Poems as Histories

Paper instructions:

Poems as Histories. Lyrical poetry does not make for an obvious fit for history, which is generally conveyed in a narrative mode. Focus on one to three poems from our syllabus (in other words, you may focus on one or pursue this as a comparative essay) What are some of the strategies the poet uses to generate a new perspective on historical events? You should think about all aspects of the poem(s) you choose to analyze—outer form, internal form, figures of speech, speech acts, rhythm and rhyme, imagery, syntax, and so on—though you may find that some strategies are dominant in particular poems. Your essay should make an argument regarding why the particular rhetorical strategies and effects suit the thematic focus of the poem. What is the poem’s “attitude” toward history? What aspects of history does it deem particularly important? For example, does it “focalize” on a particular event or attempt an “epigrammatic” summation of the whole?
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