The essay should be a close reading of part of a poem
from the syllabus. Practice the skills of representation,
interpretation or commentary and analysis.
Make sure you provide a summary of what the whole poem is about, and then focus
your essay on a particular aspect of the poem or excerpt that you deem
significant. Also, be clear and specific in your references to the poem.
Some ideas to consider:
These ideas should be suggestive, but you are not limited to them.
Analyze a particularly complex metaphor in one of Donne's poems.
Examine the use of irony in any one of the poems.
How does the poet develop "voice" and "tone" in any one poem?
How is Charles I murdered twice in Philips' poem?
What does the symbol of the garden mean in Marvell's poem of that name?
Students will not be allowed to write on Donne's "Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" because we will
be doing a close reading of that poem as a class. One of the objectives of this exercise is for students
to demonstrate their ability to transfer the skills of reading poetry on their own.
Please consult the Sample papers from 3230 for some examples.