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Compare and/or contrast two poems~Please do help me!
Posted by: hehahoufoo (24.82.200.---)
Date: October 21, 2007 11:06PM

Hi guys:

This is the first time I use this forum, with my big hope after spending hour and hours on reading poem, poem analysis, and how to write compare and contrast essay but have not really start anything.

I’m taking a college English poetry course now and working on an essay that would take almost half total mark in that course. Here is the assignment, compare and contrast two poem on what do they say about a particular subject and how they say it. (must be in course outline).

The first several times I thought about the assignment, it seemed like not very hard one. But when I trying to make an outline of my essay, I found it was hard for me to organize my opinions. Even worse, I confused myself about the point I made. When I trying to say one point, it seemed like I put myself into circle that I said this point by using the other points. I feel so lost here.
The two poems I picked are” I know why the caged bird sings” by Maya Angelou and “The Bull Moose” by Alden Nowlan since these two are the most confident poem in my course outline for me . The two poem are attached at the end.

Here are some of my particular questions:
1. what are the theme of these two poem? I think they are both related to freedom. What do you think about the theme for them?
2. what are the point I should make in order to compare and contrast? my mind is pretty stuck now.
3. Anything else you could suggest for my assignment?

Sorry for making this post long
Any help and suggestion would be really appreciated.

Re: Compare and/or contrast two poems~Please do help me!
Posted by: hehahoufoo (24.82.200.---)
Date: October 21, 2007 11:06PM

The two poem are here:

1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the win
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hillfor the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Maya Angelou

2.The Bull Moose

Down from the purple mist of trees on the mountain,
lurching through forests of white spruce and cedar,
stumbling through tamarack swamps,
came the bull moose
to be stopped at last by a pole-fenced pasture.

Too tired to turn or, perhaps, aware
there was no place left to go, he stood with the cattle.
They, scenting the musk of death, seeing his great head
like the ritual mask of a blood god, moved to the other end
of the field, and waited.

The neighbours heard of it, and by afternoon
cars lined the road. The children teased him
with alder switches and he gazed at them
like an old, tolerant collie. The woman asked
if he could have escaped from a Fair.

The oldest man in the parish remembered seeing
a gelded moose yoked with an ox for plowing.
The young men snickered and tried to pour beer
down his throat, while their girl friends took their pictures.

And the bull moose let them stroke his tick-ravaged flanks,
let them pry open his jaws with bottles, let a giggling girl
plant a little purple cap
of thistles on his head.

When the wardens came, everyone agreed it was a shame
to shoot anything so shaggy and cuddlesome.
He looked like the kind of pet
women put to bed with their sons.

So they held their fire. But just as the sun dropped in the river
the bull moose gathered his strength
like a scaffolded king, straightened and lifted his horns
so that even the wardens backed away as they raised their rifles.

When he roared, people ran to their cars. All the young men
leaned on their automobile horns as he toppled

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2007 04:57PM by hehahoufoo.

Re: Compare and/or contrast two poems~Please do help me!
Posted by: LindaD (91.110.174.---)
Date: October 22, 2007 11:18AM

I agree that the theme is Freedom.

In the first a free bird and a caged bird are compared and their differences brought out. It is never said that the free bird sings but it moves and thinks. The caged bird is confined and restricted all he can send out is his song. Who did this to him? What have they done?

In the second the moose has come to the end of his freedom. What do the people do to him, as compared to the bird? Which has the better end?

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