In the first several weeks of class, we will discuss literary conventions and how writers use those conventions in poetry and short essays. To demonstrate your understanding of how writers use these conventions, you will develop and support a specific thesis about one of the poems or short essays I hand out in class. Your essay should have an introduction that ends with the thesis statement; a body that supports your claim and analyzes how the writer has used literary elements to create a particular meaning or effect; and a conclusion. You should concentrate your analysis on the literary elements that create/support the meaning/effect of the text. For example, one of the poems we’re reading for class is Alan Dugan’s “Love Song: I and Thou.” In approaching this poem, one might analyze the ways the images of carpentry and the religious metaphors work together to create a poem about love and need. No matter which text you choose, you should use the analysis of quotations from it to support your claims. Length: 4-5 pages.
Choose one of the following pieces for your analysis:
April Lindner's poem "Our Lady of Perpetual Help"
Ross Gay's creative nonfiction essay "The Joy of Caring for Others"
Aimee Nezhukumatathil's creative nonfiction essay "Touch-Me-Nots"
NOTE: For this assignment, when doing in-text citations, use line numbers when quoting from a poem (Lindner's poem) and paragraph numbers when quoting from an essay (Gay or Nezhukumatathil). Unless you are quoting an outside source (which you shouldn't need to do), you do not need to include a Works Cited page for this assignment.
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