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Paper 1

Page history last edited by Sarah Peterson 15 years, 10 months ago

Drafts due Monday, October 6th (peer editing)

Essays due Friday, October 10th


Write a short (approximately 5 pages) paper addressing one of the following topics. This paper should be a close reading of a poem or gouping of poems, paying close attention to the use of language and form. It does not require secondary research. You should rely solely on your observations to produce the reading.


We will work in pairs on Monday to edit the drafts. You will then turn both drafts (with notes from the editing workshop) in to me on Friday.


1) Examine how a poet uses a specific situation to comment on society.


2) Pick two or three poems that describe a similar “situation” (love, childhood, death, etc). Consider how isolating the subject matter can be both useful and misleading. Identify the ways in which the poems obey and depart from the conventions we anticipate in their choice of subject.


3) Consider the way language is used to create tone in a single poem or pair of poems.


4) Compare and contrast two poems written in the first person. Examine how the poet conveys the identity of his/her speaker. You may with to consider some of the following questions: What details are revealed about him/her? What details are withheld? What is the self- image of the speaker? How does the poet situate the speaker in a particular moment in history? How does the poet play with language to reveal the speaker’s personality?


5) Examine a poem that reflects on a past experience. In what ways does the poet render that experience visible to the reader? In what ways do we have to fill in gaps to connect with the experience? How does the poet play with language and/or poetic form to gain perspective or come to terms with the experience?


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