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POETRY. AN INTRODUCTION. POETRY. Introduction: What is poetry?. What Is Poetry?. A short story condensed From “ concentrate ” – just add the water of your imagination (needs dilution) compressed, distilled, dense, nutritive value

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POETRY


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    1. POETRY AN INTRODUCTION

    2. POETRY Introduction: What is poetry?

    3. What Is Poetry? • A short story condensed • From “concentrate” – just add the water of your imagination (needs dilution) • compressed, distilled, dense, nutritive value • “Condensed by contraction of volume, with proportional increase of strength.” • without superfluity, excess

    4. What Is Poetry? • Subjective • Emotional • Lyrical • (expresses thoughts, feelings of a single speaker) • Narrative • Descriptive • Argumentative • Philosophical • (waxes philosophic, embodies a philosophy) • Metaphoric • Dramatic • Didactic • (teaches, preaches, imparts knowledge)

    5. What Is Poetry? • Good poetry: • unique • poetic elements (properly handled) • consistent • controlled • form = function

    6. What Is Poetry? • Bad poetry: • mixed metaphors • poor similes and metaphors • (“my wife is a shirt” or “a poem is a bra”) • poor diction-word choice • wrong word • inappropriate word • poor word choice • wrong sound of a word

    7. What Is Poetry? • Bad poetry: • form does not equal function • (style does not fit the content or message) • inappropriate diction • unsuitable style • inapt form for the occasion • inconsistent tone • lack of control • over language, emotion, vision

    8. What Is Poetry? • Bad poetry: • all emotion, no skill • ad misericordiam • sentimentality • “bathos”: • bad pathos • when overly sentimental works move readers to laughter instead of tears

    9. What Is Poetry? • Bad poetry: • creates unintended reaction • unwittingly comic • unintentionally antagonizing • does not say what intended it to say/mean • unconscious of double meanings • too contrived • (trying too hard, overly ingenious)

    10. What Is Poetry? • Bad poetry: • trite, banal, hackneyed • lacks originality • clichés, pat expressions, trite maxims, platitudes • stale phrasing and imagery • too derivative • too much impersonation, imitation • ripping off the Greats • too aphoristic, preachy, didactic • smacks of moral or intellectual superiority

    11. What Is Poetry? • Bad poetry: • only of private value • so personal only the poet gets it • the extreme opposite of banality • self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing • forced rhyme scheme • come up with a word to make a rhyme • rather than using a word that arises from the thought/feeling) • too mechanical • metronome rhythm • robotic, “by t’ book”

    12. POETRY Introduction: Reading Poetry

    13. How to Read Poetry Notice PUNCTUATION: • question marks, exclamation marks, period • is a line (or more) a question or a statement • adjust your inflection accordingly Read to a COMMA or SEMICOLON or PERIOD: • don't stop necessarily at the end of each line • enjambment

    14. How to Read Poetry Watch for “ROAD SIGNS”: • watch for changes in logic or time • notice conjunctions such as “but” or “yet” • recognize transitions such as “then” or “meanwhile” or “afterwards” Read with a DICTIONARY at hand: • look up • key words • words you do not recognize • to note Connotation vs. Denotation • look up various definitions of words to note how different meanings = different interpretations for the work

    15. How to Read Poetry Sparingly and Cautiously use PERSONAL experiences or personal tastes, attitudes, beliefs: • while your own views may, occasionally, shed light on the work • more often than not, they can lead to misinterpretations and prejudices • a “grain of salt” Realize that the SPEAKER and the POET are not necessarily one and the same: • because poetry is by nature quite subjective and emotional, • we readers have a tendency to confuse the views expressed in the poem with the views held by the writer • Disclaimer: “Please understand that the opinions, views, and comments that appear in the poem will not necessarily reflect the views held by the poet….”

