Poetry 3:
Society & Mortality
Metaphor, Imagery & Symbolism
Rhyme & Rhythm
Analysis & Comparison
Outline
• Review, General Questions & Discussion
Question
• Blake, William “The Sick Rose” (p. 818)
• Hughes, Langston “Harlem” (p. 1019)
Dickinson, Emily “Because I could not stop for
Death---” (p. 807)
• Thomas, Dylan “Do Not Go Gentle into That
Goodnight” (p. 878)
• Auden “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone”
(p. 775)
• About Poetry 4
So far so good?
• Poetry I: Identity and Daily Life
• Q I: How is identity constructed, and
daily (family) life presented?
Social
Identity
• ID--Brooks,
Gwendolyn “We
Real Cool”
Individual
Quest
Daily/Family
Life
• ID--Dickinson,
Emily “I’m Nobody!
Who Are You?”*
• ID--Frost, Robert
“Stopping by
Woods…”
• W. Carlos Williams
“This is just to say”
• Chasin, Helen “The
Word Plum”
• Hayden, Robert
“Those Winter
Sunday”
Poetry I: Identity, Lyric & Tone
Q.1-2: With what tone, sound and
images?
“We Real Cool”
“Those Winter
Sundays”
“Stopping By
Woods”
• Short lines w. stresses & pauses
• Repetition showing regret
• Soft-spoken and rhythmic; repetition
“I’m Nobody…”
• Soft-spoken, secretive
“This is Just to
Say”
• Casual, intimate
“The Word Plum”
• Pleasure w/ a variety of sounds
Poetry II: Nature and Love
Q 2: How is nature/love presented,
and for what purposes?
Love
Nature
• “On Her Loving Two
Equally”
• “A Red, Red Rose”
• “Marks”
• “I Wandered Lonely
as a Cloud”
• “A Noiseless Patient
Spider”
• “Wild Geese”
Poetry II: Diction & Figurative
Language
Q 2-2. With what poetic language?
Metaphor
Repetition,
Ambiguity and
Twisted Syntax
Simile
Imagery
• Linda Pastan “Marks”
• Whitman “A Noiseless Patient
Spider”
• Behn, Aphra “On Her Loving Two
Equally”
• Burns, Robert “A Red, Red Rose”
• Wordsworth “I Wandered Lonely
as a Cloud”
• Mary Oliver “Wild Geese”
You Be the
Critics
To Analyze and
Compare …
1) G3 Hughes, Langston
“Harlem”
2) G5/G7 Dickinson, Emily
“Because I could not stop for
Death---”
3) G4/G2 Thomas, Dylan “Do
Not Go Gentle into That
Goodnight”
4) G9 Auden “Stop all the clocks,
cut off the telephone”
5) G 8/G10 How is death viewed
differently by Dickinson and
Thomas? And why?
6) G 6/G12 Unit 1 Question
7) G 1/G11 Unit 2 Question
Poetry and its Contexts
• “Human” (Universal) Context – with
themes of life and death, love and
family relations
• Social and Historic Contexts
• Artistic Contexts --
General Questions
• Society – How does poetry offer its
social criticism?
How do you divide life into different
stages? Are we always losing or gaining?
• Death – What do you think/feel about
death? What do you think you will feel
when you die? Why do poets write about
death?
The Sick Rose
Image source
Its symbolic meanings?
Conveyed through line and sound arrangement?
The Sick Rose = symbolic
meanings
O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:
Rose = as a symbol not of
love, but of violated
beauty
Worm in the howling
storm = from Nature, or a
sinister lover?
Has found out thy bed
Bed of crimson joy =
Of crimson joy:
welcoming?
And his dark secret love Love = destructive
Does thy life destroy.
Iambic (﹀/) -- suggest
Trochaic (/ ﹀) -- double
Dactylic (/ ﹀﹀) -- credible
Anapaestic (﹀﹀/) – at recess; spondee, spondaic
The Sick Rose: sound & sense
O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:
O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
Harlem
Image and info. source
Langston Hughes “Harlem”
14
• What words and images promote the
theme “frustration with self-fulfillment”
in this poem?
• How do the sound patterns and format
contribute to the “dream” state of this
poem?
• American Dream: This poem is about
the speaker's individual dream and
about the American dream. What is
the American Dream? What is the
dream that is deferred? (note: Harlem)
• Why do you think the poem consists
mostly of questions? What is the effect
of the many questions?
