ENG 220: Final Paper Assignment / Options
ENG 220: Paper #3
The assignment for paper #3 in this class is the same as the assignment for paper #2: that is, to write a “close reading” of the poem you choose, working through it sequentially, section by section, with attention to how the poem’s changes in mood and idea are reflected in, or acted out by, its changes in language and style.
Once again, please include at least one reference to metrical variation, rhythmic emphasis, or sound artistry in your paper, integrating this into your argument as an illustration of how the poem’s language “acts out” something that the speaker is saying or how the poet holds the poem together through sound, even if it’s in free verse.
If you prefer to write your paper in a different way this time, feel free to organize it using the two key terms that have been current in class over the past few weeks. First, demonstrate the poem’s “freshness of imagination”: that is, how it turns away from clichés of thought and emotion and offers a new approach to, or new way of thinking / feeling about, whatever the poem is about. (This might include decisions about what point of view to adopt, what order or pacing to follow, and other structural features in the poem, as well as whatever “risk of incoherence” might be involved.) Then demonstrate the poet’s “mastery of language,” which includes all of the stylistic, formal, and other compositional decisions that you haven’t discussed in the first part of the paper.
Feel free, in either case, to start the paper by situating your poem in the literary historical contexts that we've been discussing at the end of the quarter: Romanticism and Modernism. Gestures like this, which show your mastery of class material, are always welcome!
The Poems You May Choose for Paper #2:
Whitman, “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” (1071)
Dickinson, “Publication – is the Auction” (1123)
Yeats, “No Second Troy” (1191), “Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop” (1204)
Pound, “Portrait d’une Femme” (1295), “The Garden” (1296)
Moore, “Nevertheless” (1334)
Stevens, “The Poems of Our Climate” (1266), “The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm” (1267), “Table Talk” (1267)
Williams, “Danse Russe” (1272), “Portrait of a Lady” (1273)
Jeffers, “Shine, Perishing Republic” (1320)
cummings, “may i feel said he” (1395), “anyone lived in a pretty how town” (1396)
Kavanagh, “Epic” (1453), “Canal Bank Walk”(1453),
Bishop, “The Fish” (1516), “Filling Station” (1517),“One Art” (1527)
Hayden, “Those Winter Sundays” (1533)