Key Stage 4 Poetry Analysing Imagery
Analysing Imagery UNIT CONTENTS • Introduction Slides 3 - 10 • Simile Slides 11 - 26 • Metaphor Slides 27 - 43 • Alliteration Slides 44 - 57 • Assonance Slides 58 - 67 • Personification Slides 68 - 74 • Onomatopoeia Slides 75 - 79
Analysing Imagery - Introduction CONTENTS • Unit Introduction Slide 4 • What is Imagery? Slide 5 • Using Imagery Slides 6 - 7 • Analysing Imagery Slide 8 • ‘Basic’ Images Slide 9 • ‘Advanced’ Images Slide 10
Analysing Imagery - Introduction Unit Introduction In this unit we will be learning how to analyse images in poetry. This unit provides an addition to the unit about analysing poetry, and looks specifically at how poets paint pictures with their language. We will explore some of the different types of poetic imagery, including the basic images, such as simile and metaphor, and the more advanced ideas behind assonance and the extended metaphor. We will also look at poems and poetry extracts to show you how these images work in practice. Before we start looking in detail at the different types of imagery, let’s look briefly at what imagery is.
Analysing Imagery - Introduction What is Imagery? • Imagery is the painting of pictures in the reader’s mind through the use of language. Because poetry is such a condensed form of language, poets tend to make greater use of imagery than novelists. Images take a variety of forms. They can: • Use a comparison between one thing and another, to develop the picture that is created. This type of image includes similes and metaphors. • Create sound pictures, by using words that make a sound like the thing that is being described, or that add rhythm to the poem. Examples of this type of imagery include alliteration and onomatopoeia.
Analysing Imagery - Introduction Using Imagery When you use imagery in your own poetry, you must take great care to create suitable images. It can be very tempting to use clichéd images that you will have encountered before, such as “as white as snow” or “as big as a house”. The best images, however, are original and thought provoking. One of the best ways to learn how to use imagery is by reading widely. Look at as many poems as you can, from many different poets, and from all different times in history. On the next slide you will find two examples of ‘original’ images from two poets working three hundred years apart. Try to work out what type of images they use, and discuss the effects created.
Analysing Imagery - Introduction Using Imagery “Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, So do our minutes hasten to their end” William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) “I caught this morning morning’s minion, king- dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding” Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844 - 1889)
Analysing Imagery - Introduction Analysing Imagery • When you are analysing imagery, for instance in a poetry essay or in a literature exam, it is very important to avoid simply ‘listing’ the images that the poet uses. For each image you discuss, you should consider: • What type of image is being used. • Why this particular image is being used. • What the effect of this image is on the reader. • How the image contributes to the poem as a whole. • When you analyse imagery, you should suggest a possible interpretation, rather than stating your ideas as definite.
Analysing Imagery - Introduction ‘Basic’ Images Although the images below are described as ‘basic’, they are by no means easy to use or to analyse. They are, however, the most simple forms of imagery that you will come across. Simile: A comparison between two things, using the words “like” or “as … as a …”. Metaphor: A comparison between two things, where one is said to be the other. Alliteration: The use of repeated consonant sounds to create a ‘sound picture’.
Analysing Imagery - Introduction ‘Advanced’ Images The images below are less common, but many poets make use of them. They are explained in greater detail further on in this unit. Extended Metaphor: A metaphor is extended to run throughout a poem or piece of prose. Onomatopoeia: A word that sounds like the thing it describes, for example “ow!” or “crash!” Assonance: The use of repeated vowel sounds to create a ‘sound picture’. Personification: Giving human attributes to an inanimate thing.
Analysing Imagery - Simile CONTENTS • What is a Simile? Slides 12 - 13 • Analysing Similes Slides 14 - 20 • Example Poems: Slide 21 • “Samela” Slides 22 - 23 • “Diaphenia” Slides 24 - 25 • “A Red, Red Rose” Slide 26
£1 Analysing Imagery - Simile What is a Simile? A simile is a type of imagery that makes a comparison between one thing and another, to strengthen the ‘word picture’ in the reader’s mind. There are two types of simile: 1. Where one thing is said to be like another, for instance: “The sun looked like a golden coin in the sky.” In this example, the sun is being compared to something that looks similar, i.e. the golden coin. =
Analysing Imagery - Simile What is a Simile? 2. Where one thing is said to be as … as a …, for instance: “The moon shone as brightly as the stars.” This type of simile gives a slightly more definite feeling. Here, the light of the moon is being compared to that of the stars. =
Analysing Imagery - Simile Analysing Similes When you are discussing a simile, and the effects it creates in a poem, you should describe the ‘word picture’ that you see in your mind, and how the links you associate with that picture add to the poem. You may find that you can discuss more than one aspect of the simile. Here is an example: “The sun looked like a golden coin in the sky.” In this simile, the comparison of the sun with the golden coin creates a strong impression of brightness. The poet could also be suggesting wealth, as we normally associate golden coins with riches.
