2Textual Analysis UNIT CONTENTS Introduction Slides 4 - 18 Structure and Form SlidesStoryline and Viewpoint SlidesTheme and Message SlidesRhyme and Rhythm SlidesTone, Mood and Emotion SlidesUsing your Senses Slides
3Textual Analysis - Introduction CONTENTSUnit Introduction Slide 4What is Poetry? Slide 5Important British Poets SlidesPoetry and Society Slide 16An Ever Changing Language Slides
4Textual Analysis - Introduction Unit IntroductionIn this unit we will be learning how to analyse poetry. We will explore the different aspects of poetry, including structure, themes, rhyme and rhythm. We will also look at a series of different poems to show you how the skills you are learning can be put into practice. In the companion unit, ‘Analysing Imagery’, you can find lots of information about how to identify and comment on images, such as similes, metaphors and personification.Before we start looking at the examples, first we need to learn a little more about poetry itself: what it is, how it has changed over time, and how it relates to the society in which it is written.
5Textual Analysis - Introduction What is Poetry?Poetry has certain characteristics that make it special. Here are a few ideas - you may be able to think of more.Poetry uses vivid images and descriptive language to ‘paint’ a picture in the reader’s mind.Poetry cuts out all the excess words that you might find in prose, creating its magic with a limited amount of text.Poetry is normally designed to be read out loud - when you read it, do try to hear it as well.Poetry often makes the reader emphasise certain important words, and it usually has a strong rhythm.Poetry may rhyme, but it does not have to.
6Important British Poets Textual Analysis - IntroductionImportant British PoetsIn the next series of slides you will find poems, and extracts from poems, written by some important British poets, from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century. These give just a brief sample of Britain’s long heritage of great poets. Why not try to decide which modern poets of the twentieth century also deserve a place on this list?The poets are organised in chronological order, and for each poet you are given the dates that they lived and an extract from their work.Later on in this unit we will be analysing some of these poems in greater detail.
7Important British Poets Textual Analysis - IntroductionImportant British PoetsAs you read the poems, think about the following questions:How does the language that the poets use change over time?Are there any common themes between the poems, or do these change too?Do these poets use imagery? If yes, what types of images do they use?Which of these poems do you like most? Why?Which of these poems do you like least? Why?
8Madam Eglantine (extract) Textual Analysis - IntroductionName: Geoffrey ChaucerDates: ?Madam Eglantine (extract)There was also a nun, a Prioress,That of her smiling was full simple and coy;Her greatest oath was but by Saint Loy;And she was clepèd Madam Eglantine.Full well she sang the service divine,Entunèd in her nose full seemely,And French she spake full fair and fetisly,After the school of Stratford-atte-Bow,For French of Paris was to her unknow.
9Name: Sir Walter Ralegh Dates: ?1552 - 1618 Textual Analysis - IntroductionName: Sir Walter RaleghDates: ?All the World’s a StageWhat is our life? A play of passion,Our mirth the music of divisionOur mothers’ wombs the tiring-houses be,Where we are dressed for this short comedy.Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is,That sits and marks still who doth act amiss.Our graves that hide us from the searching sunAre like drawn curtains when the play is done.Thus march we, playing, to our latest rest.Only we die in earnest, that’s no jest.
10Holy Sonnets (extract) Textual Analysis - IntroductionName: John DonneDates:Holy Sonnets (extract)Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay?Repair me now, for now mine end doth haste;I run to death, and death meets me as fast,And all my pleasures are like yesterday.I dare not move my dim eyes any way;Despair behind, and death before doth castSuch terror, and my feebled flesh doth wasteBy sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh.
11Paradise Lost (extract) Textual Analysis - IntroductionName: John MiltonDates:Paradise Lost (extract)Now came still evening on, and twilight greyHad in her sober livery all things clad;Silence accompanied, for beast and bird,They to their grassy couch, these to their nestsWere slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale;She all night long her amorous descant sung;Silence was pleased.
12A Little Learning (extract) Textual Analysis - IntroductionName: Alexander PopeDates:A Little Learning (extract)A little learning is a dangerous thing;Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,And drinking largely sobers us again.Fired at first sight with what the Muse imparts,In fearless youth we tempt the height of Arts;While from the bounded level of our mindShort views we take, nor see the lengths behind,But, more advanced, behold with strange surpriseNew distant scenes of endless science rise!
13Name: William Blake Dates: 1757 - 1827 The Tiger (extract) Textual Analysis - IntroductionName: William BlakeDates:The Tiger (extract)Tiger! Tiger! burning brightIn the forests of the night,What immortal hand or eyeCould frame thy fearful symmetry?In what distant deeps or skiesBurned the fire of thine eyes?On what wings dare he aspire?What the hand dare seize the fire?
14Auld Lang Syne (extract) Textual Analysis - IntroductionName: Robert BurnsDates:Auld Lang Syne (extract)Should auld acquaintance be forgot,And never brought to min’?And auld lang syne?For auld lang syne, my dear,For auld lang syne,We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,For auld lang syne.
