Course Work On Comparisons Between Short Stories And Poetry

Published: 2021-07-03 13:25:05
essay essay

Category: Literature, Poetry, Poem, Performance, Rhyme, Rhythm, Roethke, Accent

Type of paper: Essay

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1. The Short Story and Poem: A Comparison of Literary Forms.
Often, poetry is seen as being a narrative and indeed, in its most traditional form, narrative poetry is best seen as the epic poems such as Beowulf and Gilgamesh (Clugston, 2010, 11.1). The narrative poem tells a story through a number of narrative traits including plot, setting, characters and imagery – much like a short story. One major comparison between the two forms is their ability to tell a story in a short space. For example, in John Keats’ La Bella Dame Sans Merci, the reader is told of a knight who falls in love with a beautiful woman who turns out to be harpy-like in her actions as she steals his heart and his life. Keats uses romantic language and a natural setting to lure the reader into a false sense of security, much like the knight and, as in a short story; the poem conveys a clear narrative. However, a poem, unlike a short story can never give much more detail and leans heavily on metaphors and poetic techniques to convey what a short story would use description for.
2. Reading Response: Poetry and Performance
When listening to My Papa’s Waltz by Theodore Roethke and We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks, it became clear that the poems’ performance was as, if not more, important than the words themselves. Brooks, in particular really uses her accent to enhance the poem’s performance – the words and their rhythm could really only ever sound correct when performed in her voice because she lilts from word to word. The same can be said for Roethke, although his accent is less prevalent, his pronunciation of words is an important aspect of the poem’s performance as he creates the rhyme scheme as he speaks – the words are fitted into place carefully which a strict rhythm that lends a lilt to his voice, despite his lack of a strong accent like Brooks. For example, Roethke makes the words ‘dizzy’ and ‘easy’ rhyme when, in reality, they are not strictly rhyming words but his pronunciation causes the poem’s rhyme scheme to remain tight. When written on a page, these two poems seem quite ordinary and perhaps slightly even poorly constructed, however they are intended for performance. The words are meant to be spoken aloud. And, even when reading them in my head with the correct rhythm, they did not sound as effective then as they do when read aloud.
Brooks, G. (1959). We Real Cool. Retrieved from
Clugston, R.W. (2010). Journey Into Literature. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education.
Roethke, T. (1948). My Papa’s Waltz. Retrieved from

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