305 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2015
    1. freedom.

      Up until this line the even numbered lines all ended with "-ill". Other stanzas also broke rhyme patterns but because only the quatrains within them followed a rhyme pattern. In this stanza, the rhyme pattern seems to be A-B-C-B-D-B-E-F.

    2. his bars of rage

      I think this is really powerful because I would never think to personify the bars. By giving the bars the emotion of rage, it makes it clear that the bird is not only trapped by the bars but that the bars are also vicious in keeping him in.

    3. trill

      Although there is sporadic rhyme throughout the poem, it is difficult to find a recurring pattern. Perhaps this is a stretch, but could this free form relate to the argument of the poem: that no physical confines (such as a cage or rhyme scheme) can dampen the expression of hope (the song of the bird or Angelou's fight for civil rights)?

    4. Maya Angelou

      Just as it was helpful to know that Hopkins was a deeply religious man, it might be helpful to note in studying this poem about freedom that as "a civil rights activist, Angelou worked for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X". Click the "Related Content" tab for more on her bio.

    5. ith a fearful

      You'll notice here especially that the poem is driven by two rhetorical modes--comparison and repetition. Consider how the comparison impacts you emotionally, how you re-read in a new tone the second time "The caged bird sings" stanza appears. [How many times does something have to repeat before you call it a refrain?]

    6. A free bird leaps on the back of the wind    and floats downstream    till the current ends and dips his wing

      The first 4 lines have a nice rhyme scheme but the last three lines go off of the rhyme scheme.

    1. sómetimes
    2. sometímes

      What is the significance of the difference in stress between "sometimes" here and in the following line?

    3. dare-gale

      Hopkins has a knack for creating new words (literary term: neologism) like this one and day-labouring-out in line four

    4. nor

      It occurred to me only here that the sestet is animated by negatives (not, no, nor).

    5. sweet-fowl, song-fowl

      Is this an example of anaphora? I like how Hopkins used different adjectives to describe the bird. It gave me a good visual. It is used again at the end of the stanza with the word nest.

    1. And for a woman wert thou first created,

      Line nine marks a shift from analyzing the Fair youth externally to internally. The Speaker spends the first eight lines describing the Fair Youth's effect on other people (controlling, amazing). But after line nine, he shifts to describing the Fair Youth's relationships with people. He tells the Fair Youth for whom he was created, and then brings himself into the poem.

    2. Which steals men’s eyes and women’s souls amazeth.

      The speaker explains that the Fair Youth has a different effect on men than on women. He says that men's eyes are stolen, possibly meaning that they are made jealous by the Fair Youth's perfection. Women, however, get to have their souls amazethed. It is not a mental thought of jealousy or fascination for women, but rather an emotional amazement and wonder.

    3. painted

      Feminine endings (unstressed final syllables) to each line emphasize the feminine qualities that the speaker is trying to portray the Fair Youth as having. This is an anomaly for Shakespearean Sonnets.

    1. him

      What's up with Gerard Manley's general rhyme scheme? This goes for both poems. For this one, we see ABCABC, next stanza ABCAC. Why the difference in stanzas? Is it to place emphasis on G-d, ending early with "him"? And there's also a lot of half rhymes-- dapple, stiple, tackle, rose-moles and fresh firecoal. The sound of the poem is supplemented by the constant alliteration (couple-coulor, fresh firecoal, plotted and pieced, fold, fallow) which gives it a strange rhythmic, lyrical feeling. Pretty, but odd. I would argue that this is typical of Romantic poets as a whole-- something about nature brings out music and/or weirdos. But isn't it fitting that this poem is filled with exceptions and couples, but fits together in a sort of melody?

    2. With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

      I liked how the rhythm of the poem changed throughout the poem. These short, punctuated, repetitive words followed by a complete sentence broke up the poem and made it more interesting to me to read than a poem that follows a more predictable rhythm.

