So far so good in our poetry unit! But let's take a few more moments to talk about connotation, our TP-CASTT method, and why feelings are such a big deal in poetry.
I've been trying to pay (even more) attention to what I read and listen to and how we use language to get others to feel stuff. My little kids are quite aware of how some words and phrasing affect me more than others.
Addy: "Can I eat this gigantic drippy ice cream sandwich five minutes before bedtime?"
Me: Um, no you may not.
Addy: "May I eat this gigantic drippy ice cream sandwich five minutes before bedtime?"
Me: What a proper way to ask a ridiculous question. Sure! Enjoy it and be sure to get extra sticky.
Manners and properness will take you far, guys. Plus it's adorable and I don't want to raise a couple of heathens who eat gigantic drippy ice cream sandwiches five minutes before bedtime. wink.
Or, another scenario...
Student A: Ugh, reading is so boring!
Student B: Ugh, reading is so challenging!
Me: Student A, shut your face, reading is amazing and totally not-boring and, yes I agree Student B, at times, reading is challenging!
Boring and challenging...probably not much of a difference in this scenario, right? But with teacher ears and connotation, I'm immdeiately emotional.
Although what I'm talking about is more under the umbrella of rhetoric than poetry, they're probably the same in the other, right? In MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech, which you all know and have studied, the pathos is kicking. We feel so many feelings in that speech, and that's accomplished through a very deliberate use of language. But it's not only pathos, it's poetry. The same techniques of repetition, figurative language, imagery, tone, rhythm and sound help to create this really condensed emotional moment, and I think poetry does something similar. By the end of (a Salfia favorite) The Negro Speaks of Rivers you may not be moved to action, but you might consider the world around you a little bit differently. Either way you slice it, what we're talking about is craft.
This might be taking the long way around (I know, sorry), but it could be a useful way of thinking of the C in TP-CASTT. Although we've done loads of lit analysis this year, we've not been this deep into feeling and emotion. I'm not sure if our studies so far have required it. But poetry will. And we're not talking about sentimentality, we're talking about writers capturing the human experience. Remember the second half of the Aristotle quote, "Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, great and feeling souls"? Yeah.
And the first half of that quote, well, we'll save for another day.
Your job for this blog comment is to...
Extend the idea of connotation in the TP-CASTT method by finding an example of language in a book, a song, or a poem that connotes or creates emotion.
(In other words, whatever you choose would appropriately fit into the C box of a TP-CASTT worksheet.)
Provide a few sentences explaining your example.
I'll post my explanation later, but for now, my example is from a Josh Ritter song called To the Dogs or Whoever...
"Can you love me like the crosses love the nape of a neck?"
What a line! So...