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Poetry Analysis

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by

Mathi Jayasuriya

on 4 October 2013

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Transcript of Poetry Analysis

“Depth and breadth and height”-
the profound love of the persona


“Sun and Candlelight”-
day and night or good times and bad times in life

“Right”-
free will and moral goals of the persona

“Praise”
- materialistic life, superficial rewards

“ old griefs”
- sorrow and pain in the past

“childhood's faith”
- blind faith

“Breath”
- continuity of her love
Analysis
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do love thee?
The Author
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
English
poet
Born on the
6 March, 1806
in Durham
Was frail in her childhood and was diagnosed of a nervous disorder in 1826
By the age of twelve, she had written an
epic consisting of four books of rhyming couplets
In 1820, she published fifty copies of her first narrative poem
“The Battle Marathon”
In 1838,published her first volume of mature poetry,
"The Seraphim and Other Poems"
In 1846, she secretly married
Robert Browning
against her fathers wishes.
"Sonnets from the Portuguese"
, was dedicated to her husband, Robert Browning
Died on the
29th June 1861
Analysis
W
ord Choice, Word Order and Tone
Poetic
diction

The persona of the poem is the poet,
Elizabeth Barrett-Browning

The r
hetorical question
,
run-on lines
and
long vowel sounds
brings out the intensity of the the poem

Romantic
tone

Dramatic monologue
MATHI & YOHAN
POETRY ANALYSIS
Imagery
Sight
Sun
Candlelight
Smiles
Tears
Sound
Praises
Breath
Taste
Tears
Touch
Count
Feel
Movement
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
LONGING
Reach
Smiles
Tears
Paul Laurence Dunbar
The Author
Simile
Metaphor
Personification
Synecdoche
Paradox
Repetition
Figures of Speech
Symbols
Symbol, Allegory
and Irony
Sun and candlelight
- day and night
Old griefs
- pain and sorrow in the past
Saints
- people who used to be close to the persona’s life
depth and breadth and height
- infinite love
Allegory
Every human who is in love, who has been love or someone who believes in the infinite power and beauty of love.
No irony
Alliteration
Sounds
th
ee,
th
e (Lines 1, 2, 5, 9, 12)
dep
th
, bread
th
(line 2)
th
ee,
th
ey (Line 8)
s
oul,
s
ight (Line 3)
l
ove,
l
evel (Line 5)
q
uiet,
c
andle-light (Line 6)
f
r
eely, st
r
ive, Right (Line 7)
p
urely,
P
raise (Line 8)
p
assion,
p
ut (Line 9)
m
y,
m
y (Line 10)
l
ove,
l
ove,
l
ose (Line 11)
W
ith,
w
ith (Line 12
)
Assonance
How do I lov
e
th
ee
? Let m
e
count the ways.
I love thee to the d
e
pth and br
e
adth and h
e
ight
My soul can r
e
ach, when f
ee
ling out of sight
For the ends of B
e
ing and id
e
al Grace. (Lines 1-4)
Most qui
e
t n
ee
d, by sun and candlelight.
I love th
ee
fr
ee
ly, as m
e
n strive for Right; (Lines 6-7)
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if G
o
d ch
oo
se, (Line 13)
Euphony
Rhyme Scheme
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. (a)
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height (b)
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight (b)
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. (a)
I love thee to the level of every day's (a)
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight. (b)
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; (b)
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. (a)
I love thee with a passion put to use (c)
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.(d)
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose (c)
With my lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath, (d)
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if God choose, (c)
I shall but love thee better after death.(d)

“sea”-
a collection of memories
.

“sweetest dreamings”
-wishes and expectations of the persona

“dim and gray”
- sorrow, pain, solitude, agony and loss.

“sea shore”
-The bond between the persona’s emotions and the memories

“days of old”
- old age

“chill baptismal spray”
-a new beginning

“Ocean's moan!”
-his sad memories that keeps on troubling.
Connotations
Petrachan sonnet
Poetic Form
14 lines
Octet - a naïve and fantasy-like love
Sestet- mature love
Has a rhyming scheme similar to the Petrachan model
Lyric

The persona of the poem is yearning and longing for his love.