"Harlem" 1951
What happens to a dream
deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore –
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over –
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
(video clip; a lecture)
Image source
Harlem Renaissance
• During the 1920s-1930’s, the flourishing
of African-American literature, art, music,
dance, and social commentary.
Langston Hughes was part of this
movement. (video clip)
• http://www.nku.edu/~diesmanj/harlem_intro.html
• http://www.fatherryan.org/harlemrenaissance/
"Harlem" 1951
• American Dream: Afro-Americans did not go to the
U.S. with an American dream, as did some other
immigrants. However, especially since Harlem
Renaissance, they do have their dreams for
equality (educational, economic and social equality)
if not of success. The dream, however, has been
deferred, at the time when Hughes wrote the poem,
and probably even till now.
•
(For your reference) Moments of hope: Emancipation and
Reconstruction, the Great Migration, integration and voter registration
( ghettos and New Orleans), Black Studies ( reduced) and Equal
Opportunity (Affirmative Action backlash).
• Rhetoric questions: call for a “yes” response
• development of the similes –
•
•
1) inedible food (grape & meat) vs. the apparently edible;
(work) vs. physical wound & mental/physical burden.
2) the round: from food, to candy, balloon, to bomb.
Emily Dickinson
Because I could not stop for
Death
Because I could not stop for Death-He kindly stopped for me-The carriage held but just ourselves-And Immortality.
We slowly drove--he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For His Civility–
Personified as a
gentleman
Symbolic of
1.Learning
2.Harvesting
We passed the school, where children strove 3. aging
At Recess--in the Ring-We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain-We passed the Setting Sun--
Because I could not stop for Death
Or rather--he passed Us-The Dews grew quivering and chill-For only Gossamer my Gown-My Tippet--only Tulle (薄紗)--
personified
We paused before a House that seemed
Extended metaphor
A Swelling of the Ground-The Roof was scarcely visible–
The Cornice(簷口)--in the Ground-Since then-- 'tis Centuries--and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity-gossamer: very light, thin cloth; 絲
tulle: a thin, fine netting used for veils, scarfs,薄紗
tippet: covering for the shoulders 披肩
Extended metaphor:
life after death as a
journey
Discussion Questions
•1. Death: How is the personified Death characterized? Why is
he associated with “gentle” and “Civility”? Is this the way we
envision death?
•2. “I”: How does the speaker look at this trip to death? Is “she”
willing to go on this trip? Is she ready? What does she look at?
Are these elements you find easy to say good-bye to?
•3. The Objects in Life: What tone does the speaker use to
describe this journey? Is there any change in her tone? Is the
poem read very slowly or swiftly? Softly or with force and
energy? Is there irony in the contrast between her passivity
and inactivity in the coach and the energetic activities of
human lives and nature?
•4. Destination: A House? Meaning? Eternity?
Scanning “Because I could not stop for
Death”
Because I could not stop for Death-He kindly stopped for me-The carriage held but just ourselves-And Immortality.
Tetrameter
Trimeter
The others:
pentameter, bimeter…
We slowly drove--he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For His Civility–
Iambic (﹀/) -- suggest
Trochaic (/ ﹀) -- double
Dactylic (/ ﹀﹀) -- credible
We passed the school, where children strove
Anapaestic (﹀﹀/) – at recess
At Recess--in the Ring-We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain-We passed the Setting Sun--
Because I could not stop for Death
Or rather--he passed Us-The Dews grew quivering and chill-For only Gossamer my Gown-My Tippet--only Tulle (薄紗)-We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground-The Roof was scarcely visible-The Cornice--in the Ground-Since then-- 'tis Centuries--and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity--
More Questions for you …
• Where do you find the rhythm irregular? Why so?
• There are two switches in the speaker’s ideas:
– 1) from “passing” different objects in life to being “passed”
over by the Sun,
– 2) from her use of the past tense, to the present tense
(“Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each/Feels shorter than
the day”). What do these two switches suggest about the
journey to/of death?
• There are different versions to this poem. In another
version, all the dashes (--) are replaced by either
comma or period. Which version do you prefer?
What could the dashes mean?
Because I could not stop for Death
• Reluctance about death; Death (or what comes after
death) is hard to know.
• Main Ideas:
– The speaker is missing the life she has to leave
behind;
– The world after death is cold, lonely and boring.
– She realizes what eternity is only centuries later, but
this eternity (the life behind time) seems quite bland
and uneventful.
