Sound in poetry: Day 143

1. Memory practice. We started class with a little visualizing to help them remember definitions to four key terms.

2. Quiz. Students took a very short quiz on Tone, Speaker, Connotation, and Denotation. This quiz will count as a homework grade and should be posted to the gradebook very soon (today).

3. Sound overview. Sound in poetry is like the music: it’s percussion, it’s melody, and it’s motif.

4. Alliteration. We took notes on L22 on the definition of alliteration, which most student knew.

Alliteration: the repetition of the beginning sound of nearby words (remember it’s the beginning SOUND, not the beginning letters)

Next, we all made up alliterative nicknames for ourselves. For instance, “gawky, gregarious Ms. Garvoille.” Students all created their own nicknames using alliteration.

5. Assonance and Consonance. These two words have the same definition except for one word.

Assonance: the repetition of vowel sounds within nearby words. (Cooky Luna; Destroy Ms. Garvoille)

Consonance: the repetition of consonant sounds within nearby words.

Caution: a phrase like “Daddy, dare me,” uses the “duh” sound for both alliteration and consonance. If you consider just the initial D’s of Daddy and dare, it’s alliteration. If you notice the internal double-D of Daddy, and you link that to the other alliterative D’s then you’re looking at consonance.

6. Listening for sound devices. Next, we listened to Sylvia Plath read the beginning of her poem “Daddy.” We wrote down the repeated sounds we heard and then looked at the poem together to identify those sounds.

7. Sound Alphabet. In most classes we did not make it to the sound alphabet, but here’s what we did: on a separate sheet of notebook paper labeled L24, Sound Alphabet, we listed all the letters of the alphabet. Then, next to each letter, we wrote what type of sound that letter usually makes in a word. A soft sound? Hard sound? For the vowels, we wrote what kind of emotion or facial expression is associated with that sound.

8. Example Poem: “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal”. Student looked at the back of L22 at our example poem by Wordsworth to help us practice sound devices. First, we marked all of the syntactical units with a slash to understand where each complete idea begins and ends. Then, we paraphrased each syntactical unit in our own words. During paraphrase, it’s important not to interpret, but rather just to reword the poem. Then, we noted important diction and the connotation of those words. Finally, we marked the alliteration, assonance, and consonance in the first line of the poem, noting how each type of sound supports or contrasts the meaning of the poem.

HW: Sound Homework (page 1 is regular English and page 2 is Honors) to be paired with these poems: Boy – The Writer. Due tomorrow. Quiz over sound devices tomorrow.