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English class, Poetry help.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MCBTunes, Apr 12, 2005.


  1. Many of you areprobably songwritters. Well I have to write a high school essay on a certain poets style. I chose the poet Peter Christiensen...Right now I am focusing on some of his themes. Hunting being one. but I cant see to put the reason he writes about hunting in his poems.

    Her are some examples of parts of poems involving hunting all coming from his book TO DIE ASCENDING.

    Example 1:
    "LYCANTHROPY"
    We are quite wait
    inside an evergreen curtain
    watch the bull elk
    arch his rut thick neck
    head high and back.
    Bugles.
    We can smell him
    his emotion betrays his senses.

    I bugle.
    Whooooooooeeeiiii /// guttural cough.
    He drums the earth.
    Rips the brush
    brays
    steps out
    the air is full of him.

    <b>SMACK.</b>

    Bone Blood
    Bullet Penetration Shocks the heart.
    He excapes into the forest
    stands bleeds inside.

    I bugle
    Rakes the alders.
    Drum the earth.
    The bull charges the bull.

    <b>SMACK</b>

    The elk collapses
    drools rattles.
    The deathcamp stinks
    of come and urine
    the hunt is over
    the work begins


    Example 2
    "Strong of life"
    The grouse whose head you crush
    to stop the wings
    elk who runs

    The moose stares dumbly
    at the hunter
    who has shot eleven times
    into his brisket.

    He cannot believe
    he is about to die.

    Can anyone help me out? Heispretty grousome and graphic but I cant figure out WHY, english isnt really my strong point :)

    Thanks.
     
  2. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    The reason is normally only inferred in the poem. Its pronbably more obvious contextually.
     
  3. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Go through his biography, most of the time, there is a distinct link between the poets life, and his poems. If not, well, you might compare this poem with his other poems, and see if you can find things in common. But be sure to check out his life!
     
  4. It's possible that he means to demystify hunting and illustrate its more brutal aspects. Many have considered hunting a gentleman's sport (not so much now, but in the past) and the poet could be attempting to strip away some of the more romantic impressions about hunting and replace them with a more visceral and violent impression. Just my quick impression of what I see in the writing; your take could be completely different. That's the beauty of analyzing literature...as long as you provide textual evidence for the claims you make, you can't really be "wrong" in the classical sense.

    Researching the poet's life can be helpful, but at the same time many critical approaches would suggest that it is unnecessary and even incorrect. If you're writing a more "formalist" essay, you will probably not want to make reference to the poet's biography. If the assignment is more open-ended, however, feel free to draw from the author's life for meaning, as long as you still concentrate on your own distinct opinion of the poem.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Are you sure you understand the assignment correctly? A teacher probably wouldn't ask you to write about WHY he deals with these themes, but HOW he deals with them.

    If the question is really "why" then that's a research project and you could look into his interviews and biographical information, but otherwise you should simply deal with the diction and tone and content of the poem.