Essay Instructions: Examine Frost's "The Road Not Taken," which is both his most popular poem and his most commonly misinterpreted poem. Explain the irony in the last stanza, providing supporting evidence from the poem to prove it is not about taking a "less traveled by" road in life but rather choosing a road and living with the decision.
Your essays should be in MLA Style and approximately 3-4 pages, not including the Work(s) Cited page. Double space all papers in Times New Roman font with 12-point type with one-inch margins all the way around your paper.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Writing Poetry Explications
What this handout is about...
A poetry explication is a relatively short analysis which describes the possible meanings and relationships of the words, images, and other small units that make up a poem. Writing an explication is an effective way for a reader to connect a poem's plot and conflicts with its structural features. This handout reviews some of the important techniques of approaching and writing a poetry explication, and includes parts of two sample explications.
Preparing to Write the Explication
READ the poem silently, then read it aloud (if not in a testing situation). Repeat as necessary.
Consider the poem as a dramatic situation in which a speaker addresses an audience or another character. In this way, begin your analysis by identifying and describing the speaking voice or voices, the conflicts or ideas, and the language used in the poem.
The Large Issues
Determine the basic design of the poem by considering the who, what, when, where, and why of the dramatic situation.
What is being dramatized? What conflicts or themes does the poem present, address, or question?
Who is the speaker? Define and describe the speaker and his/her voice. What does the speaker say? Who is the audience? Are other characters involved?
What happens in the poem? Consider the plot or basic design of the action. How are the dramatized conflicts or themes introduced, sustained, resolved, etc.?
When does the action occur? What is the date and/or time of day?
Where is the speaker? Describe the physical location of the dramatic moment.
Why does the speaker feel compelled to speak at this moment? What is his/her motivation?
To analyze the design of the poem, we must focus on the poems' parts, namely how the poem dramatizes conflicts or ideas in language. By concentrating on the parts, we develop our understanding of the poem's structure, and we gather support and evidence for our interpretations. Some of the details we should consider include the following:
Form: Does the poem represent a particular form (sonnet, sestina, etc.)? Does the poem present any unique variations from the traditional structure of that form?
Rhetoric: How does the speaker make particular statements? Does the rhetoric seem odd in any way? Why? Consider the predicates and what they reveal about the speaker.
Syntax: Consider the subjects, verbs, and objects of each statement and what these elements reveal about the speaker. Do any statements have convoluted or vague syntax?
Vocabulary: Why does the poet choose one word over another in each line? Do any of the words have multiple or archaic meanings that add other meanings to the line? Use the Oxford English Dictionary as a resource.
As you analyze the design line by line, look for certain patterns to develop which provide insight into the dramatic situation, the speaker's state of mind, or the poet's use of details. Some of the most common patterns include the following:
Rhetorical Patterns: Look for statements that follow the same format.
Rhyme: Consider the significance of the end words joined by sound; in a poem with no rhymes, consider the importance of the end words.
Patterns of Sound: Alliteration and assonance create sound effects and often cluster significant words.
Visual Patterns: How does the poem look on the page?
Rhythm and Meter: Consider how rhythm and meter influence our perception of the speaker and his/her language.
Basic Terms for Talking about Meter
Meter (from the Greek metron, meaning measure) refers principally to the recurrence of regular beats in a poetic line. In this way, meter pertains to the structure of the poem as it is written.
The most common form of meter in English verse since the 14th century is accentual-syllabic meter, in which the basic unit is the foot. A foot is a combination of two or three stressed and/or unstressed syllables. The following are the four most common metrical feet in English poetry:
(1) IAMBIC (the noun is "iamb"): an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, a pattern which comes closest to approximating the natural rhythm of speech. Note line 23 from Shelley's "Stanzas Written in Dejection, Near Naples":
(2) TROCHAIC (the noun is "trochee"): a stressed followed by an unstressed syllable, as in the first line of Blake's "Introduction" to Songs of Innocence:
(3) ANAPESTIC (the noun is "anapest"): two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable, as in the opening to Byron's "The Destruction of Sennacherib":
(4) DACTYLIC (the noun is "dactyl"): a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables, as in Thomas Hardy's "The Voice":
Meter also refers to the number of feet in a line: Monometer
Any number above six (hexameter) is heard as a combination of smaller parts; for example, what we might call heptameter (seven feet in a line) is indistinguishable (aurally) from successive lines of tetrameter and trimeter (4-3).
