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Literature to Go

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2023-12-07
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Brief and affordable, Literature to Go provides the critical thinking, reading, and writing instruction you need to study diverse stories, poems, and plays effectively.

Table of Contents

*New to the 5th Edition

Resources for Reading and Writing about Literature 

Preface for Instructors

Introduction: Reading Imaginative Literature  
The Nature of Literature     
*Danusha Laméris, “Feeding the Worms” 
The Value of Literature
The Changing Literary Canon      
*Approaching Sensitive Subjects      


The Elements of Fiction    
1. Reading Fiction

Reading Fiction Responsively      
Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour”    
A SAMPLE CLOSE READING: An Annotated Section of “The Story of an Hour”
A SAMPLE PAPER: Differences in Responses to Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” 
Explorations and Formulas
*Ann Beattie, “Janus”     
2. Plot         
T.C. Boyle, “The Hit Man”      
William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily”    
A SAMPLE CLOSE READING: An Annotated Section of “A Rose for Emily”
A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Conflict in the Plot of William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” 
*Joy Harjo, “The Reckoning”     
3. Character
Tobias Wolff, “Powder”      
*Zadie Smith, “Martha, Martha”    
James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues”     
4. Setting        
Ernest Hemingway, “Soldier’s Home”     
Ursula LeGuin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”  
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” 

5. Point of View        
*First-Person, Second-Person, and Third-Person Narrators  
John Updike, “A & P”       
Manuel Muñoz, “Zigzagger”      
*Lorrie Moore, “How to Become a Writer”   
6. Symbolism         
Louise Erdrich, “The Red Convertible”      
Ralph Ellison, “King of the Bingo Game”     
Cynthia Ozick, “The Shawl”      
A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Layers of Symbol in Cynthia Ozick’s “The Shawl”   
7. Theme        
*Adrian Tomine, “Intruders” (graphic short story)   
*A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Tomine’s “Intruders” 
Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery”      
*Carmen Maria Machado, “Eight Bites”     
8. Style, Tone, and Irony      
George Saunders, “I Can Speak ™”     
Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”   
Mark Twain, “The Story of the Good Little Boy”    
9. A Collection of Stories
John Cheever, “The Enormous Radio”    
Judith Ortiz Cofer, “Volar”      
Edwidge Danticat, “The Missing Peace”    
*N. K. Jemisin, “Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City beneath the Still Waters”
James Joyce, “Eveline”      
Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl”      
*Alice Munro, “Silence”      
Joyce Carol Oates, “Tick”      
Edgar Allen Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado”    
Kurt Vonnegut, “Happy Birthday, 1951”       


