POETRY FORUM POST—4 parts—Submit all parts in one post.


    Choose a poem
    from the Lesson’s Poems list.
    Find an article from an academic journal that analyzes the poem or a related topic–NOT JUST SUMMARY but analysis/interpretation of the poem or one aspect like symbol or setting.  The easiest place to search is from the Library Ebsco search.  Contact the reference librarians if you have trouble.
    Write the source information using correct MLA format. See the MLA formatting and style guide at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/  In the left column, click the MLA Works Cited link that has the type of source you are using.  Ebsco will actually provide the citation for you: Once you find the article, click “Cite” in the right window and scroll down to MLA.
    Present the source material you found. Explain in your own words the info you found in your source.  DO NOT WRITE A SIMPLE PLOT SUMMARY OR PARAPHRASE OF THE POEM. Instead, summarize the analytical source you found.  If it’s a long article, you may choose to summarize only one of the major concepts.
    Write a commentary on the info you found.  You may agree or disagree with the source, or you may address your personal interpretation of the poem, based on that source material.  You might go in another direction.  The important thing is to analyze and interpret.
    Minimum 150 words, maximum 400 words.



Choose another poem from the Lesson Poems list (not one you already used).
Repeat the above assignment, but this time use a web source found via a search engine like Google.  Choose your source carefully to find something that goes beyond summary.  To find better sources, be sure to type in the poem title and a term like “analysis.”  The best posts do not rely on Sparknotes or Cliff’s Notes; however, if you use those, omit the summary and use only an analytical section.  Although you might read Wikipedia for your own edification, do not use Wikipedia for your cited source.  Put the URL (webaddress) at the end of the MLA citation.
Minimum 100 words, maximum 400 words.


    Choose another poem
    from the Lesson’s Poems list (not one you already used).
    Analyze the poem, using exactly 5 literary terms from this lesson’s literary terms list.
    Bold all the literary terms you used that are from this unit.
    You are not expected to use sources, but if you do, be sure to cite them informally with a webaddress.

Minimum 150 words, maximum 400 words.



Choose another poem from the Lesson’s Poems list (not one you already used).
Write an informal personal response.  Reader-response theory focuses on meaning and the role of the reader him/herself.  What is the interaction between the poem and the reader?  Be sure to relate the poem to a personal life experience of your own.
Minimum 150 words, maximum 400 words.


Some are about stories instead of poems, but the principle is the same.


Make yours look just like this: single space each part and skip a line between parts.

Label each part at the top with number, title, and type—as in the sample.



    May, Leila S. ”Sympathies of a Scarcely Intelligible Nature: The Brother-Sister Bond in Poe’s ‘Fall of the House of Usher.’”  Studies in Short Fiction 30.3 (1993): 387-397. Academic Search Elite.  Web.  8 May 2016.
    May examines the relationship between Madeline and Roderick in the context of the nineteenth-century family. In particular she examines the role of the sister in the family as the primary source of moral purity and virtue in an increasingly difficult world. May compares and contrasts the character of Madeline with that of Sophocles’ Antigone. In the nineteenth-century, Antigone was considered the paragon of moral and sisterly virtue. Antigone was also entombed, but unlike Madeline she never broke free. Indeed, it is Madeline who, through this act of breaking free, brings down Roderick and the estate, both the physical structure of the house and its analogue, the family.  She notes the fascination and dread with feminine desire and self-direction that seemed almost endemic of the time. What Poe struck at was the knowledge that this structure was unable to last, and the nineteenth-century view of the family would topple with it.
    The duality of the twins and the relation of the house to the family are all but unmistakable. I found little new in this article in that regard. What did interest me was May’s commentary on the nature of the sister in the nineteenth-century family. While Antigone fills the lion’s share of the comparison, May also pulls in examples from Wuthering Heights and Frankenstein which also include the sacrifice of the sister. One of the things that I love about fiction is its ability to grant us a glimpse of the author and the time. By using Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” along with these other works, May provides a convincing portrait of the changing and paradoxical nature of the nineteenth-century family.


