Talk:2008 BM1 Assignment 1: Poetry

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Student Discussion

Question 3

Are we supposed to interpret the metre and rhyme scheme with regard to the content or shall we only name these? Alena Ruether

"Comment on" is a bit more than just "name" yet less then "write a full blown interpretation". --Olaf Simons 15:09, 24 April 2008 (CEST)

Another Question

But how much more, do we have to do?

I am right now working with the poem and I have some problems with the word 'comment' and 'identify'! Does 'identify' mean we are just supposed to declare which sections or addressee we have found out? And does 'comment' mean we shall find out the metre and rhyme scheme and afterwards say what is special about it? Or shall we also say what influence differences in metre or something else have on the poem?

I am a little scared to hand in my assignment, because it seems to me that I don't know how to begin!

A couple of links: Survive Assignments gives you some general remarks. This is the last year's assignment: BM1 - Introduction to Literature - Assignment 1 - and if you take a look at its discussion page you will even find a discussion of the solutions we then received. Yet the best preparation was to be found in our courses where we asked such questions and where we gave you opportunities to test model solutions. All you have to do is think of which answers of your fellow students you found elucidating... best, --Olaf Simons 18:51, 25 April 2008 (CEST)

Question 4

I asked Anna (how are we supposed to address you) after the last seminar whether we should write a text or headwords (stichpunkte)... She immediately answered: Text! :-) --Karsten Woll 08:57, 26 April 2008 (CEST)

'Anna' is just fine, Karsten! ;-) --Anna Auguscik 21:33, 27 April 2008 (CEST)

Word question

I got difficulties with the word "coopt"... i know what it means but in combination with love it seems to be a false declination... can't really figure out what it should mean in this case. --Karsten Woll 08:57, 26 April 2008 (CEST)

I paraphrased "coop" with "to be in": "Love was in the charet of her eye". I'm not sure, whether it is correct, but it makes sense (at least for me). --Alena Ruether 14:23, 26 April 2008 (CEST)
I'm, as Alena, not sure either. But paraphrasing it with "to be in" might change the meaning. The line says: "Love cooped behind the chariot of here eye,". Don't forget "behind". Maybe Percy meant that you have to fight (against the chariot?) to get love? Just a thought... --Christopher Bosum 12:27, 27 April 2008 (CEST)

Understanding problem

Is there anybody who understands the second and third quatrain? I got some problems understanding those stanzas, because I don' t know who is talking to whom, especially in the third stanza?

Maybe there is someone who has a clue!

I would appreciate it!

"love" i guess is referring to Cupid (Armor)
so "quoth HE" is Cupid and Cupid is talking to the speaker,
in the second stanza the speaker is still talking about him falling in love!
At least that's what i'm thinking... --Karsten Woll 16:58, 26 April 2008 (CEST)
Well,why should it be Cupid? There are absolutely no signs pointed out that it is possibly him.
Indeed that line is special cause someone else is talking but you get the answer from the speaker himself who is talking...line13: Imperious God. And Cupid is definitely not imperious as he is just one of some hundred Roman gods. Just one advice guys: Widen your horizone a little more and dont only stick to the love topic in that poem. It carries far more than simple expression of feelings! Cheerz --User:Jessika Thiele 09:42, 27 April 2008 (CEST)

Because there is a prayer to god in the couplet, I thought that because the speaker has suspitions and bold presumptions there is something not that good as it seems in the beginning!

Line 1:'... and yet unhappie hour' --> something is wrong or went wrong and I mean why should love coop behind chariots if everything is allright! I thought god is giving some kind of answer and now the speaker in line 9 asks god if he really should just look and not practise!?

Firts I thought of some kind of challenging of god, in the way of 'I should just look at you and not practise other godesses! But I don't know how to prove this idea!

But the thing is, in any case, that something isn't right! line3 'sweetest soure'

I hope nobody ever thought before that this is a happy love poem. Already the contradiction in the first line tells us whats up in there. But frankly I also like the idea that the imperious god demands the faith in only him and not other gods. Maybe you can think about it and prove it.Good luck!--User:Jessika Thiele 17:17, 27 April 2008 (CEST)

Why shouldn't it be Cupid, theres no other God who shoots arrows.. except Zeus perhaps, but.. well..let me explain what i mean... There is no word referring to another noun than "love"

Love coopt behind the charet of her eye,

Iustly to schoole my bold presumption,

Against my hart did let an arrow flie

Who should let an arrow flie? Theres's no third person indicated.. in this case I would argue that "Love" has to be this third person... because there's still this connotation to love embodied in a little fellow with some arrows and a bow... --Karsten Woll 23:16, 27 April 2008 (CEST)

Keep it simple we learned so far. What about taking it by word? Why the heart cannot let the arrow flie? Then its a simple figure of speech.

sorry but THAT doesn't make any sense at all because of the AGAINST.... this against is quite obviously connected to "my hart" --Karsten Woll 14:53, 28 April 2008 (CEST)

It surely would make sense when you think in a wider way...when you set a break after the Against then the word is seperated from the heart and against can mean...against [everything she does]...surely thats maybe more speculation...or one aspect of an interpretation. --Jessika Thiele 09:43, 29 April 2008 (CEST)

Question of length

Is it possible to answer the complete assignment on circa one page! If we give precise answers this should be satisfying, shouldn't it? Please answer A.S.A.P because now I got still time to do more! Thanks --Karsten Woll 19:22, 26 April 2008 (CEST)

I'm afraid, it will be quite difficult to express your thoughts and comments on all five questions within one page only. If you check the style sheet, you'll see how little text one page contains... --Anna Auguscik 21:33, 27 April 2008 (CEST)

Word question 2

Does anybody know what chariot also means because I just find the translation 'STreitwagen' and that doesn't fit, I think. I mean 'Liebe wurde hinter dem Streitwagen ihrer Augen eingesperrt'?!

it can also mean " kutsche ".

