Hi, I need help revising my thesis. My task is to compare two completely different poems on their structure, word choice, image, and how they both end. The teacher specifies that she wants us to build our essay around the closure of the poems. So here's my thesis so far...
“Papi working” and “praise the world” have similarities and differences when it comes to their physical structure and theme, however “Papi working” has a more tightly constructed ending because the last two lines cleverly answer the “what can be done?” question that is repeated throughout the poem
Here are the two poems for reference
The long day spent litening
to homesick hearts,
the tick tock of the clock -
the way Americans mark time.
long hours, long days.
often they came only to hear him
say nada in their mother tongue.
I found nothing wrong.
to dole out jarabe for the children's coughs,
convince the dona to stay off that leg
In his white saca Mami ironed out,
smoothing the tired wrinkles
till he was young again,
tending to the ills of immigrants,
his own heart heavy with what was gone,
this new country like a pill
that slowly kills but keeps you
from worse deaths,
what was to be done?
they came to hear him say
nada in their mother tongue.
Sorry I do not have enough room for the second poem, but it is called "Try to Praise the World" by Zagajewski
2 Answers | Add Yours
I agree with litteacher. Since your teacher wants you to focus on the endings of the poems, I think it is important that your thesis touches on what each ending is trying to accomplish. It is good that you recognize the way the first poem answers the question at the end, but what is the other's ending trying to do? Is it different? If is it not very different in construction, is it thematically different? This might help in coming up with a different you can highlight in your thesis. I like the complexity you have so far, now look for what the poets were trying to do with the endings.
I would start with an overall idea first, focusing on what they have in common and then discussing the differences more specifically in the remainder of the introduction paragraph. You need to have an overarching idea to compare the two.
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