Textual Analysis UNIT CONTENTS• Introduction Slides 4 - 18• Structure and Form Slides 19 - 37• Storyline and Viewpoint Slides 38 - 52• Theme and Message Slides 53 - 57• Rhyme and Rhythm Slides 58 - 72• Tone, Mood and Emotion Slides 73 - 79• Using your Senses Slides 80 - 83
Textual Analysis - Introduction CONTENTS• Unit Introduction Slide 4• What is Poetry? Slide 5• Important British Poets Slides 6 - 15• Poetry and Society Slide 16• An Ever Changing Language Slides 17 - 18
Textual Analysis - Introduction Unit Introduction In this unit we will be learning how to analyse poetry. We will explore the different aspects of poetry, including structure, themes, rhyme and rhythm. We will also look at a series of different poems to show you how the skills you are learning can be put into practice. In the companion unit, ‘Analysing Imagery’, you can find lots of information about how to identify and comment on images, such as similes, metaphors and personification. Before we start looking at the examples, first we need to learn a little more about poetry itself: what it is, how it has changed over time, and how it relates to the society in which it is written.
Textual Analysis - Introduction What is Poetry? Poetry has certain characteristics that make it special. Here are a few ideas - you may be able to think of more. • Poetry uses vivid images and descriptive language to ‘paint’ a picture in the reader’s mind. • Poetry cuts out all the excess words that you might find in prose, creating its magic with a limited amount of text. • Poetry is normally designed to be read out loud - when you read it, do try to hear it as well. • Poetry often makes the reader emphasise certain important words, and it usually has a strong rhythm. • Poetry may rhyme, but it does not have to.
Textual Analysis - Introduction Important British Poets In the next series of slides you will find poems, and extracts from poems, written by some important British poets, from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century. These give just a brief sample of Britain’s long heritage of great poets. Why not try to decide which modern poets of the twentieth century also deserve a place on this list? The poets are organised in chronological order, and for each poet you are given the dates that they lived and an extract from their work. Later on in this unit we will be analysing some of these poems in greater detail.
Textual Analysis - Introduction Important British Poets As you read the poems, think about the following questions: • How does the language that the poets use change over time? • Are there any common themes between the poems, or do these change too? • Do these poets use imagery? If yes, what types of images do they use? • Which of these poems do you like most? Why? • Which of these poems do you like least? Why?
Textual Analysis - Introduction Name: Geoffrey Chaucer Dates: ?1343 - 1400 Madam Eglantine (extract) There was also a nun, a Prioress, That of her smiling was full simple and coy; Her greatest oath was but by Saint Loy; And she was clepèd Madam Eglantine. Full well she sang the service divine, Entunèd in her nose full seemely, And French she spake full fair and fetisly, After the school of Stratford-atte-Bow, For French of Paris was to her unknow.
Textual Analysis - Introduction Name: Sir Walter Ralegh Dates: ?1552 - 1618 All the World’s a Stage What is our life? A play of passion, Our mirth the music of division Our mothers’ wombs the tiring-houses be, Where we are dressed for this short comedy. Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is, That sits and marks still who doth act amiss. Our graves that hide us from the searching sun Are like drawn curtains when the play is done. Thus march we, playing, to our latest rest. Only we die in earnest, that’s no jest.
Textual Analysis - Introduction Name: John Donne Dates: 1572 - 1631 Holy Sonnets (extract) Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay? Repair me now, for now mine end doth haste; I run to death, and death meets me as fast, And all my pleasures are like yesterday. I dare not move my dim eyes any way; Despair behind, and death before doth cast Such terror, and my feebled flesh doth waste By sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh.
Textual Analysis - Introduction Name: John Milton Dates: 1608 - 1674 Paradise Lost (extract) Now came still evening on, and twilight grey Had in her sober livery all things clad; Silence accompanied, for beast and bird, They to their grassy couch, these to their nests Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale; She all night long her amorous descant sung; Silence was pleased.
Textual Analysis - Introduction Name: Alexander Pope Dates: 1688 - 1744 A Little Learning (extract) A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again. Fired at first sight with what the Muse imparts, In fearless youth we tempt the height of Arts; While from the bounded level of our mind Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind, But, more advanced, behold with strange surprise New distant scenes of endless science rise!
Textual Analysis - Introduction Name: William Blake Dates: 1757 - 1827 The Tiger (extract) Tiger! Tiger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burned the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare seize the fire?
Textual Analysis - Introduction Name: Robert Burns Dates: 1759 - 1796 Auld Lang Syne (extract) Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to min’? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne? For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne, We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, For auld lang syne.
Textual Analysis - Introduction Name: Christina Georgina Rossetti Dates: 1830 - 1894 Song (extract) When I am dead, my dearest, Sing no sad songs for me; Plant thou no roses at my head, Nor shady cypress tree: Be the green grass above me With showers and dewdrops wet; And if thou wilt, remember, And if thou wilt, forget.