Analysing Imagery - Simile Analysing Similes Here are some more examples for you to practise with. Because these similes are taken out of context, you will need to create your own inferences about the effects that they might create within a poem: “The moon shone as brightly as the stars.” “The cat was as black as the night.” “The man cried like a baby.” “The house was as silent as the grave.” “The tree was gnarled and bent, like an old man.”
Analysing Imagery - Simile Analysing Similes Here are some possible ways of analysing these similes, although remember, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer: “The moon shone as brightly as the stars.” This simile compares the moon with the stars, its brightness equalling that of its companions in the sky. The poet could be using the image of brightness as a metaphor for happiness. Perhaps this night will bring joy and ‘brightness’ to the characters in the poem.
Analysing Imagery - Simile Analysing Similes “The cat was as black as the night.” In this simile, the poet creates a picture of a black cat, perhaps slinking through the night, the same colour as its surroundings. This simile plays on the traditional associations between black cats and the supernatural, using the image of night to strengthen the link. It is at night time that witches do their evil work, and it is also in the dark that cats hunt their prey.
Analysing Imagery - Simile Analysing Similes “The man cried like a baby.” This simile creates a striking image, that of a grown man sobbing and crying like a tiny baby. The image is particularly effective because it is so unexpected. In our society, it is not ‘normal’ for men to cry, let alone to do so “like a baby”. The picture created is one of deep sorrow - a situation so horrific or terrible that the man lets go of his inhibitions and breaks down in tears.
Analysing Imagery - Simile Analysing Similes “The house was as silent as the grave.” With this simile, the poet gives the reader a sense of apprehension and fear. The house is described as ‘silent’ - there is a total absence of noise, just as there would be in the grave. The associations that the reader makes are creepy - we imagine dead people in a grave and ask ourselves, is there someone dead in the house as well? Or is someone or something lying in wait?
Analysing Imagery - Simile Analysing Similes “The tree was gnarled and bent, like an old man.” This image is a curious one, and it uses personification as well as a simile to create a strong image of the tree. The reader can imagine the ancient wood, that has grown bent and gnarled over the years, just as an old man might do. The comparison gives a real sense of life to the tree. It seems old and wise.
Analysing Imagery - Simile Example Poems • The poems and poetry extracts on the following slides give you a chance to look at different uses of similes, and to practise your analytical skills. • As you will see, poets throughout the ages have used similes to enhance their poetry. Why not try to write your own poem using similes? • When you are analysing these poems, remember to discuss: • The type of image being used. • Why this particular image is being used. • What the effect of this image is on the reader. • How the image contributes to the poem as a whole.
Analysing Imagery - Simile Samela Like to Diana in her summer weed, Girt with a crimson robe of brightest dye, Goes fair Samela. Whiter than be the flocks that straggling feed, When washed by Arethusa’s fount they lie, Is fair Samela. As fair Aurora in her morning gray, Decked with the ruddy glister of her love, Is fair Samela. Like lovely Thetis on a calmèd day, When as her brightness Neptune’s fancy move, Shines fair Samela. Her tresses gold, her eyes like glassy streams,
Analysing Imagery - Simile Samela (continued) Her teeth are pearl, the breasts are ivory Of fair Samela. Her cheeks like rose and lily yield forth gleams, Her brows bright arches framed of ebony: Thus fair Samela. Passeth fair Venus in her bravest hue, And Juno in the show of majesty, For she’s Samela. Pallas in wit, all three, if you will view, For beauty, wit, and matchless dignity, Yield to Samela. Robert Greene (1558 - 1592)
Analysing Imagery - Simile Diaphenia Diaphenia, like the daffodowndilly, White as the sun, fair as the lily, Heigh ho, how I do love thee! I do love thee as my lambs Are beloved of their dams; How blest were I if thou wouldst prove me! Diaphenia, like the spreading roses, That in thy sweets all sweets encloses, Fair sweet, how I do love thee! I do love thee as each flower Loves the sun’s life-giving power, For, dead, thy breath to life might move me.
