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Poetry and figurative language Introduction to key terms.

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Presentation on theme: "Poetry and figurative language Introduction to key terms."— Presentation transcript:

1 Poetry and figurative language Introduction to key terms

2 meaning literalfigurative I know which way the wind blows.

3 Key terms Poetics: attempts to explain literary effects through literary conventions & reading practices Rhetoric: studies linguistic means of expression and persuasion. – What are the techniques and practices enabling to construct successful acts of communication?

4 Aristotle Separated poetics form rhetoric P: the art of imitation and representation, R: the art of persuasion.

5 Rhetoric Medieval literary tradition: blurs that distinction 19 th century criticism rejected rhetoric as trickery In the 20 th century rhetoric was rehabilitated

6 tropes and figures trope – “turning” or changing of meaning (metaphor, metonymy), figure – combination of words (alliteration, assonance, consonance etc.). Modern rhetoric departs from that tradition: clear distinction between literal and figurative not possible Language itself is figurative

7 Figurative language in poetry

8 Intro Figurative language achieves a meaning or effect different from literal statement Most figures of speech compare, explicitly or implicitly, two basically different things that share a common characteristic

9 simile explicit comparison between two things that are literally quite different, a comparison using a word such as "like" or "as." sky is like a mirror Your brother ran like a gazelle. (but not "Your brother looks like you" -- a comparison, not a simile.) Her tenderness hovered over him like a flutter of wings. (Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim)

10 metaphor compares two things that are literally quite unlike, without a comparison word sky is a mirror For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Genesis, 3:19) Exhilaration is the Breeze That lifts us from the ground (Emily Dickinson)

11 Examples of metaphors Proverbs are frequently rich in metaphor: One man's meat is another man's poison. I know which way the wind blows. We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. Hunger is the best sauce. Nothing but a handful of dust will fill the eye of man.

12 metonymy use of a closely related image for the idea: The White House has announced that... (a building represents the President or one of his aides) The Crown denies that... (ceremonial device worn by the king or the queen represents that ruler) or

13 synecdoche The use of a significant, relevant part for the whole: All hands on deck Do you have any wheels tonight?

14 personification the attribution of human characteristics to non-human (sometimes abstract) things For example, Keats calls Autumn "Close bosom- friend of the maturing sun," and later says: Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind.

15 types of metaphors An extended metaphor is a metaphor developed consistently and carefully throughout the paragraph or essay. It can be a powerful unifying device.

16 Roman Jacobson metaphor (relationships of similarity) and metonymy (relationships of attachment) – two basic structures of language Theory later extended to synecdoche and irony.

17 synecdoche - parts represents whole (cf. allegory), irony – contrasts appearances with reality (what we expect with what we get). Hayden White: these are the four basic rhetoric structures: metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, irony Thanks to them we are able to understand ourselves

18 pathetic fallacy

19 Poetry Sound patterning

20 Introductory From the beginning poetry was strongly connected to music and singing (religious purposes and entertainment) This relationship is very strong even today Singing and changing are the cross-cultural phenomena (→ popular culture)

21 sound patterning how it is achieved? Every language consists of a limited number of sounds → phonemes. phonemes → syllables – Syllable structure: consonant cluster: C, vowel: V, consonant cluster: C – → [C-V-C]

22 When we speak - sounds repeat (in everyday speech repetition is accidental) It is possible to arrange sounds into certain patterns. Thus it is possible to create the melody of language (and manipulate the natural melody of each language).

23 The purpose of sound patterning Stands out from ordinary speech, draws attention: slogans, catch phrases. Easier to memorize: action pack, stitch in time saves nine. Easier to pronounce, sing, chant etc. (usually songs require patterning structure, NB: rap music). Aesthetic effect, may carry certain meaning (although that is very arbitrary). Sound patterning widely used: poetry but also jokes, advertising slogans, speeches, pop lyrics, rapping, toasting.

24 alliteration initial consonant cluster is repeated [C-V-C] boat – big – bad; grow – grand – Greek reading – writing – arithmetic (3R’s) I saw five fish fly past She picked purple peppers

25 alliteration Alliteration is made with sound, not letters: city – sandwich, not with cauliflower. Alliteration occurs within a stressed syllable: aggression – ungrateful, song – unseen – dissociate – dancing. Entire initial cluster must be repeated: glad – glimmer, go – grow. Alliteration: major organizing device in OE and ME poetry → alliterative metre (gradually replaced by rhyme).

26 alliteration in everyday use baby boom back to basics Big Ben green as grass pay the price peer to peer swim or sink super sonic it takes two to Tango Mickey Mouse Donald Duck Bilbo Baggins

27 assonance repetition of the same vowel sound [C-V-C] light – wide – sign; Sweet dreams are made of these, who am I to disagree; hit – miss, hate –sale; The child of mine was lying on her side

28 consonance repetition of the final consonant group [C-V-C] bad – good, treats – floats, coming – home, urn – shorn, irk – torque Is it blunt and flat

29 pararhyme (rich consonance) often = consonance, initial and final consonant clusters repeated [C-V-C] beat – bite, sit – sight, middle – muddle hall-/hell; red - rid; pack - pick

30 reverse rhyme Initial consonant cluster and vowel group repeated. [C-V-C] stand – stamp, boat – boast, cash and carry

31 rhyme last vowel and consonant cluster are repeated in a word [C-V-C] cloud – shroud, bonding – sending,

32 Kinds of rhymes Rhymes within a line of verse: internal rhymes (The movie was great; lots of popcorn I ate). Rhymes occurring at the end of a line of verse: end rhymes (My weekend was like any other / I went to a movie with Mother). Rhyme is sometimes used to describe the repetition which is not at the end of the word e.g. action pack.

33 eye-rhyme Rhyme is produced by sound not spelling: cough – off – plough. “Spelling rhyme” is called eye rhyme (or visual rhyme): dive – give, said – maid, love - prove.

34 rhymes: kinds masculine rhyme – consisting of a single stressed syllable: round – sound. feminine rhyme – involves two syllables: yellow – fellow. rhyme schemes – rhymes at the end of the line of poetry are usually organized into patterns (e.g. abba).


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