This course and its investigation are predicated on the concept that a poem expresses its own emotional, thematic, and narrative goal, distinct from that of its creator (poet). We will examine how and why poems express emotion; consider how particular emotions are depicted in poetry; and learn how to identify key words and phrases that convey emotion.
As seen by the reader, the poet's attitude toward the poem's speaker, reader, and subject matter. The poem's vocabulary, metrical regularity or irregularity, grammar, use of metaphorical language, and rhyme produce a "mood" that pervades the experience of reading the poem. The mood can be joyous, melancholy, angry, or any other tone.
These are some examples of attitudes in poems: arrogance, bitterness, confusion, disappointment, despair, delight, denial, disgust, enthusiasm, fear, frustration, grief, happiness, indifference, interest, indignation, irritation, jealousy, longing, love, misery, passion, peace, pride, relief, regret, scorn, sadness, secrecy, satisfaction, terror, triumph, uncertainty.
In general, attitudes are revealed through the use of particular words or phrases, such as "ah," "again," "always," and so on; through the placement of certain words or phrases; through the structure of the sentence; and sometimes only implied through the tone of the text.
Some poems are spoken, while others are written. Spoken poems are often dramatic monologues, which are pieces of literature that focus on one main character's thoughts and feelings. Written poems are usually about real people doing real things in real places at some point in time.
A poem's context is the setting against which it is written and which influences its composition. This includes all other poems from which the writing poet may have taken inspiration, as well as the historical and cultural circumstances surrounding the writing of the poem itself.
Poets often draw upon their knowledge of other works for inspiration. They may read or hear stories or songs that inspire them to write their own. The more familiar you are with the world of words and ideas expressed in other poems, the better able you will be to express your own thoughts on paper.
Poetry's context also includes the physical environment in which the poem is composed. This could be the writer's mind, but it might also include drawings, photographs, or other objects that provide inspiration for or shape the final product. It can also include the location where the poem is written down. If it is a line from a song, for example, then this would be the context in which the poem is found written down in a book.
Finally, poetry's context includes the audience that reads or listens to it. This depends on what kind of poem it is, but it can also include friends, family, or others with whom the poet may communicate directly or through others.
If there is a basic Personal Response question, attempt to determine the poem's major topic, plot, or gist. Simply put, attempt to figure out what the poet is writing about and why the poet is writing about it. Ignore any terms or phrases you don't recognize. Reread the poem a second time.
Identifying the modes of poetry is an underutilized approach of determining why they please (or do not satisfy) the reader. In this workshop, we will define and read examples of the four main forms of poetry (lyric, narrative, argument, and description). We will also study how different types of poems are used to express specific ideas about life, love, and loss.
Participants will learn how modern poets have adapted or rejected the form for specific purposes, and examine how early English and Roman poets used formal considerations in their work.
In addition to lectures, discussions, and readings, participants will write and perform their own versions of the four main forms of poetry.
This workshop is appropriate for anyone interested in learning more about poetics. No experience is required.
Lectures will be held on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in Emerson 105. Participants are encouraged to attend all four sessions if possible.
This course will use Creative Commons Attribution/Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States license.
To comprehend the poem, stylistic analysis will be employed to examine the topics through various poetic techniques and language items. The study will look at how the poet employed simple narrative language to convey profound thought. Also, formal elements such as meter, rhyme, and syntax will be considered.
Topics include but are not limited to: personification, allusion, metaphor, simile, irony, understatement, ambiguity, synonymity, polysemy, and lexis. These elements play a role in how we understand and perceive the poem. An understanding of their usage by the poet allows us to better grasp the message being sent through the use of language.
Stylistic analysis involves more than just identifying words that are symbolic or have multiple meanings. It also includes understanding how these elements are used by the poet to create a mood or tone for the work. This requires an examination of form as well as content when trying to answer questions like "Why did the poet choose to use certain words rather than others?" "How does the poet's choice of word order affect the meaning of the sentence?" "How does the use of punctuation change the interpretation of the poem?" etc.
In conclusion, stylistic analysis is an essential component in reading poetry.