Textual Analysis - Introduction Poetry and Society Throughout history, poets have commented on the society in which they live. Just as novelists write in a particular social context, so too do poets. Poetry can be a very special form of commentary, because part of its magic is that it can be read aloud. Some poets in our modern society write ‘performance poetry’, specifically designed to be heard. One of the ways in which poets can comment on their society is by choosing particular themes, such as religion or politics. We will be looking at the themes that poets choose in greater detail later on in the unit. When you analyse any piece of poetry, you should take the social context into account.
Textual Analysis - Introduction An Ever Changing Language The English language, like any language, is subject to constant change. This change is, perhaps, particularly apparent in the poetry that we write, because poetry is such a condensed form of language. If we read a piece of poetry written a long time ago, it may be difficult for us to understand the language that is used. We might not understand some of the words, because they are no longer used, or we may see a word that we know, but spelt in a very different way. There are many different reasons that language changes, and you will find some examples on the next slide.
Textual Analysis - Introduction An Ever Changing Language Why, then, do languages change? Here are two reasons. See how many more ideas you can think of. Because we need to find new words to describe new ideas and inventions. For instance, the words email Because our own language is and internet would have influenced by other cultures, been unknown, even fifty perhaps through the years ago. integration of people from around the world into our country, or by seeing examples of other cultures in the media.
Textual Analysis - Structure and Form CONTENTS• Structure Slides 20 - 27• Form Slide 28• The Limerick Slides 29 - 31• The Shakespearean Sonnet Slides 32 - 37
Structure and Form StructureWhen you look at a poem, whether in class or for anexamination or coursework essay, the first thing to explore isthe way that it is structured.Generally speaking, poems are structured in verses, andwithin the verses you may also find a specific line structure.An example of this is the Shakespearean Sonnet, which wewill be analysing further on in this section.When commenting on the structure of a poem, you shouldensure that you discuss how the structure affects the impactof the poem, and the way that it works. Let’s look brieflynow at a poetry extract to see how you might do this.
Structure and Form StructureWhen you are analysing a poem’s structure, ask yourself thefollowing questions:• The Verses (or stanzas). How many are there and howlong is each one? Are the verses all the same length or arethey different?• The Punctuation. Does each verse end with a full stop ornot? How does the punctuation affect the flow of the poem?• The Rhyme Pattern. Is there a constant rhyme pattern?Does this affect the structure and flow of the poem?• The ‘Storyline’. Does each verse contain a particular partof the story, or does it run throughout?
Structure and Form Structure The poem below has been annotated to show how it is structured. The verses each Crossing the Bar have 4 lines. Sunset and evening star, Lines 1 & 3 rhyme And one clear call for me! in every verse. And may there be no moaning of the bar, Verse one ends When I put out to sea, with a comma. Lines 2 & 4 rhyme But such a tide as moving seems asleep, in every verse. Too full for sound and foam,When that which drew from out the boundless deep Verse two ends Turns again home. with a full stop.
Structure and Form Structure Crossing the Bar (continued) Twilight and evening bell, Exclamation marks And after that the dark! are used at the And may there by no sadness of farewell, end of the second When I embark; and tenth lines. Verse three endsFor though from out our bourne of Time and Place with a semi-colon. The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face Verse four ends When I have crost the bar. with a full stop. Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892)
Structure and Form StructureOnce you have annotated the structure of the poem, youneed to think about the effects that this structure creates.The verses each have 4 linesThis creates a set rhythmic pattern, particularly in conjunctionwith the rhyme scheme. It also breaks the poem up into fourclear sections, or parts of the ‘story’. However, the impact ofthis break is lessened somewhat by the use of a comma at theend of verse one, and a semi-colon at the end of verse three.Lines 1 & 3 rhyme in every verse The use of rhyme creates an ‘end stop’, whereby the reader pauses slightly, putting emphasis on the words that rhyme.
Structure and Form StructureVerse one ends with a commaBecause there is a comma here, the reader moves onto thesecond verse with only a slight pause. If there had been a fullstop, the four lines, with a regular rhyme scheme, would havecreated a very definite ‘end’ to each verse. As it is, the reader‘flows’ into the second verse, just as the poet talks about puttingout to sea.Lines 2 & 4 rhyme in every verse Again, this creates a stop, or pause, for the reader. However, the regimented pattern is broken up by the use of punctuation as explained above.
Structure and Form StructureVerse two ends with a full stopThe full stop creates a break or divide right in the middle of thepoem. It is at this point that the poet uses the image “turns againhome”, and the full stop seems to echo this.Exclamation marks are used at the end of the secondand tenth lines Exclamation marks can be used to express surprise, or shock, or, as seems to be the case here, a kind of unwillingness to go, combined with resignation. Because they are followed by the word “and”, the exclamation marks do not denote the end of a sentence, but rather an exclamation or expression of the poet’s feelings.