To scan a line is to determine its metrical pattern. Perhaps the best way to begin scanning a line is to mark the natural stresses on the polysyllabic words. Take Shelley's line:
Then mark the monosyllabic nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that are normally stressed:
Then fill in the rest:
Then divide the line into feet:
Then note the sequence:
The line consists of four iambs; therefore, we identify the line as iambic tetrameter.
I Got Rhythm
Rhythm refers particularly to the way a line is voiced, i.e., how one speaks the line. Often, when a reader reads a line of verse, choices of stress and unstress may need to be made. For example, the first line of Keats' "Ode on Melancholy" presents the reader with a problem:
No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
If we determine the regular pattern of beats (the meter) of this line, we will most likely identify the line as iambic pentameter. If we read the line this way, the statement takes on a musing, somewhat disinterested tone. However, because the first five words are monosyllabic, we may choose to read the line differently. In fact, we may be tempted, especially when reading aloud, to stress the first two syllables equally, making the opening an emphatic, directive statement. Note that monosyllabic words allow the meaning of the line to vary according to which words we choose to stress when reading (i.e., the choice of rhythm we make).
The first line of Milton's Paradise Lost presents a different type of problem.
Of Man's First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Again, this line is predominantly iambic, but a problem occurs with the word Disobedience. If we read strictly by the meter, then we must fuse the last two syllables of the word. However, if we read the word normally, we have a breakage in the line's metrical structure. In this way, the poet forges a tension between meter and rhythm: does the word remain contained by the structure, or do we choose to stretch the word out of the normal foot, thereby disobeying the structure in which it was made? Such tension adds meaning to the poem by using meter and rhythm to dramatize certain conflicts. In this example, Milton forges such a tension to present immediately the essential conflicts that lead to the fall of Adam and Eve.
Writing the Explication
The explication should follow the same format as the preparation: begin with the large issues and basic design of the poem and work through each line to the more specific details and patterns.
The First Paragraph
The first paragraph should present the large issues; it should inform the reader which conflicts are dramatized and should describe the dramatic situation of the speaker. The explication does not require a formal introductory paragraph; the writer should simply start explicating immediately. According to UNC 's Professor William Harmon, the foolproof way to begin any explication is with the following sentence: "This poem dramatizes the conflict between ?" Such a beginning ensures that you will introduce the major conflict or theme in the poem and organize your explication accordingly.
An undergraduate recently began an explication of Wordsworth's "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" in the following way:
This poem dramatizes the conflict between appearance and reality, particularly as this conflict relates to what the speaker seems to say and what he really says. From Westminster Bridge, the speaker looks at London at sunrise, and he explains that all people should be struck by such a beautiful scene. The speaker notes that the city is silent, and he points to several specific objects, naming them only in general terms: "Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples" (6). After describing the "glittering" aspect of these objects, he asserts that these city places are just as beautiful in the morning as country places like "valley, rock, or hill" (8,10). Finally, after describing his deep feeling of calmness, the speaker notes how the "houses seem asleep" and that "all that mighty heart is lying still" (13, 14). In this way, the speaker seems to say simply that London looks beautiful in the morning.
The Next Paragraphs
The next paragraphs should expand the discussion of the conflict by focusing on details of form, rhetoric, syntax, and vocabulary. In these paragraphs, the writer should explain the poem line by line in terms of these details, and he or she should incorporate important elements of rhyme, rhythm, and meter during this discussion.
