UNIT ONE: POETRY • Learning Goals: • I can determine and understand the meanings of poems • I can make connections between the time period, poet, and the poem • I can identify different types of poetry • I can apply the Graphic Organizer to analyze poetry • I can annotate a poem (note-making) • I can recognize and utilize the devices used in writing poetry • I can write an essay analyzing a dramatic monologue
Poetry and Prose Because poetry has a number of distinct and definite forms, most people can tell that a poem is a poem simply by looking at it. There is a break at the end of each line in poetry; prose is constructed of sentences. In poetry, a number of lines form a stanza; in prose, a number of sentences form a paragraph. A poem has other external signs that identify it: a rhymescheme, a regular stanza pattern, capital letters at the beginning of many lines. Note: Not all poetry conforms to all these standard conventions, but most poetry does.
Perhaps the most obvious distinguishing feature between poetry and prose is rhythm. Rhythm can be defined as the regular occurrence of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line. A poem contains words arranged in a rhythmical pattern. That is, in poetry – except for free verse – the accents of the syllables in the words fall at regular intervals. Although most poets allow themselves some freedom in accents, they stay within a rhythmical pattern.
Another important difference between prose and poetry is the use of imagery. When words are used to cause us to see, hear, touch, taste, or smell something, they are creating an image. Since poetry is a very compact mode of expression, concentrated images or image patterns are often used to help the reader form a total impression.
Purpose The smallest meaningful part of the poem is the WORD, but a single word already contains within itself more than the unwary reader might suspect. The basic elements of a poem – IMAGE, SOUND, and MEANING – may all be found in the isolated word. These elements acquire richness and precision when the word is placed in the context of other words. The study of poems is necessarily a close examination of the surrounding words that modify and influence any particular word. The fabric of words that is the poem depends on the strength, colour, and texture of each individual thread.
A word has a physical nature (its vowel and consonant structure), a history (its origin and the later changes in its usage), a family life (kinships and affinities with other words,) and a future (the new and unpredictable life that the poet and others can give it). These are the conditions that affect the word’s power to radiate image, sound, and meaning.
Poem Structures Structured Poetry: fixed form – identifiable meter AND a rhyme scheme Blank Verse: identifiable meter (usually iambic pentameter) AND unrhymed Free Verse: WITHOUT an identifiable meter AND may or may not have a rhyme scheme
The Three Main Categories of Poetry Narrative: A narrative tells a story in verse. Ballads and epics are two forms of narrative poetry. • epic - a long poem relating deeds of a great heroic character. Example: Beowulf • metrical romance - adventures of romantic poetry. Example: Faerie Queen • ballad - originally meant to be sung, written in quatrains, usually incorporates a refrain, or repeated chorus. • folk ballad - anonymous creation passed orally through generations • literary ballad - written deliberately in the form of a folk ballad
The Three Main Categories of Poetry Lyric: Lyric poetry began in ancient Greece. Stage performances included songs by a chorus, or large group of people, and individual songs accompanied by a lyre - aka lyric. Lyric poetry is what you typically think of when you think of a poem or song. Lyric poems rhyme and follow specific formats, rhythms, and meter. • elegy - formal poem of lamentation, usually about a death, or the symbolic passage of mankind. • ode - serious, long poem which uses elevated language and elaborate structure. • sonnet - set apart by distinct form, commonly about love.
The Three Main Categories of Poetry Dramatic: The dramatic poem consists of the thoughts or spoken statements (or both) of one or more characters other than the poet himself in a particular life situation. It is dramatic rather than narrative since the character is not "written about" by the poet; rather, the poem consists of the character's own thoughts or spoken statements. It is when the characters of the poem speak and move before us. • opera - poetry set to music, dialogue is usually sung • musical comedy - popular entertainment. Example: Once Upon A Mattress, Guys and Dolls • dramatic monologue - single character speaking to a silent audience. Example: My Last Duchess, by Robert Browning • dramatic dialogue - conversation shared in poetic format
Denotation The denotation of a word is its exact meaning as stated in the dictionary. Example: the denotation of both skinny and slender is “thin”
Connotation The connotation of a word is the suggested meaning of a word in addition to its actual meaning. Connotations can suggest emotions, or positive or negative value judgements. Example: slender has a positive connotation skinny has a negative connotation
Imagery Imagery draws the reader into poetic experiences by touching on the images and senses which the reader already knows. Some images can appeal to more than one sense at a time, such as an apple which may provide the visual image of the fruit along with the reminder of the taste of an apple.
Imagery continued We speak of the pictures evoked in a poem as “imagery.” Imagery refers to the “pictures” which we perceive with our mind’s eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin, and through which we experience the “duplicate world” created by poetic language. Imagery evokes the meaning and truth of human experiences not in abstract terms, as in philosophy, but in more perceptible and tangible forms. This is a device by which the poet makes his meaning strong, clear, and sure.
Imagery continued The poet uses sound words and words of colour and touch in addition to figures of speech. As well, concrete details that appeal to the reader’s senses are used to build up images to add interest and meaning to the work. Although most of the image-making words in any language appeal to sight, there are also images of touch, sound, taste, smell, and internal sensations.
Types of Imagery Visual Imagery: Imagery that stimulates the sense of sight Gustatory Imagery: Imagery that stimulates the sense of taste Auditory Imagery: Imagery that stimulates the sense of hearing Olfactory Imagery: Imagery that stimulates the sense of smell
Types of Imagery continued Tactile Imagery: Imagery that stimulates the sense of touch (attributes like hardness, softness or hot and cold sensations) Kinesthetic Imagery: Imagery that recreates a feeling of physical action or movement Organic Imagery: Imagery that concentrates on recreating internal sensations like hunger, thirst, fear, or fatigue.
Annotation = Effective Note-Taking Annotating is the process of analyzing and understanding a written work. Annotations are not just a summary of what is going on, but also an examination of the tone, speaker, language, imagery, symbolism or other characteristics. When annotating a poem, you must ask and answer several questions, such as identifying the speaker and discovering the poem’s purpose.
Poetry Analysis Graphic Organizer POET AND TIME PERIOD TITLE PARAPHRASE (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN) CONNOTATION FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE IMAGARY and SOUND (HOW) ATTITUDE/TONE STRUCTURE/SHIFTS TITLE THEME/MEANING (WHY) Handout will be provided