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Poetry 5: Modern Life & Society

Poetry 5: Modern Life & Society

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Poetry 5: Modern Life & Society

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  1. Poetry 5: Modern Life & Society Poetic Form & Review of Poetic Elements Marcel Duchamp Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 1912

  2. Outline

  3. The Modern World • What is ‘Modern’? How many writers we have read so far are “Modern” writers? • Please see here: • Modern Times: under the influence of capitalism, industrialism and some great thinkers (e.g. Darwin, Freud, Marx and Nietzsche) • The beauty of abstraction and mechanical reproduction, convenience Cubism (立體派)  Kaleidoscopic (萬花筒)visions • Literary Modernism: a great period of artistic invention and confirmation of “Art.” (e.g. as a religion or Art for Art’s sake) • Modern Fragmentation  postmodern Playfulness, Risks and/or Connectedness: The world gets smaller, time faster, life emptier, we—lonelier or more connected—by the flows of virus, capital, ecological changes, natural disaster and terrorist threats, etc.

  4. "In a Station of the Metro“(p. 936)—Questions • Note (1) • 1) The Metro-- the name of the subway system in Paris. • 2) This poem, Pound claimed, describes his experience of coming out of a subway car (see Pound's notes). • Images: The poem presents, instead of a story about this experience, two images, one in each line. Their meanings (meanings of each word and what they possibly represent) ? • Pattern: the relationship between the first line and the second line? • Theme: What is this poem suggesting about life in the modern world? Do you have similar images about the passengers at our MRT stations? • Note (2)imagism. In what ways is this poem an example of imagism?

  5. "In a Station of the Metro“

  6. "In a Station of the Metro“—Pound’s Experience Three years ago in Paris I got out of a "metro" train at La Concorde, and suddenly saw a beautiful face, then another, and another, and then a beautiful child's face, and then another beautiful woman, and I tried all day to find words for what this had meant to me, and I could not find any words that seemed to me worthy, or as lovely as that sudden emotion. And that evening, as I went home along the Rue Raynouard, I was still trying and found, suddenly, the expression. I do not mean that I found in words, but there came an equation . . . not in speech, but in little splotches of colour. It was just that--a "pattern" you mean something with a "repeat" in it. But it was a word, the beginning, for me of a language in colour.(Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir) (video clip)

  7. "In a Station of the Metro“—Pound’s Subjective (inward) Experience • He first wrote a 30-line poem, but was not satisfied with it. • 6 months later, he reduced the poem in half. 3. A haiku(俳句)-like poem (with special punctuation) The apparition of these faces in the crowd : Petals on a wet, black bough . Pound: “I dare say it is meaningless unless one has drifted into a certain vein of thought. In a poem of this sort one is trying to record the precise instant when a thing outward and objective transforms itself, or darts into a thing inward and subjective.” (source) Reference: HAIKU for PEOPLE

  8. Imagism Pound set forth the basic tenets of Imagism: I. direct treatment of the "thing," whether subjective or objective; II. [economical use of words]: to use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation; III. in regard to rhythm, to compose in sequence of musical phrase, not in sequence of the metronome (regular meter or 節拍器). Pound sought to capture a pure image, or what he described as "that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time." (March 1913 issue of Poetry) Reference: Marisa Pagnattaro, An overview of "In a Station of the Metro," in Poetry for Students, Gale, 1997.

  9. Imagism: Another example William Carlos Williams so much dependsupon a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater beside the whitechickens.

  10. "In a Station of the Metro“—My Analysis • Theme: In the mass transit system, where people come and go, the faces of the passengers are beautiful images like apparition and petals (on wet black boughs) • Images & Pattern: * There can be different interpretations!!! parallel

  11. The poem as an example of Imagism The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. Three principles: • Just the image itself; • No excess of language; e.g. a). No verbs; apparition combines verb and noun; b) no conjunctions such as “are like”; • No traditional (monotonous) rhythm, but a melodic one. Note: a hypertext interpretation of the poem.

  12. In a Station of the Metro

  13. The poem as an example of Imagism (2) Rhythm –for your reference: (source) This scanning may not be necessary, but it shows how irregular (like speaking) the poem is.