15Name: Christina Georgina Rossetti Dates: 1830 - 1894 Textual Analysis - IntroductionName: Christina Georgina RossettiDates:Song (extract)When I am dead, my dearest,Sing no sad songs for me;Plant thou no roses at my head,Nor shady cypress tree:Be the green grass above meWith showers and dewdrops wet;And if thou wilt, remember,And if thou wilt, forget.
16Textual Analysis - Introduction Poetry and SocietyThroughout history, poets have commented on the society in which they live. Just as novelists write in a particular social context, so too do poets. Poetry can be a very special form of commentary, because part of its magic is that it can be read aloud. Some poets in our modern society write ‘performance poetry’, specifically designed to be heard.One of the ways in which poets can comment on their society is by choosing particular themes, such as religion or politics. We will be looking at the themes that poets choose in greater detail later on in the unit.When you analyse any piece of poetry, you should take the social context into account.
17An Ever Changing Language Textual Analysis - IntroductionAn Ever Changing LanguageThe English language, like any language, is subject to constant change. This change is, perhaps, particularly apparent in the poetry that we write, because poetry is such a condensed form of language.If we read a piece of poetry written a long time ago, it may be difficult for us to understand the language that is used. We might not understand some of the words, because they are no longer used, or we may see a word that we know, but spelt in a very different way.There are many different reasons that language changes, and you will find some examples on the next slide.
18An Ever Changing Language Textual Analysis - IntroductionAn Ever Changing LanguageWhy, then, do languages change? Here are two reasons. See how many more ideas you can think of.Because we need to find new words to describe new ideas and inventions. For instance, the words and internet would have been unknown, even fifty years ago.Because our own language is influenced by other cultures, perhaps through the integration of people from around the world into our country, or by seeing examples of other cultures in the media.
19Textual Analysis - Structure and Form CONTENTSStructure SlidesForm Slide 28The Limerick SlidesThe Shakespearean Sonnet Slides
20Structure and FormStructureWhen you look at a poem, whether in class or for an examination or coursework essay, the first thing to explore is the way that it is structured.Generally speaking, poems are structured in verses, and within the verses you may also find a specific line structure. An example of this is the Shakespearean Sonnet, which we will be analysing further on in this section.When commenting on the structure of a poem, you should ensure that you discuss how the structure affects the impact of the poem, and the way that it works. Let’s look briefly now at a poetry extract to see how you might do this.
21Structure and FormStructureWhen you are analysing a poem’s structure, ask yourself the following questions:The Verses (or stanzas). How many are there and how long is each one? Are the verses all the same length or are they different?The Punctuation. Does each verse end with a full stop or not? How does the punctuation affect the flow of the poem?The Rhyme Pattern. Is there a constant rhyme pattern? Does this affect the structure and flow of the poem?The ‘Storyline’. Does each verse contain a particular part of the story, or does it run throughout?
22Structure and FormStructureThe poem below has been annotated to show how it is structured.The verses each have 4 lines.Crossing the BarSunset and evening star,And one clear call for me!And may there be no moaning of the bar,When I put out to sea,But such a tide as moving seems asleep,Too full for sound and foam,When that which drew from out the boundless deepTurns again home.Lines 1 & 3 rhyme in every verse.Verse one ends with a comma.Lines 2 & 4 rhyme in every verse.Verse two ends with a full stop.
23Structure Crossing the Bar (continued) Twilight and evening bell, Structure and FormStructureCrossing the Bar (continued)Twilight and evening bell,And after that the dark!And may there by no sadness of farewell,When I embark;For though from out our bourne of Time and PlaceThe flood may bear me far,I hope to see my Pilot face to faceWhen I have crost the bar.Alfred, Lord Tennyson ( )Exclamation marks are used at the end of the second and tenth lines.Verse three ends with a semi-colon.Verse four ends with a full stop.
24Structure and FormStructureOnce you have annotated the structure of the poem, you need to think about the effects that this structure creates.The verses each have 4 linesThis creates a set rhythmic pattern, particularly in conjunction with the rhyme scheme. It also breaks the poem up into four clear sections, or parts of the ‘story’. However, the impact of this break is lessened somewhat by the use of a comma at the end of verse one, and a semi-colon at the end of verse three.Lines 1 & 3 rhyme in every verseThe use of rhyme creates an ‘end stop’, whereby the reader pauses slightly, putting emphasis on the words that rhyme.
25Structure Verse one ends with a comma Structure and FormStructureVerse one ends with a commaBecause there is a comma here, the reader moves onto the second verse with only a slight pause. If there had been a full stop, the four lines, with a regular rhyme scheme, would have created a very definite ‘end’ to each verse. As it is, the reader ‘flows’ into the second verse, just as the poet talks about putting out to sea.Lines 2 & 4 rhyme in every verseAgain, this creates a stop, or pause, for the reader. However, the regimented pattern is broken up by the use of punctuation as explained above.
