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The Songs of Ourselves Anthology by Thomas Vanderstichele


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The Songs of Ourselves Anthology by Thomas Vanderstichele

  1. 1. The Songs of Ourselves Anthology‘The Interesting ones’‘A Different History’Language‘Great pan is not dead he simply emigrated to India’- bathos, hints at irony, polytheismdriven out by monotheism (Christianity and Judaism)‘here the Gods roam freely disguised as snakes or monkeys’-bathos, appears to celebrateculture, undercut/ridiculous‘every tree is sacred’-idolatry, slavish deference towards religion, the individual is lost,absurdity of venerating something inanimate‘you must learn to turn the pages gently’-slavish deference,‘Soul has been cropped’- contrast between what is tangible and intangible , loss of spiritualidentity, soul is where our inner self is hidden, cropped suggests fitted for purpose and whatis unwanted has been removed‘scythe swooping out of the conqueror’s face’- reference to grim reaper, nightmarish quality‘scythe’ – used as a harvesting tool, harvest has been reaped, they have been cared for andnourished and then cut down, ‘swooping’- fast deft movement, sudden and unexpected,‘conqueror’s face’- not a faceless army, malign intent, genocide, conqueror is humanisedsuggests that previously there was kindness but out of that kindness comes the violenceRepetition of sin-irony, absurdity, amused, poking fun at primitismStructureBipartite structure- represents divided heritage, thematic concern of division, clear split inmoodEnjambment- lineation and versification creates juxtapositionMoodPoking fun, comic, irony, dark, cruel, amused detachment and exasperationMessageCritique of culture, empowered to criticise by familiarityObserving ParadoxDeclaring love for English languageLanguage and religion are tools of imperialismEffectRhetorical Questions-ambiguous in intentThought provoking
  2. 2. ‘Continuum’Language‘get off to sleep or the subject or the planet’- zeugma (use of verb to apply to differentnouns) trying to write a poem, changes his mind in the process of thinking, imitating train ofthought, disjointed‘barefoot’-humorous, playful word choice, more vivid, urgency of escapeAlliteration of ‘p’-coherent impression of landscape,‘washed out creation’‘dusted (query)’- moonlight given quality of a solid, sparkling with light, artistic icy sugar,describes how clouds are illuminate ‘query’- questions his precision in writing a poem‘one’s mine the others an adversary’-paranoid, self-doubt, approaches his own poetic insightin a critical way‘bare’-idiomatic, annoyance, frustration‘cringing demiurge’- incongruous word choice ‘cringing’, slave to his own imagination, powerof creation but is bound to it, desire to leave author out and be undisturbedMoodAgitated, restless, struggling to write‘Horses’Adulthood Description‘lumbering’- ponderous in movement, clumsy , not a flattering description, size conveyed‘bare’-boring, bland, colourless, desolate- adulthood-loss of imagination and creativitydescriptions amount to uninspiring word choice‘black field’-dark, dull colour, boring description of romantic landscape‘crystalline’- fragile, insubstantialChildhood Description‘terrible’ and ‘wild’-mysterious fascination, savage, feral‘magic power’- spell is cast that takes him back to his childhood‘pistons in an ancient mill’-industrial image, contrast between machinery and natural horses,suggests speed, power and durability of horses, something from a by-gone age‘conquering’ and ‘marched’- metaphor, characterised as victorious soldiers, invading, heroic,majesty, courage, pride, hero-admiration, victorious army, awe and wonder‘seraphim of gold’ and ‘ecstatic monsters’ contrast between angelic image and hellish figure,ambivalence of child‘bossy’- shield/decorated metalwork‘gigantic’- hyperbole, large to suggest epic proportions of horses‘apocalyptic light’- horses of the apocalypse, wild, fearsome, religious allusions, retributionand fearsome power
  3. 3. Elegiac ToneElegiac tone- sense of loss , irrevocable loss of imagination and creativity, ode to ruralupbringing and childhoodTonal shift excitement to elegiac toneStructureIambic pentameter elevates subject matterRhyming couplets couldrepresent the furrows the horse make ploughing the field‘Pike’Language‘Perfect pike in all parts’- alliteration corresponds to design of pike, suggests cohesion,alliteration binds the words together in a fitting way just as the parts of the pike are boundtogether to create something perfect‘green tigering the gold’- attributes of a tiger, predator, majestic , regal, alliteration linkscolours- semantic relationship‘killers from the egg’- born with a natural killer