Structure and Form StructureVerse three ends with a semi-colonAgain, because there is no full stop here, the reader is pulledinto the fourth verse with only a slight pause. The thought thatthe poet was expressing is continued in the last verse. Again,the image of being pulled out to sea is echoed by the flowbetween the verses.Verse four ends with a full stop The poem ends with a full stop, bringing things to a close. Although most poems do end with a full stop, here the poet uses the punctuation to echo the ‘storyline’ or themes of the poem, which is about death or ‘crossing the bar’. The poet hopes to meet God, or his “Pilot” on the other side. See the section on ‘Storyline’ for more information about this extended metaphor.
Structure and Form FormPoems come in a variety of specific forms, although not allpoets will be working within these forms, or formats. Poemsthat fall within a particular form could have a defined numberof lines, or a specific rhyme pattern. Examples of commonforms are:• The Ballad.• The Limerick.• The Haiku.• The Sonnet.On the next slides we will look at two of these forms: thelimerick and the sonnet. We will be looking at a specificform of sonnet, which is called the Shakespearean Sonnet.
Structure and Form The LimerickA limerick is a comic poem with five lines and a specific‘a / b’ rhyme scheme. Look at the example below to seehow the rhyme scheme works. The first, second and fifth lines rhyme - this There was an old lady from Wales is called rhyme ‘a’. Who loved to eat her garden snails But she felt quite unwell When she crunched on a shell The third and fourth And now she just sticks to the tails. lines rhyme - this is called rhyme ‘b’.
Structure and Form The LimerickLimericks also use a specific ‘meter’, or internal rhythm.The meter is created by the amount of syllables, and thestress that is put on certain words. Look at the examplebelow to see how this works. There was an old lady from Wales 12345678 Who loved to eat her garden snails 12345678 But she felt quite unwell 123456 When she crunched on a shell 123456 And now she just sticks to the tails. 12345678
Structure and Form The LimerickLimericks are a fun and easy form of poem to write. Have ago at creating your own limerick, using the template below. There was a young man from Dundee Who …………………………………………… But his …………………………. And he …………………………. And now ……………………………………..
Structure and Form The Shakespearean SonnetOn the next slide you will find a famous ShakespeareanSonnet. This is a form of sonnet named (obviously!) afterShakespeare, who wrote many sonnets in this particularformat. When you have seen the analysis of this sonnet,you might like to have a go at writing your ownShakespearean Sonnet.The Shakespearean sonnet has the following form:• 14 lines• Rhyme scheme: a, b, a, b, c, d, c, d, e, f, e, f, g, g• Written in iambic pentameter• Ends with a rhyming couplet
Structure and Form The Shakespearean Sonnet Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest, Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest; So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Structure and Form The Shakespearean SonnetHere is the Shakespearean Sonnet again, this timeannotated to show the rhyme scheme.Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? aThou art more lovely and more temperate: b rhymes withRough winds do shake the darling buds of May, a rhymes withAnd summer’s lease hath all too short a date: b
Structure and Form The Shakespearean SonnetSometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, cAnd often is his gold complexion dimmed; d rhymes withAnd every fair from fair sometime declines, c rhymes withBy chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed; d
Structure and Form The Shakespearean SonnetBut thy eternal summer shall not fade, eNor lose possession of that fair thou owest, f rhymes withNor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade, e rhymes withWhen in eternal lines to time thou growest; f
Structure and Form The Shakespearean SonnetSo long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, g rhymes withSo long lives this, and this gives life to thee. g This is called a ‘rhyming couplet’.
Textual Analysis - Storyline and Viewpoint CONTENTS• Storyline Slides 39 - 46• Viewpoint Slides 47 - 49• First Person Viewpoint Slide 50• Third Person Viewpoint Slide 51• Omniscient Viewpoint Slide 52
Storyline and Viewpoint StorylineIt seems strange to use the word ‘storyline’ in connectionwith poetry, but just as a novel or short story will have a plot,so too will the majority of poems.When you first read a poem, whether in class or in anexamination, you are looking for meaning. What is thispoem about, you ask yourself? Some poems are not ‘about’anything - they simply evoke a mood, or an emotion, or avivid atmosphere. But even these poems can be said tohave a ‘story’, because the poet is saying something to thereader.When you are analysing a poem, you should avoid saying itis definitely about ‘X’ or ‘Y’. Try instead to interpret itspossible meaning or meanings in your analysis.
