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شرحي لمقال : The Language of Poems for Children:



هذا مقال القصائد كاملا .... (مع توضيح بسيط مني للمقال )


218 Poetry
The Language of Poems for Children: A Stylistic Case Study
Lesley Jeffries



حملو الملف لاني ملونة عالاجزاء المهمة بصور اوضح بملف الوورد

حملو المقال من هنا

What is the language of poems for children? Is it significantly different from the poetic style that is used in poems for adults? These questions, of course, assume that there is such a thing as literary or poetic language, which is controversial (Leech, 2008: 56). However, to the extent that poetic language has been described at all, we can make some comparisons (Leech, 1969; Jeffries, 1993). To make the task manageable, I focus on a recent collection edited by Roger McGough, 100 Best Poems for Children (2002). A first glance at this anthology confirms further difficulties in proposing the cat¬egory of 'poems for children', since this volume, like many others intended for children, includes a number of poems which were written for adults, and are read by adults, including Matthew Arnold's 'Dover Beach', William Blake's The Tiger' and Alfred, Lord Tennyson's 'The Lady of Shalote. How¬ever, I am going to make the assumption that the inclusion of these poems in an anthology for children reflects a sense of their relative appropriateness and accessibility for younger readers, and so I will not exclude any of the poems on the grounds that they are not poems for children.

ماهي لغة شعر الاطفال؟
سأركز هنا على (( , 100 Best Poems for Children افضل 100 قصيدة للأطفال المختارة من قبل Roger McGough قصائد الاطفال: مثلها مثل أي شيء آخر قصد به الأطفال، تحتوي على مجموعة من القصائد والتي كتبت للكبار، وتقرأ من قبل الكبار . هذه القصائد المقتطفات إفتراضاً تعكس تقبلها و ملائمتها للقراء الصغار تقريبا. ولا استبعد انها قصائد ليست للأطفال

A second glance makes clear that this, like other anthologies for children, contains a large variety of poems from different eras, with different sub¬ject matter and probably accessible to different ages. The reader interested in linguistic style will note a number of stylistic features common to the majority of these poems. These stylistic features are linked to the question of the function of poetry in children's lives. Though, for the adult, poetry reading tends to be a solitary activity, for children it is more often an expe¬rience shared with carers, teachers and peers. The result is that, whether the poems are actually read aloud or silently, most of them foreground the music of the language to a marked degree. Although the anthology contains a small number of poems in free verse (unrhymed, no regular rhythm), the overwhelming majority of them have some kind of regular poetic form, whether that is a regular or patterned metre, or rhyme scheme, or both. We may surmise that this is because children appreciate above all the musicality of formal poetry, knowing that they love to make up nonsense songs and rhymes for themselves and that they seem to take a delight in the sounds for their own sake. Indeed, this morning, I was listening to a pair of small children at the local gym, and they were chanting something like 'the keys are in the kitchen, yum, yum, yum' over and over again, though there was no situational link to kitchens and the content of the chant was therefore

اللمحة الواضحة الأخرى : مثل المقتطفات الأخرى للأطفال، تحتوي على عدد كبير من القصائد بمساحات مختلفة، مع العديد من المواضيع المقبولة للاعمار المختلفة . القارئ الذي يهتم باسلوب القصيدة سيلاحظ العديد من الاساليب بهذه القصائد. وهذه الاساليب ترتبط بوظيفة الشعر بحياة الأطفال. بالرغم من أن قراء الكبار للشعر تميل الى نشاط واحد، للأطفال الكثير عادة ما تتشارك مع التجربة المهنيين، المعلمن والاصدقاء. والنتيجة هي، إذا ما قرأ الشعر بصمت او بصوت عالٍ، معظمهم يجعل موسيقى اللغة في المقدمة . foreground (اهم جانب بالشعر) . وبالرغم من ان المقتطفات تحتوي على عدد قليل من القصائد بنمط حر free verse (unrhymed, no regular rhythm) بدون ايقاع منظم الا ان معظمها يحتوي على شكل معين. وفوق ذلك كله الاطفال يميلون الى اختيار الاغاني التي لا معنى لها والايقاع الذي يبهجهم.

The Language of Poems for Children: A Stylistic Case Study 219
secondary to the sound. My approach, therefore, has been to make stylistic notes on each poem in the collection and to draw up a cumulative picture of the range of linguistic/stylistic features that were present, and their relative (though not quantified) frequency in the collection.

A preliminary note on foregrounding
ملاحظة تمهيدية للعنصر


During its early development in the mid-to-late twentieth century, sty¬listics as a discipline developed from linguistics and literary criticism and depended on the conviction that 'language is not simply a "medium" for 'content', but a significant part of the whole experience we call literature' (Wales, 1993: 89). Early stylistics developed a particular application of the Russian formalist view that the distinctive feature of literary (as opposed to non-literary) texts was the presence of expressions that made the everyday and familiar seem strange and new. By using the more precise de******ions that linguistics had made possible, stylistics pointed out exactly how this 'making strange' was carried out in textual form. This resulted in the theory of `foregrounding', and though this is no longer considered unique to liter¬ary texts, the notion that one of the features of a text may beforegrot_sm has become the bedrock of stylistic re******. Short describes `foregrounded features' as 'the parts of the text which the author, consciously or uncon¬sciously, is signalling as crucial to our understanding of what he has writ¬ten' (Short, 1996: 36).

