World Lit: Poetry

Topics: CultureTradition

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Last updated: December 7, 2019

What does myth mean in relation to ancient cultures?
It doesn’t necessarily mean “made up”, but rather it was someone’s experience that they attempted to put into words

What is a mantra, and how were they used in the ancient times?
“thought instruments” that called to mind the pertinent deities in the course of the ritual actionIt means that they were something that was chanted and repeated and contemplated, but often it wasn’t even fully understood

How is lyric poetry different from other poetry?
It is choppy, it never is a consistent story, but rather it reveals all aspects of a certain subject (like love)

What does Rig Veda Samphita mean?
“Collection of Wisdom in Verses”

?When was the Rig Veda composed? Where
1500-1000 BC; South Asia

What was the Rig Veda originally used for?
Vedic sacrifice

How was the Rig Veda originally passed down?
It was passed down through oral tradition for two thousand years

When was the Rig Veda written down?
early century of the second millennium AD

What does kavya mean?
literature – poetry

What is the main function of the “Sacrifice of Primal Man”?
It provided charter myths for explaining social life – set the stage for the caste system – whatever is exists is good and unchangeable because it is part of nature

What does the term dharma mean in relation to “The Sacrifice of Primal Man”?
Its earliest sense meant sacrifice, just as the sacrifice of the primal man acted as the universe-generating sacrifice from which all the parts of the universe came; in the same sense dharma, or these daily rituals and sacrifices were thought to sustain the universe

What does dharma mean in the Buddhist context?
Buddhist ethics; “following dharma”

How were the Buddhist beliefs and the beliefs presented in the Rig Veda different?
Buddhists believed that birth did not ensure automatic excellence, but rather kingship should be viewed only as a social contract. They viewed people on a level playing field, and also believe the universe to be completely contingent – meaning that the status of people was not locked in by birth, but rather things were subject to change (suffering of human life can be ended)

Primal Man: How much of him is made up of all beings?
“All beings form a quarter of him”

Primal Man: “From him Veraj was born” – what is this meaning?
suggests both splendor and a female principle

Primal Man: What are some of the terms used to describe him and what do they mean?
He was the “sacrificial strew” and the “oblation” that the gods used, meaning he was the thing presented or offered to the gods or God

Primal Man: How are they seasons used in this sacrifice?
spring – melted butter, summer – fuel, autumn – the oblation

PM: What was used to created the creatures of the world?
the clotted ghee (butter)

What is the significance to the caste system seen in Primal Man?
They describe primal man as being divided as – The Brahman = the mouthArms = the princeThighs = common peopleFeet = serfs

Why are myths like PM so important in the Indian social life?
Because since they were written down as tradition, they birthed the caste system and set it in stone. The caste system is therefore seen as unchangeable – this is just the way things are; this accounts from social conflicts even unto this day

In the Beginning: What is the final verdict about where this “One” came from?
Perhaps God disposed it, or maybe he didn’t; perhaps God knows, but he may not

When was the Hymn to the Great Aten composed? Where?
14th century BC during the Amarna revolution

What was the Amarna revolution?
When Akhenaton attempted to center worship on his dynasty’s patron god – Aten (a manifestation of Re); he destroyed any monuments and artwork that were of the rival gods – making Aten the center of worship and therefore himself as the intermediary

What did Akhenaton believe about his ruling?
That he was the intermediary between the Egyptian people and Aten/Re

What does Akhenaton mean?
effective spirit of Aten

Where did Akhenaton build the new capital, and why was this place significant?
at Amarna, “the horizon of Aten”; it was where the sun god worshipers believed that the heavens and earth met; Akhenaton built his palace there

What can “The Great Hymn to the Aten” be compared in some sense to?
Biblical passages, especially the psalms

What is the difference between the Egyptian and Hebrew religions?
Egyptian – Aten is not the only god, but rather he rules firmly above the rest;Hebrew – God is the sole divine power of the universe; in Israel, kingship was a more tentative and less all encompassing institution – not as exalted as in Egypt where they has the concept of rulers being divine intermediaries

