Dickinson and Whitman Test

Narrative Poetry
tells a story and has the literary elements as works of prose fiction Ex: ballads and epics

Dramatic Technique
uses dramatic ways of presenting the speech of one or more characters in verse form

expresses the thoughts and feelings of a single speaker

repetition of vowel sounds

repetition of initial consonant sounds

Precise Word Choice
words that carry precise shades of meaning and express tone

Emily Dickinson
born in AmherstAttended Amherst Academy active social life turned to like of seclusionpublished only a handful of poems during her life timeHer sister found over a thousand poems tied in fascicles and found a note saying she wanted them to be destroyed Editors changed her poetry to fit the style of the time

exact rhyme
two or more words that have identical sounds in their final stressed syllables

slant rhyme
final sounds are similar but not identical

a statement that seems contradictory but actually presents a truth

Walt Whitman
wrote “Leaves of Grass”first denounced for his poetry no formal education (autodidact) became editor of “Brooklyn Eagle”born in long island, raised in Brooklynoppressed slaveryknown as one of the greatest and most influential poets that US producedbroke every poetic tradition of rhyme and meter – critics attacked him for itinspired by transcendentalists, used poetry to convey his passionate beliefs of democracy, equality, potential for every human spirit

Epic Poetry
tells a long story about a hero whose adventures embody the values of a nation

Epic Theme of Walt Whitman
Walk Whitman’s epic theme was that all people are connected by their shared experience of life

Walt Whitman’s style
– Walt Whitman’s style is marked by specific structural and poetic elements that contribute to a sense of epic sweep – He also uses long lines to express more complex ideas or string together a list of objects – He uses Catalogues or Lists to show the infinite range of elements, suggest a parade of images, and make them seem of equal worth

free verse
irregular meter and line formation, more like natural speech

repetition of phrases or sentences w/similar structure or meaning

Emily Dickinson Topics/Themes
often writes about religion, her soul, nature She admires human individuality and intelligence Death

Emily Dickinson Style
Normally she either has no set meter/rhyme or she shifts from tetrameter and trimeteruses capitalization and dashes, uses paradoxes oftencreated with great precision, eccentric capitalization and punctuation are important elements frequently uses slant rhyme at points where the reader expects an exact rhyme helps make her poetry surprising

using the experience of one sense to express the experience of another

“Because I Could Not Stop For Death”- Emily Dickinson
No set meter or rhymePersonification of Death Tone: peacefulness because death seems like a friend and then because she is shocked death has come for herTheme: Death, mortality, spiritualitySymbols: house=grave; horses=taking her to the afterlife

“Much Madness is the Divinest Sense”
no set meter or rhyme, there is alliteration, juxtaposition, and paradoxThemes: Someone who is considered different or crazy is the smartest, but the smartest are also the most mad; society says that it is best if you agree, SOCIETY V. INDIVIDUAL BELIEFTone: assertivethose different appear people who agree with society are normal, “sane” (conformists), people who go against and question the normal are crazy (nonconformists)anti-transcendentalist poem

“A Narrow Fellow in the Grass”
alternates between tetra and trimeter; internal rhyme, alliteration, creates the persona of a man to tell the storyTheme: appearance vs. reality Tone: changes from light and playful to fearful

“I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died”
Four Stanzas (Quatrains)Slant Rhyme – 2nd and 4th LinesAlternates Tetrameter and TrimeterSimile – stillness in the room compared to stillness in the airFigurative LanguagePatterns – dashes, capitalizationOnomatopoeia Narrative Poem from someone who is already dead; telling their story from beyond the graveMood: Eerie 1st Stanza: Flies associated with death could be interpreted as death is final, the soul dies with the body and that there is no afterlifeComparing the stillness of the room they’re in to the stillness in between the violence of stormsThe state of their room is like the eye of a storm Second Stanza: First Line: friends and family could possibly be around (“eyes around”)Eyes are dry – People had been crying, their eyes were wet, but now are dryPossibly feel exhausted or even at peacePreparing themselves for what is to come?”Last Onset” – could be the final breath or final moment before death”the King” – could be God being present in the roomAlso believed to be death itself waiting for the deceased speakerFly returned and interposed (came between two things)Interposed – use of diction to describe that the fly is an intruderFly interrupts a calm moment the speaker is having as they reflect on the satisfaction that a portion of them will still be here Speaker gives up all of their “keepsakes” knowing that some part of them / their life will stay behind after they dieFourth stanza: First Line: describing what actions/sounds the fly is makingBuzz – onomatopoeiaDashes could represent the flight of a fly (stumbling)Second Line: goes back to the fly interposing.. Between the speaker and the “light” Light can be translated as a literal lantern/ candle or as a metaphor for approaching death”Windows failed” – the speaker’s eyes closed or they have lost contact with the outside worldFinally death has reached the speakerTone: Sad, somber, also distracted (because of the interrupting fly)Theme: Even in the most still or vulnerable moments of life, there can be distractions or interruptions

