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Literature By X. J. Kennedy

Literature by X. J. Kennedy

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Literature Summary

Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, Compact Edition by X. J. Kennedy

The compact version of the most popular Literature anthology continues to bring students the finest literature in a newly revised, easier-to-study format. Literature is written in an engaging style that reflects the warm personal voice of X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Some of the changes to the new edition include conversations with celebrated fiction writer Amy Tan, U. S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, and contemporary playwright David Ives; the addition of new writers including Naguib Mahfouz, Virginia Woolf, Sherman Alexie, Mary Oliver, Bettie Sellers, and Anne Deavere Smith; and every chapter concludes with a review of key terms for easy reference. The Writing section has been thoroughly updated to reflect MLA's latest guidelines.

About X. J. Kennedy

X. J. Kennedy, after graduation from Seton Hall and Columbia, became a journalist second class in the Navy ("Actually, I was pretty eighth class"). His poems, some published in the New Yorker, were first collected in Nude Descending a Staircase (1961). Since then he has written six more collections, several widely adopted literature and writing textbooks, and seventeen books for children, including two novels. He has taught at Michigan, North Carolina (Greensboro), California (Irvine), Wellesley, Tufts, and Leeds. Cited in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations and reprinted in some 200 anthologies, his verse has brought him a Guggenheim fellowship, a Lamont Award, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, an Aiken-Taylor prize, the Robert Frost Medal of the Poetry Society of America, and the Award for Poetry for Children from the National Council of Teachers of English. He now lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he and his wife Dorothy have collaborated on four books and five children.

Dana Gioia is a poet, critic, and teacher. Born in Los Angeles of Italian and Mexican ancestry, he attended Stanford and Harvard before taking a detour into business. ("Not many poets have a Stanford M.B.A., thank goodness!") After years of writing and reading late in the evenings after work, he quit a vice presidency to write and teach. He has published three collections of poetry, Daily Horoscope (1986), The Gods of Winter (1991), and Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award; and three critical volumes, including Can Poetry Matter? (1992), an influential study of poetry's place in contemporary America. Gioia has taught at Johns Hopkins, Sarah Lawrence, Wesleyan (Connecticut), Mercer, and Colorado College.

He is also the co-founder of the summer poetry conference at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. From 2003-2009 he served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. At the NEA he created the largest literary programs in federal history, including Shakespeare in American Communities and Poetry Out Loud, the national high school poetry recitation contest. He also led the campaign to restore active and engaged literary reading by creating The Big Read, which has helped reverse a quarter century of decline in U.S. reading. He currently divides his time between Washington, D.C. and Santa Rosa, California, living with his wife Mary, their two sons, and two uncontrollable cats.

Table of Contents


To the Instructor

About the Authors


Talking with Amy Tan

1. Reading a Story

The Art of Fiction

Types of Short Fiction

W. Somerset Maugham, The Appointment in Samarra

Aesop, The North Wind and the Sun

*Bidpai, The tortoise and the geese

Chuang Tzu, Independence

Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, Godfather Death


The Short Story

John Updike, A & P

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

John Updike, Why Write?

Thinking About Plot

Checklist: Writing About Plot

Writing Assignment on Plot

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

2. Point of View

Identifying Point of View

Types of Narrators

Stream of Consciousness

William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily

Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart

*Eudora Welty, Why I Live at the P.O.

James Baldwin, Sonny's Blues

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

James Baldwin, Race and the African American Writer

Thinking About Point of View

Checklist: Writing About Point of View

Writing Assignment on Point of View

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

3. Character

Types of Characters

Katherine Anne Porter, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall

Katherine Mansfield, Miss Brill

*Naguib Mahfouz, The Lawsuit

Raymond Carver, Cathedral

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Raymond Carver, Commonplace but Precise Language

Thinking About Character

Checklist: Writing About Character

Writing Assignment on Character

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

4. Setting

Elements of Setting

Historical Fiction



Kate Chopin, The Storm

*Virginia Woolf, A Haunted House

T. Coraghessan Boyle, Greasy Lake

Amy Tan, A Pair of Tickets

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Amy Tan, Setting the Voice

Thinking About Setting

Checklist: Writing About Setting

Writing Assignment on Setting

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

5. Tone and Style




Ernest Hemingway, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

William Faulkner, Barn Burning


O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi

Ha Jin, Saboteur

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Ernest Hemingway, The Direct Style

