Analyze and interpret a short poem, “Ice age on the pavement” by Daniel Human, for the purpose of developing a specific theme in this poem. Essentially, you will answer the questions, “What is the theme of the poem, and what difference does it make to our understanding of the theme with the elements you notice?” You will not simply make an observation about how an element is used in the poem or an observation about what the theme is, but rather answer the question, “SO WHAT?” To succeed, you should follow the steps of doing a close reading of a poem we discussed in class. First, you need to do a reading on the literal level by pinpointing the situation in the poem; then you need to go beyond the literal to get into the metaphorical level; and finally you need to discover a piece of truth, i.e. a theme that you can elaborate on with supporting details from the poem. More importantly, you should express your understanding of the total meaning in the poem and express it in the form of an essay cohesively. Based on your close analysis, you should formulate a strong thesis statement whose claim you can demonstrate and elaborate throughout the essay. It should be a complex sentence summarizing your overall interpretation of the poem and including those three subtopics you are going to discuss in detail in the body paragraphs of your essay. Put it differently, you need both to analyze what the poem means as a whole and describe how its particulars work together to support the theme.
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