Elements of
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The Poetry Foundation; Resource for Poetry, Poets and Links about Poetry

Favorite Poem Project






Chapter One

The Poetry Foundation; Resource for Poems, Poetry, Poets and Links about Poetry

What is Poetry

Alfred, Lord Tennyson The Eagle
1.Evaluate the effectiveness of the descriptive detail by first listing examples and then connecting the same back to the poem.
2.Analyze the significance of the shift in the poem. How does this connect the reader to the subject.

William Shakespeare Winter
1. Is the owls cry really a 'merry' note? How are this adjective and the verb 'sings' employed?
2. In what way does the owl's cry contrast with the other details of the poem?
3. Identify and evaluate the series of concrete, homely details described by the author. What do they suggest about winter and our ability to imagine it?
4. How does the poem portray winter; is it ugly or beautiful?

Wilfred Owen Dulce et Decorum Est
1. Look up the latin quotation from the Roman poet Horace. What does the title mean? How does the poem comment on this statement?
2. List the elements of the poem that seem not beautiful and are therefore "unpoetic." Are there any elements of beauty in the poem?
3. How do the comparisons in lines 1, 14, 20, 23-24 contribute to the effectiveness of the poem?
4. What does the poem gain by moving from plural pronouns and the past tense to singular pronouns and the present tense? How does this shift impact meaning?


Understanding and Evaluating Poetry

William Shakespeare Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
1. Evaluate the shift in meaning as you evaluate the "temperate" when used to describe a person or "a summer's day."
2. What details show that "a summer's day" is lacking in loveliness and is temperate?
3. What are the "the eye of heaver" and "his gold complexion."
4. The poem begins more or less literally comparing the person being addressed to "a summer's day," but shift (thank you Ariel) at line 9 from the possible to impossible. Consider the reader impact and what the poem gains by this shift in meaning; interpret and explain.
5. Explain the logic behind the rhyming couplet. Is this valid proof? Why or why not?

Robert Hayden The Whipping
1.What similarities connect the old woman, the boy, and the speaker? Can you say that one of them is the main subject of the poem? Evalute the impact.
2. Does this poem express any beauty? What human truth does it embody? Could you argue against the claim that "it is over now, it over" (19)?

Emily Dickinson The last Night that She lived
1.What do you notice about the capitalization of the poem? What meaning can you infer?
2. What do images of "a narrow time" and "Too jostled" contribute to the emotions of the poem?
3. Why is the comparison in lines 22-23 particularly effective?
4. Explain the emotional and spiritual adjustments expressed in the last four lines.
5. Evaluate three literary devices that complement the meaning of the poem.

Dudley Randall Ballad of Birmingham
1. Investigate the historical significance of the poem.
http://balladofbirmingham.org/
How does the poem differ from a typical historical perspective of the incident? A speech? An entry in a periodical?
2. Identify the shifts in the poem and describe the impact on the reader.
3. Evaluate the juxtaposition of imagery and determine the potential impact on the reader?
4. Why do you think the author chose a folk ballad form to tell of a twentieth-century incident. How does the form synthesize meaning?
5. What purpose does the poem have simply beyond telling the story? How does irony achieve the purpose?

Gwendolyn Brooks Kitchenette Building
1. What do you suppose is "kitchenette building?" Who do you suppose is Number Five?
2.Who is the "We" of the poem? Why is the use of plural speakers effective?
3. Why would these speakers refer to themselves as "things"? If a dream rose through the cooking fumes and smell of garbage, shy might people not be "willing to let it in?"

William Carlos Williams The Red Wheelbarrow
1. The speakers asserts that "so much depends upon" the objects, but how much and why? This glimpse of a farm scene implies one kind of an answer. What is the importance of the wheelbarrow, rain, and chicken to the farmer? To all of us?
2. What further importance can you infer from the references to color, shape, texture, and the juxtaposition of objects? Does the poem itself have a shape? What two ways of observing and valuing the world does the poem imply?
3. What are the possible reasons for the "experimental" qualities in this poem-for instance, its lack of capitalization, it very short lines, and its plain, even homely images? Do these qualities give the poem a greater emotional power than a more conventional and decorative poem on the same topic might have achieved?

Langston Hughes Suicide's Note
1.How is the speaker's desire for death like the desire expressed in the comparison of the river to a person? How are they alike? Explore the frame of mind that would create this comparison.
2. Does the repeated K sound seem beautiful to you? Can you explain the repitition in terms that reflect the speaker's frame of mind?

A.E. Housman Terence, this is stupid stuff
1. The poem opens with the speaker quoting another person whose remarks he then refutes. What is the relationship between the two? Of what is the other person complaining? What request does he make of the speaker?
2. What, in Terence's eyes is the efficacy of liquor in helping one live a difficult life? What is the 'stuff' he brings for 'for sale'?
3. Look up "Mithridates" and his relationship to Caesar. The poem is structured into four verse paragraphs. What is the connection of this last verse paragraph with the rest of the poem? What is the function of the other three?
4.Essentially, Terence assesses the value of three possible aids for worthwhile living. Describe,evalute, and rank them according to Terence's standards. Which six lines sum up his philosophy?
5.What, for Housman, is the value of pessimistic and tragic literature?