• Sound and Sense:
– The regularity of the poem suggests her apparent
readiness to go with death, while the pauses reflect
her uncertainty and hesitation about the ideas she is
to present.
Dylan Thomas
Do not go gentle into that good
night
sleep/restful death; metaphor
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Accepting death
Creates no impact
regret
Do not go gentle into that good night
(2)
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rush thru’ life wildly
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Do not go gentle into that good night
Questions
1. Speaker, Tone and Main Idea:
-- Who is the speaker speaking to? What is his main
message? How would you describe his tone?
-- How does the speaker try to explain that there is a
need to "burn and rave" at old age? What does he say
that wise men, good men, wild men and grave men do?
2. Language and Metaphor:
-- If we further examine the examples the speaker give,
we will find that the four kinds of men stay active and
passionate at their old age for different reasons: what
are they?
3. Pattern and Overall Meaning:
-- How is the speaker’s idea developed? What is view
of life presented?
-- Do you find the poem passionate or hiding a great
sense of futility?
Response Patterns
wise
men
know dark is
right
Because their words had
forked no lightning
good
men
crying
wild
men
learn too late,
they grieved
it[the sun] on
its way
see with
blinding sight
how bright /Their frail deeds
might have danced in a
green bay
caught and sang the sun in
flight
grave
men
Blind eyes could blaze like
meteors and be gay
Wise Men, Good Men, Wild Man
and Grave Man
Stanzas 2 and 3 deal with men who have failed to
achieve the ends they "have aimed at.
-- "Because their words had forked no lightning" (5)
-- “because their "frail deeds" never "danced" (8).
Stanzas 4 and 5 deal with men who have achieved
their aims, but either regret their success or is losing
it.
-- "Wild men," in their hedonist actions, regret "they
grieved it on its way" (10-11).
--"Grave men," who may have spent their lives in the
gloomy contemplation of life's sorrows, see the
possibility of “gaiety“ (“blaze like meteors and be
gay”) with blinding sight (about to lose it).
Father and Son:
use of oxymoron
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I
pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night. 
power
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 
futility
Dylan Thomas
• Born in Wales. Wrote several poems on
his birthdays which are to do with death.
E.g. “THE FORCE THAT THROUGH
THE GREEN FUSE DRIVES THE
FLOWER”
• Thomas: under strong influence of his
father.
• "the only person I can't show the little
enclosed poem to is, of course, my
father, who doesn't know he's dying"
(Letters 359)
Dylan Thomas’s Father
David John, known as D. J. According to biographer Paul
Ferris, D.J. was
1."an unhappy man... a man with regrets" (27); born with brains
and literary talent, his ambition was to be a man of letters, but
he was never able to advance beyond being "a sardonic
provincial schoolmaster" in South Wales, feared for his sharp
tongue (26-33).
2.After his first serious illness, though--cancer in 1933--"A
mellowing is said to have been noticeable soon after; his
sarcasm was not so sharp; he was a changed man" (104). As
he grew more chronically ill in the 40's, mostly from heart
disease and with one of the complications being trouble with his
sight, the mellowing intensified: As Ferris puts it, "It must have
been [D. J.'s] backbone of angry dignity that his son grieved to
see breaking long after, when he wrote 'Do not go gentle into
that good night'" (27), and the poem is "an exhortation to his
father, a plea for him to die with anger, not humility" (259).
(MARC D. CYR, DYLAN THOMAS'S "DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT
GOOD NIGHT": THROUGH "LAPIS LAZULI" TO KING LEAR” )
Literary Techniques (4): Poetic Form—
Villanelle
A chiefly French verse form running on two
rhymes and consisting typically of five tercets
and a quatrain in which the first and third lines of
the opening tercet recur alternately at the end of
the other tercets and together as the last two
lines of the quatrain. –line 1 = 6, 12, 18; line 3 =
line 9, 15, 19.
一種源自法國的兩韻詩(由五個三聯句(tercet)及一
個四行詩(quatrain)組成;開頭三聯句的第一、三
行輪流出現於其他三聯句的最後一行、再一起出
現為四行詩的結尾兩行)。
two rhyming sounds: aba aba aba aba aba
abaa.
Literary Techniques (4): Poetic Form—
Villanelle
The beauty of villanelle –
". . . the form [of villanelle] has remarkable unity of
structure. The echoing and reechoing of the refrains give
the villanelle a plaintive, delicate beauty that some poets
find irresistible."
