9 Honors English
Ray Gen


Interpretive Essay


Interpret the poem below. Use the following guidelines to help you write:


1. Write a captivating and fascinating introductory paragraph which initiates your reader to the poem, your interpretation and your essay. Be clever, yet academic. This paragraph(s) should foreshadow your intent and set up your approach to the essay and the poem. This introduction should also provide your reader with the necessary background information if needed. (You may wish to include a personal insight or experience to orient your reader to the topic at hand.)


2. Identify and analyze the message of the poem. What does the speaker of the poem convey? Demonstrate the speaker's meaning. What do you suppose Henley is saying through this poem?


3. Make sure to offer supportive evidence from the text of the poem. Cite the poem to support your interpretation. This is the section in which the argumentation takes place and should be the bulk of the essay. What specific claims are you making? Are these claims well argued?


4. Be convincing and authoritative. Take a firm stance and argue your position.


Peer Response Guide for Writing an Interpretive Essay


I. On a separate piece of paper write YOUR name, date and period on the top right corner.


II. Write "PEER RESPONSE FOR ____________ - Interpretive Essay as the title. (underline person's name)


III. Using complete sentences, respond to the writing using the following guide:



1. Does the author offer an effective introductory paragraph. State the approach the author takes in the introduction.


2. Does the title of the essay reflect the content of the essay? Explain.


3. Is there a enough background information given?


4. Identify the specific claims/arguments made by the author?


5. Does the author treat the entire passage? What is left out that should be included?


6. Does the author substantiate these claims by use of the text?


7. Is the author convincing?


8. Note errors in grammar. (gr)


9. Note errors in spelling. (sp)


10. Score the writing with points ranging from 0 to 6 (with 6 being the best score. You may also use +

or -).





William Ernest Henley. 18491903





OUT of the night that covers me,


  Black as the Pit from pole to pole,


I thank whatever gods may be


  For my unconquerable soul.




In the fell clutch of circumstance


  I have not winced nor cried aloud.


Under the bludgeonings of chance


  My head is bloody, but unbowed.




Beyond this place of wrath and tears


  Looms but the Horror of the shade,


And yet the menace of the years


  Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.




It matters not how strait the gate,


  How charged with punishments the scroll,


I am the master of my fate:


  I am the captain of my soul.