Adrienne Rich Poetry, I
Archibald MacLeish Ars Poetica
1. How can a poem be 'wordless?' How can it be "motionless in time" (15)?
2.The Latin title is translated The Art of Poetry. What is this poet's philosophy of poetry? What does he mean by saying a poem should not 'mean' and should not be true?'


Chapter Two

Reading the Poem



Homework is structured as follows:

Each night perform one DIDLS of your choice for designated range of poem(s)and one TP-CASTT on one poem of your choice from the range of poems provided on the planner. All assignments must be handwritten.

This is your guideline:


This is your template:

This is your guideline with template:


The Poetry Foundation; Resource for Poems, Poetry, Poets and Links about Poetry


Thomas Hardy, The Man He Killed

Philip Larkin, A Study of Reading Habits

A.E. Housman, Is my team plowing

John Donne, Break of Day

Emily Dickinson, There's been a Death, in the Opposite House

Mari Evans, When in Rome

Sylvia Plath, Mirror

William Blake, The Clod and the Pebble

Yusef Kumanyakaa, Facing It

Edwin Arlington Robinson, Eros Turannos

Adrienne Rich, Storm Warnings

Chapter Three

The Poetry Foundation; Resource for Poems, Poetry, Poets and Links about Poetry

Connotation and Denotation


DEFINITION OF DENOTATION AND CONNOTATION

Denotation is when you mean what you say, literally. Connotation is created when you mean something else, something that might be initially hidden. The connotative meaning of a word is based on implication, or shared emotional association with a word. Greasy is a completely innocent word: Some things, like car engines, need to be greasy. But greasy contains negative associations for most people, whether they are talking about food or about people. Often there are many words that denote approximately the same thing, but their connotations are very different. Innocent and genuine both denote an absence of corruption, but the connotations of the two words are different: innocent is often associated with a lack of experience, whereas genuine is not. Connotations are important in poetry because poets use them to further develop or complicate a poem's meaning.

Links to activities for connotation and denotation:


DEFINITION OF DENOTATION AND CONNOTATION
Connotation and Denotation Link
Denotation is when you mean what you say, literally. Connotation is created when you mean something else, something that might be initially hidden. The connotative meaning of a word is based on implication, or shared emotional association with a word. Greasy is a completely innocent word: Some things, like car engines, need to be greasy. But greasy contains negative associations for most people, whether they are talking about food or about people. Often there are many words that denote approximately the same thing, but their connotations are very different. Innocent and genuine both denote an absence of corruption, but the connotations of the two words are different: innocent is often associated with a lack of experience, whereas genuine is not. Connotations are important in poetry because poets use them to further develop or complicate a poem's meaning.




Elements of Poetry

Homework is structured as follows:

Each night perform onw DIDLS for designated poem(s) and one TP-CASTT on one poem of your choice from the range of poems indicated on the planner for that night's homework. All assignments must be handwritten.


Emily Dickinson, There is no Frigate like a Book

William Shakespeare, When my love swears that she is made of truth (look at "simply" and "simple." Consider swears and its meaning.)

Ellen Kay, Pathedy of Manners

Henry Reed, Naming of Parts (Optional Extra Credit)

Langston Hughes, Cross

William Wordsworth, The world is too much with us

Adrienne Rich, I Am in Danger--Sir--" *Higginson refers to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the Atlantic Monthly editor to whom Emily Dickinson sent letters and poems up to the year of her death. The poem's title is from one of the letters.

Robert Frost, Desert Places

John Donne, A Hymn to God the Father *Consider the puns on "done" and "sun."

Elizabeth Bishop, One Art *Explain how "owned" and "lost" shif the meanings of possessing and losing.

Chapter Four

The Poetry Foundation; Resource for Poems, Poetry, Poets and Links about Poetry

Imagery

from Bedford St. Martin's
DEFINITION OF IMAGERY
Imagery Link
Think of an image as a picture or a sculpture, something concrete and representational within a work of art. Literal images appeal to our sense of realistic perception, like a nineteenth-century landscape painting that looks "just like a photograph." There are also figurative images that appeal to our imagination, like a twentieth-century modernist portrait that looks only vaguely like a person but that implies a certain mood.
Literal images saturate Samuel Coleridge's poem, "Kubla Khan: or, A Vision in a Dream":
So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round: And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And there were forests ancient as the hills, Enfolding sunny spots of greenery. (lines 6-11)
A figurative image begins T. S. Eliot's famous poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock":
Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table;
To see the evening in the way Prufrock describes it requires an imaginative leap: He's doing much more than setting the scene and telling us that it's nighttime. We are encouraged to see stars, to feel the unconscious and infinite presence of the universe, but these things are only implied. In either case, poetic imagery alters or shapes the way we see what the poem is describing.

Homework is structured as follows:

For Monday night, take notes on Browning, Hopkins and Williams,

Robert Browning, Meeting at Night and Parting at Morning (This counts as one poem)

Gerard Manley Hopkins, Spring

William Carlos Williams, The Widow's Lament in Springtime

Each night, for the following poems, perform DIDLS for designated poem(s) and substitute one TP-CASTT on one poem of your choice. All assignments must be handwritten.

