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Adam’s Curse

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  • Summer – Connotation maturity and knowledge Hinting perhaps at the maturity and knowledge of the discussion, or perhaps placing conversation in an eden like setting.End – Loss of innocence? End of eden?Beauty – introduced with the womanEuphony of “W” “er” sounds. Creates scene of serenity
  • You and I, leaves close friend on line above, and places Maud next to him.Polysyndeton – helps create flowing nature of poem.Poetry is not easy to produce, contrary to popular belief, the maybe adds a certain uncertainty Ties in with how life becomes arduous after the fall of adam. In terms of writing poetry.Dialogue – makes characters more realistic, able to envision the scene better.
  • Poetry must sound natural, despite taking hours to think of proper words. poem is metapoetic, poetry about poetryCommon for people to assume that inspiration just attacks an artist and he/she can paint beautyMetaphor of writing a poem to stitching and unstitching, like weaving. The arduous task of weaving is often overlooked, perhaps telling of how the arduous task of poetry is often overlooked.
  • The mental effort of writing a poem far outreaches that of any physical laborSlightly Chauvinistic as he is talking to women in the poem,Use of Cacophanic sounds perhaps to portray his bitterness over the lack of credit attributed to his effortBreaking Stones is mechanical, swing hammer up and down, this is truly what is arbitrary or pointless, not poetry. (can be done my machines)
  • Perhaps questioning what any old pauper could understand about the writing of poetry, condescending criticism of society. labor of humanity after the fall of adam.Returns to euphony as he speaks of his poetry againAlliteration of Sweet Sounds, emphasis on the words describing his poetry. Perhaps like composing music
  • Rearticulates his point Enjambment builds suspenseThought has the connotation that they are wrong.Must work hard, put in hours of labor, and then appear to be an idler, paradox of poetry.The noisy set – people conventionally communicate through noise, perhaps yeats views society as barbaric in it’s non appreciation of his work noisy is not a sophisticated word, perhaps to relate to our unsophistication.
  • Bankers -> moneySchoolmasters -> edcatuionClergymen -> religionMajority of importance in life is placed upon these things.Tone of bitterness, he states it as another person’s opinion, showing his strong belief in the subject.
  • Euphony followed by Cacophony, perhaps showing his conflict in both loving and being heartbroken by this woman.Fairly simple vocabulary but beautiful in its simplicity, telling of Yeats’ poet’s paradox.Lack of punctuation, flowing, telling of swiftness of her reply perhaps?Shows that many men may have tried to woo this “beautiful mild woman”
  • Euphony of sweet and low, truly placing emphasis on her beauty.Dialogue, makes situation more realistic, easier to relate, easy to picture.Seems to refute Yeats’ hypothesis, stating that women also understand the arduous task of creating beauty.
  • Perhaps playing off Yeats’ earlier mention of schoolmasters?The effort women put into beauty is often overlooked by “they”Thematic line, we must labour to be beautiful.
  • Since Adam’s fall mankind has been given a greater burden of laborSyntax, placed so that rhyme works.Enjambment, places emphasis on Adam’s fallAllusion to the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of EdenUse of Dialogue, makes the text more relatable
  • The lover’s who thought love, would always have “high courtesy” and that it should be very courteous, polite and kind with no mishaps or bad things, but when in reality love can be very difficult to maintain and that u must work for it to last; hence Adam’s Curse and that everything revolves around laborConnotation of thought – Thought implies that they do not know, that they are wrong.Love is “perfect” in the media these days, archetypal love story of guy and girl meeting and then slowly falling in love and then there is a singular conflict which they resolve after one of them dramatically rushes to the other who is about to leave permanently.Yeats asserts that love is not as simple as “love at first sight” it comprises a lot more emotions and disappointment.Biographical Criticism - Perhaps bitter over Maud Gonne’s constant rejection of him, (three times already)
  • Since love works through laboring, he’s saying that “lovers” would have to learn about love through precedents of old books, and they would learn and quote the looks. You have to learn how to “love”. Jamie’s Interpretation:Yeats’ believes that love for these lovers has become something mechanic, they know exactly what to say, when to sigh, how to look when they are in love.Alliteration of Learned Looks, emphasis on how the looks are “studied” well known.Learn how to love from old books, but it becomes cliché.Learned and Books -> plays in with scholarly aspect of the matter, as if to say Love were a subject that could be studied.
