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Some poets were so moving, so talented, so… [fill in the blank], that their poetry withstood the test of time. It seems like the poetry that lasts the longest seems to be capable of bridging generation gaps. Even in this age of technology, we still mourn the passing of great world leaders, and that’s why Walt Whitman’s poem “O Captain! My Captain!” still moves people today, even though Abraham Lincoln’s assassination is long behind us.
You’ve been studying a particular poet. What made his/her poems stand the test of time? What themes in their poetry are still relevant today? What images appear in their poems that still seem meaningful to modern-day readers?
Write a paragraph in which you a.) state which poet you’ve been studying, and b.) offer several sentences (with at least one useful quotation from his/her poetry) explaining why your poet has endured the test of time. Here’s an example:
I’ve been reading the poems of Robert Browning, and my favorite of his poems is “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”. In this poem, the town of Hamelin is infested with vermin: “Rats!/They fought the dogs and killed the cats,/And bit the babies in the cradles,/And ate the cheeses out of the vats…” Even in the twenty-first century, the idea of a rat biting a baby makes people cringe. With all of our technology today–cell phones and plastic, pharmaceuticals and space travel–we continue to share our planet with vermin, so Browning’s theme is still one everybody understands. No one wants to share their living space with a rodent, and in my opinion, that’s why “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” has withstood the test of time.
*For extra credit, what poetic device is “Tick-tock-tick-tock”? You must be the first to offer the right answer, spelling your response correctly.