Write an essay employing formal and objective language, direct evidence, and inductive reasoning in response to one of the following topics. Each topic requires you to choose one poem from the anthology, to identify one of its central topics, and to analyze the poem`s content (what is being expressed) and form (how it is being expressed) to develop and defend a claim about the poem`s meaning. Understanding a poem`s content often requires careful analysis; do not confuse summary and paraphrase with analysis. Don`t overlook form; it must be discussed clearly and directly in connection with the content to develop a complete and convincing analysis. Formalist readings are encouraged; historical and biographical readings will be considered off-topic, or indirect, or both.
Use MLA format and documentation; see pages 825-828 and 620-648 in The Little, Brown Handbook. Double-space and use conventional fonts and margins. Do not use a title page. Your name and student number, the course instructor`s name, the course and section number, the essay number and topic number, and the date the paper is submitted should all appear in the upper left hand corner of the first page. Your last name and the page number should appear in the upper right hand corner of every page except the first. Give your essay a meaningful title that both suggests the paper`s argument and clearly identifies the text being discussed, and conclude your essay with a works cited page.
The assignment requires you to think independently about the text and the topic. You are permitted to use and to reference the readings listed on the course syllabus (the OED; the LBH; the essays, brief biographies, and glossaries from EL), but strongly discouraged from consulting or referencing any other sources. Using other sources will result in a -20% deduction per source.
Citation and Documentation must be complete; cite every direct and indirect reference, including summary and paraphrase, and document every source that you cite. Citing sources without documentation will result in a -20% deduction. Documenting sources without citations will result in a -20% deduction. Failing to document or cite a source that is directly or indirectly referenced in any way, including summary or paraphrase, is plagiarism.
Only count the words in the essay itself when calculating the total number of words composed, and respect the upper and lower limits of the assignment. Papers that are either too long or too short will receive a -20% deduction.
1) Walt Whitman`s poetry is free from many of the formal conventions that many people associate with poetry, and he has been called the first truly American poet and the father of free verse. Analyze and discuss the relationship between form and content in any one of Whitman`s poems. Establish what the poem is about and then argue how the form and content combine to show or suggest something about that topic.
Whitman. A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Dim. Elements of Literature. 5th Canadian ed. Eds, Robert Scholes, Nancy R. Comley, Carl H. Klaus, and David Staines. Don Mills: Oxford UP 2015. 716-758. Print.
"Free verse, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, December 2016. Web. 5 Mach 2017. < http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/74375>
"Prosody, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, December 2016. Web. 5 Mach 2017.
WHAT I HAVE SO FAR:
The Price of war and the Sacrifice of Soldiers
Walt Whitman`s "A Sight in the Daybreak Gray and Dim" is a poem about soldier`s sacrifice to humanity. In Western society, we often associate war as something valiant and necessary. Though, this poem leads us to a different perspective entirely. War is about sacrifice. Whitman designed this poem using free-verse, ignoring traditional rules of prosody which dictated metre and rhyme. This allowed for variable rhythms, line lengths, and additional vocabulary (Prosody, n.).
The base level topic of the poem is about people lost in war, and the use of repetition (Who are you) leads the reader to see those people as individuals, not just soldiers. However, on a deeper level, this poem uses simile to relate the lost men to Christ. As Christ is a symbol of freedom from sin, these men fought for the freedom of mankind.
Simile is also shown between young and old. When we read, "elderly man, so gaunt and grim, with well-gray`d hair" (Whitman). We are contrasted when we read "sweet boy with cheeks yet blooming" (Whitman). This contrast indicates that both the young and old are affected by war.
The use of simile allows for the audience reflate the sacrifice of Christ to the men who died.
This use of repetition in the poem is used to draw the audiences attention to each individual as the most important part of the poem. "Who are you," is repeated (Whitman).
The theory and practice of versification; (in technical use) the branch of knowledge which deals with the forms of metrical composition, and formerly also with the pronunciation of words, esp. as this relates to versification; (more generally) the patterns of rhythm and sound used in poetry. As a count noun: a metrical form or scheme; †a treatise on metrical composition (obs.). (Free verse, n.)
Walt Whitman`s A Sight in the Daybreak and Dim, War, and the Price of Freedom
Subject and Section
Your Professor`s name
March 9, 2017
Walt Whitman`s "A Sight in the Daybreak Gray and Dim" is a poem about a soldier`s sacrifice to humanity. In Western society, we often associate war as something valiant and necessary. Though, this poem leads us to a different perspective entirely. War is about sacrifice. Whitman designed this poem using free-verse, ignoring traditional rules of prosody which dictated meter and rhyme. This allowed for variable rhythms, line lengths, and additional vocabulary (Prosody, n.). And, as the author pieced these techniques and elements together, he was able to create a distinction between the literal and explicit topic that he wants to convey, and the subjective and implicit theme, which would later be discussed in the succeeding chapters.