The Cycle of LIFE
• The Cycle of life can be divided into 5
stages. In your opinion, what are the five
stages? What would you use to symbolize
each stage? What emotions, ideals, or
connotations do people associate with
each stage? Why do these stages apply to
all cultures and all people?
Romanticism & The American
Poetry People and their
Profound Poetic Prayers
• Narrative Poetry: tells a story (ballads,
epics, verse romantics)
• Dramatic poetry: presents the speech of
more than one character
• Lyric poetry: expresses the
thoughts/feelings of a single speaker
(sonnets, odes, elegies, haikus)
Cycle of LIFE and DEATH
Terms to know
– Alliteration: SOUND DEVICE
– Catalogue poetry: TYPE
– Metaphor: FIGURATIVE LANG
– Mood: LIT TERM
– Onomatopoeia: SOUND DEVICE
– Personification: FIGURATIVE LANG
– Refrain: SOUND DEVICE
– Repetition: SOUND DEVICE
– Speaker: LIT TERM
Authors we’ll look at
• Edgar Allan Poe
• Emily Dickinson
• Walt Whitman
Romantic and Poe
• Poe wrote mainly with a Gothic style. Gothic
style is characterized by the following elements:
– The story is set in bleak or remote places.
– The plot involves macabre or violent incidents.
– Characters are in psychological and/or physical
– A supernatural or otherworldly element is often
• How does this fall under the “romantic
Feeling the reader gets
Words that imitate sounds
Repetition of initial consonant sounds
Who is talking in the piece
Lines that are repeated in verse
Edgar Allan Poe
We’re going to look for the
• Alliteration (highlight color 1)
• Onomatopoeia (highlight color 2)
• Refrain (boxed)
• Theme (written)
• Mood (written)
How Death is
Handled in Various Cultures
Death and Cultures
Why do all cultures have clear
identifiable rituals for handling death?
What does this tell us about all
humans? Does this prove that Poe was
right with his poem?
Compare/Contrast Poe’s theme
of “Death Triumphs over Life”
to one of the cultures’ view of
• Recluse; odd insight to life and death; odd
energy and intensity
• 7 poems published pre-death
• Self conscious; asked her family to destroy
them at her death---why?
• It expresses the feelings of a single
speaker’s journey to death…
– Similar to Poe? How?
– A comparison not using like or as
– giving human characteristics to something
Because I could not Stop for
HE kindly stopped for me.
The Carriage held but just
We slowly drove—He knew no
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For his Civility—
We passed the School, where
10 At Recess—in the Ring—
We passed the Fields of
We passed the Setting
Or rather HE passed us—
The Dews drew
For only Gossamer, my Gown—
My Tippet—only Tulle —
We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground—
The Roof was scarcely visible—
The Cornice —in the Ground—
Since then—’tis Centuries—and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses Heads
Were toward Eternity—
Which view of the cycle of life
and death do you identify with the
most—Poe’s or Dickinson’s?
Read the following poem and…
1.Write an appropriate title
2.Explain what the poem “lists” and if it is
Six Yu-Gi-Oh cards.
Chewing gum wrappers.
School handouts, two weeks overdue.
Three rubber bands.
A five-inch-tall stuffed dog.
Four small blood stains.
Two smooth, gray rocks.
Four pencils with no lead and no eraser.
Fourteen pale pink ribbons.
Someone's phone number scribbled on a Heath Bar wrapper.
Head lice, once.
Plans of her own.
• Focus on life rather than death; specifically
in the American Culture
• Problem: only focused on ONE type of
• Catalogue Poetry—Poem using lists
• Repetition—using the same words
Boatman and Deckhand
Shoemaker and Hatter
Wood-cutter and Plowboy
Mother, Young Wife, & Girl at work
• What do these occupations have in
• What type of jobs are they?
• Do they still apply today?
• What other occupations in today’s culture
could you add?
Whitman, Poe and Dickinson
• Whitman’s poem: Celebrates life
• Dickinson’s poem: Romanticizes death
• Poe’s poem: Sees death as inevitable
triumph over life
• What does it tell us about the individual in
America or more
• All three poems apply to America—but can
they be applied culturally?
– Dickinson—embrace death (Native American)
– Poe—respect and fear death (Jewish)
– Whitman—celebrate life (Irish)