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RVP, Week 2 Blake: Marriage of Heaven and Hell Close-reading techniques: polyvalence and the OED, basic scansion/rhythm Close-reading exercise: the poetry.

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Presentation on theme: "RVP, Week 2 Blake: Marriage of Heaven and Hell Close-reading techniques: polyvalence and the OED, basic scansion/rhythm Close-reading exercise: the poetry."— Presentation transcript:

1 RVP, Week 2 Blake: Marriage of Heaven and Hell Close-reading techniques: polyvalence and the OED, basic scansion/rhythm Close-reading exercise: the poetry of Anna Barbauld

2 Part One Wrapping up “Heaven and Hell”

3 Marriage of H&H: Questions Why is some of the poem in verse, and some in prose? (takeaway: notice and read alternations in form and verse) Thematic changes? Changes in content? Does it give the poem a progression, or even a plot? Who is Rintrah?

4 Close Reading Rintrah Why do the Rintrah lines repeat? Who is Rintrah, and what does this suggest about him? Why doesn’t the poem (not your annotations) give you more information about who he is—why withhold this information? What does an absence do, more generally, within literature?

5 The Proverbs What is the rhythm of the proverbs?

6 The Memorable Fancies Why are these sections in prose? Is there a rhythm to this section, nevertheless? If Swedenborg is such an idiot, why is he in here, and repeatedly? Why borrow the form of his fancies?

7 The Memorable Fancies

8 Part Two Poetry Reading Technique: An Extremely Brief Guide to Scansion

9

10 mYIIA

11 Scansion, very briefly Every poem has a base meter ; every interesting poem exceeds it for emphasis Base meter: a line of a set number of feet English feet have two or (rarely) more syllables; English lines have 3-5 (rarely more) feet So, iambic (feet,/) pentameter (penta-five) feet The takeaway: a poem has a rhythm; notice when that rhythm changes

12 Scansion very briefly, two Almost always stress when sounds repeat (alliterative syllables (“thoughts against thoughts in groans grind”) Stress marks add stress (wingèd) Look for “wobbles” (not scientific name) thoughts against thoughts in groans grind /, / /, / / That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me., /, /, /, / / /

13 Scansion very briefly, three “Caesura” is the word “pause” gone to posh schools In print, dashes, semicolons, colons, exclamation marks in mid-line indicate pauses Awake, my St. John! leave all meaner things To low ambition, and the pride of kings.

14 Scansion very briefly, four Lines are units of information, and also imply excitement or containment Set, fixed, rigid, or well-understood ideas stick to their lines Laugh where we must, be candid where we can; But vindicate the ways of God to man. Excited, passionate, etc. ideas overflow their lines: A senate, Time’s worst statute, unrepealed— Are graves from which a glorious Phantom may Burst, to illumine our tempestuous day.

15 Part Three Poetry Reading Technique: Polyvalence and the OED Anna Barbauld -.pdf Poems

16 Purple: polyvalence, yellow: ambiguity

17 The Baurbauld.pdf. “A Summer’s Evening Meditation,” “Epistle to William Wilberforce, Esq.,” “To Mr. S.T. Coleridge,” “The Caterpillar” In groups (n/3), survey these poems Bring back to us: one stanza with an unusual stress/meter/sound effect; one moment of polyvalence, with the multiple meanings explained conceptually


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