Poetry

    Chaucer Geoffrey Chaucer (Circa 1340 – 1400) # Chaucer, one of England’s first writers, did more than anyone to prepare a place for the English language in the world’s literary canons. Though more fluent in French, Chaucer chose to write in Middle English, the bastard language of Germanic origins, but the vernacular of England. His writings raised the level of the Germanic over the Norman French establishing the canon of English after Beowulf.

    Bruce Dawe Homo Suburbiensis Bruce Dawe: homo suburbensis # I. SUBJECT MATTER This is a snapshot of an ordinary little bloke caught dreaming? worshipping? in his little patch of garden in his back yard surrounded by his prodigious vegetables who attempt to speak to compensate for his reticence. He appears “lost” in his thoughts. The poem is dedicated to Craig McGregor, a long time journalist who celebrated the typical little Aussie Battler – the dinky-di, the Ocker, the ordinary bloke or quintessential Australian character.

    A Narrow Fellow In The Grass A narrow fellow in the grass - Emily Dickinson # Dickinson never actually uses the word snake, to describe one of our most primal fears. Snakes have always been a fascination for humans; prevalent in creation myths of primitive religions. In most they are associated with evil - death. The snake in the Garden of Eden myth tempted Eve to eat the apple from the Tree of Knowledge and so introduced the concept of sin, forcing Adam and Eve out of Paradise into hardsip.

    A Valediction Forbidding Mourning A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning - Donne, John # I. SOUND EFFECTS The opening is hushed, a reverent atmosphere of a dramatically imagined situation of dying compared to parting. Repetition of “s” sounds creates a sibilant effect of quietness, pauses, faltering breath. Later Donne adopts a more argumentative tone. II, SUBJECT MATTER A recognised tradition of love poetry written in response to the separation or an anticipated absence of someone you love.

    At Mornington At Mornington Gwen Harwood # Sound Effects # Read the poem aloud. Comment on the Sound Effects, verbal music. It’s rhyme. Rhythm and melody. Assonance, alliteration. onomatopoeia. etc. (Blending repetition patterns. slow/fast movement, harsh, discordant, sibilance, sotto, allegro, Rhapsodic, lyrical, elegiac, upbeat, blue, staccato, dirge, ode, Melody. tone. mood. atmosphere. voice. The poem begins softly with an account of anonymous family anecdote telling of her first encounter with the sea.

    Hughes Hughes, Ted, # Hughes is considered one of England’s greatest and most prodigious poets of the last century. Despite the controversies surrounding his domestic life with its promiscuous and masculine sexuality, his poetry gained recognition for its realistic portrayal of man in the natural world - he was closely connected to the earth; trees, fields, flowers and especially wild animals. While earlier views sought to elevate man into the angelic modes, the modern world accepts that we are closely related to nature, both plants and the animal world.

    Memories of West Street and Lepke This poem is a reflection and self-assessment of Robert Lowell’s past, jail sentence, his present, a professor at Boston Univerisity and the future of his young daughter. While self-deprecating, the tone is detached, objective with ironic dignity. He refuses to wallow in maudlin self-pity. His problems are a reflection of his times – the tranquillised fifties. His affluent heritage is contrasted with his past protests and his present predicaments.

    Black Rook Black Rook In Rainy Weather - Sylvia Plath # This can be read as a response to Ted Hughes The Hawk in the Rain, in what may be reciprocal contests. * *It appears to be her first impressions of the English countryside. The poem has many other antecedents like Edgar Alan Poe’s The Raven, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s The Eagle, or less likely Gerard Manly Hopkins' The Windhover.

    Poetic Devices # Poetry is sensual; it appeals to our five senses, affecting our emotions, feelings and moods. Since Poetry appeals to our ears the most, the sound effects used by poets are very important. Words are chosen for their sound effects. To get the most benefit from poetry it should be read aloud (recited) or even sung. Verbal music includes: rhyme, rhythm, assonance, melody, pitch, slow, fast, light, heavy, alliteration, onomatopoeia, blending of words, repetition patterns, tone, voice, mood, atmosphere.

