The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Eliot- dramatic monologue; unwinding psychologically- name suggests uppity, neurotic guy- opening w dante’s inferno: may be concerned about his rep, he is in a living hell/death, world is judgmental and bc of that he lives in fear; prufrock thinks his secret is safe w us- form: irregular rhyme & meter, lots of ? and ellipses- repetition- conflation of time: talks about future, how should i presume? accepts old age, comb over, big old man pants- 1st stanza is more regular; as we delve deeper his mind unravels and we end up in a really weird place- No transitions; battling himself; stream of consciousness ? He is talking to himself- What is the overwhelming question?? Maybe what is the meaning of life? What am I meant to do? ? Existential questions are avoided in this poem by the speaker- Time used a lot in stanza 4; lots of time to do things 7 times ? Time to do and time to waste ? Rationalizing himself ? Perception of time can be different; 3 hrs can be so long or so fast ? Seems to be stuck in eternal nothing- Syneccdoche : eyes : people ? Fears intimacy- Alludes to hamlet; -> indecisive like prufrock ? He is a star and Prufrock is just a background guy in his own life ? He does not want to be the main star in his own life- Biblical allusion to Lazarus ? Lazarus resurrecting to tell them the meaning of life ? The woman says that he will never find the answers to his life- Measuring out his life in coffee spoons: detailed, meticulous in a bad way
A Few Don’ts
Pound – Image is what presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time – Complex in the sense that it gives sense of freedom from time limits and space limits; sense of growth – Better present one image than voluminous works ? Quality over quantity – Make a list of Donts for beginning poets ? Biblical reference: cannot put them all into mosaic negative ? 10 commandments are in negative and start w thou shall not…
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– Consider the 3 propositions not as dogma, but as result of long contemplation ? Literary reference to 3 rules by English imagist poetry Frank Stuart Flint § Direct treatment of the thing either subjective or objective ? How I feel about the thing, or the thing out there § To use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation ? Avoid needless words § As regarding rhythm, to compose in a sequence of the musical phrase, not in sequence of a metronome ? Metronomes are regular; don’t do that, when constructing w meter, do so as a musical phrase- Language: no superfluous words, avoid abstractions, do not mix concrete & abstract, show do not tell- Rhythm & Rhyme:Do not be descriptive or viewy, Do not write in separate iambs, Don’t just be so formulaic as you write, write expressively, Do not start each line w a heave (referring to stress v unstress), Rhyme should have slight element of surprise
Pound- Appearance of faces in crowd, people waiting on platform, as u pass quickly – Look like petals on a wet black bough ? Odd ? We do not see nature in non-nature setting ? Juxtaposition § Beautiful vs. dirty/ugly – Petals ( people ) stand out ? Contrast – Feels connected to humanity in weirdest places – Beautiful moment – Sense beauty in common collection of people – All being human at once in subway station – Serendipitous moment ? Life throws you these things – Very direct poem – Similar to asian poems
The Red Wheelbarrow
Williams- Specific moment – Rain stops, everything looks different – Nothing is more important than the red wheel barrow – White chickens ? Pureness ? Contrast ? Simplicity – Just came out after the rain – Red wheel barrow -> alludes to farmer – Idea that small thing has a huge importance ? Simple image that reflects the importance of simplicity – So much of it depends on one little wheel, one little basket
This is Just to Say
Williams- Found poem (?); sounds like one ? Lunch note, bus advertisement, not meant to be a poem – Sounds like a note somebody left – Not confronting person – Appeals to taste and touch ? Sweetness ? Imagine the purple plum , slightly frosty ? Texture – Relatable – Moment in time that speaks to us
