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FAMOUS AMERICAN POETS

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Title: OBJECTIVES Author: Reba03 Last modified by: Sarin, Erin Created Date: 2/16/2009 8:27:54 PM Document presentation format: On-screen Show (4:3) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: FAMOUS AMERICAN POETS


1
FAMOUS AMERICAN POETS
  • Despite their genius and fame, many poets were
    often misunderstood because of their unique
    dispositions and ideals.
  • Sources for the following slides unless otherwise
    specified http//www.online-literature.com/dicki
    nson/ http//www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/
    a_f/eliot/eliot.htmhttp//www.biographyonline.net/
    poets/emily_dickinson.html poets.org
    http//www.vcu.edu/engweb/eng384/emilybio.htm

2
FAMOUS POETS
  • Emily Dickinson (1830 1886)

Images yahoo.com
3
Emily Dickinson Biography
  • Born December 10, 1830 in Amherst, MA.
  • Educated at Amherst Academy.
  • At 17, began college at Mount Holyoke Female
    Seminary she became ill the spring of her first
    year and did not return.
  • She would leave home only for short trips for the
    remainder of her life, leading scholars to
    speculate she may have been agoraphobic (fear of
    going in public or managing crowds).

4
Was She Weird?
  • Known for being a recluse, she didnt leave her
    familys homestead for any reason after the late
    1860s.
  • She almost always wore white.
  • She often lowered snacks and treats in baskets to
    neighborhood children from her window, careful
    never to let them see her face.

5
Dickinsons Poetry Famous for . . .
  • Regular meterSing-song
  • Quatrains (four line stanzas)
  • Often 1st and 3rd lines rhyme, 2nd and 4th lines
    rhyme in iambic pentameter (ABAB)
  • The use of dashes as emotion and interruption
  • Most poems about Life and Death

6
Dickinsons Publishing Career
  • Sent poems to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a
    literary critic and family friend.
  • He recognized her talent, but tried to improve
    them, which made Dickinson lose interest.
  • At the time of her death, only seven of her poems
    had been published.

7
Dickinsons Legacy
  • Dickinson died May 15, 1886, of nephritis (kidney
    disease).
  • Along with Walt Whitman, Dickinson is one of the
    two giants of American poetry of the 19th century.

8
Dickinsons poem
I heard a fly buzz when I died       The
stillness round my form Was like the stillness in
the air       Between the heaves of storm. The
eyes beside had wrung them dry,       And breaths
were gathering sure For that last onset, when the
king       Be witnessed in his power. I willed
my keepsakes, signed away       What portion of
me I Could make assignable,- and then       There
interposed a fly, With blue, uncertain,
stumbling buzz,       Between the light and
me And then the windows failed, and then       I
could not see to see.
The death in this poem is painless, yet the
vision of death it presents is horrifying, even
gruesome. The appearance of an ordinary,
insignificant fly at the climax of a life at
first merely startles and disconcerts us. But by
the end of the poem, the fly has acquired
dreadful meaning. Clearly, the central image is
the fly. It makes a literal appearance in three
of the four stanzas and is what the speaker
experiences in dying. source
http//academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/c
s6/fly.html
9
FAMOUS POETS
  • Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
  • Lived between time of the
  • War of 1812 and The American Civil War.
  • Transcendentalist ? Realist
  • Gained prominence as a Free Verse poet
  • One of two most famous 19th century poets
    (Dickinson is the other one)

10
Walt Whitman
  • Walt Whitman was born May 31, 1819 on South
    Huntington, Long Island, New York.
  • His poetry broke every rule of traditional poetry
  • Famous volume of poetry Leaves of Grass (1855)
  • 1892 - Died of Emphysema/Pneumonia

11
I celebrate myself
  • He was almost entirely self-education, especially
    admiring the work of Dante, Shakespeare, and
    Homer.
  • His mother described him as very good, but very
    strange.
  • His brother described him as being stubborner
    sic than a load of bricks.

12
Walt Whitman
  • Mixed reactions to his poetry, possibly because
    of its sexual references.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson/Abe Lincoln loved it.
  • Themes Whitman covered were Nature, Democracy,
    and Common Man.
  • He introduced Free Verse to America. (no rhyme
    scheme, no meter)
  • Uses long lines, vernacular, and catalogue
    (listings)
  • Slide Source http//www.usd306.k12.ks.us/classro
    om/tanderson/Walt20Whitman.ppt258,3,Walt Whitman

13
Whitmans Song of Myself poem
  • I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself, And what I
    assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging
    to me as good belongs to you.
  • I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at
    my ease observing a spear of summer grass.
  • My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from
    this soil,      this air, Born here of parents
    born here from parents the same, and      their
    parents the same, I, now thirty-seven years old
    in perfect health begin, Hoping to cease not till
    death.

