The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Browning Poetry Introduction

We began by looking at the dutch poem De kinderliefde. This was to show that even without the content made known we can still discuss form and structure and so on.
We talked about our research homework on the life of Browning, and how this might affect his poems.

Next we looked at Sylvia Plath's quote that prose is an open palm and poetry a closed fist.
This led to a further discussion about why we study poetry at all, and how well as all the aspects of narrative, we could now discuss poetic techniques too.
We reminded ourselves what form was and went over the form of a dramatic monologue.
We read through "My Last Duchess" and then divided into three groups. One focusing on language, one on structure and one on everything else.
The structure is used to show the character of the Duke and this fits the criterion of a dramatic monolgue insofar as it reveals something about the speaker of the poem.
It is written in continuous verse, constructed with rhyming couplets which involve enjambment. Moreover, constant use of caesura, and the rough syntax show his controlling nature. The regular rhyme and rhythm show the character's nod to form, but belie his unsettling nature.
The language used reveals things about the Duke too. He has a conversational, persuasive tone to the Envoy, but this reveals his calculating personality. He uses asides and imperatives, as well as mimicing Fra Pandolf, which show the force of his character.
He is not very articulate, and this inability to express himself also relates to the rage he feels (still) about his last duchess. He repeats himself lots too.
To write a poem called "Enduring Love" for Friday.

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