Poetry essay number # 3:

Following the steps of the writing process, compose a six-paragraph essay of analysis that offers a comparison/contrast of two poems by different poets that focus on either a similar subject or theme. What similarities exist? What differences? Which one do you consider the more effective? Why?

Mary Oliver

Oxygen 2005

Everything needs it: bone, muscles, and even,

while it calls the earth its home, the soul.

So the merciful, noisy the machine

stands in our house working away in it’s

lung-like voice. I hear it as I kneel

before the fire, starting with a

Stick of Iron, letting the logs

lie more loosely. You, in the upstairs room,

are in your usual position, leaning on your

Right shoulder which aches

all day. You are breathing

patiently; it is a

beautiful sound. It is

your life, which is so close

to my own that I would not know

where to drop the knife of

separation. And what does this have to do

with love, except

everything? Now the fire rises

and offers a dozen, singing, deep red

roses of flame. Then it settles

to quietude, or maybe gratitude, as it feeds

as we all do, as we must, upon the invisible gift:

our purest, sweet necessity: the air.

Cathy Song

The Youngest Daughter 1983

The sky has been dark

for many years.

My skin is become as damp

and pale as rice paper

and feels the way

mothers used to before the drying sun

parched it out there in the fields.

Lately, when I touch myself,

my hands react as if

I had just touched something

hot enough to burn.

My skin, aspirin-colored,

tingles with migraine. Mother

has been massaging the left side of my face

especially in the evenings

when it flares up.

This morning

her breathing was graveled,

her voice gruff with affection

when I took her into the bath.

She was in good humor,

making jokes about her great breasts,

blowing and the milky water

like two walruses,

flaccid and whiskered around the nipples.

I scrubbed him with a sour taste

in my mouth, thinking:

six children and an old man

have sucked from these brown nipples.

I was almost tender

when I came to the blue bruises

that freckle her body,

places where she has been injecting insulin

for thirty years, ever since

I can remember. I soaped her slowly,

she sighed deeply, her eyes closed.

In the afternoons

when she has rested,

she prepares of ritual of tea and rice,

garnished with a shred of gingered fish,

a slice of pickled turnip

a token for my white body.

We eat in the familiar silence.

She knows I am not to be trusted,

even now planning my escape.

As I toast to her health

with the tea she has poured,

a thousand cranes curtain the window,

fly up in a sudden breeze.

Initial each item below as completed.

The last sentence of introduction is a precise, clear thesis statement.

Body paragraph are focused, organized, and begin with topic sentences, employing transition as needed.

All quotations are trimmed down to only the relevant, necessary words and meet the formatting requirements for all quotations.

You clearly, logically explain how the chosen detail support your assertion in the thesis, while offering sufficient evidence from the poem to do so.

Your essay is between 600 and 900 words and satisfies minimum sentence requirements. (The Works cited page is not part of the word count.) Write the word count:

Your essay includes a works cited page with the entry formatted as instructed.

Your essay meets the format requirements of all essays in this class, including, but not limited to, products, margins, spacing, title, and heading.

Your essay demonstrates the careful thought and attention you’ve given the assignment and is the result of following the steps of the writing process: pre-writing, drafting, revising, and editing/proofreading.

You’ve carefully reviewed previous graded work to address any areas that needed attention.

Your essay is an entirely original composition, based on your own thoughts, ideas, and analysis.

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