LINGUISTICS AND THE ANALYSIS OF POETRY Name: Tutor: Course: Date: Abstract In contemporary poetry, linguistic methods employed by artists play a significant role in establishing relationship between language use and ideological context. It is through employment of concrete methods of language that a poet like John Milton can be able to apply systematic artistic techniques in developing relevant pieces of literature…
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Having conducted a solid literature review on the aspect of linguistics, the essay section will focus on subjecting theoretical provisions of the review in analyzing a real poem. In order to foster objective directionality, a thesis statement will be adopted in appraising the depth and breadth of linguistic methods in integrating the aspects of clarity and artistic interpretation within poetry. Introduction On the context of artistic interpretation, a piece of art like a poem or even a painting should elicit or invoke a desired response on the audience. Lieberman (1969) says that poetry as an art acts as a bridge between target audience and the artist. It is through appropriate employment of artistic techniques that a poet can convey his or her thoughts, feelings and emotions to the audience. Techniques used must be appropriate in order to deliver intended meaning to audience. In certain cases, inappropriate use of linguistic methods may fail to create the desired expression of an artist’s work. Consequently, audiences will end up interpreting the underlying piece of art in a relative rather than an absolute manner. On the contrary, use of suitable linguistic methods in poetry enables poets to impress readers through elucidating process of expression. At this juncture, the thesis for the essay asserts that both formal and informal linguistic methods does not only help in elucidating poetry for average readers but also allows these readers to apply artistic interpretation. Based on the literature review section, it is undeniable that poetry as an art employs considerable use of sound, wording sequence and wording stress in giving meaning to their work. According to Frank (1970), expression of thoughts, feelings and emotions by poets is in direct relation to the manner in which sound intensity and stress elevation are used in writings. In addition, word ordering facilitates development of themes and philosophical construct behind a poem. In most cases, a poet may not employ all the three techniques of stress, sound and word sequence variation at every point of their work. It is common to encounter an instance where a poet only uses sound variation in creating rhyme while compromising on contextual meaning of his work. In other circumstances, a poet may employ elaborate use of contextual vocabulary as a means of enhancing thematic clarity while compromising on the aesthetic values of rhyme. According to Fowler (1967), it means that linguistic methodology allows poets to vary writing styles in order to create themes and aesthetical attributes of poems. In most cases, stylistic variation derived from suitable linguistic methods allows poets to flaunt their knowledge in the process of artistic expression while still impressing readers through clear expression of intended message. Analysis of “Paradise Lost” In order to fully understand the use of sound and vocabulary variation, we will analyze a few lines from the poem “Paradise Lost” by John Milton. Throughout the poem, John employs substantial alteration of sound patterns in creating the indented rhyme. On the other hand, variation in vocabulary enhances development of intended message, which in this case is disobedience of man towards God. In line 14 of book 1 of the poem, Milton (2010) says,
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