    1. &

      Kelsey above mentioned asyndeton-- a lack of conjunctions, but this poem also features here polysyndeton-- extra conjugations. Hopkins can create an almost lyrical feeling by both adding and taking out conjunctions. Or to emphasize that the trees that were once in all these areas are now gone

    2. That, like this sleek and seeing ball      But a prick will make no eye at al

      I thought the comparison of destroying the earth to pricking an eyeball was very powerful. It is simple to understand how the small prick of an eyeball completely changes its usefulness, which made his message about cutting down trees/altering the earth really relatable.

    3. wind-wandering weed-winding bank.

      Manley uses an alliteration here, focusing on the W sound and repeating it throughout the sentence

  2. Nov 2015
    1. As in Pied Beauty line 6 ("áll trádes"), Hopkins has a very specific sound in mind. What is the sense/meaning of that specific sound?

    2. we but knew what we do

      When we use nature to our own ends, we know what we're doing--don't we?

    3. airy cages quelled,   Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun,   All felled, felled, are all felled

      There is a great mixture of Epanalepsis, assonance and Asyndeton in these lines. And really all throughout the passage. (Epanalepsis: repeating a word at the end of the clause with the same one that began the clause)

    1. Spider
    2. seeking the spheres to connect them

      Note Walt Whitman's word choice in how it is "seeking the spheres to connect them", them being its webs, and its webs being his home. What is the importance of "spheres" as he uses it in this poem?

    3. explore the vacant vast surrounding

      This in an interesting combination of words. Can you really explore a vacant surrounding? Is there much to explore in that case?

    4. you

      The personification/direct address of the soul as "you" makes the soul seem simultaneously powerful and alone.

    5. filament, filament, filament

      It seems to me that the effect of repetition here is to emphasize the spider's number of attempts to create its web, therefore emphasizing the effort and time required for the spider to establish a home. This allows Whitman to draw a parallel between the spider's web and the soul, which also wanders until "the gossamer thread" it throws catches somewhere.

    6. isolated

      Walt Whitman throughout the poem uses solemn words such us "isolated", but also "noiseless", "vacant", and "tirelessly". And he then goes on to compare this spider with his soul, giving even more adjectives such as "detached". How does this impact your perception about the person in the story?

    7. in measureless oceans of space

      Hmm. Where exactly is the soul, acdg to the speaker? Where do we traditionally locate the soul?

    8. filament, filament, filament

      Effects of repetition? Meter? Vowel or consonant sounds? Visual imagery?

    1. There is obviously a difference in the rhyming pattern of Donne vs. that of Shakespeare. His (Donne's) rhyming scale is A,A,B,B vs Shakespeare's whose is A,B,A,B. While reading this poem I continued to get the sense of a very deep connection between the two lovers. One word that stood out to me the most was 'mingled'. To me it just shows the closeness of the two lovers and how even their blood mixes together and brings them even closer.

    2. And pampered swells with one blood made of two

      Through my reading of the poem this flea is a representative of any potential children between these two individuals. That two bloods mix to make one is an analogy to the shared genetics of both parents that a child would inherit. Also, mentioning that there are "three lives in one flea spare" is representative of the idea that a humans legacy is represented by their children, and that children will carry on the image of their parents throughout their life.

    3. ?

      I find it interesting that Donne decides to end the poem with questions. To me, as I read through this, these lines feel as if the narrator is saying "that wasn't so bad, now was it?" The subject of the narrator's poem "yield'st to me" despite his or her clear intentions of "deniest [the narrator]". Maybe this is a cocky move from the narrator to ask such a question, but on the other hand he or she could be genuinely looking for gratification and acceptance for their actions.

    4. It sucked me first, and now sucks thee, And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;   

      It's interesting how Donne describes how two peoples' blood "intermingle" in a flea. He makes something so insignificant important by mentioning that that is the only way they would interact when he says: "And this, alas, is more than we would do." He presents an imagery that people wouldn't usually associate as a beautiful thing.

