RWaL 6 “Writing about Poems”

As I read Chapter 6 of Reading and Writing about Literature, I tried to identify areas of analyzing poems that I need to focus and improve on. One of the first passages that stuck out to me was about the listener of a poem:

“Is there a ‘you’ to whom the poem is addressed? If the poem is being spoken aloud, who is supposed to hear it?” (Gardner & Diaz 100-101)

I know to always consider the speaker of a poem and separate the narrator from the author. However, I never really thought that the listener of the poem is important to consider as well. Although we think of ourselves as listeners, sometimes a narrator is actually speaking to someone in particular. On the other hand, there could be no one in particular the speaker is addressing. Both of these situations have different implications on the message of the poem and how that message is conveyed.

I also have learned throughout my English classes that sound is important, but there are certain elements of sound that I have not paid that much attention to. We learned about assonance and consonance in Introduction to Literary Study in the spring, but I still struggle with identifying these elements. However, the examples that Gardner and Diaz gave with the words “live” and “love” in a line and “pleasures prove” in another made me realize how connections and deeper meanings can be made between words.

In one of my previous posts about this text, I discussed how analyzing plays wasn’t something I am super familiar with, and I also feel that I tend to struggle with analyzing poetry. However, identifying these elements of poetry is a good starting point for improving my ability to analyze poetry.

Source: RWAL 6 “Writing about Poems”

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