Purpose: This assignment will enable you to discover a poet’s use of poetic devices and hone your skills in developing a thesis statement that offers an original analysis of the poem of your choice. You will conduct a close reading of a poem and discuss the poet’s use of literary and poetic devices in his or her structuring of the form and composing of the content. As you choose pertinent quotes from your poem, you will explore how this evidence supports the stance you take in your thesis. Composing this outline allows you to explore the typical structure of a literary analysis essay.
- Choose one of the Poetry Selections from this Unit – you can certainly choose a poem you have already posted about in one of the Unit 2 forums, but you don’t have to. Be sure to consider what you learned from (LO 4) Unit 2.1 Discussion – Poem Hypertexts and Semiotics when making this decision.
- You will closely read (and reread) your chosen poem, considering its structural elements, patterns of figurative language, and other literary elements. Bear in mind that, much as we discovered about ads in the advertisement analysis forum, poems are carefully and purposefully crafted–consider that every choice in terms of structure, rhyme (or lack thereof), wording, and tone are deliberate and work to leave an intentional impression on the reader.
- Use the page Starting Your Poetry Analysis to help guide your consideration of how and why the elements of a poem come together to create effect and meaning. Carefully read the example pages that use Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” as an example for explication (Close Reading, Sample Analysis and Key Elements).
Use this page as a framework for creating an analytical outline. Your finished outline should look something like this. Include the following elements:
First, an introductory paragraph that offers focused, key background information on the poem and what you are focusing on about it.
- At the end of the Introduction section, compose a well-crafted thesis statement: one or two sentences that explain what you want to say overall about the poem. Ideally, this thesis should focus on the “how” and “why” of the effect of some of these choices. Consult this page about thesis statements.
Next, include topic sentences that could be used for body paragraphs that focus on specific ideas and elements from the poem that provide evidence and support for your overall idea about the poem (thesis).
- Under these topic sentences, include relevant, brief quotations from the poem, indicating the line numbers in parentheses.
- Finally, include a brief conclusion that sums up what these ideas all add up to.
- First, an introductory paragraph that offers focused, key background information on the poem and what you are focusing on about it.