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Poetry 1: Identity & Family

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1 Poetry 1: Identity & Family
Tone, Sound and Free Verse Intro to Lit Image source

2 Outline General Questions Understanding the Poems’ Poetic Language
3 Gwendolyn Brooks   "We Real Cool" (1960  p. 534)   6 Emily Dickinson "I'm Nobody! Who are you?" (1861 p. 683) 4 Walt Whitman “A Noiseless Patient Spider” (1891 p. 659) 5/2 Adrienne Rich “Aunt Jennifer’s Tiger” 1 Robert Hayden “Those Winter Sundays” Lynn Lifshin “My Mother and the Bed” Quiz 1 – Tone, Sound, Free Verse and Lyric Essay Questions and Review

3 General Questions What is ‘identity’? What determines our identities?
Text Identity Factors “Story of an Hour” Gender Creole society in New Orleans + marriage “Rose for Emily” The American South + industrialism “Old Man with Enormous Wings” “Alien”/Age Religion + seaside village “Araby” Age/Gender Religion vs. Commercialism + Dublin’s social problem “A & P” Class/Gender Small town America + commercial society Pygmalion Late Victorian society + English

4 General Questions What is ‘identity’? What determines our identities?
Text Identity Factors “We Real Cool” Collective “Cool” Actions Black “I’m Nobody. Who Are you?” Private and Associative Social visibility “A Noiseless Patient Spider” Soul -- Associative Vast surrounding “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers” Gender Family labor and death “Those Winter Sundays” Familial Family poverty and paternal care; Black “My Mother and the Bed” Daily order and maternal care Black Self

5 General Questions Are parents always loving?  What makes their love difficult to express, or 'difficult' for their children to understand? 

6 From Paraphrasing, Analysis to Application
Understanding Poetry From Paraphrasing, Analysis to Application

7 "We Real Cool" (1960  p. 685)     The Pool Players. Seven at the Golden Shovel. We real cool. We Left school. We Lurk late. We Strike straight. We Sing sin. We Thin gin. We Jazz June. We Die soon. alliteration internal rhymes repetitions Strike straight: 1) attacking others; 2) play billiard balls Jazz: 1) empty talk to or sex with a woman named June; 2) going here and there in June ?

8 "We Real Cool" Paraphrasing
Analysis (1) Connotation: Speakers’ identity? Why “cool”? Analysis (2) Poetic Language: Their tone? How do the stress and sound Pattern help convey the meaning? Symbol-- Golden Shovel? Analysis (3) What is “cool” for you? Does developing a group identity matter for you?

9 I'm Nobody! Who are you? I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you--Nobody--too? Then there's a pair of us! Don't tell! they'd banish us—you know! How dreary--to be--Somebody! How public--like a Frog-- To tell your name--the livelong June-- To an admiring Bog! repetitions alliteration Iambic meter

10 I'm Nobody! Who are you? Paraphrasing
Analysis (1) Connotation: Speakers’ identity? That of “you”? The differences between nobody and somebody? Analysis (2) Poetic Language: The speaker’s tone in the 1st and 2nd stanzas? The use of dashes? The metaphor of bog and frog. Analysis (3) Do you like to be a somebody, or nobody? Or neither? What do you feel about the speaker’s criticism of “somebody” like a frog?

11 Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) A reclusive poet with mental energies.
produced 1,775 known poems as well as the hundreds of letters. Only 7 (or 11) of the poems were published anonymously in her lifetime. a traumatic experience (between 1858 and 1862) Stayed in her own house for the last seventeen years of her life. Film: Emily Dickinson: The Poet In Her Bedroom

12 A noiseless patient spider
Walt Whitman "A Noiseless Patient Spider “ Poem animation A noiseless patient spider A noiseless patient spider, I mark'd where on a little promontory (隆突) it stood isolated, Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast(1) surrounding, It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of it self, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them. (2) And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking (3) the spheres to connect them, Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile (柔軟的) anchor hold, Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul. (4)   (1. consonance, 2, assonance, 3. internal rhyme, 4. alteration between troche and dactyl. reference) repetitions Feminine rhyme Sounds: “l,” “s,” open vowels e.g. “o”

13 A Noiseless Patient Spider
Paraphrasing Analysis (1) Connotation: What are the implications in comparing the soul to a spider? How are the activities of the spider similar to and different from those of the soul? The effects of the speaker’s apostrophizing (頓呼) the soul ("O my soul")? Analysis (2) Poetic Language: The sound and line patterns? The form of free verse. Analysis (3) If you want to compare yourself, or your mind, to an animal, which would you choose and why?