Emily Dickinson, I felt a Funeral, in my Brain

Adrienne Rich, Living in Sin

Seamus Heaney, The Forge

Robert Frost, After Apple Picking (Optional)

Perform only one DIDLS on the Poem of your choice to finish chapter four.

Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays

Jean Toomer, Reapers

George Gordon, Lord Byron, The Destruction of Sennacherib

John Keats, To Autumn

Chapter Five

The Poetry Foundation; Resource for Poems, Poetry, Poets and Links about Poetry

Figurative Language I

Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Apostrophe, and Metonymy

*For this chapter be certain to indicate the use of devices listed above in your analysis

Links to Elements of Poetry

DEFINITION OF SIMILE

Have you ever noticed how many times your friends say, "It's like . . ." or "I'm like . . . "? They aren't always creating similes, but they are attempting to simulate something (often a conversation). The word like signifies a direct comparison between two things that are alike in a certain way. Usually one of the elements of a simile is concrete and the other abstract. "My love is like a red, red rose" writes Robert Burns. He's talking about the rose's beauty when it's in full bloom (he tells us that it's May in the next line). "Love is like a rose" is a simpler version of the simile, but it's a more dangerous version. (A black rose? A dead rose in December? The thorns of a rose?) Sometimes similes force us to consider how the two things being compared are dissimilar, but the relationship between two dissimilar things can break down easily, so similes must be rendered delicately and carefully.

Definition of Metaphor



Closely related to similes, metaphors immediately identify one object or idea with another, in one or more aspects. The meaning of a poem frequently depends on the success of a metaphor. Like a simile, a metaphor expands the sense and clarifies the meaning of something. "He's such a pig," you might say, and the listener wouldn't immediately think, "My friend has a porcine boyfriend," but rather, "My friend has a human boyfriend who is (a) a slob, (b) a voracious eater, (c) someone with crude attitudes or tastes, or (d) a chauvinist." In any case, it would be clear that the speaker wasn't paying her boyfriend a compliment, but unless she clarifies the metaphor, you might have to ask, "In what sense?" English Renaissance poetry is characterized by metaphors that turn into elaborate conceits, or extended metaphors. Poets like John Donne and William Shakespeare extended their comparisons brilliantly, with the effect that the reader was dazzled. Contemporary poets tend to be more economical with their metaphors, but they still use them as one of the chief elements that distinguishes poetry from less lofty forms of communication.

Definition of Personification

Personification is a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings. For example, when we say, “The sky weeps” we are giving the sky the ability to feel that is a human quality. Thus, we can say that the sky has been personified in the given sentence.

Definition of Apostrophe

In literature, apostrophe is a figure of speech sometimes represented by exclamation “O”. A writer or a speaker, using an apostrophe, detaches himself from the reality and addresses an imaginary character in his speech.
It is important not to confuse the apostrophe which is a figure of speech and the apostrophe which is a punctuation mark (‘). It shows possession or a mark to indicate omission of one or more letters (contractions) while apostrophe used in literature is an arrangement of words addressing a non-existent person or an abstract idea in such a way as if it were present and capable of understanding feelings.

Definition of Metonymy

It is a figure of speech that takes the place of the name of a thing with the name of something else with which it is closely associated

Metonymy, Synecdoche and Metaphor

Metonymy is often confused with another figure of speech called synecdoche. Both resemble to each other but are not the same. Synecdoche refers to a thing by the name of one of its parts. For example, calling a car “a wheel” is a synecdoche. A part of a car i.e. “a wheel” stands for the whole car. In metonymy, on the other hand, the word we use to describe another thing is closely linked to that particular thing, but is not a part of it. For example, “Crown” which means power or authority is a metonymy.
Metonymy is different from a metaphor. A metaphor draws resemblance between two different things as in “Her face shines like a sun.” Face and sun are two different things without any association but it attempts to describe one thing in terms of another based on a supposed similarity. Metonymy, however, develops relation on the grounds of close associations as in “The White House is concerned about terrorism.” The White House here represents the people who work in it

Examples of Metonymy in Everyday Life

We use metonymy frequently in our everyday life. For a better understanding, let us observe a few examples:
  • England decides to keep check on immigration. (England refers to the government.)
  • The suits were at meeting. (The suits stand for businesspersons.)
  • Pen is mightier than sword. (Pen refers to written words and sword to military force.)
  • The Oval Office was busy in work. (“The Oval Office” is metonymy as it stands for people at work in the office.)
  • Let me give you a hand. (Hand means help.)

Links to Elements of Poetry

Read the designated poems and indicate the uses of the devices in this chapter for your use in your notes. No written assignment.

Francis Cornford, The Guitarist Tunes Up

Robert Frost, Bereft

Emily Dickinson, It sifts from Leaden Sieves

David Mason, Song of the Powers

John Keats, Bright Star

Choose two poem and evaluate for the devices in the chapter in your notes. Note the use of devices and how they connect to theme. Please be prepared to discuss in class.

Richard Wilbur, Mind

Emily Dickinson, I taste a liquor never brewed

Philip Larkin, Toads

Adrienne Rich, Ghost of a Chance

Choose two poem and evaluate for the devices in the chapter in your notes. Note the use of devices and how they connect to theme. Please be prepared to discuss in class.

