Many poets of the Harlem Renaissance made extensive use of the sonnet form; module 2 contains examples such as Countee Cullen’s “From the Dark Tower,” Helene Johnson’s “Sonnet to a Negro in Harlem,” and Claude McKay’s “If We Must Die.” Write an esssay in which you compare some of the sonnets written during the Harlem Renaissance. How do different approaches to the sonnet form signal different thematic concerns?
Identify any two poets from Module 2 whose work interests you and who lived and wrote in roughly the same time and place. (The biographies at the end of the “Poetry” section in the textbook might be a helpful place to start.) Then do a bit of research. Did your two poets have similar backgrounds? Are they considered part of the same or competing “movements” or “schools”? Drawing on your research, write an esssay in which you compare at least one poem by each poet and explore how the poems were shaped by historical and cultural context.
Fully address the prompt within 500 – 800 words.
Esssays must have the proper structure. This includes an introduction paragraph, a minimum of three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. The first page must include a page number, heading, and a title in MLA format. The introduction must begin with a hook/attention grabber, proceed with general background information on the topic, and the ONE SENTENCE thesis is the LAST sentence in the introduction.
Use your own ideas and quotations from the literature to support your thesis. When using quotations, remember to introduce the quote with a signal phrase and follow each quote with an interpretation in your words (review the quote sandwich). Do not use any secondary sources for topic #1. The textbook is the only approved source for topic #1.
Use MLA parenthetical citations immediately following each quotation and/or paraphrase. Please review Chapter 34 for additional support with quotations and in-text citations.