4 February 2013

Today is Monday, so we meet in the Lab for a writing day. Writing is your top priority today, so if you have a draft you’re working on, you’ll work on it in class.

However, I will also pass out your Poetry Packets today.  These include

  • A variety of poems we will read in the coming weeks
  • A guide to the Gentle Art of Explication
  • A guide to analyzing TONE in a poem

I’ll also pass out your Literary Terms and Tone Words (yellow paper).  These are worth having for the remainder of your stay at CHS (All together now: “Thaaannnnkkk you, Mrs. B”).

For tonight, please read Foster’s chapter on poetry, “If It’s Square, It’s a Sonnet.”  Foster’s argument is essentially that in reading poetry,

  • a large percentage of the western cannon is based on or in reaction to the form of the sonnet
  • SO reading for the sonnet “pattern” makes the most sense when we approach a poem

I don’t mind telling you–and I’m sure you could intuit–that Perrine and Nabokov would have some serious qualms about that.  In most of the rest of this unit, we’ll lean more heavily on Perrine and Nabokov.

But for now, I want you to try out Foster’s ideas after you read the chapter.  Choose two poems from your packet

  1. One sonnet (“The World Is Too Much With Us” or a poem that has “sonnet” in the title)
  2. One POTENTIAL sonnet (identify these by shape a la Foster or by line count or by Mrs. B’s suggested page numbers in the poetry packet)

For each poem, READ FOR PATTERN as Foster suggests:

  • How does the poem fit/not fit the sonnet pattern?
  • Why?  Assume the writer is USING or SUBVERTING form in order to create meaning.





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