Saturday, April 27, 2013

At Least 2 Essays

Essay # 1
[1994] Poems: “To Helen” (Edgar Allan Poe) and “Helen” (H.D.)
Prompt: The following two poems are about Helen of Troy. Renowned in the ancient world for her beauty, Helen was the wife of Menelaus, a Greek King. She was carried off to Troy by the Trojan prince Paris, and her abduction was the immediate cause of the Trojan War. Read the two poems carefully. Considering such elements as speaker, diction, imagery, form, and tone, write a well-organized essay in which you contrast the speakers’ views of Helen.

In both poems, Helen of Troy is described through contrasting tone, imagery and diction. One poem shows a speaker full of hate, while another a speaker full of love. They see this woman through different eyes, and that allows the poems to contrast. As the poems progress so does their passion for what they see in Helen of Troy. 

In H.D.'s poem, the diction that's describing Helen of Troy is negative but understandable. She displays a negative image of Helen of Troy, as she writes about her many features. She attacks her beauty by saying, "All Greece reviles   the wan face when she smiles." H.D. uses diction to show that Helen of Troy's beauty has a dark side. As for Poe, he uses his diction to portray his love for Helen of Troy. His diction is made up of emotions and comparisons. He compares things to show how strong his love is for her. The speaker uses this method to show he fell in love with her beauty. 

As the poem progresses, H.D. makes Helen of Troy a horrible person. The speaker wanted us to picture Helen of Troy as a woman you wouldn't want to follow. She does this by saying, "All Greece reviles   the wan face when she smiles." The speaker uses imagery to portray an unwanted woman. As you continue to read, her imagine becomes clear. H.D.'s tone wanted Helen of Troy's features to become ugly. Her gloomy tone makes the reader doubt Helen of Troy's appearance.

Unlike H.D., Poe uses imagery to reveal the woman whom he's in-love with. The speaker introduces her beauty and compares it. Poe's tone is romantic, creating an inviting and informal read. He uses this technique to create Helen of Troy's image. "On desperate seas long wont to roam," The speakers tone shifts from happiness to loneliness to prove that his love for Helen of Troy is alive.

Both poems contrast Helen of Troy using similar methods. Tone, imagery and diction allow a reader to see the good or bad of knowing Helen of Troy. One speaker used these techniques to display Helen of Troy as an unwanted woman. Another speaker displayed Helen of Troy as a sweet and motivating woman. Both speakers described Helen of Troy as they saw her, but they each left a contrasting image in our minds. 


Essay # 2
2006B Poem “To Paint a Water Lily” (Ted Hughes)
Prompt: Read the following poem carefully. Then write an essay discussing how the poet uses literary techniques to reveal the speaker’s attitudes toward nature and the artist’s task.

The poet's attitude is gentle as he tries to paint a picture of a lily. Techniques like imagery and diction help the speaker' attitude and his task. Although he gets distracted, it's done on purpose to describe his surrounding. 

Hughes opens his poem with a gentle lily when he suddenly changes subjects. The poet showed how easily distracted one could be when surrounded by nature. After every few stanzas, the topic changed and one could envision something new. You were able to see, "The flies' furious arena: study These, the two minds of this lady. " The author used imagery to draw our attention to the surrounds of the lily. Nature is what making the lily beautiful. 

Hughes diction is limited to words used in nature. He sets the mood by using detailed diction and it allows a reader to imagine themselves with the lily. "First observe the air's dragonfly That eats meat, that bullets by," he uses this technique to introduce the many creatures that lie within nature. As he changes subjects, his stanza's describe a scene. "Under the trees. There are battle-shouts And death-cries everywhere hereabouts " The poet uses this technique to keep his readers entertained and focused. 

The poet creates an active setting as he attempts to paint a lily. Imagery and diction allow a reader to see nature's beauty. By having multiple interactions with nature, the poet demonstrates his attitude towards nature. By not getting frustrated and being inviting, the reader could see his love and patience for nature. 


  1. Did you do the timing thing? I am was wondering since it is a bit short. From what I see though you got the differences between each poem(: Which is the you know. Way to go girl!

  2. great examples! you articulated your position clearly. I agre it is short, but your point is made! comment on my essays please:)

  3. Short and sweet, very nice Michelle! The only thing I can say is perhaps you could replace the authors with "speaker," just because the prompt said to compare the speakers' views. But that's a rather minor thing; nicely done!

  4. Yes.. I did the timing thing only because my shift didn't end until 9:30. I will finish it by tonight though. Thank you for the feedback!

  5. So many great examples good job! I would try to elaborate a little more because it seems like you are just listing the examples instead of going in-depth

  6. Nice essay, short and to the point. Good job!