Assignment 1: symbolism and metaphor in poetry

Read the following poems:


  • Gwendolyn Brooks, “We Real Cool” (p. 387)
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How Do I Love Thee” (p. 662)
  • Robert Burns, “Oh, My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose” (p. 662)
  • E. E. Cummings, “In Just-” (p. 458)
  • E. E. Cummings, “Somewhere I Have Never Travelled” (p. 684)
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar,  “We Wear the Mask” (p. 574)
  • Seamus Heaney, “Digging” (p. 715)
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Spring and Fall” (p. 724)
  • Randall Jarrell, “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” (p. 730)
  • Yusef Komunyakaa, “Facing It” (p. 521)
  • Archibald MacLeish, “Ars Poetica” (p. 579)
  • Pablo Neruda, “Muchos Somos” (p. 548)
  • Sylvia Plath, “Daddy” (p. 770)
  • William Shakespeare, “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun” (p. 793)
  • Stevie Smith, “Not Waving but Drowning” (p. 311)
  • Wallace Stevens, “Anecdote of the Jar” (p. 487)
  • William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming” (p. 500)
  • William Butler Yeats, “When You are Old” (p. 838)



Choose one poem from among those you were assigned this week. Post a response of at least 150 words.

  • Discuss how symbols or metaphors are used in the poem you chose for this assignment.
  • Identify the key symbol(s) or metaphor(s) within the work. 
  • Explain the meanings they convey to readers.
  • How do these elements enrich the poem and deepen your understanding of its themes?

Remember that claims in all parts of the assignment should be substantiated by excerpts from appropriate sources. Use APA rules of style for quotations, paraphrases, and summaries as well as in-text citations and references. Quoted material should not exceed 25% of your response.