Storyline and Viewpoint Storyline Often, the ‘story’ in a poem will work on more than one level. There could be the literal level, at which the plot or action of the poem is apparent, but there could also be one or more deeper levels of meaning. When you see a poem for the first time, take the following steps: • On your first reading, simply gain a feeling for atmosphere or emotion. Do not try to ‘make sense’ of it. • On your second reading, look to see if there is something happening in the poem. What is the poet or character doing? • On your third reading, start to look deeper. Does the poet create a metaphor? Is the poem really about something else?
Storyline and Viewpoint StorylineOn the next slides you will find the poem “Crossing the Bar”.We have already looked closely at this poem’s structure.Now we are going to explore what it is about. Consider thequestions below as you read the poem. Questions • What sort of atmosphere does the poet create in his ‘story’? How does he seem to be feeling? • What is the poem literally about? What is the ‘surface story’? • What deeper meanings might there be? Could the whole poem be an extended metaphor? If so, what does the metaphor mean? What is the poet trying to say?
Storyline and Viewpoint Storyline Crossing the Bar Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea, But such a tide as moving seems asleep, Too full for sound and foam, When that which drew from out the boundless deep Turns again home.
Storyline and Viewpoint Storyline Crossing the Bar (continued) Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark! And may there by no sadness of farewell, When I embark; For though from out our bourne of Time and Place The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crost the bar. Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892)
Storyline and Viewpoint Storyline Question • What sort of atmosphere does the poet create in his ‘story’? How does he seem to be feeling? Answer The atmosphere in this poem seems to be one of peacefulness and calm acceptance. The poet asks that there is “no moaning of the bar” and “no sadness of farewell”. The words that are used in the poem are soft, with much repetition of the letters ‘s’ and ‘f’, which creates a gentle feeling. The poet seems to be feeling positive, almost hopeful about the journey that he will be making.
Storyline and Viewpoint Storyline Question • What is the poem literally about? What is the ‘surface story’? Answer On the surface, the poem seems to be about a journey by boat. Someone, probably the poet, is preparing to set off on a journey of some sort. It is evening, as the poet talks of the “sunset and evening star”, and the “twilight and evening bell”. At the end of the poem he talks of meeting “my Pilot”. On the surface, he is making a journey to meet someone.
Storyline and Viewpoint Storyline Question • What deeper meanings might there be? Could the whole poem be an extended metaphor? If so, what does the metaphor mean? What is the poet trying to say? Answer The poem would indeed seem to be an extended metaphor. The poet seems to be talking about his journey towards death. He is going to “put out to sea” on his final voyage. The use of images of evening and coming darkness form a part of this metaphor, as they suggest the end of the day, and the end of a life. The “Pilot” that the poet talks of could be his God, whom he hopes to see “face to face”.
Storyline and Viewpoint ViewpointThe word ‘viewpoint’ describes the point of view from which apoem is written. Just as in a novel, a writer might use a firstor third person narrative, so with poetry it is important toidentify what viewpoint the poet is using.Sometimes, poets will use a real or invented character, to telltheir story, while other poems might be written from the poet’sown perspective. Some poems use a mixture of viewpoints,shifting between them in a way not possible in a novel.Poems that simply describe a place or an emotion might notuse either the first or third person narrator. When the poetwrites as though he or she is a ‘godlike’ voice, looking at theworld from ‘on high’, rather than through a person, this isknown as the omniscient viewpoint.
Storyline and Viewpoint ViewpointHere is a brief description of the three main types ofviewpoint:• First Person Viewpoint. This viewpoint is easilyidentifiable, because the writer talks directly to the reader.Look out for the words “I”, “my”, “me”, and so on.• Third Person Viewpoint. In the third person viewpoint, thepoet is slightly more distant, talking through a character.Look for the words “he”, “she”, “him”, “her”, and so on.• Omniscient Viewpoint. With this viewpoint, the poet iseven further away from the reader, and from his or hersubject. The poem written using this viewpoint mightprovide a description, without any sense of character.
Storyline and Viewpoint Viewpoint Let’s look now at examples of each of the three types of viewpoint to help you understand the different effects that they create. Remember, when you are discussing any part of a poem, it is important to say why the poet uses this technique, and the impact it has on the reader. As we have already seen, the three different viewpoints identified offer varying degrees of distance from the subject and from the reader. With the first person viewpoint, the reader tends to associate strongly with the writer, feeling what he or she is feeling and thinking what he or she is thinking. The third person and omniscient viewpoints allow us to ‘remove’ ourselves more.
