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ENGL 150: Poetry and Drama

In-Text Citations: Poetry

Crafting in-text citations for poems requires different strategies than those used when citing prose. The following are some general guidelines for in-text citation of poetry; please see section 6.36 of the MLA Handbook, Ninth Edition for more detailed information.

  • Include line numbers if they are included in the text, and include line or lines in your in-text citation. (MLA, 244 )
    • Example: (Wayman, lines 15-16)
  • When citing 2-3 lines of poetry, insert a forward slash / between the lines. (MLA, 256)
    • Example: Wayman reflects on the evening, stating "... These are what we made / as we ascended amid the snow, as our dwellings travelled / up toward the greater night" (lines 22-25).
    • Alternative example: What was a lively evening ends on a transcendent note when the speaker suggests "... These are what we made / as we ascended amid the snow, as our dwellings travelled / up toward the greater night" (Wayman, lines 22-25).
  • When citing more than three lines of poetry, begin the quotation on a new line and indent each of the lines 1/2 inch from the left margin. Do not use quotation marks unless present in the original. (MLA, 256) See example below.

In "Did I Miss Anything" Wayman beautifully skewers the age-old question asked by post-secondary students after having missed a class (or classes). In perhaps his most existentially withering retort, Wayman asserts:

Nothing. None of the content of this course

has value or meaning

Take as many days off as you like:

any activities we undertake as a class

I assure you will not matter either to you or me

and are without purpose (lines 9-14)

 

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