Overview of Poetic Elements I 5 Poetic Elements: Denotation Connotation Imagery Figurative language Simile Metaphor Personification Apostrophe Metonymy and Synechdoche Denotation The dictionary meaning of a word Useful in poetry when words have multiple meanings Examples: “Naming of Parts” by Henry Reed p. 692 “Cross” by Langston Hughes p. 693 “A Hymn to God the Father” by John Donne p.697 Connotation Overtones of meaning beyond a word’s literal meaning “Cross” by Langston Hughes p. 693 “When my love swears that she is made of truth” by William Shakespeare (p. 688) Imagery The representation through language of sense experience (Perrine’s p.700) Appeals to the five senses Most often suggests a mental picture Examples in poetry: “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen (p. 652) “Spring” by Gerard Manley Hopkins (p. 703) Figurative Language Part I Figure of Speech Any way of saying something other than the ordinary way Includes Simile and Metaphor Personification Apostrophe Metonymy and Synechdoche Figurative Language Language that uses figures of speech Simile and Metaphor Ways of comparing things that are essentially unlike Simile uses like, as, resembles, or seems: “The pond is like a mirror.” Metaphor substitutes the figurative term for the literal: “You are a peach.” Examples: “Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes (p. 732) “The Widow’s Lament in Springtime” by William Carlos Williams (p. 704) Personification Giving the attributes of a human being to an animal, object, or concept Examples in poetry: “Mirror” by Sylvia Plath (p. 680) “It Sifts from Leaden Sieves” by Emily Dickinson p. 717 “Let me not to the marriage of true minds” by William Shakespeare (p. 1001) “Love’s not Time’s fool…” Apostrophe Addressing someone absent or dead or nonhuman as if that person or thing were present and alive and capable of responding Examples in poetry: “Ballad of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall (p. 658) “Tiger! Tiger! burning bright” by William Blake (p. 947) “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats (p. 918) Metonymy and Synechdoche Metonymy The use of something closely related for the thing actually meant Example: “The White House” means the U.S. government Synechdoche The use of the part for the whole “a hired hand” really means a whole person “lend an ear” means give your whole attention Metonymy and Synechdoche are basically interchangeable Our text uses metonymy to cover all cases. Examples of poems which use metonymy: “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams (p. 661) “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell (p. 730) A poem for analysis “Introduction to poetry” by Billy Collins (p. 732) Discuss and enjoy the figurative elements. See a screen version of the poem on the next slide. Introduction to Poetry Billy Collins I ask them to take a poem and hold it up to the light like a color slide or press an ear against its hive. I say drop a mouse into a poem and watch him probe his way out, or walk inside the poem's room and feel the walls for a light switch. I want them to waterski across the surface of a poem waving at the author's name on the shore. But all they want to do is tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it. They begin beating it with a hose to find out what it really means.