The undergraduate continues with a topic sentence that directs the discussion of the first five lines:
However, the poem begins with several oddities that suggest the speaker is saying more than what he seems to say initially. For example, the poem is an Italian sonnet and follows the abbaabbacdcdcd rhyme scheme. The fact that the poet chooses to write a sonnet about London in an Italian form suggests that what he says may not be actually praising the city. Also, the rhetoric of the first two lines seems awkward compared to a normal speaking voice: "Earth has not anything to show more fair. / Dull would he be of soul who could pass by" (1-2). The odd syntax continues when the poet personifies the city: "This City now doth, like a garment, wear / The beauty of the morning" (4-5). Here, the city wears the morning's beauty, so it is not the city but the morning that is beautiful ...
The explication has no formal concluding paragraph; do not simply restate the main points of the introduction! The end of the explication should focus on sound effects or visual patterns as the final element of asserting an explanation. Or, as does the undergraduate here, the writer may choose simply to stop writing when he or she reaches the end of the poem:
The poem ends with a vague statement: "And all that mighty heart is lying still!" In this line, the city's heart could be dead, or it could be simply deceiving the one observing the scene. In this way, the poet reinforces the conflict between the appearance of the city in the morning and what such a scene and his words actually reveal.
Tips to keep in mind
Refer to the speaking voice in the poem as "the speaker" or "the poet." For example, do not write, "In this poem, Wordsworth says that London is beautiful in the morning." However, you can write, "In this poem, Wordsworth presents a speaker who?" We cannot absolutely identify Wordsworth with the speaker of the poem, so it is more accurate to talk about "the speaker" or "the poet" in an explication.
Use the present tense when writing the explication. The poem, as a work of literature, continues to exist!
To avoid unnecessary uses of the verb 'to be' in your compositions, the following list suggests some verbs you can use when writing the explication:
An example of an explication written for a timed exam
Fountain, fountain, what do you say
Singing at night alone?
"It is enough to rise and fall
Here in my basin of stone."
But are you content as you seem to be
So near the freedom and rush of the sea?
"I have listened all night to its laboring sound,
It heaves and sags, as the moon runs round;
Ocean and fountain, shadow and tree,
Nothing escapes, nothing is free."
-- Sara Teasdale (American, l884-1933)
As a direct address to an inanimate object "The Fountain" presents three main conflicts concerning the appearance to the observer and the reality in the poem. First, since the speaker addresses an object usually considered voiceless, the reader may abandon his/her normal perception of the fountain and enter the poet's imaginative address. Secondly, the speaker not only addresses the fountain but asserts that it speaks and sings, personifying the object with vocal abilities. These acts imply that, not only can the fountain speak in a musical form, but the fountain also has the ability to present some particular meaning ("what do you say" (1)). Finally, the poet gives the fountain a voice to say that its perpetual motion (rising and falling) is "enough" to maintain its sense of existence. This final personification fully dramatizes the conflict between the fountain's appearance and the poem's statement of reality by giving the object intelligence and voice.
The first strophe, four lines of alternating 4- and 3-foot lines, takes the form of a ballad stanza. In this way, the poem begins by suggesting that it will be story that will perhaps teach a certain lesson. The opening trochees and repetition stress the address to the fountain, and the iamb which ends line 1 and the trochee that begins line 2 stress the actions of the fountain itself. The response of the fountain illustrates its own rise and fall in the iambic line 3, and the rhyme of "alone" and "stone" emphasizes that the fountain is really a physical object, even though it can speak in this poem.
The second strophe expands the conflicts as the speaker questions the fountain. The first couplet connects the rhyming words "be" and "sea" these connections stress the question, "Is the fountain content when it exists so close to a large, open body of water like the ocean?" The fountain responds to the tempting "rush of the sea" with much wisdom (6). The fountain's reply posits the sea as "laboring" versus the speaker's assertion of its freedom; the sea becomes characterized by heavily accented "heaves and sags" and not open rushing (7, 8). In this way, the fountain suggests that the sea's waters may be described in images of labor, work, and fatigue; governed by the moon, these waters are not free at all. The "as" of line 8 becomes a key word, illustrating that the sea's waters are not free but commanded by the moon, which is itself governed by gravity in its orbit around Earth. Since the moon, an object far away in the heavens, controls the ocean, the sea cannot be free as the speaker asserts.
