poetry an introduction. poetry introduction: what is poetry?

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  • POETRY Introduction: What is poetry?
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  • 3 What Is Poetry? o A short story condensed o From concentrate just add the water of your imagination (needs dilution) compressed, distilled, dense, nutritive value Condensed by contraction of volume, with proportional increase of strength. without superfluity, excess
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  • 4 What Is Poetry? o Subjective o Emotional o Lyrical (expresses thoughts, feelings of a single speaker) o Narrative o Descriptive o Argumentative o Philosophical (waxes philosophic, embodies a philosophy) o Metaphoric o Dramatic o Didactic (teaches, preaches, imparts knowledge)
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  • 5 What Is Poetry? o Good poetry: unique poetic elements (properly handled) consistent controlled form = function
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  • 6 What Is Poetry? o Bad poetry: mixed metaphors poor similes and metaphors (my wife is a shirt or a poem is a bra) poor diction-word choice wrong word inappropriate word poor word choice wrong sound of a word
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  • 7 What Is Poetry? o Bad poetry: form does not equal function (style does not fit the content or message) inappropriate diction unsuitable style inapt form for the occasion inconsistent tone lack of control over language, emotion, vision
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  • 8 What Is Poetry? o Bad poetry: all emotion, no skill ad misericordiam sentimentality bathos: bad pathos when overly sentimental works move readers to laughter instead of tears
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  • 9 What Is Poetry? o Bad poetry: creates unintended reaction unwittingly comic unintentionally antagonizing does not say what intended it to say/mean unconscious of double meanings too contrived (trying too hard, overly ingenious)
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  • 10 What Is Poetry? o Bad poetry: trite, banal, hackneyed lacks originality clichs, pat expressions, trite maxims, platitudes stale phrasing and imagery too derivative too much impersonation, imitation ripping off the Greats too aphoristic, preachy, didactic smacks of moral or intellectual superiority
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  • 11 What Is Poetry? o Bad poetry: only of private value so personal only the poet gets it the extreme opposite of banality self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing forced rhyme scheme come up with a word to make a rhyme rather than using a word that arises from the thought/feeling) too mechanical metronome rhythm robotic, by t book
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  • POETRY Introduction: Reading Poetry
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  • 13 How to Read Poetry Notice PUNCTUATION: o question marks, exclamation marks, period o is a line (or more) a question or a statement o adjust your inflection accordingly Read to a COMMA or SEMICOLON or PERIOD: o don't stop necessarily at the end of each line o enjambment
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  • 14 How to Read Poetry Watch for ROAD SIGNS: o watch for changes in logic or time o notice conjunctions such as but or yet o recognize transitions such as then or meanwhile or afterwards Read with a DICTIONARY at hand: o look up key words words you do not recognize to note Connotation vs. Denotation o look up various definitions of words to note how different meanings = different interpretations for the work
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  • 15 How to Read Poetry Sparingly and Cautiously use PERSONAL experiences or personal tastes, attitudes, beliefs: o while your own views may, occasionally, shed light on the work o more often than not, they can lead to misinterpretations and prejudices o a grain of salt Realize that the SPEAKER and the POET are not necessarily one and the same: o because poetry is by nature quite subjective and emotional, o we readers have a tendency to confuse the views expressed in the poem with the views held by the writer o Disclaimer: Please understand that the opinions, views, and comments that appear in the poem will not necessarily reflect the views held by the poet.
