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Scanning poems ppt

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Scanning poems PPT

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Scanning poems ppt

  1. 1. Scanning poems Analyzing verse for the use of qualities of form
  2. 2. What is scanning? Scansion—the act of scanning—requires the student to identify and describe the types of form a poet uses to create auditory, musical, and even visual effects.
  3. 3. The Practice of Scansion If you studied rhetoric, you may recall that one of the basic modes of exposition is division. This involves breaking the subject of study into its component elements, or determining its various parts. It is a precursor to analysis, which derives from a Greek root meaning “to break apart.”
  4. 4. Elements of Poetry So what are the elements of poetic form? They are the attributes of composition unique to poetry. The most unambiguous element—the one hardest to miss and easiest to see—is the use of verse form.
  5. 5. Elements of Poetry Other elements unique to poetry include: • syllabic patterns • rhyme • meter • use of stanzas, cantos, or other line groupings • use of traditional verse forms (like the sonnet) Attributes common to poetry but not unique to it include: • rhythm • emotional intensity • unconventional grammar or word choice • use of imagery, metaphor, or other literary devices
  6. 6. Elements of Poetry elements unique to poetry: • syllabic patterns • rhyme • meter • use of stanzas, cantos, or other line groupings • use of traditional verse forms (like the sonnet) features common but not unique to poetry: • rhythm • emotional intensity • unconventional grammar or word choice • use of imagery, metaphor, or other literary devices A poem exhibiting any of the qualities of form unique to poetry other than being written in verse form is said to have closed form. Poems with verse form and no other qualities of form like rhyme, meter, or syllabic pattern are said to have open form, and are sometimes called free verse.
  7. 7. Elements of Scansion So when we scan a poem we look for all the attributes or qualities of form unique to poetry. We first: • count the syllables in each line and note any patterns that result
  8. 8. Elements of Scansion We • count the syllables in each line • identify stressed and unstressed syllables in each line and look for patterns, labeling them if we see any
  9. 9. Elements of Scansion We • count the syllables in each line • identify stressed and unstressed syllables • label the phonemes, or clusters of speech sounds, that appear at the ends of the lines to determine if the poem uses rhyme in a recognizable, conscious way
  10. 10. Elements of Scansion We • count the syllables in each line • identify stressed and unstressed syllables • determine if the poem uses rhyme • look for the use of line groupings (called stanzas, typically) and apply the appropriate labels if we see them being used
  11. 11. Elements of Scansion We • count the syllables in each line • identify stressed and unstressed syllables • determine if the poem uses rhyme • look for the use of stanzas • Identify the use of traditional forms (we will delineate some of these later in the presentation)
  12. 12. Scansion: example Consider the following poem: The tusks that clashed in mighty brawls Of mastodons are billiard balls. The sword of Charlemagne the Just Is ferric oxide, known as rust. The grizzly bear, whose potent hug Was feared by all, is now a rug. Great Caesar’s bust is on the shelf, And I don’t feel so well myself.
  13. 13. Scansion: example We can hear right away that the poem uses qualities of form, but as students we need to bring our understanding to a conscious level and quantify what our ears intuitively tell us.
  14. 14. Scansion: looking for syllabic patterns First, let’s count the syllables in each line (I use my fingers to tap out the syllables): 8 The•tusks•that•clashed•in•migh•ty•brawls 8 Of•mas•to•dons•are•bil•liard•balls. 8 The•sword•of•Char•le•magne•the •Just 8 Is•fer•ric•ox•ide,•known•as•rust. 8 The•griz•zly•bear,•whose•po•tent•hug 8 Was•feared•by•all,•is•now•a•rug. 8 Great•Cae•sar’s•bust•is•on•the•shelf, 8 And•I•don’t•feel•so•well•my•self.
  15. 15. Scansion: looking for syllabic patterns Is this a pattern? 8 The•tusks•that•clashed•in•migh•ty•brawls 8 Of•mas•to•dons•are•bil•liard•balls. 8 The•sword•of•Char•le•magne•the •Just 8 Is•fer•ric•ox•ide,•known•as•rust. 8 The•griz•zly•bear,•whose•po•tent•hug 8 Was•feared•by•all,•is•now•a•rug. 8 Great•Cae•sar’s•bust•is•on•the•shelf, 8 And•I•don’t•feel•so•well•my•self. It is the simplest pattern one can imagine, but yes, it is a pattern. (Therefore, without going any farther, we can say that this poem has closed form.)
