Write an analysis that uses TWO of the poems listed below:

“An Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins
“Poetry Should Ride the Bus” by Ruth Forman
“a poem is a city” by Charles Bukowski
“History Lesson at Eight a.m.” by Kwame Dawes
“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
“Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll
“Notes from the City of the Sun” by Bei Dao
“I am the Walrus” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
“It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” by Bob Dylan
“Bilingual Sestina” by Julia Alvarez
“The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes
“A Bird came down the Walk” by Emily Dickinson

1.) What theme/message do they convey? You may use the different works as illustrations of the particular theme, or you may compare and contrast the works based on the theme (see sample outline provided in module, review from Comp. I).

Possible Thematic Topics (choose 1):

identity, race
social/relational position, politics
societal concerns
fear, disconnect
(If you want to use another theme, no problem, just ask first.)

Furthermore, in your analysis, focus on TWO of the poetic elements we’ve encountered covered this far in the class.

2.) Poetic Elements (choose 2):

Rhyme scheme
(If you want to use another poetic element, no problem, just ask first.)

*Make sure that you read any introductory material, or any material related to the poetic element, as these items may give you insight into the particular poem.


3.) Research: Find and integrate TWO outside sources to support your analysis and interpretation of each of your chosen poems. You may use the credible websites and the library resources provided.



Sample Answer

Sample Answer




Analysis of “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost and “The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes

Thesis Statement:

In Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and Langston Hughes’ “The Weary Blues,” the themes of choice, individuality, and consequences are explored. These poems utilize imagery to depict the consequences of choices made, while also employing tone to convey the emotions and reflections of the speakers.

Theme: Choice and Consequences

In “The Road Not Taken,” Frost reflects on a moment of decision-making, where the speaker must choose between two paths. The poem explores the idea of choice and the consequences it bears on one’s life. The fork in the road symbolizes the various decisions individuals make, each leading to different outcomes. Frost’s use of imagery, such as the diverging paths and the sigh at the end, highlights the speaker’s contemplation of the road not taken and its impact on his future.

In “The Weary Blues,” Hughes delves into the theme of choice through the portrayal of a musician playing the blues. The musician’s choice to express his emotions through music reflects a deeper desire for individuality and self-expression. The imagery of the “Weary Blues” and the musician’s lamentation captures the consequences of societal pressures and struggles faced by African Americans. Hughes uses tone to convey the melancholy and weariness of the musician, emphasizing the weight of his choices in a society that often stifles his voice.

Poetic Elements: Imagery and Tone

Both Frost and Hughes employ imagery to vividly depict their themes of choice and consequences. Frost’s depiction of the diverging paths in “The Road Not Taken” creates a visual representation of decision-making and its lasting impact. The imagery of the yellow wood and undergrowth adds depth to the speaker’s contemplation and emphasizes the significance of the chosen path.

In “The Weary Blues,” Hughes uses imagery to paint a picture of the musician and his emotional state. The vivid descriptions of the musician playing the blues at midnight evoke a sense of loneliness and despair. The imagery of the piano keys and the singer’s voice conveys the emotional weight of his music, highlighting the consequences of his choices in a prejudiced society.

Additionally, tone plays a crucial role in conveying the emotions and reflections of the speakers in both poems. Frost’s contemplative tone in “The Road Not Taken” reflects the speaker’s introspection and uncertainty about his decision. The regretful sigh at the end encapsulates the weight of choices made and unmade, leaving readers to ponder their own paths not taken.

In contrast, Hughes’ somber tone in “The Weary Blues” captures the weariness and resignation of the musician as he sings his blues. The tone reflects the societal pressures and struggles faced by African Americans, emphasizing the consequences of their choices in a discriminatory world.


Through their exploration of choice, consequences, and individuality, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and Langston Hughes’ “The Weary Blues” offer profound insights into human experiences. By employing imagery to depict decision-making and tone to convey emotions, these poems resonate with readers on a deep emotional level. The themes and poetic elements utilized in these works showcase the power of poetry to illuminate life’s complexities and provoke introspection.



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