If an untitled poem is known by its first line, how do I style that line in my works-cited-list entry?
Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.
The MLA Handbook explains that when you refer to an untitled poem known by its first line, you should style the line the way it is shown in the source (68). This guideline applies both to the text and the works-cited list:
Dickinson’s poem “I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—” contrasts the everyday and the momentous.
Dickinson, Emily. “I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—.” Poetry Foundation, 2017, www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45703/i-heard-a-fly-buzz-when-i-died-591.