme(s)? Be sure to consider imagery, symbolism, simile, metaphor, and irony. What are the sonic elements of the poem? Do they contribute to conveying the poem’s central themes? Be sure to consider rhyme, alliteration, consonance, and assonance. Approved websites and suggested library databases: The Poetry Foundation The Academy of American Poets The following can be found on the NSCC library page under “Articles and Databases”. And don’t be afraid to try the library’s chat function if you need additional assistance: The Gale Literature Resource Center Academic Search Premier III. Criteria for Success A successful essay will: Clearly explain the issue the poem is addressing Offer a brief summary of the poem Analyze the poem’s central theme(s) Demonstrate an understanding of the poem’s structure Demonstrate an understanding of poetic technique Support its analysis using specific examples from the poem Supplement its analysis with 2 college-level sources Use correct MLA 9th ed. format for in-text citations and a list of Works Cited. Use academic English and be carefully proofread/spell-checked.



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