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  1. #21
    asad hussain is offline Member
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    Default Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
    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.)
    Oh! Dear Dawnstorm, I'm really weighed down with your kindness. I am once again short of words to say thanks. No one can ever return the favour but God.

    I am kind of confused. You mean to say my re-write is fine, and conveys the same you want to say, if I remove the comma?

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Quote Originally Posted by asad hussain View Post
    I am kind of confused. You mean to say my re-write is fine, and conveys the same you want to say, if I remove the comma?
    Not the same thing, but compatible concepts. There are differences, but there are also similarities:

    It is true that the repetition of the line does emphasise the non-literal meaning over the literal-meaning.

    It is also true that the repetition of the line does merely emphasise the presence of a non-literal meaning (without actually telling us what that meaning is).

    These two claims are compatible. The difference is one of how to develope the argument, or where in the argument you place the accent. I fear that going into detail is more confusing than it is helpful.

    The two concepts are linked like this:

    The repetition emphasise the non-literal meaning over the literal meaning?

    How does it do that?

    It does so by inviting closer investigation of the sentence's relation to the poet (a non-literal meaning).

    The path taken to the goal is different, but headed in the same direction. The goals of each paragraph are, if not identical, at least very similar.

    If we were writing a sixteen page article about the repetition of the last two lines, this would be important for clarity. But, as it is, it seems to me to be more important to find a short text that can serve as an answer to the questions, that doesn't sound either meaningless or wrong, and that serves as a point of departure for further thoughts. Both the versions, IMO, would achieve that (although others might disagree). And for the sake of this they're close enough.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

    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.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound's the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.


    Stanza # 04 (All the questions below are related to Stanza No. 4)
    Why can't the poet wait to enjoy the beauty of the woods?
    He can't wait to enjoy the beauty of the woods because he has too many responsibilities to fulfill, and he has a long distance to travel before he can rest for the night. OK, but that doesn't really answer the question. The person can't wait for this reason, s/he longs to enter the "lovely, dark and deep" slumber of death. S/He wants to die. S/He sees comfort in death, but her/his responsibilities (the little horse) hold her/him back.

    Why does he repeat the third line?
    He repeats the third line to make a strong claim to be the most celebrated instance of repetition in English poetry. OK. But how does that answer the question? The first "And miles to go before I sleep" stays within the boundaries of literalness set forth by the rest of the poem. I would disagree. The poem is not meant to be literal. It's about a taboo subject, death. We may suspect, as we have up to this point, that the poem implies more than it says outright, but we can't insist on it; Insist! Insist! The very first line draws the reader's attention to the owner of the woods. Whose woods are they? The person knows, we, the reader, do not. Why is that? Why did the poet use that kind of opening line? Insist! the poem has gone by so fast, and seemed so straightforward. Actually, the poem leads in slowly, and then continues to keep that pace. Then comes the second "And miles to go before I sleep," like a soft yet penetrating gong; It's more like a soft, slow, and almost inaudible sigh. it can be neither ignored nor forgotten. Ah, yes, and that's the length of the two lines coupled. Length is a theme;e.g., longing for death is one. The sound it makes is "Ahhh." And we must read the verses again and again (Note that, when we have to do something that we don't want to do, we can convince ourselves by repeating a mantra that we can do it. Could that be the reason the poet has us, the readers, re-reading the last two lines again and again, to experience the longing, as well as the indecision that the person is feeling?) and offer trenchant remarks and explain the "Ahhh" in words far inferior to the poem. What does that mean? For the last "miles to go" now seems like life; the last "sleep" now seems like death. This is, in part, the answer to the question. What is it doing way down here?

    Which letters have been repeated in the last stanza?
    The letters o and e have been repeated in the last stanza. OK, but in which words, and how are they repeated?

    Why have they been repeated?
    They have been repeated to produce a profound impression. OK, but double letters represent length as well as sounds. Why double the letters? What emotions or feelinsg do the sounds represent? How is length and sound tied to the poem's theme? "The only other sound's the sweep." And, of course, the little horse's harness bells ~ reality.


    All the best.
    Last edited by Casiopea; 28-Apr-2007 at 20:02.

  4. #24
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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      • Swedish
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    Default Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    In my own opinion, the repetition of the last two lines, as well as of the long vowel i: (like in keep, deep), if read slowly and embedded in the overall dark mood of the poem, is meant to create an obsure feeling of weariness, sleepiness (can you hear the i: even in these words?). Also, the sequence of "dark" and "deep" seems to hammer home the gloomy image of a grave, of death. The rolling, voiced sound "d" in this sequence is followed upon by a succession of voiceless consonants, as though implying the succession of complete silence. I guess the horse rider simply wants, through this repetition, to evoke his personal frame of mind ( which is probably that of falling asleep, or rather dying).
    Last edited by bianca; 28-Apr-2007 at 21:23.

  5. #25
    asad hussain is offline Member
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    Default Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
    Not the same thing, but compatible concepts. There are differences, but there are also similarities:

    It is true that the repetition of the line does emphasise the non-literal meaning over the literal-meaning.

    It is also true that the repetition of the line does merely emphasise the presence of a non-literal meaning (without actually telling us what that meaning is).

    These two claims are compatible. The difference is one of how to develope the argument, or where in the argument you place the accent. I fear that going into detail is more confusing than it is helpful.

    The two concepts are linked like this:

    The repetition emphasise the non-literal meaning over the literal meaning?

    How does it do that?

    It does so by inviting closer investigation of the sentence's relation to the poet (a non-literal meaning).

