Author Topic: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)  (Read 4215 times)

Offline Shahriar

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ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« on: September 27, 2010, 02:11:11 PM »

The Twentieth Century In Poetry - A Critical Survery by Peter Childs

Download the free ebook: http://bit.ly/ca1L9x
I wish you could just record silence and then play it on loudspeakers on full blast to make the whole room quiet.

Offline kulsum

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2010, 08:35:06 AM »
Dear shahriar,

Thank you for creating the platform. I am here attaching a collection of  recitations and one is done by Yeats himself of the first poem that we will read 'The lake Isle of Innisfree'...hope u would enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Xty-kkMmKU

Keep on exploring and posting.

UK madam
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 08:37:28 AM by kulsum »

Offline kulsum

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2010, 08:59:48 AM »
Lake Isle of Innisfree
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"Lake Isle of Innisfree" is a poem written by William Butler Yeats in 1888. The poem was published first in the National Observer in 1890 and reprinted The Countess Kathleen and Various Legends and Lyrics in 1892. One of Yeats's earlier poems, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" was an attempt to create a form of poetry that was Irish in origin rather than one that adhered to the standards set by English poets and critics. [1] The poem, unlike many others from the era, does not contain direct references to mysticism and the occult, yet it received critical success in the United Kingdom as well as in France.[2]

He remembers Innisfree as a utopia that would supply all his needs. His memory tricks him into thinking it had a beautiful summer climate all year round.

Lake Isle of Innisfree is not to be confused with the song, "The Isle of Innisfree". Although the two works share a similar title they are completely different and original in their own right but are very often mistakenly thought to be one in the same. The song "Isle of Innisfree" was written by Irish songwriter Dick Farrelly.

 [edit] Background
When Yeats was a child, his father had read to him from Walden by Henry David Thoreau, and Yeats described his inspiration for the poem by saying that while he was a teenager, he wished to imitate Thoreau by living on Innisfree, an uninhabited island in Lough Gill.[3]. He suggests that when he was living in Sligo, he would walk down Fleet Street and long for the seclusion of a pastoral setting such as the isle. The sound of water coming from a fountain in a shop window reminded Yeats of the lake that he had previously seen, and it is this inspiration that Yeats credits for the creation of the poem. [4]

In his youth, Yeats would visit the land at Lough Gill at night, often accompanied by his cousin Henry Middleton. On one occasion, they went out onto the lake at night on a yacht to observe birds and to listen to stories by the crew. The trips that Yeats took from the streets of Sligo to the remote areas around the lake set up for him the contrasting images of the city and nature that appear in the poem's text.[3]

[edit] Analysis
The poem is a twelve-line poem divided into three quatrains and an example of Yeats’s earlier lyric poems. Throughout the three short quatrains the poem explores the speaker’s longing for the peace and tranquility of Innisfree while residing in an urban setting. The speaker in this poem yearns to return to the island of Innisfree because of the peace and quiet it affords. He can escape the noise of the city and be lulled by the "lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore." On this small island, he can return to nature by growing beans and having bee hives, by enjoying the "purple glow" of noon, the sounds of birds' wings, and, of course, the bees. He can even build a cabin and stay on the island much as Thoreau, the American Transcendentalist, lived on Walden Pond. During his lifetime it was—to his annoyance—one of his most popular poems and on one occasion was recited (or sung) in his honor by two (or ten—accounts vary) thousand boy scouts. [5]

[edit] Tone
In some parts of the poem, the tone is determined:

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree
Mostly, however, the tone is quite dreamy:

And a small cabin I will build there, of clay and wattles made
The wattle and daub show that he is unrealistic about his comfort and therefore a dreamer.


Offline Shahriar

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2010, 10:46:01 PM »
Thank You so much Miss for the references.

Its quite interesting as i was going through the life history of W.B.Yeats, I learn t that critics often credited W.B.Yeats for taking Rabindranath Tagore’s writing to the western audience which eventually made Tagore the first winner of Nobel prize amongst Asians. It is also being rumored that Yeats was ‘disappointed’ with the writings of Tagore in his later years. Renowned Economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen wrote an article explaining the difference as “inability of Tagore's many-sided writings to fit into the narrow box in which Yeats wanted to place—and keep—him.”

This might be a little bit off-topic but if anyone wants to read Amartya Sen's article "Tagore and His India" please visit the link below:

http://www.countercurrents.org/culture-sen281003.htm
I wish you could just record silence and then play it on loudspeakers on full blast to make the whole room quiet.

