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Jisoo Kim Block G IB2 English Literature SL

Making Your Own Days by Kenneth Koch Chapter 2: MUSIC

music of poetry creates the emotion in a poem, or is it the poets emotion that creates the music. (27) music is the most essential part of the translation a poet makes from ordinary to poetic language. (27) Poetry, by means of repetition, makes us aware of the words that are hauling in the meaning so that we have to respond to them, both as music and as sense. (28) REPETITION AND RHYTHM Repeating sounds and rhythms makes them physically apparent and demanding of attention. (28) Use a word that causes the readers to stop and experience the word Create a pattern of strongly and weakly stressed syllables (meter) Repeat sounds (rhyme)

Rhythm each word has a little music of its own, which poetry arranges so it can be heard Works together with repetition; rhythm can be developed through repetition of words/phrases/*pattern in stress on syllables

LINE DIVISION Line division is part of rhythm. It establishes the place where the rhythm temporarily stops. (29) Lines can: METER Metrical Rhythm Non-metrical Metrical means that the rhythm is to a great degree regular and fixed; a pattern is already set and waiting for the poet to use, a pattern of alternating stressed and unstressed syllables (30) Divide statements up in a balancing and rhetorical way Divide statements up in an unsettling way Give an apparent (rhythmical) order to jagged and unconnected statements Draws attention to tone(e.g. hesitation showing forlornness, heart break) and sound Make the reader become more conscious of the words as units in themselves

Jisoo Kim Block G IB2 English Literature SL Metrical music is all about the poet choosing a pattern and staying in it but then making slight variations to it. Without variations, the speech will not be able to express feeling (unrhymed iambic pentameter had difficulty with this at first) Meter is attractive because it: Gives an instant feeling of Form Thing beings well-organized well-structured neat clear Organizes what is said in a recognizable musical pattern and allows us to enjoy variations on that pattern Can lift what is said so it sounds as if it were being pronounced in a great place, part of a celebration (even the simplest statements may sound momentous) Can help, in conjunction with rhyme, to make a formally elegant work Gives to both poet and reader, when well used, a sense of technical grace and expertise, even of perfection Proposes clear artistic standards for the poet to meet

Two key characters that identify meter: 1) The kind of stress pattern (metrical unit) they have 2) The number of times (units) this pattern is repeated in each line *Metrical unit: called feet which is about syllables (most common foot is iamb or iambic foot, an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one) Other kinds of metrical feet: Trochee (a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one) Anapest (da da DUM) Dactyl (DUM da da) Most lines of English metrical poetry are of from three to five feet. (32) Number of feet in line 3 6 7 Number of iambic feet in line 3 4 5 6 Name Trimeter Alexandrine Fourteeners Name Iambic trimeter Iambic tetrameter Iambic pentameter Alexadrine

What breaks meter (variations to the pattern):

Jisoo Kim Block G IB2 English Literature SL Pronunciations of the word (e.g. afternoon can never be pronounced afTERnoon) Familiar phrases that have is widely accepted to have certain emphasis put on certain words (e.g. in LOVE, worn OUT) What you mean to say (e.g. For I am IN love and not OUT of love)

The two kinds of rhythm in any metrical line: 1) The imposed metrical rhythm 2) The natural speech rhythm important in that the line does not sound stilted or deprived of emotion Enjambment line division technique, but also metrical technique in that it is run-over lines in which there is no natural syntactical stop at the end of the line, just a metrical one (can add greater subtlety and flexibility and naturalness in blank verse lines) Reversed foot quite literally, when the unstressed syllable and stressed syllable switch places in a foot Elided when a syllable is skipped over, melded with the next syllable NON-METRICAL POETRY Non-metrical poetry may be preferred over metrical poetry due to the fact that metrical poetry *may+ sound poetic, as if it were mainly living off other poetry and has lost too much connection with the life outside it with the way people think, talk, and feel. (36) Mostly does without rhyme, opposite to how metrical poetrys constant companion is rhyme. How can non-metrical poetry be created? By taking phrases that already have strong natural speech rhythm and putting a few together in every line (e.g. parallel phrases like, I am the poet of the body and I am the poet of the soul) By also using an even less pronounced parallel syntactical construction Forcing strong accents by means of punctuation and repetition Forcing or intensifying accents by means of line division (it obliges the reader t oput accents where they might not ordinarily be)

