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Introduction to Poetry Analysis: . Using SOAPS to Examine Poetry. « il n\' ya pas de hors texte … » Derrida. “There is nothing outside of the text”

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introduction to poetry analysis

Introduction to Poetry Analysis:

Using SOAPS to Examine Poetry

il n ya pas de hors texte derrida
« il n\'ya pas de hors texte… » Derrida
  • “There is nothing outside of the text”
  • Simply put, the meaning of a text must include an analysis of the language of the text (including its grammar and vocabulary), the figurative meaning of the language, the historical meanings of the language itself, and a knowledge of the history of the society in which the language is/was used. 
  • In addition, the interpreter should also have familiarity with the author.
  • A pure reading can only occur when the reader and author share a similar language from which to draw meaning.

Cup Poem #1

What kind of spring is thisWhere there are no flowers andThe air is filled with a miserable smell?

  • Who is the speaker of the poem?
  • What are the intentions of the speaker?
  • Can you find evidence from the poem to support your answer?
  • Is it necessary to look further? There are contradictory opinions about outside research.
    • Derrida:

“There is nothing outside the text.”

  • What is the Occasion?
  • In other words, the time and place of the piece.
  • What promoted the author to write this piece?
  • How do you know from the text?
  • What event led to its publication or development?
  • It is particularly important to understand the context that encouraged the writing to happen.
  • Who is the Audience? This refers to the group of readers to whom this piece is directed.
  • The audience may be one person, a small group or a large group; it may be a certain person or a certain people.
  • What assumptions can you make about the audience?
  • Does it seem to be addressed to a specific group, social class, gender, age group, or political party? How do you know?
  • Are there any words or phrases that are unusual or different? Is the language used for a unique audience?
  • Does the speaker evoke God, nation, liberty, history, heaven, hell? How do you know? Why is the speaker using this type of language?
  • What is the purpose of the poem? What the reason behind the text.
  • In what ways does the author convey this message?
  • What is the poem saying?
  • How is the speaker trying to spark a reaction in the audience?
  • What words or phrases show the speaker\'s tone?
  • What is the subject of the poem?
  • What is the general topic, content, and ideas contained in the poem?
  • Where is the evidence to support your assertion?