14 Walt Whitman A printer, teacher, journalist poet  hospital worker, government clerk, later fired because of his poetry. Publishes Leaves of Grass in 1855, later revised 8 times. A free thinker, sometimes without regular jobs. (source) portrait: from an 1854 engraving by Samuel Hollyer

15 Aunt Jennifer's Tigers rhymes Aunt Jennifer‘s tigers prance across a screen, Bright topaz (黃水晶) denizens of a world of green. They do not fear the men beneath the tree; They pace in sleek chivalric certainty. Aunt Jennifer's finger fluttering through her wool Find even the ivory needle hard to pull. The massive weight of Uncle's wedding band Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer's hand. When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by. The tigers in the panel that she made Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid. Alliteration, ‘p’ sound

16 Aunt Jennifer's Tigers Paraphrasing
Analysis (1) Connotation: The relations between Aunt Jennifer, her fingers, wedding ring and her tigers– with pace "in sleek chivalric certainty.“  Analysis (2) Poetic Language: the use of tiger and wedding ring as symbols. Analysis (3) How much can the embroidered tigers represent aunt Jennifer? Do you have relatives like her?

17 "Those Winter Sundays" (1962)
alliteration, explosive sounds Sundays too my father got up early and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.  I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. When the rooms were warm, he'd call, and slowly I would rise and dress, fearing the chronic angers of that house.  Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well, What did I know, what did I know of love's austere and lonely offices? [rituals, ceremonious] Open vowels; Long and short lines

18 "Those Winter Sundays" --
Paraphrasing Analysis (1) Connotation: the contrast between the past view and the present one about the speaker’s father and his work. Analysis (2) Poetic Language: descriptions of the cold and the house. Sound pattern. Analysis (3) Does it matter to you whether you know of the poet’s background? Is the poem relevant to you?

19 “My Mother and the Bed” No, not that way she'd
No, not that way she'd say when I was 7, pulling the bottom sheet smooth. You've got to,   saying hospital corners  I wet the bed much later than I should, until just writing this I hadn't thought of the connection  

20 “My Mother and the Bed” (2)
Smelled of smoke but she says the rooms here smell funny  We drove at 3 am slowly into Boston and strip what looked like two clean beds as the sky got light.  I Smoothed on the form fitted flower bottom, she redid it.  She thinks of my life as a bed only she can make right My mother would never sleep on sheets someone else had.    I never saw any stains on hers tho her bedroom was  a maze of powder, hair Pins,  black dresses She used to bring her own sheets to my house, carried toilet seat covers.  Lyn, did anybody sleep in my,   she always asked Her sheets,   her hair

21 “My Mother and the Bed” Paraphrasing
Analysis (1) Connotation: What’s the mother’s long-term influence on the daughter and her responses to it? Analysis (2) Poetic Language: How do the poetic form and the images convey the meanings? Analysis (3) How do you feel about your parents’ ways of disciplining or educating you?

22 Understanding Poetic Language
Quiz 1: Sound and Sense

23 1. Which of the following is NOT a free verse?
1. Aunt Jennifer's finger fluttering through her wool Find even the ivory needle hard to pull. 2. It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of it self, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them 3. No, not that way she'd say when I was 7, pulling the bottom sheet smooth. You've got to,   saying hospital corners  4. I'm Nobody! Who are you? Are you--Nobody--too? Then there's a pair of us! Don't tell! they'd banish us—you know! <PowerClick><Answer>1</Answer><Option>4</Option><Point>2</Point></PowerClick>

24 Free Verse A poetic form that does not rhyme, nor use the metrical patterns of traditional poetry. Rather, it establishes its own patterns. It is unrhymed, with no regular line length. It has rhythmical lines varying in length. Its patterns produced through repetition of words, sounds and/or parallel grammatical structure.

25 2. Which of the following is an adequate description of the poem’s sound effects?
The explosive sounds in “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers” create a sense of hardship. (“Aunt Jennifer's tigers prance across a screen, Aunt Jennifer's tigers prance across a screen”) The long and open vowels in “A Noiseless Patient Spider” (“Till the bridge you will need be formed, till the ductile anchor hold,/Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere ”) produces a sense of continuity. The dashes in “I’m Nobody. Who are you?” (e.g. “Are you – Nobody – too? ”) create a sense of continuity and calmness. <PowerClick><Answer>2</Answer><Option>3</Option><Point>2</Point></PowerClick>

