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Walt Whitman. Life (1819-1892)  Born in Long Island, New York; lived mostly in Long Island, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, New York  Was the son of a poor.

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Presentation on theme: "Walt Whitman. Life (1819-1892)  Born in Long Island, New York; lived mostly in Long Island, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, New York  Was the son of a poor."— Presentation transcript:

1 Walt Whitman

2 Life (1819-1892)  Born in Long Island, New York; lived mostly in Long Island, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, New York  Was the son of a poor Quaker farmer-carpenter, and left school at eleven  Had a wide range of experience, working as a printer, schoolteacher, office boy, journalist, editor, house builder and army nurse, making a journey through west and middle west, traveling down the Mississippi River  Died unmarried, unknown to the general public but well known to men of letters

3 Works  Leaves of Grass (1855-1892): more poems added to it in each revision  Pride accompanied by humility  Democracy symbolized by the humblest of natural growths – the grass  His new man speaks in words simple as grass  Life is an organic form that is nevertheless unexpected, asymmetrical, even willful

4 Unconventional style and content  Innovative free verse: unmetered lines of variable length, some short, many very long like prose printed in short lines with more controlled rhythm  Plain style that ordinary people can read him  All embracing spirit, including both bright and dark, noble and humble (e.g. mechanic, prisoner)  Open celebration of body and sexuality  Vibrant democratic sensibility  Freeing American poems from the old English traditions

5 Conventional poems have a regular rhyme scheme (韵脚) and / or a regular meter (韵律) A metered poem has lines of the same length (诗行长度) & rhythm (诗行节奏)

6 Free Verse has no regular rhyme scheme meter

7 Meter (韵律、格律) & foot (音步)  Meter – a rhythm of stresses which is structured into a recurrence of regular units  Foot – a recurrent metric unit which is a combination of a strong stress and the associated weak stress or stresses

8 Four standard feet  iamb (iambic) 抑扬格 : a metrical foot consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable or a short syllable followed by a long syllable, as in “delay”  trochee (trochaic) 扬抑格 : a metrical foot consisting of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable, as in “season”, or of a long syllable followed by a short syllable  anapest(ic) 抑抑扬格 : a metrical foot composed of two short syllables followed by one long one, as in the word “seventeen”  Dactyl(ic) 扬抑抑格 : A metrical foot consisting of one accented syllable followed by two unaccented or of one long syllable followed by two short, as in “flattery”

9 The number of feet  Monometer (one foot)  Dimeter (two feet)  Trimeter (three feet)  Tetrameter (four feet)  Pentameter (five feet) ( 五音步)  Hexameter (six feet) (六音步)  Heptameter (seven feet)  Octameter (eight feet) (八音步)

10 Types of meters  Iambic pentameter The curfew tolls the knell of parting day. (Gray, “Elegy in a Country Churchyard”)  Trochaic pentameter There they are, my fifty men and women. (Browning, “One Word More”)

11 rhyme  Repetition of the last stressed vowel and all the speech sounds following it: late-fate, follow- hollow - end rhyme: rhyme scheme (押韵格式), e.g. abab, abcb, aabbccdd, etc. - internal rhyme: Sister, my sister, O fleet sweet swallow.

12 Heroic couplet (英雄双韵体) THE CANTERBURY TALES (G. Chaucer) THE WIFE OF BATH'S TALE (Thanked be God that is etern on live), Husbands at the church door have I had five, For I so often have y-wedded be, And all were worthy men in their degree.

13 Blank verse ( 无韵体诗) HAMLET (W. Shakespeare) To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;

14 Sonnet (十四行诗)  A single stanza of fourteen iambic pentameter lines - Italian sonnet or Petrarchan sonnet: an octave rhyming abbaabba and a sestet rhyming cdecde - English sonnet or Shakespearean sonnet: three quatrains and a couplet rhyming abab cdcd efef gg

15 Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed, And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed: But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st, So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. (Shakespeare, Sonnet 18)

16 John Keats (1795-1821) “ Ode to a Nightingale ” I My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, But being too happy in thine happiness,-- That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees In some melodious plot Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

17 One’s Self I Sing  “Self” means - personality, particular part of one’s nature being different independent individuality

18 The Self is usually not much respected in _____ society? primitive slavery feudal

19 The Self is highly respected in a society that embraces democracy Cf. definition of democracy (Oxford): government that allows freedom of speech, religion and political opinion, that upholds the rule of law and majority rule and that respects the rights of minorities

20 The Self in a democratic society is expected to respect equality freedom allowed by the law & pursue equality freedom with passion and power

21 The Self I sing / praise / celebrate is  The Modern Man an independent individual who not only enjoys democracy but also embraces and pursues democracy values equality and freedom allowed by the law.