The poet reveals the fountain's intelligence in rhyming couplets which present closed-in, epigrammatic statements. These couplets draw attention to the contained nature of the all objects in the poem, and they draw attention to the final line's lesson. This last line works on several levels to address the poem's conflicts. First, the line refers to the fountain itself; in this final rhymed couplet is the illustration of the water's perpetual motion in the fountain, its continually recycled movement rising and falling. Second, the line refers to the ocean; in this respect the water cannot escape its boundary or control its own motions. The ocean itself is trapped between landmasses and is controlled by a distant object's gravitational pull. Finally, the line addresses the speaker, leaving him/her with an overriding sense of fate and fallacy. The fallacy here is that the fountain presents this wisdom of reality to defy the speaker's original idea that the fountain and the ocean appear to be trapped and free. Also, the direct statement of the last line certainly addresses the human speaker as well as the human reader. This statement implies that we are all trapped or controlled by some remote object or entity. At the same time, the assertion that "Nothing escapes" reflects the limitations of life in the world and the death that no person can escape. Our own thoughts are restricted by our mortality as well as by our limits of relying on appearances. By personifying a voiceless object, the poem presents a different perception of reality, placing the reader in the same position of the speaker and inviting the reader to question the conflict between appearance and reality, between what we see and what we can know.
SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
The writer observes and presents many of the most salient points of the short poem, but he could indeed organize the explication more coherently. To improve this explication, the writer could focus more on the speaker's state of mind. In this way, the writer could explore the implications of the dramatic situation even further: why does the speaker ask a question of a mute object? With this line of thought, the writer could also examine more closely the speaker's movement from perplexity (I am trapped but the waters are free) to a kind of resolution (the fountain and the sea are as trapped as I am). Finally, the writer could include a more detailed consideration of rhythm, meter, and rhyme.
Poetry Explication of
?Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening?
? This poem dramatizes the conflict between rest and work, relaxation and obligation, enjoying life and keeping promises, observation/thought and action.
? The speaker stops to observe the beauty of the snow falling on the woods.
? The speaker is isolated with his thoughts. It is dark and quiet, and the only other living creature is his horse.
? The horse shakes his harness, reminding the speaker of his journey.
? The conflict is resolved when the speaker breaks free of his solitary observations and realizes he must move on.
? Initially the speaker is completely absorbed in his inner thoughts and observations. As the poem progresses, his focus expands beyond the moment and he gradually becomes more aware of his horse, then his journey and his future. Ultimately he remembers his purpose and presumably moves forward to fulfill that purpose.
? Four stanzas, four lines each (quatrain)
? Rhyme Scheme: AABA, BBCB, CCDC, DDDD
? Iambic tetrameter
? The speaker is a lone traveler on a long journey, speaking in the first person, present tense.
? The speaker describes his observations and thoughts about the scene around him, and then decides to continue his journey.
? His audience is himself, and the reader is invited to participate in the speaker?s inner thoughts.
? The title, ?Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening,? sets the scene and tone of the poem.
? The speaker is ?Stopping By,? indicating this is a transitory moment.
? The ?Woods? indicate that it is an isolated area.
? The ?Snowy Evening? further indicates it is dark, quiet, and cold.
? The first stanza introduces the isolated scene through the thoughts and images of the speaker.
? The speaker stops to watch the snow fall on the woods.
? The owner of the woods lives in the village, and will not see the speaker stopping this evening.
? The speaker is alone in his observations.
? The second stanza emphasizes the speaker?s isolation and contemplation, but brings his horse into his thoughts.
? The speaker introduces the horse, the only other living creature present, by pondering the horse?s thoughts about stopping here.
? That there is no farmhouse nearby reinforces his solitude. There are only the woods and the frozen lake, and no signs of any other living being.
? It is the darkest evening of the year, and it is snowing.
? The third stanza breaks the speaker?s quiet contemplation by introducing the sounds of the scene.
? The natural sounds are the wind and the snowflakes; it is very quiet in addition to isolated.
? The horse shakes his harness bells, breaking the silence and reminding the speaker that stopping here is unusual and unexpected.
