For this assignment, you will be writing a 2-3 page analytical essay about a poem of your choice from the textbook. Choose one which we have not discussed in class and which is substantial enough and lends itself to the directions below.

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In your essay, you will discuss the central theme (main idea) of the poem. This should be expressed in the thesis statement in your introduction. In the body of the essay, you will go through the poem line by line, focusing on imagery, word choice, and other techniques the poet uses to convey the central theme of his or her poem.

For example, in the sonnet “What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, and Where, and Why” by Edna St. Vincent Millay, the speaker evokes the loss of youth and young love. In the first four lines she establishes the fact that it is a rainy night and the air is full of “ghosts.” She goes on to identify that these ghosts are the memories of young boys she once loved. In the latter part of the poem, the speaker uses seasons as metaphors for the phases of life, including the image of a lonely tree in the winter. It becomes clear that the speaker is in the winter of her life and aches with loss for the metaphorical summer that has fled.

In your essay, after identifying the main idea of the poem, you would go through the poem line by line and analyze what techniques the poet uses to express this theme.

Be sure to include at least four quotes from the poem, using correct MLA citation.

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