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诗歌赏析的方法  

2011-01-07 17:00:19|  分类: 诗歌欣赏 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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       How to Analyse Poetry

A Step-by-Step Guide to Critical Analysis

 

Upon hearing the word poetry, most people go white with fear and get palpitations when asked to analyse it. Here are the questions you should ask when analysing poetry.

 Before you even think about analysing poem, you need to read it. This sounds obvious, but it is the step most people miss, which is why their analyses are often confused. Read the poem at least three times; read it out aloud; taste the words on your tongue as you say them. Only once you have done this are you ready to try and figure out what the poet is actually saying.

 Who is Speaking?

The poet and the speaker are not the same thing. The poet writes the poem, but there is someone "speaking" in it who is not necessarily the poet.

 Knowing who the poet is and when and where s/he wrote can sometimes provide useful information which will help you understand what is being said. Remember: all literature is written in a social, cultural and historical context, and understanding this context can add greatly to your understand and interpretation of the poem.
       The poet and the speaker are not the same thing. The poet writes the poem, but there is someone "speaking" in it who is not necessarily the poet. The speaker in poetry is similar to the narrative voice in prose fiction. S/he is not always identifiable, but may be real or imagined, personal or impersonal.

 When and Where is the Poem Set?

The setting of a poem is where the poem takes place. It may be located in a specific place which has direct bearing on the poem's message. For example, William Blake's "London" is, obviously, set in London and the poem critiques what was happening in London at the time of the poem being written.

 However, identifying the setting of a poem is not always as easy and obvious as Blake's "London". A poem can be set anywhere, in the past, present or future, in an imagined or real location. Knowing the setting of a poem can indicate the mood or atmosphere that the poem is trying to convey, as well as help your understanding of the poem's message.

 What are the Form and Structure of the Poem?

 When a poet decides to write a poem, s/he also chooses a specific form that they think will best convey their ideas. Poetry encompasses many modes: narrative, dramatic, satiric, polemic, didactic, erotic, lyrical/personal etc. For example, the sonnet form is used when the poem's message has something to do with love. The ballad form is generally adopted for a narrative form.

 The form of a poem is closely connected to its structure; that is, the arrangement of lines and stanzas. Become familiar with the different poem structures and use that to decide what form the poet has chosen.

 What is the Subject Matter of the Poem?

The poet is trying to say something through his poem. S/he chooses the speaker, setting and form to convey the theme or central idea. There are no limits to the subjects poets choose to write about: it could be about events, actions, thoughts, memories, arguments, polemic, and so on.

 How Does the Imagery Contribute to the Poem's Meaning?

Figurative language and imagery are a part of everyday speech, but the are often highlighted and emphasised in poetry. Words are not confined to their literal meanings and are used to create sensory associations, be they visual and aural. They are also a source of connotations that they have accumulated as their meanings have altered. Imagery is used to discuss one thing through an indirect reference to something else, and can add multiple layers of meaning to a poem.

 What is the Tone of the Poem?

The tone of the poem expresses the attitude of the speaker towards the subject matter, and is closely linked to the feeling and mood that informs the poem. The tone is not static and may alter as the poem develops and more ideas are introduced. Understanding the tone of a poem is an integral component in comprehending its overall message. Factors such as diction, rhythm, speaker, setting and imagery can inform the tone of the poem.

 What is the Message of the Poem?

The things that happen in the poem - the actions, scenes or events - constitute the subject matter, but the theme is portrayed through the central message of the poem. It can be rather abstract and is a marriage of subject matter, speaker, setting, imagery and tone. In order to glean fully what the poem is trying to say, you must understand all the components that make up the poem.
   

May 29, 2009 Sarah Wild
    http://www.suite101.com/content/how-to-analyse-poetry-a121137 

 

How To Study A Poem

Six Easy Ways To Understand Poetry

 

Whether you are reading a poem for pleasure, or simply trying to pass an exam, these helpful hints should allow you to get to grips with what the poet is trying to say.

    Puzzling over a poem? Try the following tips and you will soon be discussing poetry with confidence!

 Read the poem all the way through. It might be tempting to stop and puzzle over any tricky bits, but by reading the poem all the way through, you should be able to pick up the overall idea the poet is trying to convey. Consider the subject matter - what the poem is literally about - as well as any themes that emerge - these are the ideas that the poet wants you to think about after reading the poem.

 What is the mood of the poem? Think about how the writer wants you to feel at the end of the poem. Is the overall tone uplifting, or does the poem leave you feeling sad? Some poems have a deliberate change of mood within them, where an apparently downbeat poem ends with a joyful scene (such as Imtiaz Dharker's The Blessing) or vice versa.

 Consider how the poem is structured. The poet will have planned the structure of their poem carefully, so look at how many stanzas or verses the poem is divided into. Why do you think the poet has chosen to structure the poem in the way they have? Perhaps each new stanza deals with a new idea or mood, or maybe the poem consists of just one short stanza in order to suggest a brief, fast-moving event. Robert Frost's magnificent poem After Apple-Picking is one long stanza, containing a handful of very short lines, allowing the poet to create a feel of an exhausted narrator gradually falling asleep as he talks to us.

 Listen to the sounds of the words. Poetry is designed to be read aloud, so forget your embarrassment and recite the poem to yourself. Doing this should allow you to hear whether the poem has any regular rhyme or rhythm, as well as any words the poet has chosen because of the way they sound. For example, the writer may be using alliteration (where two or more words in close succession begin with the same consonant) in order to draw our attention to a certain line or image, or assonance (the repetition of vowel sounds within words).

 For an example of the latter, Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening shows how effective the technique can be in the lines "The only other sound's the sweep/Of easy wind and downy flake"- here the assonance slows down the pace of the poem and suggests the sound of the wind murmuring through the snow-laden branches.
Other aural techniques to look out for include onomatopoeia, where words such as "crash" are used to echo the sound of the word itself, and sibilance - repetition of an "s" sound as in the Frost lines discussed above.

 Consider any other Techniques used by the poet. For example, look at how the poet uses imagery - in other words, how language is used to help the reader picture the events of the poem. In order to do this, the poet might use simile or metaphor, to help the reader draw a comparison between ideas. A simile uses "like" or "as" to draw attention to the comparison - such as Robert Burns' "O my love is like a red, red rose".

 Metaphors are harder to spot as the comparison is a direct one - the reader is told something is something else, as in Robert Frost's Road Not Taken, where a journey through a wood represents a passage through life. Always consider why the poet has chosen these particular comparisons rather than any other.

 If all else fails, Get Help! There are many excellent books and websites offering guidance to specific poems - try sparknotes or the very helpful suite101!

 Above all, remember that poetry is written to be enjoyed, and the more you read, the less you will need to refer to these tips!

  

Nov 16, 2008 Elizabeth Gregory

http://www.suite101.com/content/how-to-study-a-poem-a78807

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