? The horse?s bells prompt the speaker to remember his purpose and his obligations in the next stanza.
? The final stanza briefly summarizes the beauty of the woods. They are ?lovely, dark and deep.?
? Then the speaker remembers his promises and the long journey ahead of him.
? It is evening, and yet the speaker must travel miles before he sleeps.
? The speaker breaks out of his quiet contemplation of the isolated scene and remembers his life and his purpose.
? The tone is simple, quiet, and contemplative.
? The tone is easy and relaxing.
? The language is simple, consisting entirely of one and two syllable words, with the exception of the word ?promises? in the final stanza.
? The woods symbolize rest and relaxation, peace and quiet. The speaker has a moment of peaceful solitude, but must move along to his work and his obligations. His stop in the woods is temporary, symbolizing the transitory nature of any moment in life.
? The snow is a covering. When the snow falls, it covers up the woods, as the speaker?s mind is covered in his own observations. The speaker, however, does not remain stationary while the snow covers him. Even as the snow falls, the speaker continues to move forward in his life. The snow covering is a temporary distraction from his purpose.
? The soft alliteration of ?stopping,? ?snowy,? ?see,? ?some,? ?sound?s,? ?sweep,? and ?sleep,? as well as ?whose,? ?woods,? ?will,? ?watch,? ?without,? and ?wind? add a soft, soothing, relaxing feel to the scene.
? Repetition of the words ?woods? and ?snow? emphasize the peaceful imagery in the scene.
? The word ?promises? breaks the constant, lyric rhythm of the poem. The iambic tetrameter lilts perfectly between unaccented and accented syllables, until this word in the last stanza. ?Pro? is accented, while ?mi? and ?ses? are unaccented, and the speaker?s recognition of his promises alters the peaceful rhythm of the scene itself.
? The rhyme scheme of the poem ties each stanza to the prior stanza by adding a new rhyme in every third line. The new rhyme is then repeated as the main rhyme in the next stanza. This pattern follows until the end of the poem where all four stanzas rhyme. Further, the third line, where the ?new rhymes? have gone, is the theme of the poem and is repeated in the last line. Where the reader expects a new rhyme, he encounters a rhyme consistent with the rest of the stanza. This accentuates this line and sets it apart from the rest of the poem.
? The emphasis from the change in rhyme scheme and the repetition of the phrase ?And miles to go before I sleep? dramatizes this as the most important phrase of the poem. The theme of the poem resides in the speaker?s recognition of his purpose and his journey.
? The imagery is beautiful and moving. The speaker paints a scene of solitude, peacefulness, darkness, silence, and contemplation. The speaker is absorbed in the beauty of the scene and his observations, but then remembers his purpose and his outside obligations.
? The image occurs in a single moment of time. The speaker describes a single, transitory moment of time in great detail. When outside obligations intrude upon his contemplation, his focus on time begins to expand. Instead of focusing on the transitory moment, he begins to take a larger view of this moment and the future. His time focus shifts to a future orientation as he thinks of the miles to go before he sleeps. The speaker begins in a single moment of time, and ends with an extended view of the future.
? The speaker is absorbed in the quiet contemplation of a beautiful scene. His horse brings his thoughts back to his purpose, and he thinks of the journey ahead of him in sharp contrast with the scene he is contemplating.
? The speaker experiences conflict between rest and work, thought and action. It is not entirely clear which one he ultimately chooses, but the implication is that he chooses to continue his journey and fulfill his purpose. The conflict is resolved in the repeated, final line of the poem, ?And miles to go before I sleep.?
? The speaker begins in a state of rest, relaxation, enjoyment of the moment, and observation. His focus is a single, solitary scene in a single moment of time.
? The speaker ends in a state of contemplation of his promises and the miles he has yet to travel before he can sleep. He is contemplating work, obligations, promises, and action. His focus has shifted to a span of the future, perhaps the span of his life.
? The speaker must strike a balance between these opposing choices. He must continue his journey, his work, yet he enjoys relaxing and observing the beauty around him. The choice is one that both the speaker and the reader must continuously make throughout their lives.