    Peter Skrzynecki and Belonging Peter Skrzynecki (pronounced sher-neski) is a popular poet living in Sydney’s suburb of Eastwood. He was born in war torn Germany on April 6, 1945, 24 days before Germany surrendered to the Allies. His step-father was a displaced Polish migrant in Germany while his mother was born in the Ukraine. They lived in Germany for four years after Peter was born and then began a two year migration process that ended in Australia.

    Beach Burial Slessor Analysis BEACH BURIAL # Background and Context In 1940, Kenneth Slessor became Australia’s official war correspondent first reporting from Northern Africa. It was a battle in El Alamein, an obscure railway stop west of Alexandria that in the course of a few days became known around the world for turning the fortunes of war. In November 1942, the Allied Eighth Army, comprised of at least 10 nations of the British Empire, broke German and Italian lines to push Rommel’s Axis troops back to Tunisia and defeat in Africa.

    Judith Wright Life Judith Wright Aboriginal land rights # According to her daughter, Meredith McKinney, Judith fought two big campaigns in her life – the first was for the conservation of the environment and the second was to secure land rights for the Aboriginal people. Her interest in Aboriginal land rights was sparked by her friendship with fellow poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker). “That’s what she spent her final couple of decades doing,” says Meredith.

    Art And Violence In Yeats Violence and Art # Yeats had some deeply held opinions on the role of the Artist in history. Violence was very much a part of the rise and fall of most civilisations. Researchers today recognise that we live in much more civilised times, though the scale and intensity of violence may merely have become more remote. Yeats accepts violence as part of change. He saw war as a necessary purification of nations.

    Coleridge Coleridge, a Romantic poet, extols the power of the imagination over that of logic. Logic appeals to the mind, but imagination is more holistic, affecting the mind, the senses, the emotions and the visceral. Through imagination we are taken on journeys that pierce the exterior and penetrate to the core, and conceive the real essence of things, especially in nature. Word association, incantatory spells and other sound effects grip us and we are carried along vicariously in an imaginary journey with the composer.

    Courtly Love # Originating with the troubadours of southern Europe, Courtly Love illustrates the pain of unrequited romantic love - an emotional dead end because marriages were arranged as social contracts to consolidate property. Romantic Love mainly applied to the lower property less classes. Whether this was merely a literary phenomenon celebrated in verse or actual practice has scholars perplexed. It was likely both, with the literary protestations slightly exaggerated.

    Figures of Speech # We may express our thoughts in • plain or literal language; • figurative language. In figurative language, the writer or speaker employs FIGURES of SPEECH, which may be described as form of expression in which words are intentionally not used with their ordinary meaning or in their usual order. Figures of speech are used to make expression more: forceful, emphatic, striking, or pleasing. The main figures of speech are:

    Hallelujah # **Leonard Cohen **became a renown Canadian and international folk singer in the 1960’s, characterised by the melancholic sensuality of ephemeral love. His most famous works included, Suzanne, So Long Marianne and Bird on a Wire. Cohen began composing Hallelujah in 1979, and finally recorded it in 1984 to mixed reviews destined to obscurity. It then it took another 15 years to become accepted as a work of genius.

    Wot is Poetry? # Can we separate the poet from their poetry? There persists a view that poets are driven to write about the excruciating emotions of the human experience. Like philosophers, many are not people you’d want to be friends with. # Robert Frost claims that “*being a poet is not a profession; it is a condition”. * Though they attempt to hid behind masks, most poets are expressing their deepest guilt, fears, insecurities, hopes, ecstasies or obsessions, all the while pretending to be creating art.

    Robert Frost 1874 – 1963 # Biography Frost was born in California but moved to the east coast shortly after his father died when Robert was ten. His family moved a lot, changing schools, including, Dartmouth College for few months, working in a textile mill before going to Harvard in 1897 – after two years he left without a degree. He had married Elinor White in 1895. His grandfather bequeathed him a small farm in New Hampshire as long as he stayed ten years – he stayed 11.

    ** A Hug a Day keeps the Doctor Away - Laura Barton – The Guardian** Humans crave physical contact and it does much more than just create a warm, fuzzy feeling. “EVERYONE Needs Touch, especially the elderly” says Beata Aleksandrowicz, a massage therapist. Bertrand Russell once wrote: “Not only our geometry and our physics, but our whole conception of what exists outside us is based upon the sense of touch.