The appeal of non-metrical (thus non-traditional) poetry lies in it Giving the chance to find music in ordinary ways of talking and writing rather than (the metrical pleasure) in infusing it into or imposing it on them Being plain (uncluttered) Creating natural rhythm of the speaking voice (although metrical poetry also contains natural speech rhythm, in non-metrical poetry, its the real deal) Giving the impression of being natural and artistic at the same time Seeming more natural no artificial regimenting of syllables Seeming more modern practical, plain, down to earth, with less decoration and less fuss


Jisoo Kim Block G IB2 English Literature SL Being more permissive, freer, and offering a much greater variety of possible kinds of poems Being more surprising and unpredictable element of surprise Expressing a metaphysical interest of not knowing whether or not it is real poetry Allowing a more immediate connection of language and feeling

Rhyme is a poetic use of the sound of words, as meter is a poetic use of the order (and thus the rhythm) of syllables. (40) Part repetition Rhyme Part variation Types of rhyme: Type of Rhyme End rhyme Definition The beginning consonant sound has to be different and all that comes after it has to be the same May be repetition of the vowel sounds of accented syllables (e.g. sleep & reef) or of their beginning and ending consonants (e.g. sleep & slap) Minimal sound similarities where the beginning consonant sounds are the same When rhymes come at the ends of two lines in a row Effect Determines the tune of the poem

Partial rhyme




When rhymes come at the ends of three lines in a row (much rarer than couplets) Rhymes at the ends of alternating lines

Alternating rhyme

Sound similarities that echo through poems and give them music of a subtler, less noticeable kind; contributes to the nuances of the poem Similar to partial rhyme but a much stronger effect as in essence, it is a cluster of partial rhymes Loud, quickly occurring; creates an effect of neatness, compactness, and convincingness Would create a greater effect of neatness, compactness, and convincingness than couplets Gives more the pleasure of surprise and of satisfaction after a little suspense

Although rhyme and meter often go hand-in-hand, rhyme is more obvious than meter. Its louder. Rhymes can be intricate, used very irregularly

What does rhyme do?

Jisoo Kim Block G IB2 English Literature SL When loud and clear and meant to be noticed, creates pleasing sounds and a rich musical texture Adds to the festivity and grandeur of the scene/setting of the poem Creates a natural pause that allows the reader to enjoy the sensations it gives, both of music and of other kinds of experience Organizes (esp. the rhymes at the end of lines) Creates a kind of unity of the music that carries over to the thought Provides a way to make things fit for the poet Gives poets something to go toward May be the first sign of a poem the imagination gets Allows the reader to share the poets pleasure in the simultaneous appropriateness and surprisingnesss it provides

NON-RHYMING AND IRREGULARLY RHYMING POETRY Why would poets choose non-rhyming poetry? The very virtues of rhyme, the very things it accomplishes best, were what was wrong with it; its beautifulness and its efficiency, its capacity for organizing poems and for making what they said convincing and precise(the world didnt seem so beautiful, so well ordered, or so understandable). Also rhyme seemed to limit freedom. (44) Similar to why poets rejected meter due to not being realistic enough *Yeats held on to rhyme but let it be rougher, less exact. Irregular rhyming: Put rhyme in unexpected places Use rhyme for a few line endings then drop it Use a kind of rhyme so quiet and subtle as to pass almost unnoticed

Non-rhyming: Relies on the music of the language itself Uses other sound similarities that intrudes less on the sound of talk Thus, other sound similarities, the various kinds of partial rhymes, suddenly becomes more audible and more important to the music in the absence of complete rhymes at the end of lines This displacement of sound similarities unconsciously draws upon the speakers or poets irregular and less rationally controlled train of thought (in terms of organization) Appealing because it is surprising and fresh and allows poets to find a new order in the apparent disorder of sounds and thoughts Can lead to a big, fragmentary collection of clearly depicted anecdotes and scenes, held together by invisible connections of sound and emotion