Difficulties of villanelle –
"Since it has only two rhymed endings, the poem can
easily become monotonous. The risks of monotony is
increased by the incessant appearance of the refrains
that constitute eight of the poems' nineteen lines -- nearly
half of the poem. This skilled author of the villanelle,
thus, is careful to achieve the maximum tonal range and
to fit the refrains lines as naturally as possible into the
logic of the poem" (The Heath Guide to Literature
637) How do the two poems we read use the form of
villanelle to enrich their meanings and avoid monotony?
Sound & Sense -- Do not go
gentle into that good night
spondee
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
command
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
action
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Scanning -- Do not go
gentle into that good night (2)
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Questions for you …
• What would you say to an aging elderly
(relative or parent) if they are fading into the
sunset?
• Would you be able to categorize yourself as a
wise man, good man, wild man and grave man?
Or which would you aspire to be?
• After reading two poems about death, which
attitude would you possibly take if you were to
face death? Or with the awareness of its
inevitability, would you cherish life more and in
what ways?
Stop all the clocks, cut off
the telephone
Image source
Questions for Discussion
• To whom or what do you imagine the speaker of this
poem is speaking? What's the significance or effect
of the poet's use of the language of command or
entreaty (Do this; do that.)?
• What's the significance or effect of the way the poet
mixes references to telephones, airplanes, and traffic
policemen with references to stars, the moon, and
the ocean? Of the way the poet moves from more
concrete images from everyday life to more abstract
and traditionally poetic ones?
• What's the significance or effect of the regular rhyme
scheme?
41
Norton
Stop all the clocks, cut off
the telephone W. H. Auden
• Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public
doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
Four Weddings and a Funeral
- "Funeral Blues"
Stop all the clocks, cut off
the telephone (cont’d)
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Moment of Sadness
• One can be totally immersed in sadness,
so that s/he commands all to stop and
to mourn for his/her dead lover.
• On the other hand, there are ways to
put death in its context of life, and for us
to survive this overwhelming moment of
sadness.
Alanis Morissette: Ironic
• ironies of life and death:won the lottery and died the
next day; a death row pardon two minutes too late;
Mr. Play It Safe
• Twists and turns in life: you think everything's okay
and everything's going right/ (the other way around)
•  the unfortunate?
• the unlucky: a black fly in your Chardonnay; rain on
your wedding day; A traffic jam when you're already
late
• the funny coincidence: free ride already paid;
• Which do you think matters for you?
• Lyrics
• A comedian’s comment: she just mourns over
some unfortunate things.
Your Responses?
1. A good laugh.
2. The comedian gives a “literal” definition of
“irony,” while Morissette describes the
situations which one does not expect and
can not help—situational irony, or the irony
of fate.
Literary Techniques (5): Irony
Irony involves a contradiction. "In general, irony is
the perception of a clash between appearance
and reality, between seems and is, or between
ought and is" (Harper Handbook).
• Verbal irony: --"Saying something contrary to
what it means"
• "Oh, how lucky we are to have SO MANY online
materials offered by the Introduction to Literature
class!" you said.”
• Dramatic irony: "saying or doing something
while being unaware of its ironic contrast with
the whole truth.
• Situational irony: "events turning to the
opposite of what is expected or what should
be.
Review & Conclusion
Form
Content
Free Verse
Villanelle
Life and its constraints
“Do Not Go Gentle…”
One Sentence poem
“The Sick Rose”
Death
“Do Not Go Gentle…”
“Because I could not”
“Stop all the Clocks”
Society
“The Sick Rose”
Poetry 4: Arts and Modern Society
Creative Adaptations
Example (1) “Do Not Go Gentle”,
(2) American Icons: Because I Could Not Stop for Death
• Williams, William Carlos “The Dance” (p.
1106)
• Auden W. H. “Musee des Beaux Arts” (p.
1075) *
• Stevens, Wallace “Anecdote of the Jar ”
(p. 1102) *
• Pound, Ezra. “In the Station of a Metro”
(p. 1102) *
W. H. Auden (1907–1973)
Norton
50
Musée des Beaux Arts
51
Norton
Recommended
Analysis
•Literary Analysis: Writing an Essay
•English Matters: the SPIDER approach to poetry
(Scenario/Surface-Purpose-Imagery (language picture)Diction-Economy-Rhythm and Rhyme)
•Lit. Analysis of Poetry - Because I Could Not Stop
For Death by Dickinson
Creative Adaptations
•(1) “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”
•(2) American Icons: Because I Could Not Stop for
Death
Descargar

Poetry 3: Life and Death