How to Read a Poem, Terry Eagleton

Jonny South
Mind Map by Jonny South, updated more than 1 year ago
Jonny South
Created by Jonny South about 5 years ago
10
1

Description

Mind Map on How to Read a Poem, Terry Eagleton, created by Jonny South on 04/14/2015.

Resource summary

How to Read a Poem, Terry Eagleton

Annotations:

  • Only a few features of form can be considered objectively categorisable.  These are:  Rhyme Metre All areas otherwise cannot be quantified, therefore invite educated subjective responses.  Consider that neither meaning nor feeling are truly 'internal' experiences as we often conceive them. To articulate feelings/meaning, the poem is reliant on language which in itself is an abstraction of these. We have no access to 'intended' feeling or meaning therefore it is futile to attempt to perceive them. We can only analyse the poem as text.  Therefore, do not relentlessly conflate author and character, but rather the poem's narrator as just that, the internal poem's narrative voice-bearer. Though an autobiographical approach is nonetheless often fruitful, especially with poetry such as that of the Romantic era, so concerned with personal consciousness, the coalescence of individual perception/imagination and 'reality' as almost inseparable.  In Wordsworth this manifested in an egotistic reflection of self upon landscape, sublime originating from within, at the limit of human perception. However, later Keatsian thought on the concept of Negative Capability argued the reverse, that the poet should become the 'most unpoetic' of souls, and encountering mystery or the infinite, rather than resorting to an abstraction of the 'sublime' - simply instead 'be' in this state, indulge the mystery, disregarding the egotistic hub of self in favour of a sacrifice to nature, outside ideas.  Both of these ideas form a different concept of the coalescence of perceived reality and imagination, but from opposing sides of the same coin. 
1 1. Meaning and Subjectivity

Annotations:

  • 'Belonging to a culture means that not everything is up for grabs all of the time, as it might be for a cultureless being like God' - individual limitation/omniscience (where does the Romantic poet stand in this epistemology?). Culture/religion. The poet AS God, achieving omniscience (spacelessness) /attempting immortality (timelessness).  Words, lines, verses, punctuation etc - though potentially subjective and ambiguous, nonetheless come to us as already signifying. It is only through engagement with social, cultural or symbolic (which emanates from those two, but also religion, other art or poetry, nature) meanings we can untangle a coherent subjective diagnosis of a poem, and perceive its subjectivity or ambiguity only by awareness of other, potentially equally coherent diagnoses.  Feelings/meanings not solely private or internal. The feelings or impulses themselves may take place internally, however any means of expressing or articulating them even to ourself relies upon language, therefore reliant on external concepts of meaning and signification.  Personal associations within poem can only be validated if it can plausibly find meaning within shared social and cultural discourse, that can potentially be shared or at least understood cohesively by others, rather than personal arbitrariness.
2 2. Tone, Mood and Pitch

Annotations:

  • Tone is a modulation of the voice expressing a particular mood or feeling - and Mood is the particular state of mind or feeling represented by a particular angle of Tone.  Timbre is the distinctive character of this voice.  Pitch is whether perhaps it sounds high, low, mid-range. Volume, loud or soft.  This is an area of poetics that taps into the somatic experience of poetry, instinctively determining either an external or internal voicing of the poem, which becomes self-apparent when encountering the words, grammar, syntax, metre, or other technical features either consciously or implicitly, much as we may respond to music with varying degrees of knowledge on form or harmony, we can nonetheless perceive shifts in tone or mood without knowing A minor from F sharp. 
3 3. Intensity and Pace

Annotations:

  • Another category like 2. of poetic feeling.
4 4. Texture

Annotations:

  • How poems weaves its sounds into palpable patterns. SOUND DEVICES in poetry ACCENT: (not same as emphasis) Rhythmically/metrically significant stress in articulation of words. Metre often defined by placements of accent within a foot. When accent falls on vowel (PO-tion) it is a 'long vowel' when it falls on consonant (POR-tion) it is a 'short vowel' ALLITERATION: also head rhyme or initial rhyme ASSONANCE: vowel rhyme, relatively close juxtaposition of same or similar vowel sounds. CONSONANCE: A pleasing tonal combination of sounds. CACOPHONY: Dischordant sounds in jarring juxtaposition - opposite to EUPHONY: Harmony, pleasing to the ear, lots of vowels and long vowels can have this effect and soft, liquid or sibilant consonants DISSONANCE: harsh, unharmonious sounds MODULATION: stress and pitch, a process by which stress values of accents can be increased or decreased within fixed metrical pattern. WEAR RHYME: slow rhyme, off rhyme, imperfect rhyme, half rhyme, para-rhyme PHONETIC SYMBOLISM: Sound suggestiveness, associating particular vowel sounds with common areas of meaning - for example, words for light: glint, glimmer, glisten, glow, gleam RESONANCE: quality of richness or variety of sounds in poetic texture RHYME is in texture RHYTHM: regular, progressive pattern of recurrent accents in the flow of a poem as determined by metrical feet - ris and fall of stress -rhythmic pattern with stress falling on final syllable (iamb or anapest) is a rising/ascending rhythm -rhythmic pattern with stress on first syllable (dactyl or trochee) is a falling/descending rhythm
5 5. Syntax, Grammar and Punctuation

Annotations:

  • Syntax is the word order, and how it relates to grammatical structure. Think for grammar/punctuation ee communings/Shelley's Ode to West Wind - how do these influence a reading or possible meanings of a poem?
6 6. Ambiguity

Annotations:

  • Built into the very nature of poetry, and a very important part of it - so make sure to mine the subjective possibilities in this when possible. difference between ambiguity and ambivalence - Ambivalence is when there are 2 specific meanings in an either/or sense - Ambiguity is when there are two or more senses of a word merge together to the point where the meaning becomes indeterminate
7 7. Punctuation
8 8. Rhyme
9 9. Rhythm and Metre

Annotations:

  • Metre is a regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables, whereas rhythm is less formalised. Rhythm means the irregular sway and flow of the verse, its ripplings and undulations as it follows the flexing of the speaking voice. Much of the effect of English poetry comes from playing one off against the other.
10 10. Imagery

Annotations:

  • Just as rhyme, metre and texture involve an interplay of difference and identity, so do most images. Similes and metaphors insist on affinities between elements which we also acknowledge to be different. Metonymy links elements in a contiguous way (bird/sky), thus creating an equivalence between things which we recognise to be disparate. Synecdoche substitutes a part for a whole (wing for bird), and parts and wholes are both different and allied. Not all imagery is visual (Milton the master of this) - for example aural or tactile imagery. Imagery did not immediately mean such devices as metaphor and simile. Don't confuse necessarily with figurative language. 'It was only with the Romantic movement, when it was accepted that even the clearest perception of the world involves the creative imagination, that the two notions began to coalesce. What had started out as a matter of clear representations now touched on the very essence of the poetic imagination, which combines, distinguishes, unifies and transforms. Moreover, if our knowledge of reality involved the imagination, then imagery was cognitive, not merely decorative. It could no longer be dismissed as so much superfluous embellishment. Instead, it lay at the very heart of the poetic. Rhetoric and reality were no longer at daggers drawn. Metaphor was now more or less equivalent to the poetic as such. It was a supremely privileged activity of the human spirit, not just a rhetorical device.
Show full summary Hide full summary

Similar

Biological Molecules Definitions
siobhan.quirk
Causes of the Cold War Quiz
Fro Ninja
HRCI Glossary of Terms A-N
Sandra Reed
GCSE AQA Chemistry Atomic Structure and Bonding
mustafizk
GCSE AQA Biology - Unit 3
James Jolliffe
GoConqr Quick Guide to Getting Started
Andrea Leyden
Atomic numbers and mass numbers quiz
Sarah Egan
1PR101 2.test - Část 2.
Nikola Truong
CCNA Security 210-260 IINS - Exam 3
Talitha Botha
REGLAMENTO DE USO LEGAL, ADECUADO Y PROPORCIONAL DE LA FUERZA PARA LA POLICÍA NACIONAL DEL ECUADOR
edwin patrico
Mapa sobre ALGORITMOS
RICAUTER MOISES LOPEZ BERMUDEZ