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In a two to three-page essay with a thesis statement, argue for an interpretation of the poem you choose. You can argue for a particular point about a difficult passage, or try to determine the overall tone of the poem. The divisio should alert the reader to the steps you will take to prove your point; the divisio is the preview of your topic sentences in the body or disposition of your argument.
The body of the paper can be developed in several ways. You can divide the essay into paragraphs explaining the images or steps in the argument of the poem.
A better way to proceed is to divide the essay into paragraphs that treat separate poetic techniques. For instance, one paragraph could cover the metaphors of the poem, one the sound effects, and one the meter.
The essay could also focus on just one technique – for instance, simile or sound effect – and examine the various ways the poet uses that technique. The body paragraphs would then treat separate examples of its use in the poem. Again, all the paragraphs must be unified behind the purpose of proving your thesis. Please do NOT just “walk your reader through the poem.” You will not be giving a line-by-line interpretation and you don’t need to cover every element in the poem.
Remember to use slash marks to show line divisions if citing two or three lines, and a block quotation if citing more than three. Put poem titles in quotation marks, not italics. Do not call your poet by his or her first name.