johnsonj-Apj - Johnson 1 Jeff Johnson Mr. Paul Jaussen...

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Johnson 1 Jeff Johnson Mr. Paul Jaussen English 111O April 27, 2008 Forms of Loss The villanelle lends itself to careful examination of a single idea; the first and third lines are repeated several times, each time with additional meaning inherited, and these refrains are eventually brought together in the final stanza. It’s also resistant to plot development because those same lines appear again and again. However it can be used in many ways depending on the poets’ inclination - sometimes violating the format is just as useful as mastering it. The highly ordered form also lends itself to analysis, because any deviation from the norm can be immediately recognized as purposeful. Say more about this. Where are you going? What is the argument? I know you said in class that you “weren’t sure where you were going,” but the point is that you should revise the intro once you figure out where you ’ve come. Keep that in mind. On the surface, Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘One Art’ and Dylan Thomas’s ‘Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night’ are very different poems. Both are villanelles, but Thomas follows the format strictly, while Bishop lets some of the repeating lines slide, and her grammar becomes more casual over time. Her poem goes linearly through from start to finish, while Thomas takes the more traditional circular path around his main idea. They are written for different audiences, and in different linguistic registers: Bishop writes conversationally and tries to clarify her own feelings, while Thomas uses the most daring, heroic words he can muster to shock his father, who has become weak in his old age, into being the strong man he always was before. These are intelligent comparisons. What is
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Johnson 2 the larger idea? But there are also similarities: both add depth and enhance their emotional delivery through the villanelle form. Each poem’s structure reflects its intended effect on the audience. And, perhaps most important - they have a major theme in common. Both are centered around a state of denial that the author finds necessary, but which is ultimately ineffectual. This is very interesting--say more about it. Indeed, this looks like a really interesting argument, in that you might claim that the villanelle form becomes a means of perpetuating the ineffectual denial. The form itself is used to create a dramatic situation and not the other way around. They’re different ways of dealing with and expressing similar themes. This final sentence is a little flat. ‘Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night’ is highly stylized. Besides his rather dramatic departure from the normally peaceful subject matter what evidence do you have for this generalization? of a traditional villanelle, Dylan Thomas follows the established pattern perfectly: the first line, “Do not go gentle into that good night” is also the last line of the second and fourth stanzas, and the second-to-last line of the poem (pg #) . “Rage, rage against the dying of the light” is similarly echoed in the appropriate places, all the
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johnsonj-Apj - Johnson 1 Jeff Johnson Mr. Paul Jaussen...

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