English Project 11th Grade

Part A: Literary Analysis

Theme is the statement that a work of literature makes about life. A theme may address any number of issues, including explorations of loss, death, individuality, conformity, emotions, human interactions with nature, hope, etc. In this exercise, you are going to analyze the themes in a set of poems.

Review the poetry you have read for this course. We started the course with the Modernist and Imagist poets of the early part of the twentieth century. Ezra Pound’s essay “A Few Don’ts” was a commentary on the ways that Modernist poetry should be written. The course then progressed to the poetry of the Harlem Renaissance, which was an era pioneered by Langston Hughes that opened the door for African American poets to find their voices and express themselves in poetic forms.

Lesson 8 focused on the poetry of Sandburg and Frost, who showed us two different versions of Modernism. The Beat Generation poets of the 1950s took poetry to a new level of defying established writing conventions for poetry. In the 1960s, African American poets used their poetry to express the plight of the black person during the turbulent times of the Civil Rights Movement. Finally, we read the poetry of the contemporary artists in which anything goes. They have no set patterns or topics, and their poetry speaks of the world as they see it.


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