Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Monday 2/10/14 Class

Read the four-line, three-stanza poem about a current event... 

Let's talk about how the narrative of the event gets translated into language and structure (syntax).  What did you choose to leave in and leave out?  How did the structure (four-lines, etc.) affect the way you told the story within the poem? 

The Art of Syntax, pages 43 through 61, "Meter and Phrase."

Very important:  Robert Frost:  "A sentence is not interesting merely in conveying a meaning of words.  It must do something more:  it must convey a meaning by sound."  Also Frost:  "The living part of a poem is the intonation entangled somehow in the syntax idiom and meaning of a sentence."  (43 and 45)

Page 52:  "Relationships among stressed and unstressed syllables can support or resist poetic meter."

Page 54:  Shakespeare's paradigmatic sonnet.  Page 55:  Iambic pentameter. 

Laurie Anderson, "O Superman":

What is the sound, and what is the meaning, and how do they interrelate, and how are they relayed both through words and through sound?

Anne Sexton on

The Truth the Dead Know

Anne Sexton
For my Mother, born March 1902, died March 1959
and my Father, born February 1900, died June 1959
Gone, I say and walk from church,
refusing the stiff procession to the grave,
letting the dead ride alone in the hearse.
It is June.  I am tired of being brave.

We drive to the Cape.  I cultivate
myself where the sun gutters from the sky,
where the sea swings in like an iron gate
and we touch.  In another country people die.

My darling, the wind falls in like stones
from the whitehearted water and when we touch
we enter touch entirely.  No one's alone.
Men kill for this, or for as much.

And what of the dead?  They lie without shoes
in the stone boats.  They are more like stone
than the sea would be if it stopped.  They refuse
to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.

Collage exercise:
"nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands"


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