Analysing Imagery - Simile Diaphenia (continued) Diaphenia, like to all things blessèd, When all thy praises are expressèd, Dear joy, how I do love thee! As the birds do love the spring, Or the bees their careful king: Then in requite, sweet virgin, love me! Henry Chettle (c.1560 - 1607)
Analysing Imagery - Simile A Red, Red Rose (extract) My love is like a red, red rose That’s newly sprung in June: My love is like the melody That’s sweetly play’d in tune. As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in love am I: And I will love thee still, my dear, Till a’ the seas gang dry. Robert Burns (c.1759 - 1796)
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor CONTENTS • What is a Metaphor? Slides 28 - 30 • Analysing Metaphors Slides 31 - 35 • The Extended Metaphor Slides 36 - 37 • Example Poems: Slide 38 • “My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is” Slide 39 • “What Thing is Love?” Slides 40 - 41 • “Spring and Fall” Slides 42 - 43
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor What is a Metaphor? Like a simile, a metaphor makes a comparison between one thing and another. However, rather than saying that something is like another, a metaphor says it actually is that thing. Some metaphors are easy to identify, whilst others are so subtle that you will need to analyse the text carefully to find them. Metaphors can create a far more powerful effect than similes, because they are so definite in their comparison. As we try to picture the image in our minds, a good metaphor makes a connection that illuminates meaning, or allows us to see something in a new way. On the next slides you will see examples of metaphors that demonstrate how they work.
War and Peace Analysing Imagery - Metaphor What is a Metaphor? “Her face was a book, he could read her every thought and emotion.” In this example, the writer tells us that the girl’s face is a book, when clearly it is not. He develops the metaphor slightly, by using the word “read”. As you would read a book, so the man reads the girl’s face. =
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor What is a Metaphor? “My love is the sunshine in my life, brightening up my day.” Here, the writer says that her love is the sunshine. Just like the sun, he makes her day brighter. =
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor Analysing Metaphors When you are discussing metaphors, and the effects they create in poetry, you should follow the same guidelines given for similes. Describe the ‘word picture’ you see in your mind, and how the links you associate with that picture add to the poem. Here is an example: “Her face was a book, he could read her every thought and emotion.” In this metaphor, the girl’s face is described as a book, suggesting that her emotions are visible, just as print is in a book. By saying that he can ‘read’ the girl’s face, the poet strengthens the image.
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor Analysing Metaphors Here are some more examples for you to practise with. Because these metaphors are taken out of context, you will need to decide on the effects that they might create within a poem: “My love is the sunshine in my life, brightening up my day.” “The cat slunk his way through the dustbins, a black panther deadly in his intentions.” “Life is a blank page, waiting for us to write on it.”
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor Analysing Metaphors Here are some possible ways of analysing these metaphors. Always remember that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer when you are studying poetry: “My love is the sunshine in my life, brightening up my day.” In this metaphor the poet describes her love as sunshine. Just as the sun brightens the day, so her lover brings light into her life. The warmth of the sun might also be linked to the warmth that we feel when we love someone, and know that they love us too.
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor Analysing Metaphors “The cat slunk his way through the dustbins, a black panther deadly in his intentions.” In this metaphor, the poet creates a picture of a black cat, slinking his way through the dustbins. The cat is described as a panther, a deadly creature that hunts down its prey ruthlessly. By using this image, the poet suggests the instinctive nature of the cat, born to catch the mice and rats that lurk around the bins.
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor Analysing Metaphors “Life is a blank page, waiting for us to write on it.” This metaphor offers a clever description of life. It is a blank page, the poet says, that we can write on as we wish. By using this image, the poet suggests that we have power over the way that we ‘write’ our lives. It is up to us how the story turns out.
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor The Extended Metaphor The extended metaphor is one that is, simply, extended. Some poems consist of one metaphor, that runs throughout the whole poem. Here is an example of how the metaphor we have seen of the girl’s face being a book might be extended: Her face was a book He could read her every thought and emotion As he turned the pages with love and devotion. Her face was a novel Her story yet to be told He waited to hear her tale unfold.
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor The Extended Metaphor When you are identifying extended metaphors, you may find that you believe a particular image to be a metaphor, but are not completely sure. However, if you believe the poem to be an extended metaphor, and you can justify your ideas, then it is perfectly acceptable to say this. For instance, in the poem “Digging” by Ted Hughes, the poet describes his father digging in the garden, whilst he, the poet, ‘digs’ for words. This metaphor is not immediately apparent. The poet does not say “I am digging for words”. However, it is clear from the context that the literal digging his father does is being related to the digging he does for inspiration and for a way to best express himself.
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor Example Poems • The poems and extracts that follow give you a chance to look at different ways that poets might use metaphors, and to practise your analytical skills. • As you will see, poets throughout the ages have used metaphors to create vivid images and pictures in their poetry. When analysing these poems, remember to consider: • The type of image being used. Is it an extended metaphor? Remember, this may be hard to identify. • Why this particular image is being used. • What the effect of this metaphor is on the reader. • How the image contributes to the poem as a whole.
