Poetry Response Tips

Poetry Analysis Essay Quarter 3

For Quarter 3, we will be delving into a bit more oblique and challenging poetry. While you still have the option to choose the poems on which you will write an AP Poetry-style analytic paper, you must follow the particular guidelines given for each of the following PAEs. In addition, you may NOT write on a poem which we have already covered in class or one you have analyzed in a previous PRJ. Again, please do not write on the same poem twice.

PAE 3.1: An AP Poetry analysis essay of TWO poems comparing and contrasting the literary techniques used to create overall meanings in any of the poems listed below. (i.e. Compare and contrast how the two poems treat their subjects and the literary techniques used to communicate overall meanings of the works.)

PAE 3.2: An AP Poetry analysis of ONE poem that includes analysis of how the poem’s FORM, RHYTHM/SOUND DEVICES, or TONE (pick two – you can add in another P2 if you want) contribute to the overall meaning of any one of the poems listed below. (hint: at least two of your P2s should be qualified terms of form, rhythm/sound devices, or tone)

POEMS – Choose from these poems found in your purple Bedford textbook.

Hardy, “Convergence of the Twain” (p. 631)

Ormsby, “Nose” (637)

Owen, “Dulce et Decorum Est” (654)

Keats, “To Autumn” (660)

Plath, “Mirror” (676)

Donne, “Song” (721)

Tennyson, “Charge of the Light Brigade” (744)

Millay, “I will put Chaos into fourteen lines” (756)

Heaney, “Midterm Break” (766)

Marzan, “The Translator at the Reception for Latin American Writers” (784)

Donne, “Death Be Not Proud” (793)

Frost, “Out, Out –“ (861)

Keats, “La Belle Dame sans Merci” (976)

Dickinson, “Because I could not stop for Death – “ (824)

Some helpful reminders…

®  Poems don’t “talk about” anything. The speaker/poet/stanza/line/word may imply, suggest, connote, argue, assert, depict, declare, express, speculate, illustrate, contend, emphasize, etc. You get the picture. Refer to the back of this page

®  “Flow” is a pretty empty word, especially if “the rhyme scheme helps the poem flow” while the lack of rhyme in another poem “really makes it flow.” Avoid vague, unsupported statements or overused/generalized labels like “interesting.”

®  You should absolutely be quoting the poem. Interpret, analyze, connect, and explicate meaning.

®  Be careful with rhyme and meter; they’re easy to spot but often hard to analyze. If you can’t answer “so what?” then leave them out altogether.

®  Put some thought into the organization of your response. Will you move stanza-by-stanza? If so, be careful not to fall into the summary-only trap. Watch for meaningful shifts and contrasts along the way. Will you instead discuss the literal and then the metaphorical? The form and then the content? No one choice is necessarily better than another, as long as you don’t fall into the 5 paragraph essay trap!

®  PROOFREAD! I will count off for grammar, spelling, and mechanics third quarter, but start cleaning things up NOW.

®  Quote directly from the poem, using line references:

Amy Lowell’s emphasis on the speaker’s stiff apparel, down to the minute detail of “each button, hook, and lace,” echoes the poem’s underlying function as a reaction against the oppressiveness of life’s many patterns (109).

AP Scoring Guide Grade Conversion

First / Semester / Second / Semester
Rubric / Points / Rubric / Points
9 / 50 / 9 / 50
8/8.5 / 48 / 8/8.5 / 47
7/7.5 / 46 / 7/7.5 / 44
6/6.5 / 43 / 6/6.5 / 41
5/5.5 / 39 / 5/5.5 / 37
4/4.5 / 35 / 4/4.5 / 33
3/3.5 / 32 / 3/3.5 / 29
2/2.5 / 25 / 2/2.5 / 10
1/1.5 / 25 / 1/1.5 / 10
0 / 0 / 0 / 0


Extra: (Not assigned 2014-15)

PAE 4: An AP Poetry analysis essay comparing and contrasting how the overall meanings of the poems are created in any two of the poems in your Poetry Packet. You must include a discussion on how poetic techniques of the poems affect their overall meanings. For this prompt, you must include an analysis of the poems’ forms. (hint: one of your P2s should be qualified in terms of form)