poem “ musee des beaux arts ” H u m a n i t i e s

poem “ musee des beaux arts ” H u m a n i t i e s

NOTE: Below, I’m using Randal Jarrell’s poem “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” as the example of how to answer the different sections of Question 1.

Remember also that long answers aren’t always necessary!

  • Choose one (1) poem, either “Digging” or “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers,” and in writing about its use of metaphor and/or symbol, do the following:
  • W.H.Auden’s poem “Musee des Beaux Arts” is intertextual because it quotes or refers to other works of art or literature. Identify and describe two (2) of these intertextual elements, and explain how each is used to express the theme of the poem.(4 points)
  • Quote and explain the meaning of two (2) images (i.e. examples of Imagism) in Pound’s “The River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” (2 points)
  • BONUS QUESTION: If you were really angry at someone you might say “I was really angry at Bob.” Or, rather than telling us that fact, you could show us by using an image or metaphor to describe what you looked or acted like when you were really mad at Bob. Make up a sentence using that metaphor or similie. (1 point)
  • In a sentence for each, identify the main metaphors or symbols in the poem and explain what each stands for. Don’t give more than 3 examples.
  • Explain the theme of the poem in not more than two sentences.

[Example: Jarrell’s poem “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” uses the ball turret of the airplane as a metaphor for the mother’s womb.]

[Example: “The theme of “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” is the brutality of war. In the space of the short poem’s five lines, the gunner, a young man, journeys from birth in his mother’s womb to his battlefield death in the turret.”]

c) For each metaphor or symbol, quote the most important line or lines from the poem that use the metaphor or symbol, and then explain how those lines are used to develop the theme.

[Example: “In Line2 (“And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze”), the turret functions as a kind of metaphorical anti-womb, the place where the gunner will meet death in battle. The last line of the poem, Line 5 (“When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose”) shows that the gunner, a young man, has not lived out his natural life because the brutal war machine has destroyed him.”]

d) Identify any uses of onomatopoeia or alliteration in the poem

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