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Literature & Language
English (U.S.)
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My Papa’s Waltz is a famous poem by Theodore Roethke. (Essay Sample)


a. Hook
b. Transition
c. .Thesis (answer all parts to the prompt questions)
II. Body (Topic Sentence about poem #1) a. Detail and evidence
III. Body (Topic Sentence about poem #2)
’ a. Detail and evidence
IV. Body (another point about poem # 1) a. Detail and evidence
V. Body (another point about poem #2)
a. Detail and evidence
VI. Conclusion
Or you may follow this pattern:
I. Introduction
a. Hook
b. Transition
c. Thesis (answer all parts to the prompt questions)
II. Body (Topic Sentence about poem #1 and #2)
a. Detail and evidence } These would be longer paragraphs
III. Body (Topic Sentence about poem #1 and #2) because each discusses 2 poems, a. Detail and evidence
IV. Conclusion
Essay 2: Poetry Analysis
Please select one of the prompts below. Poems are in our English \A Reading Packet. Read your poems and "How to Read a Poem" article carefully before selecting a prompt:
1. In Lucille Clifton's "Fury" was written in remembrance of Clifton's mother who chose to burn her own poems after her husband (Clifton's father) said she could not publish them. William Blake’s "A Poison Tree" uses a metaphor to describe the development of anger (wrath). Write a comparison of these two poems, examining how they present and portray anger. From their poems, what can readers infer about anger? The paper would assert conclusions we can draw about anger (using the poems as evidence).
2. Theodore Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz" recounts an experience or remembrance Roethke has of his father. "My Old Man" by Charles Bukowski also recounts an experience the writer has with his own father. Based on the poems, compare the fathers. Identify a meaningful similarity and a meaningful difference in the fathers' characters, particularly their roles as fathers.
3. Langston Hughes in "Theme for English B" writes of a dilemma he faces with a writing assignment. Suheir Hammad in "4:02 p.m." gives graphic descriptions of social conflicts as well. Analyze both poems and decide what the main conflict is in each poem. Explain how we know. Then, compare where and how each author offers some type of hope or positive thought within the conflicts.
The paper will be written in the 3rd person.
Use MLA format
Use authors' last names and use present tense Clifton's description suggests she...
Use some quotes from the poem to support your ideas.
Avoid simply summarizing the poem
Avoid searching the internet for these poems' "meanings". Instead, analyze the poem yourself and work to answer the prompt questions with original ideas.


Student Name
Professor Name
My Papa’s Waltz is a famous poem by Theodore Roethke. It was first published in Hearst Magazine in 1942. It is all about relationships, fear, love, family, and conflict. The poem fits into the wide context of Theodore’s work because of the dominating role of the father. He is an alcoholic, upsetting his son and wife all the time. The father does not care about them and only likes to have fun with his drunken horseplay. 

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