Blog Post #2: Close Reading

Blog Post #2 Due: Fri 2/8, 5pm  //  Comment #2 Due: Mon 2/11, 9am

Cover of Rankine's poetry collection, CitizenThis post is designed to get you flexing your close reading muscles ! Here, you’ll provide a detailed close reading of one specific literary device in one of the assigned poems from Claudia Rankine’s collection, Citizen: An American Lyric (2014). Use the steps detailed below to develop a fluid and cohesive argument about the significance of this literary device within the selected poem.

Introduce the selected poem. Remember to include key publication details: poem title in quotation marks, author’s first and last name, the full collection title in italics, and the year of publication (see how I’ve done some of this above).

Introduce (name/describe) the literary device you plan to analyze. Focus on only 1 specific literary devices.You might choose from any of the following:

  • Similes, metaphors, and/or symbols.
  • Alliteration, consonance, internal rhymes, recurring patterns, and/or other poetic devices.
  • The structure of sentences, words, and/or images (remember to clearly identify these).

Frame a cohesive quote illustrating the selected literary device. Remember to provide enough context to situate your reader within the relevant section of the text.

Describe what specific effects this device produces. What associations, implications, connotations, or connections emerge from this device and surrounding elements within the text? You will need to re-quote / reference specific elements of the text in this portion of your close reading.

Explain how the device produce these effects. What lead you to notice these associations, implications, connotations, or connections? What body of images, images, and meanings are you drawing on in order to suggest these effects? Again, re-quote / reference portions of the text as needed to illustrate your claims.

Explain why these effects are significant to your understanding of the poem. In other words, what do these effects convey about the poem’s content or form? What do they reveal? What do they draw our attention to?