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Sept. 13, 2004

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LIT 4930.001
Appreciating Poetry

Fall 2004
Time: Monday and Wednesday
11:00am - 12:15 pm
Room: CPR 348

Class 7

Reading Assignment:

    Sept. 15: Perrine, chs. 13-14; Oliver pp. 58-75
    Group B: Post 3
    Device paper draft due: Please turn in drafts if you have not already.


    "That time of year" by William Shakespeare (Perrine 245)

    Class Objectives:

  • Discuss the ways sound reinforces meaing in poetry.
  • Identify and discuss various formal patterns in poetry, with a focus on sonnnet.


    As has become our practice, we will continue our discussion of the poem from last class -- in this case Hacker's "1973". Continue to work on sound and to emphasize how sound contributes meaning to the poem. Also, since we will be focusing on the sonnet form, try to compare the sonnet by Shakespeare with the sonnet form used by Hacker.


  • onomatopoeia (Perrine 223; Oliver 32-33)
  • phonetic intensives (Perrine 223)
  • euphony and cacophony (Perrine 225)
  • synethesia (Perrine 231)
  • structure and form (Perrine 240)
  • continuous form (Perrine 242)
  • stanza and stanzaic form (Perrine 242)
  • fixed form (Perrine 244)
  • sonnet; Italian or Petrarchan, octave, sestet (Perrine 244)
  • English or Shakesperian sonnet (Perrine 245)
  • villanelle (Perrine 246)
  • free verse (Oliver 67-75)



    In chapter 13, our authors detail several ways in which sound reinforces meaning in poetry:

  • Poets choose words whose sound suggests the meaning; i.e. onomatopoeia or phonetic intensives (also see Oliver's perceptive analysis of sound in the chapters covered earlier.)

  • Poets group words to create either or smooth (euphonic) or rough (cacophonic) sound appropriate for the content.

  • Poets control the speed or movement of lines by the choice and use of meter, choice and arrangement of vowels and consonants, and the disposition of pauses, as appropriate for content.

  • Poets control both sound and meter to emphasize words that are important in meaning.

    "One of the few absolute rules that applies to the judgment of poetry is that the form should be adequate to the content. This rule does not mean that there must always be a close and easily demonstrable correspondence. It does mean that there will be no glaring discrepancies" (231).



    Oliver clearly emphasizes the free verse composition of poetry, and she offers excellent ways to view such "free" verse as structured. All poetry has structure. Some poets choose to adopt a formal, recognized pattern. Why? What difference does this make?

    For our purposes we will be discussing the sonnet form in more detail than the others. This will be excellent preparation for our study of Keats. The form is compact enough for most students to get a good handle on it, and it is popular enough and well-used enough to offer us many opportunities to witness the flexibility of the form. Please pay particular attention to the varieties of elements in sonnets and what they contribute to meaning (Perrine 244-6).

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