Offline kulsum

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2010, 09:14:21 AM »
Dear shahriar,

Thank you so much for the link. Though there are are tidbits of Tagore and Yeats here and there...this is basically a scholarly article on Tagore, his compare contrast with Gandhi, his ideas about nationalism, patriotism,relationship with East and West civilization. It 's a very important article thank you Dr. Sen for pointing and clarifying many long debated isssues about Tagore. Everyone should read it if they can manage time.

Take care

UK madam

Offline Razon Mahmood

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2010, 09:36:24 PM »
Major Themes in W.B Yeats' Poetry
Age and Death

Though a young poet at the time of the composition of The Rose, Yeats is quite preoccupied with themes of aging and mortality. Imagining his old age served as an escape for the young Yeats, who found himself unsuccessful in love and imagined that later in life he would either have won his beloved or his beloved would have come to regret her rejection of him. "In Old Age" is particularly marked by the image of an older Maud Gonne (the woman with whom Yeats was in love) becoming wiser in old age.

Yeats also had an anxiety about death which was unusual in someone so young. He contemplated death less in terms of himself than in terms of his loved ones. When Maud Gonne traveled to France as a convalescent, a worried Yeats wrote "A Dream of Death." This meditation on Gonne's possible death is less of a nightmare than a dream come true, as Yeats envisions himself being useful to her in death as he could not be in life. Yeats, therefore, views both aging and death as more or less positive forces.

Images of Irish Nature

It is not surprising that a collection entitled The Rose draws heavily upon nature imagery. Yeats draws upon natural imagery both in terms of the symbols he employs and in the settings he summons. Indeed, natural imagery features in all of Yeats's poetry, even that which contains political themes.

Yeats's landscape descriptions are often obviously Irish, even if they do not include a specific place name. He highlights the rolling greenness and shifting light that characterize the Irish landscape. Additionally, some of his poems take a more specific approach to the Irish landscape. Many of them, including "The Lake Isle of Inisfree," treat a particular Irish place. Nearly all of these places are in County Sligo, Yeats' mother's ancestral home and the place on earth that he felt most connected to. Yeats was eventually buried in Sligo.

Yeats also references the natural landscapes of Irish legend and myth. Imaginary natural worlds like Faeryland or Tir na nOg, where people never grow old, provide a compliment to both the general and specific treatments of Irish nature. In all his poems, Yeats carefully chooses a natural backdrop - real or imagined - that captures his home country.

Irish Mythology

The Rose is rife with mythological references, from King Fergus to Conchubar to Diarmuid. Indeed, such mythic Irish figures populate nearly every poem in the collection.

Mythology operates as a theme in this collection in a number of ways. First and foremost it separates Yeats' poetry from British writing. British writers drew on Roman and Greek mythology - the mythology, in fact, of other (albeit ancient) imperialists. In choosing Irish mythology as his source of allusions and subjects, Yeats creates a poetry distinct from that of Ireland's long-time oppressors. This compliments Yeats' desire to cultivate a poetic language suitable to Ireland alone.

Moreover, Yeats' use of Irish mythological subjects allows him to avoid the political climate of his own day. Yeats, a moderate compared to his beloved Maud Gonne, found his political beliefs to be a burden in his pursuit of love. In treating legendary figures, Yeats avoids the problem of referencing the complicated political environment that so tormented him.

For a fuller discussion of the specific mythology that Yeats draws on, see the Additional Content section in this ClassicNote.

Irish Nationalism

Nationalism in Ireland in the 1890s was in a complicated stage. Many die-hard Fenians (Republicans), including Maud Gonne, were more than willing to take arms against the British to gain their independence. Another group, including Yeats, took the more cautious parliamentary approach. This political party, called the Home Rule Party, was led by John Redmund and held that Ireland could gain independence through legal means.

Because this collection focuses so much on Maud Gonne, Yeats inevitably touches upon his political differences with his beloved. These differences, needless to say, affected their relationship negatively. Yeats feared that Gonne was more repulsed by his moderate politics than by his person.

Thus, in some poems, such as "To Ireland in the Coming Times," Yeats seems to be willfully disassociating himself from the complex political fabric of his own era, instead hearkening to a simpler politics of ancient kings. Undoubtedly Yeats was drawn to these ancient mythic times anyway, but his interest takes on a sadness in the context of his relationship with the politics of his own day (and thus of his relationship with Gonne). Nationalist politics exist negatively in these poems, as the subject that Yeats doesn't want to address.

