LL307 ReadingInterpreting Poetry-Anglo-Saxon Traditions to

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					LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Epic Poetry-Beowulf)
Beowulf is the longest Anglo-Saxon (Old English) poem to have survived to the present day. In brief, it is the tale of two heroic adventures; one early in the titular hero's life; one at the end. Although composed in England just before the Norman Conquest, it is set in Denmark and Sweden some centuries earlier, in a time of great migration and great dynastic struggle. Though many of the characters in the poem bear the names of historical figures, the main character, Beowulf, is a person with no background, either historical or fabulous. While his exploits are paralleled by other figures in literature such as Grettir, from Icelandic Saga, Beowulf enters world epic unheralded on a Danish shore, and leaves - in death - on a blood-soaked Swedish headland. Beowulf is preserved in a single manuscript, which is called Cotton Vitellius A XV in the British Library. The manuscript, which contains one other long poem - Judith - is written in two hands datable on the basis of palaeography to the 11th Century. This manuscript required two scribes to complete it; the second scribe taking over from the first about two-thirds of the way through Beowulf and continued through Judith.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Epic Poetry-Beowulf)
The Language and the Verse Oft Scyld Scefing monegum mægþum, egsode eorlas. feasceaft funden, weox under wolcnum, oðþæt him æghwylc ofer hronrade gomban gyldan. sceaþena þreatum, meodosetla ofteah, Syððan ærest wearð he þæs frofre gebad, weorðmyndum þah, þara ymbsittendra hyran scolde, þæt wæs god cyning! Beowulf, lines 4-11 The Alliterative Style Anglo-Saxon verse is written in a form which seems very foreign to the modern reader of anything but Gerard Manley Hopkins. Anglo-Saxon verse is stress-timed, with four beats to the line, a pattern very similar to the 'sprung rhythm' of Hopkins. In the above passage from the opening of Beowulf, the alliteration may readily be seen: monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah. The initial consonants of the two stressed words of the first half line alliterate with the first stressed word of the second half line. Very rarely is there only a single alliteration in the first half-line, but occasionally there is a second alliterating word in the second half-line. In the Old English alliterative styles, consonants are alliterated with themselves, but all vowels were taken as alliterating with each other. The break between half-lines marks the hemistich, a slight pause in the reading of the poem. Another element of the Anglo-Saxon poetic style is the use of metaphoric terms, such as hronrade ('whale road') to mean the sea, as in the above passage. These metaphoric terms are called 'kennings', a word borrowed from Icelandic. Kennings are much more common in Icelandic literature than they are in AngloSaxon poetry.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Epic Poetry-Beowulf)
Oral-formulaic Theory In the early part of the 20th Century, Milman Parry, and later, Albert B Lord, working with illiterate Serbian and Croatian singers of modern epic poetry, developed what had come to be known as 'the Oral-formulaic Theory of Composition.' Originally a description of the actual technique of composition used by Balkan oral-poets, Parry and Lord quickly tested the theory on the epic poetry of Homer and found that many aspects of those poems that had puzzled scholars for millennia could be explained by the new theory. During the 1950s, Francis P Magoun began testing the theory on Old English poetry and in the ensuing decades many other scholars have studied the Old English poems in the light of the oralformulaic theory and have found it helpful. The theory does not, however, fit Old English as well as it does Ancient Greek.

Old English poetry is highly formulaic - many half-lines from the passage above appear in many other poems, and many entire scenes are obviously frameworks into which details may be plugged. As it survivied Old English poetry, however, is a literary tradition, not an oral one; while many aspects of the oral-formulaic theory fit Old English, many do not .
Probably there was a time of purely oral composition, something hinted at in some scenes in Beowulf.

