How do I interpret poetry?Literal Interpretation: reading a story, poem, novel, ordrama for face value. What the author writes is EXACTLYwhat he/she means.Figurative Interpretation: reading a story, poem, novel, ordrama for more than one meaning. The author conveyssomething other than the literal. Look for symbols, imagery,figurative language, etc… to give you a bigger or deepermeaning.
Identifying Author’s Style Style – the way an author chooses words, and arranges them in sentences or in lines of dialogue. Elements of style include the following: Imagery - language that appeals to sight, sound, smell, taste, touch Dialect - a way of speaking that is characteristic of a particular region, gender, age group – writers use dialect to bring characters to life Tone - writer’s attitude toward the subject, a character, or the reader Mood - the atmosphere or feeling of a text
Elements of Style Continued Diction –narrowly defined as a speaker’s (or author’s) word choice. (Consider why an author might rely on connotative vs. denotative language). Syntax - refers to the arrangement – the ordering, grouping, and placement – of words within a phrase, clause or sentence. Short, choppy or even fragmented sentences are often used to signal an important point, a shift in direction, or to isolate a particular detail. Formal and informal syntax each have their own place in emphasizing an author’s purpose, and you must get in the habit of looking at syntax.
Author’s Purpose Authors write for different reasons: to persuade – the author’s aim is to convince the reader that his/her position is the best one. Consider editorials and/or fiction that persuades readers through characters’ actions/choices.
Author’s Purpose (continued) to entertain – the author’s aim is to make the reading of the text an enjoyable experience for the reader. Consider “feel good” and/or horror stories.
Author’s Purpose (Continued)to inform – the author’s aim is to convey valuable information to the reader. Consider textbooks, newspaper articles, graphs/charts, research.
Literary Terms/Meinke Symbol – an object or an action in a story, poem, novel, or drama that means more than itself, that stands for something beyond itself Free Verse – poetry with no pattern or rhyme Repetition –the repeating of words, phrases, sounds for impact
Literary Terms/ Hughes’s Poem Extended metaphor – a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things without using like or as. It is developed over several lines or throughout an entire poem. Dialect – a way of speaking that is characteristic of a particular region or group of people. Writers often use dialects to bring characters to life.
Hughes’s Poem (Continued) Dramatic Monologue – a type of poem in which a speaker talks to a silent listener