John Donne, A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress

Langston Hughes, Dream Deferred


Billy Collins, Introduction to Poetry

Chapter Six

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Figurative Language 2

Symbol, Allegory

*For this chapter be certain to indicate the use of devices listed above in your analysis

Links to Elements of Poetry

DEFINITION OF SYMBOL
Symbol Exercise
A symbol works two ways: It is something itself, and it also suggests something deeper. It is crucial to distinguish a symbol from a metaphor: Metaphors are comparisons between two seemingly dissimilar things; symbols associate two things, but their meaning is both literal and figurative. A metaphor might read, "His life was an oak tree that had just lost its leaves"; a symbol might be the oak tree itself, which would evoke the cycle of death and rebirth through the loss and growth of leaves. Some symbols have widespread, commonly accepted values that most readers should recognize: Apple pie suggests innocence or homespun values; ravens signify death; fruit is associated with sensuality. Yet none of these associations is absolute, and all of them are really determined by individual cultures and time (would a Chinese reader recognize that apple pie suggests innocence?). No symbols have absolute meanings, and, by their nature, we cannot read them at face value. Rather than beginning an inquiry into symbols by asking what they mean, it is better to begin by asking what they could mean, or what they have meant.

DEFINITION OF ALLEGORY

Allegory Exercise
An allegory is a whole world of symbols. Within a narrative form, which can be either in prose or verse, an allegory tells a story that can be read symbolically. You may have encountered The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser, or a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne such as Rappacini’s Daughter, or maybe you’ve heard that The Wizard of Oz was originally an allegory. Interpreting an allegory is complicated because you need to be aware of what each symbol in the narrative refers to. Allegories thus reinforce symbolic meaning, but can also be appreciated as good stories regardless of their allegorical meaning.

Study all poems for homework. Take Notes for class and potential quiz. No written assignment.

Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

Walt Whitman, A Noiseless Patient Spider

William Blake, The Sick Rose

Seamus Haney, Digging

Robert Herrick, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

George Herbert, Peace

Robert Frost, Fire and Ice

Choose one and perform a DIDLS or a TP-CASST with special attention to the devices in this chapter.


Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ulysses

Alastair Reed, Curiosity

Richard Wilbur, The Writer

Adrienne Rich, Power

Emily Dickinson, Because I could not stop for Death

John Donne, Hymn to God My God, in My Sickness


Chapter Seven

The Poetry Foundation; Resource for Poems, Poetry, Poets and Links about Poetry

Figurative Language 3

Paradox, Overstatement or Hyperbole, Understatement, Irony

*For this chapter be certain to indicate the use of devices listed above in your analysis

http://learn.lexiconic.net/elementsofpoetry.htm

Link to Literary Devices

DEFINITION OF IRONY

Irony Exercise


As a figure of speech, irony refers to a difference between the way something appears and what is actually true. Part of what makes poetry interesting is its indirectness, its refusal to state something simply as "the way it is." Irony allows us to say something but to mean something else, whether we are being sarcastic, exaggerating, or understating. A woman might say to her husband ironically, "I never know what you're going to say," when in fact she always knows what he will say. This is sarcasm, which is one way to achieve irony. Irony is generally more restrained than sarcasm, even though the effect might be the same. The woman of our example above might simply say, "Interesting," when her husband says something that really isn't interesting. She might not be using sarcasm in this case, and she might not even be aware that she is being ironic. A listener who finds the husband dull would probably understand the irony, though. The key to irony is often the tone, which is sometimes harder to detect in poetry than in speech.

external image exercise_subtitle.gif

IRONY EXERCISE

Irony is easier to communicate in speech than in writing. Consider the following circumstance: A child is playing violin and his aunt says, "He is obviously not ready for the youth orchestra." We don't know whether the aunt is speaking ironically or not; if the child is playing poorly, then the tone is straight. If the child is playing perfectly, then the tone is ironic. Much depends on the way the aunt pronounces "obviously."
Let's assume all of the following statements are meant to be read ironically. You are a poet: You want to communicate irony, but you don't want to overdo it, for heavy-handed irony isn't much fun to read. How much context would you have to add in order to ensure that the tone is ironic but that your touch is light?
Example:
His house was clean and orderly.
One might add:
Just as he had always hoped, His house was clean and orderly; No dust settled on pictures And there was no furniture to clutter the living room. The refrigerator had no moldering vegetables And the tub had no trace of her hair That used to clump and cluster in the drain. The only thing out of place Was a piece of paper taped clumsily to the door In sloppy handwriting: "ALL YOURS."
The cleanliness and orderliness of the man's house may have been what he had always wanted, but he most likely didn't want this solution to the problem of disorder. He is obviously a neat freak, and he wanted his wife or girlfriend to match his meticulous standards; ironically, he got what he said he wanted.


Definition of Paradox

Paradox Exercise
The term Paradox is from the Greek “paradoxon” that means contrary to expectations, existing belief or perceived opinion. Actually, paradox is a statement that appears to be self-contradictory or silly but may include a latent truth. It is also used to illustrate an opinion or statement contrary to accepted traditional ideas. A paradox is often used to make a reader think over an idea in innovative way.

