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Analyzing Poetry


Analyzing Poetry William Butler Yeats The Second Coming and Rudyard Kipling s The White Man s Burden Title Paraphrase Connotation Attitude Shifts ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Analyzing Poetry

Analyzing Poetry
  • William Butler Yeats The Second Coming and
    Rudyard Kiplings The White Mans Burden

  • Title
  • Paraphrase
  • Connotation
  • Attitude
  • Shifts
  • Title
  • Theme

  • First, you have to look at the title. Just look
    at it. Don't try to be all artistic and read into
    it, simply write down what your initial
    impression is. What immediately pops into your
    head? What does it make you feel? Any guesses as
    to what the poem's about? This step is important,
    as your initial impression of the title versus
    your final impression can reveal a lot about the
    poem itself.

  • This is pretty self-explanatory. However, don't
    try to interpret the poem-- not just yet. Simply
    "translate" the poem into simpler language . Make
    sure the phrasing of the poem makes complete
    sense to you before moving on to the next step.
  • Identify the speaker What is he/she going
    through? What is he/she experiencing?

  • Connotation an idea or feeling that a word
    evokes in addition to its literal meaning.
  • Look for words which
  • Cause an emotional or strong reaction in the
    reader (YOU!)
  • Stand out because of unusual usage
  • Appear to be related to the title or subject of
    the poem

  • Reflect on the connotation of the words. Let's
    say you're reading a poem about dogs. If words
    and phrases such as "wagging tail," "eager,"
    "loyal," and "man's best friend" are used, you'd
    probably assume that the speaker has a positive
    attitude toward the subject. They like dogs.
    Imagine, however, that none of those words are in
    the poem-- instead, it contains "slobbering,"
    "noisy," "smelly," and "obnoxious barking." In
    that case, it would be a better guess that the
    speaker is not so fond of dogs.

  • 1.        accusatory-charging of wrong doing
  • 2.        apathetic-indifferent due to lack of
    energy or concern
  • 3.        awe-solemn wonder
  • 4.        bitter-exhibiting strong animosity as a
    result of pain or grief
  • 5.        cynical-questions the basic sincerity
    and goodness of people
  • 6.        condescension condescending-a feeling
    of superiority
  • 7.        callous-unfeeling, insensitive to
    feelings of others
  • 8.        contemplative-studying, thinking,
    reflecting on an issue
  • 9.        critical-finding fault
  • 10.     choleric-hot-tempered, easily angered
  • 11.     contemptuous-showing or feeling that
    something is worthless or lacks respect
  • 12.     caustic-intense use of sarcasm stinging,
  • 13.     conventional-lacking spontaneity,
    originality, and individuality
  • 14.     disdainful-scornful
  • 15.     didactic-author attempts to educate or
    instruct the reader
  • 16.     derisive-ridiculing, mocking
  • 17.     earnest-intense, a sincere state of mind
  • 18.     erudite-learned, polished, scholarly
  • 19.     fanciful-using the imagination

  • Identifying the shifts in a poem can reveal
    multiple attitudes, themes or even speakers.
  • A shift is characterized most often by a change
    in mood or tone, but here are some things to look
    for when searching for shifts
  • -A new stanza
  • -Transition words (but, yet, however)
  • -Changes in diction
  • -Change in speaker
  • -Unusual punctuation

Title (Again)
  • it's time to re-examine the title. Before, it was
    only a surface-level interpretation now, you can
    apply all of your analysis of the poem to a new
    and more in-depth interpretation of the title.
  • Think about the following
  • Look over your original guess/interpretation and
    see if you still agree. If not, what are the
    differences in the surface meaning and deeper
    meaning? Is there use of an extended metaphor?
  • Does the title utilize any kind of poetic devices
    (ex. alliteration, allusion, metaphor) which add
    to the meaning of the poem?
  • In the context of the poem, does the title
    suggest a possible theme?

  • A theme is best stated in sentence form-- "love"
    can be a theme but it is not specific at all.
    Instead, "love conquers all" would be a more
    detailed and acceptable theme.
  • To identify the theme, look over all of your
    analysis and find the connecting threads
  • -What's the subject?
  • -Who is the speaker, what situation are they
    in, and how do they feel about the subject?
  • -Is there more than one speaker or attitude
    toward the subject? Why?
  • -How does the poet's use of diction (word
    choice) and other poetic devices help the
    reader better understand the poem?

  •     Turning and turning in the widening gyre?   
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer?    Things
    fall apart the centre cannot hold?    Mere
    anarchy is loosed upon the world,?    The
    blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere?   
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned?    The
    best lack all conviction, while the worst?    Are
    full of passionate intensity.
  •     Surely some revelation is at hand?    Surely
    the Second Coming is at hand.?    The Second
    Coming! Hardly are those words out?    When a
    vast image out of Spiritus Mundi?    Troubles my
    sight a waste of desert sand?    A shape with
    lion body and the head of a man,?    A gaze blank
    and pitiless as the sun,?    Is moving its slow
    thighs, while all about it?    Wind shadows of
    the indignant desert birds.
  •     The darkness drops again but now I know?   
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep?    Were
    vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,?    And
    what rough beast, its hour come round at last,? 
      Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

The Perception of Africans
  • By writing Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe hoped
    to change the way people thought of Africans and
    African culture.
  • Africans in tribal societies were seen as
    childlike people living in a primitive society
    and depicted as violent savages with passionate
    instincts and simple minds.
  • He wrote as an insider, someone who had
    experienced and wanted to share the richness and
    complexity of traditional African society.
    (Norton Anthology of World Literature)

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