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Poetry. If a poet looks through a microscope or a telescope, he always sees the same thing. The poet puts language in danger. --Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space . What is Poetry?. If a poet looks through a microscope or a telescope, he always sees the same thing.

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slide1

Poetry

If a poet looks through a microscope or a telescope, he always sees the same thing.

The poet puts language in danger.

--Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

slide2

What is Poetry?

If a poet looks through a microscope or a telescope, he always sees the same thing.

The poet puts language in danger.

--Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

slide3

Poetry

Rainer Maria Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge

Ah, poems amount to so little when you write them too early in your life. You ought to wait and gather sense and sweetness for a whole lifetime, and a long one if possible, and then, at the very end, you might perhaps be able to write ten good lines, For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough )they are experiences. For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many people and Things, you must understand animals, must feel how birds fly, and know the gesture which small flowers make when they open in the morning. You must be able to think back to streets in unknown neighborhoods, to unexpected encounters, and to partings you had long seen coming; to days of childhood whose mystery is still unexplained, to parents whom you had to hurt when they brought in a joy and you didn't pick it up (it was a joy meant for somebody else); to childhood illnesses that began so strangely with so many profound and difficult transformations, to days in quiet restrained rooms and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to it is still not enough to be able to think of all that.

slide4

Poetry

Rainer Maria Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge

You must have memories of many nights of love, each one different from all the others, memories of women screaming in labor, and of light, pale, sleeping girls who have just given birth and are closing again. But you must also have been beside the dying, must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open windows and the scattered noises. And it is not yet enough to have memories. You must be able to forget them when they are many, and you must have the immense patience to wait until they return. For the memories themselves are not important. Only when they have changed into our very blood, into glance and gesture, and are nameless, no longer to be distinguished from ourselves only then can it happen that in some very rare hour the first word of a poem arises in their midst and goes forth from them.

slide5

Poetry

[Poetry] is a compromise for a language of intuition which would hand over sensations bodily. It always endeavors to arrest you, and to make you continuously see a physical thing, to prevent you gliding through an abstract process. . . . Verse is a pedestrian taking you over the ground, prose--a train which delivers you at a destination.

--T. E. Hulme

slide6

Poetry

A poem is not so much heard as overheard.

--John Stuart Mill

slide7

Poetry

The purpose of poetry is to make life complete in itself. --Wallace Stevens, "Adagia”

slide8

Poetry

I don't believe in a tame poetry. When poetry hears its own name, it runs, flies, swims off for fear of its own life. You can bet your boots on that. Jean Cocteau said a poet rarely bothers about poetry. Does a gardener perfume his roses?

--Frank Stanford

slide9

Poetry

[Poetry] gives knowledge of the chaos and confusion of the world by imposing order upon it which leaves it still the chaos and confusion which it really is.

--Archibald MacLeish

slide10

Poetry

Poetry is indispensable—if I only knew what for.

--Jean Cocteau

slide11

Poetry

How NOT to Read a Poem

slide12

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Poetry

How NOT to Read a Poem

slide13

Poetry

Mrs. D. was an imperious, white-haired woman who not only gave extra credit for every symbol we could find in The House of the Seven Gables (the chickens in the back yard = repressed sexuality, etc.) but concocted a humiliating scheme in which 11-A students would tutor 11-Bers, including me, thereby allowing close acquaintances to be more than ordinarily supercilious and condescending to their about-to-become-former-friend. The highlight of the year, however, was our discussion of Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." The poem, we were told, and we had to regurgitate what we "learned" on a subsequent test, is about Santa Claus; indeed Kris Kringle is the speaker, taking a break "without a farm house near" to contemplate the work that yet lies ahead in delivering all those presents. (The "little horse" is, of course, really a reindeer; he thinks it odd to pause in an empty field because there is no house to deliver presents to; the speaker has "miles to go before [he] sleeps" because he has "promises to keep" to all those little boys and girls, etc.--you get the idea.) Though not yet literary, not yet even a reader, I smelled a rat. Such an approach seemed silly.

How NOT to Read a Poem

slide14

Poetry

How silly I realized only recently, while teaching introduction to literature at Middle Tennessee State University. In the required text, Michael Meyer's comprehensive Bedford Introduction to Literature, I was surprised to find an excerpt from Herbert R. Coursen, Jr.'s "The Ghost of Christmas Past: 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,'" an essay, originally published in College English in 1962, four years before I suffered through Mrs. D's class. A parody of poetic interpretation, a "how not to do it" guide, Coursen's essay had evidently been misread by Mrs. D. with all the literalism of the British audience of Swift's "Modest Proposal." She didn't get the joke, and she passed on her lack of discernment to us. All over Western Pennsylvania there are probably hundreds of people now in their fifties who think the poem is about Santa Claus.

