Ms. Crandell ap english Literature

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Ms. Crandell

AP English Literature

Timed Write: Compare/Contrast

Question 1 prompt from 2004

The poems below are concerned with darkness and night. Read each poem carefully. Then, in a well-written essay, compare and contrast the poems, analyzing the significance of dark or night in each. In your essay, consider elements such as point of view, imagery, and structure.
 We grow accustomed to the Dark--                                                  Acquainted with the Night

 When Light is put away--                                                     

 As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp                          I have been one acquainted with the night.

 To witness her Good bye-- I have walked out in rain--and back in rain.

I have outwalked the furthest city light.

5A Moment--We Uncertain step

 For newness of the night-- I have looked down the saddest city lane.

 Then--fit our Vision to the Dark--         5 I have passed by the watchman on his beat

 And meet the Road--erect-- And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
 And so of larger--Darknesses--           I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet

10Those Evenings of the Brain-- When far away an interrupted cry

 When not a Moon disclose a sign-- Came over houses from another street,

 Or Star-- come out-- within--

      10 But not to call me back or say good-by;

 The Bravest--grope a little-- And further still at an unearthly height,

 And sometimes hit a Tree One luminary clock against the sky

15Directly in the Forehead--

 But as they learn to see--                   Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.

I have been one acquainted with the night.

 Either the Darkness alters--

 Or something in the sight --Robert Frost

 Adjusts itself to Midnight--

20And Life steps almost straight.

         --Emily Dickinson

--You must mention both similarities and differences in the opening of your essay.

--Try to construct a single sentence that captures both, in order to analyze the relationship between the two pieces.
Possibilities for organizing your compare/contrast AP writes!
(adapted from
Format 1

intro paragraph

1st body paragraph analyzes poem 1
2nd body paragraph analyzes poem 2
3rd body paragraph compares/contrasts the 2 poems
concluding paragraph

Format 2

intro paragraph

1st body paragraph picks one point to focus on in both poems (aspect of the work)
2nd body paragraph picks 2nd point to focus on in both poems (another aspect of the works)
3rd body paragraph picks 3rd point to focus on in both poems (last aspect of the works)
concluding paragraph

Format 3

intro paragraph

1st body paragraph compares both poems
2nd body paragraph contrasts both poems
3rd body paragraph draws conclusions from the comparison/contrast
concluding paragraph

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