Poetry Essay

These are the poetry collections. This poetry collections are about Family Love

“Snapping Beans”, by Lisa Parker

Link to access this: h ttps://missjordanjean.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/snapping-beans/

“Those Winter Sundays”, by Robert Hayden

Link: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46461/those-winter-sundays

“Dusting”, by Julia Alvarez

Link: http://familypoemanalysis.blogspot.com/2014/03/dusting-by-julia-alvarez.html

  • At least one of the poems must be from our assigned readings. The second may be a poem of your choice from our text or outside of it (including a song lyric), but you need to run it by me first.
  • Each paragraph should refer to only one aspect of the theme. Do not structure paragraphs around elements of poetry; you are making

interpretative claims about meaning. The body paragraph content will refer to elements (such as rhythm, diction, metaphor, etc.) to show how they are used to show the speaker’s feelings and/or beliefs about the theme.

  • The paper is to be a minimum of four to six pages in MLA format, not including the correctly formatted
  •  (Links to an external site.)
  • Works Cited Page. Since you learned all about MLA format in English 1A, I do not formally teach it in 1B. Use our e-book, our library web page, or linked sources to review formatting in-text quotations. Refer to the MLA Format page for a review about formatting the paper, including spacing and page number header. To be safe, the minimum length should wrap to the top of the fifth page after you have set your type and margins to MLA standards and deleted any extra lines between paragraphs.
  • One outside source, related to historical context of the poem, or to the author’s lives, is required. Remember that information used should not be random, but should directly relate to your thesis. You will not write a

paragraph summarizing the authors’ lives or historic settings. You can weave this information in in paragraphs where these concerns relate to your topic sentences. The introduction paragraph, however, should mention each author and when and where they lived. Please do not research literary analysis for the formation of your outline.

  • This is an analysis paper — analysis means being able to identify and look at the elements that make a whole. While you will be making an argument about the poems’ takes on a theme, you are looking at how the authors use the elements (the parts) of the poem (the whole) to achieve their particular perspectives on the theme. Looking at the parts is what the analysis is about. An author’s perspective will show up in her delivery (line length, diction, etc.). Delivery is what evokes an emotional response in the reader.  Each poem has its own purposes for delivery style. You will make inferences about an author’s purpose (perspective on a theme) by looking at the delivery.


  • Topic sentences should not be organized around elements of poetry. They should be organized around similarities and differences in perspectives.

Within the paragraph, decide which elements of poetry are important to look at. You do not need to cover every poetic device.

  • You may write in block style or in point-by-point style. (Sample will be provided in the upload files. Please check!!)
Text Box: You may use your late coupon for this paper, but some may prefer to save the coupon for the research paper.

Text Box: Local Concerns
  • Sentences must not only have consistent, correct use of Standard English, but they must show variety in complexity and construction.
  • When quoting poems, use the line number as the citation. For quoting more than one line, you may indent the quote if the lines are fairly long.  For quoting multiple lines that are shorter, line breaks can be noted by a “ / “. See our textbook for particulars of instruction and examples, browse the English

lab page under MLA formatting, or look here

                                           Vital Statistics                       

  • This paper is to be four to six pages in correct MLA format, not including the correctly formatted
  •  (Links to an external site.)
  • Works Cited page.
  • Points, even letter grades, will be deducted for under-length papers.
  • One outside sources is required; works cited page is needed.

Organizing the Poetry Paper Body Paragraphs

Text Box: Body Paragraphs

Your paragraphs can be organized either in point-by-point style or in block style.

Block Style

  • Write about one poem first – having three or more paragraph topic ideas that you will discuss.
  • You will use the PIE outline if you are using one quote phrase or set of phrases, and the PIEtIEE outline if you will quote more than one line or set of phrases. Individual quotes words can always be inserted (with quote marks) directly into your own sentence.
  • You will then indicate by a transition word or phrase , at the beginning of the first paragraph about the second poem, that you are going to consider that poem. (Poem B, on the other hand, looks at the theme of                                                                                                 by claiming it is (unique from the parallel paragraph in the first half of the paper). Your paper will essentially be in two halves, each half devoted to one poem.
  • It is important to discuss of the second poem in the exact same order of

topics as you did the first poem, for the sake of logical coherence. You will have shorter paragraphs in block style, but more of them.

Point by Point Style

  • Discuss comparisons/contrasts between ideas among both poems in each paragraph. You must use the PIEtIEE outline to do this; one half of the paragraph will be devoted to each poem.
  • Individual quotes words can always be inserted (with quote marks) directly into your own sentence.
  • The paragraphs will be in halves as opposed to the paper being in halves.
  • Only one idea (for example, how the poets view giving and receiving) that supports your thesis is discussed per paragraph.
  • An example of a topic sentence for these paragraphs will look much the same as the thesis in that it will name both poems, and one area of their similarity or difference. Not every paragraph has to be about a difference.
    • While “Last Night” shows a couple who initially bond through mindless physicality, “Sonnet 116” begins with the idea of soul mates bonded by a mindset.
    • While Poem A moves a long in a clipped pace, suggesting the need for urgency or speed, poem B takes the time to give many

reasons why the listener should be persuaded about (whatever).

