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Noise

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by

Isabella Markoska

on 26 August 2013

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Transcript of Noise

Noise- Revision Notes
What is the message of the poem?
- Cummings communicates his distaste for the city, emphasising the belief that the city defines the inhabitants- both who they are and who they will become- "streets:capers a trickle of mucus / shapes equals girls men"
- The people that the inhabitants really are is not visible any longer because their true identity has been blanketed by society's expectations- particularly emphasised through humanities disconnection with nature, whereby nature provides humanity with peace and harmony.

Continued...
- The toxicity of establishment is making humanity sick, as they are not being provided with the peace and harmony which is essential to their existence.
- Through this poem, Cummings is able to implement his own Transcendentalist beliefs, particularly in relation to the consequences of humanities actions, in that the man made environment is destroying humanity as we know it.
How does Cummings communicate his message?
- Toxicity of establishments, disconnection of humanity and the landscape are all recurring themes.
- Dislocation of syntax (cacaphonic)- "thin very chimney lips wallow gushing cubes / of unhasty dleirium"- "big dins fuzzily / lumber rub-bing their eyes"- makes the audience feel disjointed and uncomfortable.
- When reading the poem, the audience is irritated by the lack of proper syntax and is immediately placed in the world of noise that the poem is conveying.
Continued...
- Aural imagery- constant throughout the poem- onomatopoeia, personification- indicative of the disconnection- title and structure of the poem makes this apparent to the responder.
- Lack of appreciation: "waddle slowly"- humans lazy and without purpose- hypnotised by the materialistic culture of the world.
- "Indolence"- connotation with laziness- draws a similarity between humanity and what is happening within the poem- humans have become lazy and have no purpose because they have been disconnected from nature and poisoned by establishment.
- Conformity: "shapes equals girls men"- stresses the conformity of establishments in relation to Transcendentalism- humans are now unrecognisable from each other and as a whole.
"An inherent tension exists between the human and natural world"-does the poem explore the concepts in the statement?
- Yes, this poem does explore the concepts outlined in this statement, in great depth.
- The inherent tension which exists between the human and natural world is a direct consequence of humanities disconnection with the natural (this being a recurring theme throughout the entire poem.)
- As a result of humanities disconnection with nature and their absolute obsession with materialistic possessions, an undeniable tension now exists between the two, whereby society, and in particular the man made has begun to define the inhabitants. Peace and harmony no longer exists- it being essential for the wellbeing and prosperity of humanity.
Continued...
- The inherent tension between the natural and man made world is a concept relating to the values that Cummings held - his Transcendentalist beliefs were the major influence on the subject matter and form of his poetry.
- Transcendentalism held that the universe and the natural was the key to a healthy and loving life- this lead to an opposition to material possessions, establishments and man made developments, such as the city, exemplified in ‘Noise'
- Transcendentalists held the belief that these materialistic possessions resulted in humanities disconnection from the natural, and ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual. This created an inevitable tension between the two.
Critical Readings
- "...His poems are constantly exhorting us to be original, independent, self-reliant. And he is scornful of everyone who takes refuge in received ideas and conventional standards..."
- Cummings is encouraging us to be original and independent, although he is in no way scornful of any one who takes refuge in received ideas and conventional standards. He disagrees with those who are completely compelled by the power of society and in particular the man made environment but is accepting of them, irregardless of who they are.
- Although his poems evidently discourage the man made environment and the power it holds over all of humanity, his personal context and in particular the relationship with his father, taught him to accept everyone, regardless of their personal beliefs. This being the reason as to why aspects of this critical reading is in our opinion not completely accurate.
Activity
- Please arrange yourself in five groups.
- You will be allocated sections of the poem to answer questions on the worksheet provided (in your groups)- the section of the poem is on a separate sheet
- The three different heights of the buildings are representative of the three levels of questioning
- Literal: buildings two and five
- Inferred: buildings four and six
- Applied: buildings one and three
Literal Questions: buildings two and five
Describe the subject matter of the poem:
Outline three techniques used by Cummings within the stanza you have been allocated:
Inferred Questions:
buildings four and six
Referring back to question two and the techniques identified, what is the effect of the techniques chosen?
Explain the influence of transcendentalism on the subject matter of the poem:
Applied Questions: buildings one and three
Evaluate the consequences of humanities disconnection with nature as expressed in ‘Noise’
Justify your opinion of the poem compared to the author of the critical reading provided
Activity
- Please arrange yourselves into five groups
- You will be asked to complete the questions on the worksheet provided in groups, on the section of the poem you have been allocated (this is on a separate sheet)
- The height of each building indicates its level of questioning:
- Literal: buildings two and five
- Inferred: buildings four and six
- Applied: buildings one and three
Full transcript