variations poem essay, writing homework help

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Write an essay on “Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams” by Kenneth Koch

Your essay should make a claim, based on formal evidence such as word choice, syntax, or sentence structure, about how “Variations” works as an interpretation of William Carlos Williams’s “This Is Just to Say.”

What specific arguments about the Williams poem are presented in the Koch poem? How does the Koch poem’s structure support those claims?

Here are some questions you could try to answer as you begin to write your paper: What specific issues, attitudes, or word choice does the Koch poem make fun of? What elements of the first poem’s structure are repeated in the second? What elements are different? What kind of knowledge does a reader need in order to get the joke? How does the poem build over the course of its four variations? 


  • 750-800 words
  • Parenthetical citation —  (Williams) or (Koch) or (Stalter-Pace) — of any quoted material
  • Parenthetical citation and Works Cited page for any material beyond the two poems and lecture
  • Cut and paste in text box if you have trouble uploading a Word doc
  • See rubric for a further description of grading criteria

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