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Lecture

Journal Entry 5

10 Pages
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Department
English (Arts)
Course Code
ENGL 345
Professor
Nathalie Cooke

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Description
Pas de Deux The pas de deux was created in 2004 by Rachel Rose. The definition isn't found anywhere yet, so all that we have is the one from Juliette's presentation: "a pair of peoms that explore and debate a subject or theme," and the one that we got when on Skype with Rachel: "a pair of poems that talk to each other... like a collage in art or a dialectic in philosophy." There is no strict form, but the poems are usually presented in rhyming couplets. The name comes from a french dance and usually means "step of two." The themes that Rachel Rose explores are relatively controversial: she uses these poems to present contrasting viewpoints: she uses these poems to present contrasting viewpoints. She sees this contrast as something very Whitmanesque (he contradicts himself on purpose). She intends these poems to be read on many different levels, from the surface to deeper juxtapositions. There's a profound power and a sort of humor to these poems, the kind that comes from people being a little bit uncomfortable. What We Heard About the Japanese vs. What the Japanese Perhaps Heard - not a very light pair of poems What We Heard About Death vs. What Death Heard About Us What We Heard About The Canadians vs. What We Heard About The Americans The poems are presenting stereotypes about two opposing things. These are the voices of the people, speaking without mediation. The parallel between the two poems highlights the absurdity of the stereotypes, which go deeper than the poems themselves. Group Activity Our activity was to compare "What We Heard About Death” and “What Death Heard About Us” http://periodicals.faqs.org/201010/2405091841.html http://periodicals.faqs.org/201010/2405091831.html The human image of death is all very spiritual and desirable, whereas death sees humans' demise the same way that he views animals'. Death and humans do not have the same parallels that we find in the other pas de deux – for example the one about the Japanese – and this pair is thus more distinct. You have to have a really good general knowledge in order to get all of the references to religious practices and stereotypes that are made. Satire ›“Verse satire is a literary manner, a critical attitude toward human institutions and humanity. Through laughter, the satirist attempts to inspire a remodeling or restructuring of man’s values.” (Shawcross & Lapides) There is no specific structural form in which it must be written, but a formal piece of Satire creates a dramatic dynamic between the speaker and some adversary using › homilies, narrative and dramatic incidents and proverbs. It achieves laughter through mockery, irony, incongruity, parody, reversal and exaggeration. It encourages the reader to question society, which motivates change. It can be considered insulting to some people. There are three types of Satire: 1.Horatian: ›Attacks foibles and follies ›Correction through sympathetic laughter 2.Juvenalian: ›Attacks vices and crimes ›Biting and accusatory 3.Menippean: ›Focuses on mental attitudes ›Pokes fun at the “learned man” for example. “A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General” by Jonathan Swift http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/a-satirical-elegy-on-the-death-of-a-late-famous/ This poem is biting and incredibly caustic towards the famous general, who died of old age in his bed though his men perished on the battlefield. There is an additional twist at the end where Swift says he will return to dirt rather than the accepted imagery of dust, implying that the general was worthless and unclean to begin with. This is Juvenalian in nature. Class activity: Identify whether the following poem is Horatian or Juvenalian and why: “The Unknown Citizen” by W.H. Auden http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15549 This poem talks about a man who is never identified by name (only by number), but who is considered to have been happy because no one heard otherwise. Everything that identifies him is some kind of external characteristic, like where he worked and what things he owns, as his life is described by the Bureau of Statistics, some government branch. Freedom and happiness are considered unimportant because the governent has no way of finding out about them, which makes this Horatian. Sestina Sestina were initially written in iambic pentameter, but don't have to be anymore, since they were adopted by the Romance languages. Their origins lie in 12th century troubadours, who used the form in ordert o stage a competition on who was the wittiest and most elaborate. “Six, six-line stanza in which the end words in the lines of the first stanza are repeated, in a set order of variation, as the end words of the stanzas that follow ... concludes with an envoy, or a short formal stanza which is appended to a poem by way of conclusion”(Abrams 343). The envoy is three lines, and it usually contains all six repeated words. No rhyme scheme or meter is required, though it is not forbidden. Thus, there are six unrhymed stanzas with a specific order of word variation, a concluding three-line envoy that usually includes all six repeated words, word repetition, no rhyme scheme selected, metered line is rare. Thematically, the sestina is centred on courtly love, obsession, loss and unhappiness. It is a very restrictive