22 One’s Self I Sing (paraphrase version)  I sing of one’s self, a simple separate person who yet embraces democracy and respects the voices of all people.  What I sing of is every part of a body, but not just the face or the brain. I mean the whole body is far more valuable. I sing of man and woman equally.  I sing of the Modern Man who earnestly and energetically cheers and pursues for the freest action allowed by the sacred law.

23 One’s Self I Sing as a poem  Free verse: natural speech, intimate, expressive, passionate, powerful sweeping prose lines  Iambic feet (抑扬格音步): musical  Repetition: “word”, “sing”  Alliteration (头韵) : “simple separate”; “top to toe”; “passion, pulse, and power”; “Modern Man”  Contrast: physiology vs. physiognomy; male vs. female  Metaphor: physiology vs. physiognomy

24 Song of Myself (1) I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

25 Song of Myself (1) My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air, Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same, I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin, Hoping to cease not till death.

26 Song of Myself (1) Creeds and schools in abeyance, Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten, I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard, Nature without check with original energy.

27 Song of Myself (21) I am the poet of the Body and I am the poet of the Soul, The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with me, The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate into a new tongue. I am the poet of the woman the same as the man, And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man, And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men.

28 I Hear America Singing I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear, Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong, The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam, The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work, The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deck-hand singing on the steamboat deck,

29 I Hear America Singing The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands, The wood-cutter’s song, the plowboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown, The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing, Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else, The day what belongs to the day – at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly, Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

30 O Captain! My Captain!  Metaphor - Abraham Lincoln as the captain of a ship - Lincoln and “I” as father & son  Rhyme: end rhyme, internal rhyme  Repetition  Monosyllabic and two syllabic words of loud and long sounds  Contrast between the exulting crowd and the dead body of captain and the sorrowful speaker  Stanzas shaped in the form of a ship sailing forward

31 Assignments for Emily Dickinson’s poems  Read Emily Dickinson’s poems closely.  Imitate one of her poems to write a poem of your own.  Which poem do you like best? Why?  Do you like her language? Why or why not?  Comment on the function of the dashes used in the poem.  Identify unique or amazing images in her poems and tell us why you think so.  Think about the questions in the textbook.

32 Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

33 Life (1830-1886)  Born in Homestead, Amherst, Massachusetts of a prominent family with Puritan heritage  Education: Amherst Academy 1840-1846; Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary 1847-1848  Brief visits to Boston (1844, 1846, 1851), Springfield (1853, 1854), Washington & Philadelphia (1855)  Eye treatments at Cambridge in Apr.-Nov. 1864, Apr.-Oct. 1865  Masters / Preceptors / Lovers?  Desire to become a published poet?  Seclusion late in life (recluse)

34 Religion  Calvinistic influence: Amherst College (revivals of Calvinism) vs. Harvard & Yale (Unitarianism)  Familiar with the Bible and hymns  Refusing to join the church  Doubt & faith: doubts about fulfillment beyond the grave; belief in immortality

35 Death Experience  high infant and childhood mortality, high mortality in childbirth  High mortality for diseases or other reasons like weather, etc.: death of neighbors, friends, family members and other people  Death of her 8-year-old nephew Gilbert  Victorian habit of observing dying people and signs of salvation

36 Works  1,755 poems (1955 edition)  1,789 poems (1998 edition)  More than 1,000 letters to various people including her family members, school friends, well-known editors and writers

37 Myths about Emily Dickinson  Recluse of Amherst?: a woman in white, odd and eccentric, mentally ill  Vesuvius at home?

38 Features of Dickinson’s Poems  Form: familiar meters, stanzas (hymn stanza – quatrain of alternating lines of 4 and 3 stresses) occasional “slant” rhymes frequent capitalization, dashes, exclamation points few periods  Subject: life, love, nature, death, time, eternity inner/psychic world (esp. suffering)  Image: original, peculiar, striking cognitively difficult  device: metaphor, irony, contrast

39 67 Success is counted sweetest By those who ne ’ er succeed. To comprehend a nectar Requires sorest need. Not one of all the purple Host Who took the Flag today Can tell the definition So clear of Victory As he defeated – dying – On whose forbidden ear The distant strains of triumph Burst agonized and clear!

40 67 (“Success”)  Poem of aphorism : The first sentence is a short wise saying with the rest of the poem to illustrate that message.  rhyme scheme: abcb  Metaphors: drinking, battle fight  Images: the dying soldier’s feelings on the battlefield - paradox 矛盾; synesthesia 通感  Contrasts: success and failure, deprivation and possession  Capitalization: “Host, Flag, Victory” emphasizes its great attraction and appeal to the dying soldier  Punctuation

41 288 I ’ m Nobody! Who are you? Are you – Nobody – Too? Then there ’ s a pair of us? Don ’ t tell! they ’ d advertise – you know! How dreary – to be – Somebody! How public – like a Frog – To tell one ’ s name – the livelong June – To an admiring Bog!