Feet problem

If there are 11 syllables are there 6 feet or 5? I thought 2 syllables = 1 feet and that would mean 11 syllables = 6 feet!

Question of Interpretation

Is here anyone who would like to discuss with me the interpretation of the verse "Wherevvith the cup of Cypria is embrevved" ? Is there a kind of biblical reference in it? Cup of blood reminds me of Jesus Christ and the human sins. That is the reason why I am asking Rukiye Serin

I don't think that W. Percy intended a Christian interpretation of that verse, because he uses the ancient goddess Venus. Christian and pagan religions are, in my opinion (and I think William Blake would agree ;-), disparate antipoles, so it seems unlikely to me that W. Percy would use a Christian and a pagan reference in the same verse. By the way: I guess the blood in Venus' cup (I'm not sure, whether "cup" has an assigned meaning) is a symbol for all the pain, which love has caused (example: in ancient Roman mythology Venus is responsible for the Trojan war). --Alena Ruether 10:10, 30 April 2008 (CEST)

Model solution

Question One

Identify the speaker, the addressee(s), the communicative situation

  • Lines 1-8: the speaker, male (see line 9), addresses an unspecified audience recalling his falling in love
  • Lines 9-11: he quotes Love’s reprimand – Love being the god Amor (he is the one sending love with his arrows)
  • Line 12: narrative part: Amor shoots his arrows.
  • Lines 13-14: the speaker addresses Amor, excuses his own behaviour and asks the god to spare him.

20 Points for a complete answer. For two of the situations up to 12 points. Reductions for misinterpretations, inappropriate assumptions, and problematic terminology (“1st person narrator” etc.).

Question Two

Identify the various sections of the poem and comment on the development of the theme(s) from one section to the next.

You may follow the analysis of the communicative situation.

  • Lines 1-8 are further subdivided into 1-4, where the speaker looks back from a present moment which is still marked by the 'joy and suffering of love'; and 5-8: where the speaker starts describing how it happened that he fell in love.)
  • lines 9-14 : embedded communicative situation: a dialogue between the God of Love and the Speaker, interrupted by line 12, which contains the description of "Love's" action of shooting arrows (i.e. causing the speaker to fall in love); lines 9-11: the god of Love reprimands the speaker for looking at the beautiful woman whom he has encountered by chance and announces that he will make the speaker fall in love in consequence; lines 13-14: the speaker appeals to the god to spare him, because he only wished "to test her" not to fall in love with her.
  • You may offer a similar description, if you follow the pattern set by the rhyme scheme (3 quatrains and a couplet).
  • Identification of thematic sections 10 points, bringing these observations into a development up to 20 points.
  • (5 points if you only identify the formal sections of a sonnet – more as soon as the observation is connected with an analysis of contents).
  • Reductions for misinterpretations (“the speaker falls in love with a goddess”), inappropriate assumptions, and problematic terminology.

Question Three

Comment on metre and rhyme scheme.

  • you gain up to 12 points if you identify the metre (iambic pentameter) and a plausible rhyme scheme (abab cdcd edef gg; or abab cdcd eded ff).
  • you gain up to 16 points if you've also noticed irregularities (e.g., "suspition", "presumption" in lines 5 and 7, extra syllable and secondary stress on "her" at the end of lines 13 and 14, problems in rhyme scheme caused by lines 6, 8, 10 and 12).
  • you gain up to 20 points if you discuss such problems (e.g. by discussing "interplay", by trying to relate them to the content, etc.)

Question Four

Find and analyse at least one metaphor in this poem and give examples of two other figures of speech from the poem.

  • 5 points for correctly identifying a metaphor.
  • 5 points for a correct analysis.
  • 5 points each for 2 other figures of speech, if they are correctly identified and described.


  • “Cypria” a metonymy (the island noting its wine) used metaphorically: One intoxicating product of Cyprus, its wine, stands for the goddess born on the same island – the speaker did not taste wine but felt love, which is the next level of the metaphor.
  • “embrewed” – stained with blood – a metaphor for filled with equally red wine.
  • “Charet of her eye”, referring to a war chariot, standing metaphorically for the power to conquer.
  • “to prove her” (a metaphor) as you prove a gold coin to make sure it is of pure gold.
  • “the sweetest sour” (oxymoron).
  • “Love”, the ancient god Amor, personifying love.
  • "Oh happy hour, and yet unhappy hour!" (antithesis).

Question Five

Briefly comment on the sonnet in relation to other poems you have dealt with.

You made the full number of points as soon as you successfully used your comparison

  • to get hold of what is special about this particular poem – e.g. what is special about this poem in the context of other sonnets handling the same sujet (falling in love).
  • to exemplify genre conventions
  • to get a better knowledge about the period or the author in question.

You failed to make points with comparisons which were not designed to offer insight into a subject matter you defined:

“I liked this poem better than the other two poems we read” – tells us something about you, not the subject matter we wanted to learn more about.

NOTE: Reductions in relation to the maximum number of points specified above will have been made if your replies mix relevant and irrelevant statements, accurate and inaccurate terms and so on. Unwarranted generalisations (when you import you personal views or external value judgments into your discussion).