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  1. #11
    asad hussain is offline Member
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    Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Hi Dawnstorm,
    It's once again very thoughtful of you to help me answer the questions well. You've encumbered me with your compassion. I owe you something or perhaps some words which mean more than thanks. Thank a lot!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
    Hi,

    I see you've copied some of the things I've said. While you're welcome to do so, please make sure you understand what I said (you probably do, but I thought to point it out). Also, there are some things I wrote in this thread that I wouldn't advise you to put into the assignment.

    "reader's/listener's": I'd choose one and stick with it. Reader is probably more natural. OK. I've left out "listener", and highlighted the adjustments. Please see above.

    "This is an odd question, since poetry works on syllables and sounds rather than letters. Since the rhyme is [...i:p] in the last stanza, the repeated letters that are most obvious would be: "e" (as "ee", sounding [i:]; it also appears in "lovely" or "promises", but the letter sounds differently there) and "p". It's true that the letter "o" is also repeated a lot, but it sounds differently in "woods", "to", "lovely" and "promises". "

    I'm not sure if this is an appropriate answer to the question. How does your teacher react if you criticise the question? Finally, "It's ture that the letter 'o'..." is a direct reply to your original answer and makes little sense without it. I wouldn't keep it like that. I wish I could be of more help, but as I said, I'm not sure about the question. Neither was I if the answer sparkled. I've omitted the first line, as it was causing a conflict. Could you please see if the answer sounds fine now? I'm still not sure if it does so.

    About the final line: What if the teacher asks you what the "profound effect" looks like? What would you answer? I'm unable to cope with the phrase perfectly. Anyway, let me give it a go.... Perhaps Frost was trying to be philosophical, and wanted the reader to read the poem carefully, nod quietly in recognition of its splendor and multivalent meaning, and just move on.

    Could you please help answer the question properly? I will be more grateful to you, if you write me the answer. By the way, I am not a school boy. I am a maths and science teacher. One of student's has requested me to provide her poetry study notes. That's why I am labouring over them.

    "because he has too many responsibilities to fulfill": Correct.
    Many thanks. I forgot to type it.

  2. #12
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    Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    And there I was thinking you were a student. I'm sorry. It's kind of you to help a student with a subject you don't teach.

    Hm, let's see. The two final questions are dependant on each other. Whatever "letters" we'd pick out as repeated would define the answer we give. Perhaps, if I'd be a bit more systematic, it could be like this:

    What letters have been repeated in the last stanza?

    1. Any English text that contains more than 26 letters must repeat at least one letter. Some letter-repetitions are a function of the language itself. I shall therefore look not for all repetitions, but for "meaningful repetitions", i.e. repetitions that either follow a pattern, or are conventional poetic tools (such as rhymes or alliteration).

    2. Since most poetry works best when read aloud, I am going to look for repeated "spoken letters", rather than for "written letters". For example, the letter "o" is written down a lot, but since it sounds different in "wood", "lovely" or "promises", I will not count it as a repetition (meaningful or otherwise). Similarly, since the two o's in "wood" represent a single sound, I will treat the "oo" as one letter only.

    The most obvious repetition in the stanza is the end-rhyme "-eep", or rather [i:p]. All instances of "ee" (or [i:]) are in the last syllable. The letter "p" concludes each line, and is only found once within the lines: at the beginning of the word promise.

    Line one contains an alliteration. Two words start with the letter "d". Three of the four d's that occur in the last stanza are in the phrase "dark and deep" (the remaining one being in "woods"). Two of them are at the start of a word, and one concludes "and". Whether the d in "and" is articulated or not depends on the reader of the poem. Leaving out the d in "and" (or rather conflating it with the d in "deep") enhances the alliterative effect.

    Finally, in lines two, three, and four the letter "i", as [ai], is repeated in prominent position. In both lines two and three the "i" is the vowel in the second syllable; in line three it is also the vowel in the next to last syllable. (The fourth line is an exact repetition of the third line, so naturally the "i"-pattern of the third line is repeated as well.)

    Why have they been repeated?

    The rhyme "i:p" has been repeated to contribute to the poems line-structure. The repetition of the "p" in the word "promises" helps the word stand out as a key word. This effect is enhanced by using an "I" sound, a shorter and darker version of the vowel [i:] from the rhyme, which is not repeated elsewhere in the stanza.