form, which limits the poet's creative license, however the repeated words can be varied. Manipulating single words adds fluidity and musicality: working within the constraints of such a difficult form allows you to showcase your talents as a poet. The double sestina and tetrina are variations of the sestina achieved by either expanding or compacting it. Physical structure of the sestina (the pattern for the next stanza is uncovered by taking the words from the pervious stanza in this order: 6, 1, 5, 2, 4, 3): Stanza 1 - A B C D E F Stanza 2 - F A E B D C Stanza 3 - C F D A B E Stanza 4 - E C B F A D Stanza 5 - D E A C F B Stanza 6 - B D F E C A Envoy – B D F / E C A Examples of the sestina: •Fred Cogswell’s The Edge – Pg 177 •Sue Chenette’s Ritual – Pg 181 • Elizabeth Bishop's Sestina Class Activity: Look at Ezra Pound’s Sestina Altaforte. The first stanza is complete, which allows you to complete the second, where there are blanks. Then search the rest of the poem in case there are mistakes within the remaining stanzas. We completed the poem using the breakdown of the physical stricture, labelling the words in the first stanza as A-F and then rearranging them in the order of FAEBDC. We found two variations in ordering, one in the fourth stanza and one in the fifth. Alternate Activity: Assign each table a different Sestina, and have them compose the envoy using the required words, in order to see how difficult it is to manipulate the form. Petrarchan and Shakespearian Sonnet The sonnet is defined by The Oxford English Dictionary of Literary Terms as “A lyric poem comprising fourteen rhyming lines of equal length”. Similarly, Abrams defines the sonnet as “a lyric poem consisting of a single stanza of fourteen iambic lines linked by an intricate rhyme scheme.” (336) It originated in thirteeth century Italy, and by the sixteenth century had spread to be nearly universal. Sonnets have the capacity to comment on a problem (Italian) and express the creativity of the poet as he explores a theme from multiple perspectives (English). Sonnets can be linked together by theme, as they are short and memorable. They portray a speaker's emotions of praise for someone or something. They have a very strict form, which makes them difficult to write, and they are incapable of expressing narrative. “The Petrarchan sonnet, also known as the Italian sonnet, is divided into an octave rhyming abbaabba and a sestet normally rhyming cdecde, and thus avoids the final couplet found in the English or ‘Shakespearean’ sonnet. The Petrarchan conceit is an exaggerated comparison or striking oxymoron of the kind found in sonnets written under Petrarch's influence.” (OED) The octave introduces a problem (or expresses a desire, reflects on reality or presents a situation that causes doubt or conflict within the speaker) within the first quatrain, and then develops it further in the second half. The sestet makes a comment on the problem or proposes a solution. This shift in tone at the beginning of the sestet is called a volta, and this is the most distinctive feature of the form. Examples of a Petrarchan Sonnet: “London 1802” – William Wordsworth http://www.online-literature.com/keats/519/ “Sonnet 159” – Francesco Petrarca http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrarch%27s_and_Shakespeare %27s_Sonnets#Different_Structures_of_Sonnets The Shakespearian sonnet consists of fourteen lines written in iambic pentameter. It is divided into three quatrains and a couplet, with the following rhyme scheme: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Thematically, Shakespearian sonnets treat courtly love, heartache, religion and death. The key characteristics are the concluding couplet, which offers a summation of the poem, and the volta, which is a turning point that usually occurs right before that. The three quatrains allow for three different perspectives while the poet introduces their theme. Example of a Shakespearian Sonnet: Sonnet 18 – William Shakespeare http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/18.html It is written in iambic pentameter with a Shakespearian rhyme scheme, about a speaker who explores the beauty of his beloved. The volta appears in line 9, where there is a shift in the poem, and the concluding couplet introduces a new idea. Class Activity: We were given a sonnet and asked to identify which type it was and where the volta was. We had Shakespeare's sonnet # 60 {http://www.shakespeare- online.com/sonnets/60.html}, which we identified as a Shakespearian sonnet. With a little bit of help, we learned that the word “feeds” is the volta, because it creates a shift in tone to something a bit more dark: it is a troche that expresses the harshness of death. The whyme scheme was ABAB-CDCD-EFEF-GG. Sonnet Redoubled The Sonnet Redoubled follows Shakespearean sonnet in that it has 14 lines. It is an advanced form of a crown of sonnets/sonnet corona (an entire poem where there are 15 sonnets; a total of 210 lines.). The last line of the previous sonnet because the first line of the next sonnet. This creates familiarity to provoke the emotions of the speaker. Examples of Sonnets Redoubled: “Crown of Sonnets: A Crown of Sonnets Dedicated to Love” – Lady Mary Wroth http://allpoetry.com/poem/8602399-A_Crown_of_Sonnets_Dedicated_to_Love-by- Mary_Wroth All are addressed to one person. Sonnet Redouble: The Gift – Seanan McGuire and Batya "The Toon" Wittenberg http://www.ladymondegreen.com/batya/thegift.html “ “The first slayer”: point of view of a different character. 15 so
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