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© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Key Stage 4 Poetry Textual Analysis
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Textual Analysis UNIT CONTENTS IntroductionSlides 4 - 18 Structure and FormSlides 19 - 37 Storyline and ViewpointSlides 38 - 52 Theme and MessageSlides 53 - 57 Rhyme and RhythmSlides 58 - 72 Tone, Mood and EmotionSlides 73 - 79 Using your SensesSlides 80 - 83
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Textual Analysis - Introduction CONTENTS Unit IntroductionSlide 4 What is Poetry?Slide 5 Important British PoetsSlides 6 - 15 Poetry and SocietySlide 16 An Ever Changing LanguageSlides 17 - 18
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 In 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. Unit Introduction Textual Analysis - Introduction
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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. What is Poetry? Textual Analysis - Introduction
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 In 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. Textual Analysis - Introduction Important British Poets
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 As 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? Textual Analysis - Introduction Important British Poets
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Name: Geoffrey Chaucer Dates: ?1343 - 1400 Textual Analysis - Introduction 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.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Name: Sir Walter Ralegh Dates: ?1552 - 1618 Textual Analysis - Introduction All the World’s a Stage What is our life? A play of passion, Our mirth the music of division Our 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 sun Are 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.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Name: John Donne Dates: 1572 - 1631 Textual Analysis - Introduction 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 cast Such terror, and my feebled flesh doth waste By sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Name: John Milton Dates: 1608 - 1674 Textual Analysis - Introduction Paradise Lost (extract) Now came still evening on, and twilight grey Had in her sober livery all things clad; Silence accompanied, for beast and bird, They to their grassy couch, these to their nests Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale; She all night long her amorous descant sung; Silence was pleased.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Name: Alexander Pope Dates: 1688 - 1744 Textual Analysis - Introduction 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 mind Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind, But, more advanced, behold with strange surprise New distant scenes of endless science rise!
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Name: William Blake Dates: 1757 - 1827 Textual Analysis - Introduction The Tiger (extract) Tiger! Tiger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burned the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare seize the fire?
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Name: Robert Burns Dates: 1759 - 1796 Textual Analysis - Introduction Auld Lang Syne (extract) Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to min’? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 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.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Name: Christina Georgina Rossetti Dates: 1830 - 1894 Textual Analysis - Introduction 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 me With showers and dewdrops wet; And if thou wilt, remember, And if thou wilt, forget.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Throughout 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. Poetry and Society Textual Analysis - Introduction
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 The 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. An Ever Changing Language Textual Analysis - Introduction
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Why, then, do languages change? Here are two reasons. See how many more ideas you can think of. Textual Analysis - Introduction Because we need to find new words to describe new ideas and inventions. For instance, the words email 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. An Ever Changing Language
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Textual Analysis - Structure and Form CONTENTS StructureSlides 20 - 27 FormSlide 28 The LimerickSlides 29 - 31 The Shakespearean SonnetSlides 32 - 37
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 When 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. Structure Structure and Form
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 When 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? Structure Structure and Form
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Structure Structure and Form Crossing the Bar Sunset 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 deep Turns again home. The poem below has been annotated to show how it is structured. The verses each have 4 lines. Lines 1 & 3 rhyme in every verse. Verse two ends with a full stop. Verse one ends with a comma. Lines 2 & 4 rhyme in every verse.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Structure Structure and Form Crossing 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 Place The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crost the bar. Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892) 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.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Structure Structure and Form Once you have annotated the structure of the poem, you need to think about the effects that this structure creates. The verses each have 4 lines Lines 1 & 3 rhyme in every verse This 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. The use of rhyme creates an ‘end stop’, whereby the reader pauses slightly, putting emphasis on the words that rhyme.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Structure Structure and Form Verse one ends with a comma Lines 2 & 4 rhyme in every verse Because 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. Again, this creates a stop, or pause, for the reader. However, the regimented pattern is broken up by the use of punctuation as explained above.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Structure Structure and Form Exclamation marks are used at the end of the second and tenth lines Verse two ends with a full stop The 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 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.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Structure Structure and Form Verse three ends with a semi-colon Verse four ends with a full stop Again, 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. The 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.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Poems 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. Form Structure and Form
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 A 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 Limerick Structure and Form There was an old lady from Wales Who loved to eat her garden snails But she felt quite unwell When she crunched on a shell And now she just sticks to the tails. The first, second and fifth lines rhyme - this is called rhyme ‘a’. The third and fourth lines rhyme - this is called rhyme ‘b’.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Limericks 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. The Limerick Structure and Form There was an old lady from Wales Who loved to eat her garden snails But she felt quite unwell When she crunched on a shell And now she just sticks to the tails. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Limericks are a fun and easy form of poem to write. Have a go at creating your own limerick, using the template below. The Limerick Structure and Form There was a young man from Dundee Who …………………………………………… But his …………………………. And he …………………………. And now ……………………………………..
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 On 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 lines Rhyme scheme: a, b, a, b, c, d, c, d, e, f, e, f, g, g Written in iambic pentameter Ends with a rhyming couplet The Shakespearean Sonnet Structure and Form
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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 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. The Shakespearean Sonnet Structure and Form
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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: The Shakespearean Sonnet Structure and Form a Here is the Shakespearean Sonnet again, this time annotated to show the rhyme scheme. b a b rhymes with
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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; The Shakespearean Sonnet Structure and Form c d c d rhymes with
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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; The Shakespearean Sonnet Structure and Form e f e f rhymes with
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. The Shakespearean Sonnet Structure and Form g g rhymes with This is called a ‘rhyming couplet’.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Textual Analysis - Storyline and Viewpoint CONTENTS StorylineSlides 39 - 46 ViewpointSlides 47 - 49 First Person ViewpointSlide 50 Third Person ViewpointSlide 51 Omniscient ViewpointSlide 52
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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. Storyline Storyline and Viewpoint
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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? Storyline Storyline and Viewpoint
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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. Storyline Storyline and Viewpoint What 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? Questions
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Storyline and Viewpoint Crossing the Bar Sunset 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 deep Turns again home. Storyline
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Storyline and Viewpoint Crossing 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 Place The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crost the bar. Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892) Storyline
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Storyline Storyline and Viewpoint What sort of atmosphere does the poet create in his ‘story’? How does he seem to be feeling? Question The 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. Answer
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Storyline Storyline and Viewpoint What is the poem literally about? What is the ‘surface story’? Question On 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. Answer
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Storyline Storyline and Viewpoint 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? Question The 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”. Answer
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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. Viewpoint Storyline and Viewpoint
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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. Viewpoint Storyline and Viewpoint
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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. Viewpoint Storyline and Viewpoint
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 First Person Viewpoint Storyline and Viewpoint The Old Stoic (extract) Riches I hold in light esteem, And Love I laugh to scorn; And lust of Fame was but a dream That vanished with the morn - And if I pray, the only prayer That moves my lips for me Is - ‘Leave the heart that now I bear, And give me liberty.’ Emily Brontë (1818 - 1848)
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Third Person Viewpoint Storyline and Viewpoint The Blessed Damozel (extract) The blessed damozel leaned out From the gold bar of Heaven; Her eyes were deeper than the depth Of waters stilled at even; She had three lilies in her hand, And the stars in her hair were seven. Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 - 1882)
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Omniscient Viewpoint Storyline and Viewpoint God’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 oil Crushed. 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 soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. Gerard Manley Hopkins (1884 - 1889)
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Textual Analysis - Theme and Message CONTENTS ThemeSlides 54 - 56 MessageSlide 57
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Poets 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. Theme Theme and Message
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 The images below symbolise three of the most common themes. Identify the themes that they represent. Theme Theme and Message LoveGod / ReligionNature
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Now look at the poetry extract below and identify which theme or themes the poet is dealing with. Theme Theme and Message 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 (1757 - 1827) The themes used are... Love and... Nature
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 In 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. Message Theme and Message
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Textual Analysis - Rhyme and Rhythm CONTENTS RhymeSlides 59 - 60 End RhymeSlide 61 Internal RhymeSlide 62 Half RhymeSlide 63 RhythmSlides 64 - 72
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 As 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. Rhyme Rhyme and Rhythm
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 The 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. Rhyme Rhyme and Rhythm
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 End Rhyme Rhyme and Rhythm The sky was grey, the snow pure white The flakes fell heavy through the night. This is a rhyming couplet, a pair of lines that rhyme. white night The sky was grey, the snow pure white As winter took a hold The flakes fell heavy through the night Outside the world was cold. white night hold cold This poem uses the a/b rhyme scheme: lines one and three rhyme (a), lines two and four rhyme (b). rhymes with
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Internal Rhyme Rhyme and Rhythm The sky was grey today, the snow pure white As the night fell and light bled from the world. greytoday rhymes with nightlight rhymes with Notice 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.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Half Rhyme Rhyme and Rhythm The sky was grey, now snow flew pure white nowsnow ‘almost’ rhymes withand with Notice 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. flew
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Rhythm Rhyme and Rhythm Poetry 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.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Rhythm Rhyme and Rhythm As 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.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Rhythm Rhyme and Rhythm Now 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 (1844 - 1889) 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.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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 fall Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap May who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our small Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep, Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind : all Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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? First, 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. 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? What effect is created by the use of monosyllables in the first line? How does the rhythm change in lines 3 and 4? Questions
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Rhyme and Rhythm Rhythm The 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”. Answer What effect is created by the use of monosyllables in the first line? Question
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Rhyme and Rhythm Rhythm The 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”. Answer How does the rhythm change in lines 3 and 4? Question
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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? Next, let’s look at some of the punctuation in these first four lines, and the ways that it affects the rhythm of the piece. Rhythm 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.
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Rhyme and Rhythm Finally, 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. Rhythm 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’. Alliteration of the letter ‘h’ 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’. Alliteration of the letter ‘w’ 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’. Alliteration of the letter ‘l’ 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’. 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’. Assonance of the letter ‘o’ 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’. Choose one of these examples of alliteration or assonance, and discuss or write about the effects it creates. Activity
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Textual Analysis - Tone, Mood and Emotion CONTENTS ToneSlides 74 - 77 Mood and EmotionSlides 78 - 79
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 The 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. Tone Tone, Mood and Emotion
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Tone Tone, Mood and Emotion Holy Sonnets (extract) Despair behind, and death before doth cast Such terror, and my feebled flesh doth waste By sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh. Is the tone of the poem... Happy?Sad?Fearful? Excited?Resigned? Calm?
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Tone Tone, Mood and Emotion Is the tone of the poem... Happy?Sad?Fearful? Excited?Resigned? Calm? The Tiger (extract) Tiger! Tiger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Tone Tone, Mood and Emotion Is the tone of the poem... Happy?Sad?Fearful? Excited?Resigned? Calm? 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:
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 When 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. Mood and Emotion Tone, Mood and Emotion
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Look at the extracts below, and decide what mood or emotion the poet is creating. Mood and Emotion Tone, Mood and Emotion Daffodils (extract) I wandered lonely as a cloud That 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 (1770 - 1850) A Red, Red Rose (extract) My love is like a red, red rose That’s newly sprung in June: My love is like the melody That’s sweetly played in tune. Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Textual Analysis - Using your Senses CONTENTS Using your SensesSlides 81 - 83
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 As 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. Using your Senses Using your Sense
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 As you read the poem “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, identify which of your senses you could use: Using your Senses Using your Sense HearSmell See Touch / Feel Taste
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Using your Senses Using your Sense Kubla Khan (extract) In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round: And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And here were forests ancient as the hills, Enfolding sunny spots of greenery. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834)
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 On 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 Form Storyline and Viewpoint Theme and Message Rhyme and Rhythm Tone, Mood and Emotion Using your Senses In 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. Detailed Analysis Analysing a Poem
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Wind by Ted Hughes This house has been far out at sea all night, The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills, Winds stampeding the fields under the window Floundering black astride and blinding wet Till day rose; then under an orange sky The hills had new places, and wind wielded Blade-light, luminous black and emerald, Flexing like the lens of a mad eye. At noon I scaled along the house-side as far as The coal-house door. Once I looked up-- Through the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyes The tent of the hills drummed and strained its guyrope, Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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 house Rang like some fine green goblet in the note That any second would shatter it. Now deep In chairs, in front of the great fire, we grip Our hearts and cannot entertain book, thought Or 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
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 At 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. Structure and Form Analysing a Poem
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 This house has been far out at sea all night, The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills, Winds stampeding the fields under the window Floundering black astride Structure and Form Analysing a Poem ; then under an orange sky The hills had new places, and blinding wet Till day rose Notice 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
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Clearly, 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. Storyline and Viewpoint Analysing a Poem
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 StorylineViewpoint Verse One Verse Two Verse Three Storyline and Viewpoint Analysing a Poem A storm ragesOmniscient all night long.(‘god-like’ narrator)
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 StorylineViewpoint Verse Four Verse Five Verse Six Storyline and Viewpoint Analysing a Poem
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 In 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. Theme and Message Analysing a Poem For 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. Activity
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Although 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? Rhyme and Rhythm Analysing a Poem
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Answer the questions below to develop your understanding of Hughes’ use of tone, mood and emotion. Tone, Mood and Emotion Analysing a Poem How 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? Questions
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Hughes 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. Using your Senses Analysing a Poem Hear See Touch / Feel
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 On 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. Use of Imagery Analysing a Poem
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 This house has been far out at sea all night, The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills, Winds stampeding the fields under the window Floundering black astride and blinding wet Use of Imagery Analysing a Poem Metaphor: the house is described as though it is a boat Personification: the woods and winds are described as though they are alive Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Till day rose; then under an orange sky The hills had new places, and wind wielded Blade-light, luminous black and emerald, Flexing like the lens of a mad eye. Use of Imagery Analysing a Poem Personification: the day ‘rose’, as though it were getting up out of bed Alliteration: this echoes the sound of the wind Simile: this image continues the personification of the wind, as though it is a wild, mad person Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 At noon I scaled along the house-side as far as The coal-house door. Once I looked up-- Through the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyes The tent of the hills drummed and strained its guyrope, Use of Imagery Analysing a Poem Metaphor: the house is ‘scaled’, as though it were a dangerous mountain Personification: this image again continues the personification of the wind, as though it has the strength to hurt the narrator Metaphor: the hills are described using the image of a tent, as though they might blow away Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 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 house Use of Imagery Analysing a Poem Personification: the fields ‘quiver’, the skyline is a ‘grimace’ - notice the sense of fear here Personification: the image of the wind as a person is extended even further - as though it intends to throw the bird away Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Rang like some fine green goblet in the note That any second would shatter it. Now deep In chairs, in front of the great fire, we grip Our hearts and cannot entertain book, thought Use of Imagery Analysing a Poem Simile: the human made goblet can hardly withstand the force of nature Metaphor: the fear of nature makes them ‘grip’ their hearts, trying to gain courage in the face of the elements Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 Or 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. Use of Imagery Analysing a Poem Metaphor: these people cling to natural things - the fire, the ‘roots’ of the house in an attempt to face nature Personification: the poem ends with the ‘cry’ of the stones, as though they too are fearful of the storm Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
© Boardworks Ltd 2001 In this unit we will be learning how to analyse poetry. We will explore the different aspects of poetry, including structure, themes,
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