Imagery and the Language of Poetry


Choose a poem from the assigned readings listed below, and identify some of the key imagery or other kinds of poetic language used in the poem, which you believe are vital to understanding it. Here are some possible approaches:

Provide a detailed discussion of how the images function in the poem.
Do the images work together to form a coherent pattern?
What ideas or feelings are conveyed by the images or figurative language?
How do the images contribute to the overall meaning of the poem?

 Our course eBook (Portable Literature) should be your only source. Do not use outside sources.
Title your discussion response with the poems title. This will help other students see which poems have been discussed. Once a poem has been discussed twice, please do not choose it for analysis.

Read the following poems and choose one to discuss:

Alvarez, Dusting
Bradstreet, To My Dear and Loving Husband
Browning, How Do I Love Thee
Burns, Oh, My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose
Cummings, Buffalo Bill
Cummings, Next to of Course God America I
Cummings, Since Feeling is First
Dunbar, We Wear the Mask
Epada, “My Father as a Guitar”
Hayden, Those Winter Sundays
Heaney, Digging
Heaney, Mid-Term Break
Herrick, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Hopkins, Spring and Fall
Jarrell, The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
Komunyakaa, Facing It
MacLeish, Ars Poetica
Marlowe, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
McKay, The White City
Pastan, Ethics
Plath, Daddy
Pound, The River-Merchants Wife: A Letter
Randall, Ballad of Birmingham
Rich, Living in Sin
Robinson, Miniver Cheevy
Roethke, My Papas Waltz
Shakespeare, Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds
Shakespeare, My Mistress Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun
Shakespeare, Shall I Compare Thee to a Summers Day?
Smith, “Not Waving but Drowning”
Stevens, “Anecdote of the Jar”
Stevens, “The Snow Man”
Yeats, “The Second Coming”
Yeats, “When You Are Old”

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