This is of particular importance to our earlier studies of the oral tradition in poetry from the Pacific. Parry and Lord‘s work becomes instrumental in ascribing these compositions are literary works with all the features of literature and thus not just part of the oral tradition.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Epic Poetry-Beowulf)
The Story Beowulf begins with an exposition. Through genealogy we are introduced to the Spear-Danes, also called the Scyldings (the Sons of Shield) a tribe of warriors lead by their ageing king Hrothgar. The tribe has had a fortunate existence until the mysterious coming of a violent creature that, as the principal action of the poem begins, is in the 12th year of his reign of terror over the Scylding royal hall, Heorot. The creature's name is Grendel. Characters in Epic Poetry Grendel is of human stock, descended from Cain, the son of Adam and Eve and is described as a wretch and an outcast. Grendel's Mother Of course, every wretch, even the spawn of Cain, has a mother. Grendel's Mother is mad and is seeking revenge. She skulks to Heorot in the middle of the night, snatches Aeschere, Hrothgar's favourite retainer, and also her son's arm. Beowulf makes a ripping speech and dives in to wrestle another monster. After struggling past a number of venomous water creatures, Beowulf is grabbed by Grendel's Mother and is hauled into her lair. Another titanic wrestling match ensues and Beowulf is very nearly defeated. Just when all seems dark, Beowulf sees a mighty sword among the bones and booty in the cave. Taking up the sword made by giants, he runs Grendel's Mother through and cuts the head from Grendel's corpse and has victory. Beowulf returns home to Geatland with the gratitude of Hrothgar and the Spear-Danes (represented by large quantities of treasure, etc). He spends a huge amount of the poem telling his lord, Higelac, of his exploits among the Danes. Then, in a very brief bit of the poem, Higelac dies, Beowulf inherits the kingdom through a convoluted chain of succession, and a 50 year Golden Age of the Geats ruled by Beowulf goes by. Beowulf is now an old man, but he is still vibrant. His people are prosperous and all is well in his kingdom, except...

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Epic Poetry-Beowulf)
The Dragon In an old tomb inside an earthen mound a dragon rests on his hoard of gold. As long as he is not disturbed, there can be no danger. But an unnamed thief comes into the dragon's lair. There the thief (perhaps his name is Bilbo) finds a cup and takes it from the hoard. Of course, the dragon notices and lays Beowulf's kingdom waste. Beowulf, ever the hero, despite his advanced years, sets out with a small band of cowardly retainers (and one good man) to face the dragon. To ward off the dragon's breath, Beowulf has a massive iron shield constructed for himself. Before the fight, Beowulf gives another ripping speech, then calls the dragon out. The dragon turns out to be nastier than anyone expected. Beowulf's men run away in fright except for one, Wiglaf, who runs toward the fight. Hiding behind the massive shield, Wiglaf slashes low (Merry-like) on the dragon, causing enough distraction that Beowulf can dispatch the beast with a blow so great the dragon is left in two pieces. But Beowulf has received a mortal wound. Commanding Wiglaf to remove the treasure from the barrow, and to construct a great mound as his memorial, Beowulf passes out of the poem which still is not quite done. Wiglaf carries out his lord's orders, rebuking the cowards for running away. The men carry out the gold, consign the dragon's corpse to the sea, and cremate Beowulf. Over Beowulf's ashes they build the great mound he had ordered and in it they place the dragon's gold, praising Beowulf as a good king. The 'Digressions' Interspersed throughout the poem are a number of smaller stories and vignettes which are generally referred to as 'digressions.' Most are brief histories of dynastic struggles among the various Germanic tribes. These stories usually are tragic and usually parallel the events of the main story in some way. This paralleling casts a pall of doom over the already gloomy poem. The Meaning Any meaning the poem may have, of course, is a product of its meeting with the mind of a reader, and so, there have been a multitude of interpretations of the whole point of the poem. Some would argue that Beowulf is a tragic figure that ends his life in futility, chasing gold that no one lives to enjoy, and fame that will soon be forgotten. Those with an existentialist bent would see Beowulf as a great hero, thumbing his nose at the futility we all know is underlying human life. Many see the poem as a true song of praise of a hero who lived his life well and died a noble death. Most who know it think that Beowulf is a great story, if nothing else.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Epic Poetry-Beowulf)
The Rediscovery of Beowulf The Critics The modern study of Anglo-Saxon literature began in the 16th Century, but the first published mention of the manuscript containing Beowulf was not until 1705. Under the influence of JRR Tolkien’s seminal paper 'Beowulf - the Monsters and the Critics', scholars began to turn more toward reading the literature as literature rather than as historical artefact. Some Modern Takes on Beowulf The film The 13th Warrior (1999) with Antonio Banderas is based on Michael Crichton's novel The Eaters of the Dead (1977). The film Beowulf (1999) with Christopher Lambert owes any quality it might have (which is little) to the Old English poem. John Gardner's novel Grendel (1971) is based on the events of the first third of the Old English poem, up to the death of Grendel. In a nutshell, Gardner tells the story through the eyes of the monster (who, anachronistically, has a penchant for quoting George W Bush: 'Make no mistake,' he says over and over). JRR Tolkien, of course, used portions of Beowulf's dragon episode in a skeletal way in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Translations Seamus Heaney's is a recent one which succeeds wonderfully as poetry in its own right. It should be remembered when reading a translation that one is reading an interpretation of a work, not the work itself.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Epic Poetry-Beowulf)
Seamus Heaney: Beowulf – A New Verse Translation Monsters can be real enough even to the modern mind, a point Heaney makes in the introduction: "Grendel comes alive in the readers imagination as a kind of dog-breath in the dark, a fear of collision with some hard-boned and immensely strong android frame...." The word "android" makes the connection that the direct descendants of these ancient monsters still have in the modern imagination -- shifted now to science fiction – “Terminator Series etc” and brought a freshness to lines like the following: "A wildness rose in the dragon again and drove it to attack, ... hunting for enemies, the humans it loathed. [2669-72] As always it is the words of the poem itself and the emotions they evoke which serves as the criteria by which any work of poetry has to be judged. Here, for example, is how Heaney renders in translation from the original Anglo-Saxon the mental state of Grendel's mother ("that swamp-thing from hell") after Beowulf has slain her offspring: "Grendel's mother, monstrous hell-bride, brooded on her wrongs." [1259-60] Only a mother can truly "brood" on her wrongs, and even on a first reading of Heaney's Beowulf. A New Translation, such words detonate in the mind like firecrackers. Heaney also helps us appreciate the ancient roots of Beowulf , since onomatopoeia is much closer to the oral tradition from which the original written work derives. Here Beowulf speaks of his wounding of the monster Grendel: He has done his worst but the wound will end him. He is hasped and hooped and hirpling with pain,