Maud Gonne

At the time that Yeats published this collection, Maud Gonne was the major focus of his life. He was deeply in love with her, and although Gonne did not return his romantic sentiments, she remained close friends with him. He saw her often enough to become obsessed with her. Most of the poems in the collection were written for or about Gonne.

The central image of the rose is a symbol of Gonne as well as Ireland. Gonne, an extreme nationalist, represents the Irish spirit in her politics as well as her beauty. Thus Gonne, Ireland and the image of the rose exist interchangeably in Yeats' poetic imagination. His beloved, with her violent desire to free her country from British rule, captures the ferocity of nationalistic pride with spiritual and physical beauty. She is the thorny rose, and the thorny rose is Ireland. Indeed, one of Yeats' fears is that he himself is not violent enough politically or personally to attract Gonne's attentions, a fear that seemed to be justified by her marriage to a military man.

Urbanization

Ireland is, historically, an agrarian land. For centuries it was a nation of farmers - often working under unfair conditions for their British conquerers. Thus, though Ireland's agrarian identity was complicated, it was central. A rapport with the change of seasons and with the harvest cycle was central to Irish life.

At the time of the composition of The Rose, however, urbanization had begun to encroach upon Ireland. Dublin was a major metropolitan area, for instance, in the heart of a traditionally rural society. This complex relationship between urban and rural existence is essential to Yeats' perspective in The Rose. Though he lived much of his life in London and Dublin, Yeats viewed cities as inherently negative and poisonous. Thus poems like "The Lake Isle of Inisfree," which romanticize the Irish agrarian landscape with breathless awe, largely express the poet's discomfort with his urban environment.

It is worth asking, then, whether Yeats' natural landscapes of Ireland are realistic or purely imaginative. They seem to exist largely in the poets remembrance and longings - to be places of escape from a modernity that Yeats finds discomfiting. Yeats invites the conclusion that, in fact, it doesn't matter whether his Ireland is the real Ireland: it is, nevertheless, a place of meaning for the Irish.

Thus Yeats expresses a desire to capture in imaginative verse the spirit of Ireland - its symbols, mythology, people, nature - that might well be lost in the encroaching press of nationalism and urbanization. Yeats, in short, writes against the city, but also from the city. He cultivates an imaginative place of escape that is only necessary because of the coming modernity.

Retrieved from- http://www.gradesaver.com/poems-of-wb-yeats-the-rose/study-guide/major-themes/
You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down-Charles Chaplin

Offline Razon Mahmood

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2010, 11:20:08 PM »
Thank you Shahriar for posting the link. The contain is very much informative. I haven't read Rabindranath Tagore very much expect a few novels and short stories. It's really very prestigious matter for us that the great poets and writers all over the world were interested in Rabindranath Tagore.        
« Last Edit: September 30, 2010, 11:48:49 PM by Razon Mahmood »
You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down-Charles Chaplin

Offline kulsum

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2010, 09:31:29 AM »
dear Rajon,

Thank you for your post. This is certainly a good collection about Yeats specially the Nationalism part. Hope everyone will be benefited. Please keep on posting and be updated.

Well done!

UK mam

Offline kulsum

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2010, 10:39:22 AM »
 here are some discussion abt The Wild Swans at Coole


Hmm perhaps look at the first two lines;

THE TREES are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,

That essentially sets the setting. Everything else is downhill from here, since he is getting old.

The next 4 lines seem to set the moment however, when he writes;

Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones 5
Are nine and fifty swans. (great rhyme with stones and swans)

The moment of course, he is commenting, is beautiful. October is, in my opinion, being used here to symbolize again autumn, and the coming of the end of his middle years, turning into his later years. The swans here are representing the fruits of his years, his achievement and pleasures, his desires and enjoyments, but they are placed right beside October, symbolizing their migration south, and their disappearance from his life.

The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount 10
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.