Some people like visuals. If this help you, great.

Point by Point StyleBlock Style
  Each paragraph has one point of C/C, and each poem is talked about in the paragraph.   So both Poem A and Poem B are named in the topic sentences, with the statement of similarity or difference (just do one per paragraph) — this will be one mini-argument that proves the thesis is true.   Point 1 topic sentence compares two poems   Point 2 topic sentence compares two poems   Point 3 topic compares two poems  The first half of the paper looks like this:   Poem A Point 1 (this is one paragraph) Poem A Point 2 (this is one paragraph) Poem A Point 3 (this is one paragraph)
(there is no second “half” of the paper).The second half of the paper looks like this:   Poem B Point 1 same as above (this is one paragraph)
 Poem B Point 2 same as above (this is one paragraph)   Poem B Point 3 same as above (this is one paragraph)
Text Box: What should be included in the paragraphs?

Things to consider discussing:

  • Does one or both poem have an unusual or surprising turn at or ear the end that gives the perspective away?
  • What are the tones? Tone indicates the speaker’s perspective; How are they achieved?
  • Consider word choice, line length, vocabulary, setting or images in order to discuss how the author achieves their perspective. For instance, what associations do images evoke? A topic sentence could claim that whole one poem use images that suggest passion, the other uses images associated with concepts or ideas.
  • What is the feel of the poem to the ear, and how is this achieved? Assonance, alliteration, vocabulary — why does the author choose these elements? How do they help develop the approach to the theme?
  • What emotions does the poem evoke and how does it do this?
  • Do rhythms produce effects? How about line length, the look of the stanzas, number and purpose of stanzas, or punctuation or lack of it at the ends of

lines — do these things shape the tone and meaning?

In your research (one biographical or contextual source is required), you may find something that will shed light on the meaning of a poem. It would be valid, if this applies to you, to weave contextual or autobiographical information (limited to what is relevant to a paragraph topic) into paragraph development, but there should be no paragraphs wholly devoted to information from outside sources.

Creating Comparison and Contrast Thesis and Topic Sentence Claims

  1. Let’s Start by asking Probing Questions.

Below are some sample comparison and contrast sentences. Please ask probing questions of them:

  • Poem A explains how love should be portrayed between partners but Poem B focuses on the type of connection between partners
  • Poem A perspective begins on emotional love while Poem B perspective starts off as physical love
  • Both Poem A and Poem B are pessimistic on certain qualities of love however they both have a sense of optimism that love can be found real and true ( I hope I worded that correctly)
  • Asking the “So What” Questions.

Once you have specifics clarified, above, you then can move into asking why these elements or ideas are important to compare. This step takes a little more thinking. When making an interpretative argument, you are always making a claim. You can come up with your claim by asking yourself: What ideas (not poetic elements) are being compared and Why are these ideas being compared?

Below are some sample comparison and contrast sentences. Please see if you can make these comparisons into claims by answering “so what” questions about them. (You will find format and typing problems; these samples are taken directly from assigned discussions).

  • The actions taken in Dusting by the child is represented by the child writing on furniture in a hasty manner while the mother cleans up her writings. My Father Teaches Me to Dream on the other hand, the actions taken by the daughter is by

doing the opposite of what her father told her and pursuing what she really wants to be.

  • Both Prairie Spring and What You Missed touch on the mundane events of life.
  • Both Prairie Spring and What You Missed speak on growing through your youth.
  • While Prairie Spring holds a tone of intensities of growth, the tone of What You Missed holds a tone of slowing down.
  • “My Father Teaches Me to Dream” is read from the perspective of the author, while “What You Missed That Day You Were Absent From Fourth Grade” is taken from a ‘what if’ perspective.
  • “Snapping Beans” is about warm weekends with grandma. “Those Winter Sundays” is about fathers waking up on cold mornings to go to work
  • The tone in “My Father Teaches Me to Dream” seems to be more condescending and almost gives me the feeling that the father is rebuking the dream of the daughter. “Prairie Spring” gives us a calm and soothing tone while also showing us intensity when we get closer to the climax.
  • “My Father…” repeats his day like a robot. We can see a intelligent and humorous teacher in “What You Missed…”, who is loved by her students.
  • While Olds has the speaker relate her previous night’s experience, to the person she was intimate with, Marvell is also addressing the desired person in his poem. The difference is that Olds’ speaker has committed the act, while the speaker in Marvell’s is hoping for sex to happen.
  • A Few Samples

While a few of these could be improved, below are some pretty good comparison and contrast topic sentence samples:

1. While Poem A describes the dreary life of repeating arduous work and reminds people of how terrible life can be when people work on what you don’t like, Poem B describes a vivid and energetic class where you can learn what is really useful and important for your life.

  1. While “My Father Teaches Me to Dream” addresses a father’s personal experiences to explain the cruelty of the real world, “What You Missed That Day You Were Absent From Fourth Grade” addresses how might someone go about learning from their own experiences to better themselves in the future.
  2. My Father Teaches Me to Dream talks about not being able to have more or less than what you have and What You Missed That Day You Were Absent from

Fourth Grade talks about making the most out of what you have.