The Elements of Poetry      
10. Reading Poetry
Reading Poetry Responsively      
Lisa Parker, “Snapping Beans”      
*Linda Pastan, “Jump Cabling”      
John Updike, “Dog’s Death”     
The Pleasure of Words      
Gregory Corso: “I am 25”     
Robert Francis, “Catch”     
A SAMPLE STUDENT ANALYSIS: Tossing Metaphors in Robert Francis’s “Catch”  
*Jane Hirschfield, “This Morning, I Wanted Four Legs”  
Poetic Definitions of Poetry      
Marianne Moore, “Poetry”      
Billy Collins, “Introduction to Poetry”     
Ruth Forman, “Poetry Should Ride the Bus”    
Charles Bukowski, “A Poem is a City”    
*Ada Limón, “The End of Poetry”     
Robert Morgan, “Mountain Graveyard”     
E. E. Cummings, “l(a”      
Anonymous, “Western Wind”     
Regina Barreca, “Nighttime Fires”    
Recurrent Poetic Figures: Five Ways of Looking at Roses  
Robert Burns, “A Red, Red Rose”     
Edmund Waller, “Go, Lovely Rose”    
William Blake, “The Sick Rose”      
Dorothy Parker, “One Perfect Rose”     
H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), “Sea Rose”     
Poems for Further Study     
Mary Oliver, “The Poet with His Face in His Hands”   
Alberto Ríos, “Seniors”      
Robert Frost, “Design”      
Edgar Allan Poe, “Sonnet – To Science”    
Cornelius Eady, “The Supremes”     
11. Word Choice, Word Order, and Tone   
Word choice        
Denotations and Connotations      
Randall Jarrell, “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner”  
Word Order        
Marilyn Nelson, “How I Discovered Poetry”    
Katharyn Howd Machan, “Hazel Tells LaVerne”    
A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Tone in Katharyn Howd Machan’s “Hazel Tells Laverne”
Martin Espada, “Latin Night at the Pawnshop”    
*Joy Harjo, “Granddaughters”      
Diction and Tone in Four Love Poems     
*Shamim Azad, “First Love”      
*Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Sonnet #43”    
*John Frederick Nims, “Love Poem”     
*Pablo Neruda, “Drunk as drunk on turpentine”    
Poems for Further Study      
Walt Whitman, “The Dalliance of the Eagles”    
Kwame Dawes, “History Lesson at Eight a.m.”   
Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”     
Alice Jones, “The Lungs”      
Louis Simpson, “In the Suburbs”     
12. Images
Poetry’s Appeal to the Senses      
William Carlos Williams, “Poem”     
Walt Whitman, “Cavalry Crossing a Ford”    
Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach”     
Poems for Further Study      
Adelaide Crapsey, “November Night”     
Ruth Fainlight, “Crocuses”      
William Blake, “London”      
Kwame Dawes, “The Habits of Love”     
*Charles Simic, “House of Cards”     
Sally Croft, “Home-Baked Bread”     
13. Figures of Speech       
William Shakespeare, From Macbeth     
Simile and Metaphor       
Langston Hughes, “Harlem”      
Jane Kenyon, “The Socks”      
Anne Bradstreet, “The Author to Her Book”   
Other Figures        
Edmund Conti, “Pragmatist”      
Dylan Thomas, “The Hand that Signed the Paper”  
Janice Townley Moore, “To a Wasp”     
Poems for Further Study      
William Carlos Williams, “To Waken an Old Lady”   
Ernest Slyman, “Lightning Bugs”      
Martin Espada, “The Mexican Cabdriver’s Poem for is Wife, Who Has Left Him”
Judy Page Heitzman, “The Schoolroom on the Second Floor of the Knitting Mill” 
Robert Pinsky, “Icicles”       
Kay Ryan, “Learning”      
14. Symbol, Allegory, and Irony
Robert Frost, “Acquainted with the Night”   
James Baldwin, “Guilt, Desire, and Love”    
Edward Arlington Robinson, “Richard Cory”    
*Gwendolyn Brooks, “Sadie and Maud”     
E. E. Cummings, “Next To Of Course God America I”   
Stephen Crane, “A Man Said to the Universe”   
Poems for Further Study      
Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market”    
Jane Kenyon, “The Thimble”      
Kevin Pierce, “Proof of Origin”      
Carl Sandburg, “A Fence”     
Julio Marzán, “Ethnic Poetry”     
Mark Halliday, “Graded Paper”      
Robert Browning, “My Last Duchess”    
William Blake, “A Poison Tree”     
15. Sounds
Listening to Poetry       
*Kamau Brathwaite, “Ogun”      
John Updike, “Player Piano”     
Emily Dickinson, “A Bird came down the Walk –”   
A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: Sound in Emily Dickinson’s “A Bird came down to walk—”
Richard Armour, “Going to Extremes”    
Robert Southey, from “The Cataract of Lodore”   
Andrew Hudgins, “The Ice-Cream Truck”    
Sound and Meaning      
Gerard Manley Hopkins, “God’s Grandeur”   
Poems for Further Study      
Lewis Carroll, “Jabberwocky”     
William Heyen, “The Trains”     
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Break, Break, Break”   
Kay Ryan, “Dew”      
Robert Francis, “The Pitcher”     
Helen Chasin, “The Word Plum”     
Major Jackson, “Autumn Landscape”    
16. Patterns of Rhythm      
Some Principles of Meter      
Walt Whitman, from “Song of the Open Road”   
William Wordsworth, “My Heart Leaps Up”    
Suggestions for Scanning a Poem    
Timothy Steele, “Waiting for the Storm”    
A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: The Rhythm of Anticipation in Timothy Steele’s “Waiting for the Storm”
William Butler Yeats, “That the Night Come”   
Poems for Further Study      
John Maloney, “Good!”       
Alice Jones, “The Foot”       
Robert Herrick, “Delight in Disorder”     
E. E. Cummings, “O Sweet Spontaneous”    
William Blake, “The Lamb”      
William Blake, “The Tyger”      
Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”  
Gwendolyn Brooks, “We Real Cool”    
17. Poetic Forms       
Some Common Poetic Forms      
A.E. Housman, “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now”  
Robert Herrick, “Upon Julia’s Clothes”    
John Keats, “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”  
William Shakespeare, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” 
Countee Cullen, “Yet Do I Marvel”    
Mark Jarman, “Unholy Sonnet”     
R.S. Gwynn, “Shakespearean Sonnet”    
Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” 
*Denise Duhamel, “Please Don’t Sit Like a Frog, Sit Like a Queen” 
Florence Cassen Mayers, “All-American Sestina”  
Julia Alvarez, “Bilingual Sestina”     
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “What Is an Epigram?”   
David McCord, “Epitaph on a Waiter”    
Paul Laurence Dunbar, “Theology”    
Arthur Henry Reginald Buller, “There was a Young Lady Named Bright” 
Laurence Perrine, “The Limerick’s Never Averse”  
Matsuo Basho, “Under Cherry Trees”    
Carolyn Kizer, “After Basho”     
Amy Lowell, “Last Night It Rained”    
Gary Snyder, “A Dent in a Bucket”    
Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, “Ghazal 4”    
Patricia Smith, “Hip Hop Ghazal”    
Ben Jonson, “On My First Son”     
Kate Hanson Foster, “Elegy of Color”    
Alexander Pope, “Ode on Solitude”    
John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”    
Blanche Farley, “The Lover Not Taken”    
Joan Murray, “We Old Dudes”     
Picture Poem        
Michael McFee, “In Medias Res”    
PERSPECTIVE: Elaine Mitchell, “Form” 
Open Form           
Walt Whitman, from “I Sing the Body Electric”   
A SAMPLE STUDENT RESPONSE: The Power of Walt Whitman’s Open Form Poem “I Sing the Body Electric”
*William Carlos Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow”  
Major Jackson, “The Chase”     
Julio Marzán, “The Translator at the Reception for Latin American Writers” 
Poetry in Depth       
*18. A Cultural Case Study: The Harlem Renaissance   
Langston Hughes:      
*“The Negro Speaks of Rivers”     
“The Weary Blues”      
Georgia Douglas Johnson:
Countee Cullen:       
Claude McKay:       
“If We Must Die”     
*“The Lynching”       

