How to Cite a Poem

How to Cite a Poem (Begin Your Career as a Poet)

Poetry represents one of the most creative and lovely genres of writing and it may be a useful source to use when coming up with a topic or supporting evidence for a research paper. This article shows you how to cite a poem

How to Cite a Poem

Why is Poetry Important?

Before writing was even a possibility, poetry has been a part of human history. Early civilizations were able to memorize epic poems and histories thanks to oral traditions of rhyming.

Poetry uses words and sounds to express potent ideas and images, elevating language in the process. Do you know what it means to “get more bang for your buck”? What about “do a lot with a little”?

Poetry has that effect on language. With a little, it accomplishes a lot.

The Efficiency of MLA Citation for Poems

The MLA style is really crucial for poetry referencing. If you found the poetry online, in a book, or if it is an epic poem, the format of your reference for your works cited will change. Consider an illustration of each.

Now let us examine at some of the most common citation formats and see how to cite a poem in them.

Citing the Poem’s Title (How to Cite a Poem)

No matter how long a quote is, it must always be followed with the last name of the poet. If you reference more than one poem by the same author, you must additionally give the poem’s title.

You can either put it in a parenthetical reference at the end of the lines or include it in the main text before the quotation.

It won’t be viewed as an error if you repeat the name and title in the parenthetical citation after mentioning them before the quote if you’re unsure whether the reader will understand.


How to Cite a Poem in MLA

Poetry could be appropriate to use in a research essay.

Being a specific kind of material that can be accessible online, in a book, or in an anthology, poems can be challenging to correctly credit.

You should have a concrete knowledge of how to properly cite a poem in your work and on your reference page using the MLA style, as well as how to quote poems of various lengths.

There are also formatting guidelines, samples, and advice on what information you need to gather before starting in this article.

MLA Formatting Quotations

You should structure quotations differently depending on how long they are when you directly quote someone else’s writing in your paper.

Here are some general recommendations for using quotations in your paper. Please be aware that MLA requires double spacing between all pages.

Short Quotations 

In your writing, you should use double quote marks to denote short quotations (four typed lines or fewer in prose, or three lines in verse).

In the in-text citation, mention the author’s name and the precise page number (or, for verse, the line numbers), and in the Works Cited page, include a comprehensive reference.

Periods, commas, and semicolons should be used as punctuation after parenthetical citations. Exclamation points and question marks should be placed after the parenthetical citation if they are part of your text, but inside quotation marks if they are part of the passage being cited.

Use the following examples, for instance, when quoting brief chunks of prose:

Some contend that dreams convey “deep features of personality” (Foulkes 184), yet others dispute this.

Dreams may convey “deep characteristics of personality,” according to Foulkes’ study (184).

Do dreams have the potential to reveal “deep characteristics of personality” (Foulkes 184)?

Use a slash, (/), at the end of each line of poem to indicate verse breaks when utilizing brief (less than three lines of verse) poetry passages (a space should precede and follow the slash). Use a double slash (//) if a stanza break occurs during the quotation.


Long Quotation

Place quotations in a block of text that stands alone and omit quotation marks if they are longer than four lines of prose or three lines of verse.

The quotation should be placed at the beginning of a new line, double-spaced, and with the full quote indented 1/2 inch from the left margin.

The final punctuation mark should occur after your parenthetical citation. Be sure to keep the original line breaks when quoting verse. (Throughout your essay, double space should be used.)

For example, when citing more than four lines of prose, use the following examples:

Nelly Dean treats Heathcliff poorly and dehumanizes him throughout her narration: They entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room, and I had no more sense, so, I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it would be gone on the morrow.

By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earnshaw’s door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber.

Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house. (Bronte 78)

When citing long sections of poetry (four lines of verse or more), keep formatting as close to the original as possible.

educational poetry


When to Use Poem Quotes

When should you reference a poem? Liberal arts, literature, and language students are the ones that cite poetry the most frequently. It would be difficult to describe a poetry trend or write an article about a poet without presenting some of his works as examples.

Poem lines may also be seen in essays that are descriptive, contemplative, argumentative, or compare and contrast.

However, if the significance of the line(s) you have chosen is pertinent, you are not restricted from using poem citations in your works even if you are not a humanities student. There are several guidelines on how to cite a poem, even though there are no restrictions on where you can do so.

Daily Times Poems

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