How do I cite a poem by line numbers if the numbering of the lines begins again at each section?
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.
Provide the section number as well as the line number:
As Wordsworth writes in his series of sonnets The River Duddon, “Child of the clouds! remote from every taint / Of sordid industry thy lot is cast” (sec. 2, lines 1-2).
Wordsworth, William. Excerpt from The River Duddon. Major British Poets of the Romantic Period, edited by William Heath, Macmillan, 1973, pp. 391-92.