العنصر الحاسم لفهمنا من القصيدة (نتج عن استخدام الوصف الدقيق والاناط الغريبة)

Much of what follows will draw on the notion that features worth dis¬cussing are those that stand out in some way from their surroundings and/ or from the language in general However, there will also be some discus¬sion of the more `backgrounded' features which form the basis of any text. Such features (foregrounded or backgrounded) may be at any level of lan¬guage — from phonetics to text structure. There are at least two different ways in which a feature can be foregrounded, and though these are not always clearly distinct, the extreme versions are useful reference points. Thus, features may seem to 'break the rules' of the language as a whole, and go against all experience that the reader has of 'normal' texts. This is known as 'external deviation'. Leech describes it as follows:
Just as the eye picks out the figure as the important and meaningful element d.
in its field of vision, so the reader of poetry picks out the linguistic deviation I/ sY
in such a phrase as 'a grief ago' as the most arresting and significant part of the message, and interprets it by measuring it against the background of the expected pattern.
Leech, 1969: 57


(الانحراف اللغوي) العنصر الاكثر جذباً في القصيدة ... مثل (a grief ago' ) استخدم الحزن كانه زمن ،،




220 Poetry
Also common in poetry is 'internal deviation', whereby a norm for that text is established and the foregrounded features are those which deviate from this norm. Short explains:
Internal deviation is deviation against a norm set up by the text itself. Suppose that a poem is written in rhyming couplets, but then the fifth couplet does not rhyme. The rhyme is a pattern of parallelism at the phonetic level, which is then broken at stanza five.

Short 1996:59

Of course, these distinctions between internal and external deviation are sometimes challenged by 'real' examples, but they may serve us as reference points. Parallelism, mentioned above by Short, is another common type of foregrounding, which is not deviant in the expected way, because it doesn't obviously confound any expectations. Commentators on stylistics neverthe¬less see parallelism as a kind of foregrounding, as here in `Wha Me Mudder Do' (McGough 78) by Grace Nichols:
Mek me tell you wha me mudder do

wha me mudder do
wha me mudder do


The musical structure of poems for children


I noted earlier that the sounds of poems are very important to children. It is noticeable, for example, that there is only one poem in this anthology which uses layout as a structuring device (Jo Shapcott's 'Penguin Complaints' (100)) whereas 82 out of 100 use some kind of musical structuring, whether metrical, rhyming or both. The sounds of poetic text can have purely musi¬cal effects, but in adult poetry, at least from the twentieth century onwards, there is an increasing tendency to use sound effects for meaningful as well as musical reasons (see Jeffries, 1993: 39-56). This growth in symbolic use of sound probably coincided with the relaxation of the requirement of strict form in poetry. As the convention of using strict metre and rhyme weakened, the choice to use particular sound effects in poems became meaningful. In fact, the poet's use of metre and rhyme at all begins to have a meaningful, symbolic effect (see Jeffries, 1993: 42). However, in children's poetry the musical use of sound is perhaps still dominant, unlike in adult poetry. The almost universal use of metre and rhyme for children's poems, then, implies that these features of the language of the poems are not foregrounded as meaningful except where they take an unusual form or deviate within the form in some way. They remain, therefore, one of the backgrounded features



The Language of Poems for Children: A Stylistic Case Study 221
of this subgenre. Below I discuss examples of both foregrounded and back-grounded metre, as well as deviation within metrical patterning.
The regularity of metre in children's poems at first sight may seem to be a background feature of the genre, and one that has little impact on the meaning or the literary effect, beyond perhaps marking a text out as being poetic. However, this is far from true, since particular metrical patterns can be indicative of a particular type of poem, and the choice to vary the metre or choose no metre at all is also significant.


What we might call the 'basic metre' in all English verse is the iambic foot (dee-dum). This is the combination of unstressed (') and stressed (') syllables which is often combined in four feet in children's poetry. See, for example, the many 'cautionary tales' of both Victorian and more recent provenance.


- Here are the opening lines (respectively) of Hilaire Belloc's 'Matilda' (15) and Wendy


Cope's 'Kenneth' (25):

هذا مثال ع الانحراف
\
v v 1 v I v
Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes:
The chief defect/kennveth Plumb
Was chewing too much bubble-gum.
These poems also use the most basic rhyme scheme, the rhyming couplet, where each pair of consecutive lines has a matching final rhyme. Once established, there is little, except the occasional metrical variation, to dis¬turb the story, though the disciplinary nature of the metre can also cause the reader to change the 'normal' stresses in a word to fit the pattern, usually to comical effect. This happens to the word 'defect' in 'Kenneth', where the normal stress (in British English at least) would fall on the first syllable, but here the metre encourages us to change it to the second.


