Ch. 27: Sounds of Poetry By: Yessenia Gonzalez Laurence Herrmann Choy Saetern Michael Lee
Why Listen to Poetry? • When poems are read aloud, the charm, energy, and beauty of the poem is elicited. • Poets choose and arrange words to make it flow, but must also choose words that add meaning. • Ballads were sung throughout generations, until they were written into literary ballads in the 18th Century to make it more sophisticated (Rime of the Ancient Mariner is an example!) • Like lyrics of the song, many poems must be heard (or read with “listening eyes”) before they can be fully understood.
Why Listen to Poetry? (continued…) • Typically, the sounds of the poetry contributes to its meaning, rather than becoming its meaning. • Repetition of sounds in poetry is similar to the function of melodies in music: it unifies the piece of work. • Whether one sings or speaks the poem aloud, hearing the poem helps elicit the tone better than when reading it.
Why Listen to Poetry? (continued…) • Poets create sound in their works through the use of onomatopoeia, alliteration, and different types of rhymes (assonance, consonance, end rhymes, etc.). • Onomatopoeia is a subtle way of echoing meaning. • Alliteration, Assonance, and Rhyme establish relations among words of a line or series of lines.
“A Bird came down the Walk—” By: Emily Dickinson • Reading the description as the bird flies away, there are several o-sounds that contribute to the serene flight of the bird. • Ex: “…he unrolled his feathers/ And rowed him softer home…” (lines 14-15) • Throughout the poem, the s-sounds serve as smooth transitions from one line to the next. • Ex: “…Oars divide the Ocean,/ Too silver for a seam…” (lines 17-18) • The blending of the sounds helps convey the bird’s smooth grace in the air.
How Does Rhyme Help the Sound of a Poem? • Rhyme is a way of creating sound patterns, as the repetition of sounds can emphasize words, direct a reader’s attention to relations between words, or provide an overall structure for a poem. • CAUTION: At its worst, rhyme can serve as a distracting decoration that can lead to dullness and predictability.
From “The Cataract of Lodore”By: Robert Southey • As the poem itself suggests, the poem consists of describing the blending sounds and motions of the water. • As the speed of the water increases, so does the rhyming: *“…thumping and plumping and bumping and jumping,/ And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing…” (lines 66-67) • Most rhymes are subtle throughout poems instead of flooding the piece, but Southey’s overuse of rhymes suggests how sounds can “flow” with meanings, as the waters flow.
Your Turn! >:) • Read and answer the questions for the following poems: *“Blow” by Paul Humphrey, pg. 972 *“The Pitcher” by Robert Francis, pg. 973 • Don’t forget to focus on the sound, of the poems and how it relates to the meaning and tone of the work.