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Lyrical Poetry WB Yeats)
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939): Poetry Yeats‘s origins: ―wandering between two worlds‖ Anglo-Irish Protestants but Yeats identified with with the Catholic majority, whose folklore/mythology he identified. Yeats‘s split allegiances detached him from both traditions - the Catholics because he didn‘t share their religion and the Protestants because he rejected their prosperity. Yeats's best hope, he felt, was to cultivate a tradition more profound than either the Catholic or the Protestant--the tradition of a hidden Ireland that existed largely in the anthropological evidence of its surviving customs, beliefs, and holy places, more pagan than Christian. Born in Dublin and moved at young age to London. His parents returned to Ireland in 1867 and he spent the equivalent of high school and university in Dublin, where school itself was less important to him than the circle of artists and thinkers he associated with there. Returned to London with his parents after graduating from University. Became interested in Theosophy and spiritualism (like many other artists and writers of his generation and before, including William Blake), rejecting traditional religions and researching the cosmology of several visionary traditions, including Platonism, alchemy, and ancient Irish myth.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Lyrical Poetry WB Yeats)
First volume of poems, collected in The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems (1889) was highly mythologized and aesthetic, in keeping with the aesthetic movement already in full swing in Britain and France. Involved with the artist, poet, and designer William Morris and W.E. Henley, author of ―Invictus.‖ Yeats co-founded the Rhymers' Club, whose members included his friends Lionel Johnson and Arthur Symons. Yeats‘s Early Period: Irish Nationalism, the Celtic Twilight, Irish mythology; elaborate allusive lyrical poetry. In 1889 Yeats met Maud Gonne, and from that defining moment, he wrote, "the troubling of my life began." He fell in love with her, but his love was hopeless, though he continued to pursue it throughout his life, at one point actually proposing to her daughter. Yeats published several volumes of poetry during this period, notably Poems (1895) and The Wind Among the Reeds (1899), which are typical of his early verse in their dreamlike atmosphere and their use of Irish folklore and legend. But in the collections In the Seven Woods (1903) and The Green Helmet (1910), Yeats slowly discarded the Pre-Raphaelite colours and rhythms of his early verse and purged it of certain Celtic and esoteric influences.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Lyrical Poetry WB Yeats)
Yeats‘s middle period: Irish nationalism and politics; poems topical or influenced by his sense that he was losing his youth; influenced by imagism, symbolist movement. Yeats said, at age 52:
A poet, when he is growing old, will ask himself if he cannot keep his mask and his vision without new bitterness, new disappointment. . . . Surely, he may think, now that I have found vision and mask I need not suffer any longer. Then he will remember Wordsworth, withering into eighty years, honored and empty-witted, and climb to some waste room, and find, forgotten there by youth, some bitter crust.

