Please write a 2-3 page interpretive essay based on one of the following topics. Papers should be typed and double-spaced with 1 inch margins and size 12 font. Always support your answers with specific evidence from the poems. Use direct quotes where you feel they will support your argument.
For this essay, I have assigned topics according to subject. Using at least two poems, discuss what they have to say about one of the following subjects (race relations, parents and children, OR women’s relationships/women’s work). Use evidence from the poems including direct quotes, and compare and contrast the ways in which the poets express themselves on the issue. Be sure to include your interpretation of what each poem means (1-2 paragraphs for each) after an introduction that introduces the poems you have chosen and shows how they are connected (1 paragraph). Don’t forget to wrap up these connections you are making in a separate conclusion (1 paragraph). If you find other poems from our anthology that address these subjects, you are welcome to use them as well.
Subject #1: Race Relations
Langston Hughes, “Harlem” and “I, Too,” p. 689; Countee Cullen, “Yet Do I Marvel,” p. 670; Dudley Randall, “Ballad of Birmingham,” p. 640; Claude McKay, “The Harlem Dancer” and “The White House,” p. 698.
Subject #2: Parents and Children
Robert Hayden, “Those Winter Sundays,” p. 540; Seamus Heaney, “Digging,” p. 686; Theodore Roethke, “My Papa’s Waltz,” 552; Sylvia Plath, “Daddy,” 705; Linda Pastan, “To a Daughter Leaving Home” (503).
Subject #3: Women’s Relationships/Women’s Work
Sylvia Plath, “Daddy,” p. 705-707; Marge Piercy, “Barbie Doll,” 533; Dorothy Parker, “A Certain Lady,” p. 492; Rita Dove, “Daystar,” p. 502; Linda Pastan, “Marks,” p. 565.