This second stanza is probably the most central for the development. It implies that he had started feeling his time was running out. 1900 being a significant year, not only because of the turn of the century, but also because of his rejections from Maude Goone, to whom he proposed marriage in 1899, 1900, and 1901. The last lines of this poem seem to show the sudden fading of everything, symbolized again with the departing swans.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight, 15
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread

This stanza seems to be attempting to appeal to the emotions he is feeling. He is commenting that he has enjoyed these things, looked on them, watched them, but now they are different. He feels them growing older as well, and slower, and lighter, symbolizing the increasing difficulty of life, and its lack of reward. The Trod with a Lighter Tread is also a reference to his life, and the responsibility and carefulness that comes with age. It is contrasted to a younger, less worrisome life that he has left behind.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold, 20
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

Now he is distancing himself, as the poet, from the swans. They now appear to seem like everyone else, that is, the next generation, the young. They are not old, and they are still experiencing the fruits of youthfulness, personified in the "unwearied still, lover by lover," and "passion or conquest, wander where they will," These lines seem to isolate the poet from the swans, since he is now to old to enjoy the same feelings they have. He has responsibilities, age, and loneliness to deal with. His passion is ebbing, and he is too old to "paddle in the cold / companionable streams or climb the air;" He essentially caps this off with the last line, "attend upon them still" proving that he no longer has these abilities, but is bound to another fate, all kept in mind with the concept of autumn that is running through the whole poem.


But now they drift on the still water 25
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

He returns here to the concept of the moment, commenting on how he is enjoying the last of them, but acknowledging that one day he will awake to find they have moved on, literally south, symbolically to the next generation. The "when I awake some day" is symbolic again of age and hinting at death, capped off with "to find they have flown away?" the poem seems to be pushing now away from the concept of the moment, into the concept of age, saying essentially, in my opinion, "but I have some time left, but it is running out."

Overall this is one of Yeats' most famous and most anthologized poems. The metre and rhymes seem to give it a perfect rhythm for memorization (which I invite all of you to undertake with me) and also a liquid, water-like flow, seeming to echo his swans. The images remain significant because they deal with an experience all of us must feel to some extent or another. The deep meaning, which sets it apart from other poems, I find, however, is that it is not an age makes you wise statement, as seen in the bible, or an age makes you foolish statement, as seen in King Lear, but rather a depiction of the aging man from his perspective, showing the emptiness, loneliness, and desperation of a man waiting for the time to come when he can no longer enjoy all that he values. 
     

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 05-18-2008, 01:36 PM    #23 
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,368  Quote:
Originally Posted by sofia82 
We can interpret the poem as he's feairng of losing his power as the poet and being unable to write poetry as well as he wrote in his passionate and delightful youth. Nineteen years ago, there were nine and fifty swans, and now they are flying away, what will happen to his artistic power when he becomes old.

Originally I found this interpretation rather doubtful, but looking back at the last stanza I think it's actually quite applicable. Yeats writes

Quote:
But now they drift on the still water 25
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away? 

If the still water represents the serenity of his old age, why are the swans, who represent the water's opposite, floating on it? And, if the swans represent the poet's youthful passion why does he speculate about where they might go? Youthful passions don't relocate; they weaken and then disappear. Poetry, however, can be considered transfered between people. It is something that will "delight men's eyes."


Quote:
Originally Posted by sofia82 
19 years ago they were 59, now they are 59. Maybe there will be 59 in the future, as Yeats wrote his best poetry when he was old (after fifties).

JBI recently suggested that the 19 years is connected with the year 1900, which makes some sense. What about the 59 swans, though? Why does he pick that number, or why does he even bother to specify the number?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sofia82 
I agree with Dark Muse. It represents a kind of hope inspite of his soubting it. If it were a statement, yes it could be hopeless end, but he is not sure and he is asking about this end.

Those lines refer to the swan, and not the poet or his present condition.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JBI 
The moment of course, he is commenting, is beautiful. October is, in my opinion, being used here to symbolize again autumn, and the coming of the end of his middle years, turning into his later years. The swans here are representing the fruits of his years, his achievement and pleasures, his desires and enjoyments, but they are placed right beside October, symbolizing their migration south, and their disappearance from his life.
 

Offline Razon Mahmood

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2010, 10:03:56 PM »
Thank you Mam for inspiring us. The idea (writing our thoughts about the subject) is really appreciative.   



« Last Edit: October 04, 2010, 12:45:32 AM by Razon Mahmood »
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Offline Razon Mahmood

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2010, 02:02:14 AM »
W.B Yeats has portrayed images of Irish Nature (One of the major themes) in his early poem such as

"THE brawling of a sparrow in the eaves,
The brilliant moon and all the milky sky,
And all that famous harmony of leaves,
Had blotted out man's image and cry"- The Sorrow of Love

We also find that W.B Yeats had a passionate love for his country and its nature. He has used different places of Ireland as the titles of his poetry- "The Lake Isle of Innisfree", "The Wild Swans At Coole" etc.  

