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English 10 
Writing about Poetry

April 24, 2002

Last week, we read the poem, "Bearhug," by Michael Ondaatje. Through his poem, we learned about various sound devices, about metaphor, and about structure.

Today, we will work on a first draft of a short essay (500-600 words) using "Bearhug" as an example of the various elements of poetry. 

The goal of the essay is to show you have understood the poem and Ondaatje's use of poetic elements. Any reader of your essay will learn the new terms and understand them through your examples.

Essay Boilerplate

Introduction of 30 words: General statement about your own experience with poetry. Thesis that states you will explain some new terms you have learned in last week's class.

Body Paragraph One: Topic sentence stating the sound devices you have learned. Give two examples of two different sound devices, explained to the reader. A concluding sentence ends the paragraph.

For example, "Ondaatje uses alliteration on "dark" and "death" in the second stanza. Alliteration is the repetition of the "d" sounds at the beginning of the two words."

Body Paragraph Two: Topic sentence stating that you have learned about metaphor. Give one example of metaphor, fully explained. Be sure to explain why the metaphor is suitable and powerful. End with a concluding sentence.

Body Paragraph Three: Topic sentence stating that you have learned about structure. Explain the terms "stanza" and "line." Give one example, also, of a grammatical parallel (do not use the repeated gerunds as your example). End with a concluding sentence.

Conclusion: Restate your thesis about learning more about poetic terms. Write a one sentence summary of terms covered. End with a sentence stating why it is important to know the terms. (30-35 words total)


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