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Introduction to Poetry Analysis An examination of the poem by Robert Penn Warren Evening Hawk

Monday, February 6, 2012


Robert Penn Warren Background Information •“Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry” - 1986 • Born in Guthrie, Kentucky 1901 • Many of his poems have a common “hawk” that play a major part.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Harold Bloom “Warren

has ‘converted… the light into the appalling speed that sounds the wind of time, for time is Warren’s trope, the center of poetics.’”

Monday, February 6, 2012


Step 1: Picture or paraphrase the poem Read poem silently to yourself  Read the poem as a class.  Read it again to chorally as a class.  Put the poem into a picture and put it in your own words.  Answer this question: 

› “How does the author describe the scene and

convey mood and meaning.

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A Hawk in flight:

Monday, February 6, 2012


Paraphrase = Your own words (take 3-4 min) 

“The orchid colors of sunset build shadows on the landscape. High above, riding on an avalanche of wind and light, comes a hawk. As the speaker, observes the hawk’s flight. He enthusiastically calls to us or another observer. ‘Look, Look’ – he (the hawk) is climbing the last light as the world swings into shadow. The speaker remains for some time. The songbirds- with the onset of the dark stop singing. A last bat, hoping for a few insects in the light of the stars, cruises overhead at sharp angles. Over the mountaintop, the speaker sees the North Star and speculates what he might perceive about the world and our time on it, and about human history.”

Monday, February 6, 2012


Mood in Poetry: Review 

     

Mood The mood is the feeling or atmosphere of a piece. The mood can be many different things. Some examples included: A feeling of love. A feeling of doom. A feeling of fear. A feeling of pride. An atmosphere of chaos. An atomsphere of peace.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Meaning in Poetry: Review ď‚ž

Definition: Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response. Poetry has been known to employ meter and rhyme, but this is by no means necessary. Poetry is an ancient form that has gone through numerous and drastic reinvention over time. The very nature of poetry as an authentic and individual mode of expression makes it nearly impossible to define.

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Step 2: Method: FIC Facts  Interpretation  Central Idea or Question 

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Facts: FIC Facts – share some ideas that are striking to you.  What are some questions that you have? 

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Interpretation: FIC Interpretation: What do you think?  What do you notice about the poem?  Do you trust the speaker, why or why not?  Diction? Kinesthetic words and images Auditory and visual imagery? Take 3 – 4 minutes to write these down 

Monday, February 6, 2012


Diction – 

describing visual imagery

Repeated words: › › › › › ›

“Light-dark shadows” “Shadow” “Black” “Darkness” “Starlight” The “geometries” formed by the sunset on the landscape and the flight of the hawk and the bat create. (mountains, gorges, peaks, hieroglyphics, and axis)

Monday, February 6, 2012


Kinesthetic words and images ď‚ž

The movement “dips, builds, rides, rotates, tumults, avalanches, motions, scythes: to cut or mow, climbs, heaves, falls, cruises, steadies, grinds, leaks, drips.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Kinesthetic words and images ď‚ž

The movement “dips, builds, rides, rotates, tumults, avalanches, motions, scythes: to cut or mow, climbs, heaves, falls, cruises, steadies, grinds, leaks, drips.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Auditory and Visual Imagery These come to our ears and eyes as: an avalanche of light, and wind, guttural call of the gorge, the scythe of wings, cutting down the grain of the day. ď‚ž All of these are a feast for our senses and emotions ď‚ž

Monday, February 6, 2012


Metaphor: Hawk = Father time The hawk comes. His wing Scythes down another day, his motion Is that of the honed-steel-edge, we hear The crash less fall of the stalks of Time.

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Interpretation ď‚ž

The end of the day immortalized by the predatory soaring through the sunset cutting down the man made stalks of time makes sense, yet there are some lines that give us pause.

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“the head of each stalk is heavy with gold of our error” What sort of error?  A universal error?  One that is shared by all humankind?  The grain or the corn is grown by man. Is that why it is grain of our error?  Why is it given the value of gold? Or, is the moment when our errors are the ripest? Or heaviest? 

Monday, February 6, 2012


Things to consider: When the poet speaks of the earth it seems to be in the angles of the shadows and darkness.  We are bound to earth – unlike the hawk  Perhaps the error is all our missteps big and small as we move through life.  Yet, the hawk in unforgiving of our errors as we swing into the shadows 

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More Questions Are the bat and the hawk equal in wisdom? Or because the bat only operates in the darkness?  Does it contain a greater and more immense wisdom? 

› Bat – brings up a whole other issue bats –

batman –etc. › North Star – (Plato –philosophy is a field of study in which people ask questions as to whether God exists, whether knowledge is possible, and what makes right and wrong” Monday, February 6, 2012


Monday, February 6, 2012


More Questions 

If the hawk “knows neither Time nor error” and is “unforgiving” then the world must accept and question the existence of time.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Introduction to Poetry Analysis