“There’s A Certain Slant of Light”
light is probably the light at the end of the day winter afternoonsays the light is oppressive and heavy and painfulno one can teach the pain of the light, only understand itShadows are personified when the light leaves it is like deathTheme: oppressiveness of light and its internal and external affectsTone: depressed

“My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close”
alternating iambic trimeter and iambic tetrametertone: dismal, sorrowfulABCB DEFEcompares two past events to being as tragic as death (end of a relationship and death of a loved one)theme: human suffering is a natural part of lifeending paradox: “parting is all we know of heaven and all we need of hell” – heaven and hell are opposites, a person dies and goes to heaven and leaves those behind alive in hell (speaker has been left in hell)

“The Soul Selects Her Own Society”
irregular meter, mostly slant rhymes, alliteration in the titlethe soul is sperate and personifiedcould be referring to god, people think its abt her reclusive lifetheme – abt excluding and choosing, she is rejecting everything who she does not allow in the door before closing italso seen as a love poem bc she is showing great love for the 1 or 2 she is welcoming in the doortone – quiet and ominous, privatespeaks of someone important and regal when she shuts out “divine majority” and she does not move when the emperor kneels before her because the speaker feels they are just as great as them

“The Brain is Wider than the Sky”
iambic tetrameter/iambic trimeter compares the brain to different things on the earth to show how important and amazing it isshe even says it is equivalent to GodTheme: human intelligenceTone: much respect and astonishment towards the human mind

“Water is Taught by Thirst”
no regular rhyme scheme or meter, but rhythm is created through the use of hyphensrepetition of the word by to introduce ideasentire thing is a paradoxtone – calm and informativetheme – we do not truly appreciate what we have until it’s gone, there are going to be hard times in life where we don’t always have everything, we need to be strong during those times bc this is how we learn to appreciate what we have

Song of Myself Verse 6
no rhyme scheme or meter, free verse, optimistic and curious tonetheme – we’re all connected in some way (nature shows us that, and, specifically in this verse, by grass)grass = handkerchief of god (meaning it belongs to god and covers the earth, connecting us to each other and god)rhetorical questions – how could i answer the child?parts of the poem express that death doesn’t end life, that it allows it to continue after a slight pause, that everything continues or improves, death is better than the way everyone thinks of it and even “luckier”, nothing is made worse

“When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”
Gulf b/w knowledge and imaginationBroke into two parts: First:: Anecdote describes the lecture as boring. Anecdote was to act as a stimulus for the speaker’s reaction to the lecture and eventual removal from the scene. Also shows his disapproval with both the astronomer’s way of teaching the subject matter and the audience’s response.

Second: poetic voice is revealed w/ more literary devices used. After the lecture, the speaker goes outside to look at the stars himself. Personal experience is more meaningful than scientific lectures. “perfect silence” – contrasting the “noisy” lecture with proofs, figures, charts and diagrams and a contrast with the applause – Also showing how hard facts and scientific evidence are unnecessary and inadequate to describe the beauty of the stars and mystery of nature in generalJuxtaposes other ideas too: technical vs. experiential and populated vs.

solitaryTheme- the best way to appreciate nature is to experience it firsthand; teaching matters related to nature with direct evidence and scientific facts takes away the true beauty and mystery of nature ; Mystery and self-knowledge are the most valuable learning toolsFree verse so it can show his unconventional view on natureTone: bored, dissatisfied (beginning); respectful (end)anaphora-emphasizes speakers boredomassonance and alliteration

“I Hear America Singing”
about American pride and the promise of freedom talks about the voices of Americans working hard at their jobs (talks about the carpenter, boatman, hatter, mason, mother, and seamstress) he imagines they are all singing

“A Noiseless Patient Spider”
compares the spider to the soul and how it is always changing, but sometimes unnoticed

Song of Myself Verse 1
free meterauthor is celebrating himself and the life he hasHe wants us to assume that whatever is said in the poem we should take as our own opinions as if we are the authors we are all the same and belong to the same community personification of his soulHe is part of a cycleWants religion and school to stop so that the world can see something more real and direct Tone: hopeful, peaceful, calmTheme: identity, spirituality, circle of life, we must celebrate our souls and the life we life

Song of Myself Verse 51
free versepast and present are compared to plants that wilted looks toward the futureTheme: people are susceptible to change; it is part of human life to grow and react to events around us Might be talking to God

Song of Myself Verse 52
he sees a hawk and feels humbled, in his mind the hawk tells him to hurry up and finish the poem, the day leads him to the darkness (maybe metaphor for death), ties together to older idea of the grass w/the dead people, we must look for Whitman in the grass because when we walk over him we will be given strength and good health, he says he has stopped for us in his journey so that we can catch up