All you have to do is think of three or four different ideas for the essay topic and then find your textual evidence by working out which poems best reflect these ideas…. It is so easy to fall into the trap of simply summarising the poetic techniques and language of the different poems rather than analysing their meaning and linking this directly to the essay question.
Even if you have the best plan and ideas going for you, if an assessor notices you going into summary mode they’ll assume you’re just rewriting a memorised essay rather then answering the exact essay question given…. To prevent this utter catastrophe, I urge you to please, link to and answer the specific essay topic EVERYTIME you introduce a new poetic technique/piece of evidence.
Whether you revel in the ideas and intricacies of poetry or could not think of anything more monotonous to read, grab a tea (or coffee if it’s one of those nights), your favourite late-night snack, and prepare to be amazed by just how simple it is to absolutely NAIL a poetry essay.
Don’t worry, I know that same overwhelming feeling when poetry can seem as if it’s not even in English, but I can ensure you, learning how to write a poetry essay is like learning to ride a bike….
- Utilise the right terminology when outlining the type of poet and era they wrote in (i.e.
metaphysical poet, Renaissance era, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth)- Outline the main poetic techniques for which the poet is known for (i.e.illuminate, emanate, meditate)And here’s a sample introduction to help you even more: John Donne’s anthology, “Selected Poetry” illuminates the human condition and thus provides much commentary on life and death.A metaphysical poet of the Renaissance era, Donne combines a playful wit, rich imagery, and perhaps most importantly language, to challenge intellectual argument and celebrate various aspects of sexual desire, mutuality and faith.iambic pentameter, trochaic tetrameter), monosyllabic phrasing- Stanza, verse, quatrain, cinquain A mediocre conclusion is like leaving your assessor with an unpleasant aftertaste that unfortunately, will not go away.So please, finally give your conclusion the attention it deserves and follow these five tips to ensure you leave your assessor waiting for that mic to drop!)- DON’T mention the poem you will use as evidence in your topic sentence- DO answer and link directly to the essay topic- DO use linking words to link the ideas in different paragraphs And here are three STRONG topic sentences for each paragraph of this essay (note how I always link back to the topic of human experiences and link ideas between paragraphs)- Rewriting the conventional trope, Donne’s oeuvre explores the joy of erotic love and ones’ lustful desire to engage in these sexual experiences.- While much of Donne’s oeuvre comments on the pleasure of carnal experiences, his more harmonious poems reveal the beauty of relationships in which one can experience a deep sense of mutuality and stability.- Silhouetted against the backdrop of the Elizabethan reign, Donne’s more metaphysical poems demonstrate the struggle of the process of dying and individual corruption, and the manner in which it leads to the acquirement of God’s love and grace.What makes a poetry essay so unique is that your paragraphs are based on broad ideas rather than the motifs and behaviours of characters in novels.This means that when planning your essay you must ensure that each paragraph has only one idea and that each paragraph is based on a different idea.Intertwining the elegant conceit of a compass to represent the love that connects the speaker and his mistress, Donne garners the notion that no matter how far ‘’one doth roam’’ the intellectual bond between the couple will remain ‘’firm’’ and enable the pair to overcome any form of physical separation.Hence, Donne illuminates the complex and impermeable bond that this serene form of human experience can foster.To say it plainly, writing with unique and refreshing vocabulary is enough to send your grade SOARING. Utilising the correct poetic metalanguage every time you introduce a new quote or line of poetry will ensure that your analysis remains both specific and detailed.Your topic sentence is the frame for the whole paragraph so please, keep it clear, succinct, and relevant to the essay question.Here are three ‘DOs’ and ‘DON’Ts’ to consider when crafting one of the most important sentences of your essay (again, sorry about the drama!