Thinking About Tone and Style

Checklist: Writing About Tone and Style

Writing Assignment on Tone and Style

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

6. Theme

Plot vs. Theme

Theme as Unifying Device

Finding the Theme

Chinua Achebe, Dead Men's Path

Jamaica Kincaid, Girl

Luke 15:11-32, The Parable of the Prodigal Son

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Harrison Bergeron

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., The Themes of Science Fiction

Thinking About Theme

Checklist: Writing about Theme

Writing Assignment on theme

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

7. Symbol



Recognizing Symbols

John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums

*John Cheever, The Swimmer

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Shirley Jackson, The Lottery

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Shirley Jackson, Biography of a Story

Thinking About Symbols

Checklist: Writing About Symbols

Writing Assignment on Symbols

Student Paper, An Analysis of the Symbolism in Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums"

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

8. Critical Casebook: Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O'Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Flannery O'Connor, Revelation

Flannery O'Connor on Writing

From "On Her Own Work"

On Her Catholic Faith

From "The Grotesque in Southern Fiction"

Critics on Flannery O'Connor

J.O. Tate, A Good Source Is Not So Hard to Find: The Real Life Misfit

Mary Jane Schenck, Deconstructing "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"

*Louise S. Cowan, The Character of Mrs. Turpin in "Revelation"

9. Critical Casebook: Two Stories in Depth

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Young Goodman Brown

*Nathaniel Hawthorne on Writing

*Reflections on Truth and Clarity in Literature

*Criticizing His Own Work

*Critics on Hawthorne

*Herman Melville , Excerpt from a review of "Mosses from and Old Manse"

*Edgar Allan Poe, The Genius of Hawthorne's Short Stories

*Critics on "Young Goodman Brown"

*Richard H. Fogle, Ambiguity in "Young Goodman Brown"

*Paul J. Hurley, Evil Wherever He Looks

*Nancy Bunge, Complacency and Community

Alice Walker

Everyday Use

Alice Walker on Writing

The Black Woman Writer in America

Reflections on Writing and Women's Lives

Critics on "Everyday Use"

Barbara T. Christian, "Everyday Use" and the Black Power Movement

Houston A. Baker and Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Stylish vs. Sacred in "Everyday Use"

Writing Effectively

Topics for Writing on "Young Goodman Brown"

Topics for Writing on "The Yellow Wallpaper"

Topics for Writing on "Everyday Use"

10. Stories for Further Reading

*Sherman Alexie, This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

Margaret Atwood, Happy Endings

*Ambrose Bierce, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Jorge Luis Borges, The Gospel According to Mark

Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour

Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street

*Gabriel Garcia Marquez, A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper

Zora Neale Hurston, Sweat

James Joyce, Araby

Franz Kafka, Before The Law

Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies

D. H. Lawrence, The Rocking-Horse Winner

*Lorrie Moore, How to Become a Writer

Joyce Carol Oates, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried


Talking with Kay Ryan

11. Reading a Poem

Poetry or Verse

Reading a Poem


William Butler Yeats, The Lake Isle of Innisfree

Lyric Poetry

Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays

Adrienne Rich, Aunt Jennifer's Tigers

Narrative Poetry

Anonymous, Sir Patrick Spence

Robert Frost, "Out, Out-"

Dramatic Poetry

Robert Browning, My Last Duchess

Didactic Poetry

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Adrienne Rich, Recalling "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers"

Thinking About Paraphrase

William Stafford, Ask Me

William Stafford, A Paraphrase of "Ask Me"

Checklist: Writing a Paraphrase

Writing Assignment on Paraphrasing

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

12. Listening to a Voice


Theodore Roethke, My Papa's Waltz

Countee Cullen, For a Lady I Know

Anne Bradstreet, The Author to Her Book

Walt Whitman, To a Locomotive in Winter

Emily Dickinson, I like to see it lap the Miles

*Kevin Young, Doo Wop

Weldon Kees, For My Daughter

The Person in the Poem

Natasha Trethewey, White Lies

Edwin Arlington Robinson, Luke Havergal

Ted Hughes, Hawk Roosting

William Wordsworth, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

Dorothy Wordsworth, Journal Entry

*James Stephens, A Glass of Beer

Anne Sexton, Her Kind

William Carlos Williams, The Red Wheelbarrow


Robert Creeley, Oh No

W. H. Auden, The Unknown Citizen

Sharon Olds, Rites of Passage

Sarah N. Cleghorn, The Golf Links

Edna St. Vincent Millay, Second Fig

*Dorothy Parker, Comment

Thomas Hardy, The Workbox

For Review and Further Study

William Blake, The Chimney Sweeper

*Erich Fried, The Measures Taken

William Stafford, At the Un-National Monument Along the Canadian Border

Richard Lovelace, To Lucasta

Wilfred Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Wilfred Owen, War Poetry

