About the Book
Book 1: Theme
Book 2: Structure
Book 3: Imagery
Book 4: Language & Rhythem
Block 1 deals with theme-the central or dominating idea of any literary
composition. It identifies for you the four possible areas in which poetry can
Unit 1 deals with 'Personae', the first of these. The narrator's
'voice' that is often heard in a poem is the mask put on by the poet to
depersonalise himself and intensify and universalise his experience. This
narrator is the persona. Often a poem exists because of the 'persona' or
Unit 2 deals with the theme of nature poetry. If you are a lover of
nature and nature arouses some emotion or sentiments in you, then you may
choose themes from nature.
Unit 3 tells you that if sociological issues move you and you want to
write poetry on contemporary issues, then you can opt for sociological themes.
Unit 4 is about romantic themes. Most
budding poets would like to try their hand at this but read the Unit carefully,
first, to see if you can do justice to the theme.
This Block deals with certain structural problems in writing poetry.
These problems pertain primarily to the difficult task of organising one's
Unit 1, for example, is concerned with where to begin a poem - and how.
It is obvious that if the opening line/lines do not immediately engage the
reader's attention, the poem has failed to take off. In this Unit, we will
discuss several forms of dramatic opening which should help a potential poet to
begin his. poem effectively.
The next Unit (Unit 2) takes up another aspect of the poetic process -
the imperative need to develop the central theme organically. A poem-is not a
jumble of ideas, or a conglomeration of disparate themes. Every successful poem
is basically concerned with carrying the central idea forward from the
beginning to the end.
Unit 3 defines climax as a crucial point in the progression of the
central theme. If a poem is an artefact, a skilfully crafted piece, it must
move towards a climactic point (climax) after which it climbs down to some kind
of resolution (denouement).
Finally, a learner must know how to end
his poem, since both opening and ending are fundamental to every successful
poem. If it begins dramatically, it should also end dramatically.
Book 3: Imagery & Symbols
Blocks 1 and 2 introduced you to two key features of poetry-themes and
structure. Block 3 discusses 'imagery and symbols, Used
effectively, they help realize increased depth, concentration and imaginative
significance of what is presented in a poem.
Unit 1 'Symbols' introduces you to the use of
symbols in literature, especially poetry. A symbol
helps the poet to express complex, mixed or intense feelings. Since a poem is
essentially a symbolic mode of expression it is through symbols alone that a
poet articulates his feelings. They should, however', be used judiciously,
because their excessive use can also harm a poem, dissipate its impact on the
Unit 2 is concerned with 'Images'-all poetry works through images. It
is through images that a poet depersonalises and universalises his experience.
No matter how personal an account, a poetic statement, because it works in and
through images, becomes a general statement. An image thus acts as an interface
between the reader and the poet.
Unit 3 'The Use of Metaphor in Poetry' explains in
what way metaphoric language is the language of poetry. You will begin to
understand how metaphor controls the structure and meaning of a poem.
Unit 4 'Avoiding Cliches' will remind
you that certain phrases and expressions have become hackneyed through overuse
and should be avoided 'like the plague'(!). However, this Unit will also tell
you how to use language, even cliches, in original ways.
Unit I, 'Diction', the first unit of this Block on 'Language and
Rhythm' brings out the importance of words in building up a poetic meaning. You
should be aware of the different shades of meaning, usage and tone when you
attempt to write a meaningful poem.
Poetry does not arise and exist in a vacuum-it emerges from the
experiences of everyday life. Therefore colloquialism (which is everyday spoken
language) is an appropriate medium to establish a harmony between the form and
content of a poem. In Unit 2, you will be told how and when colloquialisms are
valid and how they can be used judiciously to prevent their abuse.
Unit 3 introduces you to the metrical patterns of poetry and what
deviations have occurred in recent poetry, and why Adequate examples have been
given to explain these developments.
Unit 4 brings out these innovative
trends in Indian Writing in English with reference to its European origins.
Block 2 Structure
Where to begin, and how
Development of theme
End of a poem
block 3 Imagery And Symbols
The Use of Metaphor in Poetry
Block 4 Language And Rhythm
Colloquialisms-their usage and abusage
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