    Spence, Joseph. “‘Paul’s Case’: One Thematic Analysis.”  Ezine Articles.  EzineArticles.com, 17 Feb. 2010.  Web.  24 April 2016.  <http://ezinearticles.com/?Pauls–Case——One–Thematic–Analysis&id=3777601>
    Spence defends Paul from a sort of legal point of view.  He notes that Paul had no one to defend him during the “inquisition” at his high school.  The article does a lot of plot review but also mentions color symbolism—blue for his dream world, yellow for his caution, red for blood.  Spence talks about how the spirit of Paul changes from peace to helplessness and how the final “verdict” is rendered by the train.
    Spence puts too much emphasis on plot, but I did find some good insights on the story.  When I first read the story, I didn’t have much sympathy for Paul, but now I see how he really should have had someone to support and defend him.  I think Mr. Spence got one thing wrong, though; he talked of Paul’s artistic talents, yet I don’t see Paul as an artist.  After all, Paul didn’t want to DO anything but just be in the audience.


    The persona of the poem seems to be someone who has watched the woman from afar. The setting is fall.  At first I thought this was a poem about a woman who is abused or unhappy in her marriage.  It seems like she is afraid to leave her husband because she doesn’t want to be alone.  The title means “Love, the Tyrant,” which makes me wonder if the tyrant is love itself instead of a person. The poem has six 8-line stanzas.  The author uses both concrete diction like “ocean and old trees,” “falling leaf,” and “pounding rain” and abstract diction like “tradition” and “prejudice.”


    It has been years since I rode a horse, but I grew up with them on the farm. In all honesty, I didn’t ride that much as a child either, but I have fond memories of horses, and this poem speaks to me.  I don’t think I ever rode in snow, and yet for years I had a recurring dream that I was riding through a snowy wood with a rider-less horse beside me.  (How weird is that!)  This poem seems dreamlike—like my dream.  The persona seems to have a reverence for the animal when he attributes thoughts to it.  On the other hand, maybe back then they just looked at horses as transportation!  Either way, I think this poem is about an appreciation for nature—the horse, the woods, the snow.  I like the quiet that I feel in this poem.  This speaker seems to feel in awe of nature and is taking time to appreciate it.  I still feel that way when I visit my parents’ farm.




“Ode on a Grecian Urn”—John Keats

“When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be”—John Keats

“My Last Duchess”—Robert Browning

“Porphyria’s Lover”—Robert Browning

“The Last Words of My English Grandmother”—William Carlos Williams

“Ulysses”—Alfred, Lord Tennyson

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”—T. S. Eliot

“La Belle Dame Sans Merci”—John Keats

“Home Burial”—Robert Frost

“r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r”—E. E. Cummings

“In Just”—E. E. Cummings

“I Heard a Fly Buzz”—Emily Dickinson

“Daddy”—Sylvia Plath

“Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey”—William Wordworth

“A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim”—Walt Whitman

“Ode: Intimations of Immortality”—William Wordsworth



Literary Terms

Genre – categories of literature delineated by distinct style, form, and content

Lyric poetry – poetry that typically expresses personal or emotional feelings

Ode – a long lyric poem in elevated language on a serious theme, often paying tribute

Elegy – a lyric poem on the subject of death

Narrative poetry – poetry whose main function is to tell a story

Ballad – short narrative with song-like qualities

Epic poetry – long narrative poem about the exploits of a hero

Dramatic poetry – poetry with a character or characters presented as a speech or dialogue, like a play

Dramatic monologue – a speech for a single character

Concrete poetry – poetry in which meaning is partly conveyed visually, using patterns of words or letters

Confessional poetry – Uses intimate (sometimes unflattering) information re: the poet— illness, sexuality, despondence

Romanticism – literary movement that believed in an intuitive apprehension of truth, celebration of nature

Realism – Literary movement that believed in simple language, truth, accurate detail of every day, interest in cities

Blank verse – lines of iambic pentameter that do not rhyme

Free verse – Poetry with lines of varying length, usually without regular meter or rhyme



Last Updated on February 11, 2019