H.D.- Talks to a pear tree; not normal – Alone – Color imagery; silver, white, purple – Repeats higher than my arm’s reach, repeats no flower – Lots of repetition – Elevates pear tree – Speaks romantically – Excited – Woman reaching for the tree ? You are the best tree, the OG – Flowers rep innocence, life, newness, but temporarily bc they die – Here is this moment but appreciate it bc u might miss it – Tree represents future pleasure, there will be pears later on – She takes advantage of the moment – Implied sort of “carpe diem”
D.- Summer; maybe August – Humid as well – Begs for a breeze – Rend -> to tear ? Wind breaking the heat ? So thick – Fruit cannot drop thru this thick air ? Hyperbole – Restatement – Heat changing form of fruits – Extended apostrophe to the wind – Plough thru it; – Gives image as thick blanket or some thing can be cut ? unsure
Fitzgerald-winter, Dexter Green (Minnesota), skis across the snowed-in golf course where he caddies in the warmer months to earn his pocket money; dreams of beating everyone and being great- winter dreams, which drive him to desire material success- spring; quits as a caddy, meets Judy Jones- goes to esteemed eastern university, where his financial resources are stretched.- does not only want to be associated w glittery things, wants them- golfs w man he used to caddy for; feels superior to the other competitors but also that he does not belong in this world- meets Judy Jones again, later that night by the lake after she abandons her date- he tells her he is very rich; they become involved; but Judy toys with other men- becomes engaged to Irene; meets Judy again and calls of engagement- in NY, at 32, Dexter is v successful; learns about Judy’s poor life, treated poorly by husband, is no longer beautiful-feels the loss of her beauty and spark personally, because his illusions of Judy are finally and irreparably shattered. – She lost her specialness; became ordinary, not cherished by this man and this ruins his idea of her- He cries, mourning the past and the idea of her that is now gone
Steinbeck- A land turtle navigates through a dry patch of ground toward a slanted highway embankment full of oat beards and foxtails. – Resolute and unswerving, the turtle fights its way up the slope to the highway and begins to cross the hot pavement. – A speeding car swerves onto the shoulder to avoid the turtle; Someone trying to help them- Moments later, a truck purposefully clips the shell of the turtle, sending it spinning to the side of the highway, landing on its back; Someone trying to hurt them- Joads victimized by hostile environment in which they exist, yet they persist in their journey. – In the course of its travels, the turtle unwittingly carries an oat beard, a symbol of new life, in its shell.
? Good things coming out of struggles – This oat beard is carried to the other side of the highway, ready to produce again. – refers to the notion that humanity and its life force will continue to regenerate regardless of obstacles and setbacks. – Arid; rural -> going somewhere, not there yet, not in hospitable environment (another struggle), people trying to survive in this dificult- Seed -> future, bearing fruit, potential, It will be in its fullness later, must hope for the best, how is this ever gonna be anything?
– artistic movement that rejected traditional forms and emphasized bold new ways of expression, revolutionized arts and audiences worldwide- 1913 -> premiere of the ballet The Rite of Spring cause riot in Paris; members of audience hated dissonant music and angular movements choreographed; supporters and detractors shouted and fought; remembered as the birth of Modernism
literary movement begun in early 1900’s by Ezra Pound and other poets, evokes emotion and sparks the imagination through he vivid presentation of a limited number of images, or words and phrases that appeal to the senses ? Direct presentation of images, or word pictures ? Expressed things w/o explanation ? Capture emotions of moment – Used language of everyday speech – Influenced by traditional chinese & japanese poetry – Shortlived; lasted until 1918
– Thomas Stearns Eliot; revolutionary works in both form and content – Rich fam in St.
