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ENGL 1A03 Final: Bright Star Notes.docx

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Eugenia Zuroski Jenkins
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The Sonnet
A type of lyric poem- broad category, lots of different kinds of poems
Refers to poems that are framed as personal reflections or meditations of a close topic
Specific forms of poetry that fall under it
The sonnet si a 14 line lyric poem; typically in iambic pentameter
Intricate rhyme scheme
Traditionally, the sonnet has an “argument”: the first part introduces a “problem” and the second
offers a “solution”
Problem- something that needs to be though about
Resolution- result of thinking about it; conclusions that the poem arrives at
Moment of transition – turn or volta- from problem to resolution
Popular sonnet types
Italian – form borrowed by English writers from Italian writers. Two sections
Octave- 8 line sections with specific rhyme scheme – abbaabba
Sestet – 6 line section- varies – cddcee or cdcdcd or cdecde
English – came into being in English writing; Shakespeare popularized the form; also 14 lines. 4
Abab cdcd efef and a concluding couplet gg
John Keats, “Bright Star”
Known for experimenting with lyric forms
Philosophical engagement with theoretical issues – what it means to know or to fell or to
Apostrophe - Text talks directly to an inanimate object or abstract construct such as a thing, idea or
absent or dead person; form has a history of a male poet talking to a female lover (someone he is
wooing romantically or politically)
Opening of bright star is an apostrophe
Poem about her being spoken to a star; some elements of a love poem but not speaking to her
Turn or Volta- at the “No--” signals a stop or a pause. The dash halts the movement of the poem;
registers a change. The first part leading up to the “No” talks about what the poet does not want. At
the turn, poem says what the poet wants and what he years for. The turn moves us into the
articulation of what the poet is yearning for- a stillness that exists in constant movement, years for
permanence, unchangeability, within perpetual unrest. It’s a paradox. The poem doesn’t want the
fixicity of the lone star above; doesn’t want the object fixicty to see things without being involved in.
the poem wants a fixicity of unrest or movement that chanracterizes human or earthy life.
Paradox- the idea of fixicity within unfixicit; unchangeability within movement. Formal paradox. The
resolution is describing a state of being that is by definition unresolved- without one taking over the
other; having 2 feeling simultaneousy “sweet unrest”. Starts with stable perspective of fixed
objectivity to the less stable perspective and experience of embody subjectivity (What it means to
perceive life in the moment)
Rhyme and Half-Rhyme- half rhyme in third quatrain between lines 1 and 3
(unchangeable and swell – repeats the I sound but it adds that vowel, the word swell placed as it
performs a swelling – vowels are the sounds that involved a breath behind them but consonants
tend to focus on the stoppages – the way it stopped rather than the way t comes out)
by inserting the e, the vowel is filling the word that way that it fills the ripening of the breast
God’s Grandeur