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Study Guide for English 102 with Matt Hussey (SPRING 2011)


Department
English
Course Code
ENGL 102W
Professor
Matt Hussey

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WEEK 1: INTRODUCTION: READING POETRY
Paraphrase
- a restatement in your own words of the major ideas, argument or thematic
elements of a poem
Poetry
- “anything said in such a way or put on the page in such a way as to invite from the
hearer or reader a certain kind of attention”
- inspires wonder, captures attention
- constantly introduces the reader to something bracingly different from what is
‘already known’
- gives the reader new perspectives on how language is used not only in poems but
also in everyday life
Some Tips When Reading Poetry (provided in UP chapter 1)
- read the poem aloud, more than once if necessary
- make a word-for-word copy of the poem
- circle any words you do not understand, look them up
- highlight any phrases you do not understand or that are memorable
- explore the relationship between the title and key words/phrases
- write about your poetry-reading experience after reading the poem
WEEK 2: WRITING ABOUT POETRY AND POETIC DICTION
Writing About Poetry
Writing and Argument
- a focused and targeted medium
- language, writer and audience must relate
- an arguable claim is most important
- specificity is key
- good arguments focus on only one section of the poem
- i.e. recurrent themes, images, symbols, allusions, etc
Body Paragraphs
- ask yourself how and why your argument is relevant in your body paragraphs
- make sure that your body paragraphs flow logically
- have your final body paragraph be the strongest and/or most profound body
paragraph in your essay
Conclusion
- in your conclusion ask yourself what are the implications of your
analysis/argument
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Poetic Diction
Intention and Context
- poetry is meaningful at its site of reception
- these meanings can be different in different times and places
- the context is an important factor when trying to understand a poem
- poems can mean and do things well beyond their first/initial meaning
Diction
- word choice in a poem
Denotation
- a words literal meaning, a simple definition that may apply to different things
depending on the context
Connotation
- the way that a word can suggest meanings beyond its definition -- through puns,
etymology, etc. They can connote in feeling, tone, and emotion
WEEK 3: POETIC IMAGERY AND THEORIES OF THE MODERN IMAGE
Imagery
- refers to the use of language to evoke sensory experience.
- captures immediate perception of the five senses
- allows reader to imagine sensuous lives more vividly, more originally
- … represents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant
of time.” - Ezra Pound, 1913.
Importance of the title
- often sets out key terms for what is at stake in a poems situation, setting, themes
- can define theme, motif, setting and situations in the poem
- can also help in defining the image that is contained in the poem
Theories of the Modern Image:
- developed by twentieth-century, experimental modernist poets
i.e. Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Hilda Doolittle
- members of the “Imagist Movement
- examined the “radiant gist of experience in sharply beheld images
Modernist definition of Imagery
- involving adirect treatment of the thing whether subjective or objective.”
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Parataxis
- sets images directly side by side
- allows a new perception to arise from the relational arrangement of images
- literary technique in which two sentences with no visible connection are
side-by-side
- use of short, simple sentences with no conjunctions between them
- i.e. “The phone was ringing. The little girl ran outside.”
Hypotaxis
- grammatical arrangement in which two different clauses play an unequal role in a
complex sentence.
- the clauses are in direct relation to one another with a subordinate conjunction
- i.e. “Because the phone was ringing, the little girl ran outside.”
Modernism
- reaction against Victorian ideals of the nineteenth century
- broke away from traditional structured poetry
- free verse poems were common
- Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell the “ring leaders of imagism
- Many of these poems were in response to modern life: industrialization,
urbanization
Imagism
- arose from the modernist movement
- uses visual, sharp and clear language to describe an image, ‘snapshot’.
Found Poetry
- rearranged text from another source to appear like poetry
Deictic words (deixis):
- words that require contextual information to convey any meaning
Impersonal subject
- when a person is referred to only as one
- i.e. “One who does this, is this
Objective correlative
- the emotional response or state of mind evoked by imagery and words
WEEK 4: FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE
General Info:
- Modernism movement began in late 1800s, beginning of 1900s
- Pound asks writers to reject traditional means, reject actual world & how it is seen
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