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Transcript of Poetry
levels of meaning
- focus on material reality
- focus on psychological reality
- focus on gritty details of lower and middle class life
- character and class represented accurately
- no drama or elaborate diction
- reaction against Romanticism
- nothing has meaning
- values are baseless
- nothing can be truly known
- no purpose really exists
- despair is the only realistic emotion
- hope is an illusion
- indifference is more natural than love
- everything ends in destruction
- plain somber clothing
- order (via laws)
- hard work
- order is better than chaos
- civil better than primal (wild)
- suffering elevates!
- happiness is better
than material possessions!
- nature (not civilization)!
- all these lead to truth!
- truth is in nature!
- find God in nature!
- find yourself in nature!
- transcend material world through nature!
- transcend society because individual can discover truth
- knowledge is power
- material manifestations
- visible and observable facts
- provable truths
- knowledge is orderly
- fate vs free will (fate usually wins)
- natural/supernatural (supernatural wins)
- natural/unnatural (natural should win)
- absolutes of good and evil
- the beginnings of irony in the hint of doubt
that these concepts are absolute
- power (is most real, and humans want it)
- love is the one route to transcendence aside from
- hierarchy and order
- reaction against Enlightenment and Romantic thinking
- influenced by industrial revolution, machine proliferation, man/machine
- rejection of Realism: modernists and structuralists think that words and language, perception and the gaze construct "reality" in the world, along with society, structures of power and identity. Can be for good or evil.
- movements include Impressionism, Symbolism and Freudian psychology
levels of meaning
- literal level
- first metaphorical level (what do the metaphors represent?)
- second metaphorical level (what do the metaphors imply?
- first implication level (what does the poem as a whole imply about an aspect of being human?)
- second implication level (what do parts of the poem, including metaphors and literary devices, imply about the nature of being human?)
- perception (truth, reality)
- the gaze
- emotion (passion)/reason
- reality/illusion (or delusion)
- power (--> control--> agency)
- identity (gender, self/other)
- nature imagery
- body imagery
- machine imagery
- garb imagery
- musical imagery
metaphor = figure(s)
- metaphor: transfers image between
(object). Example "All the
- metonymy: The White House issued a memo
- synecdoche: Get your butt in here (part for whole)
- dead metaphor: the sense of a transferred image is absent. Examples: "to grasp a concept" and "to gather what you've understood" use physical action as a metaphor for understanding. Most people do not visualize the action—dead metaphors normally go unnoticed. Some people distinguish between a dead metaphor and a cliché.
- rhythm or meter
- what creates tone
(word choice, rhythm,
imagery that creates mood)
- pivot (turn, volta)
- song forms