Why read poetry? The poet Amy Lowell said that question was like asking,“Why should one eat? In other words,
for some people, poetry is both nourishing and essential it can make us cry, soothe us when we are upset,
stir us up when we are complacent, and say things in a way that nothing else can. But how does poetry do all
these things? Thats what this Project is about. In this Project, you will write a paper analyzing and
Read three poems about fathers: “My Papa‚s Waltz‚ by Theodore Roethke;“Those Winter Sundays,by Robert
Hayden; and “My Fathers Hats‚ by Mark Irwin. You will then write a paper that examines how these poems use
mood, imagery and simile or metaphor.
Examine the Terms List to make sure you understand the concepts of mood, imagery, simile and metaphor. Also,
read through the resources“Using Evidence From Texts‚¬“Writing About Poetry and‚¬“Citing Poetry, which will
be helpful when writing your paper.
Next, read each poem aloud several times. For the Roethke poem, you can listen to an audio file of the poet
reading his poem. Circle any words that are unfamiliar to you or that strike you as particularly
interesting. Look up any unfamiliar words.
In preparation for writing your paper, take time to analyze and interpret each poem, considering the
What is the poem about?
What is the mood of the poem? Does the mood of the poem change from the beginning to the end?
What impact do mood, imagery and simile/metaphor have on you and the poem?
Does this poem appeal to you? Why or why not?
Once you have carefully considered your answers to each of the above questions, use what you have learned
from analyzing and interpreting these poems to write a 600- to 750-word paper. In your paper, provide at
least one example of each of the following literary techniques: mood, imagery and simile/metaphor. You may
use examples from any of the poems. Then, discuss how these literary techniques impact the meanings of the
poems. What effect do these techniques have on the reader? Why do you think the author chose to use the
wording he did?
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