  14. 1( a le af fa ll s) one l iness For Fun!!! Poetry in different shapes and forms (1)See how different spatial arrangements make such a difference.1( a by cummings Poetic Experiment with Language (1) -- Concrete Poem: a tall poem//a tall tree -- Loneliness interrupted by a leaf’s falling “ll” or “two”? “L” or “one”? I-Ness = Self

  15. Poetic Experiment with Language (2) anyone lived in a pretty how town e. e. cummings Cummings own reading: wVYI

  16. anyone lived in a pretty how town • Be prepared for some innovative usages of English language. For instance, • pronouns such as anyone, noone (no one), someones and everyonesare used as nouns, referring to certain types of people in society. • a peculiar use of the parts of speech, using adverbs & verbs as nouns (e.g. "he sang his didn't he danced his did"); • changes the word order ("with up so floating many bells down"<-- the original order: with so many bells floating up and down), • makes new phrases by varying cliché (the ones we are familiar with; e.g. little by little--> more by more.)

  17. anyone lived in a pretty how townQuestions 1. What are the main characters and their ways of living? Understanding them in terms of conformity and individualism, do you agree with the poem’s use of types? 2. Why is the town a “pretty how town”? 3. Repetition of words and sounds? Meter and Rhythm?

  18. anyone lived in a pretty how town anyone lived in a pretty how town (with up so floating many bells down) spring summer autumn winterhe sang his didn't he danced his did Women and men (both little and small) cared for anyone not at all they sowed their isn't they reaped their same sun moon stars rain children guessed (but only a few and down they forgot as up they grewautumn winter spring summer) that noone loved him more by more when by now and tree by leaf she laughed his joy she cried his grief bird by snow and stir by still anyone's any was all to her --repetition -- actions of anyone and noone -- actions of someones and everyones, men and women.

  19. anyone lived in a pretty how town someones married their everyones laughed their cryings and did their dance(sleep wake hope and then)they said their nevers they slept their dreamstars rain sun moon (and only the snow can begin to explain how children are apt to forget to remember with up so floating many bells down)one day anyone died i guess (and noone stooped to kiss his face) busy folk buried them side by sidelittle by little and was by wasall by all and deep by deep and more by more they dream their sleep noone and anyone earth by april wish by spirit and if by yes. Women and men(both dong and ding) summer autumn winter spring reaped their sowing and went their camesun moon stars rain

  20. Signs of Regularity andRepetitions of Life So many repetitions! Like a nursery rhyme. • The bell – “with up so floating many bells down” (ding dong) passage of time and toll of stages of life (and death). • Season – spring summer autumn winter • Weather -- stars rain sun moon • The nouns – e.g. “anyone’s any was all to her” • Of preposition “by”; many action verbs (sang, dance, did, sowed, reaped) and some turned into nouns, in simple sentences. • Of sounds -- “Pretty how town” – “pretty” –appearance; “how” (as in “know-how” or “how-to”, emphasis on propriety and manners of doing things)

  21. Different kinds of Repetitionaction verbs

  22. Conformity & Self-Repression: someones and everyones • they sowed their isn't they reaped their same  conformity: turn their differences into sameness. • laughed their cryings and did their dance  laugh over their sadness to repress it; dance mechanically; • (sleep wake hope and then)they said their nevers they slept their dream they give up on their hope (then) and put their dream to sleep • reaped their sowing and went their came  they reap what they sowed and remain the same.

  23. […]noone loved him more by more (by—little by little day by day [after], or side by side [by the side of]) when by now  from the past to the present (the moment) tree by leaf  from wholeness to individual elements in nature bird by snow  both life and winter stir by still both action and stillness busy folk buried them side by side[by the side of]little by little and was by was dead side by side. all by all and deep by deep and more by more they dream their sleep  from little to all to deep and dream noone and anyone earth by april  to life of April, wish by spirit and if by yes to spiritual wishes, possibilities and confirmation. anyone and noone

  24. Pleasure of the Sounds (meters) Alternation of light dactyls, heavytrochees, spondees and regular iambs: anyonelived in a pretty how town (with up so floating many bells down) spring summer autumn winter he sang his didn't he danced his did Women and men(both little and small) cared for anyone not at all they sowed their isn't they reaped their same sun moon stars rain

  25. Pleasure of the Sounds (internal rhymes) • [au] --"how town" and "down,“ "now“ • [ou] -- "so," "floating," "both," "sowed," "noone," "hope," "snow," and "sowing“ • [u] -- "moon," "few," "grew," and "stooped“ • [ai] -- "By" and "cried • [ip] -- “deep" and "sleep“ Repetitions of different kinds create different meanings (or lack of meanings) in different lives.