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is (extract) My mind to me a kingdom is Such perfect joy therein I find, That it excels all other bliss That world affords or grows by kind. Though much I want which most would have, Yet still my mind forbids to crave. My wealth is health and perfect ease, My conscience clear my chief defence; I neither seek by bribes to please, Nor by desert to breed offence. Thus do I live, thus will I die; Would all did so, as well as I. Sir Edward Dyer (1543 - 1607)
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor What Thing is Love? What thing is love? for sure love is a thing. It is a prick, it is a sting, It is a pretty, pretty thing; It is a fire, it is a coal, Whose flame creeps in at every hole; And as my wit doth best devise, Love’s dwelling is in ladies’ eyes; From whence do glance love’s piercing darts, That make such holes into our hearts;
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor What Thing is Love? (continued) And all the world herein accord, Love is a great and mighty lord; And when he list to mount so high, With Venus he in heaven doth lie, And evermore hath been a god, Since Mars and she played even and odd. George Peele (c.1558 - 1596)
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor Spring and Fall to a young child Margaret, are you grieving Over Goldengrove unleaving? Leaves, like the things of man, you With your fresh thoughts care for, can you? Ah! as the heart grows older It will come to such sights colder By and by, nor spare a sigh Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie, And yet you will weep and know why.
Analysing Imagery - Metaphor Spring and Fall (continued) to a young child Now no matter, child, the name: Sorrow’s springs are the same. Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed What heart heard of, ghost guessed: It is the blight man was born for, It is Margaret you mourn for. Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844 - 1889)
Analysing Imagery - Alliteration CONTENTS • What is Alliteration? Slides 45 - 47 • Analysing Alliteration Slides 48 - 52 • Example Poems: Slide 53 • “Echo” Slides 54 - 55 • “Blow, Bugle, Blow” Slides 56 - 57
Analysing Imagery - Alliteration What is Alliteration? Alliteration is the use of repeated consonant sounds to create a sound picture. The sounds may be repeated at the start or end of each word, or within the words themselves. Consonants are all the letters of the alphabet except vowels. Remember, it is the sound that is important, rather than the letter, because some letters or letter combinations may be different, but sound similar. For instance ‘s’ and ‘ce’ (‘miss’ and ‘nice’) might sound almost the same, although they are different letters.
Analysing Imagery - Alliteration What is Alliteration? Alliteration creates its effect by adding to the rhythm of the poem. Many poets will use alliteration of several different letters within a poem. If you are analysing a poem that does this, you will need to look very carefully at the way the rhythm of the poem is affected. Alliteration can suggest the object or action that it is describing through the sounds it creates. Alliteration can also affect the speed that we read a poem, or the tone that we use. Remember, poems are designed to be read aloud (or at least ‘out loud’ in your head), and alliteration can add greatly to their effect.
Ow!!! Analysing Imagery - Alliteration What is Alliteration? “The sharp stone struck the side of the girl’s head.” In this example, the sound of the stone striking the girl is created by the alliteration of the letter ‘s’. Read the sentence out loud to see the effect. s s s s s “The harp tone truck the ide of the girl’ head.”
Analysing Imagery - Alliteration Analysing Alliteration When you are discussing the effects that alliteration creates within a poem, you should describe how the sounds you hear add to the ‘word picture’ you see in your mind. “The sharp stone struck the side of the girl’s head.” The use of alliteration here adds greatly to the effect of the line. We see the stone being thrown, and striking the girl, but we also hear the sound that the stone might make, through the repetition of the letter ‘s’. The sharpness of this sound echoes the sharpness both of the stone, and of the cry the girl probably makes when she feels the stone hitting her.
Analysing Imagery - Alliteration Analysing Alliteration Here are some examples of alliteration for you to analyse. Remember, alliteration can be found within the words, as well as at the start of each word. Remember too, it is the sound and not the letter that counts. “The snake slithered slowly across the soft sand, hissing once as it went.” “Jane just jumped joyfully into the air.” “The bullet almost hit the terrified boy, but it just missed.
Analysing Imagery - Alliteration Analysing Alliteration Here are some possible ways of analysing the use of alliteration in the examples. Again, remember that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer when you are studying poetry: s s s s s s “The nake lithered lowly acro the oft and, hi ing on a it went.” s s s s ce The use of alliteration here gives a strong image of the snake slithering. The repeated ‘s’ sounds echo both the shape of the snake itself, and the sound that the snake makes as it hisses.