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puriten sonnet
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questions

Elinor Wylie

 

Down to the Puritan Marrow of my bones

There's something in this richness that I hate.

I love the look, austere, immaculate,

Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones.

There's something in my very blood that owns

Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate

A thread of water, churned to milky spate1

Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones.

 

I love those skies, thin blue or snowy gray,

Those fields sparse-planted, rendering meager sheaves;

That spring, briefer than apple blossom's breath,

Summer, so much too beautiful to stay,

Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves,

And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.

 

 

Create a hypertext for the "Puritan Sonnet" by answering the following questions.

 

1. Identify the rhyme scheme of the poem

            It is written in iambic pentameter.

 

2. Complete a scansion on 3 lines of the poem. (Identify line length and meter)

 

 U          /            u    /     u     /    u     /        u     /

There's some / thing in / my ver/ y blood / that owns  

 

 

   U          /        u     /       u     /        u     /     u    /

There's some / thing in / this rich / ness that / I hate.

 

 

  U      /        u    /    u    /         u      /         u     /

And slee / py win / ter, like /  the sleep / of death.

 

 

3. Identify at least 5 images in the poem (Try to find images that appeal to different senses)

 

1)      Pearly-  This appeals as a visual image by sending images of beauty and flawlessness.

2)      briefer than apple blossom’s breath-  This appeals as a Gustatory image because you can taste the sweet taste of apples

3)      bonfire of leaves- this is an olfactory image because you can smell the smoke of burning flames

4)      pastures fenced with stones- This is a tactile image because you can feel the stones and whatever is being fenced in

5)      I love the look, austere, immaculate- This is a visual image because you can imagine all of the beauty that is so perfect and distinct

 

 

4. Identify the problem (situation) and solution in the sonnet

 

The problem is that New  England is boring and plain yet the solution is found in the problem. The solution is that the beauty is in how simple the landscape is.

           

           

 

5. Define the words

1 austere-  Severe or stern in disposition or  appearance; somber and grave: the austere figure of a Puritan minister.  Strict or severe in discipline;

immaculate- Impeccably clean; spotless.  Free from stain or blemish; pure.

sheaves- A bundle of cut  stalks of grain or similar plants bound with straw or twine.

 

 

 

6. Identify four sound devices in the poem (assonance, alliteration, consonance)

 

1)      thread of water-  onomatopoeia

2)       cold silver on a sky of slate- alliteration

3)      briefer than apple blossom’s breath- alliteration

4)      sky of slate, …churned to milky spate- consonance

 

 

7. What is the speaker's attitude toward the New England winter landscape?

 

The speaker loves its pure and natural beauty and feels connected with it. He talks about the different things that are plain in nature. She loves how simple it is and especially loves winter because it is calm.

 

 

 

8. What view of life does the poem present?

 

A more simple view of life where we could actually stop, take time, and appreciate beauty more often. This poem shows that sometimes we need to stop with our hectic lives and maybe look at things the way the puritans did.





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