Literal Imagery Notes Literal means straight forward or factual. It is the dictionary meaning of the word. Denotation: the explicit or direct meaning or set of meanings of a word or expression, as distinguished from the ideas or meanings associated with it or suggested by it. Eg., A house is a building in which people live. When someone says, “I mean that literally”, they mean “exactly”, just the facts. Term: Allusion: A reference to someone or something that is known from history, literature, religion, politics, sports, science, or some other branch of culture. Sojourner Truth ~ “Ain’t I a Woman?” That man over there say a woman needs to be helped into carriages and lifted over ditches and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helped me into carriages or over mud puddles or gives me a best place. And ain't I a woman? Look at me Look at my arm! I have plowed and planted and gathered into barns and no man could head me… And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man — when I could get to it — and bear the lash as well and ain't I a woman? I have born 13 children and seen most all sold into slavery and when I cried out a mother's grief none but Jesus heard me... And ain't I a woman? That little man in black there say a woman can't have as much rights as a man cause Christ wasn't a woman Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with him! If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down, all alone together women ought to be able to turn it rightside up again. “Ain’t I a Woman” Questions • • • • • • • • 1 - Who is the “man” to which the author refers? 6 - What is the author alluding to: “Or over mud puddles”? 10 - What does Sojourner mean when she writes, “I have plowed and planted”? 12 - Explain the line, “And no man could head me”? 24 - Who is the “little man in black?” 28-29 - To what famous moment is Sojourner alluding 30 - 32 - To what other famous moments is Sojourner alluding? 33-34 - What “call to action” is Sojourner putting forth? Charles Bukowski “The Man with the Beautiful Eyes” Handout: Read together animation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW12Ealvj0s Figurative Imagery Notes Figurative Language is deliberate exaggeration; when a speaker says something that they do not literally mean. Traditionally, figurative language falls into four specific categories: 1. Hyperbole: A very strong exaggeration Eg: He is stronger than ten giants 2. Simile: A comparison between two objects using the words “like” or “as” Eg: She sings like a nightingale 3. Metaphor: A comparison between two objects (without “like” or “as”) Eg. Helen is an angel 4. Personification: Gives an inhuman thing human qualities Eg. The sunrise was jealous of her loveliness Connotation: an idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning Eg., House: family, warmth, love, protection, safety. Figurative language encourages us to use our imagination. Eg.,: I’m like a farmer, plantin’ words, people are seeds. My truth is the soil; help you grow like trees. (Nas) Question: What is Nas implying here? Hyperbole: Overstatement for effect, exaggeration Eg., “I pulled up with a million trucks - looking, smellin’, feelin’ like a million bucks” (Ludacris) People often use exaggeration to make their point strong and clear. In the example above, he did not literally have a million bucks, he is boasting about his status and how good he feels. We commonly use hyperbole: • I nearly died laughing • I knocked on the door a million times • I’m dying of starvation Classic Hyperbole: I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life! (Elizabeth Browning) This little world of mine has lost its light (Dorothy Parker) A robin redbreast is a cage/ Sets all heaven in a rage. (William Blake) 1. Does she LITERALLY love with her breath, smiles and tears? 2. Has the world LITERALLY lost its light? 3. Is ALL of heaven LITERALLY in a rage? Hip-Hop Hyperbole :) A lot of MCs today really know how to please, but I gave birth to most of them MCs. (Roxanne Shante) My mom’s words echo in my head and if I let go I’m dead. (Nas) I can roast an MC like a barbecue. (Big Daddy Kane) Can any of this LITERALLY happen? Let’s be real… Imagery: The use of language to evoke a picture or a concrete sensation of a person, a thing, a place or an experience. “Harlem: A Dream Deferred” ~ by Langston Hughes What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun Or fester like a sore And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over Like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? Questions about “A Dream Deferred” 1. What is the theme of this poem? Another way of thinking about theme is questioning the author’s intention. 2. Identify how Hughes uses imagery for all five senses in his poem. Sight: Taste: Touch: Smell: Sound: 3. How does the sum total of all the imagery add up to answering the question put forth by the speaker in the line, “what happens to a dream deferred”? 4. What is the unspoken message Hughes is telling the reader about going after their own dreams? Imagery Continued… Juicy ~ by Notorious B.I.G. It was all a dream I used to read Word Up magazine Salt'n'Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine Hangin' pictures on my wall Every Saturday Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl Now honies play me close like butter played toast From the Mississippi down to the east coast … Sold out seats to hear Biggie Smalls speak Livin' life without fear Puttin' 5 karats in my baby girl's ear Lunches, brunches, interviews by the pool Considered a fool 'cause I dropped out of high school Stereotypes of a black male misunderstood And it's still all good We used to fuss when the landlord dissed us No heat, wonder why Christmas missed us Birthdays was the worst days Now we sip champagne when we thirst-ay Uh, damn right I like the life I live 'Cause I went from negative to positive And it's all good… “Juicy” Questions: 1. What are the commonalities between Langston Hughes’ “A Dream Deferred” and Biggie’s “Juicy”? 2. 16 - Why are birthdays the worse days? Why do you think he felt this way? 3. What images does he use to evoke images of the poverty endured prior to achieving Hip-Hop fame? 4. What images does he use to evoke images of the rewards of wealth and Hip-Hop fame in the reader’s mind? Writing Exercise: Imagery 1. Create a column for each of your five senses: Touch: Taste: Smell: Sight: Sound: 2. I have given you each a piece of paper with an object on it. Write down your perceptions of the object by filling in the blanks for your five senses. Be vivid, colourful, abstract, literal etc. 3. Write an additional line of description adding the sixth component of emotion. How do you feel about the object? Does it remind you of something (like a relative, a special time, childhood)? 4. Use the material above to write a poem about your object. Make it as long or short as you wish. Use rhyme, free verse, personification, etc but be sure to use ALL the material above. 5. Give your poem a title Example: Object poem (Light Bulb) “Just Give Me the Light” Smooth is my bulb Tastes hot like electricity Smells like smokey possibility Ruler of Light Gives my home sight Sound like a buzz we shut off every night Imagism Show the subject by creating an ‘image’ -- not a description, but a unique way of seeing this thing or moment In a station of the Metro Ezra Pound The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough. Imagery Examples: The Calm John Gould Fletcher At noon I shall see waves flashing, White power of spray. The steamers, stately, Kick up white puffs of spray behind them. The boiling wake Merges in the blue-black mirror of the sea The City Langston Hughes In the morning the city Spreads its wings Making a song In stone that sings. In the evening the city Goes to bed Hanging lights Above its head. Literal- a person, place, event Concrete- free of ideas, symbols, metaphors Compressed- free of superfluous wording Dramatic - something is at stake Urgent - it needs to be said! He loved three things alone by Anna Akhmatova He loved three things alone: White peacocks, evensong, Old maps of America. He hated children crying, And raspberry jam with his tea, And womanish hysteria . . . And he had married me. Literal Examples Auto Mirror ~ Adam Zagajewski In the rear-view mirror suddenly I saw the bulk of the Beauvais Cathedral; great things dwell in small ones for a moment. The Birds Have Vanished Li Po The birds have vanished into the sky, and now the last cloud drains away We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.