VOICE LESSONS. NANCY DEAN. Voice Lessons : Four Elements. DICTION : the author’s choice of words for a specific purpose. An aged man is but a paltry thing A tattered coat upon a stick… —W. B. Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium”. DETAIL : “facts, observations, and incidents”.
DICTION: the author’s choice of words for a specific purpose
An aged man is but a paltry thing
A tattered coat upon a stick…
—W. B. Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium”
DETAIL: “facts, observations, and incidents”
About suffering, they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
—W. H. Auden, “Musée des Beaux-Arts”
Imagery: Verbal representation of sense experience
It was a mine town, uranium most recently. Dust devils whirled sand off the mountains. Even after the heaviest of rains, the water seeped back into the ground, between stones, and the earth was parched again.
—Linda Hogan, “Making Do”
Syntax: grammatical sentence structure
I slowed still more, my shadow pacing me, dragging its head through the weeds that hid the fence.
—William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
A quotation highlighting the element under study
As I watched, the sun broke weakly through, brightened the rich red of the fawns, and kindledtheir white spots.
— E. B. White, “Twins,” Poems and Sketches of E. B. White
Art is the antidotethat can call us back from the edge of numbness, restoring the ability to feel for another.
— Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson
An old man, Don Tomasito, the baker, played the tuba. When he blew into the huge mouthpiece, his face would turn purple and his thousand wrinkles would disappear as his skin filled out.
— Alberto AlvaroRios, “The Iguana Killer”
Charley (to Willy): Why must everybody be like you? Who liked J. P. Morgan? Was he impressive? In a Turkish bath he’d look like a butcher. But with his pockets on he was very well liked. Now listen, Willy, I know you don’t like me, and nobody can say I’m in love with you, but I’ll give you a job because—just for the hell of it, put it that way. Now what do you say?
— Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
Brother, continue to listen.
You say that you are sent to instruct us how to worship the Great Spirit agreeably to his mind; and, if we do not take hold of the religion which you white people teach, we shall be unhappy hereafter. You say that you are right and we are lost. How do we know this to be true?
Chief Red Jacket, “Chief Red Jacket Rejects a Change of Religion”
Write a three-sentence paragraph modeled after Chief Red Jacket’s passage. The first two sentences should contain repetition; the third sentence should be a rhetorical question. Your topic is school uniforms. Share your sentence with your team.
At first I saw only water so clear it magnified the fibers in the walls of the gourd. On the surface, I saw only my own round reflection. The old man encircled the neck of the gourd with his thumb and index finger and gave it a shake. As the water shook, then settled, the colors and lights shimmered into a picture, not reflecting anything I could see around me. There at the bottom of the gourd were my mother and father scanning the sky, which was where I was.
— Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior
Write a sentence which uses precise visual imagery to describe a simple action. Share your sentence with your teammates.
Piazza diSpagna, Early Morning
I can’t forget
How she stood at the top of that long marble stair
Amazed, and then with a sleepy pirouette
Went dancing slowly down to the fountain-quiet square.
Nothing upon her face
But some impersonal loneliness,—not then a girl,
But as it were a reverie of the place,
A called-for falling glide and whirl;
As when a leaf, petal, or thin chip
Is drawn to the falls of a pool and, circling a moment above it,
Rides on over the lip—
Perfectly beautiful, perfectly ignorant of it.
Using Wilbur’s poem as a model, write a sentence which expresses stunned admiration for a stranger. Use repetition of a syntactical structure to create your tone.