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Poetry Essay


Choose a poet that interests you and write an expository / research essay discussing three of his or her poems. If one of the poems we have read this year interests you, look up other poems by that author.
This essay will include your own analysis, analysis by other literary critics, and biographical information.
You must include a
works cited page and use the MLA format for citing sources.
Throughout the essay you will also be required to include "in text citations", referred to as Footnoting 
in the Library's "How To" section.
Poets and Poems
Search the websites and to read about poets and find their poems. This is a huge resource so you should be able to find something that interests you.
You can also check out the library for books. Try to choose three poems that somehow relate either in theme, subject matter, style,
point of view, etc.
Biographical Information
You must include some historical background and/or biographical information about your poet.
This information should relate to the poems you choose.  
Knowing a little about the poet should shed light
on your interpretation of the poems.

You must have
one source for this.
Literary Critics
You must research what other literary critics have written about at least two of the poems you have chosen. You do not have to agree with what they have written, but you must incorporate what other writers have said about the poems into your essay and cite those sources in your text using the MLA format for Footnoting

You must have a minimum of two resources for this section.  
The Literary Criticisms Database available through the Vancouver Public Library. 
From the VPL main page:
  • Select Online Articles, Encyclopedias and More
  • Select Fiction and Literature
  • Scroll down to find Literature Criticism Online
    To access this resource you will need a VPL Library Card.  Simply type in your barcode & your PIN
    (the last for digits of your home phone number).
A Critical Survey of Poetry (8 volume set)
has been borrowed from a neighbouring library. 
This will be available in our library for 2 weeks.  

Your Analysis

The bulk of this essay should be your analysis of the poems. You must include a well-formatted thesis statement in your introductory paragraph that the rest of the essay sets out to prove.

Works Cited

The last page of your essay must be a works cited page where you list all your resources alphabetically. Be sure to follow the MLA format, as seen on our Library's
"How To" 
section for Works Cited.   In total your Works Cited page should include a minimum of 4 resources for this essay (1 for biography; 2 for the critics section & at least one for the poems). 
Some poets Ms.V likes (these are only suggestions):
​Robert Frost Margaret Avison​ Edgar Allan Poe​
Anne Sexton​ Pablo Neruda William Carols Willams
Sappho​ e.e. cummings​ ​Billy Collins
Brad Cran​ Don McKay​ ​Michael Ondaatje
Christina Rossetti​ Robert Browning​ ​Thomas Hardy
bill bissett​ W.H. Auden​ ​Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Other poets you have studied in class:
​William Blake ​Elizabeth Bishop ​Lorna Crozier
John Keats ​ Louis Mackay ​Edna St. Vincent Millay
Susan Musgrave​ ​Lisel Mueller ​Walt Witman
Phyllis McGinley​ ​Margaret Atwood