? Sometimes the best choice is to rest and observe, and sometimes the best choice is to push forward and work. Both are equally good choices. The key is to recognize which one is the best choice in any specific situation. When it is late and the snow is falling in one?s life, the best choice is to move forward on one?s journey.
Excerpt From Essay:
Total Pages: 4 Words: 1386 Sources: 1 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: Write an essay on the poem below. Your purpose is to understand and communicate the central meaning of the poem and to explain HOW the poet achieves that meaning. Considerations and discussion should focus on how the poet uses the various elements we have studied to convey meaning.
Issues to consider:
? Kind of poem: is it narrative, a sonnet, an ode, etc? For example, if it is a narrative poem, what are main events and the characters? If it is lyrical, what emotion is being expressed and how?
? Speaker: Is there a personal created by the poet? A less differentiated speaker? Who is the listener to whom the speaker speaks? What is the narrative point of view?
? Imagery: what are the prominent images? Consider not just visual images but also auditory, kinesthetic, olifactory, and gustatory images. Give example.
? Symbolism: what symbols does the poet use to convey meaning? Is there a central symbol? If so what is it and how does it work? What about allegory?
? Figurative Language: Look for examples of figures of speech such as metaphor, simile, and personification. Also, how does the poet use connotations of words to deepen and broaden meanings?
? Theme: what is the overall main idea behind the poem? What is the poet trying to say via this poem?
? Sound: what elements contribute to the poem?s sound? How does the poet use rythem, meter, rhyme, alliteration etc. to effect the sound?
? Diction and syntax: review word choices and sentence structure as well as how the poet breaks the lines. Think about denotation and connotation of words.
? Recurrence/Pattern: what patterns does the poem create or suggest? Look at various types of patterns from sound to structure to repletion of key words or phrases or syntactic or verse units.
? Irony and Tone: identify any irony the poem may contain and what it contributes to the overall tone of the poem.
? Bring your reader into the world of the poem
Who is speaking?
What is the situation or setting?
What is the topic of the poem?
What form does the poem take?
What is the overall tone?
? Clearly state your thesis. This will probably have to do with the underlying meaning or theme of the poem and/or the poet?s purpose. What is she/he trying to say/do in the poem? Make sure that your thesis stated explicitly and that it points a direction for the rest of the essay
NOTE: when say meaning, we mean the public understanding, not your private, personal response to the poem
Discuss the poem in detail to show how the poet achieves her meaning. What elements does she use? How does she use them? The poem itself may give you some clues about how to organize all of this information, but two possibilities are.
? Use the various elements themselves to organize
? Go through the poem stanza by stanza, part by part and discuss what is important in each
In your discussion, make sure that you have the following:
? A clear controlling idea for each paragraph
? Clear transitions from one part or section to another
? Substantial evidence from the poem to support your analysis. This includes quotes, explication/explanation, and interpretation.
This should wrap up your paper and bring it to a close. It should leave your readers with a point, a question, or an image to remember. It may bring the poem into current perspective, make a personal comment about your response, or relate the poem to larger, more universal issues.
By Li-Young Lee
In sixth grade Mrs. Walker
slapped the back of my head
and made me stand in the corner
for not knowing the difference
between persimmon and precision.
How to choose
persimmons. This is precision.
Ripe ones are soft and brown-spotted.
Sniff the bottoms. The sweet one
will be fragrant. How to eat:
put the knife away, lay down newspaper.
Peel the skin tenderly, not to tear the meat.
Chew the skin, suck it,
and swallow. Now, eat
the meat of the fruit,
all of it, to the heart.
Donna undresses, her stomach is white.
In the yard, dewy and shivering
with crickets, we lie naked,
I teach her Chinese.
Crickets: chiu chiu. Dew: I?ve forgotten.
Naked: I?ve forgotten.
Ni, wo: you and me.
I part her legs,
remember to tell her
she is beautiful as the moon.
that got me into trouble were
fight and fright, wren and yarn.
Fight was what I did when I was frightened,
Fright was what I felt when I was fighting.
