Choose ONE of these poems and write a 750-1000 word explication of this poem. Your final product should be an essay (with an introductory paragraph including thesis, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion, not a worksheet/list. MAKE SURE YOUR FINAL DRAFT IS WORD-PROCESSED and follows the MLA guidelines discussed earlier this semester. You may NOT use any outside sources besides a dictionary, thesaurus, your textbook, and class materials on poetic terminology.
Do not simply paraphrase the poem’s literal meaning. Your goal, instead, is to apply the literary terminology we’ve been discussing in class to one specific poem. For example, you might discuss how the poem’s sound, images, metaphors, tone, and form all work together to create an overall theme.
When interpreting the poem, try to capture the specificity of what THIS poem is saying that is different from what other poems on the same subject have said. For example, don’t just say, “this poem is about someone who is in love.” This could apply to millions of poems. What makes this one unique?
Note: After the title, I will provide the dates of the when the poem was published. In the right margin, I will provide definitions of words you probably don’t know. (They correspond to the word with the ° sign.)
- Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (1600)
Come live with me and by my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove° try
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.° harmonic songs
And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies° bouquets
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle skirt
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle:
(Poem continued on next page.)
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
The shepherds’ swains° shall dance and sing lovers
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.
John Donne, “Holy Sonnet XIV” (written around 1610)
|Batter my heart, three-person’d God ; for you|
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
By Denise Levertov (published in 1978)
What you give me is
the extraordinary sun
splashing its light
into astonished trees.
A branch of berries, swaying
Under the feet of a bird.
other joys—they taste
bitter, distilled as they are
from roots, yet I thirst for them.
you give me
the flash of golden daylight
in the body’s
warmth of fall noonday
between the sheets in the dark.
If We Must Die
By Claude McKay (African-American writer of Harlem Renaissance.
Poem published in 1919)
If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
what the mirror said
by Lucille Clifton (I don’t have the exact date on this poem, but
it is fairly recent.)
you a wonder.
you a city
of a woman.
you got a geography
of your own.
somebody need a map
to understand you.
Somebody need directions
To move around you.
you not a noplace
mister with his hands on you
he got his hands on
- e. cummings (published 1923)
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
whistles far and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piraces and it’s
when the world is puddle-wonderful
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
Langston Hughes (African-American writer of the Harlem Renaissance)
Mother to Son
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
Kim Addonizio (b. 1954) (Published in 1994)
First Poem for You
I like to touch your tattoos in complete
darkness, when I can’t see them. I’m sure of
where they are, know by heart the neat
lines of lightning pulsing just above
your nipple, can find, as if by instinct, the blue
swirls of water on your shoulder where a serpent
twists, facing a dragon. When I pull you
to me, taking you until we’re spent
and quiet on the sheets, I love to kiss
the pictures in your skin. They’ll last until
you’re seared to ashes; whatever persists
or turns to pain between us, they will still
be there. Such permanence is terrifying.
So I touch them in the dark; but touch them, trying.
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
The Widow’s Lament in Springtime (1921)
Sorrow is my own yard
where the new grass
flames as it has flamed
often before but not
with the cold fire
that closes round me this year.
I lived with my husband.
The plumtree is white today
with masses of flowers.
Masses of flowers
loaded the cherry branches
and color some bushes
Yellow and some red
but the grief in my heart
Is stronger than they
for though they were my joy
formerly, today I notice them
and turned away forgetting.
Today my son told me
That in the meadows,
at the edge of the heavy woods
in the distance, he saw
trees of white flowers.
I feel that I would like
to go there
and fall into those flowers
and sink into the marsh near them.
Wendell Berry (born 1934)
The Peace of Wild Things (1968)
When the despair of the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s life may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake° male duck with brilliant plumage
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Shirley Geok-lin-Lim (born 1944)
Learning to love America
because it has no pure products
because the Pacific Ocean sweeps along the coastline
because the water of the ocean is cold
and because land is better than ocean
because I say we rather than they
because I live in California
I have eaten fresh artichokes
and jacarandas bloom in April and May
because my senses have caught up with my body
my breath with the air it swallows
my hunger with my mouth
because I walk barefoot in my house
because I have nursed my son at my breast
because he is a strong American boy
because I have seen his eyes redden when he is asked who he is
because he answers I don’t know
because to have a son is to have a country
because my son will bury me here
because countries are in our blood and we bleed them
because it is late and too late to change my mind
because it is time.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
What lips my lips have kissed and where, and why (published 1923)
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there sits a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
Place your order now for a similar paper and have exceptional work written by our team of experts to guarantee you A Results
Why Choose US
6+ years experience on custom writing
80% Return Client
Urgent 2 Hrs Delivery
Your Privacy Guaranteed
Unlimited Free Revisions