Your task is to present a valid argument about a poem (or poems). A valid argument will include a clear thesis, cite relevant textual evidence in support of the thesis, and explain or close read that evidence to the reader logically. You will be assessed on how convincingly and logically you argue. Style and grammar will also count in your final grade.

Poets often turn to the natural landscape as a way of exploring fundamental philosophical questions. Poets go so far as to use nature to build and reflect on the poetic form itself. Reflect on the ways poets heighten the effect of natural elements, how beauty or ugliness, gentleness or ferocity, are accentuated in a self-reflexive way through the art of poetry and in turn contribute to the poem’s form. What forms are used to convey the sense of the elements? How do these poems mirror poetic concerns over the transitory nature of life, the paradox of the human imagination or the dangerous desire to stop and rest in a mysterious and murky realm that counters the poet’s own solid earthly existence? Choose at least two, but no more than three, poems from the following list:
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening p.803
Shelley Ode to the West Wind p.543
J. Hollander Swan and Shadow p.1104
A.R. Ammons Corsons Inlet  p. 1054-57
Ezra Pound The Garden p. 845


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