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Literature HBL 24 May Alvin Chan 4H101 Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night

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Literature Home Based LearningDo Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan ThomasAlvin Chan 4H1

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Literature HBL 24 May

Alvin Chan4H101

Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night

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What do you think “sense” refers to?

• Sense- Senses are the physiological capacities within organisms that provide inputs for perception. (Scientific)

• Sense allows you to perceive something in a particular manner, for example, an image formed in your mind because of the description, or you imagine the tone of the persona, which involves sense.

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What did Pope mean?

• the sound of poetry is important at another level, a level closer to consciousness. (Jack Hart)

• The sound created in the poem is perceived by the reader, the feeling is subtle, as though one is really hearing it. You cannot hear it physically, but it echoes in the head.

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What did Pope mean?• “the sound should seem an echo of the sense”

In the eight lines below Pope gives examples of what he means:

Soft is the strain when Zepher gently blows,And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar.When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,The line too labors, and the words move slow;Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the main.

• The rhyme at the end of each line, e.g. flows, blows rhymes.• The rhythm is also subtle, obvious when pointed out, but unconscious of it

when reading.

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• As They Belongas the moon rises, the sun say his byes, oh, is it ever feasibleto see them seducible With rhyme, the poem becomes more pleasant to be read and to be heard.

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Excerpt Hiawatha's Departure from The Song of Hiawathaby Henry Wadsworth LongfellowBy the shore of Gitchie Gumee, By the shining Big-Sea-Water, At the doorway of his wigwam, In the pleasant Summer morning, Hiawatha stood and waited.Like rhyme, rhythm gives the reader a more pleasant reading experience since it will make the poem less dull as compared to one without rhythm.

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Edgar Allen Poe - The Bells

Hear the mellow wedding bells - Golden bells!What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!Through the balmy air of nightHow they ring out their delight!From the molten-golden notes,And all in tune,What a liquid ditty floatsTo the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloatsOn the moon! It ties words together, as in the above example, and it always contributes to the musicality of the work.

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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost (1874-1963)Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow.Consonance occurs where a consonant sound is repeated throughout a sentence without putting the sound only at the front of a word. Consonance provokes a more subtle effect than alliteration and so is less useful as a structural element.

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OnomatopoeiaKABOOM!Kaboom!Ka-blastWay in the pastthe miners mined for ore.They searched for copper, iron and salt,for that and much, much Denise RodgersThe function is to echo a sound found in nature or represent a sound.

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How has Dylan Thomas used language and poetic devices to drive home his message about death?

• The mood set by the poem is very solemn and gloomy. The tone is some what with ebbs and flows, with a sudden spike in the strength of the voice, and a sudden decline in the strength, as though fading away.

• The repetition of rage, rage against the dying of the light, seems to tell people that they should fight against death. The repetition also tells us that death is unavoidable, but Dylan Thomas encourages all men to fight death.

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How has Dylan Thomas used language and poetic devices to drive home his message about death?

• The repetition of do not go gentle into that good night, tells us that when one normally stops working or the amount of activities decline into the night, Dylan emphasizes the continuous, timeless working, like when a person becomes old, he should not give up hope and cease doing normal activities.

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How has Dylan Thomas used language and poetic devices to drive home his message about death?

• Dylan Thomas used poetic devices, other than rhyme and repetition, such as personification, figurative language, assonance, and similes. For example, personification is used in line 8, “their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay.” In line 10, figurative language is used, “wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight.” Later in the poem, “fierce tears” (line 17) is an example of assonance. Lastly, the poet describes blind eyes by using a simile, “Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,” (line 4).

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How has Dylan Thomas used language and poetic devices to drive home his message about death?

• Line 17 “Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray” is a paradox. Grave” is a pun; “blinding sight” is an oxymoron.

• When he says, “rage, rage against the dying of the light”, he wanted to tell people about how one should not go into darkness, but fight against it which indirectly tells us not to despair at an old age and in fact, should be “raging” as life passes into an old age.

