Genre analysis in poetry – the pragmatic approach

Topics: Poetry, Literary Genre, Poetic form Pages: 14 (1903 words) Published: April 26, 2015
Poetry has been a special genre and it is one of the many genres that remain consistent (structural means) even after being exploited for years. Looking back at the British poems in the late 80s, the stanzas and lines have not changed much, at least not the structure of it. Even until today, these shapes remained the same, although altered in position such as the use of indentation or tabulation in each line, alternatively. Besides, poetry has become a medium of communication in various situations and often used by the higher classes (they are more educated) to express their feelings or messages. Nonetheless, it takes a little intelligence to understand these corpuses of descriptive lexis because today, the poems are more straightforward due to the change of generations. The genre analysis on poetry or literary text covers a wide scope – from musical traditions to prayers (olden days) and from letters to advertisements. Therefore, it is safe to say that poems were widely used for communicative purpose, whether in general or specific aspect. Steinberg (2007) also stated that poems, like art, has been used as a communicative medium because they are easier to follow and learn by heart, after which they can be combined with other genres such as songs and dances. Besides that, the exploitation of genres is also evident as we study on the pragmatics and structural cognition of a poem. Pragmatics is the study on the meaning behind the context; later in this research, the study will reveal the relationship between them as to how it affects the understanding of the cohort today. Furthermore, the paper will also discuss on the structural cognition of a poem – why the lines and stanzas are arrange in a certain manner , as well as does it bring any meaning or purpose towards the readers.

Literature Review
According to Taheri and Ahi (2013), it is a must for people to deal with all sorts of communication in our daily lives that uses some of the methods of poetry, including editorials, sermons, political speeches, advertisements and magazine articles. No doubt, our further research shows that poems are used to advertise a product in a creative way since the usual “paragraph-ish” sentences were too common in newspapers or printed mediums. The study of pragmatics are not clearly stated by author Dijk (1977), however he mentioned that a literary text may be pragmatically “vague” or ambiguous so to say, in which both a literary or ritual function and a “practical” function may be assigned. Therefore, we conducted our research on a slight aspect of pragmatics to study on the relations with current generation and if it means anything to the message the poets are trying to tell. Our research questions are therefore: 1. How are “literary actions” and their context related to structures of literary text? 2. In which respect are these actions, context and textual manifestations similar to and/or different from those in other types of communication, both verbal and non-verbal?

In short, our aim and purpose of this study is to find (if) there is anything dissimilar to the poetic genre and to understand the literary pragmatics better as well as to discover the rhetorical function of poetry respectively.

The research is qualitative overall. Eight poems in total are collected – four taken from two books and another four from websites. These collections are taken randomly just because we would like to study on the effectiveness of arbitrary decisions, but it will not be discussed in this research paper as it does not contribute to the main objective of our study, at all. Following is the list of our materials: 1. An abstract from Sohrab and Rustum – Matthew Arnold (1853) 2. An abstract from Lines by Matthew Arnold (1951)

3. An abstract from A Battalion-Commander Complains to His Secretary by Ha Jin (1989) 4. An abstract from My Lost Youth by Henry Wadsworth (1855)

References: 12

An Analysis on Literary Text
D. Chan, E. Elleanae, S. Smith & I. Al-Khaldi
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