Thinking About Tone

Checklist: Writing about Tone

Writing Assignment on Tone

Student Paper, Word Choice, Tone, and Point of View in Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz"

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

13. Words

Literal Meaning: What a Poem Says First

William Carlos Williams, This Is Just to Say


Marianne Moore, Silence

Robert Graves, Down, Wanton, Down!

John Donne, Batter my heart, three-personed God, for You

The Value of a Dictionary

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Aftermath

*Kay Ryan, Chemise

J. V. Cunningham, Friend, on this scaffold Thomas More lies dead

Carl Sandburg, Grass

*Dan Anderson, Dog Haiku

Word Choice and Word Order

Robert Herrick, Upon Julia's Clothes

*Robert Burns , Auld Lang Syne

Thomas Hardy, The Ruined Maid

Wendy Cope, Lonely Hearts

For Review and Further Study

E. E. Cummings, anyone lived in a pretty how town

*Billy Collins, The Names

*Charles Bukowski , Dostoevsky

Anonymous, Carnation Milk

Gina Valdes, English con Salsa

Lewis Carroll, Jabberwocky

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Lewis Carroll, Humpty Dumpty Explicates "Jabberwocky"

Thinking About Diction

Checklist: Writing About diction

Writing Assignment on Word Choice

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

14. Saying and Suggesting

Denotation and Connotation

Wallace Stevens, Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock

William Blake, London

Gwendolyn Brooks, Southeast Corner

Timothy Steele, Epitaph

E. E. Cummings, next to of course god america i

Robert Frost, Fire and Ice

*Diane Thiel , The Minefield

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Tears, Idle Tears

Richard Wilbur, Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Richard Wilbur, Concerning "Love Calls Us to the Things of This World"

Thinking About Denotation and Connotation

Checklist: writing about What a Poem SAYS AND Suggests

Writing Assignment on Denotation and Connotation

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

15. Imagery

Ezra Pound, In a Station of the Metro

Taniguchi Buson, The Piercing Chill I Feel


T. S. Eliot, The Winter Evening Settles Down

Theodore Roethke, Root Cellar

Elizabeth Bishop, The Fish

*Rainer Maria Rilke, The Panther

*Charles Simic, Fork

Emily Dickinson, A Route of Evanescence

Jean Toomer, Reapers

Gerard Manley Hopkins, Pied Beauty

About Haiku

Arakida Moritake, The falling flower

Matsuo Basho, Heat-lightning streak

Matsuo Basho, In the old stone pool

Taniguchi Buson, On the one-ton temple bell

*Taniguchi Buson, Moonrise on mudflats

Kobayashi Issa, Only One Guy

Kobayashi Issa, Cricket

Ethridge Knight, Making Jazz Swing In

Lee Gurga, Visitor's Room

Penny Harter, Broken Bowl

Jennifer Brutshy, Born Again

For Review and Further Study

John Keats, Bright star! Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art

Walt Whitman, The Runner

William Carlos Williams, El Hombre

Robert Bly, Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter

*Paul Goodman , Birthday Cake

Billy Collins, Embrace

Stevie Smith, Not Waving but Drowning

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Ezra Pound, The Image

Thinking About Imagery

Checklist: Writing about Imagery

Writing Assignment on Imagery

Student Paper, FADED BEAUTY: Elizabeth Bishop's Use of Imagery in "The Fish"

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

16. Figures of Speech

Why Speak Figuratively?

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Eagle

William Shakespeare, Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Howard Moss, Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?