One of the most important things that he is probably an 'Escapist ' like John Keats. He also longs for leading a peaceful life out of the materialistic and busy city. He has portrayed grandeur beauty of the nature to show nature as a place where peace lies. He has also portrayed the wild images of the nature which reflect something violent. Acknowledging Yeats' portrayal of two aspects (Peace and violent) through the description of nature we can compare him with William Blake. The collection of poems "Songs of Innocence (1974)" and "Songs of Experience (1794)" are developed through the innocence to experience. The images of nature used in the "Songs of Innocence" (The Echoing Green)are different from the images of the "Songs of Experience" (Tyger). Similarly, we find the use of images of the poem ""The Lake Isle of Innisfree (1880 )" is different from "The Second Coming (1919)".  

Actually nature plays the most important role in the development of poetry.  


I have found an excellent document on -  Nature Themes in Keats's “To Autumn” and Yeats's “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”  (retrieved from- http://hubpages.com/hub/Nature-as-an-Escape-or-a-Force-of-Change-Keats-Innisfree-Yeats)  

Nature as an Escape or a Force of Change

“To Autumn” by John Keats and “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by William Butler Yeats both feature speakers who harbor great affection for nature; their major difference lies in the speakers’ perceptions of what nature is. To Yeats’s speaker nature is a calm inactive location; to Keats’s speaker nature is an awesome, ever changing, active force.
Yeats’s “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” is presented as the wistful daydream of an escapist speaker who wishes he were in nature but is not. To this speaker nature is an extremely satisfying place to relax; he finds it relaxing because he believes nature to be a passive inanimate, but still thoroughly pleasant, location. This passivity and unchanging state is important to the speaker because the bustle and constant change is why he long to be out of the city.
Yeats has laid “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” out in three four line stanzas; each stanza is composed of three lines of hexameter followed by a concluding line in tetrameter. The poem’s short length is perfect for a wistful daydream and its fairly simple meter helps the calm tone of the poem. The rhythm also helps give the poem a relaxed feel. The simple abab rhyme scheme and lack of anything but full rhymes gives the poem a relaxed pattern without the hiccups a half rhyme might give a reader.
Yeats quite deftly uses his choice of words to control the tone, sound, literal meaning, and figurative meaning all at the same time. To Yeats’s speaker nature is passive; one of the main ways this is revealed to the reader is the total absence of action verbs referring to nature or any of its elements. Yeats’s nature seems to do little but exist. The phrases discussing nature accentuate its relaxing qualities without acknowledging any others, and the sounds of the poem are equally uniform in their omission of any but the most relaxing sounds. This idealized view of the world is a natural hallmark of the mental refuge of someone who wishes to escape from their current circumstances.
In line four of “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” a glade is described only as “bee-loud.” Anyone who ever raised honeybees knows that the buzz of bees is a constant sound it rarely changes volume or pitch suddenly. A constant hum such as this is perfect for the speaker’s bastion of relaxation. The closest the speaker comes to attributing an action verb to an element of nature is in line six where “the cricket sings.” Normally singing would count as an action verb but in this case the fact that it is a cricket song takes away from the sense of motion or activity. Like the buzzing of bees, the chirping of crickets usually occurs when hoards are all making the exact same sound at the same time. Crickets will continue to make this same exact sound far longer than it takes for the human brain to classify it as background noise and tune it out. “lake water lapping” in line ten also falls into this category. It will occur all day every day in exactly the same way unless a boat drives by. The lapping of water on the shore is significant as well because it is traditionally symbolic of relaxation. Sounds like the buzzing of bees and the lapping of water on the shore are so stereotypically calm and relaxing that people even buy CDs with recordings of them to relax, Yeats’s speaker was essentially doing this generations before technology would have allowed him to.
Line seven states that “midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow” people certainly appreciate things that glimmer and glow however most things which are described as such are things such as gems and jewelry; inanimate objects which serve no purpose other than to be looked at. This message of the sky’s inactivity is also indicated by their verb; is. In a way the Lake the speaker visits in his mind is free cheap art; it doesn’t need to be anything but pleasant when he looks at it.
Line eight contains what seems to be the poems most deliberate use of diction. A straightforward summary of the line would say something along the lines of, “in the evening songbirds can be heard flying around.” Instead Yeats writes, “evening full of linnet’s wings.” In this way he manages to say what he wants about the night without the use of any action verbs that would break the calm inactive pattern elements of the natural world follow in the poem. “Flying” must be avoided because its denotation is most certainly active and energy consuming while its connotation is, if anything, more inappropriate. Instead of using an action verb Yeats uses a basic being verb and the adjective full whose connotations and denotation coincide perfectly with the wistful relaxing tone of the poem. Something flying is using a lot of energy to go somewhere and will be tired afterwards. When someone is full they have just eaten and tend to be sleepy; they don’t need to do anything. Also worth mentioning is the fact that even though Yeats mentioned a songbird he did not mention a songbird singing which, while pleasant, is energetic, lively, and fleeting and thus off limits in this speaker’s one person vacation home.