True and pure love will always be rewarded if people wait patiently letting time decide certain things in life
Middle diction

Persona of the poem could be
Paul Laurence Dunbar
or
a person longing for love

We can observe that
each stanza consists of one sentence, marked
with a period at the end of the 4th line of each stanza.

This could indicate
the movement of the waves
which represents the flow of emotions.

Tone is
romantic
and also evokes
desperation

Damatic monologue
Word Choice, Word Oder and Tone
Connotations
Paul Laurence Dunbar was an African-American who was born on 27 June, 1872
He was the son of two former slaves.
Studied in Dayton’s Central High School
After graduating from High School in 1891, racial discrimination forced Dunbar to work as an elevator operator in a hotel in Dayton.
In 1893 Dunbar published his first collection of poetry, Oak and Ivy.
Although he was criticized for his dialect poetry, many of his poems were written in Standard English
In 1898, Dunbar married Alice Ruth Moore, but they seperated in 1902.
He died in Dayton on the 6th of February 1906.
Theme

Religious faith
Images
Theme
Sight
Sound
Smell
Touch
Movement
Sea
Dim dark clouds
Sea shore
Chill baptismal spray
waves rolling
wind blowing
whispers
"Ocean’s moan!”
fresh salty air of the sea
salinity of the water and the wind
Taste
soft sand
warm breath
cold waves
Post-Colonial Perspective
Paul Laurence Dunbar, the son of two former slaves
Did not have any firsthand experience of slavery, he willingly listened to his mother’s stories about the South.
A victim of racial discrimination
sit
whisper
waves rolling
laughter
Simile
Synecdoche
Metonymy
Personification
Repetition
Figures of speech
The repetition of the word "
to-day
" emphasizes the persona’s longing for his beloved and how much he wishes to be with her.
Repetition
“hold my hand in yours
as
in the days of old”. He uses the word “
as
” to make this comparison.
Simile
“not so loud the waves
complaining
at the shore”

“and I could give back laughter for the Ocean’s
moan

Personification

baptismal spray
” can be substituted for the new beginning the persona is longing for

“Nor find my hand and heart and all the
world
so cold”, the word “
world
” is used as a metonymy as it represents society


laughter
”can be a metonymy for his internal satisfaction and joy.
Metonymy
“Nor find my
hand
and
heart
and all the world so cold.”
hand
and
heart
represents the persona
Synecdoche
Compare/Contrast
Theme : Love
Fantasy
Poetic Diction
Romantic and religious tone
No irony
Symbols are used
Effective use of imagery
Figures of speech are used
Symbols
Reality
Middle Diction
Romantic and desperate tone
No irony
Symbols are used
Effective use of imagery
Figures of speech are used
Critique
Carries a deep meaning

Simple ideas expressed in profound ways

Both poems could be read and enjoyed by everyone
Conclusion
Conventionl
“sea” - memories

“Sea shore” -linking emotions and memories.

“Baptismal spray” - a new beginning.
Two beautiful pieces of literature

True love is pure, unconditional and eternal and we believe that these two poems perfectly represent the essence of love
This poem represents people who long for love.

Reveals the emotions of a person in love, waiting for his lover to accept his love and love him back the same way he does.
Contextual

“sweetest dreamings” - his happy moments with his lover

“Clouds so dim and gray”- rough and sad moments of his life
Allegory
Thank You
NO IRONY
Poetry Analysis
SOUNDS
References
Alliteration
If you could
s
it with me be
s
ide the
s
ea to-day, (Line 1)
If you coul
d
sit with me besi
d
e the sea to-
d
ay, (Line 1)
And
w
hisper
w
ith me s
w
eetest dreamings o'er and o’er ;( Line 2)
Nor fin
d
my han
d
and heart an
d
all the worl
d
so col
d
. (Line 8)
If y
o
u c
o
uld sit with me beside the sea t
o
-day, (Line 1)
And whisper with m
e
sw
ee
test dr
e
amings o'er and o’er ;( Line 2)
I think I sh
o
uld n
o
t find the cl
o
uds s
o
dim and gray, (Line 3)
If y
o
u c
o
uld sit with me up
o
n the sh
o
re t
o
-day, (Line 5)
And h
o
ld my hand in yours as in the days
o
f
o
ld, (Line 7)
N
o
r find my hand and heart and all the w
o
rld s
o
c
o
ld. (Line 8)
Assonance
If you could sit with me beside the sea to-day,
a
And whisper with me sweetest dreamings o'er and o'er;
b
I think I should not find the clouds so dim and gray,
a
And not so loud the waves complaining at the shore.
b

