Analyzing Post-Colonial Love Song: Poems By Natalie Diaz

Step 1: From the designated options for this project, commit to the book you have chosen. Limit
your selection this semester to a group of poems (not yet written about by you or discussed in class)
from either Natalie Diaz’s Post-Colonial Love Song: Poems, Beth Ruscio’s Speaking Parts or Cecilia
Woloch’s Late. Timely selection is worth one point.
★ Use Post-Colonial Love Song: Poems By Natalie Diaz
★ Theme: desire, lust, intangible love
○ Choose 4 poems out of these 5 from book to use:
■ Skin-light
■ If I Should Come Upon Your House Lonely in the West Texas Desert
■ How the Milky Way Was Made
■ Isn’t the Air Also a Body, Moving
■ The Cure for Melancholy Is to Take the Horn
○ You can find most of these poems on this site:
https://poets.org/book/postcolonial-love-poem

Step 2: Outline of your preliminary work on two pages. On one page: 1) your thesis statement and
2) three initial quoted passages from the book you’ve chosen (Post-Colonial Love Song: Poems
By Natalie Diaz) that illustrate your thesis. The second page will be your initial Works Cited page,
which, for now, will only have entries from your primary source. (You will be adding other items as
you write the paper and pick up secondary sources you want to quote.) It should be properly set up
in MLA style and, for now, it should contain up to four items, depending on how many poems your
initial examples come from in your primary source: in MLA form, name of author, poem, book, and
publication info by name of city, company, and year. See the examples I’ve given you already if you
need a reminder, or look at the library’s MLA tips or the examples at the Purdue Owl site. For now,
this will be page one of your paper, since you have nothing else in front of it, but it will ultimately be
page 8, 9, or 10, once you have written the rest of the paper. This way, you will have the Works
Cited page already set up, and you will just add more entries as you go along, as you add illustrative
examples and ballast from both your primary source and secondary sources.
Thesis tips: You may already have already an inkling of a thesis that compels you. If you are still
casting about for a focal point, consider the following options.
1. Observe and describe the workings of three to four poems from the book you’ve selected
(Post-Colonial Love Song: Poems By Natalie Diaz). The thrust of your discovery should reveal
how certain poetic elements create a specific impact. For instance, it may be that one specific element
(such as the use of allusion or metaphor or repetition or sly line breaks or unusual diction or formal
choices or arresting imagery or some slippage between word and thing, sign and signified, etc.) recurs in
all of the poems, and you’ll use examples from the poems to demonstrate this and discuss the effect it
creates. Alternatively, there may be some holistic effect that results from the use of several poetic devices
in concert. You’ll be better of to focus on no more than three poetic elements that deliver the goods.
These may be characteristic of the oeuvre as a whole. (You should definitely not try to include more than
five such elements). Look at the checklist in Vendler if you get stuck. If you choose this option, you do

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