Examples of Paradox

  • Your enemy’s friend is your enemy.
  • I am nobody.
  • “What a pity that youth must be wasted on the young.” – George Bernard Shaw
  • Wise fool
  • Truth is honey which is bitter.
  • “I can resist anything but temptation.” Oscar Wilde


Definition of Understatement

Understatement Exercise

An understatement is a figure of speech employed by writers or speakers to intentionally make a situation seem less important than it really is.

For example, you win 10 million dollars in a lottery. You tell a news reporter “I am delighted”, you make an understatement. Similarly, suppose a team loses to its opponent 50 to 0 in a soccer match and the captain of the team says in a post-match ceremony says, “We did not do well” is an understatement because he tries to decrease the intensity of the loss.

An understatement usually has an ironic effect as an equally intense response is expected in severe situations but the statement in response is opposite i.e. less intense but of course with an ironical tone. For instance, your friend returns your new coat with blots all over it and in response you make an ironical understatement, “It doesn’t look too bad”. Therefore, an understatement is opposite to another figure of speech hyperbole or an overstatement.

Definition of Hyperbole

Hyperbole, derived from Greek word meaning “over-casting” is a figure of speech, which involves an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of emphasis. It is a device that we employ in our day-to-day speech. For instance, when you meet a friend after a long time, you say, “Ages have passed since I first saw you”. You may not have met him for three or four hours or a day, but the use of the word “ages” exaggerates this statement to add emphasis to your wait. Therefore, a hyperbole is an unreal exaggeration to emphasize the real situation.
Some other common examples are given below:

Common Examples of Hyperbole

  • My grandmother is as old as a hill.
  • Your suitcase weighs a ton!
  • She is as heavy as an elephant!
  • I am dying of shame.
  • I am trying to solve a million issues these days.
It is important not to confuse hyperbole with simile and metaphor. It does make a comparison but unlike simile and metaphor, hyperbole has a humorous effect created by an overstatement


Common Examples of Understatement


Let us try to understand understatement with the help of some common examples:

  • It is an understatement to say “Deserts are sometimes hot, dry and sandy” while describing deserts of the world.
  • It is an understatement to say “He is not too thin” while describing an obese person.
  • It is an understatement to say “It rained a bit more than usual” while describing an area being flooded after a heavy rain fall.
  • It is an understatement to say “It was O.K.” when a topper was asked about his result.
  • It is an understatement to say “It is a bit cold today” when temperature is 5 degrees below the melting point.

Study poems and take notes on use of understatement for each poem. Pay close attention to how understatement contributes to the meaning of each poem in the range stated on the planner. Create a thesis statement for The Incident

Emily Dickinson, Much Madness is Divine Sense

John Donne, The Sun Rising

Countee Cullen, The Incident

Marge Piercy, Barbie Doll

William Blake, The Chimney Sweeper
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/172910

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias

Take notes on the poems in the chapter. Pay attention to the devices in focus on this chapter. Be prepared to take a quiz or hold a discussion of the poems.


John Donne, Batter my heart, three-personed God

Elisavietta Ritchie, Sorting Laundry

Robert Frost, A Considerable Speck


Chapter Eight

The Poetry Foundation; Resource for Poems, Poetry, Poets and Links about Poetry

Allusion

*For this chapter be certain to indicate the use of devices listed above in your analysis

Links to Elements of Poetry

Link to Literary Devices

Definition of Allusion

Allusion is a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance. It does not describe in detail the person or thing to which it refers. It is just a passing comment and the writer expects the reader to possess enough knowledge to spot the allusion and grasp its importance in a text.
For instance, you make a literary allusion the moment you say, “I do not approve of this quixotic idea,” Quixotic means stupid and impractical derived from Cervantes’s “Don Quixote”, a story of a foolish knight and his misadventures.

Examples of Allusion in Everyday Speech

The use allusions are not confined to literature alone. Their occurrence is fairly common in our daily speech. Look at some common examples of allusions in everyday life:
    • “Don’t act like a Romeo in front of her.”

    • The rise in poverty will unlock the Pandora’s box of crimes.

    • “This place is like a Garden of Eden.”

Examples of Allusion in Literature

Let us analyze a few examples of the use of allusions in literature:

Example #1

Milton’s “Paradise Lost” gives allusions a fair share. Look at the example from Book 6 below:
  • “All night the dread less Angel unpursu’d Through Heav’ns wide Champain held his way, till Morn, Wak’t by the circling Hours, with rosie hand Unbarr’d the gates of Light. There is a Cave Within the Mount of God, fast by his Throne”
In the above lines “dread less Angel” is a reference to “Abdiel”, a fearless angel. “Circling Hours” alludes to a Greek Myth “The Horae”, the daughters of “Zeus” and “Themis” namely “Thallo (Spring), Auxo (Summer) and Carpo (Fall). “ With rosie hand” Milton refers to Homer’s illustration of the “rosy fingered dawn” (Odyssey Book 2).