  • The last line of the 3rd stanza, and the first line of the 4th stanza both have no rhyming couplets, which follows the flow of the rest of the poem because usually the last 2 lines of a stanza doesn’t have a rhyming couplet, however in this case its just he last line of the 3rd and the first line of the 4th, so there’s some consistency and organization to his poem.The last line of the 3rd stanza is where the quote ends and the speaker stops talking.The first line of the 4th stanza sets in some imagery for the reader, when the poet describes what they are doing, and how they grew quiet in the “name of love”. Being in “love” seemed to be very rare & sacred, so they were having a moment of silent to take it all in, and to not interrupt it anymore then they already have. Idle -> used earlier to describe poetry, to illustrate society’s lack of understanding at the daunting task of love.Perhaps they finally settle on something that is agreeable to them/they can all relate, that Love is truly as difficultBiographical Criticism – could be a touchy subject, Maud already knows that Yeats loves her, could be a silence of awkwardness -> also shows complications of loving someone further, what happens if someone does not love you the same way.
  • Near rhyme between die and skyThere’s some more imagery in the next two lines; The three friends sat together quietly watching the sun die down as it was getting darker, hence the background.The connotation of the word ember is a glowing piece of coal or wood and it’s usually hot; this depicts a lot about the setting of where they are at, for example the last light of the daylight must be very bright even as they die down, and the heat of the light. Use of personification with the word “trembling” the signifies the color of the sky and the image of the sky being shaky and imperfect, the colors give me imagery. Jamie:End of the daylight -> symbolizes in this context perhaps the end of their conversation. Yeats states in the beginning that they are at summer’s end Summer -> Eden, Eden’s end, realization of good and evil? Story of Eden, god made man and woman aware of pains of life ie: childbirth etc. They have effectively bitten from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, realized the difficult task of life.Alliteration of Daylight Die: emphasis on the timing of the day, significant.Personification of Sky: Skies cannot tremble, creates imagery of scene.
  • Washed by time’s water; the fact that he’s been living his life loving one person (Maud Gonne) and that he’s ran out of time with her, since this poem was written after her marriage with John Macbride; his love for her was “washed” away by time, since she got married. Simile of moon to a shell that has been worn down by the ocean. Euphony of Moon and Worn, perhaps illustrating gentle nature of the moon the light merely illuminates, there is no scorching or burning, it is just light.Time’s Water: metaphor of time to water, wearing down the moon, slightly depressing.
  • More connation to time with the words days and years, the stars breaking into the sky; depicting more imagery Next Stanza; even after he ran out of time with her; he only thought of her, and listened to herLabors for her (Maude Gonne’s) love. Jamie:Passing of time, Moon = symbol of their love, Moon is inconsistent, not always there like the stars, sometimes its full, sometimes its crescent, sometimes it isn’t there at all.
  • Appearance VS. Reality
  • Iambic pentameter -> closest to how people normally speak, makes the poem seem as if it were a “moment’s thought” however as shown by the line by line literary analysis there is much significance and likely hours of thought placed into it’s writing.Rhyme Scheme -> Rhyme Scheme provides sense of organization, clarity of thoughtPoem fluctuates between End stopped lines and Enjambment, end stopped lines generally portray a happier scene, enjambment portrays a less content subject.

Transcript

  • 1. Adam’s Curse
    By: AnjanaKokar& Jamie Lee
  • 2. The Garden of Eden
    Adam & Eve live in garden of Eden
    No knowledge of good and evil
    One tree they cannot eat from (Tree of knowledge of good and evil)
    Devil in form of serpent tempts Eve to eat from the Tree
    Eve tricks Adam into eating from the Tree
    God punishes them “for the woman, pain in childbirth and subordination to man, and, for the man, relegation to an accursed ground with which he must toil and sweat for his subsistence.”