26 Sound & Sense Different sounds create different effects in different contexts. In general easily pronounced consonants (e.g. [l], [r], [m], [n]) and open and long vowels can be create a sense of ease or fluidity Explosive sounds ([t], [d], [g], [k],[p] [b]), sometimes combined with short vowels,  can create a sense of vitality or difficulty. nasal sounds ([m] & [n]) can create a sense of melancholy

27 3. Which of the following is NOT part of the functions of an apostrophe (頓呼; “O my soul”)?
To compare the object to another object To personify the object addressed To bring it (the absent object) to presence To show respect to the object. <PowerClick><Answer>1</Answer><Option>4</Option><Point>2</Point></PowerClick>

28 Apostrophe -- figure of speech in which an absent person, a personified inanimate being, or an abstraction is addressed as though present; -- the poet talks to (and personifies) the one addressed.

29 4. Which of the following is not part of the poetic sound pattern to consider?
Repetition of consonants (consonance) or assonants (assonants) Rhyme: alliteration, end rhyme and internal rhyme Stresses put on different syllables (e.g. iambic) The pauses in the poetic lines. All of the above. <PowerClick><Answer>5</Answer><Option>5</Option><Point>2</Point></PowerClick>

30 Rhyme & Rhythm (e.g. iambic pentameter 抑揚五音步 reference)
Rhyme is a sound device that usually entails the repetition of the final vowel and consonant sounds in two words. internal rhyme: Some poems have rhymes within the lines. This is called. Assonance is the repetition of vowels sounds, either at the beginning of words or within words. Head rhyme: Alliteration is related to assonance in that alliteration also involves the repetition of sounds, this time the repetition of consonants at the beginning or middle of words. Meter (韻律): a regularly repeating rhythm, divided for convenience into feet (音步). Meter describes an underlying framework; actual poems rarely sustain the perfect regularity that the meter would imply. (e.g. iambic pentameter 抑揚五音步 reference)

31 5. Which of the following descriptions of the speakers in the poems we have read is INCORRECT?
The speaker of “Those Winter Sundays” describes his childhood in retrospect. The speakers of “We Real Cool” boast about their identity. The speaker of “I’m Nobody. Who are you?” is snobbish. The speaker of “A Noiseless Patient Spider” cherishes his/her own mental actions. <PowerClick><Answer>3</Answer><Option>4</Option><Point>2</Point></PowerClick>

32 Lyric The most personal of poetic forms, lyric is usually a short but intense expression of personal feelings.  Although it is originally sung to the music of a lyre, not all lyrics are to be sung.  Still, musical quality can be found in some of the poems we have read (e.g. “A Noiseless Patient Spider”). Although it involves personal expressions, the speaker of a lyric is not necessarily the poet. 

33 Conclusion Understanding the parents: Aging and Death
“Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers“ – hardship and survival "Musical Key" by Cowboy Junkies -- care “Those Winter Sundays” – hardship and stern care “My Mother and the Bed” – care and over-control Aging and Death “My Mother and the Bed”  turned into past tense. “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” [later]

34 Essay Question 1 1. Family Influences:
So far we have read several texts where parent-children relationships or family background is a major factor in a child’s growth (i.e. “Araby,” Pygmalion, “Those Winter Sundays,” “My Mother and the Bed” and “Musical Key”). How do the children in the short story, play, poems and song relate to their parents’ ways of educating or NOT educating them? (What do the parents do? How do the children take it and how do they express their understanding of their parents? Is there communication between/among them? Is their communication [or lack of it] related to their social background?) Do the children grow in the texts? Compare Pygmalion with at least one of the other texts (either a story, a poem or the song).

35 Essay Question 2 2. Children or Young People’s Views of their Society and Identity: In the texts narrated or spoken by a child or a teenager, how does their point of view influence their views of their society/world and their sense of identity? In what ways are they biased? Do they learn to change or correct their views in the text? Please choose one story and one poem/song from the following: “A&P,” “Fast Cars,” “We Real Cool.”

36 Essay Question Suggested order of your answer--
Specify your topic if you are given a choice. Give a thesis statement as a direct answer to the question/topic. Support your thesis statement by giving specific examples from the text and analyzing them.

37 In analyzing a short story, you don't need to summarize the plot, but you need to discuss how the theme (characters) you deal with develop in the different parts of the novel. In analyzing a poem, you don’t need to paraphrase it. Conclude by summarizing your main points and discussing your thesis a bit more.

38 Review Questions—Personal Views, Sound and Line Pattern, connections between the poem and the poet. Close Reading: Sound Effect, Sound Pattern, (consonance, assonance and alliteration) Line Length, Line End and Sentence End Lyric

39 See you next time!!! Intro to Lit

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