Example #2

Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus” is replete with instances of allusions. Read the example from Act III below:
  • “Learnèd Faustus, to find the secrets of astronomy Graven in the book of Jove’s high firmament, Did mount him up to scale Olympus’ top, Where, sitting in a chariot burning bright, Drawn by the strength of yokèd dragons’ necks, He views the clouds, the planets, and the stars.”
Jove’s high firmament refers to the outer stretches of the universe. “Olympus’ top” is an allusion to Greek Mythology where Mount Olympus is home of gods. Similarly, “a chariot burning bright” refers to a Greek Myth of “god Apollo” who is said to drive the sun in his chariot.

Example #3

In Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”, “the two knitting women” whom Marlow sees alludes to “Moirae” or Fates as visualized in Greek Mythology:
  • “The two knitting women increase his anxiety by gazing at him and all the other sailors with knowing unconcern. Their eerie looks suggest that they know what will happen (the men dying), yet don’t care”
The thread they knit represents human life. The two women knitting black wool foreshadows Marlow’s horrific journey in the “Dark Continent”.

Example #4

We find a number of allusions in Keats’s “Ode to the Grecian Urn”. For example:
  • “Sylvan historian, who canst thus express A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape Of deities or mortals, or of both, In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?”
“Sylvan” is a goat-like-man deity of Greek mythology. “Tempe” alludes to the “Vale of Tempe” in Greece, a place (from Greek mythology) frequently visited by Apollo and other gods. Likewise, “the dales of Arcady” refers to the home of “Pan”, the god of rustic music.

Function of Allusion

By and large, the use of allusions enables writers or poets to simplify complex ideas and emotions. The readers comprehend the complex ideas by comparing the emotions of the writer or poet to the references given by them. Furthermore, the references to Greek Mythology give a dreamlike and magical touch to the works of art. Similarly, biblical allusions appeal to the readers with religious backgrounds.

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Perform a summary analysis (one paragraph) on the function of allusion on your choice of two poems as long as one of the two is either Out-Out or Yet do I Marvel. Evaluate the function of allusion.

Robert Frost, Out, Out-- (look at Macbeth's Act V, Scene v Soliloquy)

e.e. cummings, in Just--

Countee Cullen, Yet Do I Marvel

John Milton, On His Blindness

Choose one and perform a DIDLS or a TP-CASST with special attention to the devices in this chapter.


Katharyn Hown Machan, Hazel Tells Laverne (Extra Credit)

Edwin Arlington Robinson, Miniver Cheever

T.S. Eliot, Journey of the Magi

William Butler Yeats, Leda and the Swan

Adrienne Rich, I Dream I'm the Death of Orpheus

Chapter Nine

The Poetry Foundation; Resource for Poetry, Poets and Links about Poetry

Meaning and Idea

*For this chapter be certain to indicate the use of devices listed above in your analysis

Links to Elements of Poetry

Link to Literary Devices

Choose one and analyze for function and form with special attention to the devices in this chapter. Take notes, and compare to on another sonnet for form and structure. Be prepared to discuss in class.

John Keats, On the Sonnet

Billy Collins, Sonnet

John Donne, Love's Deity (optional)

Billy Collins, My Number

Edwin Denby, I heard it's a fight

Chapter Ten

The Poetry Foundation; Resource for Poetry, Poets and Links about Poetry

Tone

*For this chapter be certain to indicate the use of devices listed above in your analysis

Links to Elements of Poetry

Link to Literary Devices

DEFINITION OF TONE

external image definition_subtitle.gif
The tone of a poem is roughly equivalent to the mood it creates in the reader. Think of an actor reading a line such as "I could kill you." He can read it in a few different ways: If he thinks the proper tone is murderous anger, he might scream the line and cause the veins to bulge in his neck. He might assume the tone of cool power and murmur the line in a low, even voice. Perhaps he does not mean the words at all and laughs as he says them. Much depends on interpretation, of course, but the play will give the actor clues about the tone just as a poem gives its readers clues about how to feel about it. The tone may be based on a number of other conventions that the poem uses, such as meter or repetition. If you find a poem exhilarating, maybe it's because the meter mimics galloping. If you find a poem depressing, that may be because it contains shadowy imagery. Tone is not in any way divorced from the other elements of poetry; it is directly dependent on them.


Consider the tone of the following excerpt from a poem by John Keats:
"To Autumn" I
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, For summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cells.
The poem’s tone is luxuriant and contented. How might it change, however, if the last autumnal harvest had been poor and the speaker knew it would be hard to survive through the winter?



First Night of Tone Chapter:

Take notes on the poems in the chapter. Pay attention to the devices in focus on this chapter. Be prepared to take a quiz or hold a discussion of the poems.


William Shakespeare, My Mistress' Eyes

Read and take notes. Pay attention to tone.


Michael Drayton, Since there's no help

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Crossing the Bar


Second Night of Tone Chapter

Choose one and perform an independent analysis for an in-class notebook check. Be prepared to take a quiz. Pay special attention to the devices in this chapter.

Mandatory:
John Donne, The Flea

Take notes and pay attention to tone.

