Compare and contrast of themes of two poems via one poetic lens

Poems 1:
Poems 2:

The topic for both poems is “unlearning traditional family values// unlearning traditional feminine values”
Frank O’Hara’s poetic lens
Frank O’Hara’s “Personism”
New York School 1960s
What to do- how does poet define poetry
• Be Blunt = straight to the point
• Keep poem modest = do not confuse reader
• Be honest
• Instinctual
• Urgency
• A poem should be between 2 people NOT 2 pages
• Content must be alive
• Poems should go on Nerves
• Poems should be written with knee-jerk reaction moment/ person
• Sexy pants metaphor
• Intimacy
• NY’s: I do this, I do that poet
What not to do- what does declare to leave out of poetry
• Do not use excessive imagery
• Do not overanalyze ideas
• Don’t force subject or poems upon readers
• Avoid technical apparatus = avoid using intentional poetic devices
• Don’t consider reader’s feeling during composition
• Logic

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Use #1, 2 & 7 as suggestions for organizational units / body paragraphs ideas to discuss your poet’s theme: identity devices/techniques – are they effective or not? – and apply level of (in)effectiveness to theme. You will consider all 3 suggestions to focus your poetic analysis:

1. How does the explicit (obvious) and implicit (indirect) meaning of the poem affect theme? How does rereading each poem, unpacking ambiguity, allow readers to create multiple interpretations of the poem?

2. Discussion “power dynamics,” as in, relationships between:
-speaker and audience and/or person directly addressed, or
-speaker and time/setting/culture/history/self, or
-“title, first line, and last line’s” isolated meaning vs. the entire poem
(similar effect or different? which one is more effective?).
7. How does punctuation (or lack thereof) style, syntax, grammar, tone, voice affect the theme/audience?

Reminders: Essay 2 = Compare & Contrast of themes via poetic lens

Use active voice, present tense, and 3rd person point of view.
When writing about poetry, refer to the narrator as the speaker; refer to paragraphs as stanzas.
To respect poet’s creative licenses, unless it is a clearly identified confessional poem, never assume the poet is the poem’s speaker.
1) Poem #1 = Poet’s Full Name + “poem title”

2) Locate Poem #’1 topic/subject -vs- theme/thesis = what is the speaker’s central concern? what is the poem arguing about the topic? (copy and paste directly from the poem: do not use your own words).

3) Identify 2 poetic devices that poet #1 use to accomplish theme, contribute to thesis, and/or affect the audience.

4) Poem #2 = Poet’s Full Name + “poem title”

5) Locate Poem #2 topic/subject -vs- theme/thesis = what is the speaker’s central concern? what is the poem arguing about the topic? (copy and paste directly from the poem: do not use your own words).

6) Identify 2 different poetic devices that poet #2 use to accomplish theme, contribute to thesis, and/or affect the audience.

7) Select 2-3 out of the prompt’s (C)7 categories to analyze both poems. In your essay, you will analyze both poems per paragraph per category. For example, if you select categories 3, 4, and 7: you must use those categories only to analyze both poems.

8) What poetic lens will you choose? Pick 1 out of 5 from poetic lens chart. In one sentence, defend your selection.

Poetic Lenses (chart-completed-by-jax).docxPreview the document

9) Putting everything together = Attempt to write a loose thesis (working thesis) to answer Essay 2’s prompt: in two-three sentences, defend your selection: how are these two poems in (metaphorical) conversation with each other? What will you compare? What will you contrast? What are the effects -or- consequences of the similarities or differences? What poetic lens will you use as a tool to unpack both poems? Avoid composing a thesis that reads like an obvious statement of fact or summary of both poems. Your thesis must assert an interesting, debatable, argument about both poems.

FOR EXAMPLE: Essay 2 Thesis Format Samples = [[insert your own variables]] = What are the effects and consequences of the poems’ similarities and differences? What poetic lens does both poems rely on? Why?

“David Trinidad’s “Peyton Place: A Haiku Soap Opera” communicates [[A]] about [[B]]; whereas, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Socialist and the Suffragist” argues [[C]] about [[D]]. While both poems have differing perspectives on [[F]], they both rely on [[G: what POETIC LENS]] to declare [[H]] to readers.”
Anne Sexton’s “The Starry Night” and Jax NTP’s “My Dearest Garcia Lorca” are both ekphrastic poems that juxtapose public and private identities via the medium of paintings. Both poems rely on the poetic lens of Frank O’Hara’s Personism, anaphora, and volta to combat ignorant social stigma of mental health and sexual orientation.
In Gary Soto’s “Oranges” and Li-Young Lee’s “Persimmons,” both poets heavily rely on Jericho Brown’s confessional poetic lens and the symbolism of fruit to create a sense of vitality, climax, and nostalgia for first loves.

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