    16. How to Read Poetry Notice the POETIC ELEMENTS employed: • diction, symbolism, imagery, metaphors, • similes, conceit, meter, rhythm, rhyme, • stanza, persona, alliteration, assonance … Note the RHYME SCHEME and RHYTHM: • at the end of each line, note the rhyme with a letter (a, b, c, …) • read the poem aloud, noticing and enunciating each piece of punctuation, to discover its rhythm

    17. How to Read Poetry READ, PARAPHRASE, and then SUMMARIZE: • read the poem through the first time • then begin to put it into your own words, to simplify its meaning (paraphrase) • then summarize the entirety in a brief statement relating to its meaning, message, “theme” (summarize) EXPLICATE and ANALYZE: • explain each line of the poem; interpret line by line (explicate) • analyze the piece focusing on a single literary/poetic element (analyze)

    18. POETRY Introduction: Writing about Poetry

    19. Writing About Poetry I. LITERAL LEVEL • Paraphrase: (parts) • put lines into your own words • simplify the language and syntax • Summarize: (whole) • the gist/thrust of the entire work • succinct, short

    20. Writing About Poetry II. ANALYTICAL LEVEL • Explication: • “close reading” • line-by-line analysis • tone, persona, imagery, symbolism, meter, … • how the poetic elements work together to form a unified whole & reveal hidden meanings • Edgar Allan Poe’s “unity of effect” • * arrive at a conclusion about the work

    21. Writing About Poetry II. ANALYTICAL LEVEL • Analysis: • focus on a single poetic element • note its relationship to the whole, especially in terms of meaning

    22. Writing About Poetry III. HOW to QUOTE POETRY • Slash marks: word space slash space word • Line numbers: end quote” space (line #). • no “line” or “#,” just the numeral • End punctuation: include ? or !, otherwise omit • Ellipses: word space . space . space . space word • Quoting multiple lines: block quote style • indent all, no “ ” • period at the end space (line #s) • Brackets: when you change a letter or a word

    23. POETRY Introduction: Poems

    24. LANGSTON HUGHES

    25. LANGSTON HUGHES • 1902-67 • Born in Joplin, Missouri • Mexico, NYC, Paris • Fiction, Drama, Essays, Biographies, • Newspaper column • In the Chicago Defender • Jesse B. Simple (fictional Everyman) • Poetry • “Poet Laureate of the Negro Race”

    26. LANGSTON HUGHES • “Harlem” (1951) • re-titled in 1959 as “Dream Deferred” • Which do you prefer? • 11 lines • 1st and last – • questions • 1-line stanzas • Middle stanzas = 4 questions (possibilities) • 2 lines, 2 lines, 1 line, 2 lines • similes • last = not a question • Last line = italicized

    27. LANGSTON HUGHES • “Harlem” (1951) • Thesis Question: • “What happens to a dream deferred?” • Answers: • dries up (raisin in sun) • festers (sore) • stinks (rotten meat) • crusts over (sweet syrup) • sags(heavy load) • explodes (bomb)

    28. LANGSTON HUGHES • “Harlem” (1951) • Diction • Dream = • hopes, aspirations, wishes, talents • delusion • Fester = • to rot, puss, ulcerate • (ugly, repulsive images) • Heavy load & sag = • Burden • Slaves carrying bales of cotton, supplies • Raisin, sore, black meat, syrup, bomb = • Black in color • Syrup = • Not so disgusting • Why?

    29. LANGSTON HUGHES • “Harlem” (1951) • Title • Harlem Renaissance (1920s) • “New Negro Movement” • post-Civil War, move North • Harlem, Manhattan, New York • @ 3 miles, @ 175,000 blacks • WEB DuBois, Langston Hughes • Countee Cullen, Zora Neale Hurston, • Jazz Age, Roaring ’20s • Great Depression, Harlem Riots

    30. LANGSTON HUGHES • “Harlem” (1951) • Title • Harlem, 1950s • Racial inequality • Riots: 1935, 1943, 1964 (Watts 1965, Detroit 1967) • How did people react? • Rot • Anger, frustration festers • “Uncle Toms” • Anger, frustration explodes

    31. LANGSTON HUGHES • “Harlem” (1951) • Questions • Why are the 1st and last lines separated? • Why is the last line italicized? • Why is the last line w/o simile? • Why is the “heavy load” not a question? • What is the answer to the thesis question? • Why are “load” and “explode” the only rhymes? • Why the break from disgusting images with syrup?