42 288 (“Nobody”) Why is it popular?  Conversational language: intimate  Unusual thinking: “Nobody” is good.  Convincing argument  Vivid images: “public frog” “admiring bog”  Unique and effective punctuations Q: Is the speaker satisfied with being nobody?

43 Assignments for Emily Dickinson’s poems (2)  Read the rest of Emily Dickinson’s poems closely.  Imitate one of her poems to write a poem of your own.  Which poem do you like best? Why?  Do you like her language? Why or why not?  Comment on the function of the dashes used in the poem.  Identify unusual or amazing images in her poems and tell us why you think so.

44 Assignments for Emily Dickinson’s poems (2)  Questions for 241 1. Find synonyms of pain in the poem. 2. What do “beads” refer to?  Questions for 249 1. Who is “thee”? 2. What do “I” desire?  Questions for 712 - How does the speaker respond to Death’s invitation?

45 241 I like a look of Agony, Because I know it’s true – Men do not sham Convulsion, Nor simulate, a Throe – The Eyes glaze once – and that is Death – Impossible to feign The Beads upon the Forehead By homely Anguish strung.

46 249 暴风雨夜,暴风雨夜 江枫 译 Wild Nights – Wild Nights! Were I with thee Wild Nights should be Our luxury! Futile – the Winds – To a Heart in port – Done with the Compass – Done with the Chart! Rowing in Eden – Ah, the Sea! Might I but moor – Tonight – In Thee! 暴风雨夜,暴风雨夜 我若同你在一起 暴风雨夜就是 豪奢的喜悦 风,无能为力 心,已在港内 罗盘,不必 海图,不必 泛舟在伊甸园 啊,海! 但愿我能,今夜 泊在你的水域

47 Questions on 249  Who is “thee”?  Why is it a luxury to be with “thee” even at “wild nights”?  What are the metaphors used in the poem?  For whom or what would you feel the same as the speaker does toward “thee”?

48 712  Because I could not stop for Death –  He kindly stopped for me –  The Carriage held but just Ourselves –  And Immortality.  We slowly drove – He knew no haste  And I had put away  My labor and my leisure too,  For His Civility –

49 712  We passed the School, where Children strove  At Recess – in the Ring –  We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –  We passed the Setting Sun –  Or rather – He passed Us –  The Dews drew quivering and chill –  For only Gossamer, my Gown –  My Tippet – only Tulle –

50 712  We paused before a House that seemed  A Swelling of the Ground –  The Roof was scarcely visible –  The Cornice – in the Ground –  Since then – ’tis Centuries – and yet  Feels shorter than the Day  I first surmised the Horses’ Heads  Were toward Eternity –

51 因为我不能停步等候死神 江枫 译 因为我不能停步等候死神 - 他殷勤停车接我 - 车厢里只有我们俩 - 还有 “ 永生 ” 同座。 我们缓缓而行,他知道无需急促 - 我也抛开劳作 和闲暇,以回报 他的礼貌 - 我们经过学校,恰逢课间休息 - 孩子们正喧闹,在操场上 - 我们经过注目凝视的稻谷的田地 - 我们经过沉落的太阳 - 也许该说,是他经过我们而去 - 露水使我颤抖而且发凉 - 因为我的衣裳,只是薄纱 - 我的披肩,只是绢网 - 我们停在一幢屋前,这屋子 仿佛是隆起的地面 - 屋顶,勉强可见 - 屋檐,低于地面 - 从那时算起,已有几个世纪 - 却似乎短过那一天的光阴 - 那一天,我初次猜出 马头,朝向永恒 -

52 Role-play game  Imagine what Death and “I” said at our meeting  Imagine what the children, the gazing grain and the sun would say when Death and “I” passed them?  Imagine what would the house and the horse say when Death and “I” arrived at the front of the house?

53 Amazing points in “Death”  Irony - Death: “kindly” “Civility”  Contrast - vitality of the school, the fields and the sun - chilliness and stillness of the night and the “house”

54 Assignments of Tom Sawyer  Read 序言 (period of Realism, pp.5-7)  Read the novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and think about the following questions: 1. The admirable aspects in Tom’s character 2. The undesirable / bad aspects in Tom’s character 3. The character of Sid, Becky, Aunt Sally, Mr. Dobbins the headmaster (p. 135-146), Mr. Waters the Sunday-school superintendent (p. 26-31) 4. Retell / Perform a scene you like and tell us why you like it. Share with us a similar / funny story of your own childhood.

55 Assignments for 20th-cent poems  Read 序言 ( period of realism and modernism, pp.5-8)  i. Read Ezra Pound, W. C. Williams, and Robert Frost’s poems in the textbook;  ii. Write a poem of your own in English imitating their poems or write a poem (English or Chinese) to interpret one of their poems as if you’re in converse with the poet;  iii. Translate one of their poems into Chinese.


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