The years from 1909 to 1917 mark a decisive change in his poetry. The otherworldly, ecstatic atmosphere of the early lyrics has cleared, and the poems in Responsibilities: Poems and a Play (1914) show a tightening and hardening of his verse line, a more sparse and resonant imagery, and a new directness with which Yeats confronts reality and its imperfections. Yeats begins raging against the dying of the light, as Dylan Thomas would later put it; the theme persists into his late verse. Yeats‘s late period (about 1917 to 1939): mysticism and occult, interested in symbolism, occult, unseen, unconscious processes of thought and society; language plain and forms lyrical.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Lyrical Poetry WB Yeats)
Yeats not only held his imaginative strength into old age, but became stronger: ―soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing, for every tatter in its mortal dress.‖ In 1917, with The Wild Swans at Coole, Yeats reached and maintained the height of his achievement--a renewal of inspiration and a perfecting of technique that are almost without parallel in the history of English poetry. Still, some of Yeats's greatest verse was written subsequently, appearing in The Winding Stair (1929). The poems in both of these works use, as their dominant subjects and symbols, the Easter Rising and the Irish civil war; Yeats's own tower; the Byzantine Empire and its mosaics; Plato, Plotinus, and Porphyry; and the author's interest in the philosophy of G.E. Moore and in contemporary psychical research. Yeats explained his own philosophy in the prose work A Vision (1925, revised version 1937); this meditation upon the relation between imagination, history, and the occult remains indispensable to serious students of Yeats despite its obscurities. The fundamental difference between rhetoric and poetry, according to Yeats, is that rhetoric is the expression of one's quarrels with others while poetry is the expression (and sometimes the resolution) of one's quarrel with oneself. This becomes the mainstay of his lyrical poetry-whether romantic lyric poetry or lyric poetry that dealt with wider issues on existence and the meaning of life. His contemplation of issues of the heart or the head or both sometimes forms the basis of this questioning and resolutions.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Lyrical Poetry WB Yeats)
"Does the imagination dwell the most/Upon a woman won or woman lost?" - The Tower Yeats often enough in his lyrical/love poetry illustrated that the answer lay in the latter. In striving to give effect to this viewpoint, Yeats Lyrical/Love Poetry reflects not only the women they address, but also the ways and means through which they are addressed. Consequently at a deeper level we can appreciate Yeats Lyrical/Love Poetry as being largely about the poetic construct itself within which even the subject, the beloved, is subsumed as a side plot. Yeats Love Poetry is not merely a personal voyage showcasing his romantic experiences with the fairer sex, its objective was also to show love as a theme in itself, as the genre fundamental to the creative base of the entire poetic process. This all-embracing nature of Yeats lyrical poems is an inevitable conclusion you arrive at in delving into them. Kerry Fried agrees with this assessment... "At his best, Yeats extends the meaning of love poetry beyond the obviously romantic: love becomes a revolutionary emotion, attaching the poet to friends, history, and the passionate life of the mind." The female principle for Yeats Love Poetry often takes two forms: The absent beloved who only becomes attainable after the catharsis of some cataclysm or quest attained, or a mournful dirge. Some elegy wherein the poet mourns his aching loss as an epitaph for lost love.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Lyrical Poetry WB Yeats)
The Secret Rose - William Butler Yeats Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose, Enfold me in my hour of hours; where those Who sought thee in the Holy Sepulchre, Or in the wine-vat, dwell beyond the stir And tumult of defeated dreams; and deep Among pale eyelids, heavy with the sleep Men have named beauty. Thy great leaves enfold The ancient beards, the helms of ruby and gold Of the crowned Magi; and the king whose eyes Saw the pierced Hands and Rood of elder rise In Druid vapour and make the torches dim; Till vain frenzy awoke and he died; and him Who met Fand walking among flaming dew By a grey shore where the wind never blew, And lost the world and Emer for a kiss; And him who drove the gods out of their liss, And till a hundred moms had flowered red Feasted, and wept the barrows of his dead; And the proud dreaming king who flung the crown And sorrow away, and calling bard and clown Dwelt among wine-stained wanderers in deep woods: And him who sold tillage, and house, and goods, And sought through lands and islands numberless years, Until he found, with laughter and with tears, A woman of so shining loveliness That men threshed corn at midnight by a tress, A little stolen tress. I, too, await The hour of thy great wind of love and hate. When shall the stars be blown about the sky, Like the sparks blown out of a smithy, and die? Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows, Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose? THE SECOND COMING Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand; A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse
A sonnet is fundamentally a dialectical construct which allows the poet to examine the nature and ramifications of two usually contrastive ideas, emotions, states of mind, beliefs, actions, events, images, etc., by juxtaposing the two against each other, and possibly resolving or just revealing the tensions created and operative between the two. A sonnet is fundamentally a dialectical construct which allows the poet to examine the nature and ramifications of two usually contrastive ideas, emotions, states of mind, beliefs, actions, events, images, etc., by juxtaposing the two against each other, and possibly resolving or just revealing the tensions created and operative between the two. In a sonnet, you show two related but differing things to the reader in order to communicate something about them. Each of the three major types (Italian, Spenserian, English), as well the nonstandard sonnets achieve this. I. The Italian (or Petrarchan) Sonnet: The Italian sonnet is divided into two sections by two different groups of rhyming sounds. The first 8 lines is called the octave and rhymes: abbaabba The remaining 6 lines is called the sestet and can have either two or three rhyming sounds, arranged in a variety of ways: cdcdcd cddcdc cdecde cdeced cdcedc