26Structure Verse two ends with a full stop Structure and FormStructureVerse two ends with a full stopThe full stop creates a break or divide right in the middle of the poem. It is at this point that the poet uses the image “turns again home”, and the full stop seems to echo this.Exclamation marks are used at the end of the second and tenth linesExclamation marks can be used to express surprise, or shock, or, as seems to be the case here, a kind of unwillingness to go, combined with resignation. Because they are followed by the word “and”, the exclamation marks do not denote the end of a sentence, but rather an exclamation or expression of the poet’s feelings.
27Structure Verse three ends with a semi-colon Structure and FormStructureVerse three ends with a semi-colonAgain, because there is no full stop here, the reader is pulled into the fourth verse with only a slight pause. The thought that the poet was expressing is continued in the last verse. Again, the image of being pulled out to sea is echoed by the flow between the verses.Verse four ends with a full stopThe poem ends with a full stop, bringing things to a close. Although most poems do end with a full stop, here the poet uses the punctuation to echo the ‘storyline’ or themes of the poem, which is about death or ‘crossing the bar’. The poet hopes to meet God, or his “Pilot” on the other side. See the section on ‘Storyline’ for more information about this extended metaphor.
28Structure and FormFormPoems come in a variety of specific forms, although not all poets will be working within these forms, or formats. Poems that fall within a particular form could have a defined number of lines, or a specific rhyme pattern. Examples of common forms are:The Ballad.The Limerick.The Haiku.The Sonnet.On the next slides we will look at two of these forms: the limerick and the sonnet. We will be looking at a specific form of sonnet, which is called the Shakespearean Sonnet.
29Structure and FormThe LimerickA limerick is a comic poem with five lines and a specific ‘a / b’ rhyme scheme. Look at the example below to see how the rhyme scheme works.The first, second and fifth lines rhyme - this is called rhyme ‘a’.There was an old lady from WalesWho loved to eat her garden snailsBut she felt quite unwellWhen she crunched on a shellAnd now she just sticks to the tails.The third and fourth lines rhyme - this is called rhyme ‘b’.
30Structure and FormThe LimerickLimericks also use a specific ‘meter’, or internal rhythm. The meter is created by the amount of syllables, and the stress that is put on certain words. Look at the example below to see how this works.There was an old lady from WalesWho loved to eat her garden snailsBut she felt quite unwellWhen she crunched on a shellAnd now she just sticks to the tails.
31Structure and FormThe LimerickLimericks are a fun and easy form of poem to write. Have a go at creating your own limerick, using the template below.There was a young man from DundeeWho ……………………………………………But his ………………………….And he ………………………….And now ……………………………………..
32The Shakespearean Sonnet Structure and FormThe Shakespearean SonnetOn the next slide you will find a famous Shakespearean Sonnet. This is a form of sonnet named (obviously!) after Shakespeare, who wrote many sonnets in this particular format. When you have seen the analysis of this sonnet, you might like to have a go at writing your own Shakespearean Sonnet.The Shakespearean sonnet has the following form:14 linesRhyme scheme: a, b, a, b, c, d, c, d, e, f, e, f, g, gWritten in iambic pentameterEnds with a rhyming couplet
33The Shakespearean Sonnet Structure and FormThe Shakespearean SonnetShall 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 owest,Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,When in eternal lines to time thou growest;So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
34The Shakespearean Sonnet Structure and FormThe Shakespearean SonnetHere is the Shakespearean Sonnet again, this time annotated to show the rhyme scheme.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:abrhymes witharhymes withb
35The Shakespearean Sonnet Structure and FormThe Shakespearean SonnetSometime 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;cdrhymes withcrhymes withd
36The Shakespearean Sonnet Structure and FormThe Shakespearean SonnetBut thy eternal summer shall not fade,Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest,Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,When in eternal lines to time thou growest;efrhymes witherhymes withf
37The Shakespearean Sonnet Structure and FormThe Shakespearean SonnetSo long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.grhymes withgThis is called a ‘rhyming couplet’.
38Textual Analysis - Storyline and Viewpoint CONTENTSStoryline SlidesViewpoint SlidesFirst Person Viewpoint Slide 50Third Person Viewpoint Slide 51Omniscient Viewpoint Slide 52
39Storyline and Viewpoint It seems strange to use the word ‘storyline’ in connection with poetry, but just as a novel or short story will have a plot, so too will the majority of poems.When you first read a poem, whether in class or in an examination, you are looking for meaning. What is this poem about, you ask yourself? Some poems are not ‘about’ anything - they simply evoke a mood, or an emotion, or a vivid atmosphere. But even these poems can be said to have a ‘story’, because the poet is saying something to the reader.When you are analysing a poem, you should avoid saying it is definitely about ‘X’ or ‘Y’. Try instead to interpret its possible meaning or meanings in your analysis.
40Storyline and Viewpoint Often, the ‘story’ in a poem will work on more than one level. There could be the literal level, at which the plot or action of the poem is apparent, but there could also be one or more deeper levels of meaning. When you see a poem for the first time, take the following steps:On your first reading, simply gain a feeling for atmosphere or emotion. Do not try to ‘make sense’ of it.On your second reading, look to see if there is something happening in the poem. What is the poet or character doing?On your third reading, start to look deeper. Does the poet create a metaphor? Is the poem really about something else?
