Symbolism and Metaphor


Symbolism and Metaphor

By the due date assigned, post your response of at least 200-250 words to the Discussion Area. By the end of the week, comment on at least two of your classmates’ submissions.


Choose a new poem to analyze from the assigned reading list, and title your post with the poem’s title. (The reading list is found in the Syllabus, and all of our course readings are in the class eBooks. Click on the book’s title in the Syllabus.) Do not use the poem you analyzed in Week 1’s discussion or essay assignment. Reference must come from text books:  

Kirszner, L.G. & Mandell, S.R. (2016). Compact Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing (9th ed.). Boston: Cengage.

Maimon, E. & Yancy, K. (2020). A Writer’s Resource: A Handbook for Writing and Research (6th ed.). NY: McGraw-Hill.You may use the following questions to develop a paragraph response to your new poem, or you may discuss another more appropriate literary element (e.g., imagery, characterization, theme) as best fits your selection:

  • What are some of the key symbols and/or metaphors in the poem, and how are they used? 
  • What are some of the meanings they convey to readers?
  • How do these elements enrich the poem and deepen your understanding of its themes?


Remember to provide evidence for your claims in the form of quoted passages from the poem. Quotations, paraphrases, and summaries should be cited according to APA rules of style, including in-text and reference citations. Quoted material should not exceed 25% of the document. Check grammar and spelling before posting.

Reading List


  • Dickinson, “After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Comes”
  • Dickinson, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”
  • Dickinson, “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died”
  • Dickinson, “This is My Letter to the World”
  • Espada, “My Father as a Guitar”
  • Frost, “Design”
  • Frost, “Mending Wall”
  • Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”
  • Frost, “The Road Not Taken”
  • Heaney, “Digging”
  • Heaney, “Mid-Term Break”
  • Herrick, “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”
  • Hughes, “Theme for English B”
  • Jarrell, “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner”
  • Karr, “A Blessing from My Sixteen Years’ Son”
  • Komunyakaa, “Facing It
  • MacLeish, “Ars Poetica”
  • Marlowe, “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”
  • McKay, “The White City”
  • Mirikitani, “Suicide Note”
  • Pastan, “Ethics”
  • Plath, “Daddy”
  • Rich, “Living in Sin”
  • Robinson, “Miniver Cheevy”
  • Robinson, “Richard Cory”
  • Roethke, “My Papa’s Waltz”
  • Shakespeare, “Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds”
  • Shakespeare, “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun”
  • Shakespeare, “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”
  • Smith, “Not Waving but Drowning”
  • Stevens, “Anecdote of the Jar”
  • Yeats, “The Second Coming”

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