 There are some action words used in the LakeIsle of Innisfree, “I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,” (1) and, “a small cabin build there.”  Arise, go, go, and build are thus the first four verbs used in the poem. All of these first verbs have definite active energetic connotations and the repetition of go emphasizes them even more. All of this energy belongs to the speaker, demonstrating that the speaker does not simply wish for a place where nothing happens. Rather the speaker longs to be somewhere where he alone controls and instigates activity. After quickly going to Innisfree and changing things to suit himself the speaker needs to do nothing, which makes it the idea location for an escapist fantasy.
Both Yeats and Keats show great affection for and appreciation of the idea of nature, their difference is in how they perceive that idea. In “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” nature took on the form of a place; the lake isle and its surroundings. In “To Autumn” nature is perceived in the season autumn. This difference in what aspect of nature is focused on by the two speakers is responsible for the wildly different tone’s and style.
As a force elements of nature work as bringers and instruments of change as well as subjects of it. In light of this Keats’s poem shows autumn powerfully and energetically changing the world until it too changed. Something so powerful was destroyed by the same force it was an instrument of.
“To Autumn” is composed of three 11 line stanzas of iambic pentameter. Each stanza has the same ababcdedffe rhyme scheme. Thematically the poem is also divided into three parts; each of which discusses a significantly different stage of autumn. The separation of the stanzas clearly sets these three sections of the poem apart emphasizing the differences between each stage of autumn’s progression. The fixed form and identical rhyme schemes make it easier for the poem to maintain the awed sensibility of Keats’s speaker. The repeating form also makes the contrast between the tone and topics of the three stanzas starker than they otherwise would be. Like a control group in a scientific experiment the difference in tone between two things is easier to see if everything other than the tone is the same. Another benefit of the repeating form is that the stages of autumn’s affect on the poem almost parallel the effects of the season on the world; the exact same location can look beautiful and colorful at autumn’s beginning yet look ugly as sin by the end of the season.
When read literally, the poem tells a story of the autumn season. At first autumn and its friend the sun rush to make sure everything finishes growing big enough, plentiful enough, and good enough. In the second stanza the poem tells readers of autumn as a working girl struggling to finish the hay harvest. Finally a literal interpretation of the third stanza tells of the animals singing in celebration of autumn’s accomplishments and mourning over its coming to an end.
In the first stanza “To Autumn” seems to be working franticly. In the first stanza every verb attributed to autumn is an action verb conveying the completion of some task. More specifically these verbs together give the impression of exhaustive effort of every kind. In line 3 the word ‘load’ brings to mind awkward heavy objects and the attempts to wrestle them into place. In line five Keats uses bend, a word most often used to describe a strong metal giving way before great force. The word evokes images of the strong man at the circus twisting iron bars with his bare hands. Both load and bend give the reader a sense of the great physical strength and stamina the speaker attributes to autumn. The tasks of autumn are not only physical but mental for in line three he must conspire, something usually reserved for criminal masterminds planning their biggest heist yet. Spiritual effort is also undertaken by our brave hero autumn his loading the tree he has conspired to bend also needs a blessing. Using diction as well as personification evokes the same kind of respect and pity that one would give a single mother of three working multiple jobs. Admiration for someone who is confronted with difficult challenges and overcomes them is a natural human reaction and Keats uses that.
In “To Autumn’s” second stanza, figurative language is used extensively. Autumn is now portrayed as an exhausted female farmer struggling to bring in her crop. This metaphor is very straightforward, the weather and many biological processes begin shutting down but not all and not completely giving the impression that autumn is trying to hold on and continue as it had at the beginning but lacks the power to do so.  The final line of the stanza says, “Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.” This one line combines its sound, vivid imagery, word connotations, and repetition to perfectly encapsulate the tone of the second stanza. At this point “To Autumn” is different from “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” because its tone seems tortured rather than by being more energetic. In spite of this the speaker still seams in awe of autumn; its struggle to fight the inevitable seems, if anything, even more noble than the constant easy triumph of the first stanza.
The third paragraph’s tone is the furthest removed from the others. In it autumn has entered its final stage and has all but died and given way to winter. The presentation of autumn as something awesome comes to a climax with its imagery, diction, and sound. The animals of the world come out to mourn and sing. Describing the scene merely as animals singing and crying does not really convey the emotion and image the speaker has painted. Animals do not just sing even creatures as small as gnats mourn in “a wailful choir.” lambs, a traditional symbol for innocence, bleat from the hills. All of these things happening at once as the harvested bare hills are turned “a rosy hue” a color reminiscent of blood. Unlike The Lake Isle of Innisfree, in “To Autumn” the songbird can be heard doing more than flapping in the night; they whistle. Coincidentally “To Autumn” as well as “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” feature singing crickets. There is a difference however, in terms of what their song adds to each poem. When the crickets in “To Autumn” sing they sing along with a plethora of others, an accompaniment rather than a single note played constantly. The image, the idea of all these animals coming out and loudly singing together is grandiose; a spectacle whose scale can most easily be compared to the opening scene from the Lion King in terms of symbolism and the awe inspired.
In spite of all these differences the poems still clearly belong to the same movement. Though the choices were different the two poems utilize diction in the same fashion, their forms are not too dissimilar considering the diverse range of possible forms. In spite of the wildly different tones both poets felt that singing crickets conveyed their feelings. Most importantly both Yeats and Keats’s poems above all else display affection for nature.
  