Metaphor and Simile

Emily Dickinson, My Life had stood - a Loaded Gun

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Flower in the Crannied Wall

William Blake, To see a world in a grain of sand

Sylvia Plath, Metaphors

N. Scott Momaday, Simile

*Emily Dickinson, It dropped so low - in my Regard

*Jill Alexander Essbaum, The Heart

*Craig Raine, A Martian Sends a Postcard Home

Other Figures of Speech

James Stephens, The Wind

Margaret Atwood, You fit into me

*George Herbert, The Pulley

Dana Gioia, Money

*Carl Sandburg, Fog

For Review and Further Study

Robert Frost, The Silken Tent

Jane Kenyon, The Suitor

Robert Frost, The Secret Sits

*Kay Ryan, Turtle

*Anne Stevenson, The Demolition

*Robinson Jeffers, Hands

Robert Burns, Oh, my love is like a red, red rose

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Robert Frost, The Importance of Poetic Metaphor

Thinking About Metaphors

Checklist: Writing About Metaphors

Writing Assignment on Figures of Speech

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

17. Song

Singing and Saying

Ben Jonson, To Celia

*James Weldon Johnson, Since You Went Away

Edwin Arlington Robinson, Richard Cory

Paul Simon, Richard Cory


Anonymous, Bonny Barbara Allan

Dudley Randall, Ballad of Birmingham


Bessie Smith with Clarence Williams, Jailhouse Blues

W. H. Auden, Funeral Blues


For Review and Further Study

John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Eleanor Rigby

*Bob Dylan, The Times They Are a-Changin'

Aimee Mann, Deathly

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Paul McCartney, Creating "Eleanor Rigby"

Thinking About Poetry and Song

Checklist: Writing About Song Lyrics

Writing Assignment on Song Lyrics

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

18. Sound

Sound as Meaning

Alexander Pope, True Ease in Writing comes from Art, not Chance

William Butler Yeats, Who Goes with Fergus?

John Updike, Recital

William Wordsworth, A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal

Aphra Behn, When maidens are young

Alliteration and Assonance

A. E. Housman, Eight O'Clock

James Joyce, All day I hear

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Splendor Falls on Castle Walls


William Cole, On my boat on Lake Cayuga

*William Butler Yeats, Leda and the Swan

Gerard Manley Hopkins, God's Grandeur

*Robert Frost, Desert Places

Reading and Hearing Poems Aloud

Michael Stillman, In Memoriam John Coltrane

William Shakespeare, Full fathom five thy father lies

T. S. Eliot, Virginia

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

T. S. Eliot, The Music of Poetry

Thinking About a Poem's Sound

Checklist: Writing About a Poem's Sound

Writing Assignment on Sound

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

19. Rhythm

Stresses and Pauses

Gwendolyn Brooks, We Real Cool

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Break, Break, Break

Dorothy Parker, Resume


Edna St. Vincent Millay, Counting-out Rhyme

A. E. Housman, When I was one-and-twenty

William Carlos Williams, Smell!

Walt Whitman, Beat! Beat! Drums!

*Langston Hughes, Dream Boogie

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Gwendolyn Brooks, Hearing "We Real Cool"

Thinking About Rhythm

Checklist: Scanning a Poem

Writing Assignment on Rhythm

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

20. Closed Form

Formal Patterns

John Keats, This living hand, now warm and capable

Robert Graves, Counting the Beats

John Donne, Song ("Go and Catch a Falling Star")

The Sonnet

William Shakespeare, Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds

Edna St. Vincent Millay, What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why

Robert Frost, Acquainted with the Night

*William Meredith , The Illiterate

Kim Addonizio, First Poem for You

A. E. Stallings, Sine Qua Non

R. S. Gwynn, Shakespearean Sonnet

The Epigram

Alexander Pope, Epigram Engraved on the Collar of a Dog

Sir John Harrington, Of Treason

*John Frederick Nims, Contemplation

Anonymous, Epitaph of a Dentist

*Hilaire Belloc, Fatigue

*Wendy Cope, Variation on Belloc's "Fatigue"

Other Forms

Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Robert Bridges, Triolet

Elizabeth Bishop, Sestina

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

A. E. Stallings, On Form and Artifice

Thinking About a Sonnet

Checklist: Writing About a Sonnet

Writing Assignment on a Sonnet

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

21. Open Form

Denise Levertov, Ancient Stairway

Free Verse

E. E. Cummings, Buffalo Bill 's

*William Carlos Williams, The Dance

Stephen Crane, The Heart

Walt Whitman, Cavalry Crossing a Ford

Ezra Pound, Salutation

Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Prose Poetry

*Carolyn Forche, The Colonel

Visual Poetry

George Herbert, Easter Wings

John Hollander, Swan and Shadow

For Review and Further Study

E. E. Cummings, in Just-

*A. E. Stallings, First Love: A Quiz

Carole Satyamurti, I Shall Paint My Nails Red

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Walt Whitman, The Poetry of the Future

