EN 641 First Paper Assignment

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EN 641 First Paper Assignment
Spring 2014
Fay
Due March 4 in class or by email if absent
Close Reading
Write a 3-5-page paper (double spaced) that analyzes and interprets one of the following
poems. Your analysis should engage as many as necessary of the points of lyric form and
prosody (genre, theme, tropes [metaphor, simile, metonymy, synecdoche], meter, rhyme
[rhyme scheme, alliteration and assonance/consonance], allusion, word choice [rhetorical
schemes—repetition, anaphora, chiasmus, etc]. Take a stab at the technical aspects of
meter and sound if you’re not comfortable analyzing them, and at the very least discuss
the meaning-making and emotional appeals of rhythm and sound.
Do not use secondary sources for this analysis (that is, scholarly interpretations or
editorial annotations) except for Norton footnotes, and those literary reference guides that
explain form and meter such as a glossary of literary terms. Use the Cuddon Dictionary
of Literary Terms (Penguin), but there are other good ones out there. The ultimate is the
Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics for those of you who are literature maniacs
(this however, doesn’t cover terms relating to fiction).
Note: whether the poem uses indentations or is left justified is the poet’s choice—
indentations are used to help the reader scan the poem but don’t have interpretive
significance, unless they identify a poetic form such as the ballad, etc.
Choose from the following poems by William Wordsworth:
“Lines Written in Early Spring”
“Nutting”
“Lines Written Near Richmond, Upon the Thames, At Evening”
“The World is Too Much With Us”
“The Solitary Reaper”
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