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"Sound and Sense" by Alexander Pope

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Ashlie Caputo

on 3 January 2011

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Transcript of "Sound and Sense" by Alexander Pope

"Sound and Sense" by Alexander Pope About the author Born 1688
Died 1744
Best known for satire
Never grew beyond 4"6
"Essay on Criticism"

"A little learning is a dangerous thing" "To err is human, to forgive, divine" "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread" "Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always to be blest" About the poem Not actually its own poem originally
Is an excerpt from his "An Essay on Criticism"
First published in 1711 but 1718 edition had various changes to things like italics and capitalization
Considered a key to reading other poems
Example of Pope's mastery of the heroic couplet Analysis The poem begins with an aphorism; Pope clearly states that he believes that good poetry only comes from much practice and cultivation It isn't enough that the poem doesn't offend anyone; the sound of it must match the meaning When writing about peaceful topics the meter must flow smoothly But when writing about tougher topics the verse should also be tough For instance, when writing about a warrior lifting a rock, the words should be difficult and hard to say smoothly See how the comma creates a pause that makes the reader strain? However, when writing about things like someone running swiftly, the verse should also move quickly and fluidly... Which Pope does with the inclusion of these elided words One of the most important ancient Greek poets really moved audiences by surprising them, which Pope also does in his poems Alliteration Allusions Allusions to Roman/Greek mythology Figurative Language Metaphor Metaphor Simile Imagery Dance/Movement Dance Blows Flows Surges Swift Scours Flies Skims Fall Rise Alliteration Allusions Figurative
Language Imagery Helps deliver the sound that comes with the sense (meaning) Relate to the readers of that time period
Show that Pope considers himself as good of a poet as the ancients by alluding to Homer and imitating him Almost paradoxical to main idea
Compare poetry to nature
Probably make the point that art and nature are close to the same thing
Movement imagery backs up Pope's theme of comparing poetry to dance
Echo imagery: Each line is one thought because of the absence of enjambent, and the second line of each couplet echoes the first.
Certain words seem to echo throughout the poem (Eccho blows flows)
The idea of an echo becomes an extended metaphor for how the lines echo eachother Theme The major theme of this poem is that poetry is an art that must be practiced at and studied to be perfected; it does not come naturally. Also, the sound of the lines must always match the topic being discussed. Other themes: Imitation, ambition, rules and order Tone Confident Critical Condescending Didactic "The Sound of Music" The hills are alive
With the sound of music
With songs they have sung
For a thousand years

The hills fill my heart
With the sound of music
My heart wants to sing ev'ry song it hears

My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds That rise from the lake to the trees
My heart wants to sigh like a chime that flies
From a church on a breeze

To laugh like a brook when it trips and falls
Over stones on its way
To sing through the night
Like a lark who is learning to prey

I go to the hills
When my heart is lonely
I know I will hear
What I've heard before

My heart will be blessed
With the sound of music
And I'll sing once more T
T The title means that the song will be about music and singing. The hills have come to life
With the music
From their songs
That are a thousand years old My heart is full
With the sound of their music
My heart wants to sing all their songs My heart wants to beat like a bird's wings
Over the countryside
My heart wants to sigh like a chime
On the wind To laugh like a bubbling brook
Over rocks as it flows
To sing at night
Like a bird learning to hunt
I travel to the hills
When I am lonely
Because I will hear
The songs from before I will be blessed
With the sound of music
And I will sing again Metaphors
Nature Imagery
Personification Sound/Singing Imagery
Parallelism Reminiscent
Content Beginning = more reminiscent/contemplative

Middle = imaginative/daydreaming

End = content/complacent When a peaceful person comes in contact with a beautiful, natural scene in the countryside, that person will feel comforted and relaxed and free and it will begin to feel like home. The title can now be seen to address the peacefulness and beauty of nature and nature's timeless, everlasting song. Sung/sing Rise
Sigh Laugh Hear Beat IRONY = 0
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