Storyline and Viewpoint First Person Viewpoint The Old Stoic (extract) Riches I hold in light esteem, And Love I laugh to scorn; And lust of Fame was but a dream That vanished with the morn - And if I pray, the only prayer That moves my lips for me Is - ‘Leave the heart that now I bear, And give me liberty.’ Emily Brontë (1818 - 1848)
Storyline and Viewpoint Third Person Viewpoint The Blessed Damozel (extract) The blessed damozel leaned out From the gold bar of Heaven; Her eyes were deeper than the depth Of waters stilled at even; She had three lilies in her hand, And the stars in her hair were seven. Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 - 1882)
Storyline and Viewpoint Omniscient Viewpoint God’s Grandeur (extract) The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. Gerard Manley Hopkins (1884 - 1889)
Theme and Message Theme Poets use a huge range of themes or subjects in their work. When you are studying a piece of poetry, you may find that the theme is immediately apparent, or that you need to look deeply into the poem to decide exactly what its theme is. Often, poets will deal with more than one theme in a piece of work. For instance, a poet might deal with the themes of childhood, memories and the natural world, all within one piece of poetry. Remember, when you are analysing poetry, you must comment on the effects or images that are created, as well as simply identifying the themes.
Theme and Message ThemeThe images below symbolise three of the most commonthemes. Identify the themes that they represent. Love God / Religion Nature
Theme and Message ThemeNow look at the poetry extract below and identify whichtheme or themes the poet is dealing with. The Prince of Love (extract) The themes used are ... How sweet I roamed from field to field, And tasted all the summer’s pride, Love ‘Till I the prince of love beheld, Who in the sunny beams did glide! He showed me lilies for my hair, and ... And blushing roses for my brow; He led me through his gardens fair, Nature Where all his golden pleasures grow. William Blake (1757 - 1827)
Theme and Message MessageIn addition to using a particular theme or themes, poets willoften give the reader a message through their work. Theycould comment on something specific, such as a particularbrand of politics or a war that is taking place. They mightgive a more general message, for instance about theirreligious beliefs or their feelings about love and beauty.One example of poetry with a strong message is that writtenduring the First World War. Well known poets, such asWilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon used their poetry tocomment on the futility of the war, and to tell the people athome exactly what was going on.Again, when looking for a message in a poem, ensure thatyou comment on its effectiveness and impact.
Rhyme and Rhythm RhymeAs we have already noted, poetry does not have to rhyme.However, when you are analysing a poem, you shouldalways comment on the effects that rhyme (or the lack of it)creates.The use of rhyme within a poem will affect its rhythm.Rhymes change the way we read poetry, because when wecome to a word that rhymes, we tend to pause slightly,putting an extra emphasis on that word.As we have already seen, poets may use a particular rhymescheme, such as that in the Shakespearean Sonnet. Whenyou are identifying and analysing a rhyme scheme, youmust comment on how its use affects you as a reader.
Rhyme and Rhythm RhymeThe English language has many words that rhyme,including homonyms, which are words that sound the samebut have a different spelling and meaning, e.g. son and sun.There are various different types of rhyme that you shouldlearn to identify:• End Rhyme: words that rhyme at the end of a line.• Internal Rhyme: words that rhyme within a line.• Half Rhyme: words that ‘almost’ rhyme, either within or atthe end of a line.On the following slide you will find examples of each ofthese types of rhymes, to show you how they work, and theeffects that they can create.
Rhyme and Rhythm End RhymeThe sky was grey, the snow pure white white rhymes withThe flakes fell heavy through the night. night This is a rhyming couplet, a pair of lines that rhyme.The sky was grey, the snow pure white white As winter took a hold hold rhymes withThe flakes fell heavy through the night night rhymes with Outside the world was cold. cold This poem uses the a/b rhyme scheme: lines one and three rhyme (a), lines two and four rhyme (b).
Rhyme and Rhythm Internal Rhyme grey today rhymes with The sky was grey today, the snow pure white As the night fell and light bled from the world. night light rhymes withNotice the effect of internal rhyme. It alters the rhythm ofthe line, making you pause and place emphasis on therhyme. This in turn slows the reader down slightly.
Rhyme and Rhythm Half Rhyme now snow flew ‘almost’ rhymes with and with The sky was grey, now snow flew pure white Notice the effect of half rhyme here. Again, it changes the rhythm of the line. Each of the half rhymes is a monosyllable, and this adds even further to slowing down the reader as he or she says these words.
Rhyme and Rhythm RhythmPoetry is about sound as well as about creating images.Even if you are not reading a poem out loud, you should stillbe able to ‘hear it’ in your head, and this will help youunderstand its rhythm.Rhythm is a very important aspect of poetry. As well aschanging the way that you say a poem, it can also link tothe images that the poet describes. For instance, if a poetwere describing a clock ticking, he or she might use short,alliterative words to help echo the sound of the clock.As we have seen, rhyme and rhythm are inextricably linked,and the use of rhyme will create a certain rhythm naturallywithin a poem.