  26. Mending Wall (p. 886) • Main Idea and symbol • What is the "something" here that "sends the frozen-ground-swell under it"? Why does it not like the wall? How is it compared to the hunter? • How is the process of mending the wall described (ll. 15-22)? • The meaning of the wall? • Characters: • the speaker of this poem -- humorous or self-contradictory (or both)? • --the meaning of “Spring”? (both a time for mending, and creating mischief in the speaker? Why does the speaker wants to change his neighbor? ) • the neighbor • Which do you agree with? The neighbor ("Good fences make good neighbors“) or the speaker?

  27. Mending Wall • Something; • Hunter • Something Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swellunder it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun, And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. The work of huntersis another thing: I have come after them and made repair Where they have left not one stone on a stone, But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean, No one has seen them made or heard them made, But at spring mending-time we find them there. I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; And on a day we meet to walk the line And set the wall between us once again. We keep the wall between us as we go. To each the boulders that have fallen to each. And some areloaves and some sonearly balls We have to use a spell to make them balance: 'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!' We wear our fingers rough with handling them. Action starts

  28. 1st persuasion Mending Wall Oh, just another kind of out-door game, One on a side. It comes to little more: There where it is we do not need the wall: He is all pine and I am apple orchard. My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder If I could put a notion in his head: 'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it Where there are cows? But here there are no cows. Before I built a wall I'd ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offence.Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him, But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather He said it for himself. I see him there Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed. He moves in darkness as it seems to me~ Not of woods only and the shade of trees. He will not go behind his father's saying, And he likes having thought of it so well He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors." 2nd persuasion—more abstract

  29. Mending Wall • Main Idea—the Wall as human boundary broken and mended A. Broken by "something" –possibly nature (the frost and coldness), or the tendencies towards and love of the natural; • By The hunter – only to please the dog (to satisfy his desire to hunt) B. the process of mending the wall – mechanical (like the sound) and futile; C. The speaker vs. the neighbor • the speaker of this poem -- humorous or self-contradictory (he is the one to call the neighbor • His motivation –1. “Spring”– the season for rejuvenation and growth • His reasons: 1. the plants are not aggressive (but humans may be); 2. nothing (?) to wall in and out. • the neighbor – law-abiding and conservative. He cannot explain why there should be a wall. • But does the speaker give good reasons?

  30. Mending Wall • Main Idea—the Wall as human boundary broken, mended and questioned. • Good fences make good neighbors –true, if the fences do not become a barrier for communication or destroy natural environment. • The wall symbolizes: human boundaries, barriers, self-defense, customs to set humans apart, fixed institutional, disciplinary and national boundaries institutions themselves. (ref. “Another Brick in the Wall”) • The wall embodied in the poetic form (blank verse and a lot of iambic lines – see next slide). • Walls are to be broken, and we don’t want to be all walled up. However, are walls to be completely discarded? • Examples of walls – mental, physical, social, geographical/national (Berlin wall)

  31. Blank verse & Iambic Pentameter • A verse with meter but no rhyme; the meter usually used is iambic pentameter. • ........1...................2..................3.................4................5 Some THING..|..there IS,..|..that DOES..|..n't LOVE..|..a WALL .......1..................2.....................3....................4..............5 That SENDS..|..the FRO..|..zen-GROUND-..|..swell UN..|..der IT .........1................2.................3................4.............5 And SPILLS..|..the UP..|..per BOULD..|..ers IN..|..the SUN.........1................2...............3.................4..................5 And MAKES..|..gaps E .|..ven TWO..|..can PASS..|..a BREAST

  32. "Harlem" 1951 (p. 635) • American Dream: This poem is about the speaker's individual dream and about the American dream. • What is the American Dream? What is the dream that is deferred? • (note: Harlem) • Why do you think the poem consists mostly of questions? What is the effect of the many questions? • What does this poem suggest about the life of African Americans in the modern world?

  33. "Harlem" 1951 What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up likea raisin in the sun? Or fester likea sore – And then run? Does it stink likerotten meat? Or crust and sugar over – likea syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? Rotten Meat (video clip) Image source

  34. Harlem: Analysis • Rhetoric questions: call for a “yes” response;\ • development of the similes – • 1) inedible food (grape & meat) vs. the apparently edible (sugar coated) • 2) physical wound vs. mental/physical burden. • 3) the round: from food, to candy, balloon, to bomb.

