Quoting Poetry

Why are poetry and prose quoted differently in essays?

The format of poetry quotations informs the reader in a nonverbal way that the quoted passage is from a poem, not a prose piece. Essentially, the two formats differ to improve the clarity and ease of reading an essay.

Place a forward slash (/) between  each quoted line The citation will list the line numbers, rather than the page numbers used in prose citation.

To quote four or more lines:
  • Use the same format and line  breaks as the original source To indicate deleted sections…
  • Use an ellipses (…) If the ellipsis is used to indicate an entire omitted line, the ellipsis should be the same approximate length as the original line in the poem .
To clarify a referene:
  • Use brackets within the quotation
  1. Dickinson describes the sound as,

“A Service, like a Drum— / Kept beating—beating—till I thought / My Mind was going numb—” (6-8).

 2. Dickinson describes her mental anguish during her illness as a metaphorical funeral:

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, And Mourners to and fro Kept treading—treading—till it seemed That Sense was breaking through— And when they all were seated, A Service, like a Drum— Kept beating—beating—till I thought My Mind was going numb— (1-8)

  3. In describing the funeral, Dickinson says And Mourners… Kept treading—treading—till it seemed That Sense was breaking through— A Service, like a Drum— (2-4, 6)

  4. Dickinson says, “And when they [the mourners] all were seated / A Service, … / Kept beating—beating…” (5-7).

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https://www-s3-live.kent.edu/s3fs-root/s3fs-public/file/quoting-poetry.pdf