Poetry Summary

Select one of the essay questions noted below. Use your text as thoroughly as possible to support any generalizations.

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Pick either one or two and write an essay it doesn’t need to be long around 4 paragraphs.

1. Write a well-developed essay in which you contrast the two poems: “To His Coy Mistress” (594) and “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” (777). Discuss the differences in the argument presented to each mistress. Which of the two do you find more sincere, more convincing? What in the end does each speaker want from his lady love? How does time become a factor for a woman as she makes her decision? Consider the use of poetic elements that the speaker is using to persuade his mistress.

2. To help you see how language is important to the meaning of a poem, compare and contrast “Miniver Cheevy” (link to poem is on the blog site) and “Birches” (715) on a thematic level: The use of imagination to envision escape from the modern world. Discuss the meaning of the poems and the language (both literal and figurative), making note of the use of poetic terminology. Think about what each speaker wants from life. Is the speaker playful or serious? Which of two do you think is truly happy? Are we to see their thoughts as a yearning for childlike innocence and imagination or is there something more destructive?

Make sure there are direct quotes in the essay and are cited. The poems should be online.