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An Approach to Analyzing Poetry: Tone and DIDLS. DIDLS: The Key to TONE. TONE= writer’s or speaker’s attitude toward the subject and the audience. While it sometimes difficult to comprehend, to misinterpret tone is to misinterpret meaning! We will practice analyzing the D iction I mages

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An Approach to Analyzing Poetry: Tone and DIDLS


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    1. An Approach to Analyzing Poetry: Tone and DIDLS

    2. DIDLS: The Key to TONE • TONE= writer’s or speaker’s attitude toward the subject and the audience. • While it sometimes difficult to comprehend, to misinterpret tone is to misinterpret meaning! • We will practice analyzing the Diction Images Details Language and Structure in order to determine tone in poetry

    3. Diction • Consider what words the poet DID choose to use • What other words could have been used? • What other words would NOT work in place of the word used? • For example: • Laugh: guffaw, chuckle, giggle, cackle, snicker, roar, chortle • Old: mature, experienced, antique, relic, ancient • Self-confident: proud, egotistical, stuck-up, haughty, smug

    4. Images • Vivid appeals to enhance our understanding through the use of the senses • What does the poet focus on in a sensory way? • What images does he/she include? • What images does he/ she LEAVE OUT? • NOTE: Images differ from details in the degree to which they appeal to the senses

    5. Details • Facts that are included OR those that are omitted • The speaker’s perspective shapes what details are given and which are not, • What do the details imply? • What is the connotation of the details included? • NOTE: Details are small facts; they differ from images in that they don’t have a strong sensory appeal.

    6. Language • The OVERALL use of language: formal, clinical, colloquial, slang, etc. • Consider language to be the entire body of words used in a text, not simply isolated bits of diction. • What is the overall impression of the language? • Does it reflect education? • Is it plain? Ornate? Figurative?

    7. Structure • How a sentence is constructed affects what the audience understands. • Are the sentences: Choppy? Flowing? Filled with use of caesura? Chiasmus? Parallel construction? • What emotional impression do they leave? • Consider: • Parallel structure: connects ideas, feelings, emotions • Short: punchy, intense, passionate or flippant • Long: distracting, reflective, abstract, depth of thought • Loose: main idea at beginning; periodic: point at the end • Inverted order: creates a questioning or a tension

    8. TONE SHIFTS • Key Words: But, yet, nevertheless, although • Punctuation • New stanzas • Sharp changes in diction • Varying lengths of lines

    9. DIDLS • Create and complete a chart for this poem: