Poetry Analysis Project

Adapted from a GAVL assignment

Compose an essay, which compares and contrasts two poems.  Your essay should be 3-6 paragraphs (8-12 sentences each), plus an introduction and conclusion.

  • introduction and conclusion paragraphs
  • 3-6 paragraphs explains similarities and differences of poems
  • covers at least two poetic devices/figures of speech
  • discusses the type of poem it is
  • includes a very brief summary of each poem
  • includes a works cited page

You may choose from the poems in the following pages. You can also choose two poems
that are not on this list, but if you choose your own, you must get the poems approved by your instructor/parent.
You can listen to audio recordings of many of the following poems and others at the following website.  Repeat After Us
The following websites can help you locate more poems:
Poetry Foundation

Here are some ideas for how to organize this project:
Idea 1: Item-by-Item Style

  • Paragraph 1 – Introduction
  • Paragraph 2 Poem 1
    •  imagery
    • symbolism
    • rhyme
  • Paragraph 3 Poem 2
    • imagery
    • symbolism
    • rhyme
  • Paragraph 4 – Conclusion
    * May need additional paragraphs to cover these poems.

Ideas 2: Point-by-Point Style

  • Paragraph 1 – Introduction
  • Paragraph 2 – Imagery in each poem
  • Paragraph 3 – Symbolism in each poem
  • Paragraph 4 – Rhyme in each poem
  • Paragraph 5 – Conclusion


She Walks in Beauty by Lord Lord Byron

We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks

To Sleep by John Keats

I Felt a Funeral in My Brain by Emily Dickenson

Laundry by Ruth Moose

Elms by Louise Gluck

Fireflies in the Garden by Robert Frost

Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

I, Too by Langston Hughes

The Tyger by William Blake

America by Claude McKay

Sonnet 18: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day by William Shakespeare

Sonnets from the Portuguese 43: How do I Love thee? Let me Count the Ways by  Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Grading Rubric (100 points possible)

Introduction 5 points
Conclusion 5 points
3-6 body paragraphs 25 points
Poetic device 1 15 points
Poetic device 2 15 points
Type of poem explained 10 points
Brief summary 10 points
Correct grammar 5 points
Correct spelling/punctuation 5 points
Works cited page 5 points