Write an essay focused on diction in which you examine closely the interconnections among words, sounds, and etymologies in order to arrive at a cogent interpretation of the poem.
Poets make systematic choices about what words to retain in a poem, and so it is sensible to guess that words connect with other words to form patterns of meaning above and beyond the literal meaning of lines or stanzas.
Investigate and include definitions of important words in a poem by looking them up in the Oxford English Dictionary (online or in the library) or in a good dictionary and an etymological dictionary (again, online or in the library). You should notice, as you contemplate the various, lengthy definitions for the words you investigate, a &quot;reaching over&quot; from one word to another.
Your essay should make visible the connections among words in the poem rendered invisible to us by our daily use of English. To what effects are specific words being used singly and collectively in the poem? What effect does the definition of one word have on our understanding of another word in the same line, stanza, or within the same poem? What is the function of the word in poetry (as opposed to the line, or meter, rhythm, etc.)? What assumptions does the poet make about our use and understanding of language when we read poetry? What constitutes poetic language as something distinct from everyday language? Consider all or none of these questions; write an essay that encourages a deeper look at the word.
• Length: 5-page limit (1500 word limit)
• Include a clear thesis statement-your interpretive claim about the subject.
• Include quotations definitions according to MLA format (see page 525). Required to earn a passing score.
• Include a Works Cited list . Required to earn a passing score.
NOT DOUBLE SPACE IN ANY PART ON THE ESSAY PAPER
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