    32. APHRA BEHN

    33. APHRA BEHN • “Ay-fra Bean” • (1640-89) • 1st English woman to earn a living through writing (1st professional woman writer) • Married London merchant of Dutch descent • Served as a spy in the Dutch Wars, 1665-67 (after his death) • Novels • Oroonoko (royal slave, one of 1st English works to question slavery) • Plays, Poetry

    34. APHRA BEHN • “Song: Love Armed” (1676) • Characters: • Love = Cupid, the god of love • Persona = man • Addressee = woman • Poetic conventions: • Unrequited love of the man • toward a disdainful woman • Unrequited love is painful • Yet pleasurable

    35. APHRA BEHN • “Song: Love Armed” (1676) • Structure: • 2 4-line stanzas • Rhyme scheme = ABAB • Refrain • “from me” • “from thee” • (variations on)

    36. APHRA BEHN • “Song: Love Armed” (1676) • Structure: • What’s “Taken” (to arm Love)? • From man (persona): • desirefrom his eyes • sighs & tears • languishments & fears • From woman: • fire from her eyes • pride & cruelty • killing dart

    37. APHRA BEHN • “Song: Love Armed” (1676) • Themes: • Love & war connection • Battle of the sexes • All’s fair in love & war • Cupid w/bow & arrow • Why do we enjoy suffering? Listening to others suffer? • The Blues • Sad songs, break-up songs • Why do we name hurricanes? • To impose form onto suffering = To master or control suffering, the unknown, uncontrollable

    38. APHRA BEHN • “Song: Love Armed” (1676) • Questions: • What is its theme concerning “love” or relationships? • Is this a man’s poem – to be enjoyed more by male readers than female readers? • Is it sexist in its portrayal of women? • The persona = man, written by a woman – Does that make a difference?

    39. POETRY Narrative Poetry

    40. BACKGROUND • Transition from Prose to Poetry • Historically, move from “stories” in poetry to stories in prose • verse narratives • stories in poetic form • “narrative” = • beginning, middle, end • basic Plot • Action, Characterization, Setting, Dialogue • Symbolism, Irony, Juxtaposition

    41. BACKGROUND • Historically • Oral Tradition • illiterate masses • poetic structure makes it easy to remember & pass along • stories about heroes & history • epic poetry (Homer) • sagas (scops)

    42. BACKGROUND • Historically • Literacy – • Wm. Caxton’s printing press (1440) • Gutenberg’s bible (1450) • More literacy • = less oral tradition • = change in literature

    43. POPULAR BALLADS

    44. POPULAR BALLADS • authors = • anonymous, undated • persona = • detached, objective, impersonal, characterless • 3rd person POV • themes • death, fate • perils of sea

    45. POPULAR BALLADS • use of repetition • of sounds • alliteration (Anglo-Saxon hold-over) • consonance (consonant) • assonance (vowel) • of words, phrases • musical rhythm • meant to be sung

    46. POPULAR BALLADS • omissions • ellipses • not so descriptive (omitting key details) • NO SHIPWRECK • told in flashes, quick glimpses • photo slide show • little description • photo show • omitted details, scenes (ellipses) • some dialogue

    47. POPULAR BALLADS • 4-line stanzas • ABAB rhyme scheme (typically unrhymed) • 1st, 3rd lines = 4 accents • 2nd, 3rd lines = 3 accents The king sits in Dumferling toune, Drinking the blude-reid wine: O quhar will I get guid sailor To sail this schip of mine?

    48. POPULAR BALLADS • Belong to the Oral Tradition • not written down • until 18th century • multiple versions • Enlightenment (frowned upon) • undignified • lacks decorum • Romantics (resurgence) • poetry of the people, masses • Old ballads = written down • New ballads = composed (“literary ballads”)

    49. “Sir Patrick Spence”

    50. “SIR PATRICK SPENCE” BACKGROUND • Written • @ 15th century • Published • in 1765 • Thomas Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry • (famous collection of folk ballads)