  35. Harlem Renaissance • During the 1920s-1930’s, the flourishing of African-American literature, art, music, dance, and social commentary. Langston Hughes was part of this movement. (video clip) • •

  36. "Harlem" 1951 • American Dream: Afro-Americans did not go to the U.S. with an American dream, as did some other immigrants. However, especially since Harlem Renaissance, they do have their dreams for equality (educational, economic and social equality) if not of success. The dream, however, has been deferred, at the time when Hughes wrote the poem, and probably even till now. • Moments of hope: • After the civil war: Emancipation and Reconstruction, • 1910-1930: the Great Migration (continued segregation) • Since the 60’s – • integration and voter registration ( ghettos and New Orleans) • Black Studies ( reduced) and • Equal Opportunity (Affirmative Action backlash).

  37. The Terrorist, He Watches (1981) • 1. Time and Fatality: The bomb-- goes off in the bar at 1:20 pm. Note how the passing of time is described with a sense of fatality. • 2. Tone & Perspective --the speaker and the terrorist -- What they watch and what the speaker describes -- the ending, the girl who ‘may’ go in • 3. Theme?

  38. The Terrorist, He Watches • The bomb will go off in the bar at one twenty p.m.Now it's onlyone sixteen p.m.Some will still have time to get in,Some to get out. • The terrorist has already crossed to the other side of the street.The distance protects him from any danger,And what a sight for sore eyes: (something one longs to see; sore also painful) • A woman in a yellow jacket, she goes in.A man in dark glasses, he comes out.Guys in jeans, they are talking.One seventeen and four seconds.That shorter guy's really got it made, and gets on a scooter,And that taller one, he goes in. Got it made: have it made to be assured of success

  39. The Terrorist, He Watches (2) • One seventeen and forty seconds.That girl there, she's got a green ribbon in her hair.Too bad that bus just cut her off.One eighteen p.m.The girl's not there any more.Was she dumb enough to go in, or wasn't she?That we'll see when they carry them out. • One nineteen p.m.No one seems to be going in.Instead a fat baldy's coming out.Like he's looking for something in his pockets andat one nineteen and fifty secondshe goes back for those lousy gloves of his. • It's one twenty p.m.The time, how it drags.Should be any moment now.Not yet.Yes, this is it.The bomb, it goes off. ?

  40. The Terrorist, He Watches (1981) 1. Time and Fatality: 4 mins before 1:20 pm; the passing of time is meticulously noted (to the seconds) to present a sense of fatality and suspense 2. Tone & Perspective --the speaker and the terrorist:-- They (not God) watch people going in (unlucky) and coming out, noting the details; -- language: plain, straightforward and unemotional about death and corpses (“them”), matter-of-fact, -- in and out –balanced numbers (two and two) -- the unlucky ones: the baldy -- a mystery: the girl with ribbon; who ‘may be’ “dumb enough” to go in 3. Theme: coldness and lack of purpose of the terrorist/God/Life Is the poet cold?

  41. Wyslawa Szymborska威絲拉娃.辛波絲卡 • was born in Poland in 1923. • Szymborska frequently employs literary devices, such as irony, paradox, contradiction, and understatement, to illuminate underlying philosophical themes and obsessions. Szymborska is a miniaturist, whose compact poems often conjure large existential puzzles. (source) • The speaker’s obsessive concern with who goes in and out can also be an expression of care and concern for something s/he can do nothing about. • Are we cold and unfeeling about the many tragedies that happen around us? • Another of her poem: “It could Happen”

  42. It could Happen So you're here? Still dizzy from another dodge, close shave, reprieve? One hole in the net and you slipped through? I couldn't be more shocked or speechless.Listen, how your heart pounds inside me

  43. Openness to Chance Encounters in “Tom’s Diner” By Suzanne Vega • An uneventful day told in casual tone: • She reads on newspaper: death, the horoscope and “the funnies.” • She sees in the bar—but pretends not to see (to not violate their privacy): a couple kissing each other; a woman who sees her own reflection and hitches up her skirt. • She thinks of—but then leaves behind to go on with her daily routine: “your voice”;”the midnight picnic/ once upon a time before the rain began...” • Life can be fun, regular, ordinary, but also spiced with the unpredictable and the unforgettable here and there. • The song is later adapted into many different versions by the other singers.

  44. "I like poetry. It feels like a puppy's fur. Poetry barks, jumps runs and smells like flowers and is soft. It looks black and white to me. Poetry makes me feel free like a bird. It makes me want to fly in the air." --Israel Hid algo Source THE POETRY PUPPY 1 like poetry it feels like a puppy's fur poetry barks jumps runs and smells like flowers and is soft it looks black and white to me poetry makes me feel free like a bird it makes me want to fly in the air --Israel Hidalgo For Fun!!! Poetry in different shapes and forms (1)See how different spatial arrangements make such a difference.