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse
The exact pattern of sestet rhymes (unlike the octave pattern) is flexible. In strict practice, the one thing that is to be avoided in the sestet is ending with a couplet (dd or ee), as this was never permitted in Italy, and Petrarch himself (supposedly) never used a couplet ending; in actual practice, sestets are sometimes ended with couplets (Sidney's "Sonnet LXXI given below is an example of such a terminal couplet in an Italian sonnet). The point here is that the poem is divided into two sections by the two differing rhyme groups. In accordance with the principle (which supposedly applies to all rhymed poetry but often doesn't), a change from one rhyme group to another signifies a change in subject matter. This change occurs at the beginning of L9 in the Italian sonnet and is called the volta, or "turn"; the turn is an essential element of the sonnet form, perhaps the essential element. Here, the octave develops the idea of the decline and corruption of the English race, while the sestet opposes to that loss the qualities Milton possessed which the race now desperately needs. It is at the volta that the second idea is introduced, as in this sonnet by W. Wordsworth: "London, 1802" Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour: England hath need of thee: she is a fen Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen, Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, Have forfeited their ancient English dower Of inward happiness. We are selfish men; Oh! raise us up, return to us again; And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power. Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart; Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea: Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free, So didst thou travel on life's common way, In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse
"Sonnet LXXI" Who will in fairest book of Nature know How Virtue may best lodged in Beauty be, Let him but learn of Love to read in thee, Stella, those fair lines, which true goodness show. There shall he find all vices' overthrow, Not by rude force, but sweetest sovereignty Of reason, from whose light those night-birds fly; That inward sun in thine eyes shineth so. And not content to be Perfection's heir Thyself, dost strive all minds that way to move, Who mark in thee what is in thee most fair. So while thy beauty draws the heart to love, As fast thy Virtue bends that love to good. "But, ah," Desire still cries, "give me some food." Here, in giving 13 lines to arguing why Reason makes clear to him that following Virtue is the course he should take, he seems to be heavily biassing the argument in Virtue's favor.

But the volta powerfully undercuts the arguments of Reason in favor of Virtue by revealing that Desire isn't amenable to Reason.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse
II. The Spenserian Sonnet: The Spenserian sonnet, invented by Edmund Spenser as an outgrowth of the stanza pattern he used in The Faerie Queene (a b a b b c b c c), has the pattern: ababbcbccdcdee Here, the "abab" pattern sets up distinct fourline groups, each of which develops a specific idea; however, the overlapping a, b, c, and d rhymes form the first 12 lines into a single unit with a separated final couplet. The three quatrains then develop three distinct but closely related ideas, with a different idea (or commentary) in the couplet. Interestingly, Spenser often begins L9 of his sonnets with "But" or "Yet," indicating a volta exactly where it would occur in the Italian sonnet; however, if one looks closely, one often finds that the "turn" here really isn't one at all, that the actual turn occurs where the rhyme pattern changes, with the couplet, thus giving a 12 and 2 line pattern very different from the Italian 8 and 6 line pattern (actual volta marked by italics): "Sonnet LIV" Of this World's theatre in which we stay, My love like the Spectator idly sits, Beholding me, that all the pageants play,

Disguising diversely my troubled wits.
Sometimes I joy when glad occasion fits, And mask in mirth like to a Comedy; Soon after when my joy to sorrow flits, I wail and make my woes a Tragedy. Yet she, beholding me with constant eye, Delights not in my mirth nor rues my smart; But when I laugh, she mocks: and when I cry She laughs and hardens evermore her heart. What then can move her? If nor mirth nor moan, She is no woman, but a senseless stone.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse
.