19. A Case Study: Song Lyrics as Poetry   
Frederic Weatherly, “Danny Boy”     
*Bessie Smith, “Careless Love Blues”     
*Woody Guthrie, “Pretty Boy Floyd”     
Hank Williams, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”   
Bob Dylan, “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”   
John Lennon and Paul McCartney, “I Am the Walrus”  
Joni Mitchell, “Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire”   
*Tracy Chapman, “Fast Car”      
*Paul Simon, “Slip-Sliding Away”     
Tom Waits, “Alice”        
*Lauryn Hill, “Everything is Everything”    
*GZA, “Alphabets”       
*Noname, “Don’t Forget About Me”     
*Little Simz, “Introvert”       
*Common, “Letter to the Free”    

20. A Thematic Case Study: Our Fragile Planet  
*Eileen Cleary, “The Way We Fled”    
*Tess Gallagher, “Choices”      
*Joy Harjo, “Singing Everything”     
J. Estanislao Lopez, “Meditation on Beauty”   
Wendell Berry, “The Peace of Wild Things”    
Gail White, “Dead Armadillos”     
Allen Ginsberg, “Sunflower Sutra”     
Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”      
Sylvia Plath, “Pheasant”      
*Teresa Mei Chuk, “Rainforest”     
*Jennifer Franklin, “Memento Mori: Apple Orchard”   
21.  A Study of Emily Dickinson     
A Brief Biography       
An Introduction to Her Work      
Emily Dickinson:      
“If I can stop one Heart from breaking”    
“If I shouldn’t be alive”     
“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee”   
“Success is counted sweetest”     
“Water, is taught by thirst”    
“Some keep the Sabbath going to Church—”   
“I taste a liquor never brewed—”    
“‘Heaven’—is what I cannot reach!”   
“I like a look of Agony”     
“Wild Nights–Wild Nights!”     
“The Soul selects her own Society—”    
“Much Madness is divinest Sense”    
“I dwell in Possibility”     
“I heard a Fly buzz–when I died”     
“Because I could not stop for Death—”    
“Tell all the Truth but tell it slant—”   
Emily Dickinson, “A Description of Herself”   
Thomas Wentworth Higgonson, “On Meeting Dickinson for the First Time”
Mabel Loomis Todd, “The Character of Amherst”  
Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, “On Dickinson’s White Dress”
Paula Bennett, “On ‘I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—’”  
Martha Nell Smith, “On ‘Because I could not stop for Death’” 
Emily Dickinson: 
“‘Faith’ is a fine invention”    
“I know that He exists”     
“I never saw a Moor—”     
“Apparently with no surprise”   
A SAMPLE STUDENT PAPER: Religious Faith in Four Poems by Emily Dickinson  