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  • 16 How to Read Poetry Notice the POETIC ELEMENTS employed: o diction, symbolism, imagery, metaphors, o similes, conceit, meter, rhythm, rhyme, o stanza, persona, alliteration, assonance Note the RHYME SCHEME and RHYTHM: o at the end of each line, note the rhyme with a letter (a, b, c, ) o read the poem aloud, noticing and enunciating each piece of punctuation, to discover its rhythm
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  • 17 How to Read Poetry READ, PARAPHRASE, and then SUMMARIZE: o read the poem through the first time o then begin to put it into your own words, to simplify its meaning (paraphrase) o then summarize the entirety in a brief statement relating to its meaning, message, theme (summarize) EXPLICATE and ANALYZE: o explain each line of the poem; interpret line by line (explicate) o analyze the piece focusing on a single literary/poetic element (analyze)
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  • POETRY Introduction: Writing about Poetry
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  • 19 Writing About Poetry I. LITERAL LEVEL o Paraphrase: (parts) put lines into your own words simplify the language and syntax o Summarize: (whole) the gist/thrust of the entire work succinct, short
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  • 20 Writing About Poetry II. ANALYTICAL LEVEL o Explication: close reading line-by-line analysis tone, persona, imagery, symbolism, meter, how the poetic elements work together to form a unified whole & reveal hidden meanings Edgar Allan Poes unity of effect * arrive at a conclusion about the work
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  • 21 Writing About Poetry II. ANALYTICAL LEVEL o Analysis: focus on a single poetic element note its relationship to the whole, especially in terms of meaning
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  • 22 Writing About Poetry III. HOW to QUOTE POETRY o Slash marks: word space slash space word o Line numbers: end quote space (line #). no line or #, just the numeral o End punctuation: include ? or !, otherwise omit o Ellipses: word space. space. space. space word o Quoting multiple lines: block quote style indent all, no period at the end space (line #s) o Brackets: when you change a letter or a word
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  • POETRY Introduction: Poems
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  • 25 LANGSTON HUGHES o 1902-67 o Born in Joplin, Missouri o Mexico, NYC, Paris o Fiction, Drama, Essays, Biographies, o Newspaper column In the Chicago Defender Jesse B. Simple (fictional Everyman) o Poetry Poet Laureate of the Negro Race
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  • 26 LANGSTON HUGHES o Harlem (1951) re-titled in 1959 as Dream Deferred Which do you prefer? o 11 lines o 1 st and last questions 1-line stanzas o Middle stanzas = 4 questions (possibilities) 2 lines, 2 lines, 1 line, 2 lines similes last = not a question o Last line = italicized
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  • 27 LANGSTON HUGHES o Harlem (1951) Thesis Question: What happens to a dream deferred? Answers: dries up (raisin in sun) festers (sore) stinks (rotten meat) crusts over (sweet syrup) sags (heavy load) explodes (bomb)
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  • 28 LANGSTON HUGHES o Harlem (1951) Diction Dream = hopes, aspirations, wishes, talents delusion Fester = to rot, puss, ulcerate (ugly, repulsive images) Heavy load & sag = Burden Slaves carrying bales of cotton, supplies Raisin, sore, black meat, syrup, bomb = Black in color Syrup = Not so disgusting Why?
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  • 29 LANGSTON HUGHES o Harlem (1951) Title Harlem Renaissance (1920s) New Negro Movement post-Civil War, move North Harlem, Manhattan, New York @ 3 miles, @ 175,000 blacks WEB DuBois, Langston Hughes Countee Cullen, Zora Neale Hurston, Jazz Age, Roaring 20s Great Depression, Harlem Riots
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  • 30 LANGSTON HUGHES o Harlem (1951) Title Harlem, 1950s Racial inequality Riots: 1935, 1943, 1964 (Watts 1965, Detroit 1967) How did people react? Rot Anger, frustration festers Uncle Toms Anger, frustration explodes
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  • 31 LANGSTON HUGHES o Harlem (1951) Questions Why are the 1 st and last lines separated? Why is the last line italicized? Why is the last line w/o simile? Why is the heavy load not a question? What is the answer to the thesis question? Why are load and explode the only rhymes? Why the break from disgusting images with syrup?
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  • 33 APHRA BEHN o Ay-fra Bean o (1640-89) o 1 st English woman to earn a living through writing (1 st professional woman writer) o Married London merchant of Dutch descent o Served as a spy in the Dutch Wars, 1665-67 (after his death) o Novels Oroonoko (royal slave, one of 1 st English works to question slavery) o Plays, Poetry
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  • 34 APHRA BEHN o Song: Love Armed (1676) Characters: Love = Cupid, the god of love Persona = man Addressee = woman Poetic conventions: Unrequited love of the man toward a disdainful woman Unrequited love is painful Yet pleasurable
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  • 35 APHRA BEHN o Song: Love Armed (1676) Structure: 2 4-line stanzas Rhyme scheme = ABAB Refrain from me from thee (variations on)
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  • 36 APHRA BEHN o Song: Love Armed (1676) Structure: Whats Taken (to arm Love)? From man (persona): desire from his eyes sighs & tears languishments & fears From woman: fire from her eyes pride & cruelty killing dart