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Lane341 5

  1. 1. Course Title: Introduction to Literature Course Code & NO.: LANE 341 Course Credit Hrs.: 3 per week Level: 5th Level Part Two Poetry Selections October, 2nd, 2013 8-9: 20 AM Instructor: Dr. Noora Al-Malki Credits of images and online content are to their original owners.
  2. 2. Session Content - Unit Learning Outcomes - Poetry Reading Selections: 1- Romantic Poetry - Robert Burns’ “Red, Red, Rose” - Emily Dickinson’s “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” 2- Feminist Poetry - Adrienne Rich’s “The Victims” - Sharon Old’s “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers” - Next lecture Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2013 2
  3. 3. Unit Objective: In this lecture, we are going to analyze selected poetic Romantic and Feminist poems, while reflecting on the elements of poetry and its distinguishing thematic concerns. Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to: -Discuss the major thematic concerns of Romantic and Feminist poetry -Analyze the poems being discussed. Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2013 3
  4. 4. Romanticism (1770s- 1870) (1998-1832) Romanticism has very little to do with things popularly thought of as "romantic," although love may occasionally be the subject of Romantic art. Rather, it is an international artistic and philosophical movement that redefined the fundamental ways in which people in Western cultures thought about themselves and about their world. The early Romantic period thus coincides with what is often called the "age of revolutions"--including, of course, the American (1776) and the French (1789) revolutions--an age of upheavals in political, economic, and social traditions, the age which witnessed the initial transformations of the Industrial Revolution. Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 4
  5. 5. Romanticism Major Elements •Emotion vs. Reason •Nature (leads to truth) •Imagination •Symbolism & Myth •Individualism: The Romantic Hero (genius) •the Exotic Adapted from Guide to the Study of Literature: A Companion Text for Core Studies 6, Landmarks of Literature, ©English Department, Brooklyn College. Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 5
  6. 6. English Romanticism Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 6
  7. 7. Robert Burns 1759-96 Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 7
  8. 8. Robert Burns 1759-1796 Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 8
  9. 9. •Farm life (hard life) •Masonic •Loose life •Lyrics – Ballads of love- folk songs •spontaneity, directness and sincerity •Scottish life, poverty, and drinking •Manic depression "blue devilism". •Influenced the romantics, American writers, Russian authors (stamp) •Burns’ National Day Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 9
  10. 10. A Red, Red Rose Robert Burns 1794 Dialect poem - Ballad O my Luve's like a red, red rose, That's newly sprung in June: O my Luve's like the melodie, That's sweetly play'd in tune. As fair art thou, my bonie lass, So deep in luve am I; And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a' the seas gang dry. Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi' the sun; And I will luve thee still, my dear, While the sands o' life shall run. And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve! And fare-thee-weel, a while! And I will come again, my Luve, Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile! Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 10
  11. 11. Notes on the Poem The song may be enjoyed as a simple, unaffected effusion of sentiment, or it may be understood on a more complex level as a lover’s promises that are full of contradictions, ironies, and paradoxes. There are contradictory elements that seem to work against the speaker’s innocent protestations of love. The first two lines of the second stanza do not complete an expected (or logical) thought: “So deep in luve am I” (that I cannot bear to leave my beloved). Instead, the speaker rhetorically protests his love through a series of preposterous boasts. His love will last until the seas go dry, until rocks melt with the sun; he will continue to love while the sands of life (in an hourglass) shall run. Yet so steadfast a lover, after all, is departing from his beloved, not staying by her side. For whatever reason, he is compelled to leave her rather than remain. His final exaggerated promise, that he will return to her, though the journey takes a thousand miles, seems farfetched, even ironically humorous: Instead of such a titanic effort, why should he not simply stay with her Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 11
