Welcome to one of the most famous books a background to literature. Please note that literaria education foundation for the blind has converted this book from print to the electronic format to make it accessible for the blind and visually challenged people.
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There is no commercial purpose behind this effert. Although this e format is still with out proof reading it is being uploaded on the website considering the demand and urgency on the part of our visually impaired friends. The foundation will be thankful if somebody helps in terms of proofreading the book. This book has been prepared with intense care. The whole material is set in the light of literature.
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Political consciousness has not been the aim at any level. The book is designed to provide the uninitiated reader with the background necessary for an understanding and appreciation of English rules of versification, poetic diction, figures of speech, have been dealt within an easy, popular form.
A separate chapter has been devoted to the treatment of a number of literary trends and movements, a knowledge of which is essential before a more comprehensive study of literature is taken up. Space has also been found for a discussion of selected myths and legends, both Christian and classical, more particularly those which form the very basis of some work of literature or the other, or which are most frequently alluded to.
It is hoped that the work would be useful for students both at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels, as well as for the general reader.
It should stimulate, inspire, and encourage further study. In the end, I acknowledge my indebtedness, and express my gratefulness, to numerous scholars and critics whose works I have consulted and freely drawn upon. Literature is a picture, more or less true, more or less inspiring, of actual life, Every country has its own literature which mirrors its life.
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This accounts for the permanence and universality of great works of literature left behind by peoples in remote ages and countries. Truly speaking, literature is not of one age but of all ages, not of one country but of all countries. Poetry, Prose and Drama are the three major forms of literature. As men and women gradually learned, through the passing ages, to write down their thoughts, feelings, desires and opinions, they used many different ways or forms of expressing themselves. In other words, when man was emotionally moved he used verse: when he wanted to convey some point of view, he used prose.
Drama came at a later stage when action was added to that which so far had been written down to be read. Oramas can be written both in verse and prose. For example,. Shakespeare uses both verse and prose for his plays, and the plays of both George Bernard Shaw and John Galsworthy are in prose.
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But critics like T. Eliot are of the view that Drama is a form of poetry. Drama is dramatic-poetry, just as there is lyricpoetry or epic-poetry. He regards prose drama as something unnatural and artificial. Poetry then is one of the three major branches of literature. Poetry, says Shelley, may be defined as the expression of the imagination; it is, says Hazlitt, the language of the imagination and the passions.
But all such definitions fail to do justice to the nature of poetry, in its very nature poetry cannot be confined within the narrow limits of a definition. Therefore, it would be more. The above definitions, however, make it quite clear that the true content of poetry is imaginative and emotional. Poetry is imaginative and emotional interpretation of life.
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Poetry deals with facts, experience and problems of fife, but first, it relates them to our emotions, and secondly, it transfigures and transforms them by the exercise of imagination. It treats reality imaginatively, colours it with emotion, bijt it does not falsify or distort it. Imagination and emotion predominate in poetry, they are the essential qualities of poetry and without them much that passes as poetry, is in reality unworthy of the name of poetry.
But then imagination and emotion may characterise prose also, as they do in the case of what is called, poetic-prose.
Should such prose be called poetry? What does this irdplyf It implies that poetry, specifically so termed, is a particular kind of art; that it arises only when the poetic qualities of imagination and feeling are embodies in a certain form of expression.
That form is, of course, regularly rhythmical language, or metre. Without this, we may have the spirit of poetry without its externals. With this, we may have the externals of poetry without its spirit. In its fullest and completest sense, poetry presupposes the union of the two. In other words, poetry has both from and content. The true content of poetry must be imaginative and emotional. And this imaginative and emotional interpretation of fife must be clothed in a systematically rhythmical language, which is called metre.
The primary purpose of all art is to provide aesthetic pleasure; and each art has its own particular aesthetic pleasure. The primary function of poetry also is to give aesthetic pleasure, and the aesthetic pleasure peculiar to poetry is not possible without the use or metre or regularly rhythmical language. It is metre which enables poetry to perform the function proper to it, its use is essential if poetry is.
Treated in prose the same prose. Diction means both the choice and the arrangement of subject may be richly poetical, but it becomes actual poetry only words, both vocabulary and syntax. Though views about a when metre is used. Without imagination and emotion any proper diction for poetry may differ, there can be no denying subject treated in metre will remain mere verse tukbuodi.
