Description PROMPT FOR ESSAY 1 Mark Jarman’s sonnets are titled “unholy” sonnets. This word choice implies that his sonnets describe incidents that might be considered the opposite of holy (that which is sacred, saintly, devoted to a deity, worthy of devotion). And yet the sonnets also seem to describe incidents that could be considered holy—if unexpectedly or nontraditionally so. For this essay, pick ONE of the following two poems by Jarman: “Unholy Sonnet 11” OR “Unholy Sonnet 13.” For the one poem you pick, make an argument about how the poem’s speaker either transforms what might seem unholy into something holy or transforms what might seem holy into something unholy. In your essay, you are required to quote specific words, phrases, and/or lines from the poem that are relevant to your argument. You must also close read the language in those quotations. Your analysis of those quotations must clearly support and connect to your overall argument. As their titles indicate, “Unholy Sonnet 11” and “Unholy Sonnet 13” are sonnets, and, as we discussed in lecture, the sonnet is a specific poetic form; in your essay, you should consider how the poem’s form relates to the speaker’s reflection on what counts as holy/unholy. Additionally, in the Thursday, Jan. 31 lecture on sonnets, Dr. Valint defined various literary terms (metaphor, simile, alliteration, assonance, imagery, rhyme, personification, etc.). You are encouraged to read the poem with those terms in mind and, when relevant, you should use these terms in your essay as well.
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