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101907 Introduction to Literary Studies Assessment One – Written Exercise (25%)

Length: 500 words
Due: Sunday 13 August, by 11:59pm

Assessment One is a short written exercise. It assesses students’ reflective interpretations of the formal aspects of poetry, including genre, language, sound, image, tone, and rhythm.


With detailed reference to ONE poem from the ILS e-reader, consider the way the words of the poem are arranged, patterned, measured, enunciated, and shaped on the page to achieve a particular expressive form and answer the question below.

This task is an exercise in comprehension and analysis of a primary text. It does NOT require any critical research or secondary references.

Students are expected to demonstrate comprehension, writing, and analytical skills. All assessments in this unit must meet the Literacy Minimum Standard Level 1 in order to qualify for a passing grade. See pp. 7-8 of the learning guide for further details.

Please submit your assessment to the assessment one turnitin link on the unit’s vUWS site.

How do the sound, language and genre of the poem function to create meaning?

Assessment Criteria and Standards


Excellent (HD)

Very Good (D)

Good (C)

Fair (P)

Poor (F)


Focused throughout; insightful, clear, and highly persuasive.

Particularly well focused and clear. Persuasive.

Mostly focused and relevant. Some clarity and persuasion.

Generally in the right direction, but lacks persuasion.

Off track; fails to answer the question. No persuasion.

Accurate, insightful, and sophisticated understanding of the formal aspects of poetry. Comprehensively applied to an in- depth examination of poem(s).

Strong and accurate understanding of the formal aspects of poetry. Convincingly applied to an examination of the poem(s).

Sound understanding of the formal aspects of poetry. Able to apply formal aspects to a reading of the poem(s) and examine their meanings.

Reasonable, but superficial understanding of the formal aspects of poetry. Able to apply formal aspects to a reading of the poem(s) but not examine their meanings.

Inaccurate and/or incomplete understanding of the formal aspects of poetry. Unable to apply formal aspects and examine their meanings.


Demonstrated understanding and application of the formal aspects of poetry

Appropriate use of textual quotes and

Successfully integrated quotes; textual examples

Effectively integrated quotes; textual

Good use of textual examples and

Some relevant textual examples;

Irrelevant or no textual examples/quotes


examples to substantiate argument

substantiate and enhance claims made.

examples substantiate claims made.

quotes that substantiate claims made.

quotes not always well integrated and/or well argued.

used to substantiate argument.

Presentation (writing and referencing)

Fluent and subtle use of expression, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Accurate referencing and bibliography.

Sound expression – little, or no grammatical errors. Consistent and full referencing and bibliography.

Correct use of grammar, spelling, punctuation. Adequate referencing and bibliography.

Generally well written; awkward expression, punctuation, and spelling. Incomplete or inconsistent referencing and bibliography.

Recurring grammatical and expression errors – does not meet minimum literacy standards (Level 1). Inaccurate or absent referencing and bibliography.







Subject Literature Pages 5 Style APA


The Horse fell off the Poem by Mahmoud Darwish


There are several components that constitute a solid poem. Three of the most imperative components are the sound, language and genre. This paper aims to analyze the role that the sound, language, and genre play to create meaning in The Horse fell off the Poem by Mahmoud Darwish.


Sound devices denote resources that poets use to reinforce or relay the meaning or experience of poetry via the expert use of sound. There are numerous sound devices that the poet applies in the horse fell of the poem. The use of consonance is evidence in the final stanza: “the horse fell bloodied with my poem; and I fell bloodied; with the horse’s blood…” (Darwish, n.d., p. 18). The poet uses this consonance to emphasize the word ‘bloodied’ in the poem. Bloodied is used in this context to create the image of an undesirable occurrence, which is the basis of the poem. Moreover, the use of consonance has also given the poem a rhyming trait.

Additionally, resonance is evident in several lines. Essentially, the poet uses three dots in numerous lines to prompt the reader to contemplate the underlying meanings of some of his inferences. “because all that will be…was” (Darwish, n.d.,p. 17). The statement has tremendous weight; the poet indicates that the best times are behind us. Moreover, the poet uses repetitions in the poem. “The two absent ones; you and I; you and I are the two absent ones” (Darwish, n.d.,p. 5). The use of repetitions provides emphasis to these statements. The poet insists that the context of the poem is past and not contemporary.


Moreover, the use of poetic language in the poem also creates significant meaning. The poet uses similes. “I attack and retreat, like the violin in quatrains” (Darwish, n.d.,p. 12). This serves the purpose of guiding the audience’s imagination and understanding of this statement. Fundamentally, it creates a vivid picture for the audience. There are also metaphors in the poem. “The horse fell off the poem; and the Galilean women were wet with butterflies and dew” (Darwish, n.d.,p. 1). This creates a fantastic image at the introduction of the poem and immediately alerts the audience to the essence of the poem. It speaks of desirable things that are unheard of in the modern world.

In addition, the use of personification is important. “A pair of white doves chatting on the branches of a holm oak” (Darwish, n.d., p. 7). The poet uses personification to establish a connection between the audience and the entities in the poem. It creates a vivid image in the audience’s mind to enhance further understanding or connectedness with the scenario that the poet attempts to establish. 


The genre of the horse fell off the poem is satirical. Satirical poems often aim to admonish the society for certain behaviors or characterizations and instigate change. The poet is clearly displeased with the current state of affairs and desires a retreat back to some of the past elements. “There is no margin in modern language left to celebrate what we love, because all that will be…was” (Darwish, n.d., p. 15). He paints a clear picture of past living and compares it to modern living; ultimately he establishes his preference for past living. His depiction of contemporary life is reflected in the statement: “The horse fell bloodied with my poem, and I fell bloodied with the horse’s blood” (Darwish, n.d., p. 18).


Conclusively, the poet’s usage of sound, language, and genre contribute to creating meaning in the horse fell off the poem. These factors enhance the audience’s comprehension of various elements of the poem.






Darwish, M. (n.d.). The Horse fell off the Poem. Retrieved from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52550/the-horse-fell-off-the-poem



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