Analysing Poetry. The Basics. Aspects for Analysis. SCASI- still a basic tool for both poetry and prose Time- for poetry, this is an important aspect of setting Narrator- as part of character, narrator plays an important role in poetry Action- consider the changing flow of ideas in the poem.
Syllable Stress: natural rhythms of language we use automatically. Poets use these natural stresses in their overall rhythmic effect
Emphatic Stress: deliberate emphasis on a word or part of a word for effect. The stress emphasizes meaning, or can change it.
Phrasing and Punctuation also influence rhythm (word order, length of phrases, punctuation and line breaks, and repetition, as examples)
Poetic metre is the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry.
Variations in pattern can mark changes in mood or tone, or signify change of direction in the movement of the poem.
Syllables can be divided into groups of two or three.
Each group is called a foot.
The number of feet in a line can vary.
Iambic: one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one. (Shakespeare)
Trochaic: one stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one.
e.g. Tyger! Tyger! Burning Bright
In the forests of the night
Dactylic: one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables.
Half a league, Half a league,
Half a league, onward
Anapaestic: two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable.
Will’s at the dance in the Club-room below,
Where the tall liquor cups foam;
Spondaic: two stressed syllables.
e.g. One, two
Buckle my shoe.
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen hath glean’d my teeming brain
Before high-piled books, in charact’ry
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain:
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love! – then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.
Rhyme can contribute to the musical quality of a poem. It affects sound and overall effectiveness.
The rhyme scheme can
Internal rhymes: rhymes that occur within a line of poetry.
e.g. The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea
Sight Rhymes: (or eye rhymes) are lines that look similar but are incomplete or inaccurate.
e.g. “love” and “move” or “plough” and “rough”
Poets may choose to use these to deliberately weaken the force of the rhyme by making either the consonant or vowel different
Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles
Northward, incessantly, the flickering gunnery rumbles
These are called half rhyme, slant rhyme or para-rhyme
The clocks slid back an hour
And stole light from my life
As I walked through the wrong part of town,
Mourning our love.
And, of course, unmendable rain
Fell to the bleak streets
Where I felt my heart gnaw
At all our mistakes
If the darkening sky could lift
more than one hour from this day
there are words I would never have said
nor have heard you say.
But we will be dead, as we know,
beyond all light.
these are the shortened days
and the endless nights.