Ewrt1 c class 8

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Ewrt1 c class 8

  1. 1. EWRT 1C Class 8 VA DERS
  2. 2. AGENDA • REVIEW • USING RHETORICAL STRATEGIES • APPLYING THE NEW CRITICAL LENS TO ANALYZE “MY PAPA’S WALTZ
  3. 3. The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother’s countenance Could not unfrown itself. My Papa’s Waltz The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed Still clinging to your shirt.
  4. 4. Analyzing Poetry  Speaker The person speaking in the poem may not be the poet. It may be that the poet has created a persona, or a person in the poem. In “My Papa’s Waltz,” the speaker is the little boy now grown up. We know this because he says in the last stanza “you beat time on my head,” my head telling us it is the speaker who is the boy. However, the language is not of a small boy but of an adult – so we can figure out the poem is of a memory.  Audience in the poem There’s often an audience that is in the poem. For example, the poem may be written to someone specific [not us]. The audience in “My Papa’s Waltz” is the father because he says “the whiskey on your breath” [your breath = father’s breath]. Also the title – My Papa’s Waltz.
  5. 5. Words • Diction: the choice and use of words and phrases in speech or writing. – Why does the author use specific words? • Syntax: order of words – When words appear in a non-standard order, there is cause for further investigation. • Denotation: the literal meaning; Connotation: the implied meaning – For example, the word slimy by itself can accurately describe a slug or or the feeling on your face after your big dog greets you. However, when slimy is used to describe a person, the reader recognizes that this person is not someone you want to ask to housesit while you head to the Bahamas for a week. – Poets often make use of both literal and implied meanings in poems – in fact, he or she may want us to see both meanings at the same time.
  6. 6. Figures of Speech  Allusion is a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance. It does not describe in detail the person or thing to which it refers. It is just a passing comment and the writer expects the reader to possess enough knowledge to spot the allusion and grasp its importance in a text. This is a regular Garden of Eden Relax, Romeo That is a Pandora’s box.  Oxymoron - impossibilities and contradictions An oxymoron combines two contradictory terms like jumbo shrimp or business ethics. The oxymoron can be similar to the paradox
  7. 7. More Figures of Speech • Metonymy – words based on association – Crown = monarchy, so when we say he took the crown, we don’t mean he stole the crown We probably mean that he is ascending the throne. • Synecdoche – a part = the whole – Hand = whole person, so when he takes her hand in marriage, he does not just marry her hand, he marries all of her. • Hyperbole—exaggeration – I told you a million times to turn down that stereo! • Litotes—understatement – Litotes are figures of rhetoric speech that use an understated statement of an affirmative by using a negative description. • “not the brightest bulb” • “not a beauty” • “not bad” • “not unfamiliar”
  8. 8. Impressions • Imagery: sensory impressions – The first stanza of “My Papa’s Waltz,” offers an olfactory image: “the whisky on your breath could make a small boy dizzy.” There are also sound images: “we romped until the pans slipped from the kitchen shelf.”The reader can hear the clatter. Of course there are visual images as well. • Symbolism: [red rose = love] – In “My Papa’s Waltz,” the waltz itself is kind of a symbol. It is a formal dance that could symbolize two people moving together.
  9. 9. The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother’s countenance Could not unfrown itself. . My Papa’s Waltz The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed Still clinging to your shirt.
  10. 10. What can we learn from the text of the poem Let’s start with the title What do you notice? My Papa’s Waltz
  11. 11. Next, let’s determine the poetic techniques Roethke employs. Line1: diction = "whiskey" (suggests drunkenness) Line 2: diction = "small boy" (speaker is male) The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. Line 3: diction = "hung" (past tense of "hang" so speaker is a son reflecting on his childhood) simile = "like death" (negative connotation) Line 4: metaphor = "waltzing" (the dance of life) Alliteration= waltzing was (not easy). The gentle sound of the repeated “w” (also hear the z/s/s sounds) contrasts with the striking simile about death in line three and with the characterization of the waltz as “not easy.” The alliteration makes the waltz sound natural and tranquil, but there are clear indications to the contrary.
  12. 12. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother’s countenance Could not unfrown itself. Try to do the next stanza in your groups or alone
  13. 13. Line 5: diction = "romped" (positive denotation = "to play or frolic boisterously) irony = meter is iambic trimeter We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother’s countenance Could not unfrown itself. Line 6: discord/disharmony/noisy = [the pans] "slid," "kitchen" and "shelf” Lines 7-8: alliteration = "countenance" and "could” Line 8: personification suggesting “countenance” might control itself? synecdoche* = her "countenance / Could not unfrown itself" (Her entire appearance signifies her face.) diction= unfrown is not a real word.
  14. 14. What is the significance of the poem's structure? (New Critics do not use the term form because of its historical connotations.) Your answer will affect your interpretation of the poem. (Remember, do not separate the overall structure from the verbal meanings.) A waltz is a ballroom dance in triple time. The prevailing meter (trimeter) mimics the rhythm of the dance. The interruption in the iambic rhythm alludes to the “step[s] [papa] missed” Furthermore, the alternate rhymes metaphorically represent the two dancers and the two moods: one of “romping” and another of “clinging.” Determine the Significance of the Structure
  15. 15. Summarize and interpret the poem via New Criticism. Paradox: “Such waltzing was not easy.” The waltz suggests ease. Ambiguity: On the one hand , the poem might speak of child abuse by an alcoholic father; on the other hand , the poem could be a cherished childhood reflection of a boy waltzing with his dad who's slightly tipsy. The language we have discussed could potentially support either hypothesis. Tension: Fun for the adult/ frightening for the child Love/abuse Comfort/pain excitement/ lullaby Irony: The first stanza introduces a persistent, heavily ironic. A waltz sounds like a pleasant enough diversion, but the whiskey, the dizziness, and especially the word death collectively undercut this assumption and make us understand that the situation is not entirely lighthearted.
  16. 16. Irony in "My Papa’s Waltz • lines 1-2 - "The whiskey on your breath / Could make a small boy dizzy" These lines are ironic because, while it is possible that the smell of “the whiskey” alone would make the child dizzy, being swung drunkenly about is probably to blame too. • line 3 - "I hung on like death" This line emphasizes the irony of line 4. Because the speaker’s father presents a certain danger, he “hangs on” to him here not necessarily “like death” but rather for dear life. The word death is thus ironic, but it makes the danger of the situation clear and offsets the notion that this is just a lighthearted waltz. • line 4 - "Such waltzing was not easy" The waltz should be easy, on a literal level, because the speaker is just being swung around by his father. It isn’t easy because, apparently, their lives together aren’t easy. • lines 5-6 - "We romped until the pans / Slid from the kitchen shelf" Continuing the tone of the first stanza, the word romped here is ironic because it makes the waltz sound carefree, yet the effect of this romping is to cause a violent, crashing disruption in their domestic world.
  17. 17. The father’s waltz becomes a symbol here (the child is being waltzed, figuratively and literally, to bed). The poem indicates early on that the waltz is not easy, and yet it ends with the comfort and stability of bed. The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother’s countenance Could not unfrown itself. . My Papa’s Waltz The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed Still clinging to your shirt. Image Image Personification suggesting “countenance” might control itself? “Unfrown” is not a word.
  18. 18. Homework • Choose one of these poems to begin to analyze. You may use the one you scanned,, or you may choose a different one. • “There Is a Girl Inside” • “The Fish” • “A Black Rook in Rainy Weather” • “Memories of West Street and Lepke” • Post #7: Find multiple examples of poetic conventions • Bring your notes to class tomorrow

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