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Genre analysis in poetry – the pragmatic approach Essay

Introduction Poetry has been a special genre and it is one of the many genres that remain consistent (structural means) even after being exploited for years. Looking back at the British poems in the late 80s, the stanzas and lines have not changed much, at least not the structure of it. Even until today, these shapes remained the same, although altered in position such as the use of indentation or tabulation in each line, alternatively. Besides, poetry has become a medium of communication in various situations and often used by the higher classes (they are more educated) to express their feelings or messages.

Nonetheless, it takes a little intelligence to understand these corpuses of descriptive lexis because today, the poems are more straightforward due to the change of generations. The genre analysis on poetry or literary text covers a wide scope – from musical traditions to prayers (olden days) and from letters to advertisements. Therefore, it is safe to say that poems were widely used for communicative purpose, whether in general or specific aspect. Steinberg (2007) also stated that poems, like art, has been used as a communicative medium because they are easier to follow and learn by heart, after which they can be combined with other genres such as songs and dances.

Besides that, the exploitation of genres is also evident as we study on the pragmatics and structural cognition of a poem. Pragmatics is the study on the meaning behind the context; later in this research, the study will reveal the relationship between them as to how it affects the understanding of the cohort today. Furthermore, the paper will also discuss on the structural cognition of a poem – why the lines and stanzas are arrange in a certain manner , as well as does it bring any meaning or purpose towards the readers.

1 Literature Review According to Taheri and Ahi (2013), it is a must for people to deal with all sorts of communication in our daily lives that uses some of the methods of poetry, including editorials, sermons, political speeches, advertisements and magazine articles. No doubt, our further research shows that poems are used to advertise a product in a creative way since the usual “paragraph-ish” sentences were too common in newspapers or printed mediums.

The study of pragmatics are not clearly stated by author Dijk (1977), however he mentioned that a literary text may be pragmatically “vague” or ambiguous so to say, in which both a literary or ritual function and a “practical” function may be assigned. Therefore, we conducted our research on a slight aspect of pragmatics to study on the relations with current generation and if it means anything to the message the poets are trying to tell. Our research questions are therefore:

1. How are “literary actions” and their context related to structures of literary text? 2. In which respect are these actions, context and textual manifestations similar to and/or different from those in other types of communication, both verbal and non- verbal?

In short, our aim and purpose of this study is to find (if) there is anything dissimilar to the poetic genre and to understand the literary pragmatics better as well as to discover the rhetorical function of poetry respectively. 2 Methodology The research is qualitative overall. Eight poems in total are collected – four taken from two books and another four from websites. These collections are taken randomly just because we would like to study on the effectiveness of arbitrary decisions, but it will not be discussed in this research paper as it does not contribute to the main objective of our study, at all.

Following is the list of our materials: 1. An abstract from Sohrab and Rustum – Matthew Arnold (1853) 2. An abstract from Lines by Matthew Arnold (1951) 3. An abstract from A Battalion-Commander Complains to His Secretary by Ha Jin (1989) 4. An abstract from My Lost Youth by Henry Wadsworth (1855) 5. http://www. scribd. com/doc/67525005/Love-Letter-1#scribd 6. http://www. poets. org/poetsorg/poem/nothing-gold-can-stay 7.

http://www. croftonacademy. org. uk/year%208%20Charlotte%20Dymond %20ballad. pdf 8. http://www. azlyrics. com/lyrics/nickiminaj/superbass.

html Then, we compare and contrast between poems of different genre – lyric poem, traditional and modern poem, love letters and advertisement. As for the advertisement genre, it would be discussed separately as the effect of poems on the current generation later in the final wrap-up of our research. Nevertheless, the classifications of poems are as follow: 1. Lyric poem: (2), (4), (6) and (8) 2. Traditional and modern poem: (1), (3) and (7) 3. Love letters: (5) Data Analysis In this section, we will include the poems or abstracts used in the comparison stage.

This section will also include the elements that touch on the context and textual manifestations of the literary actions. 3 Figure 1 Lyric poems – rhymes: (8) and (2) Elements involved: Rhymes, lines, couple-rhymes Figure 2 Lyric poems – adverbs and conjunctions: (4) and (6) Elements involved: adverbs, coordinating, conjunctions, pronoun 4 Figure 3 Story poem – traditional: (1) Elements involved: context, illustration, approach, italics, emphasis Figure 4 Story poem – modern: (3) Elements involved: emotion, direct, simple 5 Figure 5 Story poem – modern: (7) Elements involved: adjective, direct, simple 6 Results and Discussion.

The use of “system” and “up” as well as “deal”, “bill”, “ship” and “lip” in Figure 1 proves that the structure of poem is still maintained in the 20th century. One of the main elements of a poem is the rhymes – always come in pair but could be in a structure of alternate lines. For example, line 1 and line 2 of “Super Bass” (the repetition of “system” and “up”) and the alternation of “-od” and “-out” in line 1 and line 3 of “Lines”. As for Figure 2, there are repetition of adverbs “there” and coordinating conjunctions “so” and “and” in lyric poems. Another noticeable element would be the pronoun “her” and “she”.

