Demistifying Poetry

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Basic concepts that applies to all poems.

Text of Demistifying Poetry

  • 1. 1. Who is the speaker? What kind of person is the speaker? The concept of the persona the mask the voice

2. Thy belt of straw and ivy buds, Thy coral clasps and amber studs, All these in me no means can move To come to thee and be thy love. But could youth last, and love still breed, Had joys no date, nor age no need, Then these delights my mind might move To live with thee and be thy love. 3. Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) Mirror I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions. Whatever I see I swallow immediately. Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike. I am not cruel, only truthful-- The eye of a little god, four-cornered. Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall. It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers. Faces and darkness separate us over and over. 4. Now I am lake. A woman bends over me, Searching my reaches for what she really is. Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon. I see her back, and reflect it faithfully. She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands. I am important to her. She comes and goes. Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness. In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish. 5. A.E. Housman (1859-1936) In My Team Ploughing Is my team ploughing, That I was used to drive And hear the harness jingle When I was man alive? Aye, the horses trample, The harness jingles now; No change though you lie under The land you used to plough. 6. Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) Channel Firing That night your great guns, unawares, Shook all our coffins as we lay, And broke the chancel window-squares, We thought it was the Judgment-day And sat upright. While drearisome Arose the howl of wakened hounds: The mouse let fall the altar-crumb, The worms drew back into the mounds, The glebe cow drooled. Till God called, No; Its gunnery practice out at sea Just as before you went below; The world is as it used to be: 7. 2. Is there an identifiable audience for the speaker? John Frederick Nims Love Poem My clumsiest dear, whose hands shipwrecked vases, At whose quick touch all glasses chip and ring, Whose hands are bulls in china, burrs in linen, And have no cunning with any soft thing Except all ill at ease fidgeting people: The refugee uncertain at the door You make at home; deftly you steady The drunk clambering on his undulant floor. 8. Unpredictable dear, the taxi drivers terror, Shrinking from far headlights pale as a dime Yet leaping before red apoplectic streetcars Misfit in any space. And never on time. A wrench in clocks and the solar system. Only With words and people and love you move at ease. In traffic of wit expertly maneuver And keep us, all devotion, at your knees. Forgetting your coffee spreading on our flannel, Your lipstick grinning on our coat, So gaily in loves unbearable heaven Our souls on glory of spilt bourbon float. Be with me darling early and late. Smash glasses I will study wry music for your sake. For should your hands drop white and empty All the toys of the world would break. 9. My Funny Valentine My Funny Valentine, Sweet, Comic Valentine, You make me smile in my heart. Your looks are laughable Un-photographable Yet youre my favorite work of art. 10. Jennings, Elizabeth (1926- ) Absence I visited the place where we last met. Nothing was changed, the gardens were well-tended, The fountains sprayed their usual steady jet; There was no sign that anything had ended And nothing to instruct me to forget. The thoughtless birds that shook out of the trees, Singing an ecstasy I could not share, Played cunning in my thoughts. Surely in these Pleasures there could not be a pain to bear Or any discord shake the level breeze It was because the place was just the same That made your absence seem a savage force, For under all the gentleness there came An earthquake tremor: fountain, birds and grass Were shaken by my thinking of your name. 11. Pagkawala (hubad sa balak ni Elizabeth Jennings nga Absence) Gibisita nako ang lugar diin kataposan tang nagkita. Way kausaban, ang mga tanom maayo ra pagkaatiman. Makanunayon gihapon ang pagpasirit sa mga fountain. Way sinyales nga dunay natapos aning lugara. Ug way nagmando nako nga molimot. Ang mga way hanawng langgam nga nanukad sa mga kahoy, Nga gahunig himaya nga di nako mahimong iambit, Abtik nga giduwaan akong hunahuna. Sigurado gyud nga ning Gagmayng kalingawan, way angayng antoson nga kasakit O kaha kagubot nga makapatay-og sa huyohoy. Tungod kay way maskin unsang nausab ning lugara, Mas nabati na nuon nako ang gibug-aton sa imong pagkawala. Kay taliwa sa kalinaw ug kahapsay, miabot Ang dakong linog: ang fountain, ang mga langgam, ug ang sagbot Kay gipang-uyog sa akong paghunahuna sa imong ngalan. Gratian Paul R. Tidor Iligan City, Philippines Jan. 30, 2012 12. Keats, John (1795-1821) Bright Star Bright Star, would I were stedfast as thou art Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night And watching, with eternal lids apart, Like Natures patient, sleepless Eremite, The moving waters at their priestlike task Of pure ablution round earths human shores, Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask Of snow upon the mountains and the moors Noyet still stedfast, still unchangeable, Pillowed upon my fair loves ripening breast, To feel forever its soft fall and swell, Awake forever in a sweet unrest, Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, And so live everor else swoon to death. 13. William Blake (1757-1827) The Tyger Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes! On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, dare seize the fire? And what shoulder, & what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet? 14. What the hammer? what the chain, In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp? Dare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears And waterd heaven with their tears: Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? Tyger, Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night: What immortal hand or eye, Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? 15. Herrick, Robert (1591-1674) To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying. 16. Donne, John (1573-1631) Sonnet 14, from The Holy Sonnet Batter my heart, three-personed God; for You As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend; That I may rise and stand, oerthrow me, and bend Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. Donne, John (1573-1631) Sonnet 10, from The Holy Sonnets Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me. 17. 3. What is the occasion? Hopkins, Gerald Manly (1844-1889) Spring and Fall: To a young Child Margaret, are you grieving Over Goldengrove unleaving? Leaves, like the things of man, you With your fresh thoughts care for, can you? Ah, as the heart grows older It will come to such colder By and by, nor spare a sigh Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie; And yet you will weep and know why. Now no matter, child, the name: Sorrows springs are the same. Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed What heart heard of, ghost guessed: It is the blight man was born for, It is Margaret you mourn for. 18. Frost, Robert (1875-1963) Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sounds the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. 19. 4. What is the setting in time (hour, season, century, and so on)? HARDY, THOMAS (1840-1928) The Darkling Thrush I leant upon a coppice gate When Frost was specter- gray, And Winters dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day. The tangled bine- stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres. And all mankind that hunted nigh Had sought their household fires. The lands sharp features seemed to be The centurys corpse outleant, His crypt the cloudy canopy, The wind his death- lament. The ancient pulse of germ and birth Was shrunken hard and dry, And every spirit upon earth Seemed fervorless as I. 20. At once a voice arose among The black twigs overhead In a full- hearted evensong Of joy illimited; An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small, In blast-beruffled plume, Had chosen thus to fling his soul Upon the growing gloom. So little cause for carolings Of such ecstatic sound Was written on terrestrial things Afar or nigh around, That I could think there trembled through His happy good- night air Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew And I was unaware. December 31, 1900 21. Yeats, William Butler (1865-1939) The Wild Swans at Coole The trees are in their autumn beauty, The woodland paths are dry, Under the October twilight the water Mirrors a still sky; Upon the brimming water among the stones Are nine-and-fifty swans. 22. 5. What is the setting in place (indoors or out, city or country, land or sea, region, country, hemisphere)? Nims, John Frederick Love Poem A wrench in clocks and the solar system. Only With words and people and love you move at ease. In traffic of wit expertly maneuver And keep us, all devotion, at your knees. Forgetting your coffee spreading on our flan