 
  
« Last Edit: October 04, 2010, 02:54:19 AM by Razon Mahmood »
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Offline Razon Mahmood

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2010, 11:52:43 PM »
                                                                            Assignment on Helen

Introduction:

Helen, known as Helen of Troy, is the most important character in literature. It was she for whom the destructive Trojan War was taken place. She was stunningly beautiful and her beauty caused many destructions. 

Birth and Parentage:

There is a controversy about the birth of Helen. It is believed that Helen was born from an egg laid by Leda, wife of the Spartan king Tyndareus . Helen’s mother, Leda, was seduced by the most powerful god Zeus in the shape of a swan. At the same night, Tyndareus also impregnated his wife. Later on, Leda laid two eggs; Helen and Clytemnestra were born from the first egg, and Castor and Pollux were born from the second egg. From another source, we find that Lead was not seduced by Zeus but it was Nemesis who was seduced by the father of all gods and laid an egg which, later on, was take cared by Leda. It is also supposed that Zeus wanted to kill of a part of humanity as the earth was overpopulated. Zeus, the father of Helen, used her as a tool of destructing a part of earthly people.   

Consequences of Helen beauty: 

During that time, Helen was famous for her stunning beauty. The story of her beauty was spread out everywhere. When she reached puberty, she was kidnapped by Athenian king named Theseus who took her to Aphidna, a small city north of Athens. When her brothers, Castor and Pollux, came to know that they raised an army and captured Aphidna. They returned their sister to Sparta. One question was raised about the virginity of Helen as she was stayed long time at Athens. It’s really interesting that the people of Athens didn’t know anything about her abduction. Her stunning beauty caused the first war. The destructive war of Troy was caused for her beauty.   
       
 Marriage and Children:   

When the time of her marriage came, many suitors came to marry her among them were Hesiod and Hyginus . Menelaus sent his brother, Agamemnon, to represent him. The list of suitors was 25-30 in number. They were Odysseus, son of Laertes; Diomedes, son of Tydeus; Antilochus, son of Nestor; Agapenor, son of Ancaeus; Sthenelus, son of Capaneus; Amphimachus, son of Cteatus; Thalpius, son of Eurytus; Meges, son of Phyleus; Amphilochus, son of Amphiaraus; Menestheus, son of Peteos; Schedius and Epistrophus, sons of Iphitus; Polyxenus, son of Agasthenes; Peneleus, son of Hippalcimus; Leitus, son of Alector; Ajax, son of Oileus; Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, sons of Ares; Elephenor, son of Chalcodon; Eumelus, son of Admetus; Polypoetes, son of Peirithous; Leonteus, son of Coronus; Podaleirius and Machaon, sons of Asclepius; Philoctetes, son of Poeas; Eurypylus, son of Euaemon; Protesilaus and Podarces, sons of Iphiclus; Menelaus, son of Pleisthenes (or Atreus); Ajax and Teucer, sons of Telamon; Patroclus, son of Menoetius; and Idomeneus, son of Deucalion. Helen’s stepfather Tyndareus fell into great problem to choose his daughter’s suitor.
*Odysseus was one of the suitors, but had brought no gifts, because he believed he had little chance to win the contest. He thus promised to solve the problem, if Tyndareus in turn would support him in his courting of Penelope, the daughter of Icarius. Tyndareus readily agreed and Odysseus proposed that, before the decision was made, all the suitors should swear a most solemn oath to defend the chosen husband against whoever should quarrel with him. After the suitors had sworn not to retaliate, Menelaus was chosen to be Helen's husband. As a sign of the importance of the pact, Tyndareus sacrificed a horse.Helen and Menelaus became rulers of Sparta, after Tyndareus abdicated. (* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen#Birth)
She gave birth to Hermione, Aethiolas, Maraphius, and Pleisthenes.