    5. This flea is you and I

      Donne was one of a group of poets that some critics derisively called "metaphysical" for constructing "a combination of dissimilar images, or discovery of occult resemblances in things apparently unlike". Like a lover, his beloved, as a flea. This kind of combination of dissimilar images came to be known in poetry as a conceit.

    6. nay more than married are.

      What does it mean to be more than married?

    7. For this poem, you really need to read between the lines. Stanza two's opening implies that an action has taken place between Stanza two's beginning and Stanza one's ending. What happened?

    1. their

      who is their?

    2. jewel

      class notes

      These temporary things, ARE important. Because they are not immortal, so we have to hold on to them.

    3. mortality

      open with mortality end with, open with cost, end with the stakes.

    4. O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out Against the wrackful siege of batt’ring days,

      In the first line of quatrain 2 the author is describing a breath so delicately and beautifully, but in the next he completely shatters his elegant phrasing with violent words like wrackful and batt'ring. This helps to give even more meaning and power to his argument that even the most beautiful of things dies.

    5. g


      (also all my notes were under the wrong tag, I swear I didn't write comments during class)

    6. ink

      This conclusion (i.e immortalizing his lover's beauty through his words against the all consuming force of time) is the same he reached in Sonnet 16 (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day)

    7. O

      Power of three: O, hold, and strong(ish) are all used three times. Especially interesting because there's four stanzas. I don't know what to call these repeated words. Anaphora-esques? Anyways, if I had to guess what this was implying, I'd say something along the lines of an incompleteness. Or on the other hand a series of things broken and overwhelmed that form a complete picture when put together.

    8. love

      For the entirety of the poem, I thought of beauty only in a physical sense. However, when Shakespeare replaces beauty with love at the end, I understood more that he saw beauty in who his subject was a person, making this tribute to his subject enduring.

    9. nor

      He uses this anaphora to create an emphasis on the fact that not stone, earth or the sea could sway "their power". He also uses nor in other parts of the passage.

    10. unless

      Throughout the poem, Shakespeare uses increasingly urgent questions and heavy/dark words (“this rage” “wrackful siege” “swift foot” “batt’ring days” “time decays") to ponder the fragility of life in comparison to the unyielding passage of time . The dark tone set by the insistent questions and expressions of concern ("O fearful meditation!”) are contrasted by the hopeful upturn at the volta here, where Shakespeare suddenly opens the possibility that beauty is a strong enough force to overcome time. Specifically for me, the word “unless” in line 13 triggers the new tone, since before this, there was no exception to what time could overcome and destroy.

    11. O, how

      For those of you interested in looking at the meter, how do you understand this kind of exclamation metrically, and what are the effects?

    12. r?

      Note also the emotional pitch of the poem--loads of questions. Do they get more frantic? more detailed? Is there some pattern to the progression of questions?

    13. Since

      Again, keep track of the grammar here. Because [lines 1-2], then...

    1. infection meet,

      It is interesting how we go from giving the flower a characteristic such as "to the summer sweet" to giving it the characteristic of infection.

    2. base

      Should we define this as "fundamental" or "important"?

    3. flower

      It is difficult to read this poem and not assume it is about a certain gender. I automatically assumed that a male was speaking about females (perhaps because of the gender of the author), but there is not necessarily evidence of this. Using the comparison to lords made me briefly think Shakespeare is speaking about males as lords were typically males; however, the comparison to flowers just seems female as flowers are often associated with female beauty. But, then Shakespeare uses "his" to describe a weed, meaning I think that Shakespeare intends this to apply equally to males and females.

    4. Th

      "Th" is an assonance used throughout the passage

    5. They that have power to hurt and will do none, That do not do the thing they most do show, Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,

      In my understanding this all seems a very ironic apostrophe. They have the ability to hurt but they won't, they won't do the thing they mostly show, I'm somewhat confused but that's how I see it.

    6. :

      Quatrain one here is a lengthy appositive phrase modifying "They" of line five. The main verbs driving the opening six lines are "do inherit" and "husband".

    7. Lilies

      We open with stone imagery and close with flowers and weeds.