41Storyline and Viewpoint On the next slides you will find the poem “Crossing the Bar”. We have already looked closely at this poem’s structure. Now we are going to explore what it is about. Consider the questions below as you read the poem.QuestionsWhat sort of atmosphere does the poet create in his ‘story’? How does he seem to be feeling?What is the poem literally about? What is the ‘surface story’?What deeper meanings might there be? Could the whole poem be an extended metaphor? If so, what does the metaphor mean? What is the poet trying to say?
42Storyline Crossing the Bar Sunset and evening star, Storyline and ViewpointStorylineCrossing the BarSunset and evening star,And one clear call for me!And may there be no moaning of the bar,When I put out to sea,But such a tide as moving seems asleep,Too full for sound and foam,When that which drew from out the boundless deepTurns again home.
43Crossing the Bar (continued) Storyline and ViewpointStorylineCrossing the Bar (continued)Twilight and evening bell,And after that the dark!And may there by no sadness of farewell,When I embark;For though from out our bourne of Time and PlaceThe flood may bear me far,I hope to see my Pilot face to faceWhen I have crost the bar.Alfred, Lord Tennyson ( )
44Storyline and Viewpoint QuestionWhat sort of atmosphere does the poet create in his ‘story’? How does he seem to be feeling?AnswerThe atmosphere in this poem seems to be one of peacefulness and calm acceptance. The poet asks that there is “no moaning of the bar” and “no sadness of farewell”. The words that are used in the poem are soft, with much repetition of the letters ‘s’ and ‘f’, which creates a gentle feeling. The poet seems to be feeling positive, almost hopeful about the journey that he will be making.
45Storyline and Viewpoint QuestionWhat is the poem literally about? What is the ‘surface story’?AnswerOn the surface, the poem seems to be about a journey by boat. Someone, probably the poet, is preparing to set off on a journey of some sort.It is evening, as the poet talks of the “sunset and evening star”, and the “twilight and evening bell”.At the end of the poem he talks of meeting “my Pilot”. On the surface, he is making a journey to meet someone.
46Storyline and Viewpoint QuestionWhat deeper meanings might there be? Could the whole poem be an extended metaphor? If so, what does the metaphor mean? What is the poet trying to say?AnswerThe poem would indeed seem to be an extended metaphor. The poet seems to be talking about his journey towards death. He is going to “put out to sea” on his final voyage.The use of images of evening and coming darkness form a part of this metaphor, as they suggest the end of the day, and the end of a life. The “Pilot” that the poet talks of could be his God, whom he hopes to see “face to face”.
47Storyline and Viewpoint The word ‘viewpoint’ describes the point of view from which a poem is written. Just as in a novel, a writer might use a first or third person narrative, so with poetry it is important to identify what viewpoint the poet is using.Sometimes, poets will use a real or invented character, to tell their story, while other poems might be written from the poet’s own perspective. Some poems use a mixture of viewpoints, shifting between them in a way not possible in a novel.Poems that simply describe a place or an emotion might not use either the first or third person narrator. When the poet writes as though he or she is a ‘godlike’ voice, looking at the world from ‘on high’, rather than through a person, this is known as the omniscient viewpoint.
48Storyline and Viewpoint Here is a brief description of the three main types of viewpoint:First Person Viewpoint. This viewpoint is easily identifiable, because the writer talks directly to the reader. Look out for the words “I”, “my”, “me”, and so on.Third Person Viewpoint. In the third person viewpoint, the poet is slightly more distant, talking through a character. Look for the words “he”, “she”, “him”, “her”, and so on.Omniscient Viewpoint. With this viewpoint, the poet is even further away from the reader, and from his or her subject. The poem written using this viewpoint might provide a description, without any sense of character.
49Storyline and Viewpoint Let’s look now at examples of each of the three types of viewpoint to help you understand the different effects that they create. Remember, when you are discussing any part of a poem, it is important to say why the poet uses this technique, and the impact it has on the reader.As we have already seen, the three different viewpoints identified offer varying degrees of distance from the subject and from the reader.With the first person viewpoint, the reader tends to associate strongly with the writer, feeling what he or she is feeling and thinking what he or she is thinking. The third person and omniscient viewpoints allow us to ‘remove’ ourselves more.
50The Old Stoic (extract) Storyline and ViewpointFirst Person ViewpointThe Old Stoic (extract)Riches I hold in light esteem,And Love I laugh to scorn;And lust of Fame was but a dreamThat vanished with the morn -And if I pray, the only prayerThat moves my lips for meIs - ‘Leave the heart that now I bear,And give me liberty.’Emily Brontë ( )
51The Blessed Damozel (extract) Storyline and ViewpointThird Person ViewpointThe Blessed Damozel (extract)The blessed damozel leaned outFrom the gold bar of Heaven;Her eyes were deeper than the depthOf waters stilled at even;She had three lilies in her hand,And the stars in her hair were seven.Dante Gabriel Rossetti ( )
52God’s Grandeur (extract) Storyline and ViewpointOmniscient ViewpointGod’s Grandeur (extract)The world is charged with the grandeur of God.It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oilCrushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soilIs bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.Gerard Manley Hopkins ( )
53Textual Analysis - Theme and Message CONTENTSTheme SlidesMessage Slide 57
54Theme and MessageThemePoets use a huge range of themes or subjects in their work. When you are studying a piece of poetry, you may find that the theme is immediately apparent, or that you need to look deeply into the poem to decide exactly what its theme is.Often, poets will deal with more than one theme in a piece of work. For instance, a poet might deal with the themes of childhood, memories and the natural world, all within one piece of poetry.Remember, when you are analysing poetry, you must comment on the effects or images that are created, as well as simply identifying the themes.
