English 102 – 1st Essay: Poetry
Write an analysis essay comparing two or three poems under the same topic. Use only the poems we have read in class. Do not use more than three poems for your essay.
Your introduction must include a summary (one sentence only) of each poem. The summary should include the title of the poem and the name of the author. (If there is no author, then write “Anonymous”.)
For your body paragraphs, you may consider the structure of the poems, the images presented and/or the mood they generate. Prove by support from the poems. Do not do any research.
Also, do not summarize the whole poems again in the body paragraphs. Instead, do a close reading on a particular section of a poem.
Below are possible topic ideas. Choose one of the topics. The topics are intentionally broad and need to be narrowed to a workable thesis. You need not answer all of the questions under the topic.
1. Consider the relationship between Mankind and Nature. How do the poems comment on the power of Nature? Why does humankind admire and yet fear Nature? How does humankind try to contain it? Possible poems to consider: Basho’s haiku (“An old pond…”); “In the Station of the Metro”; “r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-r”; “The Tyger”; “The Panther”; “Darkness”; “pity this monster;manunkind”; “This Compost.”
2. Discuss the complexity of love, as depicted in these poems. How do men and women treat each other in these poems? How do they conflict with one another? What causes this friction of “not understanding” each other? Possible poems to consider: “Barbara Allen”; “Lord Randall”; Shakespeare’s Sonnets 18, 29, 73, 75, 130, and/or 147; “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”; “Daddy”.
3. Discuss the passing of time in poetry. How does the poet depict this passing of time? What is his/her attitude about mortality? Possible poems to consider: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”; “Because I could not stop for Death”; Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73; “Ozymandias”; “This Compost.”
4. Discuss the persona’s position in his/her social surroundings, as portrayed in the poems. How is his/her identity being defined? Does he/she regret his/her social status? Accept it? How does he/she confront authority? Consider the various circumstances that would cause a person to act out in his/her way. Possible poems to consider: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”; “Daddy”; “pity this monster;manunkind”; “A Hard Rain A-Gonna Fall”; “How to Make a Dadaist Poem”; Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29; “Ozymandias”.
The essay must be at least four (4) pages, typed and double-spaced. It should include a title page, a Work Cited page, and proper citation, with author’s last name or title of the poem and page numbers in parenthesis: e.g. (Shelley 500).
If you are referring to a text from my profile page, the author’s last name or the title of the poem is fine: e.g. (Dylan).
To list a text from my profile page to the Work Cited page, use this example:
Dylan, Bob. “A Hard Rain A-Gonna Fall.” Prof. Mark Nishimura. College Reading and
Composition II. n.d. Web. 27 Feb 2014.
For other assistance about the MLA format, consult the LAMC Library website. Under “Research Guides”, there is a MLA sample paper to help guide your format.
The essay is due on Thursday, March 13, at the beginning of the class.
If you like me to take a look at the first draft, I will do so during the Fourth Week (March 4-7) during my office hours or by appointment. I will be happy to give you my insight as long as it is given to me well in advance.