PART A Prompt: Read the poems from the lists in Weeks 1 and 2. You can find them in the Syllabus, in the Discussions, and under the weekly Content.Read ahead in Week 2, looking specifically at the dir

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  • Read the poems from the lists in Weeks 1 and 2. You can find them in the Syllabus, in the Discussions, and under the weekly Content.
  • Read ahead in Week 2, looking specifically at the directions for the upcoming essay assignment that will be due next week.
  • Choose a poem from the assigned readings that you are interested in exploring in more depth for the writing project in Week 2. The poem can be from Week 1 or Week 2.
  • Title your paragraph with the title of the poem.
  • In a well-developed paragraph, explain:

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    • Why are you interested in exploring this poem?
    • What literary elements (such as imagery, symbolism, metaphor, simile, etc.) do you see the author using in the poem?
    • What approach might you take in analyzing this poem? Example approaches include a discussion of the poem’s use of imagery, symbolism, theme, or characterization.
    • What questions do you have for the instructor about the upcoming essay assignment?
  • The poem should be your only source for this post. Do not use outside sources.



  • Choose a poem to analyze from this week’s assigned reading list (see below). We are reading and discussing the works of Gwendolyn Brooks, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and Langston Hughes.
  • Create a written response of a paragraph or two of at least 150-200 words.
  • You may use the following questions to develop a response to your poem, or you may discuss another more appropriate literary element (e.g., imagery, characterization, theme) as best fits your selection:

    • What are some of the key symbols or metaphors in the poem, and how are they used to convey meaning to the reader?
    • How do these elements enrich the poem and deepen your understanding of its themes?
    • What is your reaction to the poem’s content and language? Would you recommend this poem to friends?

Read the following poems and choose one to discuss:

  • Dickinson:

    • “After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Comes”
    • “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”
    • “’Faith’ Is A Fine Invention”
    • “’Hope’ Is the Thing with Feathers”
    • “I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died”
    • “I Like to See It Lap the Miles”
    • “Much Madness Is Divinest Sense”
    • “My Life Had Stood—A Loaded Gun”
    • “There’s A Certain Slant of Light”
    • “This Is My Letter to the World”
  • Frost:

    • “Birches”
    • “Design”
    • “Fire and Ice”
    • “Mending Wall”
    • “Nothing Gold Can Stay”
    • “For Once, Then, Something”
    • “Out, Out”
    • “The Road Not Taken”
    • “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
  • Brooks:

    • “The Mother”
    • “Sadie and Maud”
    • “A Song in the Front Yard”
    • “We Real Cool”
  • Hughes:

    • “Cross”
    • “Harlem”
    • “Negro”
    • “Suicide’s Note”
    • “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”
    • “Theme for English B”


Remember to provide evidence for your claims in the form of quoted passages from the poem. Quotations, paraphrases, and summaries should be cited according to APA rules of style, including in-text and reference citations. Quoted material should not exceed 25% of the document. Check grammar and spelling before posting.

Example APA Reference:

Frost, R. (1916). The oven bird. Cengage: Gale College Collection.|BRGOHW412836445&v=2.1&it=r&sPage=13883791&sid=mindtap-embedView&asid=94ec534a


Compose an essay of 750 words and 5 or more paragraphs in which you offer your interpretation of a literary element (such as theme, imagery, symbolism, or characterization) in one of the assigned poems. Choose any poem from our Week 1 or Week 2 poetry reading list.

Tips for the Essay

  1. Open your introduction with an engaging opener, such as a question, quotation from the poem, or interesting idea. Then, connect to the poem and mention the title and the author. End your introduction with a thesis statement that interprets one literary element of the poem.
  2. The body paragraphs should support your thesis. Present specific aspects of the poem that help to illustrate your points. Make sure to quote from the poem and analyze specific lines that support your argument. Typically, body paragraphs will contain at least two short quotations each as supporting evidence. Do not do any outside research. This should be only your own interpretation.
  3. Include a strong concluding paragraph that summarizes your main points and explains the significance of the thesis. Finish this paragraph with a strong and satisfying ending.

APA Reminder

Use APA style for formatting the essay and for source citations. Begin with a title page and use proper font and spacing. End with a separate references page. Refer to the Week 1 lecture on avoiding plagiarism for an APA essay template and additional resources.

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