How to Cite a Poem in MLA | Quoting & Citing Correctly

When you quote poetry, you have to properly format the quotation and the in-text citation, in order to direct the subscriber to the correct source entrance in the Works Cited list .
separate lines in a poetry quotation with a flog, and include the poet ’ sulfur last identify either in your text or in parentheses after the quote. To show the placement of the quote, include wrinkle numbers ( if specified in the textbook ) or a page number ( if the poem is published across multiple pages ) .
Quoting and citing poetry in the text The second base stanza begins with an baleful prophetic voice asking “ What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this rocky rubbish ? ” ( Eliot, lines 19–20 ) .
In the Works Cited entrance, include the full publication details of the source in which you found the poem ( e.g. a book or web site ). You can use our free MLA citation generator to create Works Cited entries and in-text citations.

How to quote poetry in MLA

When you quote a single agate line of a poem ( or part of a line ), simply put it in quotation marks as you would for any other quotation mark. For quotations of multiple lines, there are some specific format requirements .

2–3 lines

If you quote two or three lines, use a forward solidus to mark the line breaks. Put a distance before and after the convulse. Make certain to use the lapp punctuation, capitalization, and styling as in the original text .
Poetry quotation with line breaks Mahon writes that “ Deep in the grounds of a burned-out hotel, / Among the bathtub and the washbasins / A thousand mushrooms crowd to a keyhole. ”
If there is a stanza break between the lines, use a double solidus .
Poetry quotation with stanza break A haunting image comes following : “ They lift frail heads in gravity and good faith. // They are begging us, you see, in their mute way, / To do something, to speak on their behalf ” ( Mahon ) .

4+ lines

If you quote more than three lines of poetry, set them off as a block quote. Use an introductory sentence ending with a colon, then start the quotation on a new line, indented half an inch from the leave gross profit, with no quotation marks .
When block quoting poetry, include all occupation breaks in the citation and keep the format as near to the original as possible. If there is any unusual spacing, reproduce this in the block quotation .
Poetry block quote Mahon ’ s poem opens with a series of images of eerily deserted spaces :
tied now there are places where a remember might grow —
Peruvian mines, worked out and abandoned
To a slow clock of condensing,
An echo trap for ever, and a flicker
Of wildflowers in the lift-shaft

MLA in-text citations for poems

When quoting a poem, the poet ’ mho last list must be clearly stated indeed that the proofreader can locate the generator in the Works Cited number. If you cite more than one poem by the same author, you besides need to mention the deed of the poem you are quoting .
Often you will name the poet and title in the chief textbook as you introduce the quotation. If not, or if there is any ambiguity about which poem you are referring to, include the writer name and/or claim in a parenthetical expression quotation after the quote .

Line numbers and page numbers in in-text citations

sometimes poems are published with line numbers in the margin. In this case, use the line numbers in your in-text citation to more precisely locate the quote. Use the word “ line ” or “ lines ” ( preceded by a comma ) in the first citation, but merely the numbers in subsequent citations .
Example: Citing a poem with numbered lines“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish?” (Eliot, lines 19–20).
If there are no line numbers displayed in the beginning, do not count them manually. If the poem is published over multiple pages, use the foliate count alternatively .
Example: Citing a poem published on multiple pages“One day they hold you in the / Palms of their hands, gentle, as if you / Were the last raw egg in the world” (Angelou 132).
If there are no page or line numbers available ( for case, when accessing a poem on a web site ), or if the poem appears on a individual page of the published textbook, without occupation numbers, you merely need to include the poet ’ mho name .
Example: Citing a poem with no line or page numbering“For a human animal to call for help / on another animal / is the most riven the most revolted cry on earth” ( rich).
If you have already mentioned the author when introducing the quotation, and there are no line or page numbers, no parenthetic citation is needed .

Consecutive citations of the same poem

If you cite the same poem repeatedly within a paragraph, you only need to mention the writer ’ second name in the first citation. subsequent citations can merely consist of pipeline or page numbers ( or be omitted entirely if there are no numbers to give ), adenine long as it ’ second net from the context that you ’ re inactive citing the same poem .
Consecutive citations of the same poem The second stanza begins with an ill prophetic voice asking “ What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this rocky rubbish ? ” ( Eliot, lines 19–20 ). The “ pile of break images ” ( 22 ) referenced in the pursuit lines could be taken for a symbol of the fragmental structure of the poem itself .
however, give the full quotation again if you start a newfangled paragraph or cite another reference in between .

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MLA Works Cited entry for a poem

In the Works Cited entry, you start with the poet ’ mho name, followed by the entitle of the poem in quotation marks. then include details of the source where the poem was published. Usually you will follow the format of an MLA script citation or an MLA web site citation .

Poem in a book

If the poem is from a collection of the poet ’ mho make, add the name of the book in italics ; the publisher ; the year ; and the foliate or foliate range on which the poem appears .

Format generator last diagnose, inaugural mention. “ Poem Title.” Book Title, publisher, class, page number ( s ).
Works Cited entry Rich, Adrienne. “Fox.” Fox: Poems 1998–2000, W. W. Norton, 2001, p. 25.
In-text citation (Rich)

Poem in an anthology

If the poem was published as part of an edit collection, follow the same format as above, but add the name ( sulfur ) of the reserve ’ south editor program ( mho ) .

Format writer last list, foremost name. “ Poem Title.” Book Title, edited by Editor first list last identify, publisher, year, page number ( s ).
Works Cited entry Heaney, Seamus. “Funeral Rites.” The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry, edited by Peter Fallon and Derek Mahon, Penguin Books, 1990, pp. 149–151.
In-text citation (Heaney 150)

Poem on a website

If you accessed the poem on a web site, include the name of the web site and the URL. If the network page has a publication date, include this ; if not, add the date on which you accessed it. If relevant, you can besides add the original publication class directly after the poem ’ s title .

Format writer survive name, first gear diagnose. “ Poem Title.” Original publication class. web site diagnose

, Day Month class, url.

Works Cited entry Mahon, Derek. “A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford.” 1975. Poetry Foundation, Accessed 25 June 2019.
In-text citation (Mahon)

Frequently asked questions about citing poetry in MLA

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