  • The speaker in My Father Teaches Me to Dream is the reader and the speaker in What You Missed That Day You Were Absent from Fourth Grade is someone else talking to the reader.
  • Both poems hold a sense of melancholy, a deep sadness both speakers carried as they grew up. Wishing to have been supported. As lived without any sense of something more.
  • “What You Missed That Day You Were Absent From Fourth Grade” seem to be in the view of a child who grew up with the influence given to them by past experiences. The father who instilled an idea of a burden of passionless

responsibility while the other wishes there was another who helped them deal with a number of obstacles in life.

Introduction Paragraph

The introductory paragraph, as in all college English papers, introduces the texts and the authors. If the poems’ main differences are in part attributable to the context of their authors’ lives – eras and locations – this should be noted in one to two sentences total.

A general introduction to the poems’ similar theme should be stated while a brief

introduction to their dissimilar perspectives should also be stated. This should only be a sentence or two total. The thesis will make the point that you wish to argue: how do the poems have unique perspectives on the same theme? You may want to work with comparison / contrast words like “while”, “whereas”, “though”, or other words.


While both poems address the theme of            , Poem A suggests that                                 while Poem B shows        .

Both poems are about                , but Poem A takes the perspective that                                                           

while Poem B strongly encourages            .

Avoid writing a thesis that is a list of elements of poetry. Your thesis needs to be interpretative and arguable.

Quoting Poetry

Quotation Format

Our e-book does not deal with this topic, unless I’ve missed something. Here is a good link (Links to an external site.); please look it over. Correct integration, punctuation, showing line breaks, and citing line numbers will be required for this paper.

Notice a number of things:

How does the author (you) show line breaks in poems? How is the punctuation used for quoting?

How are the line numbers cited? How are stanza breaks indicated?

When should lines of a poem be inset (indented)?

Checklist after reading all the above.

Poetry Unit Body Paragraph Checklist

Please use this checklist as you are drafting, and go over it again with your paper once you are done.

 The Outline                                                        

Review the essay for thesis and topic sentences. Make sure to include the following:

  • Are the thesis and topic sentences arguable? You are making claims about the authors’ perspectives.
    • Are they coherent? Do the topic sentences support the thesis?
    • Are the paragraph topics in an order that seems to make sense? They shouldn’t feel random or jump around; there should be a sense that

they logically flow.

 Use of Quotes                                                        

  • Are all quotes grammatically fit into the sentence, even if they are in block form?
    • Are line breaks shown correctly?
    • Is the context of the quote explained fairly briefly – what does it add or mean in its context ? Does it follow an event or progression of


  • Is the quote paraphrased, if necessary? Have you explained what it means?
Text Box: Analysis (not every paragraph will do all of the below)

  • Does the discussion and explanation of meaning stick to the paragraph topic?
    • Does it show thoughtfulness – consideration of probing questions?
    • Are any relevant literary elements discussed? Not every poem will require discussion of every literary element. Choose a few key elements that help the poem do what it is doing well. For instance, is there a key symbol(s), repetition of consonant or vowel sounds, purpose for line length (and variation in line length), shifts in rhythm, tone or language?
    • Where does the poem “turn”? This is important. A good poem should challenge the reader to look at something anew. Does it turn more than once?
  • It is important to discuss the tone and how it is achieved. If you did the reading aloud assignment for extra credit, this probably helped you

determine the tone of the poem you chose, and how that tone was important to the overall meaning.

  • Who is the speaker, the intended audience?

 Additional Considerations                                                 

What question do you have about your paragraph topic that you could consider discussing in the paragraph?


                                 Relationship with Elders

In “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden, the speaker recalls his father’s action and narrates how hardworking he was, particularly in caring for his kids. In Lisa parker’s “Snapping Beans, “the speaker narrates her visit home from school, where she is afraid to tell her grandmother the challenges she is going through in school. Through granddaughter-grandparent and a father-son relationship, both poems elaborate on the theme of family love.   Though the two poems outline the theme of family love, “Those Winter Sundays” shows a strengthening relationship between the speaker and elder, while “Snapping Beans” shows a weakening relationship between the speaker and elder.

At first, the speaker in “Snapping Beans” has an option to communicate her feelings to her grandmother, but she chooses not to, while in “Those Winter Sundays,” the speaker does not communicate his feelings to his father because he was unaware of them. In “Snapping Beans,” the theme of love exists in the relationship between the students and the grandmother. The student is in a conflict of deciding whether to tell her grandmother the truth about her school life.  As Parker writes, “I wanted to tell her/how my stomach burned acidic holes/at the thought of speaking in class” (lines 32-34), it means the student was not fine; she had many challenges in school, and it was difficult for her to adapt to the new life away from home where life seems to be simple. Spending most of the day “Snapping Beans” symbolizes the simple lifestyle at home contrary to the students’ life in the school compared to …………for help with this assignment contact us via Email Address: consulttutor10@gmail.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *