ENGLISH THROUGH LITERATURE Unit 2 The Heart of the Matter Produced by Bruce Michael
Introduction Introduction Approaching Themes Poetic Forms and Imagery Poetic devices Poetic Themes Themes in Drama Themes in Stories
Approaching Themes A theme can be thought of as a statement of belief, or, the thoughts of a writer concerning something he/she feels strongly about, or feels the need to express (by explanation) more clearly. Themes can be expressed in four ways: – Direct statements by the author – Dramatic statements made by characters – Characters who stand for ideas/ideals – The work itself as it represents ideas(pp54- 55)
Identifying Poetic Forms: How Poets Communicate There are certain language features that are evident in poetry. These can be broadly grouped under the following headings: A) Imagery B) Poetic Genres C) Verse Patterns D) Mood/Tone/Atmosphere
Imagery There are three types of imagery: – Symbolic, Literal and Figurative – The important feature of Imagery students (of this course of study) need to aware of are: Literal imagery makes appeals to the senses (sight, sound, taste, smell and touch) by means of poetic forms like Alliteration (repetition of words beginning with the same sound)
Imagery – Figurative language includes: Metaphor Simile Personification Rhyme Onomatopoeia (where the words appear to make the sounds they represent). In your text A Gateway To Literature Rhyme and Onomatopoeia are dealt with on pages 143-146. You should read this section carefully.
Figurative Imagery: Poetic Types Figurative Imagery: All writing – novels, plays, poetry – becomes more alive and interesting when the images created move beyond the literal and become figurative. In the English language it is normal, in everyday speech, to use figurative language/imagery. For example the expressions “it’s cold as ice” or “the traffic was moving along at a snail’s pace” are examples of the use of figurative imagery. There is no actual ‘ice’ or ‘snail’ present in each of these situations, but a comparison is being made using familiar things (‘ice’ and a ‘snail’) to describe the unfamiliar.
A poet uses a Simile to create an image that something is like something else. Usually a Simile is easily recognized because the poet uses the words ‘like’ or ‘as’ to compare one thing with another. – the old man moved like a shadow a face like a moonbeam – Another example might be: – Out of the darkness like a tiger he sprang Simile
Like a Simile a Metaphor makes a comparison. However the comparison is between two things that do not have the same characteristics. The major difference with a metaphor (unlike a simile where two things are ‘like’ each other, the metaphor implies one thing ‘is’ another). His nerves were steel and his blood oil – Obviously the comparison is figurative, not literal, because humans are not made of metal nor is their blood oil. ‘She is an angel’ is a metaphor, but ‘she is a kind person’ is not because it is possible for a person to be kind but (it would appear) it is not possible for her to be an ‘angel’ because an ‘angel’ is something supernatural (beyond the natural). Metaphor
Personification Poets frequently make their descriptions more vivid by giving inanimate objects a life-like quality: – The mountains trembled And the oceans roared
Video: National Poetry Day Anyone can write poetry! Poetry is Everywhere!
Thoughts on the Video Video Objectives: – General Introduction to poetry – Role of description in poetry – Role of emotion in poetry Discussion: Poets, Mary Willes and Jackie Pritchard discuss their own poems Notice how they read their poems. They explain the origins of their poems. Most of the poetry read is blank verse
What They Discussed – They talked about how they used language in text (poetry) to illustrate specifics that enabled them to produce images for the reader. – They made the point that poetry (writing) is ‘like a jigsaw puzzle’ giving pictures to the readers. – They spoke about the role of rhyme, how the poet uses this poetic form to the greatest effect. They said that sometimes words ‘come together’ quite naturally. – They pointed out that the first ‘couple of lines’ set the form for the poem.
Some Discussion Questions (From the video) Can anyone write poetry? Is there such a thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ poetry or literature?
Verse Patterns Verse patterns include: – Rhyme Schemes – Stanza Structure – Rhythm and Metre You should read the section of A Gateway To Literature (pages 137-142) this section explains these ideas. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO FULLY UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING HERE.
Trees by Joyce Kilmer Trees Practice reading Trees (p62) Trees Read Trees out aloud!
Trees by by Joyce Kilmer I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day; And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in Summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.
Conclusion In Unit 2, we looked at: In Unit 2, we looked at: How themes are used Some poetic forms and Imagery Definitions of some poetic devices Verse patterns and rhyme schemes Read a poem A video about poetry and poets