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Analysis of Poetry Essay

This Unit Activity will help you meet these educational goals: 21st Century Skills—You will use critical-thinking and problem-solving skills and communicate effectively.

Introduction
In this activity, you will read and analyze three poems by different poets and examine the similarities and differences among them. __________________________________________________________________________

Directions and Analysis
Task 1: Read and Analyze Poetry
Read these poems, which revolve around the ideas of darkness and the night: “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas
“Acquainted with the Night” by Robert Frost
“We Grow Accustomed to the Dark” by Emily Dickinson

Read the poems a few times, noting each one’s theme, mood, form, structure, rhyme scheme, and use of imagery and figurative language. Use the provided table to record your analysis.

Type your response here:

“Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”
“Acquainted with the Night”
“We Grow Accustomed to the Dark”
theme
Mortality
Isolation
To “find the light”
imagery
Sunrise and sunset
Loneliness

figurative language
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay
Personification and rhyming
Darkness and light
mood
Somber desperation
Discomfort
Sadness
form
Villanelle
Iambic pentameter
Lyric poem
meter, structure, and rhyme scheme
five three-line stanzas and a sixth stanza with four lines
Terza rima, ABABCBCDCDADAA, Italian form
Rhythm is similar throughout, but changes from eight and six syllable lines to seven and six syllables to seven and six syllables.

Task 2: Make Comparisons

Write a 250-500-word essay describing the similarities and differences you found in the poems. Address the following points in your essay: Examine how the subject of darkness is used in each of the three poems. How has each poet woven the central idea of the poem around the subject? Compare and contrast the figurative devices used in each poem. How do they affect the mood and relate to the theme of the poem? Point out the differences in style and tone, including the choice of words. Which poem do you think has the greatest overall impact on readers? Which one communicates its message most directly and effectively? Which poem appeals most to you? Give reasons to explain your answers.

As with any essay, this essay should be structured into paragraphs, with a clear introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Arrange your ideas logically and group them into paragraphs, using suitable words to mark transitions between ideas. Remember to provide textual evidence from the poems for your
opinions.

Type your response here:

The similar ideas of dark and night appear in works by Emily Dickinson, Dylan Thomas, and Robert Frost, but the meaning of the two concepts in context of the literary works differ greatly. In Emily Dickinson’s “We Grow Accustomed to the Dark”, Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night”, and Robert Frost’s “Acquainted with the Night” the theme of night and darkness is compared and contrasted through the literary elements of point of view, imagery, and structure. The concept of darkness and night is portrayed through the use of point of view. In each of these poems, the poet writes in the first tense, giving the reader a sense that the narrator has personally experienced the presence of the symbolic “darkness” and “night”.

However, while “We Grow Accustomed to the Dark” is written in a plural point of view, “Acquainted with the Night” is written in a singular view, and “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” is from the speaker point of view. This gives a differing meaning to dark and night between these poems, because although Dickinson’s plural poem encompasses humanity as a whole, showing the dark to be a natural point in life, Frost’s poem depicts the night his character is experiencing as a lonely, solitary happening, and Thomas’ poem shows loneliness and wanting for companionship. The differences in these poems help to show night as a more unnatural and depressing experience than the dark that happens to everyone.

__________________________________________________________________________ Evaluation
Your teacher will use these rubrics to evaluate the completeness of your work as well as the clarity of thinking you exhibit.

Task 1: Read and Analyze Poetry

Criteria

Distinguished

(4 points)

Provides a complete and accurate analysis of each poem

Exhaustively lists instances of figurative language and use of imagery

Provides a concise but compelling description of the mood and theme of each poem

Proficient
(3 points)

Provides a complete and largely correct analysis of each poem

Lists most instances of figurative language and use of imagery

Provides an effective description of the mood and theme of each poem

Developing

(2 points)

Provides a complete analysis of the poems with some inaccuracies

Lists some instances of figurative language and use of imagery

Provides a passable description of the mood and theme of each poem

Beginning

(1 point)

Provides an incomplete analysis of the poems with some inaccuracies

Lists only a few instances of figurative language and use of imagery Attempts to describe the mood and theme of the poems

Task 2: Make Comparisons

Criteria
Distinguished
(4 points)

Thoroughly addresses all the points mentioned

Effectively compares how the subject has been woven into the central idea in the three poems

Thoroughly evaluates and compares the effect of figurative language and imagery in the poems

Insightfully compares the style and impact of the poems

Provides strong textual evidence to support opinions

Structures the essay exceptionally well, has a compelling introduction and conclusion, and uses transitions to enhance the organization of ideas Consistently uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation throughout

Proficient

(3 points)

Adequately addresses most of the points mentioned

Effectively compares how the subject has been woven into the central idea in the three poems

Adequately evaluates and compares the effect of figurative language and imagery in the poems

Effectively compares the style and impact of the poems

Provides adequate textual evidence to support opinions

Structures the essay well, has a meaningful introduction and conclusion, and uses transitions effectively

Largely uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation

Developing

(2 points)

Adequately addresses some of the points mentioned

Compares how the subject has been woven into the central idea in the three poems

Evaluates and compares the effect of figurative language and imagery in the poems to some extent

Compares the style and impact of the poems

Provides some textual evidence to support opinions

Structures the essay into paragraphs, has an introduction and a conclusion, and uses transition words

Makes a few mistakes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation

Beginning
(1 point)

Marginally addresses some of the points mentioned and omits others

Attempts to compare how the subject has been woven into the central idea in the three poems

Inadequately describes the effect of figurative language and imagery in the poems

Attempts to compare the style and impact of the poems

Does not provide textual evidence to support opinions

Does not structure the essay well and does not use transitions effectively

Makes several mistakes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation


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