اكثر قافية تستخدم بالقصائد هي couplet كل زوجين لهم نفس قافية معينة ، باستثناء القافية المترية، تغير النبرة المشددة العادية في الكلمة لتلائم النمط. واحيانا للغرض الفكاهي . وحدث ذلك في كلمة 'Kenneth' بينما يكون تشديدها في الانجليزية البريطانية في الغالب على الاقل، يقع التشديد في الاول. النمط المتري يشجع ان تقع في الثاني

Though many commentators suggest that iambic feet are natural to the speaking rhythms of English and are more common as a result, there is also quite a lot of trochaic metre in this collection. The trochee is the reverse of the iambic foot, and has a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable (dum-dee). This may result in an other-worldly feel about the poems in which this metre dominates, such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 'Hiawatha' (62) or Richard Edward's 'The Word Party' (36):
Loving words clutch crimson roses,



222 Poetry

Rude words sniff and pick their noses,
1 v v 1 v 1 v
Sly words come dressed up as foxes,
, v ,
Shiort words stand on cardbvoard loxes
Notice how the word 'words' occurs in a stressed position in the first line, when it is first introduced, but as it becomes secondary to the de******ion ('rude', 'sly', 'short') in the following lines is downgraded to the unstressed position. Here is a short extract from 'Hiawatha' for comparison:
And the smoke rose slowly, slowly,
Tfirough the tranquil air of morning,
, v ,
First a single line of darkness,
I v 1 v I v 1 v
Then a denser, bluer vapour
Though we may see children as appreciative of simple rhyme schemes, children of course come in different ages and a good anthology will prepare them for the delights of both unrhymed and unmetrical poetry and also for poems with more complex rhythms and rhyme schemes. A common pattern is the abcb type of rhyme scheme, whereby each four-line stanza (though not all are actually divided in this way) rhymes the second and last line. Wakes de la Mare's 'The Listeners' (29) tal,__(_estLi'isi_.2a

النمط الشائع الاستخدام هو abcb لكل مقطع مكون من اربع ابيات وهذا مثال على هذا النمط :

And a bird flew up out of the turret, (a)
Above the Traveller's head: (b)
And he smote upon the door a second time; (c)
'Is there anybody there?' he said. (b)


This pattern with the 6 rhymes (head/said) gives enough structure for musicality, while allowing for some freedom of sounds in the intervening lines (turret/time). Some poems, such as Thomas Hardy's 'Paying Calls' (43) have abab schemes, in which the first and third lines also rhyme. This poem in particular is notable for its apparent lightness of theme, echoed in the regular rhyme scheme. When it turns out that the calls are being paid to friends who are now dead (Tut they spoke not to me'), the clash between the levity of form and the solemnity of theme is all the more effective.



The Language of Poems for Children: A Stylistic Case Study 223

A more sophisticated version of a four-line rhyme-scheme is evident in 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' (42) by Robert Frost. Though not written as a children's poem, it has a long history of being included in school anthologies (and used for speaking competitions!). The rhyme scheme is combined with a judicious mixture of run-on lines and end-stopping, making it very satisfying musically. The rhyme scheme uses an aaba pattern which is repeated in each verse by picking up the minor rhyme (b) as the main rhyme in the second verse and likewise picking up the minor rhyme (c) in the third verse (so, bbcb, ccdc), with the final verse bringing the sleepiness of the narrator to our attention by using the same d rhyme throughout. Here is the third verse:

He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound's the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake.


Note the c rhymes ('shake'/'mistake'/'flake') which continue from the previ¬ous verse ('lake') and the d rhyme ('sweep') which is repeated at the ends of all the lines in the final verse ('deep'/'keep'/'sleep'). The first and third lines also have the effect of pushing forward the grammatical sense, because they do not finish a clause. The third and fourth lines, in particular, break up a noun phrase (`the sweep of easy wind and downy flake') and it therefore challenges a reader to balance the demands of the rhythm with maintaining the ongoing sense and grammatical structure.


Other sound effects in poems for chi1dren
المؤثرات الصوتية الأخرى في قصائد للأطفال


So far we have been considering the foundational patterns of stresses and rhymes as background over which all other stylistic effects are laid. More foregrounded, because rarer in anthologies for children, are poems written without specific metre or rhyme. These would include a poem such as Seamus Heaney's 'Mid-Term Break' (45) which has no rhyme-scheme or clear metri¬cal pattern, though it has mostly ten syllables a line, which prevents it from being entirely formless. Examples of others lacking both metre and rhyme are Liz Lochhead's 'Poem for My Sister' (61) and James Reeves's 'The Sea' (92) which, without metrical pattern and only a sporadic pattern of end-rhymes (abbccdddcceffghhhccc), gives a sense of order breaking out into chaos. This is the only clear case where the rhyme-scheme itself may be taken to represent in some way the meaning of the poem. The choice of end rhyme (rather than no rhyme) but in an ever-changing — if not quite random — pattern is what causes this meaning potential to arise because it is a foregrounded decision.