A Collection of Poems      

22. Poems for Further Reading    
*José Angel Araguz, “The Name”     
Charles Baudelaire, “A Carrion”     
William Blake, “Infant Sorrow”     
Anne Bradstreet, “Before the Birth of One of Her Children”  
Emily Brontë, “Stars”     
Michelle Cliff, “The Land of Look Behind”    
Gregory Corso, “Marriage”      
John Donne, “The Flea”     
T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”   
Robert Frost, “Mending Wall”     
*Eliza Gonzalez, “In Quarantine, I Reflect on the Death of Ophelia” 
*Amanda Gorman, “In This Place (An American Lyric)”   
Seamus Heaney, “Digging”      
Brionne Janae, “Alternative Facts”     
John Keats, “When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be”  
Philip Larkin, “Sad Steps”      
Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus”     
Robert Lowell, “Skunk Hour”     
*Dionisio D. Martínez, “Flood: Years of Solitude”   
Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Spring”     
*Jim Moore, “How to Come Out of Lockdown”   
Naomi Shihab Nye, “To Manage”     
Edgar Allan Poe, “Annabelle Lee”     
*Lois Red Elk, “All Thirst Quenched”     
Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ozymandias”     
*Patricia Smith, “What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl (For Those of You Who Aren’t)”  
Wallace Stevens, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”  
*Natasha Trethewey, “Graveyard Blues”    
Phillis Wheatley, “To S.M., a young African Painter, on seeing his Works”
Walt Whitman, “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”  
William Wordsworth, “I wandered lonely as a cloud”  
William Butler Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”   
The Study of Drama       
23. Reading Drama     
Reading Drama Responsively      
Susan Glaspell, Trifles      
A SAMPLE CLOSE READING: An Annotated Section of Trifles 
Elements of Drama      
24. A Study of Sophocles     
Theatrical Conventions of Greek Drama     
Sophocles, Oedipus the King (trans. by David Grene)
25. A Study of William Shakespeare    
Shakespeare’s Theater       
The Range of Shakespeare’s Drama: History, Comedy, and Tragedy 
A Note on Reading Shakespeare      
William Shakespeare, Othello, the Moor of Venice  
26. Modern Drama       
Theatrical Conventions of Modern Drama    
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest    

27. Contemporary Drama      
Beyond Realism        
*Quiara Alegría Hudes, Water by the Spoonful   
*A SAMPLE STUDENT PAPER: Water by the Spoonful: Exploring the Internet’s Role in Bettering the Self
28. Plays for Further Reading     
Lynn Nottage, POOF!      
*Suzan-Lori Parks, Six Very Short Plays:    
*“Veuve Clicquot”      
*“Here Comes the Message”    
*“The Ends of the Earth”      
*“Beginning Middle End”     
*“What Do You See”      

Strategies for Reading and Writing         

29. Critical Strategies for Reading            
Critical Thinking        
Formalist Strategies       
Biographical Strategies       
Psychological Strategies       
Historical Strategies       
Marxist Criticism       
New Historicist Criticism     
Cultural Criticism       
Gender Strategies       
Feminist Criticism       
LGBTQ+ Criticism       
Mythological Strategies      
Reader-Response Strategies      
Deconstructionist Strategies     
*Affect Theory Strategies      
30. Writing about Literature      
Why Am I Being Asked to Do This?     
From Reading and Discussion to Writing     
Annotating the Text and Journal Note Taking   
Choosing a Topic       
More Focused Prewriting      
Arguing about Literature      
Writing a Draft        
Textual Evidence: Using Quotations, Summarizing, and Paraphrasing 
Writing the Introduction and Conclusion     
Revising and Editing       
Questions for Writing: A Revision Checklist     
Writing about Fiction, Poetry, And Drama    
Writing about Fiction       
Questions for Responsive Reading and Writing about Fiction  
A SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAY:  John Updike’s “A & P” as a State of Mind
Writing about Poetry       
Questions for Responsive Reading and Writing about Poetry 
The Elements Together       
John Donne, “Death Be Not Proud”     
A SAMPLE CLOSE READING:  An Annotated Version of “Death Be Not Proud”  
A Sample First Response      
Organizing Your Thoughts      
A Sample Informal Outline      
The Elements and Theme      
A SAMPLE EXPLICATION: The Use of Conventional Metaphors for Death in John Donne’s “Death Be Not Proud”
Writing about Drama       
Questions for Responsive Reading and Writing about Drama  
A SAMPLE STUDENT PAPER: The Feminist Evidence in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles  
31. The Literary Research Paper                
Finding Sources        
Evaluating Sources and Taking Notes       
Developing a Draft, Integrating Sources, and Organizing the Paper    
Documenting Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism      
A SAMPLE STUDENT PAPER: How William Faulkner’s Narrator Cultivates a Rose for Emily

Glossary of Literary Terms    
Index of First Lines        
Index of Authors and Titles      
Index of Terms

Supplemental Materials

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