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Poetry Final Analysis

Choose one of the following four prompts for a 150-point analytical essay: 1) Classifying Poetry Choose any ten of the poems from the list and classify them as a group. Define the group youve created with the ten poems and explain the criteria for the group. (For example, if you say poems about relationships, you must explain what you were looking for in the poems that would fit.) For each of the ten, explain how that particular poem fits with your classification (including quotes from the poems). You can choose any way you wish to classify them. It could be theme, structure, meaning, use of humoranything you see that brings a group of these poems together. 2) Organizing Poetry Create three to five categories for the group of 26 poems. List each category, the poems that fit into it, and why each of the poems fits. Be sure to define each category and the criteria for the poems you place there. For example, you could choose hopeful, depressing, and humorous as your categories, as long as you are clear in which poems fit and why. 3) Literary Devices in Poetry Choose one of the following literary devices: simile/metaphor, descriptive language, symbolism, or rhythm/rhyme. Choose ten poems that exemplify or contain strong evidence of the device you pick. Explain why each of the ten is or contains a good example of that device. Use quotes from the poem to support your decisions. 4) Cultural/Historic Significance of Poetry Choose ten of the poems to examine for cultural/historic/social significance. For each of the ten, explain why or how it reflects the current events or situations that existed at the time it was written. Use quotes from the poems to connect the ideas to culture/history/society. You must be sure to pay close attention to detail when connecting the poems to real life and include factual evidence (there is helpful information in your slideshow notes).

For each of these analyses, you will have to include textual evidence from the poem. This is a very simple process of quoting the author and the poem. For example,

Shakespeare says in Sonnet 71 that the world may mock you after I am gone, which shows his caring for the young man. Both Kipling and Zephaniah use the word impostors as a way to show that things in a persons life can sometimes lead him or her in the wrong direction. The title of Sassoons Dreamers is ironic in that it sounds pleasant, but the poem is actually grim.


This is to be an analytical essay. This means that the language is formal and all verbs are in the present tense (see above). Also, avoid the use of you in your writing.


Be sure to pay close attention to grammar, punctuation, spelling, and organization for this essay. Grading will be based not only on your content and thoughts (100 points), but also the mechanics of your writing (50 points). Poem list: 1. Sonnet 71 2. Sonnet 116 3. Sonnet 130 4. Sonnet 141 5. Chimney Sweeper 1 6. Chimney Sweeper 2 7. Little Boy Lost 8. Little Boy Found 9. If 10. What If 11. Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3 12. Psalm 23 13. Holy Sonnet 10 14. To an Athlete Dying Young 15. When I Was One-and-Twenty 16. When You Are Old 17. On Her Loving Two Equally 18. The Wifes Lament 19. When I Consider How My Light is Spent 20. Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night 21. Dreamers 22. The Soldier 23. The Unknown Citizen 24. The Naming of Cats 25. Ah, Are You Digging on my Grave? 26. Telephone Conversation