Presentation on theme: "Tone, Symbol and Free Verse"— Presentation transcript:
1 Tone, Symbol and Free Verse Poetry 1-1: IdentityTone, Symbol and Free VerseIntro to LitImage source
2 Outline General Questions Gwendolyn Brooks "We Real Cool" (1960 p. 534) Emily Dickinson "I'm Nobody! Who are you?" (1861 p. 683)Walt Whitman “A Noiseless Patient Spider” (1891 p. 659)
3 General Questions What is ‘identity’? What determines our identities? How do you usu. introduce yourself?Is the question of “who I am” an important one for you?
4 "We Real Cool" (1960 p. 534) Tone: Who are the speakers “We”? How do they describe themselves? Do you find them “cool”? How about the poet?Stress and Sound Pattern:Read the poem outloud several times, trying to stress different words with each reading. How does the meaning of the poem change as the emphasis changes? (ref)What about the internal rhymes? What effects do they produce?Why do you think Brooks chose to end each line of the poem, except the last, with the word “we”? What does Golden Shovel mean?
5 "We Real Cool" (1960 p. 685) The Pool Players. Seven at the Golden Shovel.We real cool. WeLeft school. WeLurk late. WeStrike straight. WeSing sin. WeThin gin. WeJazz June. WeDie soon.Rhymes & repetitionsStrike straight: 1) attacking others;2) play billiard ballsJazz: 1) empty talk to or sex with a woman named June;2) going here and there in June
6 "We Real Cool" (1960 p. 534) Speakers: pool players, probably in a black ghetto. They are not educated, hang out at night, get violent, commit crime and fool around (“left school,” "Lurk late," "Strike straight, ""Sing sin," and "Jazz June“).Tone: 1) boasting =“cool”, 2) with a weak sense of identity and meaningless life, 3) realistic.Stress and Sound Pattern:Rhythm: 1) whether ‘we’ is stressed or not makes a lot of difference; 2) the short, staccato linesthe internal rhymes –their lives: repetitive, limited, and transient;Symbol-- Golden Shovel (ironic, money leading to death.)
7 Gwendolyn BrooksUnder strict discipline, not allowed to play with the other black kids Shy“created a world of her own by reading and writing stories and poetry” (source)the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize (1950)-- combined a strong commitment to racial identity and equality with a mastery of poetic techniques-- managed to bridge the gap between the academic poets of her generation in the 1940s and the young black militant writers of the 1960s." (George E. Kent; Dictionary of Literary Biography)"From her poet's craft bursts a whole gallery of wholly alive persons, preening, squabbling, loving, weeping; many a novelist cannot do so well in ten times the space."
8 Gwendolyn Brooks“The ending WE's in "We Real Cool" are tiny, wispy, weakly argumentative "Kilroy-is-here“ [note] announcements. The boys have no accented sense of themselves, yet they are aware of a semi-defined personal importance. Say the "we" softly. (185) Brooks, Gwendolyn. Report from Part One. Detroit: Broadside Press, 1972.In Vietnam, the Americans liked to use the slogan “Kilroy is here” meaning simply that Kilroy, an archetypal American soldier, was everywhere, sorting out the world. (source)Gwendolyn Brooks reads "We Real Cool"Song version:
9 Extension Questions: Who is cool? Have you any friends like the “we” in the poem?Is it “cool” for you to belong in one group?
10 I'm Nobody! Who are you?the speaker’s tones in the first stanza? And in the second stanza?The dashes? What is the speaker’s relationship with "you"? Who are "they" mentioned in the first stanza?Could the "you" in the first stanza be the "Somebody" in the second?
11 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!
12 I'm Nobody! Who are you?The speaker-- in the first stanza: uncertain, a bit childish and afraid. In the second stanza: critical or cynical.Dashes– creates a sense of suspense, secrecy or distance between people. You – audience, someone the speaker tries to win over.They– authorities or those who are unable to understand."Somebody"? a VIP, as a contrast to this nobody, like a Frog (noisy, provincial) singing to an audience which are blindly admiring (without good judgment).