55Theme Love God / Religion Nature Theme and MessageThemeThe images below symbolise three of the most common themes. Identify the themes that they represent.LoveGod / ReligionNature
56The Prince of Love (extract) Theme and MessageThemeNow look at the poetry extract below and identify which theme or themes the poet is dealing with.The Prince of Love (extract)How sweet I roamed from field to field,And tasted all the summer’s pride,‘Till I the prince of love beheld,Who in the sunny beams did glide!He showed me lilies for my hair,And blushing roses for my brow;He led me through his gardens fair,Where all his golden pleasures grow.William Blake ( )The themes used are ...Loveand ...Nature
57Theme and MessageMessageIn addition to using a particular theme or themes, poets will often give the reader a message through their work. They could comment on something specific, such as a particular brand of politics or a war that is taking place. They might give a more general message, for instance about their religious beliefs or their feelings about love and beauty.One example of poetry with a strong message is that written during the First World War. Well known poets, such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon used their poetry to comment on the futility of the war, and to tell the people at home exactly what was going on.Again, when looking for a message in a poem, ensure that you comment on its effectiveness and impact.
59Rhyme and RhythmRhymeAs we have already noted, poetry does not have to rhyme. However, when you are analysing a poem, you should always comment on the effects that rhyme (or the lack of it) creates.The use of rhyme within a poem will affect its rhythm. Rhymes change the way we read poetry, because when we come to a word that rhymes, we tend to pause slightly, putting an extra emphasis on that word.As we have already seen, poets may use a particular rhyme scheme, such as that in the Shakespearean Sonnet. When you are identifying and analysing a rhyme scheme, you must comment on how its use affects you as a reader.
60Rhyme and RhythmRhymeThe English language has many words that rhyme, including homonyms, which are words that sound the same but have a different spelling and meaning, e.g. son and sun.There are various different types of rhyme that you should learn to identify:End Rhyme: words that rhyme at the end of a line.Internal Rhyme: words that rhyme within a line.Half Rhyme: words that ‘almost’ rhyme, either within or at the end of a line.On the following slide you will find examples of each of these types of rhymes, to show you how they work, and the effects that they can create.
61End Rhyme The sky was grey, the snow pure white Rhyme and RhythmEnd RhymeThe sky was grey, the snow pure whiteThe flakes fell heavy through the night.whiterhymes withnightThis is a rhyming couplet, a pair of lines that rhyme.whiteThe sky was grey, the snow pure whiteAs winter took a holdThe flakes fell heavy through the nightOutside the world was cold.holdrhymes withnightrhymes withcoldThis poem uses the a/b rhyme scheme: lines one and three rhyme (a), lines two and four rhyme (b).
62Internal Rhyme grey today rhymes with Rhyme and RhythmInternal Rhymegreytodayrhymes withThe sky was grey today, the snow pure whiteAs the night fell and light bled from the world.nightlightrhymes withNotice the effect of internal rhyme. It alters the rhythm of the line, making you pause and place emphasis on the rhyme. This in turn slows the reader down slightly.
63The sky was grey, now snow flew pure white Rhyme and RhythmHalf Rhymenowsnowflew‘almost’ rhymes withand withThe sky was grey, now snow flew pure whiteNotice the effect of half rhyme here. Again, it changes the rhythm of the line. Each of the half rhymes is a monosyllable, and this adds even further to slowing down the reader as he or she says these words.
64Rhyme and RhythmRhythmPoetry is about sound as well as about creating images. Even if you are not reading a poem out loud, you should still be able to ‘hear it’ in your head, and this will help you understand its rhythm.Rhythm is a very important aspect of poetry. As well as changing the way that you say a poem, it can also link to the images that the poet describes. For instance, if a poet were describing a clock ticking, he or she might use short, alliterative words to help echo the sound of the clock.As we have seen, rhyme and rhythm are inextricably linked, and the use of rhyme will create a certain rhythm naturally within a poem.
65Rhyme and RhythmRhythmAs well as the poet’s use of rhyme, there are various other aspects of a poem that will help to create rhythm:The length of the words used. A series of monosyllables will create a very different effect from longer words.The length of the lines. When we are reading a poem, we tend to stop or pause at the end of a line.The use of punctuation. Full stops, commas, semi colons and other forms of punctuation will all have an impact on a poem’s rhythm.The use of techniques such as alliteration and imagery. These affect the way we say the words and consequently the rhythm of a poem.