    The path taken to the goal is different, but headed in the same direction. The goals of each paragraph are, if not identical, at least very similar.

    If we were writing a sixteen page article about the repetition of the last two lines, this would be important for clarity. But, as it is, it seems to me to be more important to find a short text that can serve as an answer to the questions, that doesn't sound either meaningless or wrong, and that serves as a point of departure for further thoughts. Both the versions, IMO, would achieve that (although others might disagree). And for the sake of this they're close enough.
    Hi again,

    Thanks a lot once again.

    Let me wrap it up

    Could you please one last time tell me the line I should use? I want to be a perfectionist.

    And sorry about a typo. I forgot to put the second comma. They commas, as you said, aren't really necessary, but I think they are better style. Do you still think I should omit them?

    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.

    Your explanation is very very clear. And I am very thankful to you for this and your loyalty to me.

    With best wishes,

    Asad


  6. #26
    asad hussain is offline Member
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    Default Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Dear Casiopea,
    Thanks a lot for taking out the time for me, and giving such a commendable and unforgettable deal of help. It's very very thougthful of you once again. You've always been very helpful to me. I don't think anyone can ever return the favour you people do me, but God.

    Why can't the poet wait to enjoy the beauty of the woods?
    He can't wait to enjoy the beauty of the woods because he has too many responsibilities to fulfill, and he has a long distance to travel before he can rest for the night. OK, but that doesn't really answer the question. The person can't wait for this reason, s/he longs to enter the "lovely, dark and deep" slumber of death. S/He wants to die. S/He sees comfort in death, but her/his responsibilities (the little horse) hold her/him back.
    Is that 'he' really necessary?

    Hmmm, I think 'wait' means 'stay/stop'. So the question is "What's the reason that the poet can't stop in the woods to enjoy their beauty?" not "What is the reason the poet wanted to stop in the woods?"

    I think you have not gone through the whole post. Perhaps, it's too long. Let me summarise the whole discussion for you. The next three answers have been edited. Now, the clash seems to lie over the first line of the second one.

    Why does he repeat the third line?

    The new answer: 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.

    My Dear Dawnstorm says;

    This works very well, except:

    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?).


    He suggested me just to use " ...and to emphasise the presence of a non-literal meaning." I thought this would affect the second line (In other words, the repetition gives the reader of the poem the opportunity to go beyond the literal into the figurative.) He's told me It will not do so, if one gets too close to the sentences to see them clearly. But he has no problems with putting it the way (as it is above). He's undoubtedly and greatly nailed almost all of my problems. I am very very thankful to him.

    I hope I succeeded in acquainting you with the whole scenario.

  7. #27
    asad hussain is offline Member
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    Default Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Quote Originally Posted by bianca View Post
    In my own opinion, the repetition of the last two lines, as well as of the long vowel i: (like in keep, deep), if read slowly and embedded in the overall dark mood of the poem, is meant to create an obsure feeling of weariness, sleepiness (can you hear the i: even in these words?). Also, the sequence of "dark" and "deep" seems to hammer home the gloomy image of a grave, of death. The rolling, voiced sound "d" in this sequence is followed upon by a succession of voiceless consonants, as though implying the succession of complete silence. I guess the horse rider simply wants, through this repetition, to evoke his personal frame of mind ( which is probably that of falling asleep, or rather dying).

    Thanks a lot for the contribution, Bianca. Yes, and that lies in the non-literal meaning.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Quote Originally Posted by bianca View Post
    The rolling, voiced sound "d" in this sequence is followed upon by a succession of voiceless consonants, as though implying the succession of complete silence.
    Wow! Yes. That makes sense. I didn't see, or rather hear that. Very nice addition.
    Quote Originally Posted by bianca
    I guess the horse rider...
    This is interesting. You see the person as a rider, as riding the little horse. I imagined s/he was standing, not sitting, and walking the horse.

    All the best.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Quote Originally Posted by asad hussain View Post
    Is that 'he' really necessary?
    That's my question too.

    Quote Originally Posted by asad hussain
    Hmmm, I think 'wait' means 'stay/stop'. So the question is "What's the reason that the poet can't stop in the woods to enjoy their beauty?"
    Well, we differ there.

    Quote Originally Posted by asad hussain
    I think you have not gone through the whole post. Perhaps, it's too long. Let me summarise...
    There's no need, but thank you just the same. (My purpose, to correct your work, not to correct the ideas and suggestions made by others. )

    Quote Originally Posted by asad hussain
    Why does he repeat the third line?
    Quote Originally Posted by asad hussain
    The new answer: He repeats the third line in order to imprint it on the reader’s 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. It's still very vague and unclear. 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. Why? There are just enough stanzas to establish a pattern. Why? The fourth stanza is the last. Since there is no stanza after it, the third line cannot have a non-rhyming line. How is that important? 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.Why?
    You haven't actually answered the question being asked.

    All the best.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Any grammar or interpretation mistakes, or any oddities?

    Quote Originally Posted by asad hussain View Post
    Could you please one last time tell me the line I should use? I want to be a perfectionist.
    I honestly don't know if one's better than the other. I'm still trying to work out the exact difference. (The problem with perfectionism is that you'll never get things done, because nothing ever is perfect. )

    And sorry about a typo. I forgot to put the second comma. They commas, as you said, aren't really necessary, but I think they are better style. Do you still think I should omit them?

    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.


    Ah, I see. Adding a comma is an option, too (and may well make the meaning clearer), one I didn't think of.

    ***

    Casiopeia is asking very good questions.

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