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WHS Emily Dickinson Poetry Stylistic Analysis Essay & Stylistic Imitation


This project will be two parts:

  • a stylistic analysis of a poet of your choice
  • a creative stylistic imitation. This should demonstrate everything you have learned throughout this unit.

Stylistic Analysis

Your project should focus on one poet. You may choose any poet. I strongly encourage you to choose a poet whose work you enjoy or admire. These may include:

  • Any poet who writes in the English language, even if they are not American.
  • A lyricist, rapper, or songwriter, as long as they demonstrate strong use of poetic devices.

For your analysis, you will describe and analyze the poet’s style. Here is what each section of your paper must include:

  • Click on the link in the Red Box to view the Project Rubrics for this project.

Introduction. Introduce the poet. Include:

  • The poet’s name.
  • Brief biographical information. Only include relevant information!
    • What time period did the poet write in?
    • Who was their intended audience?
    • Were they financially successful
      as a poet in their lifetime, or was their work only appreciated after
      their death? What events in their life influenced their poems?
    • What major topics and themes did the poet address?
  • Thesis statement: What are the three most prominent poetic devices the poet used, and how the poet use them to create a theme, mood, story, or point?

Body paragraphs. For each, discuss one poetic device that the poet uses repeatedly. Include:

  • The name of the poetic device.
  • 2­-3 examples of the poetic device from the poet’s work.
  • Include appropriate MLA citations for the quoted examples.
  • A discussion of how the poet used this device to create their overall message.

Conclusion. Find meaning.

  • What overall effect does this poet’s work convey?
  • Zoom out: What are the aesthetic appeals of this poetry? Essentially, why is this beautiful? Also, why is this poetry important to you, or to an audience in general?

This essay should be between 2-­3 pages
in length (500­-750 words). Your final draft should be saved and
submitted as .doc or .pdf file. It should be in 12­point font in Times
New Roman.

10% of your grade will be on grammar and mechanics. For
your essay, you must follow all academic conventions such as proper
spelling, capitalization, punctuation, paragraphing, and citations.
Write as clearly and correctly as you can. This means that 90% of your grade is based on your ideas ­ however, you will not earn an A if you do not proofread carefully and check for errors.

Stylistic Imitation

For this portion of your unit project, you will create an original creative piece in the style of the poet you chose to analyze.

work must have your own story, theme, and point. However, you will use
the same 3­-4 poetic devices that you described in your essay to create a
similar overall voice and effect.

Your stylistic imitation may be completed in either poetry or prose. You may choose to write:

  • A poem
  • A prose poem
  • An essay
  • A short story

Your stylistic imitation must use at least ten examples
of poetic devices that we studied in this unit. The three devices that
you analyzed in your essay must be represented at least twice.

If you write poetry, you must compose at least twenty lines of poetry. You may divide this up over multiple poems.

you choose to write prose, your piece must be at least 200 words in
length. Most importantly, remember this is a culminating project for
your American Poetry Unit.


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