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Comentario de Textos Literarios en Lengua Inglesa

Grado en Estudios Ingleses: Lengua, Literatura y Cultura


Equipo Docente: Isabel Castelao, Jess Cora, Ddac Llorens

Guiding Questions for Text Analysis


Dylan Thomas A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London
(UNIT 1: Introduction to Poststructuralist Theories)
TEXT FRAGMENT
Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness
And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound or sow my alt seed
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn
The majesty and burning of the childs death.
[]

I) CONTEXT (between 100 and 200 words)


In order to situate the fragment/text in its context, you may need to consider some/all of the
following aspects/questions:
 The texts author: Is the fragment/text directly connected with any events or experiences
in the authors life?
 The title of the text the fragment belongs to: does it sum up or reflect the texts content? Is
it at odds with it?
 The authors nationality: Is it relevant in relation to the fragment/text?
 Historical context: In what ways does the fragment/text reflect the historical
circumstances in which it was composed/published? Is it related to a specific historical event?
 Literary/cultural context: Did the author belong to a specific literary movement? Does the
fragment/text exemplify the main characteristics of this movement? Is it related to a specific
historical event?
Situating a poem in its context should not take up a lot of space (100-200 words) nor involve
extensive research. You do not need to consider all the aspects above; only those relevant to
the fragment at hand.

Comentario de Textos Literarios en Lengua Inglesa


Grado en Estudios Ingleses: Lengua, Literatura y Cultura
Equipo Docente: Isabel Castelao, Jess Cora, Ddac Llorens

II) FORM/CONTENT (no more than 500 words)


In order to discuss the main traits of the text (both form and content), you may need to
consider some/all of the following aspects/questions:
 The texts genre: Is the fragment/text a good example of the genre in question? Does it
subvert any generic conventions?
 The poetic speaker / voice / persona in the poem: Can (s)he be identified with the author?
Does (s)he come across as a well-defined personality? Does (s)he express his/her ideology?
 Imagery: What sensual impressions do the main images evoke (visual, auditory,
olfactory,)? Are the poems images coherent or contradictory? Are they used in metaphors?
 Aural elements: Does the poem rhyme or alliterate? How would you describe its rhythm?
What is the poems/fragments general effect, if listened to?
 Syntax: How is content organised into verse lines/stanzas? Is the use of enjambment
relevant? Does the poems/fragments syntax determine the way in which it is read/recited?
 Poetic devices / figures of speech: the main ones should be identified; check the document
Figuras retricas del lenguaje, available in the online course aLF.
 Theme: Does the fragment/text have (a) clear theme(s)? Remember that a theme should
be formulated in abstract terms.
 Interrelation form-content in the fragment. Describe briefly.
You do not need to consider all the aspects above; only those relevant to the fragment at
hand. You should write about 500 words.

III) THEORY & CRITICISM (no more than 500 words)


Taking into account the main tenets of poststructuralism/deconstruction, how would you
approach this fragment from that perspective?
Check the UNIT 1 Study Guide and the basic bibliography (Beginning Theory, pp. 61-77), but
use your own words. You should write about 500 words.

This exercise is for you to work autonomously and not to be


submitted. Answers and guidelines will be given on aLF.
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