  12. 12. Notes on the Poem Time as a theme in a “Red, Red, Rose” “A Red, Red Rose” seeks to strike a balance between the temporary and the eternal. It starts with images of things that last for only a short time and then are gone. Any flower can be used by poets to remind readers of the fact that beauty is fleeting, because the life of a flower is so short when compared to human life. Flowers are often used to remind us of the interconnection of life and death because of their quick succession of budding, blossoming, and wilting. In this poem, the flower that Burns uses is especially short-lived: it is not just red but a red, red rose. A flower can only stay at its peak brightness for a short time. It is newly sprung; it is presented in June, hinting at the fate that awaits it in the autumn. Similarly, the “melodie” used to describe the lover is another image of fleeting time. This sense would have been clearer to readers in the 1700’s, a time before recording equipment, when any rendition of a song could only occur once, to be imitated later perhaps but never reproduced exactly. Melodies, like moments, evaporate into the air and become history. These initial examples of the ways time constantly passes are in conflict with the poem’s main claim. By the time they have finished with “A Red, Red Rose,” readers are left with the impression that Burns is talking about love as being eternal, not fleeting. In the third stanza he claims that his love will outlast events that will take more time than humans could even imagine: seas going dry, rocks melting in the sun, etc. In the end he claims he will love her after traveling ten thousand miles, which, we assume would have to take place by horseback or sailing ship at a laborious pace. The conflicting images of love as fleeting and also measured by centuries is used to highlight the different uses of the words “my Luve”: when the Luve is a person, its life is brief like a melody or a rose, but when the word is used to discuss emotions the poem uses images that time cannot affect. Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 12
  13. 13. E. Dickinson, American Poetess, late 19th C Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 13
  14. 14. A Narrow Fellow in the Grass A narrow fellow in the grass Occasionally rides; You may have met him,--did you not, His notice sudden is. Several of nature's people I know, and they know me; I feel for them a transport Of cordiality; The grass divides as with a comb, A spotted shaft is seen; And then it closes at your feet And opens further on. But never met this fellow, Attended or alone, Without a tighter breathing, And zero at the bone. He likes a boggy acre, A floor too cool for corn. Yet when a child, and barefoot, I more than once, at morn, Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash Unbraiding in the sun,-When, stooping to secure it, It wrinkled, and was gone. Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 14
  15. 15. Notes on the Poem This is a poem about making a journey into nature, one of the characteristic themes of American literature. The natural world is portrayed vividly throughout Dickinson’s work, and this poem closely examines one of nature’s most infamous creatures, the snake The narrator unexpectedly encounters a snake in tall marsh grass. Far from tempting the narrator, as the serpent tempted Eve, it induces fear, panting, and a sudden chill. The first eleven lines describe the snake in a personified, almost amiable way. He sometimes “rides” through the grass, parting it like a comb does hair. Yet, when plain sight threatens to betray its exact location, the grass “closes at your feet/ And opens further on—.” Theme of “Appearance vs. Reality in the poem Dickinson describes her object—in this case a snake—by hinting at what it resembles. The speaker falsely recognizes the object, taking it for something else. There is a split between what it appears to be and what it actually is. This theme of appearances versus reality comes through most strongly in the fourth stanza. The speaker is recalling time spent walking through the grass barefoot. The speaker—a young boy—spots the snake in the grass, but perceives it to be the lash of a whip: “I more than once at Noon / Have passed, I thought, a Whip lash / Unbraiding in the Sun.” But just as the speaker reaches down to grab the Whip, he discovers it to be a snake, which slithers away: “It wrinkled, and was gone.” Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 15
  16. 16. Feminist Poetry Feminist poetry is  a  movement  recognized  as  coming  to  life  during  the  1960s,  a  decade  when  many  writers  challenged  traditional  notions  of form and  content.  There  is  no  one  moment  when the feminist poetry movement began; rather, women wrote  about  their  experiences  and  entered  into  a  dialogue  with  society  over many years before the 1960s. Feminist poetry was influenced  by social change, but also by poets such as Emily Dickinson, who  lived decades earlier. Read more here  Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 16
  17. 17. Sharon Olds, 20th C -21st C Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 17
