Monthly Archives: September 2018



Part of Speech: Proper Noun

Definition: A bulbous Eurasian plant of a genus that includes the daffodil, especially (in gardening) one with flowers that have white or pale outer petals and a shallow orange or yellow cup in the center

Source: Oxford Dictionary

Found in Rita Dove’s Poem “Persephone, Falling” – Line 1: “One narcissus among the  ordinary beautiful”

The definition of the word Narcissus helped me understand what Rita Dove was trying to say within the first line of the poem. She says: “One narcissus among the ordinary beautiful.” The “narcissus” was the flower that caught her attention. It stood out to her. As the lines goes on it states: “.. Flowers/One unlike all the others” which brings me back to the point that she is on a search for something greater. This helps me understand the poem because she is not specifically referencing to a flower itself, it is being used metaphorically to resemble a person.


Part of Speech: Adjective

Definition: invariably precise or correct: perfect

Source: Words at Dictionary

Found in “America” by Claude McKay, Line 13

“Beneath the touch of Time’s unerring hand,/Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand”

The word “unerring means perfect, it helps me understand that the author was describing a hand to be perfect and precise.


Part of speech: Verb

Definition: To spread by scattering

Source: Merriam- Webster

Found in Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “pity me not because the light of day ” (Line 12)

Knowing the definition helped me understanding what was happening with the wreckage and how it impacted the gales. It put an image in my head on how scatter pilled up. As well as connect line 12 to line 13.


Work on Paper #1 for Monday’s class

Hi everyone,

For Monday, October 1st, you should do the following:

  • decide on your topic (which poem you’re writing about and which person/college course) and begin working on your thesis (hand in topic and/or thesis at beginning of class on Monday)
  • fill out the worksheet I handed out and bring it on Monday
  • read the two model essays by former students that are now posted on Open Lab
  • read the essay “Writing a Short Paper About a Poem” in the textbook, pp.310-315

We’ll also continuing to discuss “Persephone, Falling,” “Found Sonnet: The Wig,” and “Instructions on Giving Up”–please print out the Rita Dove poems so you can annotate your copy!

On Wednesday, we’ll be working on drafts of Paper #1 which will be due on Wed, October 10th.

Handout on Organizing Paper #1

Student Model for Paper #1

Below are two student papers from fall 2017 responding to the same assignment (Paper #1).  Both papers did a great job following the assignment guidelines, providing thoughtful connections between the poem and the college course.  The first paper responds to Option 1 and is about William Wordsworth’s sonnet “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802”:


sample paper 1 Wordsworth

The second sample paper responded to Option 2 and is about the Countee Cullen poem:

Sample Student paper option 2 fall 2017


Derives from the Ebb

Part of Speech: Noun

Definition: the reflux of the tide toward the sea

Source: ” Pity me not because the light of day” by Edna St. Vincent Milla, line 6

“Ebbing” describes the tides movement.



Part of Speech: Noun

Definition: a dense growth of shrubbery or small trees

Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary

Found in ” Pity me not because  the light of day” by Edna St. Vincent Millay, line four

“thicket” helps me understand the scenery in this poem. it describes the geography.




Part of speech: Verb

Definition: To speak or cry out with mockery

Source: Merriam Webster  Dictionary

Found in “America” by Claude McKay, line 10

The word “Jeer” meaning mockery, helps me understand that the “person” in this poem holds a lot of respect for the “woman” he is speaking of.