Need Help With Essay

User Generated




Writing a Poem Analysis Essay

Look for…

  1. ideas that connect
  2. significant patterns
  3. relationships between the parts of a work

Essential Analysis Questions

  • What purpose does this poetic/literary device serve?
  • How does the poet communicate his or her purpose through this device?
  • Why do readers have this response to the poetic device?

Essay Topic

Choose any one of the poems we have discussed in class (i.e., assigned during this poetry unit). Then, write on this topic:

How does the poem's stylistic choices (rhyme scheme, figurative language, literary devices) contribute to the overall structure, meaning, and impact of the poem?

Write an essay that describes how the poet's style and use of poetic literary devices affect the presentation and meaning of the poem and addresses the question. Support your discussion with evidence from the text (direct quotes plus citations noting the line numbers or citations noting the page number; either method will receive full credit).

Essay Tips

Before you write:

  • Choose one poem to write about.
  • Make sure you have all of the notes you need.
  • Re-read the poem and write down additional comments.
  • Choose two literary devices you are going to discuss in your essay.

As you write:

  1. Your essay must have a central idea (stated in your thesis) that governs its development.
  2. Your essay must be organized so that every part contributes something to the reader’s understanding of the central idea.
  3. Assume that your reader is NOT familiar with the poet or poem.
  4. Tell your reader what the poem is about (not what happens, but what the happenings add up to).
  5. Write in third person!

Essay Outline

  1. Introduction (Background Info and Thesis)
  2. Body Paragraph One (First Poetic Device)
  3. Body Paragraph Two (Second Poetic Device)
  4. Conclusion (Reworded Thesis & Review of Main Points)
  5. Works Cited page (see the example in the Short Story Unit as to how to cite our textbook, and see the online writing (Links to an external site.)Links to an external page (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for help)


  • Brief Summary – Write three to four sentences that provide background information about your poem (What is the poem about? When was it written?). Include the title and author of the poem. Do not include any quotes or specific evidence from the poem yet.

Thesis Statement

  • Two-part statement that presents the topic of your essay
  • The thesis statement tells your reader what to expect. It is a restricted, precisely worded, declarative sentence that states the purpose of your essay (the point you are trying to make).
  • The thesis statement is usually located at the end of the introduction paragraph.

Basic Thesis Format

(Insert poet's last name) uses _______and _______, (insert two different poetic devices) in (insert name of “poem”) to (illustrate, convey, reveal, or another verb) (insert the main idea or purpose of the poem).

Example Thesis Statement

William Cullen Bryant uses personification, colorful imagery, and metaphors in “Thanatopsis” to discuss how nature mitigates one’s fears about death.

Note: Use the poet's full name in the introduction, and then use only the poet's last name for the rest of the essay.

Body Paragraphs

  • Use a topic sentence to begin your paragraph.
  • Chose ONE poetic device and discuss one or more example(s) from the poem.
  • Explain how the device signifies/expresses meaning.

Body Paragraph 1

  • Topic Sentence
  • First Example
  • Supporting Quote + Citation (line numbers)
  • Commentary/Connection

Body Paragraph 2

  • Topic Sentence
  • Second Example
  • Supporting Quote + Citation (line numbers)
  • Commentary/Connection


  • Reword the thesis statement as the first line, then summarize the body paragraphs' main points. You may wish to end with a final note or general thought, but do not include new evidence or analysis of the poem.

MLA format: Use 8th ed. MLA formatting for the work cited page and the in-text citations. For poetry, rather than including the page number in the parenthetical citation, include the line numbers, such as:

"Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle's compass come;" (9-10).

Also, use a slash mark (/) within your sentences to denote line breaks:

Shakespeare's personified Love transcends the ravages of Time, which eventually harvests all lovers' "rosy lips and cheeks / Within his bending sickle's compass" (9-10).

1 day ago

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Theodore Roethke -- "My Papa's Waltz" As you read the poem, consider the three words of the title and other word choice/word choice examples. In the third stanza, for example, the "right ear scraped a buckle" blamelessly -- the reader cannot be certain if the action was intentional or incidental. Consider how such word choices and word order affect your interpretation of the poem's action and meaning. The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother's countenance Could not unfrown itself. The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle. You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed Still clinging to your shirt. Copyright © 1942 by Hearst Magazines, Inc. From Collected Poems by Theodore Roethke. Biography: Theodore Roethkee 1908-1963, Saginaw , MI Texts by this Poet: On Poetry and Craft [excerpt] browse all texts On May 25, 1908, Theodore Roethke was born in Saginaw, Michigan. As a child, he spent much time in the greenhouse owned by his father and uncle. His impressions of the natural world contained there would later profoundly influence the subjects and imagery of his verse. Roethke graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1929. He later took a few graduate classes at Michigan and Harvard, but was unhappy in school. His first book, Open House (1941), took ten years to write and was critically acclaimed upon its publication. He went on to publish sparingly but his reputation grew with each new collection, including The Waking which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1954. He admired the writing of such poets as Emerson 2, Thoreau e, Whitmane, Blake 2, and Wordsworth e, as well as Yeats 2 and Dylan Thomas e. Stylistically his work ranged from witty poems in strict meter and regular stanzas to free verse poems full of mystical and surrealistic imagery. At all times, however, the natural world in all its mystery, beauty, fierceness, and sensuality, is close by, and the poems are possessed of an intense lyricism. Roethke had close literary friendships with fellow poets W. H. Auden e, Louise Bogan , Stanley Kunitz e, and William Carlos Williams e. He taught at various colleges and universities, including Lafayette, Pennsylvania State, and Bennington, and worked last at the University of Washington, where he was mentor to a generation of Northwest poets that included David Wagoner e, Carolyn Kizer e, and Richard Hugo . Theodore Roethke died on August 1, 1963.
Purchase answer to see full attachment
User generated content is uploaded by users for the purposes of learning and should be used following Studypool's honor code & terms of service.

Explanation & Answer

Find the answer attached below. Let me know if is done well



Theodore Roethke: “My Papa Waltz”
The literal world is such an apparel encounter that writers and poets take us every day.
Theodore Roethke was such a poet, who dominated the period of 1930s-1950s. Theodore was a
high-intellectual poet of his time. Being a creative poet Theodore uses stylistic devices and
themes that reflected his family experience (Seager). The better way to illustrate this is through
the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” which he uses imagery to indirectly depict his father drinking
behavior to an elegant waltz; a ballroom dance. Seemingly, Theodore Roethke life events and
experiences influenced the topical themes on the poems he wrote. Roethke’s poem “My Papa’s
Waltz” has been developed through literal devices such as imagery, rhyme and rhythm to denote
the expressive conflict of the audience ...

Really great stuff, couldn't ask for more.


Similar Content

Related Tags