Thinking About Free Verse

Checklist: Writing about free verse

Writing Assignment on Open Form

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

22. Symbol

The Meanings of a Symbol

T. S. Eliot, The Boston Evening Transcript

Emily Dickinson, The Lightning is a yellow Fork

Identifying Symbols

Thomas Hardy, Neutral Tones


Matthew :-, The Parable of the Good Seed

George Herbert, The World

Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

Christina Rossetti, Uphill

For Review and Further Study

William Carlos Williams, The Term

*Mary Oliver, Wild Geese

Lorine Niedecker, Popcorn-can cover

*Wallace Stevens, The Snow Man

Wallace Stevens, Anecdote of the Jar

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

William Butler Yeats, Poetic Symbols

Thinking About Symbols

Checklist: Writing About Symbols

Writing Assignment on Symbolism

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

23. Myth and Narrative

Origins of Myth

Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay

William Wordsworth, The world is too much with us

H. D., Helen

*Constantine Cavafy, iThaca


Louise Bogan, Medusa

John Keats, La Belle Dame sans Merci

Personal Myth

William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming

Myth and Popular Culture

Andrea Hollander Budy, Snow White

Anne Sexton, Cinderella

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Anne Sexton, Transforming Fairy Tales

Thinking About Myth

Checklist: Writing About Myth

Writing Assignment on Myth

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

24. Poetry and Personal Identity

Confessional Poetry

Sylvia Plath, Lady Lazarus

Identity Poetics

Rhina Espaillat, Bilingual/Bilingue

Culture, Race, and Ethnicity

Claude McKay, America

Judith Ortiz Cofer, Quinceanera

*Sherman Alexie, The Powwow at the End of the World

Yusef Komunyakaa, Facing It


*Bettie Sellers, In the Counselor's Waiting Room

Donald Justice, Men at Forty

Adrienne Rich, Women

For Review and Further Study

Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Learning to Love America

*Philip Larkin, Aubade

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Rhina Espaillat, Being a Bilingual Writer

Thinking About Poetry of Personal Identity

Checklist: Writing About Voice and Personal Identity

Writing Assignment on Personal Identity

More Topics for Writing

25. Poetry in Spanish: Literature of Latin America

Sor Juana, Presente en que el Carino Hace Regalo la Llaneza

Translated by Diane Thiel, A Simple Gift Made Rich by Affection

Pablo Neruda, Muchos Somos

Translated by Alastair Reid, We Are Many

Jorge Luis Borges, Amorosa Anticipacion

Translated by Robert Fitzgerald, Anticipation of Love

Octavio Paz, Con los ojos cerrados

Translated by Eliot Weinberger, With Eyes Closed

Surrealism in Latin American Poetry

Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas

Cesar Vallejo, La colera que quiebra al hombre en ninos

Translated by Thomas Merton, Anger

Writers on Translating

Alastair Reid, Translating Neruda

Writing Assignment on Spanish Poetry

More Topics for Writing

26. Recognizing Excellence

Anonymous, O Moon, when I gaze on thy beautiful face

Emily Dickinson, A Dying Tiger - moaned for Drink


Rod McKuen, Thoughts on Capital Punishment

William Stafford, Traveling Through the Dark

Recognizing Excellence

William Butler Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium

Arthur Guiterman, On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias

Elizabeth Bishop, One Art

*W. H. Auden, September 1, 1939

*Walt Whitman, O Captain! My Captain!

Paul Laurence Dunbar, We Wear the Mask

Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus

Edgar Allan Poe, Annabel Lee

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Edgar Allan Poe, A Long Poem Does Not Exist

Thinking About an Evaluation

Checklist: Writing an Evaluation

Writing Assignment on Evaluating a Poem

More Topics for Writing

27. What Is Poetry?

*Archibald MacLeish, Ars Poetica

Dante, Samuel Johnson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Thomas Carlyle, Thomas Hardy, Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Mina Loy, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, J. V. Cunningham, Elizabeth Bishop, Jorge Luis Borges, Octavio Paz, William Stafford, Robert Bly, Jose Garcia Villa, Charles Simic, Christopher Fry, Joy Harjo, Some Definitions of Poetry -

28. Two Critical Casebooks
Emily Dickinson and Langston Hughes

Emily Dickinson

Success is counted sweetest

Wild Nights - Wild Nights!