III. The English (or Shakespearian) Sonnet: The English sonnet has the simplest and most flexible pattern of all sonnets, consisting of 3 quatrains of alternating rhyme and a couplet: abab cdcd efef gg As in the Spenserian, each quatrain develops a specific idea, but one closely related to the ideas in the other quatrains. Not only is the English sonnet the easiest in terms of its rhyme scheme, calling for only pairs of rhyming words rather than groups of 4, but it is the most flexible in terms of the placement of the volta. Shakespeare often places the "turn," as in the Italian, at L9: "Sonnet XXIX" When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, And look upon myself and curse my fate, Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Featured like him, like him with friends possessed, Desiring this man's art and that man's scope, With what I most enjoy contented least, Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising, Haply I think on thee, and then my state, (Like to the lark at break of day arising From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate, For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings, That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse
Dramatic poetry is any poetry that uses the discourse of the characters involved to tell a story or portray a situation. Dramatic verse is used in theatre such as in Shakespeare‘s plays.
BY DEREK WALCOTT BOOK SIX Chapter XLIV I In hill-towns, from San Fernando to Mayagüez, the same sunrise stirred the feathered lances of cane down the archipelago‘s highways. The first breeze rattled the spears and their noise was like distant rain marching down from the hills, like a shell at your ears. In the cool asphalt Sundays of the Antilles the light brought the bitter history of sugar across the squared fields, heightening towards harvest, to the bleached flags of the Indian diaspora. The drizzling light blew across the savannah darkening the racehorses‘ hides; mist slowly erased the royal palms on the crests of the hills and the hills themselves. The brown patches the horses had grazed shone as wet as their hides. A skittish stallion jerked at his bridle, marble-eyed at the thunder

Dramatic verse occurs in a dramatic work, such as a play, composed in poetic form. The major types of dramatic poetry are found in plays written for the theatre, and libretto. Poetic form allowed for more distilled narratives but also provided a practical reason in that it aided memorization of lines.
There are further dramatic verse forms: these include dramatic monologues, such as those written by Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson. Dramatic monologues are also a convention in theatre that makes use of the verse form, such as Shakespeare‘s ‗To be or Not to Be‘ DM from Hamlet.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse
muffling the hills, but the groom was drawing him in like a fisherman, wrapping the slack line under one fist, then with the other tightening the rein
and narrowing the circle. The sky cracked asunder and a forked tree flashed, and suddenly that black rain which can lose an entire archipelago in broad daylight was pouring tin nails on the roof, hammering the balcony. I closed the French window, and thought of the horses in their stalls with one hoof tilted, watching the ropes of rain. I lay in bed with current gone from the bed-lamp and heard the roar of wind shaking the windows, and I remembered Achille on his own mattress and desperate Hector trying to save his canoe, I thought of Helen as my island lost in the haze, and I was sure I‘d never see her again. All of a sudden the rain stopped and I heard the sluicing of water down the guttering. I opened the window when the sun came out. It replaced the tiny brooms of palms on the ridges. On the red galvanized roof of the paddock, the wet sparkled, then the grooms led the horses over the new grass and exercised them again, and there was a different brightness in everything, in the leaves, in the horses‘ eyes. II I smelt the leaves threshing at the top of the year in green January over the orange villas and military barracks where the Plunketts were, the harbour flecked by the wind that comes with Christmas, edged with the Arctic, that was christened Vent Noël; it stayed until March and, with luck, until Easter. It freshened the cedars, waxed the laurier-cannelle, and hid the African swift. I smelt the drizzle on the asphalt leaving the Morne, it was the smell

of an iron on damp cloth; I heard the sizzle of fried jackfish in oil with their coppery skin; I smelt ham studded with cloves, the crusted accra,

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse
the wax in the varnished parlour: Come in. Come in, the arm of the Morris chair sticky with lacquer; I saw a sail going out and a sail coming in, and a breeze so fresh it lifted the lace curtains like a petticoat, like a sail towards Ithaca; I smelt a dead rivulet in the clogged drains.

III Ah, twin-headed January, seeing either tense: a past, they assured us, born in degradation, and a present that lifted us up with the wind‘s noise in the breadfruit leaves with such an elation that it contradicts what is past! The cannonballs of rotting breadfruit from the Battle of the Saints, the asterisks of bulletholes in the brick walls of the redoubt. I lived there with every sense. I smelt with my eyes, I could see with my nostrils.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry: Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse Elegy as a meditative, often lyric poetry that mourns the death of a loved one, an important public figure, or a group of people.
In Memory of W.B Yeats He disappeared in the dead of winter: The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted, The snow disfigured the public statues; The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day. What instruments we have agree The day of his death was a dark cold day. Far from his illness The wolves ran on through the evergreen forests, The peasant river was untempted by the fashionable quays; By mourning tongues The death of the poet was kept from his poems. But for him it was his last afternoon as himself, An afternoon of nurses and rumours; The provinces of his body revolted, The squares of his mind were empty, Silence invaded the suburbs, The current of his feeling failed; he became his admirers. Now he is scattered among a hundred cities And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections, To find his happiness in another kind of wood And be punished under a foreign code of conscience. The words of a dead man Are modified in the guts of the living. But in the importance and noise of to-morrow When the brokers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the Bourse, And the poor have the sufferings to which they are fairly accustomed, And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom, A few thousand will think of this day

