Thematic Structure

For each of the assigned poetry collections, write a response essay of at least 750 words or 3 double-spaced pages (1,500 words or 6 double-spaced pages for the longer essay) that addresses the following questions: What are the subjects of the book? What overarching themes do you discern from the poems? How does the poet treat these subjects/themes? Consider the poems’ tone, imagery, diction, figurative language, and speakers. How is the book organized? Do you discern a particular narrative or thematic structure? If the book uses sections, how do they contribute to this narrative or thematic structure? Which particular poems are you drawn to and why? Which poems do you have questions about, and what are those questions? In what ways are the poems and books as a whole relevant to contemporary society? Do the poems address any particular social or cultural movement or situation? How does the poet treat these issues? As this is a response essay, with emphasis on your particular response as a reader, secondary sources are not required. However, in some cases, it may be perfectly reasonable and appropriate to quote other reviews. If you do choose to use secondary sources, you must cite them following MLA format. Be careful when reading online reviews that you don’t pick up someone else’s words and inadvertently commit plagiarism. If you can’t properly and effectively integrate secondary sources into your essay, don’t use them at all. In order to receive timely feedback from me, which will help you to revise your essays for a higher grade, I strongly encourage you to submit your essays according to the schedule on the syllabus. Any essays submitted after 11/08 will not receive my feedback or have the opportunity of being revised for a higher grade. Finally, please double-space, paginate, and use a serif font such as Times New Roman.

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