    The alliteration "dark and deep" helps make the phrase a unit, standing together against "lovely". These three adjectives are used to describe the "woods", the only other word in the poem that contains a d. The phonetic contrast between "lovely" and "dark and deep" is analoguos to the semantic difference. "Lovely" is an evaluation, whereas "dark and deep" are merely descriptive. Since the word "woods" also contains a "d" it is the word "lovely" that stands out. This enhances the semantic difference: things that are "dark and deep" are not conventionally evaluated as "lovely".

    Finally, looking at the [ai] repetition one notices that [ai] is not only a diphtong, it is also a word. And in three of the five instances the diphtong means exactly that. The repetition of [ai] in the word miles is not semantically meaningful, but since it occupies the same position in the third and fourth lines that the word "I" occupied in the second, it can be read as a feint echo of the word, emphasising that the poet - who last explicitly appeared in the first line, and implicitly in the first line of the second stanza (my little horse) - has returned to his poem.

    ***

    I'm not really sure this works, but it's the best I can currently do. It was a fun excercise. Perhaps you can tell that I like poetry?

  3. #13
    asad hussain is offline Member
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    Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    OMG! What great and explanatory answers! I don't think I could ever have answered the questions as well as you. You are undoubtedly a great poetry analyst and a human as well. I just can't express my feelings. I am so grateful to you.

    I have a few more problems reeling in the mind. They are highlighted in blue. Could you please nail them as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post

    What letters have been repeated in the last stanza?

    [1. Any English text that contains more than 26 letters must repeat at least one letter. Some letter-repetitions are a function of the language itself. I shall therefore look not for all repetitions, but for "meaningful repetitions", i.e. repetitions that either follow a pattern, or are conventional poetic tools (such as rhymes or alliteration).

    2. Since most poetry works best when read aloud, I am going to look for repeated "spoken letters", rather than for "written letters". For example, the letter "o" is written down a lot, but since it sounds different in "wood", "lovely" or "promises", I will not count it as a repetition (meaningful or otherwise). Similarly, since the two o's in "wood" represent a single sound, I will treat the "oo" as one letter only.] ---> Is it part of the answer, or is it what you just have written to explain me well? I'm not sure if I am supposed to add this part inthe study notes. It will be more and more thoughtful of you, if you parenthesize the part you would like me to include in the study notes.


    The most obvious repetition in the stanza is the end-rhyme "-eep", or rather [i:p]. All instances of "ee" (or [i:]) are in the last syllable. The letter "p" concludes each line, and is only found once within the lines: at the beginning of the word promise.

    Line one contains an alliteration. Two words start with the letter "d". Three of the four d's that occur in the last stanza are in the phrase "dark and deep" (the remaining one being in "woods"). Two of them are at the start of a word, and one concludes "and". Whether the d in "and" is articulated or not depends on the reader of the poem. Leaving out the d in "and" (or rather conflating it with the d in "deep") enhances the alliterative effect.

    Finally, in lines two, three, and four the letter "i", as [ai], is repeated in prominent position. In both lines two and three the "i" is the vowel in the second syllable; in line three it is also the vowel in the next to last syllable. (The fourth line is an exact repetition of the third line, so naturally the "i"-pattern of the third line is repeated as well.)

    Why have they been repeated?

    The rhyme "i:p" has been repeated to contribute to the poems line-structure. The repetition of the "p" in the word "promises" helps the word stand out as a key word. This effect is enhanced by using an "I" sound, a shorter and darker version of the vowel [i:] from the rhyme, which is not repeated elsewhere in the stanza.

    The alliteration "dark and deep" helps make the phrase a unit, standing together against "lovely". These three adjectives are used to describe the "woods", the only other word in the poem that contains a d. The phonetic contrast between "lovely" and "dark and deep" is analoguos to the semantic difference. "Lovely" is an evaluation, whereas "dark and deep" are merely descriptive. Since the word "woods" also contains a "d" it is the word "lovely" that stands out. This enhances the semantic difference: things that are "dark and deep" are not conventionally evaluated as "lovely".

    Finally, looking at the [ai] repetition one notices that [ai] is not only a diphtong, it is also a word. And in three of the five instances the diphtong means exactly that. The repetition of [ai] in the word miles is not semantically meaningful, but since it occupies the same position in the third and fourth lines that the word "I" occupied in the second, it can be read as a feint echo of the word, emphasising that the poet - who last explicitly appeared in the first line, and implicitly in the first line of the second stanza (my little horse) - has returned to his poem.

    Please do the same here (i.e., parenthesize the area you want me to put in the study notes.).

    ***

    I'm not really sure this works, but it's the best I can currently do. It was a fun excercise. Perhaps you can tell that I like poetry? I can tell you are a great poet.

