here’s the unit overview, with the assessment details and rubrics attached.
For your next poetry assignment you can choose your own poem to analyse and write a commentary on.
Here are some poems that I really love, if you are struggling to find some of your own:
“Those Winter Sundays” Robert Hayden
“She dwelt among the untrodden ways” William Wordsworth
“The Highwayman” Alfred Noyes
“When you are old” WB Yeats
“My Dreams Are of a Field Afar” A.E. Housman
“Meeting at Night” Robert Browning
“Charge of the Light Brigade” Alfred Lord Tennyson
“Mid-Term Break” Seamus Heaney
“Farmhand” James K. Baxter
“Anthem for Doomed Youth” Wilfred Owen
Use this checklist to help you edit your work.
What you need to know…
Sound devices are used for a particular effect and for deliberate reasons by poets when writing poetry. You can read more about sound devices here. Just like how we practiced explaining and analysing the effects of figurative language, you are now going to do the same with sound devices.
This is a very challenging task because it’s not always obvious why a poet has used particular sound devices.
The best analyses will be those that connect the sounds to the meaning (e.g. central idea) of the poem in some way.
In Scott’s poem “Ode: I hate that Drum’s Discordant Sound” the poet is describing how he hates the sounds of the drums that the army used in Britain in WWI when going from town to town to collect volunteers for the army. The army used a drum to attract attention so people knew the army was in town so they could sign up.
The”d” sound is repeated in the opening lines in “I hate that drums dischordant sound, / Parading round, and round, and round:” (1-2). The d sound is similar to the sound of a drum being banged and so the poet uses this in the opening to mimic the sound of the drum that he is describing. The sounds help the reader imagine the scene of the army banging their drum to gather volunteers. The repetition of the “round and round and round” also creates a constant rhythm like that of a drum being beating. In short, the alliteration helps the audience imagine the very thing that Scott is saying how much he hates. (you can read the poem here)
What you need to do…
- Identify a sound device used in one of the three poems we’ve been studying in class (Caged Bird, Introduction to Poetry or Funeral Blues).
- i.e. you analyse one poem.
- Explain the relationship between the sound device used and the meaning in the poem.
- Please show the teacher once you’ve finished. I will also be checking your work upon my return.
If you finish the above task…
You can spend the remainder of the time working on your assessment task.
What you need to do…
Read the following analytical comments on the advertisement below. Work with a partner to rank them in order of the best pieces of analysis to the least effective. Make sure you can justify your choices.
A) The windows hovering in the air make the audience know that the advertisement is for aeroplane seats.
B) The woman is sitting in a chair, reclining and drinking a glass of champagne. She is being waited on by an air hostess who looks like she might be getting ready to offer the woman sitting a pillow. The businesswoman is dressed very elegantly and has a fancy travel bag.
C) The dominant colour in the image is gold, which helps to support this idea of the newness of the product they are offering (premium economy seats) as well as evoking a sense of luxury as gold is often associated with expensive jewelry.
D) The Singapore airlines logo in the corner of the advertisement makes the reader understand that they are the company who this advertisement is for.
E) The woman is sitting in a relaxed manner which highlights the comfort of the seats. The fact she is drinking champagne also reinforces the idea that the airplane seats are luxurious.
What you need to know…
When writing your analysis of a particular poem it is important that you can use examples from the poem to support and demonstrate what you are saying.
IQC stands for:
Introduce –> Quote –> Comment.
- Introduce: give the quote some background (context)
- Quote: include the quote (using correct punctuation!)
- Comment: on what the evidence demonstrates
It is important that you first introduce the quote, then you include the quote and finally you comment.
- Step One: Select your quote carefully
- Step Two: Introduce your quote (I)
- Step Three: Incorporate your quote in a sentence correctly (Q)
- Step Four: Make a comment on your evidence (C)
“I wandered lonely as a cloud.” In this line the persona is describing himself as a cloud because there was only one cloud in the sky and it creates an image of him being alone and surrounded by emptiness.
“The persona describes himself as “…wandering lonely as a cloud…” (1) when there is only one in the sky to create an image of him being alone and surrounded by emptiness.
You can see many examples in this example poetry commentary.
Remember that a quote should:
- Be grammatically correct
- Never begin or end a paragraph
- Be part of a sentence
How to include a quote in the sentence…
The punctuation and structure will vary depending on how long your quoted lines of poetry are.
Three lines or less:
- Use quotation marks around the quote.
- Include the line number/s at the end in brackets (2)
- Use a / mark to mark where one line ends a new line begins
Four lines or more:
- Use a colon at the end of the introductory sentence (:)
- Indent the lines
- Add your analysis after the quote
- See an example here…
What do the three dots … mean? This is called an ellipsis and it means that you have left out words from before or after the quote has begun.
What you need to do…
Explaining Figurative Language:
Choose one example of figurative language from “Introduction to Poetry” and explain its relationship with meaning. Refer to the post on how to what good poetry analysis looks like if you need help.
You must be using property citation (i.e. IQC) techniques in your writing.
You have now successfully explained at least one relationship between figurative language and meaning in “Introduction to Poetry”. You are now to do the same but with at least one sound device. Remember sound devices refer to any poetic technique that involves sound (e.g. rhyme, rhyme scheme, rhythm, meter, assonance, alliteration, sibilance, onomatopoeia).
After reading “Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins, summarise the difference/s between the way the persona wants the students to treat the poem, and what the students actually want to do with the poem.
Show me once you’ve written an answer.
One of the important features of the language in this poem “Introduction to Poetry” is the figurative language he uses. Your second task is to explain one example of figurative language from the poem. You must use examples cited directly from the poem. By explain, I mean “why” has he used this figurative language?
There could be many reasons “why”, which could relate to his message, the central idea, the rhythm, his audience, etc.
Please use proper punctuation when quoting from the poem.
Poetry’s wasn’t just written 100 years ago. It’s alive and well as a genre today and there are many spoken word artists who perform their poetry for live audiences, or make films like this one by Steve Connell.
Or this powerful poem by R.J Walker.
Prose is simply everyday, ordinary language (writing or speaking). There is no focus on the rhythm or sounds of words in prose.
Verse is writing that has a particular focus on the rhythm and/or sounds of words (what is called metrical rhythm).
Read the following passages. They are extracts from either prose or verse. Your task is decide which is which. You are to work with a partner and your partner should be someone whose chosen lyrics/poem (for yesterday’s task) were about something similar to your own.
Passage #1 – From C.S. Lewis:
“Whatever else a modern feels when he looks at the night sky, he certainly feels that he is looking OUT- like one looking out from the saloon entrance onto the dark Atlantic or from the ligted porch upon dark and lonely moors. But if you accepted the medieval model you would feel like one looking IN.”
Passage #2 – From T.S Eliot
“For I have known them all already, known them all: Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons; I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”
Passage #3 – From Langston Hughes
“Though you may hear me holler, And you may see me cry-I’ll be dogged, sweet baby, If you gonna see me die.”
Passage #4 – From George Orwell:
“There seemed to be a loud bang and a blinding flash of light all round me, and I felt a tremendous shock- no pain, only violent shock, such as you get from an electric terminal.”
Passage #5 -From Lang Leav
“But we were a maybe and never a must when it should have been us.”
Passage #6 – From Hemingway:
“It was dark now as it becomes dark quickly after the sun sets in September. He lay against the worn wood of the bow and rested all that he could.”
Passage #7 – From T E Lawrence
“As the punishment proceeded the whip fell more and more upon existing weals, biting blacker or more wet, till my flesh quivered with accumulated pain, and with terror of the next blow coming.”