Wrens are small, plain birds,
yarn is what one knits with.
Wrens are soft as yarn.
My mother made birds out of yarn.
I loved to watch her tie the stuff;
a bird, a rabbit, a wee man.
Mrs. Walker brought a persimmon to class
and cut it up
so everyone could taste
a Chinese apple. Knowing
it wasn?t ripe or sweet, I didn?t eat
but watched the other faces.
My mother said every persimmon has a sun
inside, something golden, glowing,
warm as my face.
Once, in the cellar, I found two wrapped in newspaper,
forgotten and not yet ripe.
I took them and set both on my bedroom windowsill,
where each morning a cardinal
sang, The sun, the sun.
he was going blind,
my father sat up all one night
waiting for a song, a ghost.
I gave him the persimmons,
swelled, heavy as sadness,
and sweet as love.
This year, in the muddy lighting
of my parents? cellar, I rummage, looking
for something I lost.
My father sits on the tired, wooden stairs,
black cane between his knees,
hand over hand, gripping the handle.
He?s so happy that I?ve come home.
I ask how his eyes are, a stupid question.
All gone, he answers.
Under some blankets, I find a box.
Inside the box I find three scrolls.
I sit beside him and untie
three paintings by my father:
Hibiscus leaf and a white flower.
Two cats preening.
Two persimmons, so full they want to drop from the cloth.
He raises both hands to touch the cloth,
asks, Which is this?
This is persimmons, Father.
Oh, the feel of the wolftail on the silk,
the strength, the tense
precision in the wrist.
I painted them hundreds of times
eyes closed. These I painted blind.
Some things never leave a person:
scent of the hair of one you love,
the texture of persimmons,
in your palm, the ripe weight.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: This is a poetry research paper for my "Approaches to Lit" class. Basically we needed to choose a poem and formulate a solid thesis that could be argued and elaborated on. I've already turned in a research proposal, which I will upload for you, with a thesis I believe is pretty good. By all means if you are COMPLETELY sure of another thesis you think would be better (that maybe there is more information available on) go ahead and change it, but only if you are positive it would make for a strong paper. Check out what I have and if anything move things around in the thesis paragraph. I'd rather you didn't use the paragraphs that follow the thesis and form paragraph because they're based on wrong information. I kind of like the thesis I chose, but what I need is an A paper so do what you will with it...
As usual we need to start with a solid thesis paragraph that leads into the final actual thesis sentence. The form, rhyme scheme, etc. of the poem need to be talked about and how they're used and what they accomplish relating to the thesis. This can be done throughout the paper or you can dedicate one paragraph alone concentrating on the form (like I did in the document I'm including). The last paper I ordered from EssayTown I was very unsatisfied with because somehow the writer thought his opinion on the topic was relevant to the thesis. The professor wants us to base our arguments on the sources that we choose. So for example you could say something along the lines of so and so stated "xxxxx" about the first stanza and then build on it from there. The professor wants us to use as many peer-reviewed sources as possible and for them to be the focus, so please use at at least 2 (more if possible) peer-reviewed articles and what ever others to make your arguments with. I am going to include the last fiction thesis paper I turned in, that I earned on A on, so you have an example of my writing and something to go by as to what I'm looking for in this paper. I'm not trying to tell you how to write (I mean what do I know) I'm sure you're more than well-equipped, I just want to make sure I get a well-written paper this time around. Please use quotes from the poem (maybe use a line and state what it is describing or means and how it helps to argue the thesis), as well as quotes from the actual sources of course. The professor also says we should include a sentence or two in the beginning with something like "other theses have surfaced on this topic etc, etc" to show we are well informed and educated on the subject and what is flying around (check it out in my other paper). There should be a good ending conclusion paragraph that kind of ties everything together and reiterates the thesis again. Please read through the paper I'm going to upload and the research proposal so you get a feel for things (and I don't mean to get on your back about this) but please take your time writing and read it over a few times to check for errors. The last writer that was assigned to me really didn't do a very good job and I really need the assurance of a quality A-level paper this time around.
Thank you very much and good luck!
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