Poems About the Natural World.

Poems About the Natural World.

Critically expand upon discussion topic below at greater length and depth
Look closely at such matters as diction (word choice), repetition, figures of speech (metaphor, simile, and so on), imagery, voice, persona, turns of phrase, allusion—the linguistic bag of tricks that skillful poets have at their disposal. Dig deeper on these elements and discuss how the poet uses the tools.
Compare how different poets use different tricks to convey a similar theme or message.
Write about three or four related poems for more consistency and coherence
• Whitman, “Song of Myself”
• Frost, “Birches”
• Williams, “By the Road to the Contagious Hospital”
• Moore, “The Fish”
• Auden, “In Praise of Limestone”
• Roethke, “The Waking”
• Wilbur, “The Beautiful Changes”



Consider the various groups of poems that we have studied the past two sessions: poems about the natural world, poems about cities and civilization, poems and sex and love, or poems about poetry. You probably feel that you have a lot more to say about one of these topics and one of these groups of poems.
Select one of the four discussion paragraphs that you have posted in this unit on poetry; it should be one you can critically expand upon at a greater length and depth.
Write about three or four poems in that selected group; if your essay deals with a set of related poems, it will have more consistency and coherence.
Note. Since the experience of reading poetry is largely subjective, the same poem is going to make different impressions on different readers. You are only responsible for your own reading experience. Nevertheless, it is possible to be objective about the linguistic qualities of a poem that affect the way you respond to it and the way you understand it.
Look closely at such matters as diction (word choice), repetition, figures of speech (metaphor, simile, and so on), imagery, voice, persona, turns of phrase, allusion—the linguistic bag of tricks that skillful poets have at their disposal.
Follow the same guidelines you followed for your other papers:
• Include a strong thesis statement articulating your point of view about the poems you are analyzing.
• Include specific discussion of genre conventions (diction [word choice], repetition, figures of speech [metaphor, simile, etc.], imagery, voice, persona, turns of phrase, allusion) that help convey the particular theme that you have chosen to write about.
• Cite specific examples and details in your discussion of each poem to support your thesis/point of view.
• Quote effectively (not too much and not too little). Three to four apt quotations should suffice for this purpose. Introduce the quoted passages and explain their significance for you and for the reader’s sake as well.
• Clearly organize, present, and develop your points in well-constructed paragraphs. A paragraph is a unit of composition that develops a stage in your analysis, exposition, or argument. Ideally, each paragraph should begin with a clear topic sentence and relate to every other paragraph in order to form a coherent whole.
• Make effective transitions between the various stages and ideas in your essay.
• Keep your introductory and concluding paragraphs concise and succinct.
• Be direct and to the point in your writing—try to avoid wordiness.
• Use the “present” tense, whenever possible when writing about a story or any work of fiction. Use the first-person voice (“I” or “me”) only to help convey your own writerly voice.
• Include a Works Cited page. Even though you are just citing a few sources for this assignment, you need to cite them accurately and correctly. For this task and other matters of style, formatting, and documentation, you should consult the most recent edition of The MLA Handbook. It is an indispensable resource for students of literature.
Rewrite. Good writing, as every professional writer will tell you, requires rewriting. Don’t be content with a rough first draft. Go over your essay several times to make sure it is the best piece of writing you can produce. That means starting early and not waiting until the night before the paper is due.
Assume that your audience is comprised of your fellow classmates and your instructor. Since they are already familiar with the stories (and poems and plays), you do not need to provide excessive plot summary. Instead, your emphasis should be on analysis, interpretation, and argument.
Length and Format: Write approximately 4 pages. Remember to single-space all block quotations of more than three or four lines of poetry. Otherwise, simply double-space your quoted material. Consult the MLA Handbook on the mechanics of quoting poetry.
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