نمط آخر مثلا كما في قصيدة (البحر) ليس لها نمط منظم (abbccdddcceffghhhccc), يعطي شعور بحالة فوضى

224 Poetry
Beyond metre and rhyme, there are many other possible patterns of sound in poetry, in particular, alliteration and assonance. Available effects vary more than these terms conventionally indicate since they have traditionally been used only to refer to sequences of words beginning with the same sound (or often the same letter), whereas many poetic effects may result from a pre¬ponderance of similar sounds rather than identical ones (e.g. a lot of plosive phonemes such as t, d, k, b, d, g or long vowels like 'ee' and 'oo') and in a range of positions in word and syllable. Such concentrations of sound may be simply one of the enriching patterns of music that are overlaid onto the metre and end rhyme, but they may also be meaningful in a range of ways.

The most obvious way in which sounds can be meaningful is when they reflect the referent directly and are therefore onomatopoeic. These words are often thought of as attractive to children, prZEZTY=use they seem to contradict the general rule that words have a purely arbitrary relation¬ship with their referents. However, the poems here provide remarkably few examples of conventionally onomatopoeic words (like 'miaow' for a cat's cry) though Roger McGough's 'The Sound Collector' (69), predictably per¬haps, uses a wide range of such words:

اوضح طريقة تعكس الصوت عندما يستخدم بشكل مباشر onomatopoeic استخدام الاصوات (كاصوات الحيوانات ) زي مثلا كوكوكو تشير للديك : مثال هذه القصيدة

The hissing of the frying-pan
The ticking of the grill
The bubbling of the bathtub
As it starts to fill

Though conventional lexical onomatopoeia is associated with children's lan¬guage, there is a less blatant type of reflection of sounds possible in poetry which usually occurs across a longer stretch of text and may result from a concentration of similar or identical sounds, as here in Walter de la Mare's 'The Listeners' (29):
'Is there anybody there?' said the Traveller, Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses Of the forest's ferny floor ...
Here, the most significant onomatopoeic effect is found in the alliterative use of the fricative sound /f/ in the forest's ferny floor. The fricative sound is one where the air leaving the lungs is channelled through a very small opening between two parts of the mouth, and this leads to a 'whistling' or 'breathy' sound. The effect of the horse's chewing sound in amplifying the silence around it is also anticipated by a concentration of other fricatives (Ail, /s/, /6/ and /z/ and /V) in the lead-up to this phrase, as we can see if we high¬light the fricative sounds: 'and his horse in the silence champed the grasses of the forest's ferny floor'. The breathy quality of the fricative consonants thus
The Language of Poems for Children: A Stylistic Case Study 225
effectively summons up the stillness within the house by comparison with the relative noisiness of the horse eating, oblivious to the uncanny silence.
Though direct reflection of sound is one of the generic features of poetry, and found relatively often in children's poems, another type of sound-sym¬bolism which features a great deal in adult poetry may also be relevant here. Short describes an expanded`sour___ ic_larnbolism'i as consisting in 'similar relations between the sounds of words and other aspects of the things which the word refers to, like size or brightness' (Short, 1996: 115). Alastair Reid's 'A Spell for Sleeping' (93) displays some sound-symbolism. It is a mesmeric lullaby with little clear narrative, though small sections of the poem seem to describe different scenes of gathering dusk. Though it can be a risk to read too much into phonemic patterns, many of those in this poem do seem to enhance the meaning rather than being simply harmonic:

التشابه الصوتيsound-sym¬bolism
وهي ميزة تستخدم بكثرة في قصائد الكبار ربما تظهر هنا. يشير الى علاقة متشابهة بين اصوات الكلمات كلمات تتشابه صوتيا
'A Spell for Sleeping'
هذه القصيدة مثال عليها

Curtains are clouding the casement windows.
A moon-glade smurrs the lake with light.
Doves cover the tower with quiet.


The first noticeable sound pattern is the alliteration of /k/ sounds in the first line, where the velar plosive sound requires a complete closure of the vocal tract at the soft palate. This physical closure, which is the defining feature of the rather sharp kind of plosive consonant represented by /k/ here, may be taken to emulate the closing of curtains one after another at different windows. The sound patterning in the rest of the stanza is more vowel-based, with the high concentration of long vowels and diphthongs in the middle line seeming to symbolise the visual effect of the moon on the lake, in particular the 131 of `smurrs' where the smudgy reflection, elongated by the ripples on the water, is reflected by the length of the vowel sounds. This sound-symbolism turns aural again in the final line when the cooing of the doves is evoked by the two short vowels in doves cover, whether that is two /A/ sounds (for Southern British English accents) or two u sounds, (for Northern British and many American accents of English). These shorter sounds are foregrounded in the context of so many long vowels, and this foregrounding is retrospectively reinforced by the two triphthongs in the final lexical words of the stanza, tower u and quiet IV which begin to turn the whole world of the poem into a blurry blanket of vowels, with relatively few of the distinctive landmarks of the consonants to give them shape.

