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Peter Barry

3.  Diction I Am! I am! yet what I am none cares or knows, My friends forsake me like a memory lost; I am the self-consumer of my woes, They rise and vanish in oblivious host, Like shades in love and death’s oblivion lost; And yet I am! and live with shadows tossed Into the nothingness of scorn and noise, Into the living sea of waking dreams, Where there is neither sense of life nor joys, But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems; And e’en the dearest – that I loved the best – Are strange – nay, rather stranger than the rest. I long for scenes where man has

in Reading poetry
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Author: Peter Barry

Poetry reading is a topic about which there is always something more that can usefully be said. This book explores key aspects of poetry by discussing poems which are quoted in full and then treated in a sustained way. It considers a broad range of poetry, using examples taken from the Tudor period to the twenty-first century. Some are very traditional, and some are very avant-garde, and most are somewhere in between, so it is unusually broad and eclectic in its generic range. The book invites readers to cultivate generic generosity, and entertain a willingness to be astonished by the bizarre practices poets sometimes indulge in, in the privacy of their garrets, and among consenting adults. The emphasis is on meanings rather than words, looking beyond technical devices like alliteration and assonance so that poems are understood as dynamic structures creating specific ends and effects. The three sections cover progressively expanding areas. The first deals with such basics as imagery, diction and metre; the second concerns broader matters, such as poetry and context, and the reading of sequences of poems. The third section looks at 'theorised' readings and the 'textual genesis' of poems from manuscript to print. By adopting a smallish personal 'stable' of writers whose work is followed in this long-term way, a poetry reader can develop the kind of intimacy with authors that brings a sense of confidence and purpose.

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The vocabulary of The Faerie Queene
Richard Danson Brown

once vast and all-pervasive. Any discussion of Spenser's epic is sooner or later concerned with the words of the poem, no matter what the methodological approach adopted by its writer. My focus is more narrowly on the lexis of The Faerie Queene : the diction and choices of word in the poem, and how those choices affect the reader's understanding. I am concerned with questions which relate to the rhetorical character of Elizabethan thinking and the styles Spenser deploys and the choices he makes in the construction of his poem at a local level. To quote MacNeice

in The art of The Faerie Queene
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A supplementary glossary of frequently used terms
Christopher Burlinson and Andrew Zurcher

Knevet’s language: A supplementary glossary of frequently used terms As we have recorded in the annotations below, and noted in the introduction above, Knevet’s language employs a Spenserian vocabulary, making copious allusion to The Faerie Queene, as well as Spenser’s other writings. It is frequently archaic (often repeating Spenser’s own Chaucerian diction), and also employs a dense lexicon of chivalric, heraldic, and courtly terms. In our annotations, we have refrained from glossing every instance of some of Knevet’s more commonly used terms and phrases; these

in A Supplement of the Faery Queene
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A reading of Charles Olson’s ‘The Lordly and Isolate Satyrs’
Stephen Fredman

dreams join history, geography, mythology, and philosophy in the complex weave of Olson’s poetry. I would argue that his accomplishments as dream explorer and, more broadly, as lyric poet have been obscured by an overemphasis on the epic (historical) and didactic (philosophical) Olson. The title of ‘The Lordly and Isolate Satyrs’ strikes an initial lyrical note, employing a high diction that connotes nobility and classical mythology. The word ‘isolate’ – rather than ‘isolated’– particularly calls attention to itself. It is a fairly recent word, whose first citation in

in Contemporary Olson
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The anatomy of wonder in the sex riddles
Sharon E. Rhodes

Riddles alter their audiences’ perceptions of familiar objects and phenomena through precisely true yet entirely foreign descriptions. The novel perspective of such descriptions—such as the voice of an inanimate object or a speaker looking down on something that most speakers look up at—disguises the object of description. We can accuse riddles of a topsy-turvy inversion of high and low subject matter or of falsely raising the low to the level of the high through so-called inappropriate diction. However, we can also read riddles as meditations, albeit often

in Riddles at work in the early medieval tradition
Gwilym Jones

accuracy of representation is a priority of the play’s opening. Once again, Shakespeare is careful to complement the staging of the storm effects with the dramatic language of his characters. Although the storm is an illusion, the actions and diction of the crew are firmly grounded in Jacobean reality. Shakespeare paid great attention to the accurate portrayal of contemporary nautical

in Shakespeare’s storms
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Hable con ella
Ana María Sánchez-Arce

metonymy that hides an ellipsis, something Almodóvar is incredibly fond of. Just as Nabokov demonstrated the persuasive power of language, Almodóvar shows the ability of cinematic language to build alternative worlds and conceal as well as show. His films are full of secrets and teasing prompts to viewers to go beyond their surface content. These correspond to what has been described in literature as poetic diction, comprising of, for example, circumlocution, elision, personification, and the use of images and intertextuality. The poetic is the main mode of Hable con

in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
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Then with Scotland first begin
Willy Maley and Andrew Murphy

Shakespeare abandons stage Scots for another idiom. In ‘The place of Scots in the Scottish play: Macbeth and the politics of language’, Christopher Highley takes a new look at the language question and addresses the Scottishness of a play whose national context is complicated by the downplaying of dialect in its dramatic diction. Scotland was not a flat homogeneous whole whose

in Shakespeare and Scotland
Rhyme and stanza form in Spenser and Chaucer
Richard Danson Brown

-edged diction – alluding to a fantasy time while holding the ‘relationships between past, present and future’ unsettled – manifests this tension. 35 Leak, spill and interconnected rhyme I turn now to a particular technique which I have argued is widely used in The Faerie Queene : interstanzaic knitting. This device uses the same or related rhyme words within episodes to make connections between different parts of the same narrative action. 36 This device is a facet of the extreme technical restrictions of the

in Rereading Chaucer and Spenser