Essay Instructions: I am an international student. Would you please write easy sources and simple English? As for references, if you can, please put reference’s page number, MHRA style, and Footnote (4-5).
Topic (revised summary)
The Strangeness of Nature: Three American Poets.
I want to write about Frost ‘Desert Places’ and ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ first, then Elizabeth Bishop, then Sylvia Plath ‘Mushrooms’ and ‘Tulips’; that will accord with the chronology of composition.
It seems to me that in the Frost poems nature is at a distance from the speaker; it seems remote, partly unreadable. At the same time, the speaker's mood seems to be reflected by the elements of the natural world that he describes.
'The Map' is maybe a harder poem to analyse - but there's much to say about it. Bishop gives a lot of exact physical description of the natural world but there's also something abstract about some of the language in the poem. Of course, the tone and style are very different to the tone and style of the Frost poems. There is less sense of the speaker's mood or personality; the poem seems to insist on nature's 'otherness' to the observing human. (I am not good at Bishop. I am thinking about ‘Fish’ or other nature poem instead of ‘The Map’. I want to leave it to you.
If possible, would you please include Eliot's "Objective Correlative"?)
Plath's mushrooms seem alien - and it's interesting, of course, that they have the voice in the poem: this time, nature is speaking, rather than being spoken about. In 'Tulips', though, the flowers seem like metaphors for the psychology of the hospital patient. They are still strange, but in a different way...
My lecture said,
“There are no hard and fast rules about what an essay should contain or not contain or what you should pay attention to in particular. Obviously, when you are writing about poetry it is a good idea to be attentive to the language, tone, form and imagery of individual poems. You could consider presenting two or three lines of poetry in every paragraph (or most paragraphs) and analysing these, but you should also try to connect your close-up observations about particular poems (or parts of poems) to a more general line of enquiry running through the essay.
It would probably be a good idea to avoid including biographical information about the poet (expect perhaps in passing if this seems to add something to your response to a particular poem), but this is only a generalization, not a rule.”
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