The elegy began as an ancient Greek metrical form and is traditionally written in response to the death of a person or group. Though similar in function, the elegy is distinct from the epitaph, ode, and eulogy: the epitaph is very brief; the ode solely exalts; and the eulogy is most often written in formal prose. The elements of a traditional elegy mirror three stages of loss. First, there is a lament, where the speaker expresses grief and sorrow, then praise and admiration of the idealized dead, and finally consolation and solace

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse
As one thinks of a day when one did something slightly unusual. What instruments we have agree The day of his death was a dark cold day. II You were silly like us; your gift survived it all: The parish of rich women, physical decay, Yourself. Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry. Now Ireland has her madness and her weather still, For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives In the valley of its making where executives Would never want to tamper, flows on south From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs, Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives, A way of happening, a mouth. Intellectual disgrace Stares from every human face, And the seas of pity lie Locked and frozen in each eye. Follow, poet, follow right To the bottom of the night, With your unconstraining voice Still persuade us to rejoice. With the farming of a verse Make a vineyard of the curse, Sing of human unsuccess In a rapture of distress. In the deserts of the heart Let the healing fountains start, In the prison of his days Teach the free man how to praise. -- W.H. Auden

III Earth, receive an honoured guest: William Yeats is laid to rest. Let the Irish vessel lie Emptied of its poetry.
In the nightmare of the dark All the dogs of Europe bark, And the living nations wait, Each sequestered in its hate;

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Prose Poetry)
Prose Poetry Though the name of the form may appear to be a contradiction, the prose poem essentially appears as prose, but reads like poetry. While it lacks the line breaks associated with poetry, the prose poem maintains a poetic quality, often utilizing techniques common to poetry, such as fragmentation, compression, repetition, and rhyme. The prose poem can range in length from a few lines to several pages long, and it may explore a limitless array of styles and subjects. Though examples of prose passages in poetic texts can be found in early Bible translations and the Lyrical Ballads of Wordsworth. The form is most often traced to nineteenthcentury French symbolists writers. The work of Aloysius Bertrand and Charles Baudelaire marked a significant departure from the strict separation between the genres of prose and poetry at the time. A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon. In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations! What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes! --and you, García Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons? I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys. I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel? I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective. We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier. Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in a hour. Which way does your beard point tonight? (I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.) Will we walk all night through solitary streets?

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Prose Poetry)
A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon. In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations! What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes! --and you, García Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons? I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys. I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel? I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective. We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Prose Poetry)
A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in a hour. Which way does your beard point tonight? (I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.) Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely. Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automo -biles in driveways, home to our silent cottage? Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe? --Berkeley, 1955

