|Participation/Attendance: 10%||Mid-Term Exam: 15%|
|First Essay (4-5 pages): 15%||Final Exam: 25%|
|Second Essay (5-6 pages): 25%||Sonnet: 10%|
First Essay Assignment (15%)
DUE DATE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8
Choose a poem from the syllabus that we have not analyzed in class and write a detailed analysis. The essay should be 4-5 pages long (12-point, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins). You might consider discussing such things as the reasons the poet chose the verse form he did (sonnet, ode, ballad, etc.); the relation between the form of the poem and its content; the effect of such stylistic devices as alliteration, assonance, rhyme (regular, internal, slant, etc.), meter variation, caesuras, enjambement, etc.; and the relation of the poem to its literary and socio-historical context (if you chose a poem by Keats, for example, to what extent is it exemplary of or divergent from Romantic ideologies?). Remember that one thing which distinguishes a strong paper is a well-defined, over-arching thesis. In other words, avoid merely listing lines of the poem without any interconnecting argumentative thread. A strong paper makes specific, complex arguments backed by in-depth and extensive interpretations of the poetry.
Second Essay Assignment (25%)
DUE DATE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22
Choose one or two poem(s) that we have not discussed from the syllabus and write a detailed essay about the poetry. The essay should be 5-6 pages long (12-point, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins). If you would like to discuss the poem(s) or your thesis with me during office hours, feel free to drop by or to make an appointment. You might consider discussing such things as the reasons the poet(s) chose the verse form(s) s/he or they did; the relation between the form of the poem and its content; the effect of such stylistic devices as alliteration, assonance, rhyme, meter variation, caesuras, enjambement, line breaks, etc.; and the relation of the poem to its literary and socio-historical context. Once again, I will be expecting this paper to be structured around some organizing thesis or main argument that you then pursue throughout your analysis of the poem(s).
Sonnet Exercise (10%)
DUE DATE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3
Write a sonnet! You may choose any tradition you wish (Petrarchan, Shakespearean, Spenserian, or a variation). Include an additional page, in which you provide a detailed analysis of your own poem, discussing in particular the reasons for any variations from traditional form or meter. Note that the writing of a sonnet is extremely difficult, so you should get going on this assignment as early as possible. As always, I am happy to help you with the process.
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