Assignment #2-Poetry Analysis   Rough Draft Due:  

Assignment #2-Poetry Analysis

Rough Draft Due:


Final Draft Due:


No Plagiarism.

No AI detection.

WORDS: 750


Description of Assignment:

A literary analysis essay pulls
apart a piece of writing to examine its technique and understand its themes and ideas. For this assignment, you will choose one selection of two poems from the list on the next page and write an analytical essay, no less than 3 pages in length (with an additional works cited page that includes your two poems as primary sources and at least two secondary sources), that
analyzes, compares and contrasts how the poems use two or more of the poetic devices on the Poetic Devices Glossary (we will address this soon). It will be important to use appropriate terminology in your analysis.



         The introduction should focus on the poetic devices you will be analyzing in the poems, not necessarily the poets or history of the poems, although a little background on the authors can be helpful in the introduction.  Your thesis should focus on the poetic devices you will analyze in the poems.

The body should examine different ways the poetic devices show up in the poems; for instance, if you were focusing on theme, then you may look at the way the theme is expressed in symbols, imagery, structure, tone, etc. In addition, the body should help us see what is to be gained by comparing and contrasting the poems’ unique take on your chosen poetic devices. Spend less time on the historical context of the poem or the author. Avoid analyzing one poem separately from the other.  Organize the paper point-by-point (more on that in class).

The conclusion should restate your thesis and examine any new understandings that arise from analyzing the poems. What should we take with us about the themes? What have you uncovered in these texts that is worth remembering? What do we gain by analyzing the same poetic devices in two different poems?



·         MLA formatted with in-text citations and a works cited page

·         3 pages (plus a works cited page), typed, double-spaced, 12pt font, Times

·         Two sources in addition to your two poems

 The poem selected for compare and contrast essay.

Selection #5

somewhere i have never traveled 

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

any experience,your eyes have their silence:

in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,

or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me

though i have closed myself as fingers,

you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens

(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and

my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,

as when the heart of this flower imagines

the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals

the power of your intense fragility:whose texture

compels me with the color of its countries,

rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes

and opens;only something in me understands

the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

silently if 

silently if, out of not knowable

night’s utmost nothing, wanders a little guess

(only which is this world) more of my life does

not leap than with the mystery your smile

sings or if (spiraling as luminous

they climb oblivion)voices who are dreams,

less into heaven certainly earth swims

than each my deeper death becomes your kiss

losing through you what seemed myself;i find

selves unimaginably mine;beyond

sorrow’s own joys and hoping’s very fears

yours is the light by which my spirit’s born:

yours is the darkness of my soul’s return

–you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars









Blank Verse


Figurative Language























Example introductions for poem essay

Two Sides, One Coin

         The drum beat syllables that pound out the frustrations and sadness of Esther Belin’s “Night Travel” create a background song that compliments the courageous fear and longing of Laura Da’s “Vantage”. These women are both Native American, both have been distant victims of government relocation, yet they are of different tribes and are from different regions of the country. Though they lead different lives, through writing styles and familiar themes Da’ and Belin’s works compliment one another to paint a broader picture of the female experience.

Youth, Death and Beyond

Robert Frost, an American poet, is known to incorporate his tragic view of life into his poems. While a fruitful debate might ensue from questioning whether Robert Frost has looked out far or in depth sufficiently to warrant his position as major poet, praise for his craftsmanship has been almost universal (“Appropriate Tool”).  Amid many of his great poems, “The Road Not Taken” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” are two poems that are analyzed separately but not often compared. They both delineate beautiful scenes in the woods and revolve around the concept of making a choice. Robert Frost’s poems “The Road Not Taken” and “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” use vivid imagery, personification, and symbolic descriptions to show the correlation between the poet’s natural surroundings and his inner conscience. 

The Passing of Time

Robert Herrick was a seventeenth-century English love poet and a parish priest for nearly twenty years (Ketteler). During this time, many English poets embraced the idea of “carpe diem” or “seize the day” in their works. Herrick was no different, but where he “differs from his contemporaries is in his use of Christianity blended with traditional Pagan rituals” (Ketteler). On the other hand, John Keats, an eighteenth-century poet, studied medicine in a London hospital to become a surgeon but turned away from medicine to become a writer. Both poets led very different lives but were similar in one aspect; both poets utilize nature as a method to meet their “artistic ends” (Moran). Both Herrick and Keats emphasize the importance of taking advantage of time, embracing youth and fruitfulness, and basically accepting that death is inevitable. Despite the similarities in themes, their use of imagery and personification as a means of emphasizing their points are quite different.

Death of a Defiance

William E. Stafford portrays death in his poem “A Message to the Wanderer” as a widely avoided topic because of its uncomfortable nature, but he also encourages the audience with the freedom that comes with accepting it and allowing oneself to embrace the inevitability. Robert Frost in his poem “After Apple Picking”, in contrast, does not focus on encouraging others to accept death and rejoice, but simply accepts it himself and quietly nods to Death as a signal of a welcoming. Both Stafford and Frost expressed with strong conviction their respective discoveries on death through allegories.  For Stafford it was a prison cell, and for Frost, the act of apple picking.  They each chose to illustrate their story using nature and a sincere tone, further emphasizing that death is, and will forever be, simply part of life.

On Nature and Obligation

The gentle swaying of the leaves amidst the crisp wintry air; a breath-taking display of nature brashly interrupted by pressing thoughts and demanding obligations.  Oftentimes, people have important duties that cause them to miss out on nature’s stunning beauty. Robert Frost, an American poet in the twentieth century, is known for his poems that “show deep appreciation of the natural world” (Robert Frost Biography). Accordingly, he highlights this reverence for nature and the commitments that keep us from nature in his poems “Birches” and “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Throughout each poem, Frost uses stanza organization, rhyme scheme, tone and symbols to illuminate the struggle between the human world and the world of nature.

Essay Sample

Metaphor and Society in Shelley’s “Sonnet”

In his sonnet “Lift not the painted veil which those who live,” Percy Bysshe Shelley introduces us to a bleak world that exists behind veils and shadows. We see that although fear and hope both exist, truth is dishearteningly absent. This absence of truth is exactly what Shelley chooses to address as he uses metaphors of grim distortion and radiant incandescence to expose the counterfeit nature of our world.

The speaker of Shelley’s poem presents bold assertions about the nature of our society. In the opening lines of the poem, he warns the reader, “Lift not the painted veil which those who live / Call Life” (lines 1–2). Here, the “painted veil” serves as a grim metaphor for life. More specifically, the speaker equates the veil with what people like to call life. In this sense, the speaker asserts that what we believe to be pure reality is actually nothing more than a covering that masks what really lies beneath. Truth is covered by a veil of falsehood and is made opaque with the paint of people’s lies.

This painted veil does not completely obstruct our view but rather distorts what we can see. All that can be viewed through it are “unreal shapes” (2) that metaphorically represent the people that make up this counterfeit society. These shapes are not to be taken for truth. They are unreal, twisted, deformed figures of humanity, people

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