In short, they are more descriptive in nature. By looking at Figure 3, we found that traditional poems used to have italics for emphasis purpose. For instance, “Like some old miser, Rustum hoards his fame, And shuns to peril it with younger men. ” – in this sentence, we know that Rustum is a proud man.

The previous context (Gudurz’s reply) tells us that when they are being challenged, Rustum was hiding away. Hence, Gudurz was warning Rustum about what the others might say, that he rather keep his pride (miser: a stingy person/reluctant to spend) by trying to avoid (shun) the danger (peril) with his troop because losing a battle means losing one’s pride in the older days.

Thus, we can conclude that traditional poem is more objective due to the “flowerish” choice of words. Additionally, the poems are written through illustration approach – the italics allow readers to interpret the events of the context in any way they want – without knowing the importance of pride, one can also take Rustum’s action as being considerate and defensive as his plan to escape might save him and his team’s lives. 7 Contrary to the traditional poem, modern poem are more subjective.

Meaning, it involves emotions and hence, more direct in terms of the language used. If we look closely to the lexis in each paragraph, there is nothing unique or interpretable about the words; they are simple and are “blasted” towards the readers. The emphasis on “blasted” is meant by the impact focus directly towards a reader’s emotion.

This can be found in Figure 4: “It was no use”, “Damn it”, “begging me for help”, “If I got killed that way”, and “he got his head knocked off while fooling with a mortar in the barracks”, as well as in Figure 5: “And never came home again”, “Never saw the razor”, “But they found her in the flood”, and “beaming with her blood”; there is simply no room to imagine the otherwise situation like what we found in Figure 3.

Story poems, regardless of type, are free from the poetic rules in line – rhymes. However, they still follow the standard structure of stanza, which is in block. Moreover, each poem has their unique subjects or objects or nouns that catches the readers’ attention: “martyr”, “blood”, “April rain”, “Lady Day”, “battalion”, “killed”, “take heed” and “nature’s first green is gold”.

Some subjects, though, are enhanced with adjectives to describe them, such as those found in Figure 5. This helps the present generation to understand the whole context of a poem in the fastest way possible, whilst not feeling bored or even to say, give up on poetry. 8 Conclusion With such exploitation on poems throughout the century, many new genres came about, noticeably in the advertising genre as shown in Figure 6. As we view these poems in the contemporary period, we can see the effect of poems on the advertising industry – the changed in written creativity.

Following that, the poems also hit right to the point, in terms of human needs: “the objects are closer than they appear” and “pay less” and “experience success”. It may seem as though the poems are confusing at times, such as the disconnection of “Got milk? Go get the feeling”, which allows reader to interpret it freely. On the other hand, this type of poems does not follow coherent rules. According to Lieb (2009), “Flick my Bic” means to start a fire because during the 1970s, Bic made the famous disposable lighter with their slogan “Flick my Bic”, and was well received by the society.

Thus, the term “Flick my Bic” is often used to replace words like “help me out”, “light up my cig’” or even in sexual context, referring to the clit when performing oral sex. Figure 6 Advertising poem 9 Following that, long loss tradition of love letter writing is revived by a famous poet, Louise Bennett, shown in Figure 7. Love letter poem uses comparison or representation between human, food, or environment. These ranges of elements are usually the favourites of the writer. Apart from being much more flexible and not tied to grammatical rules, it is sometimes cultural based.

The poet is an African, so the words used are spoken based, and seemly hard to understand at one point of a time. Words like “gizada”, “pen-nib” and “yeye! ” are only known to their culture, perhaps. Figure 7 Love letter poem Nevertheless, other types of poem include a certain way of starting. Some was created to aid amateurs in poetry like the “Roses are…” poem, shown in Figure 8, 9 and 10 below. 10 Figure 8 Amateur aid poem Figure 9 Amateur aid poem Figure 10 Amateur aid poem 11 References Dijk, T. A. (1977). The pragmatics of literary communication.

Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. Lieb, L. (2009). What do people mean when they say ‘wanna flick my Bic? ‘. Retrieved March 29, 2015, from ChaCha: http://www. chacha. com/question/what-do-people-mean- when-they-say-‘wanna-flick-my-bic%3F’ Steinberg, Sh. (2007). An Introduction to Communication Studies. Cape Town, South Africa: Juta, 120. Taheri, M. , & Ahi, M. (2013). LITERARY COMMUNICATION AND ITS ROLE IN POETICS. In (3rd ed. , Vol. 3, pp. 221-232). Hamadan: International Journal of Language Learning and Applied Linguistics World (IJLLALW). 12 Table of Contents

Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. …… … …… 1 Literature Review……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. …… 2 Methodology……………………………………………………………………………………………………. …… …… … …… . 3 Data Analysis………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

4 Results and Discussion………………………………………………………………………………………………….. … …… 7 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9 References…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… … …. 12 13 GENRE ANALYSIS IN POETRY – THE STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS An Analysis on Literary Text By D. Chan, E. Elleanae, S. Smith & I. Al-Khaldi


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