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Free Verse)
Poetry that is based on the irregular rhythmic cadence or the recurrence, with variations, of phrases, images, and syntactical patterns rather than the conventional use of meter. Rhyme may or may not be present in free verse, but when it is, it is used with great freedom. In conventional verse the unit is the foot, or the line; in free verse the units are larger, sometimes being paragraphs or strophes. If the free verse unit is the line, as it is in Whitman, the line is determined by qualities of rhythm and thought rather than feet or syllabic count. We should not confuse free verse as being a recent invention as the basis is very old. The poetry of the Bible, particularly in the King James Version, makes use of free verse with emphasis on cadence and parallelism. Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass was a major experiment in cadenced rather than metrical VERSIFICATION. The following lines are typical: All truths wait in all things They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it, They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon. It was the French poets of the late nineteenth century --Rimbaud, Laforgue, Viele-Griffln, and others--who, in their revolt against the tyranny of strict French VERSIFICATION, established the Vers libre movement, from which the name free verse comes. In the twentieth century free verse has had widespread usage by most poets, of whom Rilke, St.-John Perse, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg, and William Carlos Williams are representative. Such a list indicates the great variety of subject matter, effect and TONE that is possible in free verse, and shows that it is much less a rebellion against traditional English METRICS than a modification and extension of the resources of our language.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Free Verse) Because of its hidden discipline, free verse often surprises those who expect a verbal free-for-all. While line and stanza counts, syllables, and rhyme schemes may seem random, the beat of the poem is not; it‘s a variation of natural speech patterns. Free verse maintains a metrical and rhythmic precision. This is exemplified by its first universally recognized master, Walt Whitman. After the Sea-Ship Walt Whitman (1819-92)
After the Sea-Ship—after the whistling winds; After the white-gray sails, taut to their spars and ropes, Below, a myriad, myriad waves, hastening, lifting up their necks, Tending in ceaseless flow toward the track of the ship: Waves of the ocean, bubbling and gurgling, blithely prying, Waves, undulating waves—liquid, uneven, emulous waves, Toward that whirling current, laughing and buoyant, with curves, Where the great Vessel, sailing and tacking, displaced the surface; Larger and smaller waves, in the spread of the ocean, yearnfully flowing; The wake of the Sea-Ship, after she passes— flashing and frolicsome, under the sun, A motley procession, with many a fleck of foam, and many fragments, Following the stately and rapid Ship—in the wake following.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Performance/Beat/SLAM Poetry)
Beat poetry evolved during the 1940s in both New York City and on the west coast, although San Francisco became the heart of the movement in the early 1950s. The end of World War II left poets like Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gregory Corso questioning mainstream politics and culture. These poets would become known as the Beat generation, a group of writers interested in changing consciousness and defying conventional writing. The battle against social conformity and literary tradition was central to the work of the Beats. Among this group of poets, hallucinogenic drugs were used to achieve higher consciousness, as was meditation and Eastern religion. Buddhism especially was important to many of the Beat poets; Gary Snyder and Allen Ginsberg both intensely studied this religion and it figured into much of their work. Allen Ginsberg's first book, Howl and Other Poems, is often considered representative of the Beat poets. In 1956 Lawrence Ferlinghetti's press City Lights published Howl and Ferlinghetti was brought to trial the next year on charges of obscenity. Other Beat poets included Diane di Prima, Neal Cassady, Anne Waldman and Michael McClure. Although William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac are often best remembered for works of fiction such as Naked Lunch and On the Road, respectively, they also wrote poetry and were very much part of the Beats as well; Kerouac is said to have coined the term "Beat generation," describing the down-and-out status of himself and his peers during the post-war years.

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Performance/Beat/SLAM Poetry)
Allen Ginsberg was born in Newark, New Jersey, on June 3, 1926. The son of Louis and Naomi Ginsberg, two Jewish members of the New York literary counter-culture of the 1920s, Ginsberg was raised among several progressive political perspectives. As an adolescent, Ginsberg liked Walt Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe as favorite poets. His influence on the beat poets and in raising political consciousness through his poetry remains among the landmarks in poetry. He was part of events like the "The '6' Gallery Reading" which took place on October 7, 1955. The event has been hailed as the birth of the Beat Generation, in no small part because it was also the first public reading of Ginsberg's "Howl," a poem which garnered world-wide attention for him and the poets he associated with. In Shortly after Howl and Other Poems was published in 1956 by City Lights Bookstore and became one of the most widely read poems of the century, translated into more than twentytwo languages. In his later years, Ginsberg became a Distinguished Professor at Brooklyn

College. He died on April 5, 1997, in New York I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at

dawn looking for an angry fix, angel headed hipsters burning for the ancient
heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night . . . --Allen Ginsberg, "Howl"

LL307: Reading/Interpreting Poetry Anglo-Saxon Traditions to Modern Verse (Performance/Beat/SLAM Poetry)
Performance Poetry Poetry specially written to be performed, with an emphasis on the energy, voice, gestures and movements of the poet to enhance the performance. In its true sense it is performed without other accompaniments, but sometimes music, sounds or props are included. This is a very oral form of poetry with an immediate audience reaction and response. SLAM Poetry Poetry slam is the competitive art of performance poetry. It puts a dual emphasis on writing and performance, encouraging poets to focus on what they're saying and how they're saying it. A poetry slam is a competitive event in which poets perform their work and are judged by members of the audience. The vast majority of slam series are open to everyone who wishes to sign up and can get into the venue. Though everyone who signs up has the opportunity to read in the first round, the lineup for subsequent rounds is determined by the judges' scores. In other words, the judges vote for which poets they want to see more work from. The basic rules are: Each poem must be of the poet's own construction; Each poet gets three minutes (plus a ten-second grace period) to read one poem. If the poet goes over time, points will be deducted from the total score. The poet may not use props, costumes or musical instruments; Of the scores the poet received from the five judges, the high and low scores are dropped and the middle three are added together, giving the poet a total score of 0-30.


				
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