  16. 16. Scansion: metrics Next, we identify the stressed and unstressed syllables in each line. So how do we tell if a syllable is stressed?
  17. 17. Scansion: metrics So how do we tell if a syllable is stressed? When we look words up in the dictionary, we see symbols used to tell us the words are to be pronounced. Some are phonetic and some are diacritical—the give us information about how to form the sounds in our vocal apparatus.
  18. 18. Scansion: metrics Phonemic information tells us how to form the sounds in the mouth, nose, and throat, but not which syllables are stressed or unstressed. So a good dictionary will also use additional symbols— an ictus, or accent mark, and in some cases a symbol (called a breve) indicating an unstressed syllable—to give us this information as well. ̸ ͝ ͝ elephant: ĕl • ǝ • fǝnt These symbols tell us that the first syllable is pronounced at a greater volume—more loudly— than the other two.
  19. 19. Scansion: metrics Try these on your own: pǝ • jä • mǝz tǝ • mā • tōz vĕj • tǝ • bǝlz
  20. 20. Scansion: metrics Did yours look like this? ͝ ̸ ͝ pǝ • jä • mǝz ͝ ̸ ͝ tǝ • mā • tōz ̸ ͝ ͝ vĕj • tǝ • bǝlz
  21. 21. Scansion: metrics The alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables is called rhythm. It appears in all spoken language and is not a quality of poetic form. But when it is controlled and comes in a recognizable, measured pattern, it is called meter (which means “measure”). Meter is a quality of form unique to poetry.
  22. 22. Scansion: metrics Now let’s go back to our sample poem and try it. ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ The tusks that clashed in migh•ty brawls ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ Of mas•to•dons are bil•liard balls.
  23. 23. Scansion: metrics The rest of the poem follows the same pattern— an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable—until we get to the last two lines: ̸ ̸ ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ Great Cae•sar’s bust is on the shelf, ͝ ̸ ̸ ̸ ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ And I don’t feel so well my•self.
  24. 24. Scansion: metrics Scan it like you hear it, and expect some variation in the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables. Poets do it for the same reason drummers and other musicians do—to keep the composition from turning into a stick of wood! ̸ ̸ ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ Great Cae•sar’s bust is on the shelf, ͝ ̸ ̸ ̸ ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ And I don’t feel so well my•self.
  25. 25. Scansion: metrics After identifying stressed and unstressed syllables and finding a pattern, we must next label it. We first identify the metric unit, the shortest repeated sequence that forms the basis for each line. We call this unit a metric foot, or just a foot. │ ͝ ̸ │ ͝ ̸ │ ͝ ̸ │ ͝ ̸ │ In this case it is a two-syllable sequence comprised of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable. This unit is called an iamb, and the adjective form is iambic.
  26. 26. Scansion: metrics This iambic sequence is the basic rhythm of spoken English, and iambic meter is the most common metrical pattern in English poetry, but poets also use other meters. The three most common are • the trochee, which is a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one │ ̸ ͝ │ ̸ ͝ │ ̸ ͝ │ ̸ ͝ │ ̸ ͝ │
  27. 27. Scansion: metrics Other meters include • the trochee • the anapest, which is two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed one │ ͝ ͝ ̸ │ ͝ ͝ ̸ │ ͝ ͝ ̸ │ ͝ ͝ ̸ │ ͝ ͝ ̸ │
  28. 28. Scansion: metrics Other meters include • the trochee • the anapest, and • the dactyl, which is one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed ones. │ ̸ ͝ ͝ │ ̸ ͝ ͝ │ ̸ ͝ ͝ │ ̸ ͝ ͝ │ ̸ ͝ ͝ │
  29. 29. Scansion: metrics One last common sequence or foot is called the spondee, which is comprised of two stressed syllables adjoining one another. │ ̸ ̸ │ The spondee cannot serve as the metrical basis for an entire composition but is used for emphasis. We saw this unit appear in the last two lines of our sample poem:
  30. 30. Scansion: metrics We saw spondees appear in the last two lines of our sample poem: ̸ ̸ ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ Great Cae•sar’s bust is on the shelf, ͝ ̸ ̸ ̸ ͝ ̸ ͝ ̸ And I don’t feel so well my•self. Such variations are not lapses or mistakes, but represent the poet’s decision to introduce variety to please the reader’s ear.
  31. 31. Scansion: metrics Our next step in scansion is to completely label the metrical scheme. We have already determined the metrical foot; now we count the feet in each line and apply the right term to indicate the overall pattern controlling the poem’s musical or metrical scheme.
  32. 32. Scansion: labeling the pattern two feet per line: dimeter three feet per line: trimeter four: tetrameter five: pentameter six: hexameter seven: heptameter eight: octameter nine: nonameter Note: English poetry seldom has more than seven feet per line.
  33. 33. Scansion: labeling the pattern So when we count the feet in each line of our sample poem we see that it has four feet in each line. The term used to indicate the overall pattern controlling the poem’s musical or metrical scheme, then is iambic tetrameter, a scheme with four iambic feet per line, indicated symbolically as │ ͝ ̸ │ ͝ ̸ │ ͝ ̸ │ ͝ ̸ │
  34. 34. Scansion: scanning for rhyme Our scanning task is nearing its conclusion! We only have a couple more activities to go.
  35. 35. Scansion: scanning for rhyme Next, we check for the use of rhyme. We do that for terminal rhyme or end rhyme by assigning letters to the sound clusters we hear at the ends of the poem’s lines. We assign the first set of sounds the letter “A,” and the next time we see those same sounds, we label that with an “A” as well. If we hear a different set of sounds, we assign the next letter to that sound cluster.
  36. 36. Scansion: labeling rhyme scheme
  37. 37. Scansion: labeling rhyme scheme Did yours look like this? brawls A balls A Just B rust B hug C rug C shelf D myself D
  38. 38. Scansion: labeling rhyme scheme Did yours look like this? brawls A balls A Just B rust B hug C rug C shelf D myself D
  39. 39. Scansion: labeling stanzas Now we identify line groupings. They can either be broken by spaces into stanzas or simply work in functional groups, as the ones in our sample poem do. • 1 line: monostich • 2 lines: distich or couplet • 3 lines: triplet, tercet • 4 lines: quatrain • 5 lines: cinquain • 6 lines: sestet • 7 lines: septet • 8 lines: octet or octave
  40. 40. Scansion: nomenclature • So our sample poem is written in closed form with iambic tetrameter couplets and has an AABBCCDD rhyme scheme. This is how the nomenclature (or naming convention) works in scansion. Just one more step to go.
  41. 41. Scansion: traditional forms Traditional forms are standardized combinations of rhyme, meter, and stanza that poets use to place their works within an aesthetic tradition and give it a familiar structure and sound.
  42. 42. Scansion: traditional forms Traditional forms: the most common include: • blank verse: unrhymed iambic pentameter Ex: follow this link to see examples http://www.types-of-poetry.org.uk/07-blank-verse.htm • heroic verse: rhyming iambic pentameter couplets Ex: follow this link to see examples http://www.types-of-poetry.org.uk/66-heroic-couplet.htm
  43. 43. Scansion: traditional forms Traditional forms: the most common include: • sonnet: 14 lines of rhyming iambic pentameter Two most common types are Petrarchan or Italian ABBAABBACDCDCD or other variations in the sestet Elizabethan or Shakespearean ABABCDCDEFEFGG Ex: follow this link to see examples http://www.types-of-poetry.org.uk/42-sonnets.htm
  44. 44. Scansion: traditional forms Traditional forms: the most common include: • Ballad stanza: special form of the quatrain with alternating iambic tetrameter and trimeter lines with an ABCB rhyme scheme (lots of Protestant hymns use this form) Ex: follow this link to see examples http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Terms/ballad-stanza.html
  45. 45. Scansion: traditional forms Many more traditional verse forms exist and we may point out more as we proceed, but understanding and recognizing these will cover many of the scanning tasks you will face in undergraduate study.
  46. 46. Scansion: accomplished! I know it’s a hard climb, but I hope this helps you to interpret the terminology in the discussion topics and the questions on the quizzes and tests.

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