One must delve deep into words to understand poetry, with the best clues to comprehending unfamiliar words lying within it.
Poetry comprises several elements, including figurative language, which empowers it.
Figurative language in poems has implicit or explicit meaning.
Perrine believes figurative language, or language using figure of speech, serves to express something different from the ordinary, thereby adding depth to language.
It is interesting to understand the distinctive characteristic of language and the figure of speech used in poetry.
William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe were the greatest English poets whose timeless works influenced the literary world.
Imaginative literature -- poetry, prose, or drama -- mirror human feelings and attitudes, Amriani H. from Ujung Pandang Language Center stated.
Amriani believes most great literary works recreate human experiences to engage readers emotionally and intellectually. Poetry is a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings and medium to emote uncommon feelings in common language.
Emily Dickinson, among the greatest American poets, states:
"If I read a book and it makes my body so cold and no fire can ever warm me, I know that it is poetry."
Dickinson exploits sense as an instrument of judging poetry, with its context sometimes referring to a monolog. The speaker is called narrator.
“A poet is one who sees relationships, in this case relationships between earth and heaven and between mundane events and their philosophical implications,” Shakespeare stated. Poetry is an emotional and philosophical expression of the author’s thoughts and feelings based on observation and reflects personal experiences through verses.
The study of poetry is related to figurative language used to proffer a poetical effect.
Figurative language is found in literary works of poets and everyday conversations, nonliterary writings, and political speeches. Its use is complicated and significant for poets and literary creators.
“A figure of speech is a way of saying something other than the ordinary way,” Perrine stated.
A figure of speech is a way of saying one thing whilst meaning another though absurd. The rationale is to express more vividly and forcefully than saying directly. More can be said through figurative statements than literal statements.
Metaphor is a type of figurative language to compare essentially dissimilar things. If in simile, the comparison uses words: like, as, etc., in metaphor, the comparison is implied. The figurative terms is substitute for, or identified with literal term.
Simile and metaphor are used to compare essentially unlike things, the difference being in simile, the comparison is expressed by words or phrases, including like, as, than, similar to, resembles, or seems, while in metaphor, the comparison is implied.
They are used in daily speech like “sharp as a knife” or “as slow as turtle”. Poets often use similes for expressing abstract truths through specific images, but they also contribute intellectual stimulation, emotional connotations and conciseness.
Shakespeare, among the first English sonnet creators, used the highly rigid form and structure of poems to create meaning and emphasized arguments he wanted to make. His use of structure, unique language, and other effects contributed to developing the meaning, form, and content of poems.
Shakespeare’s sonnets feature: a speaker, handsome young man, older woman, and another poet, the speaker’s rival.
Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer Day? (Sonnet 18)
Sonnet 18 is the best-known and well-loved of Shakespeare’s 154 poems and one of the most straightforward in language and intent.
This poetry highlights the stability of love and uses figurative language, including metaphor, personification, synecdoche, and hyperbole or overstatement.
Shall I compare the to a summer day?
He attempts to compare the beauty of a summer's day.
Shakespeare believes the summer’s day is lovely, but the scenery is not everlasting. Sometimes, the sun is too hot on a summer's day though losing its beauty once disappearing behind clouds.
However, the poetry will live forever in the people’s hearts.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dim's;
“Heaven shines” is used to substitute the sun. This poem highlights that on a summer's day, the sun is too hot. Shakespeare’s poem draws similarities between the sun and “heaven shines”. In the next line, sunlight is substituted with “gold complexion”.
Shakespeare uses figurative language -- metaphor and simile -- to empower his poetry, Amriani remarked.
Shakespeare’s use of figurative language compels readers to comprehend the meaning intended, including in his poetry “my mistress eyes are nothing like the sun” where he uniquely compares his mistress akin to a man flattering his woman.
He loved his mistress deeply. This poetry shows that true love is deeper and transcends physicality, Amriani stated.
American romantic movement
Edgar Allan Poe, the American Romantic Movement’s famous writer, wrote, "Deep into the darkness that peered, long I stood there, wondering, afraid, doubting ... dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before."
Born on January 19, 1809, Poe died suspiciously at 40 on October 7, 1849.
Poe was a great poet, short story writer, literary critic, and editor.
He was known as among the pioneers of short story writing in America and detective and criminal fiction. Poe was the first famous US writer to make a living through writing, literary enthusiast Dwiki Setiyawan noted.
Poe penned: A Dream, Dreamland, Dreams, and Dream Within a Dream. To understand the explicit and implicit meaning of poems, observing the background of events and historical settings when poets lived is important.
Dreams are subconscious experiences involving vision, hearing, thoughts, feelings, or other senses in sleep, especially when accompanied by rapid eye movements, Dwiki, concurrently blogger, stated.
The context of Poe’s dream-themed poems is not in the aforementioned meaning but in a broad sense.
Poe’s ‘dream’ poetry testifies the bleakness and pain of life and also hopes, dreams, love, natural surroundings, land of dreams, and the Creator. In 'Dreams', Poe highlights that his youth life was an eternal dream.
Although no more, his poems still enlighten us.
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