If you could sit with me upon the shore to-day,
a
And hold my hand in yours as in the days of old,
c
I think I should not mind the chill baptismal spray,
a
Nor find my hand and heart and all the world so cold.
c

If you could walk with me upon the strand to-day,
a
And tell me that my longing love had won your own,
d
I think all my sad thoughts would then be put away,
a
And I could give back laughter for the Ocean's moan!
d
Rhyme and Rhyme Scheme
EUPHONY
The word “
moan
” resembles the sound of the slow waves of the ocean.
Onomatopoeia
“Longing” follows a
fixed pattern

The poem has three stanzas each carrying four lines(
Quatrain
)

We could categorize this poem as a
lyric
as

it is a short poem having song-like qualities
Poetic Form

In the first stanza he askes his lover to come and sit with him beside the sea.

He says that if she come he will be happy and all his sad thoughts will go away
.
Interpretation
In the second stanza he again asks his lover to come and sit with him beside the sea shore and hold his hand.
In the last stanza he asks his lover once more to come and walk with him beside the shore.

Tell him that he won her love.

He says that all his sad thoughts will then be put away and he will be happy.
Braxton, J. (n.d.) Dunbar’s Life and Career. Modern American Poetry,
http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/dunbar/life.htm (2012, July 22)

Bremer A. (2011, March 8) ‘How Do I Love Thee?’ (Sonnet 43) by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning. English Language and Literature,
http://englishlanguageliterature.com/2011/02/17/how-do-i-love-thee-sonnet-43-by-elizabeth-barrett-browning/ (2012, July 25)

Brown, S. (1937) Sterling Brown on Dunbar. Negro Poetry and Drama,
http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/dunbar/brown.htm (2012, July 22)

Chong, C. (2011, March 8) ‘How Do I Love Thee?’ (Sonnet 43) by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning. English Language and Literature,
http://englishlanguageliterature.com/2011/02/17/how-do-i-love-thee-sonnet-43-by-elizabeth-barrett-browning/ (2012, July 25)

Cummings Editorial Team (n.d.) Sonnet 43. Cummings Study Guide,
http://cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides2/Sonnet43.html (2012, July 25)

Dream Dictionary (n.d.) Beaches. Dream Dictionary
http://www.unclesirbobby.org.uk/dreamdictionarybeach.php (2012, July 25)

Everett, G. (1993) The Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The Victorian Web,
http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/ebb/ebbio.html

Ingebrigtsen,B. (2011, March 8) ‘How Do I Love Thee?’ (Sonnet 43) by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning. English Language and Literature,
http://englishlanguageliterature.com/2011/02/17/how-do-i-love-thee-sonnet-43-by-elizabeth-barrett-browning/ (2012, July 25)
Jester (n.d.) Poetic Devices in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Sonnet 43, Universal Journal,
http://www.ayjw.org/articles.php?id=549401 (2012, July 25)
Merriman, C. (2006) Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The Literature Network,
http://www.online-literature.com/elizabeth-browning/ (2012, July 21)

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1897) Letter to Alice Nelson-Dunbar, Poets.org,
http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/21288 (2012, July 25)

Shmoop Editorial Team. (11 November 2008) Sonnet 43 Summary" Shmoop University, Inc,
http://www.shmoop.com/how-do-i-love-thee-sonnet-43/summary.html (2012, July 22)

Swanhorst ,J. (2010, January 7) How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways. Suite101,
http://suite101.com/article/how-do-i-love-thee-let-me-count-the-ways-a1 (2012, July 25)

University of Dayton (n.d.) The Life of Paul Laurence Dunbar. Paul Laurence Dunbar Website,
http://www.dunbarsite.org/biopld.asp (2012, July 22)
The poem is about a person who is longing for his lover to return
He says that he will start evryting fresh and new and not find everything so cold and emotionless if she returns.
Love
Love-
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