    8. stewards

      Might be worth looking up the difference culturally/socially/economically between a steward and a lord.

    1. Look in thy glass

      Metrical anomalies such as this have a tonal/emotional effect.

      "Look in" - two consecutive stressed syllables

    2. Thou art thy mother’s glass

      Metrical anomalies such as this have a tonal/emotional effect.

      "Thou art" - two consecutive stressed syllables

    3. Sonnet   3

      Listen to Melissa Battis read the poem!

    4. Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time.

      This mainly shows irony, saying that even though you are wrinkled and old you are at your prime and it is your time to shine really.

    5. Of his self-love

      I think it's interesting how the tone of the sonnet changes here... The whole time Shakespeare talks in a positive tone about how the young man needs to have a child and then suddenly he switches to a more negative tone and talks about how the young man can be egotistical and ruin his own life (making a tomb of selfishness and not having a child carry on that beauty).

    6. he tillage of thy husbandry

      Okay, so there's an agricultural image here. The Fair Youth will reap (in offspring) what he sows in the...uh... field of his wife's womb. Track the variety of imagery in this poem, and figure out which image reinforces the argument best.

    7. posterity?

      It might be helpful to track the grammar and voice here. Quatrain 1 has an if-then statement in lines two and three. Quatrain 2 asks questions of the Fair Youth. The couplet pushes another if-then statement.

    1. Recognize

      So many near-synonyms for the mental activity of the protagonist--recomposing and completing, discovering and remembering and recognizing.

    2. complete in an unexplained completion

      Hmmm. Poetry offers a resolution (think of Shakespeare's pithy couplets) but not conclusions.

    3. poem that took the place

      I guess we're back to the debate we had earlier. what kind of mimesis is poetry? An ideal one, a realistic one, a nobly-lying one?

    1. Sonnet  29

      Listen to @drama_chick read the poem!

    2. and that man’s scope,

      What's he mean here, "vision"?

    3. I scorn to change my state with kings.

      It's interesting to note that the final couplet seems to focus on material "wealth," riches, things a "king" would possess.

      But when the speaker is "curse[ing] his fate" in the earlier lines he focuses on less tangible things like "hope" and "friendship" and "art"--which I read as craft, as in a poet's craft.

    4. Featured like him, like him with friends possessed, Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,

      I think this whole poem reflects a lot of insecurities Shakespeare might have as he tries to get the "fair youth" to love him. Shakespeare expresses his insecurities in these lines and also in line 4 when he "looks upon himself and curses his fate." He seems to want to be better because he feels he is not good enough.

    5. I think on thee, and then my state

      This could almost be looked at as a selfless act because he doesn't think about himself immediately as most people would

    6. )

      Effects of the parentheses? (not the image within it, but the punctuation)

    7. like to one

      Much of this meditation focuses on the Speaker in comparison with other men.

    8. When,

      Be careful to track the grammar here. It's an elaborate single sentence. When X happens, Y. There's a volta with respect to rhyme that's standard (line 13). Where/is there an emotional volta of the sonnet?

    1. - a Loaded Gun -

      Oddly enough this Dickinson line helped me figure out a lyric to a pop song I've been trying to decipher for sometime now, which in turn helped me think through this line more.

      The line is the chorus from Major Lazer's "Lean On"--the most streamed song on Spotify ever!:

      Blow a kiss, fire a gun We need someone to lean on

      What I see now in both lines is that they are contrasting life and death through their imagery. Normally a "loaded gun" carries the potential of ending life. But Dickinson seems to be using it differently: as storing the potential for life.

      Check out the annotation for the lyric at Genius.com here.

      Image Description

    2. Vesuvian face

      This is one of my favorite of Dickinson's images--it recurs one other time I know of

    1. Feed’st thy

      Here and elsewhere (like line 13's "Pity") the meter is not iambic. (An iambic foot of poetry is unstressed-STRESSED. "deSIRE") Be prepared to discuss the effects of these metrical variations.