Choose One:
Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach
or
Philip Larkin, Church Going

Chapter Eleven

The Poetry Foundation; Resource for Poetry, Poets and Links about Poetry

Musical Devices

*For this chapter be certain to indicate the use of devices listed above in your analysis

Links to Elements of Poetry

Link to Literary Devices

Definition of Rhyme

A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounding words occurring at the end of lines in poems or songs.
A rhyme is a tool utilizing repeating patterns of that brings rhythm or musicality in poems which differentiate them from prose which is plain. A rhyme is employed for a specific purpose rendering pleasing effect to a poem which makes its recital an enjoyable experience. Moreover, it offers itself as mnemonic device smoothing the progress of memorization. For instance, all nursery rhymes contain rhyming words in order to facilitate learning for children as they enjoy reading them and the presence of repetitive patterns enables them to memorize that particular poem effortlessly. We do not seem to forget the nursery rhymes we had learnt as a kid. Below are a few samples of nursery rhymes with rhyming words in bold and italics:
  • Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full! One for the master, one for the dame, And one for the little boy who lives down the lane.
  • Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the King’s horses, And all the King’s men Couldn’t put Humpty together again!
  • Mary had a little lamb its fleece was white as snow; And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go. It followed her to school one day, which was against the rule; It made the children laugh and play, to see a lamb at school. And so the teacher turned it out, but still it lingered near, And waited patiently about till Mary did appear.

Various Types

In poems written in English employ the following kinds of rhyme:
Perfect Rhyme
A perfect rhyme is a case in which two words rhyme in such a way that their final stressed vowel and all following sounds are identical e.g. sight and light, right and might, rose and dose etc.
General Rhyme
The term general rhyme refers to variety of phonetic likeness between words.
  • Bottle and fiddle, cleaver and silver, patter and pitter etc. are examples of syllabic rhyme i.e. words having similar sounding last syllable but without a stressed vowel
  • Wing and caring, sit and perfect, reflect and subject etc, are examples of imperfect rhyme i.e. a rhyme between a stressed and an unstressed syllable.
  • Assonance or Slant Rhyme exists in words having the same vowel sound e.g. kill and bill, wall and hall, shake and hate etc.
  • Consonance exist words having the same consonant sound e.g. rabbit and robber, ship and sheep
  • Alliteration or Head Rhyme refers to matching initial consonant sounds e.g. sea and seal, ship and short etc.
Eye Rhymes
Eye Rhymes, also called sight or spelling rhymes, refer to words having the same spelling but different sounds. In such case, the final syllables have the same spellings but are pronounce differently e.g. cough and bough, love and move etc.

Types of Rhyme According to Position

Classification of rhymes may occur according to their positions:
1. Tail Rhyme is the most common type of rhyme that occurs in the final syllable of a verse or line.
  • “Twinkle, twinkle little star How I wonder what you are
2. Internal Rhyme is a type of rhyme in which a word at the end of a verse rhymes with another word in the same line.
  • “Just turn me loose let me straddle my old saddle, Underneath the western skies, On my cayuse let me wander over yonder, ‘Til I see the mountains rise.”
3. Holo-rhyme is a type of rhyme in which the all words of two entire lines rhyme.
  • “In Ayrshire hill areas, a cruise, eh, lass?” “Inertia, hilarious, accrues, hélas!”
4. Cross rhyme refers to matching sounds at the end of intervening lines.
  • “Had I but lived a hundred years ago I might have gone, as I have gone this year, By Warmwell Cross on to a Cove I know, And Time have placed his finger on me there

Function of Rhyme

As discussed above, a rhyme serves two distinct functions in the art of writing poetry:
  1. It gives poetry a typical symmetry that differentiates poetry from prose.
  2. It makes recital of poetry a pleasurable experience for the readers as the repetitive pattern renders musicality and rhythm to it
W.H Auden gives his views on the function of rhyme and other tools of prosody saying that these are like servants that a master is to use them in ways he wants.

Choose one and perform a DIDLS with special attention to the devices in this chapter.


W.H. Auden, That Night When Joy Began

Maya Angelou, Woman Work

Marilyn Hacker, 1973

Chapter Twelve

The Poetry Foundation; Resource for Poems, Poetry, Poets and Links about Poetry

Rhythm and Meter

*For this chapter be certain to indicate the use of devices listed above in your analysis

Links to Elements of Poetry

Link to Literary Devices

DEFINITION OF METER
external image definition_subtitle.gif
Meter is the rhythm established by a poem, and it is usually dependent not only on the number of syllables in a line but also on the way those syllables are accented. This rhythm is often described as a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. The rhythmic unit is often described as a foot; patterns of feet can be identified and labeled. A foot may be iambic, which follows a pattern of unstressed/stressed syllables. For example, read aloud: "The DOG went WALKing DOWN the ROAD and BARKED." Because there are five iambs, or feet, this line follows the conventions of iambic pentameter (pent = five), the common form in Shakespeare's time. Stressed syllables are conventionally labeled with a "/" mark and unstressed syllables with a "U" mark.



external image instuction_subtitle.gif

Scan the meter of the poem below by selecting "/" for stressed syllables and "U" for unstressed syllables in the pull=down menu above each syllable.