  • 3. Overview
    Difficulty of creating beauty
    Perhaps lack of understanding on part of society of a poet’s plight in expression.
    Expressing Love to Maud Gonne
    Laboriousness of Life
    Appearance vs. Reality
    Condescending, accusatory of society, longing, reflective, depressing.
    Characters: Yeats, anonymous friend, friend of anonymous friend (one of whom may be Maud Gonne)
  • 4. Read Through
    We sat together at one summer’s end,
    That beautiful mild women, your close friend,
    And you and I, and talked of poetry.
    I said, “A line will take us hours maybe;
    Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,
    Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
    Better go down upon your marrow-bones
    And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
    Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;
    For to articulate sweet sounds together
    Is to work harder than all these, and yet
    Be thought an idler by noisy set
    Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen
    The martyrs call the world.”
    I said, “It’s certain there is no fine thing
    Since Adam’s fall but needs much laboring.
    There have been lovers who thought love should be
    So much compounded of high courtesy
    That they would sigh and quote with learned looks
    Precedents out of beautiful old books;
    Yet now it seems an idle trade enough.”
    1.
    Talk of Poetry
    We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
    We saw the last embers of daylight die,
    And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
    A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
    Washed by time’s waters as they rose and fell
    About the stars and broke in days and years.
    3. Talk of love
    And thereupon
    That beautiful mild women for whose sake
    There’s many a one shall find all heartache
    On finding that her voice is sweet and low
    Replied, “To be born women is to know –
    Although they do not talk of it at school –
    That we must labor to be beautiful.”
    I had a thought for no one’s but your ears;
    That you were beautiful, and that I strove
    To love you in the old high way of love;
    That it had all seemed happy, and yet we’d grown
    As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.
    2. Talk of Beauty
  • 5. Close Read Through
    We sat together at one summer’s end,
    • That beautiful mild woman, your close friend,
  • And you and I, and talked of poetry.
    • I said, “A line will take us hours maybe;
  • Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,
    • Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
  • Better go down upon your marrow-bones
    • And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
  • Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;
    For to articulate sweet sounds together
  • 6. Is to work harder than all of these, and yet
    Be thought an idler by the noisy set
  • 7. Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen
    The martyrs call the world.”
  • 8. And Thereupon That beautifulmildwoman for whose sake
    There’s many a one shall find out all heartache
  • 9. On finding that her voice is sweet and low
    Replied, “To be born woman is to know --
  • 10. Although they do not talk of it at school –
    That we must labour to be beautiful.”
  • 11. I said, “It’s certain there is no fine thing
    Since Adam’s fall but needs much laboring.
  • 12. There have been lovers who thought love should be
    So much compounded of high courtesy
  • 13. That they would sigh and quote with learned looks
    Precedents out of beautiful old books;
  • 14. Yet now it seems an idle trade enough.”
    We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
  • 15. We saw the last embers of daylight die
    And the trembling blue green of the sky
  • 16. A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
    Washed by time’s water as they rose and fell
  • 17. About the stars and broke in days and years.
    I had a thought for no one’s but your ears:
  • 18. That you were beautiful, and that I strove
    To love you in the old high way of love;
  • 19. That it had all seemed happy, and yet we’d grown
    As weary-hearted as that hollow moon
  • 20. Additional Annotation
    Iambic Pentameter (seldomly breaks)
    Constant Rhyme Scheme, (breaks rhyme seldomly)
    End stopped line vs. Enjambment
    Significance of the Title
  • 21. Conclusion:
    Life is laborious and filled with strenuous tasks.
    Yeats displays a certain degree of bitterness towards women
    Adam was tricked into eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge
    Perhaps Yeats feels this as a result of his past with Maud.
  • 22. Works Cited:
    “Adam’s Curse” Yeats Poetry. Sparknotes. 2010. Web. November 7 2010.
    http://www.sparknotes.com