When taught well, poetry leads to terrific seminars and well-attended lectures, engaged on-line discussions and dynamic student work. Studying poetry can truly open up the subject of English for some students. By paying attention to how craft, structure, sound and tempo work dynamically in a successful poem, poetry organically connects ‘literature’ to the study of Creative Writing and language. But poetry isn’t well-loved by everyone.
Your entire essay will be a response to this question, If your friend is able to predict the rest of your paper accurately, you probably have a good introduction.
Billy Collins has used a specific metaphor, simile, rhyme and personification in his poem ‘Introduction to poetry’ in order to show how one should better understand a poem.
These philosophical and spiritual subjects gave birth to a movement, in which writers and poets examined the concepts of being, religion, and other fields from a logical viewpoint, opposed to one based in emotion....
Poetry is often used in prose as a mechanic to show a character’s own thoughts and feelings; most of the characters’ poems never coincide with the writer’s own thoughts, except for rare cases....
Cultural Context: How does the poem you are looking at relate to the historical context in which it was written? For example, what's the cultural significance of Walt Whitman's famous elegy for Lincoln "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed" in light of post-Civil War cultural trends in the U.S.A? How does John Donne's devotional poetry relate to the contentious religious climate in seventeenth-century England? These questions may take you out of the literature section of your library altogether and involve finding out about philosophy, history, religion, economics, music, or the visual arts.
Versification: Look closely at the poem's rhyme and meter. Is there an identifiable rhyme scheme? Is there a set number of syllables in each line? The most common meter for poetry in English is iambic pentameter, which has five feet of two syllables each (thus the name "pentameter") in each of which the strongly stressed syllable follows the unstressed syllable. You can learn more about rhyme and meter by consulting our handout on in poetry or the introduction to a standard textbook for poetry such as the Norton Anthology of Poetry. Also relevant to this category of concerns are techniques such as caesura (a pause in the middle of a line)and enjambment (continuing a grammatical sentence or clause from one line to the next). Is there anything that you can tell about the poem from the choices that the author has made in this area? For more information about important literary terms, see our on the subject.
This question suits Seamus Heaney’s poem well, as Heaney uses the poem as a means to reflect on how growing up naturally changes how we see the world. His experience of childhood summers spent picking fruit - only for the vast amount of it to rot - serves as a metaphor for life in general, where optimism and the focus on immediate pleasure are replaced by a natural conservatism and pessimism. There is a clear theme of change in the poem, as Heaney looks back on his younger self through the eyes of an adult, to see how life has changed.
Introductions can be tricky. Because the introduction is the first portion of your essay that the reader encounters, the stakes are fairly high for your introduction to be successful. A good introduction presents a broad overview of your topic and your thesis, and should convince the reader that it is worth their time to actually read the rest of your essay. Below are some tips that will make writing an introduction a little less daunting, and help us all to write essays that don’t make our professors want to bang their heads against the wall.
All essay questions expect you to comment on the areas covered in . This means you must write about the use of language, the effect of language and form, and how it makes you feel.
It is useful to follow some standard conventions when writing about poetry. First, when you analyze a poem, it is best to use present tense rather than past tense for your verbs. Second, you will want to make use of numerous quotations from the poem and explain their meaning and their significance to your argument. After all, if you do not quote the poem itself when you are making an argument about it, you damage your credibility. If your teacher asks for outside criticism of the poem as well, you should also cite points made by other critics that are relevant to your argument. A third point to remember is that there are various citation formats for citing both the material you get from the poems themselves and the information you get from other critical sources. The most common citation format for writing about poetry is the .
You will be asked to compare two or more poems in your exam. You will usually be given some of the poems which you must write about, and you might need to choose other poems to compare them with.