Louis -> intellectual background – Harvard grad, published poems in school literary magazine – 1910 -> masters in philosophy and completed “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” – Moved to England b4 WWI; met Ezra Pound and Pound convinced Harriet Monroe (editor of Poetry magazine) to publish “Prufrock” – Eliot Published “Prufrock and other Observations” – Modernist; believed that poetry had to reflect the genuine, fractured experience of life in the 20th century, not a romantic vision – 1992 ; The Waste Land, profound critique of the spiritual barrenness of the modern world – Member of Church of England; explored religious themes in poems like “Ash Wednesday” and “Four Quartets” – Nobel Prize for Literature
– Editor & poet – Inspired dramatic changes in American poetry that characterized the Modern Age ? Experiment w new approaches to poetry – Traveled to Europe, spent most of his life there – Contributed to Modernist movement in London and Paris – His work drew upon poetry of ancient cultures – Filled w literary & historical allusions, requiring that readers apply background knowledge or use reference sources to fully understand his meaning
William Carlos Williams
– Most of life in USA – Poet & pediatrician in NJ – Child of immigrants, spoke spanish, french, and british english – Spring and All (1923), captured essence of America by depicting ordinary people, objects, and experiences in everyday language – Departed from pure imagism to write more expansively – 5 volume poem, Paterson, explores city as symbol for man (paterson, nj) – Wrote even after his health forced him to stop practicing medicine – Pulitizer prize: Pictures from Breughel and Other Poems, his final volume of poetry
– 1913; Ezra Pound reshaped 3 of her Poems and submitted them to Poetry magazine under H.D., Imagiste”, thus giving birth to Imagist movement – Launched successful career of poet, continued to publish under H.
D. – Brief, precise, and direct poetry – Emphasized light, color, physical textures – 1925 – almost all poems in Collected Poems; also contained her translations from the Odyssey and from Greek poet Sappho – Play, Hippolytus Temporized (1927) – 2 prose works; Palimpsest (1926), Hedylus (1928)
F. Scott Fitzgerald
– Wrote about roaring 20’s , americans lived w reckless abandon ? Wild parties, glamorous clothes, striving for fulfillment through material wealth ? Quest for pleasure often w sense of inner despair ? He was able to capture paradoxes of this materialistic lifestyle bc he actually live it – Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald born in St. Paul Minnesota, family w high social aspirations but little wealth – Princeton University 1913; pursued type of high social life – Failed to graduate and enlisted in army – First novel; This Side of Paradise (1920), published after his discharge from service was successful – Courted Zelda Sayre, a southern belle whom he had fallen in love while in army – Married in 1920; extravagant life across NY and Europe, mingling w rich and famous – Productive writer – 1925 -> Great Gatsby ; story of selfmade man whose dreams of love and social acceptance end in tragedy ? His masterpiece, one of greatest novels in American lit – After 1929 stock market crash, work crumbled – Wife suffered nervous breakdowns and financial problems forced him to seek work as a screenwriter – Wrote more short stories and a second novel; Tender in the Night – In midst of writing The Last Tycoon when he died of heart attack in 1940 – Editor approached the novelist John O’Hara about finishing book, but he declined ? Wrote to author John Steinbeck explaining his refusal; Fitzgerald was just better
– Depicted what it was like to live through the Great Depression in the 30’s – Stories & novels capture the poverty, desperation, and social injustice experienced by working class Americans – Characters struggle against forces beyond their understanding or control – Born in Salinas, CA – Late teens: supported himself as a laborer – Stanford; left before graduating, spent 5 yrs traveling, variety of odd jobs, fish hatcher, fruit picker, lab assistant, surveyor, painter, journalist – 1st 3 books received little or negative reviews – 1935 ; Tortilla Flat; received California Commonwealth Club’s Gold Medal for best novel by a California author – 2 yrs later author earned recognition for Of Mice & Men ? Bestseller, broadway play, movie – The Grapes of Wrath (best novel) ? Story of Joad family, Oklahoma farers dispossessed of their land and forced to become migrant workers in CA; won national book award and pulitzer prize1962 – Nobel Prize for Lit
a poem or speech in which a character addresses a silent listener
references to people and historical or literary events that hold meaning for him
personalities represented in a story
one dimensional, w few character traits; main role to advance action
have many character traits; usually main characters
narrator simply tells the reader what a character is like; ex: she is honest
the writer reveals characters through their thoughts, actions, words, and other characters’ reactions
narrative in which every literary element has a symbolic meaning; does not simply contain symbols, but is a symbol in and of itself
message or comment on life; theme is revealed through: character’s statements, beliefs, and actions, events in the plot, and the use of literary devices, such as description and symbol