instinct, savagery, endowed to kill, predators,assassins‘Hooked clamp’-metallic jaw, machine, the perfection of machinery is emulated in the jaw ofthe Pike, threatening and violent image‘Kneading quietly’- tactile imagery, metronomic, expanding and contracting‘malevolent aged grin’-wicked, evil, sadistic, evil intent, disturbing‘silhouette of submarine’- machine, sibilance, sinister, insidious nature‘delicacy and horror’- incongruous juxtaposition suggest the dual nature of a pike‘sag belly’-gluttonous, unattractive‘vice locks’- nature of pike encompassed in its stare, detached, cold ,emotionless‘logged’-stuck, motionless, immobile, patience, waiting in ambushStructureRepeating structure, no real changesLong and unchanging- represents pike in some waysMoodSinister, violent and horrorMessageFear product of imagination
  4. 4. ‘A Birthday’IntroductionPoem records emotional transformation, investment coming to fruitionAll events before this have been insignificant compared to her future, she has been rebornhence a birth dayFigurative languageSpontaneous overflow of emotion-new dawn‘singing bird’-new dawn, spiritual prosperity, satisfaction, contentmentWatered shoot’-sustenance for life, auspicious beginnings, contentment, satisfaction‘thickset fruit’-riches, new beginnings, investment coming to fruition‘paddles’ –childlike, gleeful, carefree and playfulOrnate sensory language‘silk and down’-different textures, exotic, expensive‘Vair and purple dyes’- purple, visual, image, royalty‘gold, silver’-costly metals, wealth,Furnishing of one’s soul, devout Christian –worthy of worship of GodForm and structureIambic tetrameter-simplicity, carefree, songlike, devotional poemAnaphora of ‘my heart’-emphasis on happiness, emotive, builds momentum, builds toclimax, unable to contain her happiness, struggling to describe feelingsTrochaic Substitution in second stanza- assertive, almost aggressive nature of imperatives,inspirational, empowered, authorityReligious Imagery‘dais’- altar, public occasion, rite of passage (Christina Rossetti was Anglican –all importantoccasions in one’s life occurred at an altar- christening, communion, marriage and funeral-marks this occasion as important‘doves’-symbol of peace, Holy spirit, God’s grace‘pomegranates’-sacrifice of Christ‘rainbow’-renewing promise to God, hope, variety of colours-beauty‘peacocks with a hundred eyes’- symbol of the all-seeing God, majesty, royalty, associatedwith the Goddess Juno-Queen of the GodsOthersContrast between the two stanzas: 1.) natural/ everyday images 2.) ornate imagery, rare andexpensive items, imperative tone, diction is more ornate, trumpeting news, rhetoricaladdress
  5. 5. ’Sonnet: Composed on Westminster Bridge’LanguageOpening line- bold and assertive claim, directness, certainty, ‘dull would he be of soul’,surprising to assert that an urban landscape is more beautiful than a rural one, especiallyconsidering that Wordsworth is a poet renowned for celebrating the beauty of the naturalworld‘majesty’-prestige, grandeur, royalty, seat of power‘like a garment wear the beauty of the morning’- simile, royal person king/queen, idea ofborrowed beauty conveyed (Macbeth-‘ why do you dress me in borrowed robes?’),superficial beaut, the beauty is temporary in the morning, morning is lending the citybeauty, idea of royal figure, lavish garment, elegant robe, ambivalent image-misleading/beguiling‘Silent, bare’-reflective, thoughtful, calm before bustle, city is holding its breath, frank,candid, honestList of buildings- words piled up onto the horizon, cover a single line , variety of buildingsconveyed, abundance, accumulation, catalogues features of landscape, impressive buildings‘Open unto the fields and sky’- empty spaces, expansive, pastoral poem about a city, city isidyllic, rural and natural,‘bright and glittering’- vivid visual image, ambivalent connotations- deceptive appearances,‘smokeless’-clean, pure but implies that there usually is smoke and that the lack of smoke iswhat makes it beautiful, serves as reminder of our expectations‘Steep’- light is like a liquid, given light a limpid quality,‘glideth’- archaic diction, leisurely calm, peaceful mood‘mighty heart’-the city is the core, the centre, powering nucleus, powerful, awesome‘lying still’- verb lie conveys rest, stasis, current appearance belies its true nature, deceptivenature of appearancesStructurePetrarchan Sonnet-short, punchy, compact, concise, single stanza form, capturing asnapshot of LondonSestet and Octet both begin with assertions-emphatic, conviction, controversial, wantspeople to be incredulousFleeting, transient momentMoodAwe and wonderHushed effect-sibilanceMessageDeceptive nature of appearancesPersonification suggests that the city is a living entity