Rhyme and Rhythm RhythmAs well as the poet’s use of rhyme, there are various otheraspects of a poem that will help to create rhythm:• The length of the words used. A series of monosyllableswill create a very different effect from longer words.• The length of the lines. When we are reading a poem, wetend to stop or pause at the end of a line.• The use of punctuation. Full stops, commas, semi colonsand other forms of punctuation will all have an impact on apoem’s rhythm.• The use of techniques such as alliteration and imagery.These affect the way we say the words and consequentlythe rhythm of a poem.
Rhyme and Rhythm RhythmNow we are going to look at an example, to see exactly howrhythm is created. The poem that we are going to look at iscalled “No Worst, there is None”. You can see the poem infull on the next slide.The writer of this poem, Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844 -1889) wrote with a style that was ahead of his time. As youwill see from studying this example of his work, he makesparticular use of the rhythm inherent in the Englishlanguage. He was very much concerned with the sound ofwords and, although he does use rhyme, there are manyother aspects of the work that help to create its rhythm.Look too at the way this poet ‘plays’ with language, creating‘new’ words or using old words in unfamiliar ways.
Rhyme and Rhythm ‘No Worst, there is None’ No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief, More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring. Comforter, where, where is your comforting? Mary, mother of us, where is your relief? My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief-woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing - Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling- ering! Let me be fell : force I must be brief’. Of the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap May who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our small Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep, Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind : all Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.
Rhyme and Rhythm RhythmFirst, let’s think about how the length of the words affectsthe rhythm. Here are the first four lines of the poem again.Find all the words that have more than one syllable. ‘No Worst, there is None’ No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief, More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring. Comforter, where, where is your comforting? Mary, mother of us, where is your relief? Questions • What effect is created by the use of monosyllables in the first line? • How does the rhythm change in lines 3 and 4?
Rhyme and Rhythm Rhythm Question• What effect is created by the use of monosyllables in thefirst line? AnswerThe monosyllables make the tone sound almost angry, asthough the words are being spat out by the speaker.Alternatively, it might be that the speaker is worn out, with allthe emotion and normal rhythm of speech lost from hisvoice. The reader is forced to read the line with an evenemphasis on each word, and this effect is enhanced by thealliteration of the letter ‘p’ in the words “pitched past pitch”.
Rhyme and Rhythm Rhythm Question• How does the rhythm change in lines 3 and 4? AnswerThe rhythm changes abruptly in the third and fourth lines.The word “comforter”, with its three syllables, slows thereader right down. It is a much softer word that those usedpreviously, and it is mirrored at the end of the line by theword “comforting”.In the fourth line, the rhythm changes again. This time, theword “Mary” with two syllables, gives a swing to the line,repeated in the words “mother” and “relief”.
Rhyme and Rhythm RhythmNext, let’s look at some of the punctuation in these first fourlines, and the ways that it affects the rhythm of the piece. ‘No Worst, there is None’ No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief, More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring. Comforter, where, where is your comforting? Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?The full stop in the middle of the first line creates a break andcauses the reader to stop abruptly on a ‘down’ beat.The commas in the second line break the line into three. The question marks in the third and fourth lines create a pause as the question is asked, and add to the poem’s tone.
Rhyme and Rhythm RhythmFinally, let’s consider how the use of alliteration andassonance adds to the rhythm. Here are lines five to eightfrom the poem. Find some examples of these techniques. Assonance of the letter‘w’ Alliteration of the letter ‘h’ ‘l’ ‘o’ ‘e’ My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief- woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing - Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling- ering! Let me be fell : force I must be brief’. Activity • Choose one of these examples of alliteration or assonance, and discuss or write about the effects it creates.
Textual Analysis - Tone, Mood and Emotion CONTENTS • Tone Slides 74 - 77 • Mood and Emotion Slides 78 - 79
Tone, Mood and Emotion ToneThe tone of a poem is one of the first things that you willnotice it about it as you read. The word ‘tone’ describes theoverall sort of atmosphere and feeling that the poem seemsto have.A good way to understand exactly what tone means, is tothink of a poem like a song. Ask yourself: if this poem wasset to music, what sort of music would it have? For instance,a poem about losing a lover would probably have a sad,emotional music, because this would fit its tone. On the otherhand, a poem about a beautiful spring day might have a moreenergetic, positive tone.Look at the short extracts on the following slides and choosethe tone or tones that you think best describes them.
Tone, Mood and Emotion ToneIs the tone of the poem ... Holy Sonnets (extract) Despair behind, and death before doth cast Such terror, and my feebled flesh doth waste By sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh. Happy? Sad? Fearful? Excited? Resigned? Calm?
Tone, Mood and Emotion ToneIs the tone of the poem ... The Tiger (extract) Tiger! Tiger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? Happy? Sad? Fearful? Excited? Resigned? Calm?