Word-play in poems for children
اللعب بالكلمات بقصائد الأطفال


Perhaps the most 'expected' feature of poems for children, after musicality,
is concentrated 'word-play'. A poem for children will either be playful with

اكثر عنصر متوقع بقصائد الاطفال هو اللعب بالكلمات
عندنا هنا مثال لكلمة 'elephant' تستخدم 'Eletelephony'i 'elephantTtelephant' and 'telephone'Pelephone'

وبهذه الطريقة ينتج اكثر من ايقاع

226 Poetry

the rules of word construction and combination or it will not, and where it is playful, it tends to be humorous. The creation of new words is one of the joys of learning your first language when you are growing up. This form of word-play may be reflected back to the child-reader by poems. There are at least two ways that words can be 'constructed' and these reflect the phono¬logical (sounds), graphological (written spellings) and morphological (word-structure) levels of language.
Laura E. Richards's 'Eletelephony'i (94) describes the efforts of an ele¬phant to use a telephone. TheTun in the poem comes from the playful way in which the words 'elephant' and 'telephone first all made more similar ('elephantTtelephant' and 'telephone'Pelephone') and then are var¬ied further to match the rhyme-scheme ('trunk'rtelephunk', 'free', 'telephee' and `songTtelephong'). Note that the graphological/phonological similarity of the words (mainly the 'ph' representing the sound of /f/) is one of the drivers of the game that the poem is playing, and the physical resemblance of the trunk of an elephant with the curled wires of a landline telephone is also implied by this muddling up of the words (and the accompanying illustration with the wire round the elephant's trunk). Spike Milligan's 'On the Ning Nang Nong' (71) is perhaps an even more extreme version of the purely phonological playfulness that can be found in children's poems. Spike Milligan seems to have captured the very kind of made-up words that children, themselves tend to invent by changing just one of the sounds in a nonsense word a few times to produce a chain of musically similar words (e.g. Ning Nang Nong; fibber Jabber Joo).
On a morphological level of inventiveness, there are occasional deriva¬tions whereby a word has its word class changed, for example from noun to verb, as in the word `dustbinized' from Pam Ayres's 'The Dolly on the Dustcart' (13). This word displays internal deviation because the rest of the poem is written in a fairly strong regional dialect but does not contain invented words apart from this one. The word is separated out from the rest of its line: 'No longer prized ... dustbinized!' This describes the throwing away of the dolly who has been on the dustcart for so long that she becomes damaged and out of date and is eventually thrown away. The poet chooses to make a clear foregrounding of this word, as its position and the exclama¬tion mark show. These foregrounding devices, as well as the internal rhyme of 'prized' with `dustbinized' help to demonstrate a reflective awareness by the narrator (the doll herself) that she is making a word up and there is a sense of triumph at her cleverness in the foregrounding by all these means.

وهنا عندنا الانحراف في الكلمة ... كالكلمة التي استخدمها لويس كارول labberwocky'

What Short (1996: 45) would call 'lexical deviation js demonstrated by those poems that invent rather more than the occasional word. The most famous, and perhaps most satisfying, of these is Lewis Carroll's labberwocky'


The Language of Poems for Children: A Stylistic Case Study 227
(20), where normal English derivational processes are used to create appar¬ently 'real' words on the basis of non-existent and yet strangely famil¬iar base forms. Thus, the suffix —y, which is normally added to nouns to make adjectives (e.g. greasy, bony, etc.) is added in this case to a non¬existent base, `slithe', creating the adjective `slithy' as a result. The fact that we know the word class of these neologisms means that the reader can at least make out the grammatical relationships between them, and thus knows for certain that it is the `toves' which are `slithy', even while not knowing exactly what toves are, or what the characteristic of being `slithy' entails. Notice, however, that Carroll makes use of the patterns of sound-symbolism in English to help us a little further with decoding his work. Thus, the initial %I' of `slithy' is recognisably a member of the group of sl¬words in English which have a smooth or slippery aspect to their mean¬ing: slippery, slimy, slur, etc. This gives the reader a clue; being `slithy' is an unpleasant and smooth quality.
Another kind of word-play is when words are used alongside other words with which they would not normally occur. Margaret Atwood's 'Song of the Worms' (12) is a poem about the rising up of worms, literally and ****¬phorically. It suggests that worms 'come out into the open air at /night only to love/ which disgusts the soles of boots'. Here, we have an unusual com-bination with the verb 'disgust', which normally requires a human object (e.g. the 'smell disgusted him') but here has the 'soles of boots' instead. The result is that the reader will either personify the soles of the boots as having the capacity to be disgusted, or perhaps more likely reads it as a metonymic reference to the owner of the boots, and the way in which human beings recoil when they find they have stepped on entangled worms.
Craig Raine's 'A Martian Sends a Postcard Home' (90) is one of the adult poems included for their presumed accessibility to children or for their potential to appeal to the child's appetite for the musical or for the strange. The topic of the poem (an alien's view of human life on Earth) is presented through a classic example of 'making strange'. The Martian's best guesses as to what the human beings are up to and what their objects are used for makes for some amusing results, many of which are achieved through the use of unusual combinations of words. Thus the night is described as 'when all the colours die', though the verb 'die' normally requires an ani¬mate subject; books are described as 'mechanical birds' though the adjec¬tive 'mechanical' normally describes a machine or other piece of technology rather than a bird; and books are said to 'cause the eyes to melt' (cry), though the verb 'melt' normally requires a frozen subject. Each of these images is achieved through the juxtaposition of words which do not nor¬mally co-occur.