What is the term “lives by Maat”?
maat = goddess of truth

What is Aten personified as?
the sun – “your rays embrace the lands”

What did the ancient Egyptians believe about the night and day?
the night symbolized death, and the day represented life

Hymn to Aten: What are the “Two Lands”?
upper and lower Egypt

Hymn to Aten: What is ka?
spirit – “their wings greeting your ka”

How is Aten, or the sun important in the life established in Egypt?
It is central to their livelihood – everything comes to life when Aten rises; “they live when you dawn for them”

How is Aten described in the Hymn to the Aten?
As the supplier of all needs, sustainer of all life, giver of breath, pays attention to all aspects of creation, made creation for himself, all-powerful

Hymn to Aten: How is this poem anthropological in form?
“their tongues differ in speech, their characters likewise; their skins are distinct, for you distinguished the peoples”

Hymn to Aten: Who is Hapy?
the Nile god

Sappho – when?
early 7th century BC

What was Sappho called by her peers?
the tenth muse – meaning that she was on the status of the gods; she inspired creativity and artistry

Where was Sappho born?
the island of Lesbos

What kind of stuff did Sappho write about?
poetry that reflected a world of luxury – adornments, flowers, perfumed oils, erotic pleasures

Who did Sappho frequently write to?
Aphrodite – the goddess of eros

What does the term lesbian mean?
a native of Lesbos

What term can be used to describe Sappho’s poetry?
pothos – yearning; she depicted scenes of pleasure or festivals

When period did Sappho live in and how did this affect her life?
the Archaic period – aristocratic world where they were committed to preserving its way of life against tyrannical ambitions (she was exiled because of her politics)

Rich Throned immortal Aphrodite – how is Aphrodite portrayed in this poem?
As motherly; a caretaker for Sappho

In Rich Throned immortal Aphrodite how does Sappho view herself?
As someone who needs Aphrodite to take away her desires all together because she knows that she has an obsession

Come goddess – what is the purpose?
it is almost a blessing of sorts to Aphrodite

Some think a fleet – what does Aphrodite say is above all fleets, troops, soldiers – what is the most beautiful sight in her eyes?
the most beautiful sight is the one you love

Some think a fleet – who does she compare this woman too?
Helen of Troy

He looks to me to be in heaven is similar to what other work of poetry?
51 by Catullus

He looks to me to be in heaven – what is Sappho’s attitude towards good fortune and circumstances?
she knows that fate is always changing and that tomorrow her luck could change – and therefore nothing is too hard to bear

Like the sweet apple – what is Sappho referring to?
possibly her love affair – its “like the sweet apple” and something that the apple pickers were “unable to reach”, yet its also something that the shepherds “trample under their feet”; its something lofty and above people and yet something that they could care less about also

Catullus – when?
84 – 54 BC

How old was Catullus when he died?
30

What kind of stuff what Catullus’s poetry focused on?
novelty, obscenity, charm, youth, brevity, wit, passion, urbanity; take us inside the mind of a young man in first century Rome

Where was Catullus from?
Verona

Cattullus – how did he refer to his mistress Clodia in his writings and how was this significant?
Lesbia – an allusion to Sappho and the Lesbia in her poems describing someone of eroticism and passion

Who said the famous words “I hate and I love”?
Catullus

“I hate and love. And if you should ask how I can do both, I couldn’t say; but I feel it, and it shivers me” – explain the depth of this statement
the verbs are condensed sensations – he offers no adjectives or visual imagery, so it heightens the effect; half the verbs are active, half are passive – this serves to show how he hates and loves and how he both rules and is ruled by her

Who wrote some of the more lighthearted poems?
Cattullus – poem about sparrow and poem about wanting to dine with Fabullus but he has to bring everything

Who makes the statement that “your only chance is to get out from under this sickness”?
Catullus

Who makes the statement “now I no longer ask that she love me as I love her, or – even less likely – that she give up the others”?
Catullus; he would just rather be cured of the “sickness” than have to deal with the pain of the fact that she will never give up the others or love him like she loves her