  4. #14
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    Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Everything after

    "...could be like this:"

    and above the

    "***"

    can be included. The 1. & 2. I have included as definitions. They are optional. I try to be as precise as possible (not all that easy with poetry ), so I - personally - would include them. For an assignement, I don't think they're necessary, but neither will they hurt. If you think they help understand what comes after, include them. If they don't, leave them out.


  5. #15
    asad hussain is offline Member
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    Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Many many many many many many many many thanks once again.

    OK. Then I would like to add each and everything. I just love your words.

    I've a few problems related to grammar now.


    1. "He repeats the third line in order to imprint it on the readerís memory as well as toforeground the presence of a non-literal meaning, but not the meaning itself." --- Someone has suggested me to replace 'and to' for 'as well as to', to omit 'itself' in the end, and use and adjective with the second 'meaning' (i.e. He repeats the third line inorder to imprint in on the reader's memory and to foreground the presense of of a non-literal meaning, but not the literal meaning.) I believe they are your words, and I CAN'T change them without your permission. Please tell me which way I write.



    2. Is "not" after "but" necessary?


    3. Finally, in lines two, three, and four the letter "i", as [ai], is repeated in prominent position (+s?). In both lines two and three the "i" isthe (Shouldn't it be "a"?) vowel in the second syllable; in line three it is alsothe ( Again, shouldn't it be "a"?) vowel in the next to last syllable. (The fourth line is an exact repetition of the third line, so naturally the "i"-pattern of the third line is repeated as well.)

    4. Finally, looking at the [ai] repetition one notices that [ai] is not only a diphtong (diphtong or diphthong?),...


    ************

    Sorry, if I've bored you.

  6. #16
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    Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Quote Originally Posted by asad hussain View Post
    1. "He repeats the third line in order to imprint it on the readerís memory as well as toforeground the presence of a non-literal meaning, but not the meaning itself." --- Someone has suggested me to replace 'and to' for 'as well as to', to omit 'itself' in the end, and use and adjective with the second 'meaning' (i.e. He repeats the third line inorder to imprint in on the reader's memory and to foreground the presense of of a non-literal meaning, but not the literal meaning.) I believe they are your words, and I CAN'T change them without your permission. Please tell me which way I write.


    as well as to --> and to: I see no important difference in meaning, and it's shorter. I'd make the change.

    but not the meaning itself --> but not the literal meaning: I think I see the criticism, but the re-write isn't what I was saying. If you'd add an adjective it would read: "but not the non-literal meaning itself." But this isn't any clearer. Hmm. Perhaps: "and to foreground the presence of a non-literal meaning without telling the reader what that meaning is." (Is this clearer than the original?)

    2. Is "not" after "but" necessary?

    Yes, it is.I'm thinking it may be the word "but" that causes confusion. Maybe I should have said "and not" ("...to foreground the presence of a non-literal meaning and not the meaning itself.")

    The meaning is: "and to foreground not the non-literal meaning of the poem itself, but the non-literal meaning's presence." That sounds dreadful to me, though.

    In any case, simple is better. So, I suggest:

    "...as well as to hint at a non-literal meaning without spelling it out."

    3.
    Finally, in lines two, three, and four the letter "i", as [ai], is repeated in prominent position (+s?).


    I agree.

    In both lines two and three the "i" is
    the (Shouldn't it be "a"?) vowel in the second syllable; in line three it is alsothe ( Again, shouldn't it be "a"?) vowel in the next to last syllable.


    In English, a syllable usually only has one vowel (or a diphthong). Also, most syllables contain a vowel. What I'm saying with "the" (instead of "a") is that I'm expecting a syllable to contain a vowel and "i" is it. So the is correct. (Using "a" would change the meaning, I think. For example you could say: '"I" is a vowel in the scond syllable, but a consonant in the third.' This wouldn't be true, but it would be grammatically correct.)

    (Some foreign names may not contain "vowels" at all; it's a bit difficult, as some letters are hybrids, somewhat between vowel-ness and consonant-ness [y, r, l]. So this is a bit more complicated than it seems. I'd rather ignore that, though, as it complicates matters but doesn't really change my point.)


    4. Finally, looking at the [ai] repetition one notices that [ai] is not only a diphtong (diphtong or diphthong?),...
    You're right. It's: Diphthong.

    It's a mistake I keep making, for some reason.

    Sorry, if I've bored you.

    Actually, I'm happy that you point out my mistakes. It helps me improve.


  7. #17
    asad hussain is offline Member
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    Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    What about?

