Biblical Allusions In The Visit Ralston Valley English 12 Essay

4265 words - 18 pages

IB English IV—Paper 2 Study Guide (Class Notes for Poets)
Wislawa Szymborska
Wole Soyinka
Wislawa Szymborska (1923- )
Biographical details (Relevance):
· Born in Western Poland (Bnin) in 1923, later moves to Krakow where she spends most of her life
· Nobel Prize—1996-- Nobel lecture was self-deprecating, she isn’t a “true poet”
· Lived near railroad tracks—watched people go by, inspires some of her poetry
· Heavily influenced/affected by:
· Nazi occupation of Poland/WWII
· Stalinism/Communism in Poland
· Inspired by illegal poems and theater
· Member of communist party, but leaves in 1966
· Won’t let her earlier poetry be read/published for political reasons
· Communism in Poland
· Early poetry fits within socialist model (only way to publish at the time)
· Denounces socialism in 1960s
· Modest, shy, humble (“lucky couch” won the Nobel prize)—no real public persona, “poet embarrassed of being a poet”
· Reclusive—hates publicity, travels very little
· Humorous/witty
· Very particular about what is published—revises over and over, very few poems published
· Married once, partnered once
· Anaphora—frequent use, creates rhythm, convinces reader, covers a lot of beliefs/topics, brings emphasis
· Epistrophe
· Parallel structure
· Imagery—visual, vivid, NUMBERS (especially relating to human life)
· Personification/anthropomorphism—Cat in “Cat in an empty apartment”; Death “On Death, without exaggeration”
· Irony—“contribution to statistics” “Hitler”
· Short sentences—clinical/detached/factual
· Repetition
· Simplistic, sparse, direct diction
· Understatement
· Juxtaposition/contrast—“Hitler’s First Photograph”
· Paradox
· Symbolism—“On Death, without exaggeration” (words represent different aspects of human life), animals (“In praise of feeling…”)
· Ambiguity (speaker in “Cat”)—usually narrator
· Dialogue (usually entire poem—see “Vietnam” and “Funeral (ii)”)
· Tone—sarcastic, sincere/serious, satiric, lofty, hopeful (varies—see VOICE)
· Ekphrastic poetry (Brueghel’s Two Monkeys, Pieta)
· Rhetorical questions
· Wit/Humor
· Introspective voice
· Occasional Elision—usually to fit a meter or create a desired sound effect
· Starts with a bold statement or claim, broadens theme (mocking effect)
Voice (body of work):
· Pensive
· Serious
· Humorous/witty
· Reflective
· First person is common
· Neutral gender (not especially feminine or masculine)
· Personal connection to event or theme
Purpose of poetry:
· Informative—effects of communism, WWII, holocaust, human rights
· Focus on details of life—appreciation, acknowledge war/events/importance
· Human dignity
· Poetic inspiration/role of the poet in society
Use of the speaker/effect on the reader:
· Inspires you to think about things in a new way (change/new perspective—use of understatement and simple diction accomplishes this)—“The Terrorist, He’s Watching”
Key Ideas/Themes:
· Humanity
· Life/death
· Political ties—Vietnam, war
· Existence (entire universe)

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