Francis Petrarch – when?
1304 – 1374

Who “launched the modern era”?
Petrarch

Who helped to cultivate Italian as a language? How?
Petrarch, he wrote a lot of his poetry in Italian and helped to establish the new dialect

Who had the largest manuscript collection Europe?
Petrarch

What term describes Petrarch?
Modernist

Where did Petrarch live most of his life?
Avignon, Italy

What did Petrarch originally study?
Law

What were some of the accomplishments of Petrarch?
He collected and transcribed many of the ancient manuscripts, helping to bring about a new interest; also involved in pioneering the edition of the roman historian Livy to bring the history of Rome to a coherent whole

Who did most if not all of Petrarch’s poetry revolved around?
Laura

What was one significant measure of Petrarch’s widespread fame?
He was crowned poet-laureate by the roman senate

Whose writing was most influenced by the Black Death?
Petrarch

Why was the triumph of death written?
Petrarch – just lost his loved ones in the Black Death

What does canzoniere or rime sparse mean?
Scattered rhymes

Describe the form of a Petrarchan sonnet
Octet – broken into two stanzas of four lines each with abba rhymeSestet – two stanzas of three lines each with cdc rhyme

What is the term dolce stil nuovo and to what does it refer?
Sweet new style; refers to late thirteenth practitioners of the sonnet

How were Petrarch’s poems different from the others we have examined?
Gives a Christian focus

What is the main conflict in the canzoniere?
Petrarch’s inability to choose between Christian salvation and his idolatrous love

How does Petrarch conclude many of his poems?
With the concept that life is fleeting and that worldly joys never last

What day did Petrarch see Laura for the first time?
“It was the day that the sun’s rays had turned pale with pity for the suffering of his Maker” – in other words, Good Friday

Who does Petrarch compare Laura to when he sees her in her veil?
Diana in the water naked

What Roman god does Petrarch frequently refer to in his poetry?
Cupid

What does emanation mean?
An abstract but perceptible thing that issues or originates from a source

What does genius mean?
Inspired by a spirit

Where is Petrarch from?
Florence

What does sonnet mean?
Little song

Who was aurora and what was her story?
The goddess of dawn. Fell in love with a man and ask for him to stay immortal but didn’t specify young so he became an old man forever (tithonius)

Iambic pentameter
Each line had ten syllables which form groups of two.

Each group has the first syllable unstressed and the second syllable stressed

Wealthy kingdom near lesbos in Asia Minor?
Lydia

Who’s brother died?
Catullus

What is a mock threnody and who wrote one?
A funeral dirge. Catullus about the sparrow

Who was orcus
Infernal deity in Greek mythology

What is fabullus’ relationship to Catullus
He was a colleague. Sent a fine set if napkins

Whose poem reflected the mood subject and meter of the classical roman love elegies of Propertius, tibullus, ovid
Catullus

When Petrarch uses voi what does it mean?
Plural you

“To look upon the likeness of one that he still hopes to see up there in heaven” what is this alluding to
The veil which Veronica wiped Christs face with as he carried the cross

Story of Diana and relation to Petrarch
Goddess if chastity who was seen naked by a hunter. Turned him into a stag and he was torn apart

What does l’aura mean?
From the breeze

In Petrarch’s poem when she says she has a voice not of earth, what is he alluding to?
The Aeneid when Venus appwars

When Petrarch refers to the cool clear waters, to what is he referring?
His home in sorgue – the locus amoenus, or beautiful place

How does Petrarch relate to Dante?
Uses The description of the garden of Eden and is modeled on Dante’s Beatrice who appears “within a cloud of flowers”

What is congedo?
Leave yaking

When did Laura die?
April 6 1348

How does the weepin bird relate to Petrarch?
It is an analogy for himself as a songer

Where did Petrarch begin his manuscript transcribing?
Avignon

Secretum
Dialogue between Petrarch and Augustine

Influences on Petrarch’s writings
Cola di Rienzo death, bro became a monk, Black Death took friends

Who does Petrarch use in his writing of the xanzoneire
Myths of Ovid, virgillian legacy

What is the name of Dante’s book?
Vita nuovo

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