SHORT COURSEWORK: LITERARY DEVICES OF POEM | Poetry

10 INTRODUCTION

Poem is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to its apparent meaning. Poetry may be written independently, as discrete poems, or may occur in conjunction with other arts as in poetic drama, rhyme, lyrics, or prose poetry. Poem and discussions of it has a long history. Later attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme and emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively informative, prosaic forms of writing. Poetry often uses particular forms and conventions to suggest alternative meanings in the words or to evoke emotional or sensual responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration, onomatopoeia, and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects. The use of ambiguity, symbolism, irony, and other stylistic elements of poetic diction often leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Similarly, metaphor, simile, and metonymy create a resonance between otherwise disparate images a layering of meanings, forming connections previously not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist between individual verses. Some forms of poetry are specific to particular cultures and genres responding to the characteristics of the language in which the poet writes. To conclude, poems are enjoyable to be learning by all people regardless gender. Once we have broken the barriers that make studying literature seem daunting, we find that literary works can be entertaining, beautiful, funny, or tragic.

2.0 SHORT NOTES OF LITERARY DEVICES
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2.1 Hyperbole Hyperbole is a figure of speech in which the truth is exaggerated for emphasis or humorous effect. In literature, such exaggeration is used for emphasis or vivid descriptions. In drama, hyperbole is quite common, especially in heroic drama. The conscious overstatements of these tales are forms of hyperbole. Many other examples of hyperbole can be found in the romance fiction and comedy genres. Hyperbole is even a part of our day-today speech. For the example, “You’ve grown like a bean sprout” or “I’m older than the hills”. Hyperbole is used to increase the effect of a description, whether it is metaphoric or comic. In poetry, hyperbole can emphasize or dramatize a person’s opinions or emotions. Skilled poets use hyperbole to describe intense emotions and mental states. 2.2 Personification Personification is a figure of speech where animals, ideas or inorganic objects are given human characteristics. One example of this is James Stephens’s poem "The Wind" in which wind performs several actions. In the poem Stephens writes, “The wind stood up and gave a shout. He whistled on his two fingers.” Of course the wind did not actually "stand up," but this image of the wind creates a vivid picture of the wind's wild actions. Another example of personification in this poem is “Kicked the withered leaves about….And thumped the branches with his hand.” Here, the wind is kicking leaves about, just like a person would and using hands to thump branches like a person would also. By giving human characteristics to things that do not have them, it makes these objects and their actions easier to visualize for a reader. By giving the wind human characteristics, Stephens makes this poem more interesting and achieves a much more vivid image of the way wind whips around a room. 2.3 Smile Simile is a simile is a type of figurative language, language that does not mean exactly what it says, that makes a comparison between two otherwise
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unalike objects or ideas by connecting them with the words "like" or "as." The reader can see a similar connection with the verbs resemble, compare and like. Similes allow an author to emphasize a certain characteristic of an object by comparing that object to an unrelated object that is an example of that characteristic. 2.4 Symbolism Symbolism is a person, place or object which has a meaning in itself but suggests other meanings as well. Things, characters and actions can be symbols. It is applied use of symbols with iconic representations that carry particular conventional meanings. The object or word can be seen with the eye or not visible. For example a dove stands for Peace. The dove can be seen and peace cannot. Anything that suggests meaning beyond the obvious. Some symbols are conventional, generally meaning the same thing to all readers. For example: “bright sunshine symbolizes goodness and water” is a symbolic cleanser. 2.5 Assonance Assonance is a repetition of vowel sounds within a line of poetry. Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds but not consonant sounds as in consonance within a line of poetry. It is the literary term for words that have the same vowel sound and thereby have a sometimes imperfect rhyme. The repetition or a pattern of similar sounds, as in the tongue twister "Moses supposes his toeses are roses." Example: fleet feet sweep by sleeping geeks. 2.6 Repetition Repetition is a technique in which a sound, word, phrases, or line is repeated for effect or emphasis. It is the deliberate use of a word or phrase more than once in a sentence or a text to create a sense of pattern or form or to emphasize certain elements in the mind of the reader or listener.
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Example: Pile the bodies high [...] And pile them high [...] And pile them high [...] (from "Grass," by Carl Sandburg)

There are further kinds of repetition like parallelism, which is the repeating of a structure. Example: Pile the bodies high. Pile the foes high. Pile the allies high. Pile all of them high. [...] (hypothetical example only)

3.0 POEM 1: THERE’S BEEN A DEATH IN THE OPPOSITE HOUSE There's Been a Death In The Opposite House by Emily Dickinson As lately as to-day. I know it by the numb look Such houses have alway.
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The neighbors rustle in and out, The doctor drives away. A window opens like a pod, Abrupt, mechanically; Somebody flings a mattress out,-The children hurry by; They wonder if It died on that,-I used to when a boy. The minister goes stiffly in As if the house were his, And he owned all the mourners now, And little boys besides; And then the milliner, and the man Of the appalling trade, To take the measure of the house There'll be that dark parade Of tassels and of coaches soon; It's easy as a sign,-The intuition of the news In just a country town. 3.1 Analysis of Poem 1

Based the poem There's Been a Death in the Opposite House we can see that there are some literary devices identified. There are:

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1. Smile • Stanza 2, line 3: A window opens like a pod

1. Symbolism • Stanza 5, line 3 To take the measure of the house

4.0 POEM 2: WE WEAR THE MASK

We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) WE wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
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And mouth with myriad subtleties. Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while We wear the mask. We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries To thee from tortured souls arise. We sing, but oh the clay is vile Beneath our feet, and long the mile; But let the world dream otherwise, We wear the mask!

4.1 Analysis of Poem 2

Based the poem We Wear the Mask we can see that there are some literary devices identified. There are:

1. Personification:

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Stanza 1, line 1: WE wear the mask that grins and lies

1. Assonance

Stanza 1, line 2 It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—.

5.0 POEM 3: MOGUL NIGHT FLUTE-MUSIC

Mogul Night Flute-Music by Siti Zainon Ismail

A song falls to his lips A tune created by a cord of breath Sorrow plucked from the gaps
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of our lives.

As the moon waits Candles stand like nails He picks the whispering leaves of this final night Flute at the hidden window Glass moon at day’s end.

Before the window closes Before the moon shatters Knife and fork tear at flesh hunger raw on the plate.

She sips at the sad soup of sorrow glasses of wine are raised the flute sighs knowing that soon a candle will melt and harden on the table
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of her room.

5.1 Analysis of Poem 3

Based the poem Mogul Night Flute-Music we can see that there are some literary devices identified. There are:

1. Hyperbole • Stanza 4, line 2

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at the sad soup of sorrow

1. Repetition

Stanza3, line 1 and 2 Before the window closes Before the moon shatters

6.0 PROSE: THERE’S BEEN A DEATH IN THE OPPOSITE HOUSE

The poem deals with death. It talks about a death that occurs in a neighborhood and how people respond to it. The persona observes that someone has died in the opposite house. He can sense this by the ‘numb’ look such houses has. There is an air of gloom surrounding the house. He sees the neighbors entering the house to pay their last respects. A doctor leaves the house after certifying the person is dead. Then a window is thrown open suddenly, like a pod. A mattress is thrown out to prevent any contagious disease from spreading. The children are scared of the mattress and hurry by quickly.
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Soon, the minister comes to conduct the prayer and funeral rites. He takes charge of the proceedings and everyone listens to hill. The milliner and the undertaker arrive later. The undertaker measures the coffin while the milliner makes a hat for the deceased. A funeral procession takes place. The hearse is decorated with tassels. The mourners and pallbearers accompany the hearse in a somber mood. News of the funeral spreads like wildfire. Everyone in towns talks about it Death is a natural part of life. It is unavoidable. Death as a normal event in live. It is not something to be feared.

7.0 CLOSING A literary device is an identifiable rule of thumb, convention or structure that is employed in literature and storytelling. Literary devices are important aspects of an author's style, which is one of the elements of fiction, along with personification, alliteration, hyperbole or others. It is a catch-all term that may be distinguished from the term "Devices". Poem is a composition in verse one that is characterized by a highly developed artistic form and by the use of heightened language and rhythm to express an intensely imaginative interpretation of the subject.

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It allows us the expression of one’s emotions in different ways such us through arts like painting and or sculptures by writings such as poems, novels, biographies, autobiographies and many others. Poetry is a creative form of writing is open to interpretation as long as there are concrete facts or well formed arguments to support an interpretation. Literary devices are here to assist in academic quest in formulating own poetic interpretation. Furthermore, poem often uses particular forms and conventions to suggest alternative meanings in the words, or to evoke emotional or sensual responses. Literary devices such as assonance, alliteration, onomatopoeia and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects. However, this is not the reason for them to ignore their learning of poem. Students should start to appreciate poems even though they will face some difficulty at first. They simply need to be taught the basic structures and techniques that underlie this form of literature.

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