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What is this thing called poetry? Lecture Two: The love poem “Love is so short, forgetting is so long” Pablo Neruda “This we were, this is how we tried.

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Presentation on theme: "What is this thing called poetry? Lecture Two: The love poem “Love is so short, forgetting is so long” Pablo Neruda “This we were, this is how we tried."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is this thing called poetry? Lecture Two: The love poem “Love is so short, forgetting is so long” Pablo Neruda “This we were, this is how we tried to love” Adrienne Rich A lyric poem is a comparatively short, non-narrative poem in which a single speaker presents a state of mind or an emotional state. Lyric poetry retains some of the elements of song which is said to be its origin. For Greek writers the lyric was a song accompanied by the lyre.

2 “Someone is Writing a Poem” (1993) by Adrienne Rich What poetry is made of is so old, so familiar, that it’s easy to forget that it’s not just the words, but polyrhythmic sounds, speech in its first endeavors (every poem breaks a silence that had to be overcome) …. And all this has to travel from the nervous system of the poet, preverbal, to the nervous system of the one who listens, who reads, the active participant without whom the poem is never finished. Someone writing a poem believes in a reader, in readers, of that poem…. most often someone writing a poem believes in, depends on, a delicate, vibrating range of difference, that an “I” can become a “we” without extinguishing others, that a partly common language exists to which strangers can bring their own heartbeat, memories, images. ….. Someone is writing a poem. Words are being set down in a force field.… The theater of any poem is a collection of decisions about space and time—how are these words to lie on the page, with what pauses, what headlong motion, what phrasing, how can they meet the breath of the someone who comes along to read them?

3 You (the reader) are the one who listens, who reads, the active participant without whom the poem is never finished 1.What does the poem seek to do? How does it hope to affect you, the reader? 2. How does the poem do what it does? When you write about the poem, examine the poet’s decisions/choices in communicating with you

4 Form What Genre of poem is it? What Metre, Rhyme scheme & Stanza structure is used? (various forms in English poetry.) In the absence of rhyme, is it blank verse or free verse? Diction Close attention to the poet’s word choice, imagery and metaphor Design The movement of thought in the poem. Where does it begin and where does it end? Tone How is emotion conveyed or implied? How does the poem do what it does?

5 Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609) Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609) A sonnet sequence: 154 sonnets – “fair youth” – “dark lady” Joseph Fiennes as Will Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love (1998) Joseph Fiennes as Will in Shakespeare in Love (1998)

6 Vocabulary: M.H. Abrams Glossary of Literary Terms Sonnet – one of the oldest verse forms. 14 lines of verse. Italian or Petrachan (abbaabba cdecde) (Octave and Sestet) English or Shakespearean (ababcdcdefefgg) (3 quatrains and a couplet) Stanza – a grouping of verse lines in a poemQuatrain – 4 lines of verse or a four line stanza formOctave – (in a Petrachan sonnet) 8 lines of verseSestet – (in a Petrachan sonnet) 6 lines of verseCouplet – (in a Shakespearean sonnet) a pair of rhymed lines

7 Shakespearean or English Sonnet A lyric poem in iambic pentameter (5 stresses per line) Rhyme scheme abab cdcd efef gg 3 quatrains (4 lines of verse) and a concluding couplet Useful websites “Types of Poetry”: “Learning the Sonnet: A history and how-to guide to the famous form” by Rachel Richardson: Information about the sonnet form in the “Learning Lab” Glossary at the Poetry Foundation website: term/sonnethttp://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/glossary- term/sonnet “Intro to Poetry”:

8 “Sonnet 29”WilliamShakespeare When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, a I all alone beweep my outcast state, b And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, a And look upon myself, and curse my fate, b Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, c Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd, d Desiring this man's art and that man's scope, c With what I most enjoy contented least; d? Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, e Haply I think on thee, and then my state, f Like to the lark at break of day arising e From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate; f For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings g That then I scorn to change my state with kings. g Rufus Wainwright’s performance of Sonnet 29 from the album When Love Speaks (2002)

9 Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (Viente poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada) is a collection of romantic poems by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, first published in 1924, when Neruda was 19. It was Neruda's second published work, and made his name as a poet. Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 and is regarded by many of one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. et/pablo-neruda

10 “Tonight I Can Write” – Pablo Neruda Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example, ‘The night is shattered and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.' The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. She loved me, and sometimes I loved her too. How could one not have loved her great still eyes. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. What does it matter that my love could not keep her. The night is starry and she is not with me. This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. My sight searches for her as though to bring her closer. My heart looks for her, and she is not with me. The same night whitening the same trees. We, of that time, are no longer the same. I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing. Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before. Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer and these the last verses that I write for her.

11 “Poem to My First Lover” Sharon Olds Now that I understand, I like to Think of your terror – handed a girl Mad with love, her long, fresh Raw body thin as pared Soap, breasts round and high and Opalescent as bubbles of soap, Laid across your legs, 18, Untouched. I like to understand your Terror, now, the way you took her Deflowering her as you’d gut a fish, Leaving in the morning with talk of a wife. Now that I Know about the fear of love I like to think of her white-hot body Greenish as a fish just landed, quivering and Slapping on a rock – fallen into your Lap, man, shuddering like your cock, A woman crazed with love, hot off the press, sharp as a tool never used, Blazing across your thighs and all you could Do in your fear was firk out her cherry like an Escargot from its dark shell and then Toss her away. I am in awe of the terror that will Waste so much, I am in love with the girl who went Offering, came to you and Laid it out like a feast on a platter, the Delicate flesh – yes, yes, I accept the gift.

12 “XVII” from the sequence “Twenty-One Love Poems” (1976) Adrienne Rich No one’s fated or doomed to love anyone. The accidents happen, we’re not heroines, they happen in our lives like car crashes, books that change us, neighborhoods we move into and come to love. Tristan und Isolde is scarcely the story, women at least should know the difference between love and death. No poison cup, no penance. Merely a notion that the tape-recorder should have caught some ghost of us: that tape-recorder not merely played but should have listened to us, and could instruct those after us: this we were, this is how we tried to love, and these are the forces they had ranged against us, and theses are the forces we had ranged within us, within us and against us, against us and within us. http ://www.metopera.org/metopera/history/stories/synopsis.aspx?customid=86 commencement /


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