It is near the end of the year and for my English final I have to write a research paper with this following essential question:
How does British poetry reveal humanity's search for meaning?
My task is to: Choose 3 British Poems (can also be commonwealth) that demonstrate Man's search for meaning and write a formal essay which examines the search and any insights the poets' offer.
I am currently trying to figure the overall topic I am going to use. Example being Man finds meaning in religion, love, death etc. One topic I am thinking of using is music, but I am not sure if I will be able to find poems that can help me tell how Man finds meaning within it.
So this is my question, does anyone know of poems that would help me say that Man finds meaning within music? Also, I have thought of other topics such as Sorrow, Dreams and Freedom to use instead of music (if I am unable to get a get arguement) so if you know of any poems highlighting those, could you please refer those to me as well?
Thank you for your help and time.
A couple of points to consider in doing your research.
1. Use what you already know.
Since the instructor asked you to use British poetry, as your basis for the paper, you must have studied some British poems. What were they? Do any of them illustrate "man's search for meaning"?
2. Do not bring an outside topic into the discussion.
By that I mean don't bring a tangent such as music, or philosophy, or anything else into the essay. The essay topic is "finding the meaning in life through British poetry".
(Illustrated by the works of Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold, and Gerard Manley Hopkins. *These are my examples, yours may differ.)
+1. Use what you already know.
Since the instructor asked you to use British poetry, as your basis for the paper, you must have studied some British poems. What were they? Do any of them illustrate "man's search for meaning"?+
Well, she told us we can use two poems that we have already covered in class, but at least one had to be of our own finding. We've read from the Anglo-Saxon period to the Victorian, so you can figure what poets we have gone over. As for them "searching for meaning", they do, but not all find this meaning in the same thing. Like with Milton, you could say he finds meaning in religion, but with Wordsworth it could be in nature. But yes, with what you said it made me think that I should chose a topic based on a period of poets I would enjoy writing about (such as Romantics).
+The essay topic is "finding the meaning in life through British poetry".+
Actually, the essay topic is to find something that "demonstrate Man's search for meaning" that is discussed within British Poetry. You probably understood that, but the way you phrased it made me a bit confused. So music wouldn't necessarily be a tangent topic for some people to find meaning within music that could easily be explained within a poem.
Anyway, I'll look through the poets you listed and see if any can help me in my search. I probably will decide on a different topic from music, but I still need to think it over. Thanks for your help.
You're welcome, sorry if I confused you. But my point remains, do not confuse
the topic by bringing your own preferences into the "search for meaning".