66Rhyme and RhythmRhythmNow we are going to look at an example, to see exactly how rhythm is created. The poem that we are going to look at is called “No Worst, there is None”. You can see the poem in full on the next slide.The writer of this poem, Gerard Manley Hopkins ( ) wrote with a style that was ahead of his time. As you will see from studying this example of his work, he makes particular use of the rhythm inherent in the English language. He was very much concerned with the sound of words and, although he does use rhyme, there are many other aspects of the work that help to create its rhythm.Look too at the way this poet ‘plays’ with language, creating ‘new’ words or using old words in unfamiliar ways.
67‘No Worst, there is None’ Rhyme and Rhythm‘No Worst, there is None’No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.Comforter, where, where is your comforting?Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief-woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing -Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-ering! Let me be fell : force I must be brief’.Of the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fallFrightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheapMay who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our smallDurance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind : allLife death does end and each day dies with sleep.
68Rhyme and RhythmRhythmFirst, let’s think about how the length of the words affects the rhythm. Here are the first four lines of the poem again. Find all the words that have more than one syllable.‘No Worst, there is None’No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.Comforter, where, where is your comforting?Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?‘No Worst, there is None’No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.Comforter, where, where is your comforting?Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?QuestionsWhat effect is created by the use of monosyllables in the first line?How does the rhythm change in lines 3 and 4?
69Rhyme and RhythmRhythmQuestionWhat effect is created by the use of monosyllables in the first line?AnswerThe monosyllables make the tone sound almost angry, as though the words are being spat out by the speaker. Alternatively, it might be that the speaker is worn out, with all the emotion and normal rhythm of speech lost from his voice. The reader is forced to read the line with an even emphasis on each word, and this effect is enhanced by the alliteration of the letter ‘p’ in the words “pitched past pitch”.
70Rhythm Question How does the rhythm change in lines 3 and 4? Answer Rhyme and RhythmRhythmQuestionHow does the rhythm change in lines 3 and 4?AnswerThe rhythm changes abruptly in the third and fourth lines. The word “comforter”, with its three syllables, slows the reader right down. It is a much softer word that those used previously, and it is mirrored at the end of the line by the word “comforting”.In the fourth line, the rhythm changes again. This time, the word “Mary” with two syllables, gives a swing to the line, repeated in the words “mother” and “relief”.
71Rhyme and RhythmRhythmNext, let’s look at some of the punctuation in these first four lines, and the ways that it affects the rhythm of the piece.‘No Worst, there is None’No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.Comforter, where, where is your comforting?Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?The full stop in the middle of the first line creates a break and causes the reader to stop abruptly on a ‘down’ beat.The commas in the second line break the line into three.The question marks in the third and fourth lines create a pause as the question is asked, and add to the poem’s tone.
72Rhyme and RhythmRhythmFinally, let’s consider how the use of alliteration and assonance adds to the rhythm. Here are lines five to eight from the poem. Find some examples of these techniques.Alliteration of the letter ‘l’Alliteration of the letter ‘w’Alliteration of the letter ‘h’Assonance of the letter ‘o’Assonance of the letter ‘e’My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief-woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing -Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-ering! Let me be fell : force I must be brief’.My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief-woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing -Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-ering! Let me be fell : force I must be brief’.My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief-woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing -Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-ering! Let me be fell : force I must be brief’.My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief-woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing -Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-ering! Let me be fell : force I must be brief’.My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief-woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing -Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-ering! Let me be fell : force I must be brief’.My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief-woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing -Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-ering! Let me be fell : force I must be brief’.ActivityChoose one of these examples of alliteration or assonance, and discuss or write about the effects it creates.
73Textual Analysis - Tone, Mood and Emotion CONTENTSTone SlidesMood and Emotion Slides
74Tone, Mood and EmotionToneThe tone of a poem is one of the first things that you will notice it about it as you read. The word ‘tone’ describes the overall sort of atmosphere and feeling that the poem seems to have.A good way to understand exactly what tone means, is to think of a poem like a song. Ask yourself: if this poem was set to music, what sort of music would it have? For instance, a poem about losing a lover would probably have a sad, emotional music, because this would fit its tone. On the other hand, a poem about a beautiful spring day might have a more energetic, positive tone.Look at the short extracts on the following slides and choose the tone or tones that you think best describes them.
75Holy Sonnets (extract) Tone, Mood and EmotionToneIs the tone of the poem ...Holy Sonnets (extract)Despair behind, and death before doth castSuch terror, and my feebled flesh doth wasteBy sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh.Happy?Sad?Fearful?Excited?Resigned?Calm?
76Tone Is the tone of the poem ... Happy? Sad? Fearful? Excited? Tone, Mood and EmotionToneIs the tone of the poem ...The Tiger (extract)Tiger! Tiger! burning brightIn the forests of the night,What immortal hand or eyeCould frame thy fearful symmetry?Happy?Sad?Fearful?Excited?Resigned?Calm?