228 Poetry

Voice

Poets of the twentieth century have typically been interested in experiment¬ing with the vernacular in poetic contexts, and poets writing for children are no exception. A number of these poems use dialect forms, either throughout the poem as in the Caribbean dialect poem 'Wha Me Mudder Do' (78) or in the occasional lexical item, as in the use of the Scottish word for hopscotch — 'peever' — in 'Poem for My Sister' (61). 'The Dolly on the Dustcart' (13) and Marriott Edgar's 'The Lion and Albert' (33) adopt a slightly stereotyped version of their respective regional dialects. This extract from 'The Dolly on the Dustcart' features the irregular possessive pronoun 'me' (instead of 'my') the non-standard negative of 'haven't ('ain't') and the double negative com¬bining 'ain't' with `no' rather than 'any'. Note that a consistent representa-tion of the quasi-Cockney accent suggested here would have also dropped the 'h' from 'had', but that this writer has chosen to represent only the lexi¬cal and
grammatical features of the dialect, rather than the accent:

راوي القصيدة ...


There's dirt all round me face, And all across me rosy cheeks,
Well, I've had me head thrown back, But we ain't had no rain for weeks.
In 'The Lion and Albert', which was written to be performed, and is perhaps therefore more concerned with phonology, the poet shows the dropped aitches of the working-class Lancashire accent he is trying to rep¬resent, in particular where it would have most comic impact by its rep¬etition. In the following stanza, for example, he doesn't drop the aitch in 'his' in line two, but manages to drop four of them in the following line, making it

surprisingly hard to articulate, and thus sounding like a rather deliberate pronunciation as opposed to the lazy carelessness of the com¬mon stereotype:


A grand little lad was their Albert All dressed in his best; quite a swell 'E'd a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle


The finest that Woolworth's could sell.


The effort required to pronounce the third line of this stanza with features of a stigmatised lower-class accent symbolises the efforts at self-improve¬ment of Albert's family represented by 'in his best, quite a swell' and 'the finest that Woolworth's could sell'. Contemporary audiences for Stanley Holloway's famous renditions of these monologues would accordingly have been made acutely aware of the aspirations of Albert's family — and their dismal failure — to seem richer and more cultured than they were.










230 Poetry

The features of commentating which Patten uses here include the repeti
tion of names, the exclamatory structures ('It's Penny!') and the use of the
present (and present continuous) tense to describe a scene as it unfolds. The
present tense is not often used in this rather literal way.
Although it is not a universal feature, evoking spoken language appears
to be an important stylistic feature of poetry for children.


Structures in poems for childersa„)
تراكيب قصائد الاطفال



Stylistic approaches to poetry typically focus more on linguistic choices
made within the constraints of a chosen poetic form than on the form itself.
There are, nevertheless, some comments worth making from a stylistics
angle about the boundary between song and poem, which is more blurred
in children's poems than in the adult genre. Those poems that appeal to
children often show a similarity to song form, often featuring refrains and
parallelism.



Roger McGough's `The Sound Collector' (69), William Blake's The Tiger'
(17) and William Allingham's 'The Fairies' (7), for example, each feature a
first stanza repeated with minor changes as the last stanza. These repeated
stanzas take the reader back to the beginning again, though there is often
a subtle difference in the repetition which shows that we are not back to
exactly the same spot, as we can see by comparing the first and last stanzas
of 'The Tiger':


Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


This minimal change of the modal verb (from 'could' to 'dare') demon
strates the power of a single word, as Blake moves from considering the
nature of creation in the first stanza to marvelling at the stupendous and
fearful daring of a possible creator. This poem, like one or two others in
the collection, is based firmly on the interrogative structure, which works
against the closure suggested by repetition.


One of the structuring devices that seems to take the place of formal met
rical structure in some recent poems is the conversation. Harold Munro's




The Language of Poems for Children: A Stylistic Case Study 231


'Overheard on a Salt Marsh' (74), Colin McNaughton's 'Sometimes I think you don't listen to a word I say!' (70) and Trevor Hardy's 'The Painting Les¬son' (44), for example, are typical of this form, which begins with a question and may supply a punch-line ending. In The Painting Lesson' for instance, the teacher tells the child that s/he should paint a realistic picture of mummy, rather than the green and orange splodges that are appearing. The denoue¬ment of the poem demonstrates that the child was obediently following instructions after all. The child's voice records with glee that the teacher
...turned white
At ten to three
When an orange-green blob Collected me.
'Hi, Mum!'
The foregrounding in such poems is the unexpected response and it is just one of the ways in which the transgressive nature of poetic 'worlds' can appeal to the imagination of the child.
Other structuring devices, usually aimed at younger children and possibly having a pedagogic function in addition to their poetic function, are those structured around numbers. John Agard's 'What Turkey Doing?' (5) and Moira Andrews's 'November Night Countdown' (9) are two such poems, the latter using a countdown from ten to one, and featuring a great deal of onomatopoeia reflecting the sounds of fireworks:


Eight jumping jacks
leaping on the ground.
Seven silver sparklers
whirling round and round.