Tone, Mood and Emotion ToneIs the tone of the poem ... Song (extract) When I am dead, my dearest, Sing no sad songs for me; Plant thou no roses at my head, Nor shady cypress tree: Happy? Sad? Fearful? Excited? Resigned? Calm?
Tone, Mood and Emotion Mood and EmotionWhen you analyse the mood and emotion of a poem, youshould think both about the feelings of the poet, and themood or emotions that the poem creates in you.There are various ways that a poet can create a strong senseof mood or emotion. They could use:• Vivid imagery, for instance metaphor, personification oralliteration.• Adverbs and adjectives that give the reader a sense of howthey are feeling.• A subject or theme that automatically evokes strong feeling,e.g. war or love.
Tone, Mood and Emotion Mood and EmotionLook at the extracts below, and decide what mood or emotionthe poet is creating. Daffodils (extract) I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. A Red, Red Rose (extract) William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850) My love is like a red, red rose That’s newly sprung in June: My love is like the melody That’s sweetly played in tune. Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)
Textual Analysis - Using your Senses CONTENTS• Using your Senses Slides 81 - 83
Using your Sense Using your SensesAs we have seen throughout this unit, poetry can make vividpictures for us to see in our imaginations. Poets also usesound to great effect, giving added impact to the images thatthey create.However, when we are reading poetry we can also use ourother senses. As we as seeing and hearing a poem, the poetmight also give us a strong sense of smell, or of taste, or oftouch.The group of poets known as the ‘Romantics’, madeparticularly strong use of all the senses in their work.Famous poets such as Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridgeand Lord Byron, wrote about the natural world in a highly vividway.
Using your Sense Using your SensesAs you read the poem “Kubla Khan” by Samuel TaylorColeridge, identify which of your senses you could use: Hear Smell Taste Touch / See Feel
Using your Sense Using your Senses Kubla Khan (extract) In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round: And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And here were forests ancient as the hills, Enfolding sunny spots of greenery. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834)
Analysing a Poem Detailed AnalysisOn the next slides you will find a detailed analysis of thepoem “Wind” by Ted Hughes. The analysis is structuredunder the following headings, discussed in detail in this unit:• Structure and Form• Storyline and Viewpoint• Theme and Message• Rhyme and Rhythm• Tone, Mood and Emotion• Using your SensesIn addition, we will consider Ted Hughes’ use of imagery, asexplored in the unit “Analysing Imagery”. First, read thewhole poem through several times, to get a ‘feel’ for it.
Wind by Ted Hughes This house has been far out at sea all night, The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills, Winds stampeding the fields under the window Floundering black astride and blinding wet Till day rose; then under an orange sky The hills had new places, and wind wielded Blade-light, luminous black and emerald, Flexing like the lens of a mad eye. At noon I scaled along the house-side as far as The coal-house door. Once I looked up-- Through the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyes The tent of the hills drummed and strained its guyrope,Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
The fields quivering, the skyline a grimace, At any second to bang and vanish with a flap: The wind flung a magpie away and a black- Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly. The house Rang like some fine green goblet in the note That any second would shatter it. Now deep In chairs, in front of the great fire, we grip Our hearts and cannot entertain book, thought Or each other. We watch the fire blazing, And feel the roots of the house move, but sit on, Seeing the windows tremble to come in, Hearing the stones cry out under the horizons.Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
Analysing a Poem Structure and FormAt first glance, the structure of the poem seems quite simple:it has six verses, each with four lines. However, on closerinspection you will notice how the punctuation often ‘runsover’, connecting some of the verses with the ones thatfollow them.Using punctuation in this way can have a variety of differenteffects, and these effects will become more apparent themore times you read the poem. When considering theimpact of punctuation on structure, think carefully about anypossible links to the poem’s meaning. Look too at whereand why the poet does not ‘run over’ with the punctuation.Let’s look now at one example from “The Wind” to see whatthe effects might be.
Analysing a Poem Structure and Form This house has been far out at sea all night, The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills, Winds stampeding the fields under the window Floundering black astride and blinding wet Till day rose ; then under an orange sky The hills had new places, Notice the effect here: by ‘running over’ the punctuation from verse one to verse two, the poet moves us from the stormy night into the beginning of a new day. The reader seems to experience the night leading into the new dawn with the narrator.Reproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
Analysing a Poem Storyline and ViewpointClearly, the overall ‘story’ of the poem is about a storm, andabout the narrator’s responses to it. However, notice too howthe storyline and viewpoint change from verse to verse.One of the ways in which Ted Hughes emphasises theunfolding story is by using indicators of time. Each of the firstthree verses pinpoints the time exactly in the very first line:“all night”; “Till day rose”; “At noon”. Time is clearly animportant theme here, and this is emphasised by therepetition of “any second” in the fourth and fifth verses.Using the charts on the next two slides, summarise whathappens in each verse (the storyline), and what the viewpointseems to be. The first verse has been done for you.