• The “men” in the poem are described in four different manners. Wild, good, wise and grave were used to describe them. This may be telling us about when people reaches old age and were about to die , they become “wild”, “good”, “wise” and “grave” men. This also tells us about the attitudes of men in front of death.

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How has Dylan Thomas used language and poetic devices to drive home his message about death?

• First, he talks about wise men who understand that knowledge are not the most important things in the world. Then, he talks about good men who become conscious that their good deeds won’t give them an identity. The poet brings up the third men, who are wild. The wild men have a good life when they are young and when they reached old age, they were remorseful of their shallowness. Finally, grave men are exemplified in the fifth stanza “Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight/ Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay.” Men who are at the end of their lives realize that their physical disabilities can’t stop them from having hope for life.

• Though all four men lived unalike lives, at the end of their lives, they come to the same conclusions: they should not base their identities on their youth, and they can live a wholesome life in their old age. This may be telling readers that essentially everyone will die and there is not difference to anyone else, so everyone is the same.

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How has Dylan Thomas used language and poetic devices to drive home his message about death?

• The poem is a form of villanelle, a nineteen-line form of poetry, which implies a light gay tone, as a villanelle is a form of dance in music.

• “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” is a typical Villanelle with five three-line stanzas and one four line stanza at the end. The rhyme scheme consists of A-B-A format; although the last stanza has a rhyme scheme of A-B-A-A. Altogether, it consists of six different stanzas. The last line of each stanza has a repetition form of A-B-A-B-A-A. A is “Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” and B is “Do not go gentle into that good night”.

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• After the exercise, how do you interpret Pope’s quote: “the sound should seem an echo to the sense”. Do you think this is always the case for all poems?

• I feel that my interpretation does not change after the exercise as the sound evokes feeling which is a sense and the feeling is subtle, most of the time unconsciously feeling it but just going unnoticed.

• This is not always the case for all poems as some poems uses imagery or other methods other than the sound devices to showcase emotions.

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• A poem which relies heavily on aural poetic devices to impact the reader– Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka

• A poem in which sound is not as important.– A Haiku by Natsume Soseki

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Telephone ConversationThe price seemed reasonable, locationIndifferent. The landlady swore she livedOff premises. Nothing remainedBut self- confession “Madam, I warned,“I hate a wasted journey- I am African.”Silence. Silenced transmission ofPressurised good – breeding. Voice, when it cameLipstick-coated, long gold-rolledCigarette- holder pipped. Caught I was foully“HOW DARK?...... I had not misheard……“ARE YOU LIGHT OR VERY DARK?” Button B, Button A, stenchOf rancid breath of public hide-and –speakRed booth. Red pillar box. Red double-tieredOmnibus squelching tar. It was real. ShamedBy ill-mannered silence, surrenderPushed dumbfounded to beg simplification.Considerate she was, varying the emphasis-“ARE YOU DARK? OR VERY LIGHT?" Revelation came“You mean –like plain or milk chocolate?”Her assent was clinical, crushing in its lightImpersonality, Rapidly, wave length adjusted,I chose “West African sepia”- and as afterthought,“Down in my passport.” Silence for spectroscopicFlight of fancy..

Wole Soyinka

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Over the wintry forest, winds howl in ragewith no leaves to blow.

Natsume Soseki

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• Consider the difference between 'visual' poetic devices (such as imagery) and 'aural' poetic devices. Which do you prefer, and why? Substantiate your response with examples from poems of your choice.

• I prefer a aural kind of poem as it makes the situation described in the poem very lifelike and realistic. For example, the poem “Kaboom” makes the reader hear the sound in the mind and it can evoke emotions more easily.

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• It makes reading the poem a much more subtly pleasant experience, in spite of readers may not realizing until pointed out to them.

• These sound devices can represent a lot more which can also help form moving images in the mind, while visual devices can only form images which are stationary since it will be like a picture while the poem with sound devices will be like a film with sound effects which is so much more realistic.

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