Fantasy poetry - yr11poetryanthologytep424

Year 11 2011
Indra Ruzic 41488229
What is ‘imagery’?
• What first comes to mind when you see the word ‘imagery’ in your
textbook? Do you think of photographs? Illustrations? Perhaps you
visualise your own image staring back at you from a mirror?
• Imagery occurs when a written text uses language techniques to
recreate events, feelings or sensations in a creative and evocative
manner. Such techniques include the use of metaphor, simile,
assonance, alliteration and personification, to name a few.
• Poems that contain elements of the fantastic often employ
descriptive language through the use of these techniques. The
poets often want to tell a story that will transport readers to an
earlier time period, so they will usually make references to things
like Greco-Roman mythology, or Medieval literature.
Imagery in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky’
• Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dawson) was most famous for
writing the novels ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and the
sequel ‘Through the Looking Glass’. Both these works employ
elements of the surreal and absurd, which Carroll also incorporates
into his famous poem, ‘Jabberwocky’.
• ‘Jabberwocky’ uses nonsense words, or as they are sometimes
called, ‘neologisms’ to create images. Actions such as ‘galumphing’
aren’t what we’d call ‘real’ words. However, they do remind us of
familiar adverbs such as “galloping”, which guides readers towards
their meaning in the poem.
• Carroll also creates fantastical creatures through his ability to play
with language. What do you suppose a Bandersnatch or a
Jabberwock would look like?
Maybe like this?
Onomatopoeia in ‘Jabberwocky’
• An interesting feature of Carroll’s poem is his use of onomatopoeic
language to create visual images. Carroll places emphasis on the
appearance of his words in order to create bold, visceral pictures of
the creatures he is describing.
• Question:
• What do you think a Bandersnatch would look like? How do you
imagine it would behave towards humans? Do a quick artist’s
impression in your book of a Bandersnatch, and how it would
appear lurking in a deep, dark forest.
‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’
• This poem was written by an anonymous figure termed ‘The
Gawain-Poet,’ around 1390.
• ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’ is divided into ‘fits’, which serve
the same purpose as chapters do in novels. It arranges the ballad
into parts, with each ‘fit’ representing a different episode in the
• The most distinctive feature is the poet’s use of alliteration, which
helps shape the flow of the narrative, especially when read aloud,
as medieval poetry often was.
• What impressions do the phrases, “The Green Knight graciously
stood,” “his long and lovely locks,” and “baring the naked neck”
give you of The Green Knight’s appearance and demeanour?
How do you picture The Green Knight?
Action and Assonance
• ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’ is a tale which involves elements
of tension, mystery and of course, fantasy. Like ‘Jabberwocky’,
alliterative words helps emphasise action in the poem: “Gawain
gripped his axe and gathered it on high”. “Gripped” has vastly
different connotations to the word “held”, as the former
exemplifies Gawain’s fear as he gets ready to behead the Green
Knight. “Held” technically has the same meaning, but is much more
passive in tone.
• Assonance also creates a visceral image of the action in Fit 1,
particularly when coupled with alliteration in this line: “Sank deep in
the sleek flesh, split it in two.”
• Watch ‘Part One’ of this adaptation of ‘Sir Gawain and the Green
Knight’ and note how the poem’s language used in the dialogue. Is
it alliterative or not? How do you compare this visual representation
with your own impressions of the story and characters?
• ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’. Anonymous. Translated by J. A.
Burrow. London: Penguin Books
• ‘Jabberwocky’. Lewis Carroll. ‘Poems of the Fantastic and Macabre’.

similar documents