Poetry Essay

Junior English

August 28th, 2015


We wrapped up our last poem today, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”!

This weekend, complete the comparisons you’ve been making and turn them into an outline. You should have at least 5 points of comparison and 8 poems included. We will be in the computer lab this coming Monday, so if you’d like to type it up this weekend, go for it!

As always, let me know if you have any questions.

The Poetry Connection

Junior English

August 21st, 2015

Themes: ,

We wrapped up our short story comparisons last night (nicely done). I’ll have feedback on those Monday.

Today we read four poems: “ALL DISTORTION ALL THE TIME,” “Hazel Tells Laverne,” “Warning to Children,” and “Do not go gentle into that good night.” As we did with the short stories, the goal is to make connections between them, sussing out themes and ideas that they share.

Read back over those four poems this weekend, further annotating and making early connections (the 2nd and 3rd seem to share messages about hope and aspirations, for example, though they are treated very differently). We’ll discuss these connections in class Monday.

Quick Poetry Writing

Junior English

August 28th, 2013

Themes: ,

Tonight you’ll write a quick essay comparing two of the poems in the packet. It can be over any two poems, but your thesis must explain two things: what the authors are trying to convey with the poems and how your point of comparison (a theme, imagery, content, tone, etc.) helps to make the point in each.

We’ll discuss them in class tomorrow.

If you are concerned about your skill grades for the last essay, try to focus on the skills that you didn’t do well on. For example, if your formatting was poor or you didn’t include a works cited page, type up your paper according to MLA guidelines and include a works cited page. I will only grade the papers of those who ask me to. Remember: your grade in this class is based on your demonstration of your understanding of the skills. Everything I ask you to do is “practice.” If you only want feedback this time around, just tell me that.

O proud death…

British Literature

September 15th, 2010

Themes: , , , , , , , ,

So that was epic. We wrapped up Hamlet in class today. Give yourself a pat on the back; you’ve just annotated one of the greatest works of Western literature. Now comes the fun part: telling others what you’ve learned. Read the rest of this entry »

There’s rue for you; and here’s some for me

British Literature

September 11th, 2010

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When we last heard from our tragic hero, he had just boarded a pirate ship (IV.vi) because no epic story is complete without pirates. Meanwhile, his girlfriend has lost her mind, and her brother is willing to “dare damnation” (IV.v) in his quest for revenge. Good times.

To clarify where we are in the writing process (oh yes—you have already begun writing your papers):

You have journals chock full of quotations and responses to several poems, each potentially connected to the play. (If you don’t, now would be a good time to re-read them in light of what you know about Hamlet.)

In this same journal, you have record of the awesomeness (themes, motifs, questions, answers, etc.) of the play.

Most of you presented a connection between a poem (or two) and the play. Your connection ideas ranged from the desperation of the speaker in “Not Waving but Drowning” and Hamlet’s situation, to the theme of power in “Ozymandias” or “Viva la Vida” and Claudius’ ascension to the throne, to a contrast between the death of Hamlet’s father and Thomas’s in “Do not go gentle.” Solid ones, all.

Remember, this is very early pre-writing; no matter how small or “wrong” you might think your idea is, it is important to get your ideas on paper. A small or weak idea will lead you to a larger or stronger one as you collect your thoughts and support.

Start recording why you see this connection—write out an explanation of why the poem seems to represent the connection you’ve made, then the play. As you do this, look for ways of expanding or focusing your topic. For example, if your “theme is death of fathers” (I.ii), you would want to explore the death of King Hamlet and Polonius (looking toward “Do not go gentle,” maybe). From there, you could expand it to include death in general (and “Meditation #17”), or focus it on death and the afterlife (“Death be not proud,” Hamlet’s hesitation (III.iii)). Don’t worry too much about proper sentence structure and such right now. The stuff you write now will turn into an outline in the next step, anyway.

We’ll be talking about this in more detail next week, but definitely get started in the meantime; make sure your journals are complete to IV.vi, review your journal sections on the poems, and begin fleshing out your connections.