*There's a certain Slant of light

I Felt a Funeral, in my Brain

I'm Nobody! Who are you?

The Soul selects her own Society

After great pain, a formal feeling comes

*Much Madness is divinest Sense

*This is my letter to the World

I heard a Fly buzz - when I died

I started Early - Took my Dog

Because I could not stop for Death

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant

Emily Dickinson on Emily Dickinson

Recognizing Poetry


Critics on Emily Dickinson

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Meeting Emily Dickinson

Thomas H. Johnson, The Discovery of Emily Dickinson's Manuscripts

Richard Wilbur, The Three Privations of Emily Dickinson

Cynthia Griffin Wolff, Dickinson and Death (A Reading of "Because I could not stop for Death")

Langston Hughes

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

*My People

Mother to Son

Dream Variations

I, Too

The Weary Blues


Ballad of the Landlord

Theme for English B

*Subway Rush Hour

Harlem [Dream Deferred]


Langston Hughes on Langston Hughes

The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain

The Harlem Renaissance

Critics on Langston Hughes

Arnold Rampersad, Hughes as an Experimentalist

Rita Dove and Marilyn Nelson, Langston Hughes and Harlem

Darryl Pinckney, Black Identity in Langston Hughes

Onwuchekwa Jemie, A Reading of "Dream Deferred"

Topics for Writing About Emily Dickinson

Topics for Writing About Langston Hughes

29. Critical Casebook: T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

T. S. Eliot

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Publishing "Prufrock"

T. S. Eliot on Writing

Poetry and Emotion

The Difficulty of Poetry

Critics on "Prufrock"

Denis Donoghue, One of the Irrefutable Poets

Philip R. Headings, The Pronouns in the Poem: "One," "You," and "I"

Maud Ellmann, Will There Be Time?

Burton Raffel, "Indeterminacy" in Eliot's Poetry

Topics for Writing

30. Poems for Further Reading

*Aaron Abeyeta, thirteen ways of looking at a tortilla

Anonymous, Lord Randall

Anonymous , Last Words of the Prophet

Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach

John Ashbery, At North Farm

Margaret Atwood, Siren Song

W. H. Auden, As I Walked Out One Evening

W. H. Auden, Musee des Beaux Arts

*Jimmy Baca, Spliced Wire

Elizabeth Bishop, Filling Station

William Blake, The Tyger

*William Blake, The Sick Rose

*Gwendolyn Brooks, The Mother

*Gwendolyn Brooks, The Rites for Cousin Vit

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

Robert Browning, Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister

*John Ciardi, Most Like an Arch This Marriage

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan

Billy Collins, Care and Feeding

*Hart Crane, My Grandmother's Love Letters

E. E. Cummings, somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

Marisa de los Santos, Perfect Dress

John Donne, Death be not proud

John Donne, The Flea

*John Donne, A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

*Rita Dove, Daystar

*T. S. Eliot, Journey of the Magi

Robert Frost, Birches

Robert Frost, Mending Wall

Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Allen Ginsberg, A Supermarket in California

*Donald Hall, Names of Horses

Thomas Hardy, The Convergence of the Twain

* Thomas Hardy, The Darkling Thrush

Seamus Heaney, Digging

*Anthony Hecht, The Vow

George Herbert, Love

Robert Herrick, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

*Tony Hoagland, Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins, Spring and Fall

Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Windhover

A. E. Housman, Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

A. E. Housman, To an Athlete Dying Young

Randall Jarrell, The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

Robinson Jeffers, To the Stone-cutters

Ben Jonson, On My First Son

Donald Justice, On the Death of Friends in Childhood

John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

*John Keats, When I have fears that I may cease to be

*John Keats, To Autumn

Ted Kooser, Abandoned Farmhouse

Philip Larkin, Home is so Sad

*Philip Larkin, Poetry of Departures

D. H. Lawrence, Piano

Denise Levertov, The Ache of Marriage

*Li-Po, Translated by Arthur Waley, Drinking Alone by Moonlight

*Shirley Geok-lin Lim, To Li Po

Robert Lowell, Skunk Hour

Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress

Edna St. Vincent Millay, Recuerdo

John Milton, When I consider how my light is spent

Marianne Moore, Poetry

Marilyn Nelson, A Strange Beautiful Woman

Howard Nemerov, The War in the Air

*Lorine Niedecker, Sorrow Moves in Wide Waves

Sharon Olds, The One Girl at the Boys' Party

Wilfred Owen, Anthem for Doomed Youth

Linda Pastan, Ethics

Sylvia Plath, Daddy

*Edgar Allan Poe, A Dream within a Dream

Alexander Pope, A little Learning is a dang'rous Thing

Ezra Pound, The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter

Dudley Randall, A Different Image

John Crowe Ransom, Piazza Piece

Henry Reed, Naming of Parts

Adrienne Rich, Living in Sin

Edwin Arlington Robinson, Miniver Cheevy

Theodore Roethke, Elegy for Jane

Bettie Sellers, In the Counselor's Waiting Room

William Shakespeare, When, in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes

*William Shakespeare, Not marble nor the gilded monuments

William Shakespeare, That time of year thou mayst in me behold

William Shakespeare, My mistress' eyes are nothing likethe sun

*Charles Simic , The Butcher Shop

*William Stafford, The Farm on the Great Plains

Wallace Stevens, The Emperor of Ice-Cream

*Jonathan Swift, A Description of the Morning

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ulysses

Dylan Thomas, Fern Hill

John Updike, Ex-Basketball Player

Derek Walcott, The Virgins

Walt Whitman, from Song of the Open Road

Walt Whitman, I Hear America Singing

Richard Wilbur, The Writer

William Carlos Williams, Spring and All

*William Carlos Williams, To Waken an Old Lady

William Wordsworth, Composed upon Westminster Bridge

James Wright, A Blessing

Mary Sidney Wroth, In this strange labyrinth

William Butler Yeats, Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop

*William Butler Yeats, The Magi

William Butler Yeats, When You Are Old


Talking with David Ives

31. Reading a Play

Theatrical Conventions

Elements of a Play

Susan Glaspell, Trifles

Analyzing Trifles

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Susan Glaspell, Creating Trifles

Thinking About a Play

Checklist: Writing about a Play

Writing Assignment on Conflict

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

32. Modes of Drama: Tragedy and Comedy


Christopher Marlowe, scene From Doctor Faustus (act 2, scene 1)


*David Ives, Soap Opera

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

David Ives, On the one-act play

Thinking About Comedy

Checklist: Writing about Comedy

Writing Assignment on Comedy

Topics for Writing on Tragedy

Topics for Writing on Comedy

Terms for Review

33. Critical Casebook: Sophocles

The Theater of Sophocles

The Civic Role of Greek Drama

Aristotle's Concept of Tragedy


The Origins of Oedipus the King

Sophocles, Oedipus the King (Translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald)

Critics on Sophocles

Aristotle, Defining Tragedy

Sigmund Freud, The Destiny of Oedipus

E. R. Dodds, On Misunderstanding Oedipus

A. E. Haigh, The Irony of Sophocles

David Wiles, The Chorus as Democrat

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Robert Fitzgerald, Translating Sophocles into English

Thinking About Greek Tragedy

Checklist: Writing About Greek Drama

Writing Assignment on Sophocles

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

34. Critical Casebook: Shakespeare

The Theater of Shakespeare

William Shakespeare


A Note on Othello

William Shakespeare, Othello, the Moor of Venice

Critics on Shakespeare

Anthony Burgess, An Asian Culture Looks at Shakespeare

W. H. Auden, Iago as a Triumphant Villain

Maud Bodkin, Lucifer in Shakespeare's Othello

Virginia Mason Vaughan, Black and White in Othello

Clare Asquith, Shakespeare's Language as a Hidden Political Code

Writing Effectively

Writers on Writing

Ben Jonson, On His Friend and Rival William Shakespeare

*Understanding Shakespeare

Thinking About Shakespeare

*Checklist: Writing About Shakespeare

Writing Assignment on Tragedy

Student Paper, Othello: Tragedy or Soap Opera?