Note that this poem, like many of those structured around lists or num¬bers, uses minor sentences, with no main verb throughout. In this case, the clauses all use the present continuous form (e.g. 'sizzling', 'reaching', `leaping'), ungoverned by an auxiliary verb. The result is that there is a timelessness about the poem, which describes a 5 November which lasts indefinitely.


A similar effect is achieved by different means in Ted Hughes's 'Amulet' (51) in which the minor sentences are characterised by the lack of any verb at all. Each line in this poem is structured on a prepositional phrase begin¬ning with 'Inside' and a following noun phrase, after a comma, namely 'Inside the X, the Y'. The comma represents the verb 'to be', but its omis¬sion leaves the poem unanchored in time as no tense is supplied. Rather than



232
Poetry




saying 'Inside the wolfs fang is the mountain of heather' or.4,`
fang was the mountain of heather', then, we are left with the timeless:
Inside the wolf's fang, the mountain of heather. Inside the mountain of heather, the wolf's fur. Inside the wolf's fur, the ragged forest.
The parallelism of the line-structure is supplemented by the movement of each noun phrase to the prepositional phrase of the next line. The poem ends, as another circular poem, with the initial noun phrase of the first line:
Inside the North star, the wolf's fang.
While there is no indication within the vocabulary of the poem that there is much more to it than a kind of listing of the features of a bleak northern landscape, there is some potential for interpretation of the structure itself as symbolising a stable and complete, if unforgiving, world of nature.



Positioning the child-reader


Though not all de******ive poems use minor sentences, a relatively large number of poems for children display present-tense de******ion as their main stylistic characteristic. These include Matthew Arnold's 'Dover Beach' (10) Robert Frost's 'Stopping by Woods' (42) Kenneth Grahame's 'Ducks' Ditty' (43) Edward Thomas's 'October' (116) and James Reeves's 'The Sea' (92), amongst others. These poems have the very strong effect of taking the reader into the focal 'centre' of the text. The present tense, first-person narrative and a strong sense of place create a focal point from where the scene being described is 'viewed' and this becomes the reader's viewpoint. Extracts from 'Dover Beach' and 'October all demonstrate how viewpoint is produced:


The sea is calm to-night...
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits... (10)
and now I might
As happy be as earth is beautiful,
Were I some other or with earth could turn
in alternation of violet and rose. 0160



In these instances the present tense seems to refer to the 'present' of the nar¬rator, and so readers are invited to imagine themselves into the moment of composition. This effect is enhanced in the opening of 'October' 016) by time adverbs, such as 'to-night' and 'now'. The place in which the narration



The Language of Poems for Children: A Stylistic Case Study 233



is happening is also evoked by deictic words and structures (something is `deictic' when it directly points to something, here, the specifics of place). In some cases this is the definite article (the sea, the tide, the moon) which pre¬supposes the existence of these things, and thus evokes a scene in which they are necessarily present. The use of the first-person pronoun is more compli¬cated, but always evokes a deictic centre (the viewpoint of the T character) and depending on whether there is also a second-person addressee ('you'), the reader may adopt the first- or second-person position in the narrative.
In the case of 'October' there is no direct addressee, and the reader is thus invited to take up the viewpoint of the narrator himself/herself. 'Dover Beach', on the other hand, has a number of references to another person, at first in the imperative forms Nome to the window' and 'Listen!') and later in direct address (`Ah, love, let us be true/To one another!'). This is the only first-person love poem in the collection, and as such represents one of the stepping stones for children from 'their' poetry which is musically regular and often light-hearted towards the subjects of adult poetry, love, religion and politics. The poem's positioning of the reader inside this heavily emotional situation is one of the reasons for its power. Poems participate in the discourse levels envisaged by Short amongst oth¬ers, whereby literary works have both internal addresser and addressees, and external addresser (the poet) and addressees (the readers). The scope for merging of these identities is very broad and any focal centre is likely to be strongly sug¬gestive of the imaginative position that a reader should take up.



