The Pleasure of Words• No one knows the exact origin of poetry• It has existed ever since humans discovered the pleasure of language• Ancient chants/Religious ceremonies• Poetry has been associated with what has mattered MOST to people• What makes poetry valuable?
What is a poem?• How define what IS a poem and what IS NOT a poem?• Poetry resists definitions!• Why?
1.) LISTEN to the POEM• In the beginning, listen to the poem by reading aloud or hearing another read aloud.• Don’t worry about analyzing it yet.• Use the same techniques you would use to listen to a song.• Pay attention to what you find pleasurable.• Pay attention to what you find grating.• Experience the language.
Marge Piercy’s “The Secretary Chant” p. 744• What is your response to the poem?• What did you enjoy?• What did you not enjoy?
2.) Read the Poem Silently• Pay attention to the punctuation.• Don’t stop at the end of every line where there is no punctuation.• Pay attention to the title.
3.) Ask Questions of the Poem• If you read RESPONSIVELY, you’ll ask questions about: • Words • Descriptions • Sounds • Structure of the poem • Voice/Tone
DISCUSS Robert Hayden’s poem p. 745• What questions can you ask of “Those Winter Sundays”? Come up with 2 questions.• What associations do you have with Winter Sundays?• What emotions do you experience in the poem?
4.) Annotate the Poem• Conduct a close reading of the poem by marking it.• Ask yourself: What happens (or does not happen) in this poem?• How do the poem’s words, images, and sounds contribute to its meaning?• How is the poem put together?• What seems to be important?
William Hathaway’s “Oh, Oh” p. 749• Example of annotation• What would you have marked that this person did not?• How does annotation help your understanding?
5.) Paraphrase the Poem• In your own words, write a paraphrase of the poem and what it is about.• This can help orient you with the whys of the poem— but it leaves room to question the hows.
Robert Francis’ “Catch,” p. 750• Re-read the poem in a group• Discuss the student essay on p. 751• How can writing about a poem help a reader?• What do you see as the challenge of writing ABOUT poetry?
6.) Understand the Voice and Mood• In a poem, the SPEAKER is the voice used by the author in the poem, like a narrator in fiction.• The speaker is often a created identity rather than the author’s actual self.• React to the overall MOOD of the poem. Is it happy? Sad? Dark? Lonely? Excited?
7.) Understand the Use of Language• Poetry has an intense and concentrated use of language.• It uses emphasis on individual words to convey meanings, experiences, emotions, and effects.• Words in poems create their own tastes, textures, sounds, and shapes.
Writing Exercise #2• Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Fish” p. 755• Using the techniques discussed with reading poetry, write a response to this poem. What did you find yourself reacting to? What descriptions are effective? How is the fish characterized? What words grabbed your attention? How would you describe the mood of the poem?
ee cummings, “l(a” p. 759• What is different about this poem?• What is the connection between what appears inside and outside the parentheses?• What does Cummings draw attention to by breaking down the words?
Poetry in Popular CultureGroup #1: p. 766Group #2: p. 767Group #3: p. 769Group #4: p. 768