How NOT to Read a Poem

slide15

Poetry

Herbert R. Coursen, Jr., A Parodic Interpretation of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

“The Ghost of Christmas Past: Stopping by Woods on a Snow Evening,’” College English (December 1962).

How NOT to Read a Poem

slide16

Billy Collins

Introduction to Poetry

from The Apple that Astonished Paris (Fayetteville, Ark: University of Arkansas Press, 1996).

I ask them to take a poem

and hold it up to the light

like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem

and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room

and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski

across the surface of a poem

waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do

is tie the poem to a chair with rope

and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose

to find out what it really means.

How NOT to Read a Poem

slide17

Poetry Terms

alliteration

slide19

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

slide20

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

slide22

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

slide24

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

slide26

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

slide27

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

slide28

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

slide30

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

slide31

Poetry Terms

Free verse is “like playing tennis with the net down.”—Robert Frost

slide32

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

slide33

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

slide35

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

image

slide36

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

image

literal

slide38

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

image

literal

metaphor & simile

slide39

Ogden Nash

Very Like a Whale

Poetry Terms

One thing that literature would be greatly the better for

Would be a more restricted employment by the authors of simile and

metaphor & simile.

Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons or Celts,

Can't seem just to say that anything is the thing it is but have to

go out of their way to say that it is like something else.

What does it mean when we are told

That that Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold?

In the first place, George Gordon Byron had enough experience

To know that it probably wasn't just one Assyrian, it was a lot of

Assyrians.

However, as too many arguments are apt to induce apoplexy and

thus hinder longevity.

We'll let it pass as one Assyrian for the sake of brevity.

Now then, this particular Assyrian, the one whose cohorts were

gleaming in purple and gold,

Just what does the poet mean when he says he came down like a

wolf on the fold?

In heaven and earth more than is dreamed of in our philosophy

there are great many things.

slide40

Ogden Nash

Very Like a Whale

Poetry Terms

But I don't imagine that among them there is a wolf with purple and gold cohorts or purple and gold anythings.

No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this Assyrian was actually like a wolf I must have some kind of proof;

Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof Woof?

Frankly I think it is very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say, at the very most,

Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host.

But that wasn't fancy enough for Lord Byron, oh dear me no, he had to invent a lot of figures of speech and then interpolate them,

With the result that whenever you mention Old Testament soldiers to people they say

Oh yes, they're the ones that a lot of wolves dressed up in gold and purple ate them.

That's the kind of thing that's being done all the time by poets, from Homer to Tennyson;

They're always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to venison,

And they always say things like that the snow is a white blanket after a winter storm.

slide41

Ogden Nash

Very Like a Whale

Poetry Terms

Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm,

And after that maybe you'll begin to comprehend dimly

What I mean by too much metaphor & simile.

slide42

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

image

literal

metaphor & simile

onomatopoeia

slide44

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

image

literal

metaphor & simile

onomatopoeia

paraphrase

slide46

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

image

literal

metaphor & simile

onomatopoeia

paraphrase

persona

slide48

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

image

literal

metaphor & simile

onomatopoeia

paraphrase

persona

poetic diction

slide49

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

image

literal

metaphor & simile

onomatopoeia

paraphrase

persona

poetic diction

prose

slide50

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

image

literal

metaphor & simile

onomatopoeia

paraphrase

persona

poetic diction

prose

prose poem

rhyme

slide51

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

image

literal

metaphor & simile

onomatopoeia

paraphrase

persona

poetic diction

prose

prose poem

rhyme

slide52

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

image

literal

metaphor & simile

onomatopoeia

paraphrase

persona

poetic diction

prose

prose poem

rhyme

stanza

slide53

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

image

literal

metaphor & simile

onomatopoeia

paraphrase

persona

poetic diction

prose

prose poem

rhyme

stanza

understatement

slide55

Poetry Terms

alliteration

allusion

ars poetica

carpe diem

colloquial

dramatic monologue

figurative

free verse

gestalt shift

hyperbole

image

literal

metaphor & simile

onomatopoeia

paraphrase

persona

poetic diction

prose

prose poem

rhyme

stanza

understatement

verse