Another, larger, group of children's poems are straightforwardly narrative in content, reflecting this in using a past tense and third-person narrative. These include Neil Adam's 'The Hero of the Match' (2), Hilaire Belloc's 'Matilda' (15), Robert Browning's 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin' (18), Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' (24), Thomas Hardy's 'Paying Calls' (43), Seamus Heaney's 'Mid-Term Break' (45) and, one of the most famous, Alfred Noyes's 'The Highwayman' (79)-:
The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees, The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor, And the highwayman came riding —
Riding — riding —
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.
This opening stanza describes the landscape over which the highwayman comes, which narrows as he arrives at the inn: 'Over the cobbles he clat¬tered and clashed in the dark inn-yard.' Between these de******ive elements, the action progresses (`He whistled a tune to the window'). The reader is taken by the omniscient narrator from one part of the scene to another,




234 Poetry
privileged in knowing all, and suffering to the full the dramatic irony of the knowledge of Bess's impending sacrifice as the unsuspecting highwayman approaches on his horse and the soldiers crouch in ambush:
Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear —
Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
The most recent developments in stylistics have included cognitive approaches to the experience of readers as they read texts and we have already touched on one of these — the notion that the features of a text may create a kind of imaginative 'centre' which the reader is most likely to adopt as her/his viewpoint (see Gavins and Steen, 2003). In a roving third-per¬son narration like that of 'The Highwayman', the centre shifts regularly and readers are invited to change their viewpoint accordingly.
Another cognitive theory which has been used to date mainly to describe the effects of prose narration is text world theory. This defines the ways in which texts create and 'furnish' a text world which may differ from the actual world of the reader, and which the reader is invited to recreate mentally as s/he reads. This theory depends upon detailed de******ion of language choices to determine how the picture of the text world is built up in the reader's mind. Many of the examples of foregrounding above play a part in creating such a text world. Another textual practice seems particularly prevalent in creating the worlds of children's poetry — the use of 'negation'. 'The Listeners' (29), for example, is a poem which appeals to children through its spooky atmosphere. The title of the poem hints at the presence of people (or ghosts?). The first stanzas evoke the feelings of the traveller knocking on the door and getting no answer:


But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.



The de******ion of what does not happen is as vivid and detailed as what does happen, and this creates an interesting text world for the reader who can imagine both the scene as described (with no answer to the knock) and also the one that could have happened, but doesn't. This coupled with the evocation of a 'host of phantom listeners', who do not behave in the normal fashion by opening the door, lends an eerie quality to the scene. This conjur¬ing up of scenes by negation is a very common, but underrecognised, phe-nomenon which adds texture to a scene by commenting not only on what is, but on what might be, or might have been. Another poem in this collection, Gerald Bullett's 'November Evening' (19), describes winter darkness in the countryside by such negation:





Extracted from 'From the Best Poets? How the Canon of Poetry for Children is Constructed', in M. Styles, From the Garden to the Street (London: Continuum, 1998), pp. 186-96.
'From the Best Poets'? Anthologies for Children 235
No moon or stars, no glimmer
Of lamp, nor means to tell
Hedge from house or haystack
But by feel and smell



Conclusion


It is probably true to say that there is a stylistic tendency in children's poems towards the formal, rhythmical, rhyming and humorous poem. However, since there is no clear boundary between children's poetry and adult poetry, this can only be a tendency, since the best practice in creating general anthologies for children (as opposed, say, to those for very young readers) must construct a bridge between those poems which appeal most to the sense of musicality and fun that children have and the place of poetry in the adult world, which is, by and large, about intensity of meaning produced through the subtle inven¬tiveness of multiple linguistic processes. The anthology studied here, like many others, brings children into their own world of poems to share with carers, teachers and other children. At the same time, they are also led toward the more subtle uses of language that they will find in adult poetry books.



References


Gavins, J. and Steen, G. 2003. Cognitive Poetics in Practice. London, Routledge.
Jeffries, L. 1993. The Language of Twentieth Century Poetry. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. Leech, G. 1969. A Linguistic Guide to English Poetry. London, Longman.
Leech, G. 2008. Language in Literature: Style and Foregrounding. London, Longman. McGough, R. (ed.) 2002. 100 Best Poems for Children. London, Penguin.
Short, M. 1996. Exploring the Language of Poems, Plays and Prose. London, Longman. Wales, K. 1993. 'Teach Yourself "Rhetoric": An Analysis of Philip Larkin's "Church Going" ', in P. Verdonk (ed.) Twentieth-Century Poetry: From Text to Context. London, Routledge.

وان شاءالله ختامها مسك ... وكل عام وانتم بخير




التوقيع

الحمدلله
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قديم 31-12-2013, 01:23 AM   #2
لوليتا لامبيكا لوليتا لامبيكا غير متصل
ملكة الألوان 2011
 
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افتراضي رد: شرحي لمقال : The Language of Poems for Children:


يعطيج العافية ما قصرتي



التوقيع

قلوبٌ تريد وربٌ يشاء
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قديم 31-12-2013, 02:07 PM   #3
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الله يعافيك

تسلمين

والله يسعدك ويجزيك خير قد وقفتك معانا هالفصل واكثرر
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يعطيكي العافية فيحاء في ميزان حسناتك يارب =)




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الله يعافيكي ^^ بموازين حسنات الجميع ان شاءالله
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طالب فعال
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Thanx
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قديم 18-12-2016, 09:29 PM   #7
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