STANZAS AND POETIC FORMS Stanzas can be thought of as a very formal sort of version (in poetry language) of the paragraph (47)

Jisoo Kim Block G IB2 English Literature SL The role of stanzas: Organizes other forms of poetic music (rhythm and rhyme) Even more definitive than line division Orchestrates the repetitions and variations of meter and rhyme Divides what is said into units (and this adds possibility to what the writer can do)

Most commonly used stanzas are the couplet (two rhyming lines together) and quatrain (a four-line stanza usually with alternating rhyme or just rhyme in second and fourth line) The effect of stanzas: For both readers and poets, gives extra pleasures of form within the larger form of the whole poem Creates a sense of harmony of stanzas within the poem May be paused in or quickly moved on from Can frame the music (esp. for poems without meter and/or rhyme)


Poetry is recognizable most obviously by its music, but there are other features, too, that are often found in itthese, less fundamental than music is, might be called rhetorical and emotional tendencies or inclinations of the language of poetry. (51) COMPARISONS Effect of comparisons: Can be used to clarify something Can be used to make things vivid, exciting, and emotionally appealing Sometimes are the only way some necessary thing can be said Brings in more of the world (expands the amount of reality in what is being said, ironically) Can be illuminating and reassuring Gives a sense of control, of being in a position of power from which things can be seen and judged, where experience is expanded, and where knowledge is instantaneous and needs no study

Comparisons should be fresh so that it can cause the little shock that makes reading a poem a live experience. Simile (open, visible comparisons that make intentions clears) Comparisons Metaphor (quicker and more secretive) Metaphors are often more powerful than similes because they hit before the reader knows whats happening.

Jisoo Kim Block G IB2 English Literature SL These comparisons can get to a deeper and stronger truth, of perceiving undeniable new connections, and allow for a fresh source of knowledge in the unconscious. By incorporating an abandonment of comparisons and a language of rapid and rich juxtapositions, a believable sequence of words can be developed (rapidity is key; comparisons must go so fast that they become more believable and more assumed). PERSONIFICATION AND APOSTROPHE Why is personification so effective? Personifying ideas, concepts, objects, and other non-living or non-human things makes them easier to talk about Adds to the sheer drama Brings more of the world into the poem Connects what isnt known directly with what is Reinvents abstractions Brings us closer to nature

Poets tend to personify things that seem essential to: Deal with Be familiar with Try and control

Apostrophe brings powerful, essential, and unmanageable things into the poem even more forcibly than either comparison or personifying does. Talking one-on-one bring closeness and may be a feeling of power Synaesthesia talking about details of one sense as if they were those of another (e.g. green fragrance) brings parts of experiences closer together, as related to comparison, personification, and apostrophe LIES a good poet is always tryingto tell the truth (64) So instead of a lie, a poet might be trying to tell a new truth, felt only by the poet in the heat of inspiration. Thus, it will be a truth in the language of poetry. The aim of a lie is to deceive. The aim of a lie in poetry is to register an elusive feeling of impression. Rather, they are truth of feelings. (65)

Poetic lies Apparently impossible images

Actual Aim (other than to actually deceive) To give a sharp quick impression of something on the borders

Pretending to know more than one does know, or possibly could know, and/or pretending to have more power than on has or could possibly have Visions of the future Boasting Giving advice

Jisoo Kim Block G IB2 English Literature SL of consciousness but that doesnt fit in with ordinary thinking This impulse may be highly emotional thus shows strong emotions

Gives power to the poet as he/she is seeing beyond the present and ordinary truths Exaggeration thus emphasis Give a kind of omniscience that the giver of it may not actually have; creates power for poet

A FEW OTHER INCLINATIONS Poetic Inclination Telling secrets To say something new, and in a new way Making whatever is said a work of art Effect The poet being completely open and free; the reader becomes a confidant The aim of all poets; creates the feeling of being in new territory and away from the usual way things are done; heightens the feeling of adventure Makes the poem a poem; creates a music that only poems have (not prose)