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I have to write a Poem Review (but I've never read any Engllish poems!)



learningtowriteThreads: 32
Posts: 85
Author: Hoa Nguyen
   
Apr 24, 2008, 07:31am   #1
Hi,

I have an assignment about poetry. I'm supposed to find a poem and do some analysis on it, but I have never read any English poems, so I'm pretty clueless now. Can you suggest me some poems that are easy to understand and analyze?

Thank you so much!



EF_Team5Threads: -
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Author: Gloria, EssayForum.com
   
Apr 24, 2008, 02:34pm   #2
Good afternoon!
Well, where to start. Poetry is very vast and can be a little overwhelming. First of all, did your teacher assign you a text to use alongside of your readings? If so, there may be some great suggestions in that book. You could also search the internet for English poets.
If not, think about what kind of poetry you like best. Do you like haiku, pantoum, sonnet, etc? If you have a favorite there, you can search for that type of poem for your subject.
Once you have chosen a poem, try and learn a little bit about its author. Where did they grow up? What time period? Was there any important world events occurring during their lifetime? If so, could those have influenced their writings?
Analysis is basically your interpretation of a work. There are different methods you can go about to do this, but it normally ends up with what you think of the work and why. Try and focus on what you think the poem means and how you arrived at that meaning. Once you get started, digging out symbolism, themes, and imagery can help the process along.
You will probably want to stick to shorter poems to begin with, but that doesn't always mean they will be easy; sometimes authors use minimalism to get the highest concentration of meaning in the fewest words possible.
Good luck!

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com


learningtowriteThreads: 32
Posts: 85
Author: Hoa Nguyen
   
Apr 26, 2008, 03:45am   #3
Hello,
Thanks so much for your suggestions. After researching on the Internet, I found a poem called "There is another sky" by Emily Dickinson. It's short and easy to understand so I chose it to write a short analysis. Can you look through what I have and give me some advice?



There is another sky
by Emily Dickinson

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!


This poem is meaningful yet simplistic and easy to understand. Literally, Emily Dickinson wrote about a peaceful garden, where there were always warm sunshine, beautiful flowers and evergreen trees; a garden full of bliss. She offered Austin, her elder brother to come into her garden to enjoy the happiness together in the end of the poem.

However, in my opinion, Emily Dickinson did not merely write about a beautiful garden in this poem. The peaceful garden here represents a beautiful life that all people are yearning for, totally different from their life with sadness and hopelessness. The poem hence portrays Emily's faith and optimism in the beauty of life.

Writing for her brother, Austin, an attorney, Emily might want to show him that although there is always misery and unhappiness in the world, there is beauty as well. Through her words, Emily wanted to turn her brother away from the hectic life he was leading, to escape into a surreal forest of purity. She offered him insight by sharing her optimism, hoping that he would find hope and peace in the future, even in the rough times of his life.

The garden in this poem is the symbol of happiness. As Emily Dickinson was a religious and spiritual poet, she might be referring to the Garden of Eden, the garden of bliss. And in the Garden of Eden, unlike in our world, everything is supposed to be perfect. She, as a believer, knew that very well.

Thank you.


EF_Team5Threads: -
Posts: 2,649
Author: Gloria, EssayForum.com
   
Apr 26, 2008, 01:06pm   #4
Good afternoon!

Good choice in a poem. Dickinson is a very deep poet who had many layers of meaning. I like how you addressed both the literal layer of this work along with the symbolic meaning you interpreted. You bring up a good observation as far as Emily being religious; do you think she was trying to convert her brother, perhaps enlightening him to her version of eternal life through religion? Also, another way to approach poetry analysis is to break down the work line by line and interpret the lines individually and how they relate to the other lines.
Just a few thoughts. :)

You're doing great, keep it up!

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com


learningtowriteThreads: 32
Posts: 85
Author: Hoa Nguyen
   
Apr 26, 2008, 07:59pm   #5
Hi Gloria,

Thanks so much for your advice. Actually I had thought of analyzing the poem sentence by sentence, but I am not sure how to phrase it properly. I rewrote the first two paragraphs. Can you help me look through?


This poem is meaningful yet simplistic and easy to understand. Literally, Emily Dickinson wrote about a peaceful garden. Her garden is different from every garden in the world; there is no darkness, but an "ever serene and fair" sky; there is no "faded forests" or "silent fields" but "ever green" trees; there has been "no frost" but "unfading flowers" and bright bee humming. She offered Austin, her elder brother to come into her garden to enjoy the happiness together in the end of the poem.

However, in my opinion, Emily Dickinson did not merely write about a beautiful garden in this poem. The serene sky, warm sunshine, verdant trees and bright bee symbolise the purity and goodness of life; while the darkness, faded forests, silent fields and frost are the metaphors for the misery and hopelessness in life. The peaceful garden here represents a beautiful life that all people are yearning for, totally different from their life with sadness and desperation. The repetitions of "ever" and "never mind" through out the poem show Emily's unwavering faith in the peaceful garden that seems to be only her imagination. The poem hence portrays Emily's optimism in the beauty of life.

Thanks!


EF_Team5Threads: -
Posts: 2,649
Author: Gloria, EssayForum.com
   
Apr 26, 2008, 09:22pm   #6
Good evening. It looks like you have a really good start. Your analysis is personal and you give alternate impressions, delving into other areas of interpretation.
Generally, if you would like to analyze the poem line by line, you could phrase it like so:

There is another sky,
Describe other interpretations of sky (worlds, lives, etc.)
Ever serene and fair,
Recap in your own words the peacefulness of this other plane
And there is another sunshine,
Describe other alternative metaphors for sunshine

And continue on line by line. Your above paragraphs are much more clear and concise. Continue to focus your writing on exact interpretations and you will be successful.

Let me know if I can help further!

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com


learningtowriteThreads: 32
Posts: 85
Author: Hoa Nguyen
   
Apr 27, 2008, 12:02am   #7
Thanks so much for your help Gloria!
I think that I'll try to rewrite that part again.

I want to ask you if analyzing sentence by sentence is some sort of model form in analyzing poem. Or does it depend on the type of poems we are analyzing?

Thanks!


EF_Team5Threads: -
Posts: 2,649
Author: Gloria, EssayForum.com
   
Apr 27, 2008, 10:37am   #8
Good morning!
You're welcome, I'm glad I can be of help!
As far as an analytical model, I'm not sure if that's what I would call it, but it is a good description :). In every poetry class I've been in and taught, it is more of an accepted way to encourage understanding and make analysis easier to digest. It works better with longer, more complex or more intricate poems because it makes the student stop and really contemplate the relationship of the line by itself and in its context.
Let me know if I can be of any further assistance!

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com


learningtowriteThreads: 32
Posts: 85
Author: Hoa Nguyen
   
Apr 28, 2008, 06:14am   #9
Thanks so much for your help.
I'm sure I'll be needing your help in the future, considering my bad English and all =]
This site rocks!


EF_Team5Threads: -
Posts: 2,649
Author: Gloria, EssayForum.com
   
Apr 28, 2008, 08:46am   #10
I'm glad I could be of help!

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com




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