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Response Paper: Poetry
For this assignment, you will be asked to write a short essay in response to one of the
below prompts. Remember that a response paper, while less formal than a traditional
research paper, “[…] should not just be a summary or description of the work” (46). You
should engage with the text and include your original interpretation of the material.
Please answer one of the following:
1. Choose any poem from a chapter or album in this book, and write an essay exploring how
the poem’s meaning and emotional impact are affected by the fact that its speaker either
is or is not clearly male or female.
2. Choose any poem in this anthology in which you think setting is especially key to the
poem’s effect and meaning. Do you think the meaningfulness of setting depends on the
associations of particular times and/or places? Write an essay explaining why and how so.
3. Write an essay in which you compare the speakers in any two poems in this chapter. What
kinds of self-image do they have? In each poem, what is the implied distance between the
speaker and the poet?
4. Multiple poems in this album explore the way we tend to idealize the place we have left.
Write an essay comparing to what extent at least two poems seem to see such idealization
as a problem? Why and how so?
This assignment should:
• Be 2-4 pages in length and meet minimum length requirements to receive full credit.
• Adhere to MLA guidelines. For additional information on MLA please see
• Properly cite quotations and examples, and you must include a Works Cited page.
• Be typed and submitted electronically on Blackboard, no exceptions!
*Note: Your work will be submitted through SafeAssign for plagiarism detection.