You could want to integrate poetry into your research paper. However, as a poem is a unique resource available online, in a book, or an anthology, it can be difficult to know how to credit it correctly.
This website offers all the information you’ll need to properly cite a poem in MLA style in your paper and on your reference page, as well as how to quote poems of various lengths. This page also includes instructions for writing your citations, formatting examples, and the information you’ll need to get started.
This article adheres to the rules in the MLA Handbook, 9th edition, but it is not affiliated with the Modern Language Association.
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When quoting poetry, make sure the quotation and in-text citation are appropriately formatted to point the reader to the correct source item in the Works Cited list.
Use a slash to separate lines in a poetry quotation and include the poet’s last name in your text or parentheses after the quote. In addition, include line numbers specified in the text or a page number if the poetry is spread across multiple pages to show where the quote is located.
Include the full publication details of the source where you found the poetry in the Works Cited entry, such as a book or a website. To create Works Cited entries and in-text citations, you can use our free MLA citation generator.
You’ll need to gather information about your source before knowing how to cite lines in a poem. If possible, locate:
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It’s not a life-or-death situation about how to MLA cite a poem: all you need is a basic understanding of the MLA citation style. Then, your poem quotations will be immaculate as your writing. Now you may easily cite a poem in MLA format.
Insert quotation marks around a single line (or part of a line) from a poem, just like any other quote. However, there are certain formatting requirements for multiple-line quotations.
If you’re quoting two or three lines, mark the line breaks with a forward slash. Before and after the slash, add a space. Make sure to follow the original text’s punctuation, capitalization, and formatting.
Poetry quotation with line breaks, for example.
“Deep in the grounds of a burnt-out hotel, / A thousand mushrooms crowd around a keyhole / Among the bathtubs and washbasins,” Mahon writes.
Use a double slash between the lines if there is a stanza break.
A poem quotation with a stanza break is an example.
“They lift weak heads in gravity and good faith. / They are pleading us, you see, in their wordless way, / To do something, to speak on their behalf,” Mahon writes next.
You put poem titles in quotes while doing citations.
According to the topic being demonstrated, you can quote a few lines of poetry or several. Of course, depending on how many lines you’re quoting in MLA format, your formatting will differ.
Follow these basic recommendations if you’re using two or three lines from a poem.
“I chose the lesser-travelled path, and it has made all the difference.” (Lines 19-20 in Frost)
Long Poem Quotes
Different standards apply for citing a poem, whether you use a whole stanza or even a block of poetry in your MLA work. Look at these pointers for quoting four or more lines of poetry. A block quotation is what it’s called.
Lines and Numbers for Citing a Poem in MLA
Now that you’ve mastered poem quotation, it’s time to put the finishing touches on it. Include the author’s last name and the lines you used in parenthesis to finish a poem quote (e.g., Frost lines 1-5). This follows the time. Long poetic essay example:
I’ll tell you this with a sigh.
Somewhere, aeons and aeons ago:
In the woods, two paths divided, and I—
I chose the less travelled path.
And it’s made a world of difference. (Frost 16-20)
MLA does not need you to manually count lines if you have a poem with no lines available. Alternatively, you can refer to the poem’s page numbers.
“Then the window closes in on your mind.” Men walk there, just beyond the sway of curtains.” (Angelou 126)
Depending on the genre of the poem there are a few different methods to include the poem’s title in the text.
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