  18. 18. The Victims When Mother divorced you, we were glad. She took it and took it in silence, all those years and then kicked you out, suddenly, and her kids loved it. Then you were fired, and we grinned inside, the way people grinned when Nixon's helicopter lifted off the South Lawn for the last time. We were tickled to think of your office taken away, your secretaries taken away, your lunches with three double bourbons, your pencils, your reams of paper. Would they take your suits back, too, those dark carcasses hung in your closet, and the black noses of your shoes with their large pores? She had taught us to take it, to hate you and take it until we pricked with her for your annihilation, Father. Now I pass the bums in doorways, the white slugs of their bodies gleaming through slits in their suits of compressed silt, the stained flippers of their hands, the underwater fire of their eyes, ships gone down with the lanterns lit, and I wonder who took it and took it from them in silence until they had given it all away and had nothing left but this. Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 18
  19. 19. Notes on the Poem Sharon Olds’ poem “The Victims” tells of a child’s view of his parents’ divorce. The poem is divided into two main sections: the first part in the past tense showing the speaker as a child and the last section in the present tense with the speaker as an adult trying to make sense of past events. The first section creates a negative tone toward the father, who is painted as a villain by “Mother,” who “took it” from him “in silence” until she finally “kicked [him] out.” Instead of having any sympathy for him, the children were taught “to hate you and take it” and the children seem to have followed this direction very well. While the poem never says specifically what Father did to justify his family’s hatred, the speaker hints he could have had an affair (“your secretaries”) or could have been an alcoholic (“your lunches with three double bourbons”), but clearly he misused his power and his kids “grinned” at his disaster like they did when President Nixon resigned. Line 17, with its strong diction (“annihilation”), switches the poem to present tense and first person. This section, with long metaphor (comparing “bums in doorways” to some kind of strange underwater creatures) and alliteration of the creepy “s” sound, shows the speaker wondering about the other victim of the situation; maybe it was her father and those like him who actually lost their lives, victimized by their own bad behavior. Whatever it is, the first person “I,” now away from her mother’s bitterness, ends the poem seeing how many people were “The Victims” of this bad situation. Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 19
  20. 20. A. Rich, late 20th & early 21st C Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 20
  21. 21. Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers Aunt Jennifer’s tigers prance across a screen, Bright topaz denizens of a world of green. They do not fear the men beneath the tree; They pace in sleek chivalric certainty. Aunt Jennifer’s finger fluttering through her wool Find even the ivory needle hard to pull. The massive weight of Uncle’s wedding band Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer’s hand. When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by. The tigers in the panel that she made Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid. Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 21
  22. 22. Notes on the Poem Aunt Jennifer, though she is “mastered by” an abusive husband, finds an artistic outlet in her needlework. The embroidered tigers stride proudly and without fear across the screen she designed. Through Aunt Jennifer’s art, Adrienne Rich suggests that women who are not able to live freely do triumph in some way because their imaginations cannot be captured or controlled. Aunt Jennifer is able to imagine and create a world where men are nothing to fear. The poet depicts the pain of a woman who is living with a brutal husband who dominates her in all respects. She does not have her own freedom. She is more like a slave to him. She makes tigers by embroidering them on cloth. Her tiger appears to have life. They are bright, lively and are ready to prance. Their character is totally opposite to hers. They appear wild and free. They look like the denizens of the green forest. They are supposed to be fearless and jump around with confidence. But Aunt Jennifer is nervous. Her hands tremble as she tries to search for something in the wool. Her hands are so shaky that it is difficult for her to pull the ivory needle. It is due to her wedding. Her marriage has proved to be detrimental for her. It’s a doubt, that even after death will she be free? Still her tigers would continue to prance across the screen unafraid as usual, and this artistic vision outlives her small, “terrified” hands. Dr. Noora Al-Malki 2012 22
  23. 23. NEXT Lecture Prepare Fiction (Short Stories) E. A. Poe 12/20/13 Dr. Noora Malki, al (c) all rights reserved 23
  24. 24. Have a super day…. 12/20/13 Dr. Noora Malki, al (c) all rights reserved 24