Close Reading

Write a close reading on Buzzards by Jon Loomis (Poem is attached). Essay should be 3-4 pages. A close reading is the careful, sustained analysis of any text that focuses on significant details or patterns and that typically examines some aspect of the text’s form, craft, meanings, sound, etc…

In your close reading, you will dissect the poems. Be sure to evaluate not only the meaning of the poems but the strategic decisions made by the poet that enhance or support the overall meaning of the collection.

When writing your close reading, utilize the vocabulary or the “language of poetry” when supporting your claims. For example: Stanzas, Enjambment, End-Stopped, Line Break, Closure, Couplets, Metaphor etc… (A glossary of poetry terms is attached)

Questions to guide you for the essay:

1. What is the theme of the poem? What is the poet trying to communicate? What is the emotional center of the poem? 

2. What happens in the poem? Are conflicts or themes introduced? Resolved? 

3. Who is the speaker? What is the “point of view” or perspective of the speaker? The perspective might be social, intellectual, political, or even physical. 

4. What is the setting? What is the time and place? How does the poet make use of the physical description? Does it create a mood? 

5. Are there any key statements or lines that indicate meaning? Look for one key line or symbol; however, the poet may make use of recurring symbols, actions, or motifs. 

6. How does the sound or language contribute to the poem’s meaning? Does the rhythm affect what the poet is trying to convey? What type of diction is used? Are there words with double meanings?

7. Is there a historical, ideological, or cultural aspect? Does the poem refer to a world event, period of time, or particular aspect of culture (race, status, gender, class)? What are the basic ideas of the world or human condition or experience (love, hate, orderliness of the universe, etc.)? 

8. What qualities or emotions does the poem evoke? How does the poem make you feel? 

9. What imagery is used? Does the poet use physical imagery or figures of speech, such as metaphors?

MLA Format, 3-4 pages, Times new roman, 12 font

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