How to Quote and Cite a Poem in an Essay Using ..
This poem of great clarity and freshness has been found wanting by the academic critic David Lloyd. He found the poem ideologically deficient, failing to pay homage to post-colonial theory, although he would put it differently. (My page shows why interpretations in terms of post-colonialism can't possibly account for the realities of Irish and Northern Irish history.)
David Lloyd does his best to explain his view in the well-known - too well-known - not-in-the-least seminal essay 'Pap for the Dispossessed' (later 'colonized' - incorporated into the empire of - his book 'Anomalous States: Irish Writing and the Post-Colonial Moment.' Compare the excellent 'Theory's Empire,' edited by Daphne Patai and Will H. Corral, the essays of which 'question the inflated claims, facile slogans, and political pretensions that have in our time turned theory into a ubiquitous orthodoxy.' From the back cover.)
David Lloyd criticizes the 'cultural nationalism' of the poem, 'since language is seen primarily as naming, and because naming performs a cultural reterritorialisation by replacing the contingent continuities of an historical community with an ideal register of continuity in which the name (of place or of object) operates as the commonplace communicating between actual and ideal continuum.'
David Lloyd's interest is in ideological success and failure, as he sees it, rather than artistic success and failure but my priorities are different. Hhe last verse-paragraph of the four which make up the poem is markedly lower in its artistic success than the first three. Although it's evocative, to an extent, it's matter-of-factness does nothing to advance the poem or to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion.
The first verse paragraph:
My 'place of clear water',
the first hill in the world
where springs washed into
the shiny grass
The lack of a comma after 'world' is the main fault here. The first line is arresting. It has rhythmic distinction, to an extent. The second line is arresting too, and again, with rhythmic distinction, to an extent. The first line and the second line would form an obvious pair, the second line consolidating the effect of the first, if only there had been a comma at the end of the second line, to create a pause. As it is, the second line is only the start of a progression which takes attention away from the first line and away from itself.
'where springs washed into / the shiny grass' give the impression that the grass is shiny independently of the effect of the springs, but of course it's the water from the springs which make the grass shine. The preposition 'into' is clumsy - yet another instance of Seamus Heaney's inattention to superfluous and distracting syllables. 'into' should have been removed. I think this would be an improvement:
where springs washed,
the grass shone.
The softness of the Irish language is a counterpart to the softness of this poem, which lacks all harshness. The poem does use the word 'soft:' 'Anahorish, soft gradient ... '
This poem, a very appealing one, deserves better than ideological mauling. There's nothing in the poem which makes the point that Irish is the language of the colonized whereas English is the language of the colonizer, for which we may be duly grateful.
How to Do Quotes on an Argumentative Essay in MLA Format
The simple answer is "seldom," but there are specific situations in which you should use an ellipsis in this way. You should use an ellipsis if the words you quote, as they appear in your essay, constitute a complete sentence, but, in the original, the words you quote are only part of a longer sentence. We can use a simple example to demonstrate the idea. Let's say the original is "I am here, and I am ready." Here's how I could quote the sentence or part of it.
Elizabeth Baughan, professor of Archaeology at the University of Richmond, says that many students "seem unsure of how to use secondary sources beyond quoting them, and quotations are often inserted awkwardly, without being incorporated into the structure of the paragraph." When you simply stick quotes into your essay without introducing them, it makes your paper extremely confusing for the reader.