13 Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) A reclusive poet with mental energies. produced 1,775 known poems as well as the hundreds of letters. Only 7 of the poems were published 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
14 Extension Questions: Nobody vs. Somebody Do you like to be a somebody, or nobody? Or neither?Do you have any experience similar to the speaker’s in trying to gain sympathy or win somebody over to your side?What do you feel about the speaker’s criticism of “somebody” like a frog?
15 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 (4) 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. (1. consonance, 2, assonance, 3. alliteration, 4. internal rhyme)
16 Spider – web construction 1. , the spider bridges the open space between the two sticks2. establishes the so-called proto-hub
17 Spider – web construction 3. the construction of the frame and the radii4. The circling of the hub the construction ofthe auxiliary (or temporary) spiral. the sticky spiral
18 A Noiseless Patient Spider Symbol: What are the implications in comparing the soul to a spider?Compare & Contrast: How are the activities of the spider similar to and different from those of the soul?Figurative language: What are the effects of the repetition of his apostrophizing (頓呼) the soul ("O my soul")?Sound effects?Form: the pattern of free verse depends a lot on repetition (with variation) of different poetic elements. Why are there not as many repetitions in the second stanza? From stanza one to two, we see similar kind of variation of line length (which gets longer and longer). What effects are achieved here?
19 Free Verse Unrhymed; no regular length; Rhythmical lines varying in lengthPatterns produced through repetition and parallel grammatical structure.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.
20 RhymeRhyme 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.Walt Whitman "A Noiseless Patient Spider “Poem animation
21 A noiseless patient spider I mark'd where on a little promontory 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 (4) 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. (1. consonance, 2, assonance, 3. alliteration, 4. internal rhyme)
22 A noiseless patient spider Symbol: a spider the soul:difficult, quiet and laborious work in setting up structures out in empty space.The soul’s action: musing, venturing, throwing, seeking – intellectual and various.Figurative language: the soul, something active and cherished.Sound effects? –signifying their actions (slow, soft, quiet, continuous and non-violent).Form: rhythm – regular; line lengths -- the extension of their threads and connections.(for your reference: )
23 Extension Questions: A Noiseless Patient Spider 1. If you were going to compare yourself to an animal, what animal would you choose? Why?2. Can you relate to the action of making connections in the world or universe? Is it difficult for you?3. The song "Sound of Silence" can be seen as another search for inner soul--by talking to darkness as an old friend. Please pay attention to the contrasts in imagery between darkness and light, silence and sound. The phrase "sound of silence" is an oxymoron; can you explain why?
24 Walt WhitmanA 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
25 Walt Whitman –Leaves of Grass -- challenged an American literary establishment that he believed was too influenced by Old World literary tradition.He characterized his poetry as experimental, termed his poetic mission "a war," and fought the battle to establish a body of truly American poetry--one that featured American language, American life, an American vision, and musical free verse-- to his dying breath.
26 "Song of Myself“ – democracy and individualism I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,And what I assume, you shall assume,For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.(ll. 1-3, part 1)…I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,I effuse (使流出)my flesh in eddies (漩渦), and drift it in lacy jags (小路).I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass Ilove,If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.(ll. 7-10, part 52)
27 “Fast Car” and Conclusion A song about the youngsters’ trying to break out of constraints but still running in cycles.“You got a fast car And I got a job that pays all our bills You stay out drinking late at the bar See more of your friends than you do of your kids Id always hoped for better Thought maybe together you and me would find it I got no plans I aint going nowhere So take your fast car and keep on driving”Tracy Chapman - Fast Car
28 Conclusion: Identities of Different Kinds The Reckless and the Poor: “We Real Cool” and “Fast Car.”Individual and Society:exploratory and connecting: “A Noiseless Patient Spider.”self-protective: “I’m Nobody. Who are you?”
29 Conclusion (2): Sound and Sense Tones --Symbols (Spider), Metaphor (waving, drowning) and Simile (frog), ApostropheRhyme — Different Kinds
30 Review Questions of Identity "We Real Cool" (1960) --tone, sound pattern, narrator’s and poet’s different stances.“A noiseless patient spider” –as a free verse, differences between the first and second stanzas, the spider and the soul.