    He repeats the third line in order to imprint it on the readerís memory and to emphasize the presence of a non-literal, rather than a literal meaning. In other words, the repetition gives the reader of the poem the opportunity to go beyond the literal into the figurative. Furthermore, the poem has a strict rhyme scheme. The first three stanzas are in the form: aaba bbcb ccdc. There is a three-line rhyme pattern; the line that does not rhyme provides the rhyme for the next stanza. There are just enough stanzas to establish a pattern. The fourth stanza is the last. Since there is no stanza after it, the third line cannot have a non-rhyming line. Now, instead of having just three lines, or just four rhyming lines, the poet chose to repeat the last line. This gives a powerful feeling of "closure"; not only is there no new rhyme, but there is not even a new line. The first "sleep" disrupts our expectation of a non-rhyming line; the repetition terminates the poem.

    Thanks a trillion for nailing the problems. They are all resolved now. You can't imagine how thankful I am to you. If I could rainbow colors, I'd use them to say "thank you".

    By the way, I don't think I pointed out any mistakes, but typos.

    With great regards,

    Asad

  8. #18
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    Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Hi,

    This works very well, except:

    Quote Originally Posted by asad hussain View Post
    and to emphasize the presence of a non-literal, rather than a literal meaning.
    This is not wrong. It's (a) a correct statement about the poem, and (b) a grammatically good sentence (but you should get rid of the comma after non-literal). It's not what I said, though.

    I was not comparing a "non-literal" meaning with a "literal" meaning. I was comparing two aspects of the poem's non-literal meaning: (a) it's presence and (b) it's content.

    The repetition of the last line makes that line stand out. Since it's not a new line, people will not experience "new content". The new information lies in the repetition itself. This shifts focus away from content and towards intent (why is the line repeated?).

    In practise, this does two things:

    (1) It makes you wonder why this line is especially important? How does the poet feel about the line? Since the answer to that question does not lie in the sentence's literal meaning, but in the personal meaning the sentence has to the poem, the reader is invited to go beyond the literal meaning and speculate. The line does not give the reader any help how to read it, at least not any more than the rest of the poem does.

    So, by repeating the line the poet tells us there's more to the sentence than just it's literal meaning (which we understood the first time we read it), but he doesn't tell us what the meaning is. He points out the presence of the non-literal meaning, but he does not "spell it out". He does not tell us what the lines mean in detail. This is left up to us to speculate about.

    (2) Since the words are not new, we do not have to pay as much attention. We can use the time it takes to read the line to "remember" the poem, or "dwell" on its effect, while taking in the sounds of the last line. Have you ever read the words of a book and then found out that you haven't been paying attention, and you have to go back a paragraph or two to re-read them? This is the psychological phenomen repetition in poetry often uses; the idea is that the lines "evoke" the poem. You don't have to go back and re-read the line, because you don't need to pay attention in the first place. You already read the line. Obviously, if you think of your shopping list, the poem failed. But if you think about the poem, it is a success.

    So the repetition, by virtue of being familiar, (1) draws your attention to the poet's relation to the poem ("there is a non-literal meaning") and (b) allows you to ponder the poem (often unconsciously) while reading the line.

    My original sentence wasn't very clear. It was summarising something I intuited but didn't think through in detail. I hope it's clearer now, why I wasn't comparing "non-literal meanings" with "literal meanings", but "the *presence* of non-literal meanings" with the "non-literal meanings themselves" (= "the non-literal meaning's content").

    The simplest way to say all this would be to make no comparison at all:

    "...and to emphasise the presence of a non-literal meaning."

    The only thing to keep in mind is that if the teacher asks the student how it does so, the student should have a reply ready. Else the teacher might think s/he merely copied it from a book.

    Still, simpler is usually better (and I *do* have a tendency to make things more complicated than they actually are ). In the end, I think I'd suggest using the blue sentence above.

  9. #19
    asad hussain is offline Member
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    Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Oh! Thanks a lot once again, My dear Dawnstorm.

    But don't you think using this line (i.e., ...and to emphasize the presence of a non-literal meaning) will affect the second line?

  10. #20
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    Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Quote Originally Posted by asad hussain View Post
    Oh! Thanks a lot once again, My dear Dawnstorm.

    But don't you think using this line (i.e., ...and to emphasize the presence of a non-literal meaning) will affect the second line?
    Hmm, interesting thought. I actually think it reads well, but I may be too close to the sentences to see them clearly, if you know what I mean. I see no problem keeping it the way it's in the post, if that's what you'd like you to do. (But delete the comma before "rather", in that case.)

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