Part 6 cont - Poetry as Algebraic Expression, Elements in Practice


Voigt then quotes the list of people "who came to Gatsby's house that summer...the Chester Beckers and the Leeches, and a man named Bunsen, whom I knew at Yale, and Doctor Webster Civet, who was drowned last summer up in Maine. And the Hornbeams and the Willie Voltaires, and a whole clan named Backbuck, who always gathered in a corner and flipped up their noses like goats at whosoever came near. And the Ismays and the Chrysties (or rather Hubert Auerbach and Mr Chrystie's wife) and Edgar Beaver, whose hair, they say, turned cotton-white one winter for no good reason at all.

In this chunk of prose she defines the form, the list of people at Gatsby's. The structure is the syntax, explaining that syntax is a structure because it "makes meaning precisely through sequence and lexical relationships." The shapliness (structure) of the list (form) is where our delight comes from as it moves through these aspects of texture:

*phrasal repetition & rhyme
*varying levels of diction

A poem cannot exist without texture, and a poem cannot succeed without both the form and the structure attended to appropriately (127).

In the next section of the critical thesis, I will be looking at a poem's texture, structure and form and observing aspects of these three elements. Then, using the guiding questions, I will evaluate these aspects and note what "works" and doesn't "work" for me and why.