English110 poem analysis

I’m studying and need help with a English question to help me learn.

This is practice for your essay, which will be posted and due this Sunday 7/12. For this assignment, I’d like you to practice your poem analysis skills that you’ve demonstrated well throughout this quick 3-week unit.

You have two poems, with supplemental questions below. I’d like you to CHOOSE ONE to complete and submit by Friday. The more thorough and elaborate you are, the better prepared you’ll be for your essay!

The Missionary’s Position
by Joseph S. Salemi

(Links to an external site.)I maintain it all was for the best
We hacked our way through jungle and sought out
These savage children, painted and half-dressed,
To set their minds at ease, and dispel doubt.

Concerning what? Why, God’s immense design,
And how it governs all we do and see.
Before, they had no sense of the divine
Beyond the sticks and bones of sorcery.

Granted, they are more somber and subdued,
Knowing that lives are watched, and judged, and weighed.
Subject to fits of melancholy mood,
They look upon the cross, and are afraid.

What would you have me say? We preached the Word
Better endured in grief than left unheard.

In 3-4 paragraphs, using full sentences, with minimum three references to the poem, address the following questions:

  1. What happens in this poem?
  2. What is the tone of the poem, and how does author’s diction help to get it across?
  3. What irony takes place in the poem?

by D. H. Lawrence

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.
In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cozy parlor, the tinkling piano our guide.
So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamor
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

In 2-3 paragraphs, with minimum 3 references to the poem, address the following questions:

  1. What is the mood, and what are some of the themes, of this poem? How is this conveyed? Be specific
  2. What does the piano act as a symbol for?


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