More Topics for Writing

35. The Modern Theater



Symbolism and Expressionism

American Modernism

Tragicomedy and the Absurd

Return to Realism

Experimental Drama

*Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House (Translated by R. Farquharson Sharp, Revised by Viktoria Michelsen)

Writers on Writing

Henrik Ibsen, Correspondence on the Final Scene of A Doll's House

Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

Writers on Writing

Tennessee Williams, How to Stage The Glass Menagerie

Anna Deavere Smithn scenes from twilight: los angeles, 1992

Writers on Writing

Anna Deavere Smith, A Call to the Community

Writing Effectively

Thinking About Dramatic Realism

Checklist: Writing About Realism

Writing Assignment on Realism

Student Essay, Helmer vs. Helmer

More Topics for Writing

Terms for Review

36. Plays for Further Reading

Rita Dove, The Darker Face of the Earth

Writers on Writing

Rita Dove, The Inspiration for The Darker Face of the Earth

David Henry Hwang, The Sound of a Voice

Writers on Writing

David Henry Hwang, Multicultural Theater

Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman

Writers on Writing

Arthur Miller, Tragedy and the Common Man

August Wilson, Fences

Writers on Writing

August Wilson, A Look into Black America


37. Writing about Literature

Read Actively

Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay

Plan Your Essay

Discover Your Ideas

Sample Student Prewriting Exercises

Developing a Literary Argument


Developing an Argument

Writing a Rough Draft

Sample Student Paper (Rough Draft)


Revise Your Draft

Some Final Advice on Rewriting

Sample Student Paper (Revised Draft)

Document Sources to Avoid Plagiarism

The Form of Your Finished Paper

38. Writing About a Story

Read Actively

Think About the Story

Discover Ideas

Sample Student Prewriting Exercises

Write a Rough Draft


Writing a Rough Draft

Revise Your Draft


Revising Your Draft

What's Your Purpose? Common Approaches to Writing about Fiction

Topics for Writing

39. Writing about a Poem

Read Actively

Robert Frost, Design

Think About the Poem

Discover Your Ideas

Sample Student Prewriting Exercises

Write a Rough Draft


Writing a Rough Draft

Revise Your Draft


Revising Your Draft

Common Approaches to Writing about Poetry

How to Quote a Poem

Topics for Writing

Robert Frost, In White

40. Writing about a Play

Read Critically

Common Approaches to Writing about Drama

How to Quote a Play

Topics for Writing

41. Writing a Research Paper

Browse the Research

Choose a Topic

Begin Your Research

Evaluate Sources

Organize Your Research

Refine Your Thesis

Organize Your Paper

Write and Revise

Maintain Academic Integrity

Acknowledge All Sources

Documenting Sources Using MLA Style

Reference Guide for Citation

42. Writing an Essay Exam

Preparing for the Exam

Taking the Exam

43. Critical Approaches to Literature

Formalist Criticism

Cleanth Brooks, The Formalist Critic

*Robert Langbaum, On Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess"

Biographical Criticism

Brett C. Millier, On Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art"

Emily Toth, The Source for AlcEe' LaballiEre in "The Storm"

Historical Criticism

Hugh Kenner, Imagism

*Joseph Moldenhauer, "To His Coy Mistress" and the Renaissance Tradition

Psychological Criticism

Sigmund Freud, The Nature of Dreams

Gretchen Schulz and R.J.R. Rockwood, Fairy Tale Motifs in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"

Mythological Criticism

Carl Jung, The Collective Unconscious and Archetypes

Edmond Volpe, Myth in Faulkner's "Barn Burning"

Sociological Criticism

Georg Lukacs, Content Determines Form

Alfred Kazin, Walt Whitman and Abraham Lincoln

Gender Criticism

Nina Pelikan Straus, Transformations in The Metamorhposis

*Richard R. Bozorth, "Tell Me the Truth About Love"

Reader-Response Criticism

Stanley Fish, An Eskimo "A Rose for Emily"

Robert R. Bozorth, "Tell Me the Truth About Love"

Deconstructionist Criticism

Roland Barthes, The Death of the Author

Barbara Johnson, Rigorous Unreliability

Cultural Studies

Vincent B. Leitch, Postconstructionalist Cultural Critique

Camille Pagilla, A Reading of William Blake's "The Chimney Sweeper"

Terms for Review

Additional information

Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, Compact Edition by X. J. Kennedy
Used - Very Good
Pearson Education (US)
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