- Slides: 18
If It’s Square, It’s a Sonnet Chapter 4 How to Read Literature Like a Professor Brock Fletcher 2012
“The sonnet is the only poetic form the great majority of readers ever needs to know”(22) • It is the only one you will usually see • “Other forms require mnemonic assistance”(23)
Easily Recognisable • Look for square shape • Count 14 lines • Read for Iambic Pentameter
How to read a poem • Read for enjoyment first, and appreciate the “magic” of a poem • Then go back and see how the poet worked the “magic” on you • Magic in Sonnets often come from it’s form
Sonnet Form • 2 parts and a Shift • Varying rhyme schemes • Sonnets are “engineered” • 14 lines • 8/6 split usually
An Echo from Willowwood TWO gaz’d into a pool, he gaz’d and she, Not hand in hand, yet heart in heart, I think, Pale and reluctant on the water’s brink AS on the brink of parting which must be, Each eyed the other’s aspect, she and he, Each felt one hungering heart leap up and sink, Each tasted bitterness which both must drink There on the brink of life’s dividing sea. Lilies upon the surface, deep below 1 Two wistful faces craving each for each, Resolute and reluctant without speech: — A sudden ripple made the faces flow One moment join’d, to vanish out of reach: So these hearts join’d, and ah! were parted so. (Rossetti)(25)
• “Rossetti manages her content so that it tells a story of complex human longing and regret within the confines of a very demanding form. The beauty of this poem lies, in part, in the tension between the small package and the large emotional and narrative scene it contains…The sonnet form actually becomes part of the meaning of the poem. ” (27)
Why Form matters: • It just might mean something
• “Sonnets are short poems that take far more time, because everything has to be perfect”(27)
Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before? Chapter 5 Brock Fletcher
Connect The Dots • Reading Literature is a lot like connecting the • • • dots. Some can look at it and see what it is, while others have to be almost finished before they see it. “The more connect-the-dot drawings you do, the more likely you are to recognize the design early on” (27) “Part of pattern reconition is talent, but a whole lot of it is practice” (29)
“There is no such thing as a wholly original work of literature”(29) • The more you read, the more you recognize archetypes, patterns and recurences.
Going After Cacciato • Half reality, half day-dream • Almost all of the stories are taken from other works • Still original because tons of unrelated stories are combined in a way that makes sense. • Alice in Wonderland • Sarkin Aung Wan Sacajawea
“There is only one story” (32) • “[Literature is] like a barrel of eels. When a writer creates a new eel, it wriggles its way into the barrel, muscles a path into the great teeming mass from which it came in the first plce It’s a new eel, but it shares its eelness with all those other eels that are in the barrel or have ever been in the barrel. ”(32 -33)
Stories grow out of other stories • Does not have to stick to genre. • Beowulf/ Grendel • Modern day Scrooge • Similarities can be direct, ironic, funny or tragic. • “Aha! Factor” (33)
Inter-textual Dialogue • Example: An author may disagree with theme of a novel, and write his own novel which reflects the first but with a very important contrast to make his statement.
What if you don’t make these connections? • A story needs to be good on its own, and heightened by making connections • It helps to go to teachers because they can point you in the right direction of noticing something you might miss.
Source Cited • Foster, Thomas C. How to Read Literature Like a Professor. New York, NY: Harper-Collins Publishers Inc. , 2003. Print.