77Tone Is the tone of the poem ... Happy? Sad? Fearful? Excited? Tone, Mood and EmotionToneIs the tone of the poem ...Song (extract)When I am dead, my dearest,Sing no sad songs for me;Plant thou no roses at my head,Nor shady cypress tree:Happy?Sad?Fearful?Excited?Resigned?Calm?
78Tone, Mood and EmotionMood and EmotionWhen you analyse the mood and emotion of a poem, you should think both about the feelings of the poet, and the mood or emotions that the poem creates in you.There are various ways that a poet can create a strong sense of mood or emotion. They could use:Vivid imagery, for instance metaphor, personification or alliteration.Adverbs and adjectives that give the reader a sense of how they are feeling.A subject or theme that automatically evokes strong feeling, e.g. war or love.
79A Red, Red Rose (extract) Tone, Mood and EmotionMood and EmotionLook at the extracts below, and decide what mood or emotion the poet is creating.Daffodils (extract)I wandered lonely as a cloudThat floats on high o’er vales and hills,When all at once I saw a crowd,A host, of golden daffodils;Beside the lake, beneath the trees,Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.William Wordsworth ( )A Red, Red Rose (extract)My love is like a red, red roseThat’s newly sprung in June:My love is like the melodyThat’s sweetly played in tune.Robert Burns ( )
80Textual Analysis - Using your Senses CONTENTSUsing your Senses Slides
81Using your SenseUsing your SensesAs we have seen throughout this unit, poetry can make vivid pictures for us to see in our imaginations. Poets also use sound to great effect, giving added impact to the images that they create.However, when we are reading poetry we can also use our other senses. As we as seeing and hearing a poem, the poet might also give us a strong sense of smell, or of taste, or of touch.The group of poets known as the ‘Romantics’, made particularly strong use of all the senses in their work. Famous poets such as Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Lord Byron, wrote about the natural world in a highly vivid way.
82Using your SenseUsing your SensesAs you read the poem “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, identify which of your senses you could use:HearSmellTasteTouch / FeelSee
83Using your Senses Using your Sense Kubla Khan (extract) In Xanadu did Kubla KhanA stately pleasure-dome decree:Where Alph, the sacred river, ranThrough caverns measureless to manDown to a sunless sea.So twice five miles of fertile groundWith walls and towers were girdled round:And there were gardens bright with sinuous rillsWhere blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;And here were forests ancient as the hills,Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.Samuel Taylor Coleridge ( )
84Analysing a PoemDetailed AnalysisOn the next slides you will find a detailed analysis of the poem “Wind” by Ted Hughes. The analysis is structured under the following headings, discussed in detail in this unit:Structure and FormStoryline and ViewpointTheme and MessageRhyme and RhythmTone, Mood and EmotionUsing your SensesIn addition, we will consider Ted Hughes’ use of imagery, as explored in the unit “Analysing Imagery”. First, read the whole poem through several times, to get a ‘feel’ for it.
85Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd Wind by Ted HughesThis house has been far out at sea all night,The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,Winds stampeding the fields under the windowFloundering black astride and blinding wetTill day rose; then under an orange skyThe hills had new places, and wind wieldedBlade-light, luminous black and emerald,Flexing like the lens of a mad eye.At noon I scaled along the house-side as far asThe coal-house door. Once I looked up--Through the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyesThe tent of the hills drummed and strained its guyrope,Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
86Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd The fields quivering, the skyline a grimace,At any second to bang and vanish with a flap:The wind flung a magpie away and a black-Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly. The houseRang like some fine green goblet in the noteThat any second would shatter it. Now deepIn chairs, in front of the great fire, we gripOur hearts and cannot entertain book, thoughtOr each other. We watch the fire blazing,And feel the roots of the house move, but sit on,Seeing the windows tremble to come in,Hearing the stones cry out under the horizons.Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
87Analysing a PoemStructure and FormAt first glance, the structure of the poem seems quite simple: it has six verses, each with four lines. However, on closer inspection you will notice how the punctuation often ‘runs over’, connecting some of the verses with the ones that follow them.Using punctuation in this way can have a variety of different effects, and these effects will become more apparent the more times you read the poem. When considering the impact of punctuation on structure, think carefully about any possible links to the poem’s meaning. Look too at where and why the poet does not ‘run over’ with the punctuation.Let’s look now at one example from “The Wind” to see what the effects might be.
88Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd Analysing a PoemStructure and FormThis house has been far out at sea all night,The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,Winds stampeding the fields under the windowFloundering black astrideand blinding wet; then under an orange skyThe hills had new places,Till day roseNotice the effect here: by ‘running over’ the punctuation from verse one to verse two, the poet moves us from the stormy night into the beginning of a new day. The reader seems to experience the night leading into the new dawn with the narrator.Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
89Storyline and Viewpoint Analysing a PoemStoryline and ViewpointClearly, the overall ‘story’ of the poem is about a storm, and about the narrator’s responses to it. However, notice too how the storyline and viewpoint change from verse to verse.One of the ways in which Ted Hughes emphasises the unfolding story is by using indicators of time. Each of the first three verses pinpoints the time exactly in the very first line: “all night”; “Till day rose”; “At noon”. Time is clearly an important theme here, and this is emphasised by the repetition of “any second” in the fourth and fifth verses.Using the charts on the next two slides, summarise what happens in each verse (the storyline), and what the viewpoint seems to be. The first verse has been done for you.