14
FAMOUS POETS
  • Langston Hughes (1902 - 1967)

15
Langston Hughes Biography
  • James Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902,
    in Joplin, Missouri. After his parents divorced
    and until his mother remarried, he lived with his
    grandmother. His father moved to Mexico.
  • Hughes writing influences were Paul Lawrence
    Dunbar, Carl Sandburg, and Walt Whitman, though
    Hughes is known for his insightful, colorful
    portrayals of black life in America from the
    twenties through the sixties. He was a major
    player in the Harlem Renaissance Movement.
  • Langston Hughes died of complications from
    prostate cancer in May 22, 1967, in New York.

16
Writing Style
  • Diction/Vernacular
  • Jazz Influences
  • Metaphors and Symbols
  • Imagery

17
Hughes Poem
  • What happens to a dream deferred?
  • Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or
    fester like a sore-- And then run? Does it
    stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar
    over-- like a syrupy sweet?
  • Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
  • Or does it explode?

Dream Deferred
18
Understanding Hughes What Happens to a Dream
Deferred? poem
  • The questions are all rhetorical questions,
    because they intend to answer themselves.
  • Each question in the first stanza uses simile
    like a raisin in the sun, like a sore,like
    rotten meat, like a syrupy sweet. The second
    stanza which is not a question but a suggestion
    also uses simile like a heavy load. The last
    stanza uses metaphor, does it explode?
  • The poem employs rhyme sun-run, meat-sweet,
    load-explode.
  • The poem also uses imagery raisin in the sun,
    fester like a sore / And then run, stink like
    rotten meat, etc.

19
Sylvia Plath
  • 1932-1963
  • The blood jet is poetry / there is no stopping
    it.

20
A brief biography childhood
  • Born in Boston on October 27, 1932, to Aurelia
    Schober and Otto Plath
  • Her mother introduced her to poetry which she
    loved
  • Idolized her father and longed to please him
  • In 1930s he developed diabetes, but refused
    treatment. Gangrene of leg led to amputation.
  • In 1940, when Sylvia was 8, her father died and
    she published her first poem.
  • Excelled in English and writing courses
  • Suffers mental emotional exhaustion
  • Is rejected for a Harvard writing course
  • First suicide attempt overdose. Receives
    electric shock treatment.
  • She writes about these experiences in her
    semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar

After discovering poetry, Sylvia said I had
fallen into a new way of being happy.
21
Sylvia and Ted
  • 1954 Plath went to Harvard summer school,
    graduates summa cum laude in 1955
  • 1956 Met Ted Hughes, also a poet
  • It was an intense courtship and they were married
    within months.
  • In 1962, following a traumatic appendix operation
    and the birth of their son Nicholas, Plath's
    writing became more frantic.
  • Sylvia Teds relationship was passionate and
    tumultuous

He was very simply the only man Ive ever met
whom I could never boss. (Sylvia to friends)
22
Sylvia Plath Ted Hughes
  • 1962 the beginning of the end
  • June 2nd suicide attempt driving car off the
    road
  • July Discovers Teds affair with Assia Weevill.
  • Sept They separate
  • Oct She writes 26 poems in one month
  • Dec She takes her 2 children and moves into a
    maisonette in London
  • She prepares Ariel, a collection of 41 poems

23
The end 1963
  • The Bell Jar is published under a pseudonym and
    receives good reviews
  • She is depressed, isolated and mentally unstable
  • February 1963, in one of the coldest winters in
    English history, she succeeded in taking her life
  • Her body was discovered the following morning.
  • She was survived by her 2 children.
  • 1965 Ariel was published.
  • 1982 she is posthumously awarded the Pulitzer
    Prize for Literature.

24
Plaths style
  • Confessional Poetry
  • Themes Death, Life, her father
  • Metaphors (sometimes extended), Repetition,
    Assonance
  • Free Verse
  • Elegy

25
Billy Collins
  • Born March 22, 1941 in New York, New York
  • Contemporary poet
  • Poems have surprise endings
  • Sarcastic / Humorous
  • Conversational and witty poems
  • Laid-back, talks about everyday life
  • Became an English Professor
  • Writer-in-residence at Sarah Lawrence College
  • Founder of Poetry 180 project

25
26
Influences
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Mother
  • John Keats
  • Samuel Coleridge
  • Jazz music
  • New York

26
27
THE END
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