Thus, for example, a poet must avoid the use of words with harsh, unpleasant sound, and select words which are sweet and pleasant. Not only must the words which he choses convey his meaning exactly and precisely, they must also be musical.
Further, the order in which the words are arranged is different from that of prose. The syntax of a poet is conditioned not by the ordinary rules of grammar but by the , requirements of metre. Often inverted constructions become unavoidable. Considerations o! Not only that, the diction of poetry must also be figurative.
Figures of speech are not merely decorative, they are essential to the emotional and imaginative appeal of poetry. In moments of intense emotional excitement, man has always tended to express himself in a figurative language. Simile, metaphor, personification, pathetic fallacy, hyperbole, etc.
Still a dividing line between prose and poetry has got to be drawn, and most scholars are agreed that metre constitutes this dividing line. Conceived as distinct kind of literary art poetry has imaginative and emotional substance, and a metrical form. These are the essential characteristics of poetry, and we can have the distinctive satisfaction which should arise from reading poetry only when these qualities are present.
The attempt would be like gathering up dewdrops, which appear jewels and pearls on the grass, but run into water in the hand; the essence and the elements remain, but the grace, the sparkle, and the form are gone.
Metre is an essential part of the perfection poetry, and the use of metre modifies the language of poetry. Good and effective prose - prose of the highest order - may be possible without them, but without them poetry loses much of its charm and appeal. There may be poets who use a bare, bold, unadorned diction, but to that extent their poetry is felt to be less satisfying.
This is so because poetry appeals to the emotions, and a figurative language is conducive to such emotional appeal. Broadly speaking poetry may be divided into two kinds.
First, there is personal or subjective poetry, the poetry of selfexpression. In this kind of poetry the poet goes down into himself and finds his inspiration and his subjects in his own experiences, thoughts and feelings. To this personal or subjective poetry, the world lyrical is generally applied.
Personal or subjective or lyrical poetry is further sub-divided into a the Elegy, b the Ode, and c the Sonnet. Secondly, there is impersonal or objective poetry in which the poet goes out of himself and finds his inspiration and his subjects in the actions and passions of the world without. In this kind of poetry, the poet deals with the outside world with little reference to his own personal thoughts and emotions.
This impersonal or objective poetry may be either narrative or dramatic.
Narrative poetry is further sub-divided into a the ballad, or the short-story in verse, b the Epic, or a long story in verse, c the Metrical Romance, d the Idyll or the idealised treatment in verse of simple homely people and their lives. Such are the chief kinds of poetry. But it should be remembered that this division is merely for the convenience of study, for in practice there is a constant mingling and overlapping of the various kinds.
Even in the delineation of the outside events and situations, the poet may bring in his own personal experience and colour what is external with his own.
Thus Wordsworth called the first collection of his poetry Lyrical Ballads, for the poems in the collection have the qualities both of a lyric and a ballad.
The poet deals with external reality, but the external is suffused, coloured and transformed by his own feelings and emotions. Hence they are aptly called Lyrical Ballads. Such fusion of genres, types is. In the subsequent chapters we shall study in some detail, the various forms of poetry, and Prosody or rules of versification.
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Such a study is necessary for any proper understanding and appreciation of poetry. A figure of speech is a poetic device which consists in the use of words and phrases in such a manner as to make the meaning more pointed and clear and the language more graphic and vivid.
Figures are also called images for in them one thing is represented in the image of another. They are part and parcel of the human language in moments of emotional excitement.
When his emotions are stirred, man instinctively tends to express himself through the use of figurative language. That figures are used naturally and instinctively to express powerful feeling is seen in the fact that children and primitive, uncultured people habitually use figures of speech.
The world of nature is an inexhaustible storehouse of figures of speech or images as they are also called , and poets and writers have always drawn freely from this storehouse. Figures have been used by poets to decorate their language and to make it more vivid and pictorial, to increase its force and effectiveness, and to communicate their meaning more lucidly and clearly.
By increasing the beauty of language, the use of figures provides great aesthetic satisfaction to the readers. A simile is an expression of likeness between different objects or events.