Analysing a Poem Storyline and Viewpoint Storyline ViewpointVerse One A storm rages Omniscient all night long. (‘god-like’ narrator)Verse TwoVerse Three
Analysing a Poem Storyline and Viewpoint Storyline ViewpointVerse FourVerse FiveVerse Six
Analysing a Poem Theme and MessageIn this poem, the themes seem to be closely linked to the imagerythat Ted Hughes uses. Complete the activity below to developyour understanding of these themes. ActivityFor each of the themes listed below, find an image from thepoem that links closely with that idea. What message mightTed Hughes be offering the reader through the use of thesethemes and images?• Time;• The weather;• The landscape;• Man’s relationship with the natural world.
Analysing a Poem Rhyme and RhythmAlthough there is no obvious use of rhyme in this poem,Hughes does make great use of the sound and rhythmicpossibilities of the English language. As with the structure, therhythm within the poem seems closely linked to its meanings.For instance, in the following line, the monosyllabic nature ofthe words makes the reader slow right down as he or she readsit. This links closely to the image that is being described: theslow bending of the strong gull is emphasised by the slow,strong language used:“a black-/Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly.”Can you find other examples of this link between rhythm andmeaning in the poem?
Analysing a Poem Tone, Mood and EmotionAnswer the questions below to develop your understanding ofHughes’ use of tone, mood and emotion. Questions• How does the narrator feel about the storm? Look closely ateach verse to find your answer, analysing the range ofemotions that he experiences.• There is a sense of fear at certain points in the poem.Where would you say that the fear is at its strongest? Whatdoes the narrator do that emphasises this feeling?• What is the overall tone and mood of the poem? Does thetone change as the poem progresses?• How does the imagery used contribute to the poem’s mood?
Analysing a Poem Using your SensesHughes uses a variety of sensations to strengthen the effect of hispoem. For each of the three images below, find one quotationthat you feel connects strongly to that sense. Hear Touch / Feel See
Analysing a Poem Use of ImageryOn the next slides, we are going to analyse the imagery thatTed Hughes uses in detail, looking at each verse in turn. Asyou look at the analysis, think about the effects that eachtype of imagery creates, and the meanings it implies.As we have already noted, the imagery in the poem linksclosely to its themes and structure. Through the strength ofthe ‘word pictures’ that Hughes creates, he gives a sensethat the weather is alive, that the storm has a personality ofits own.The contrast between the weather and the people shelteringindoors makes a clear point about the relationship betweenhumans and nature: these people seem minute incomparison to the huge force of the natural world.
Analysing a Poem Use of Imagery Metaphor: the house is described as though it is a boat This house has been far out at sea all night, The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills, Winds stampeding the fields under the window Floundering black astride and blinding wet Personification: the woods and winds are described as though they are aliveReproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
Analysing a Poem Use of Imagery Personification: the day ‘rose’, as though it were Alliteration: this echoes getting up out of bed the sound of the wind Till day rose; then under an orange sky The hills had new places, and wind wielded Blade-light, luminous black and emerald, Flexing like the lens of a mad eye. Simile: this image continues the personification of the wind, as though it is a wild, mad personReproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
Analysing a Poem Use of Imagery Metaphor: the house is ‘scaled’, as though it were a dangerous mountain At noon I scaled along the house-side as far as The coal-house door. Once I looked up-- Through the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyes The tent of the hills drummed and strained its guyrope, Personification: this image Metaphor: the hills are again continues the described using the image of personification of the wind, a tent, as though they might as though it has the strength blow away to hurt the narratorReproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
Analysing a Poem Use of Imagery Personification: the fields ‘quiver’, the skyline is a ‘grimace’ - notice the sense of fear here The fields quivering, the skyline a grimace, At any second to bang and vanish with a flap: The wind flung a magpie away and a black- Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly. The house Personification: the image of the wind as a person is extended even further - as though it intends to throw the bird awayReproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
Analysing a Poem Use of Imagery Simile: the human made goblet can hardly withstand the force of nature Rang like some fine green goblet in the note That any second would shatter it. Now deep In chairs, in front of the great fire, we grip Our hearts and cannot entertain book, thought Metaphor: the fear of nature makes them ‘grip’ their hearts, trying to gain courage in the face of the elementsReproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd
Analysing a Poem Use of Imagery Metaphor: these people cling to natural things - the fire, the ‘roots’ of the house in an attempt to face nature Or each other. We watch the fire blazing, And feel the roots of the house move, but sit on, Seeing the windows tremble to come in, Hearing the stones cry out under the horizons. Personification: the poem ends with the ‘cry’ of the stones, as though they too are fearful of the stormReproduced with the permission of Faber and Faber Ltd