Seduction of Helen by Paris: 

According to some writer, there was a plague in Sparta during the early marriage of Helen and Menelaus. He was advised by an oracle to go to Troy to observe propitiatory rites at the graves of Lycus and Chimaereus. He went there according to the advice of an oracle. He was returned to Sparta with the companionship of Paris, the price of Troy. Paris came to Troy because he had accidently killed his friend in an athletic contest and needed purification. When he was staying at Sparta, he had got many opportunities to see the most beautiful woman in the earth. But Menelaus had to leave for to attend funeral ceremonies for his grandfather Catreus. He left Paris at Sparta who was entertained by his wife. Helen fell in love with the handsome visitor. Being the queen, Helen had sufficient right to come and go out of the kingdom. Before coming back of Menelaus, Paris and she left Sparta by the ship of Paris.
It is also supposed that she was taken by force and Aphrodite helped Paris. Aphrodite deceived her by giving Paris the appearance of Menelaus. There were some minor adventures befell on them. At last they reached at Troy.       

The Trojan War:

When Menelaus came back from Crete and found his wife missing, he told it his brother Agamemnon. Agamemnon was furious because it was not only his family’s dishonor but he felt insulted as Helen was his sister-in-law. He sent some convoys to the king of Troy giving back Helen. But the convoys were refused by the king. The great heroes including Achilles, Odysseus, and Agamemnon prepared themselves for the war. Armies were recruited and ships were built. The former suitors of Helen were joined in the war. A thousand of ships were sailed towards Troy for the war. The war was lasted for ten years and the city of troy was destroyed.

The ending of Helen story:

Helen returned to Sparta with Menelaus and regretted for her sin. She lived with Menelaus. According to one source (The Odyssey), it is supposed that she was encountered by Telemachus, the son of Odysseus. According to another source (Orestes by Euripides), it is supposed that she had been taken up to Olympus when Menelaus returned to Sparta.

Conclusion:

In the book Women of Classical Mythology: A Biographical Dictionary (1991) Robert E. Bell   says “The most fascinating thing about Helen was her story…….. She herself seemed almost oblivious to the horrors that surrounded her. She displayed very little emotion and no remorse. She seemed removed and largely unaffected by the outcome of the war. In most accounts of her final years she was not even made to pay for her part in the calamity that touched virtually every family in Greece.” 
Despite of many controversies about the birth and death, it is believed that Helen was the most beautiful woman in the earth who had became a valuable source of writing in the world literature.     
 
 

Submitted by:
Razon Mahmood
I.D No: 072-10-355 (11th Batch)
Department of English
Daffodil International University 



References:
Graves Robert, 1985, The Greek Myth, Volume Two, Penguin Book Ltd, England
World Wide Web:
http://homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/Helen.html (13th October, 2010)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen#Birth (13th October, 2010)
http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/g_l/hd/abouthelen.htm (15th October, 2010)
   
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Offline jafar_bre

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2010, 12:31:42 AM »
 dear  Razon Mahmood , may be you can  learn more.if you   see  the movie troy 1,2,3,,,,,,,,,,,,,

best of luck
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 12:34:23 AM by jafar_bre »
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Offline Razon Mahmood

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2010, 12:59:24 AM »
Thank you Jafar. I have seen the movie. There is another movie named "The Helen of Troy", which is also based on the story of Helen and Trojan war.     
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Offline Razon Mahmood

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Re: ENG: 401 20th-Century Poetry (Reference Guide)
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2010, 11:46:26 PM »
English Illinois is one the best web source where everyone will get some healthy articles regarding Modern American Poetry. Follow the link to get those now!!!- http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets.htm

For getting information about T.S Eliot and his poetry please follow the link- http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/eliot/eliot.htm
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 11:48:03 PM by Razon Mahmood »
You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down-Charles Chaplin