Find a poem from www.poets.org or poetryfoundation.org that you like  Read it.  What is the central metaphor?  Consider its sound, rhythm, voice, form/shape, imagery, symbolism.  Which elements are most provocative?  What is the meaning of the poem? Analyze it, examining the text carefully for various levels of meaning.  Read it aloud again and again, on different days.

For your paper, free-write four to five pages that interpret the poem you have selected, then edit your analysis down to about one and half pagesof interpretation of the poem.   Allow yourself to dig into the poem, to write about it without stopping for about forty minutes.  Generate ideas that are connected to the language in the poem.  Identify the central metaphor of the poem, and determine how the metaphor or symbol fits in to the poem’s focus.  In your free-write, use the first person if it helps you think more about the poem.  Then, edit.  Collect your pages, type them and edit out redundancies; combine sentences; remove excess verbiage.  You should end up with a page and a half, approximately, of polished work, i.e., of sentences that are substantial, succinct, and well-crafted.

The paper should contain no biographical information regarding the poet; it should center on the theme of the poem itself.  The paper should contain quotations that come directly from the poem, but the amount of quotations should not exceed thirty words (or 5% of the paper).