"I'm Happiest When Most Away" by Emily Brontë
/UI'm
/Uhap
/Upi
/Uest
/Uwhen
/Umost
/Ua
/Uway

/UI
/Ucan
/Ubear
/Umy
/Usoul
/Ufrom
/Uits
/Uhome
/Uof
/Uclay

/UOn
/Ua
/Uwin
/Udy
/Unight
/Uwhen
/Uthe
/Umoon
/Uis
/Ubright

/UAnd
/Uthe
/Ueye
/Ucan
/Uwan
/Uder
/Uthrough
/Uworlds
/Uof
/Ulight—

/UWhen
/UI
/Uam
/Unot
/Uand
/Unone
/Ube
/Uside—

/UNor
/Uearth
/Unor
/Usea
/Unor
/Ucloud
/Uless
/Usky—

/UBut
/Uon
/Uly
/Uspi
/Urit
/Uwan
/Udering
/Uwide

/UThrough
/Uin
/Ufin
/Uite
/Uim
/Umens
/Uit
/Uy.

Choose one and perform an analysis with special attention to the devices in this chapter. Create your own version of an analysis based upon the devices above.

Robert Frost, The Aim was Song

Walt Whitman, Had I the Choice

Sylvia Plath, Old Ladies' Home

Judith Ortiz Cofer, Quinceanera

Chapter Thirteen

The Poetry Foundation; Resource for Poems, Poetry, Poets and Links about Poetry

Sound and Meaning

*For this chapter be certain to indicate the use of devices listed above in your analysis

Links to Elements of Poetry

Link to Literary Devices



Definition of Cacophony

If we speak literally, cacophony points to a situation where there is a mixture of harsh and inharmonious sounds. In literature, however, the term refers to the use of words with sharp, harsh, hissing and unmelodious sounds primarily those of consonants to achieve desired results.

Common Examples of Cacophony

In everyday life, one of the examples of cacophony would be the amalgamation of different sounds you hear in a busy city street or market. You hear sounds of vehicles, announcements on loudspeakers, music, and chatter of people or even a dog barking at the same time and without any harmony. You can rightly point to the situation as being the cacophony of a busy street or market. We can notice the manifestation of cacophony in language as well; for instance in the sentence:
  • “I detest war because cause of war is always trivial.”
The part “because cause” is cacophony as because is followed by a word cause that has a similar sound but different meaning. Generally, it sounds unpleasant as the same sound is repeated in two different words.
Similarly, a discordant sound of a musical band, tuning up their musical instruments, is also an example of cacophony.

Cacophony and Euphony

Cacophony is opposite to euphony which is the use of words having pleasant and harmonious effects. Generally, the vowels, semi-vowels and the nasal consonants e.g. l, m, n, r, y are considered to be euphonious. Cacophony, on the other hand, uses consonants in combinations which requires explosive delivery e.g., p, b, d, g, k, ch-, sh- etc.


Examples of Cacophony in Literature

In literature, the unpleasantness of cacophony is utilized by writers to present dreadful or distasteful situations. Let us look at a few Cacophony examples in literature:

Example #1

Abundant use of cacophonic words could be noticed in Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem “Jabberwocky” in his novel “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There”:
  • ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves,an And the mome raths outgrabe.
  • “Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!”
In the excerpt, we see a collection of nonsense words which are at the same time unmelodious. After reading the poem, “Alice”, the main character of the novel, gives her impression that reflects clearly the purpose of the poem. She says:
  • “Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas—only I don’t exactly know what they are! However, somebody killed something: that’s clear, at any rate”.

Example #2

An example of cacophony is found in Hart Crane’s poem “The Bridge”:
  • The nasal whine of power whips a new universe…. Where spouting pillars spoor the evening sky, Under the looming stacks of the gigantic power house Stars prick the eyes with sharp ammoniac proverbs, New verities, new inklings in the velvet hummed Of dynamos, where hearing’s leash is strummed…. Power’s script, – wound, bobbin-bound, refined- Is stopped to the slap of belts on booming spools, spurred Into the bulging bouillon, harnessed jelly of the stars.
The disorder and confusion of the industrial world has been expressed here by the writer through deliberate selection of cacophonic words and phrases.

Example #3

Look at the following excerpt from Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travel”:
  • “And being no stranger to the art of war, I have him a description of cannons, culverins, muskets, carabines, pistols, bullets, powder, swords, bayonets, battles, sieges, retreats, attacks, undermines, countermines, bombardments, sea-fights…”
In order to describe the destructive consequences of war, the writer chooses words and arranges them in an order that they produce an effect that is unmelodious, harsh and jarring that corresponds with the subject matter.

Example #4

Read the following lines from Coleridge’s “Rime to the Ancient Mariner”:
  • “With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, Agape they heard me call.”
These lines illustrate cacophony by using words black, baked and agape which corresponds with the severity of situation faced by the Mariner and other people on board.

Function of Cacophony

Writers use cacophony as a tool to describe a discordant situation using discordant words. The use of such words allows readers to picture and feel the unpleasantness of the situation the writer has described through words.

Take notes on the poems in the chapter. Pay attention to the devices in focus on this chapter. Be prepared to take a quiz or hold a discussion of the poems.


Emily Dickinson, I heard a Fly buzz--when I died

Wilfred Owen, Anthem for Doomed Youth

Richard Wilbur, A Fire-Truck

Galaway Kinnell, Blackberry Eating