90Storyline and Viewpoint Analysing a PoemStoryline and ViewpointStoryline ViewpointVerse OneVerse TwoVerse ThreeA storm rages Omniscientall night long. (‘god-like’ narrator)
91Storyline and Viewpoint Analysing a PoemStoryline and ViewpointStoryline ViewpointVerse FourVerse FiveVerse Six
92Theme and Message Activity Analysing a PoemTheme and MessageIn this poem, the themes seem to be closely linked to the imagery that Ted Hughes uses. Complete the activity below to develop your understanding of these themes.ActivityFor each of the themes listed below, find an image from the poem that links closely with that idea. What message might Ted Hughes be offering the reader through the use of these themes and images?Time;The weather;The landscape;Man’s relationship with the natural world.
93Analysing a PoemRhyme and RhythmAlthough there is no obvious use of rhyme in this poem, Hughes does make great use of the sound and rhythmic possibilities of the English language. As with the structure, the rhythm within the poem seems closely linked to its meanings.For instance, in the following line, the monosyllabic nature of the words makes the reader slow right down as he or she reads it. This links closely to the image that is being described: the slow bending of the strong gull is emphasised by the slow, strong language used:“a black-/Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly.”Can you find other examples of this link between rhythm and meaning in the poem?
94Tone, Mood and Emotion Questions Analysing a PoemTone, Mood and EmotionAnswer the questions below to develop your understanding of Hughes’ use of tone, mood and emotion.QuestionsHow does the narrator feel about the storm? Look closely at each verse to find your answer, analysing the range of emotions that he experiences.There is a sense of fear at certain points in the poem. Where would you say that the fear is at its strongest? What does the narrator do that emphasises this feeling?What is the overall tone and mood of the poem? Does the tone change as the poem progresses?How does the imagery used contribute to the poem’s mood?
95Using your Senses Hear Touch / Feel See Analysing a PoemUsing your SensesHughes uses a variety of sensations to strengthen the effect of his poem. For each of the three images below, find one quotation that you feel connects strongly to that sense.Touch / FeelHearSee
96Analysing a PoemUse of ImageryOn the next slides, we are going to analyse the imagery that Ted Hughes uses in detail, looking at each verse in turn. As you look at the analysis, think about the effects that each type of imagery creates, and the meanings it implies.As we have already noted, the imagery in the poem links closely to its themes and structure. Through the strength of the ‘word pictures’ that Hughes creates, he gives a sense that the weather is alive, that the storm has a personality of its own.The contrast between the weather and the people sheltering indoors makes a clear point about the relationship between humans and nature: these people seem minute in comparison to the huge force of the natural world.
97Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd Analysing a PoemUse of ImageryMetaphor: the house is described as though it is a boatThis house has been far out at sea all night,The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,Winds stampeding the fields under the windowFloundering black astride and blinding wetPersonification: the woods and winds are described as though they are aliveReproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
98Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd Analysing a PoemUse of ImageryPersonification: the day ‘rose’, as though it were getting up out of bedAlliteration: this echoes the sound of the windTill day rose; then under an orange skyThe hills had new places, and wind wieldedBlade-light, luminous black and emerald,Flexing like the lens of a mad eye.Simile: this image continues the personification of the wind, as though it is a wild, mad personReproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
99Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd Analysing a PoemUse of ImageryMetaphor: the house is ‘scaled’, as though it were a dangerous mountainAt noon I scaled along the house-side as far asThe coal-house door. Once I looked up--Through the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyesThe tent of the hills drummed and strained its guyrope,Personification: this image again continues the personification of the wind, as though it has the strength to hurt the narratorMetaphor: the hills are described using the image of a tent, as though they might blow awayReproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
100Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd Analysing a PoemUse of ImageryPersonification: the fields ‘quiver’, the skyline is a ‘grimace’ - notice the sense of fear hereThe fields quivering, the skyline a grimace,At any second to bang and vanish with a flap:The wind flung a magpie away and a black-Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly. The housePersonification: the image of the wind as a person is extended even further - as though it intends to throw the bird awayReproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
101Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd Analysing a PoemUse of ImagerySimile: the human made goblet can hardly withstand the force of natureRang like some fine green goblet in the noteThat any second would shatter it. Now deepIn chairs, in front of the great fire, we gripOur hearts and cannot entertain book, thoughtMetaphor: the fear of nature makes them ‘grip’ their hearts, trying to gain courage in the face of the elementsReproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
102Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd Analysing a PoemUse of ImageryMetaphor: these people cling to natural things - the fire, the ‘roots’ of the house in an attempt to face natureOr each other. We watch the fire blazing,And feel the roots of the house move, but sit on,Seeing the windows tremble to come in,Hearing the stones cry out under the horizons.Personification: the poem ends with the ‘cry’ of the stones, as though they too are fearful of the stormReproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd