Analyze the relationship between language and content in poetry

BBC Bitesize - GCSE English Literature - Responding to poetry - Revision 4

analyze the relationship between language and content in poetry

Learn about how respond to poetry with GCSE English Literature poetry resources. It is crucial to observe a poem's form, structure and language but once you've A good analysis has to think about how these link to meaning and effect. Sign in, choose your GCSE subjects and see content that's tailored for you. Style is thus not a phenomenon that is restricted to literature; it is necessarily part of any pays to the use of language, that makes a text literary (see What is Literature?). Or is there a difference in WHAT he says because of HOW he says it? Most modern criticism would agree that form and content are not in fact clearly . Skip to secondary content Remember, too, that no one close reading of a poem has ever What is the attitude taken by the “voice†of the poem toward the Punctuation organizes and creates relationship between words, Related to word meaning is figurative language, which often plays a.

Is this regular or varied? Are there a regular number of beats or stresses in each line? How does this link to the mood of the poem?

Language The power of individual words or phrases and the overall effect of the language in a poem. When I read the poem and look away, what words, phrases or lines do I remember? Why are they powerful? How does the language of the poem support the overall effect and meaning? Language is like the engine of a poem. What fires it up is thinking about the power of the language.

By shifts in subject? By shifts in perspective? How do these parts relate to each other? How are they appropriate for this poem? How are the ideas in the poem ordered?

analyze the relationship between language and content in poetry

Is there a progression of some sort? From simple to complex? From outer to inner? From past to present? From one place to another? Is there a climax of any sort? What are the form and genre of this poem? What should you expect from such a poem? How does the poet use the form? What do they tell you about the poem?

analyze the relationship between language and content in poetry

Are there difficult or confusing words? Even if you are only the slightest bit unsure about the meaning of a word, look it up in a good dictionary. If you are reading poetry written before the twentieth century, learn to use the Oxford English Dictionary, which can tell you how a word's definition and usage have changed over time. Be sure that you determine how a word is being used--as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb--so that you can find its appropriate meaning.

Be sure also to consider various possible meanings of a word and be alert to subtle differences between words.

How to Analyze a Poem English Language

A good poet uses language very carefully; as a good reader you in turn must be equally sensitive to the implications of word choice. What mood is evoked in the poem? How is this accomplished? Consider the ways in which not only the meanings of words but also their sound and the poem's rhythms help to create its mood. Is the language in the poem abstract or concrete?

How is this appropriate to the poem's subject? Are there any consistent patterns of words? In the Roman Empire, broadly, the western half used Latin as a lingua francaand the eastern half used Greek. In western Europe during the Middle Ages, Latin continued as the international language of educated people, and Latin was the second language taught in schools.

analyze the relationship between language and content in poetry

Later the cultural, diplomatic, and military reputation of France made French the language of European diplomacy. This use of French as the language of international relations persisted until the 20th century. At important conferences among representatives of different nations, it is usually agreed which languages shall be officially recognized for registering the decisions reached, and the provisions of treaties are interpreted in the light of texts in a limited number of languages, those of the major participants.

After World War II the dominant use of English in science and technology and in international commerce led to the recognition of that language as the major international language in the world of practical affairs, with more and more countries making English the first foreign language to be taught and thus producing a vast expansion of English-language-teaching programs all over the world.

Those whose native language is English do not sufficiently realize the amount of effort, by teacher and learner alike, that is put into the acquisition of a working knowledge of English by educated first speakers of other languages. As an alternative to the recognition of particular natural languages as international in status, attempts have been made to invent and propagate new and genuinely international languages, devised for the purpose.

Of these, Esperantoinvented by the Polish-Russian doctor L. Zamenhof in the 19th century, is the best known. Such languages are generally built up from parts of the vocabulary and grammatical apparatus of the better-known existing languages of the world. The relationship between the written letter and its pronunciation is more systematic than with many existing orthographies English spelling is notoriously unreliable as an indication of pronunciationand care is taken to avoid the grammatical irregularities to which all natural languages are subject and also to avoid sounds found difficult by many speakers e.

These artificial languages have not made much progress, though an international society of Esperanto speakers does exist.

Nationalistic influences on language Deliberate interference with the natural course of linguistic changes and the distribution of languages is not confined to the facilitating of international intercourse and cooperation. Language as a cohesive force for nation-states and for linguistic groups within nation-states has for long been manipulated for political ends. Multilingual states can exist and prosper; Switzerland is a good example.

But linguistic rivalry and strife can be disruptive. Language riots have occurred in Belgium between French and Flemish speakers and in parts of India between rival vernacular communities. A language can become or be made a focus of loyalty for a minority community that thinks itself suppressed, persecuted, or subjected to discrimination. The French language in Canada in the midth century is an example.

A language may be a target for attack or suppression if the authorities associate it with what they consider a disaffected or rebellious group or a culturally inferior one. There have been periods when American Indian children were forbidden to speak a language other than English at school and when pupils were not allowed to speak Welsh in British state schools in Wales.

Both these prohibitions have been abandoned. After the Spanish Civil War of the s, Basque speakers were discouraged from using their language in public as a consequence of the strong support given by the Basques to the republican forces. Interestingly, on the other side of the Franco-Spanish frontier, French Basques were positively encouraged to keep their language in use, if only as an object of touristic interest and consequent economic benefit to the area.

Translation So far, some of the relatively large-scale effects of culture contacts on languages and on dialects within languages have been surveyed. A continuous concomitant of contact between two mutually incomprehensible languages and one that does not lead either to suppression or extension of either is translation.

As soon as two users of different languages need to converse, translation is necessary, either through a third party or directly. Before the invention and diffusion of writing, translation was instantaneous and oral; persons professionally specializing in such work were called interpreters. In predominantly or wholly literate communities, translation is thought of as the conversion of a written text in one language into a written text in another, though the modern emergence of the simultaneous translator or professional interpreter at international conferences keeps the oral side of translation very much alive.

The main problems have been recognized since antiquity and were expressed by St. Semantically, these problems relate to the adjustment of the literal and the literary and to the conflicts that so often occur between an exact translation of each word, as far as this is possible, and the production of a whole sentence or even a whole text that conveys as much of the meaning of the original as can be managed.

These problems and conflicts arise because of factors already noticed in the use and functioning of language: Even between the languages of communities whose cultures are fairly closely allied, there is by no means a one-to-one relation of exact lexical equivalence between the items of their vocabularies.

In their lexical meanings, words acquire various overtones and associations that are not shared by the nearest corresponding words in other languages; this may vitiate a literal translation. In modern times translators of the Bible into the languages of peoples culturally remote from Europe are well aware of the difficulties of finding a lexical equivalent for lamb when the intended readers, even if they have seen sheep and lambs, have no tradition of blood sacrifice for expiation or long-hallowed associations of lambs with lovableness, innocence, and apparent helplessness.

The English word uncle has, for various reasons, a cozy and slightly comic set of associations. This is because poetry is, in the first instance, carefully contrived to express exactly what the poet wants to say. Second, to achieve this end, poets call forth all the resources of the language in which they are composing, matching the choice of words, the order of words, and grammatical constructions, as well as phonological features peculiar to the language in metreperhaps supplemented by rhymeassonanceand alliteration.

Language - Language and culture |

The available resources differ from language to language; English and German rely on stress-marked metres, but Latin and Greek used quantitative metres, contrasting long and short syllables, while French places approximately equal stress and length on each syllable. Translators must try to match the stylistic exploitation of the particular resources in the original language with comparable resources from their own.

Because lexical, grammatical, and metrical considerations are all interrelated and interwoven in poetry, a satisfactory literary translation is usually very far from a literal word-for-word rendering.

The more poets rely on language form, the more embedded their verses are in that particular language and the harder the texts are to translate adequately. This is especially true with lyrical poetry in several languages, with its wordplay, complex rhymes, and frequent assonances. Remarkable advances in automatic computer translation were made during the s—the result of progress in computational techniques and a fresh burst of research energy focused on the problem—while the spread of the Internet in subsequent decades transformed approaches to, and the ease of, all forms of translation.

Translation on the whole is, arguably, more art than science. The Italian epigram remains justified: Sometimes people want to restrict it. Confidential messages require for their efficacy that they be known to and understood by only the single person or the few persons to whom they are addressed.

Such are diplomatic exchanges, operational messages in wartime, and some transmissions of commercial information.

Responding to poetry

Protection of written messages from interception has been practiced for many centuries. Twentieth-century developments in telegraphy and telephonyand the emergence and growth of the Internet, made protection against unauthorized reception more urgent, whether of texts transmitted as speech or those sent as series of letters of the alphabet.

Codes and ciphers cryptography are of much longer standing in the concealment of written messages, though their techniques are being constantly developed. Such gains are, of course, countered by developments in the techniques of decipherment and decoding as distinct from getting hold of the key to the system in use.

An important by-product of such techniques has been the reading and interpretation of inscriptions written in otherwise unknown languages or unknown writing systems for which no translation exists. Linear B inscribed tablet, c. It has been pointed out above that the process of first-language acquisition as a medium of communication is largely achieved from random exposure.

There is legitimate controversy, however, over the nature and extent of the positive contribution that the human brain brings, both cognitively and linguistically, to the activity of grammar construction—the activity by which children develop an indefinitely creative competence from the finite data that make up their actual experience of the language. The importance of social interaction between children and their interlocutors is another significant factor.

Creativity is what must be stressed as the product of first-language acquisition. By far the greater number of all the sentences people create during their lifetime are new; that is, they have not occurred before in their personal experience. But individuals find no difficulty at all in understanding at once almost everything they hear or otherwise receive or for the most part in producing sentences to suit the requirements of every situation.

This very ease of creativity in human linguistic competence makes it hard to realize its extent.

How to Read a Poem

It is simply part of what is expected in growing up. Different people may be singled out for praise in certain uses of their language, as good public speakers, authors, poets, tellers of tales, and solvers of puzzles, but not just as communicators.

Bilingualism The learning of a second and of any subsequently acquired language is quite a separate matter. Of course, many people never do master significantly more than their own first language. It is only in encountering a second language that one realizes how complex language is and how much effort must be devoted to subsequent acquisition.

It has been said that the principal obstacle to learning a language is knowing one already, and common experience suggests that the faculty of grammar construction exhibited in childhood is one that is gradually lost as childhood recedes. AdstockRF Whereas most people master their native language with unconscious ease, individuals vary in their ability to learn additional languages, just as they vary in other intellectual activities. Situational motivationhowever, appears to be by far the strongest influence on the speed and apparent ease of this learning.

The greatest difficulty is experienced by those who learn because they are told to or are expected to, without supporting reasons that they can justify. Given a motive other than external compulsion or expectation, the task is achieved much more easily this, of course, is an observation in no way confined to language learning.

In Welsh schools, for instance, it has been found that English children make slower progress in Welsh when their only apparent reason for learning Welsh is that there are Welsh classes.