This is my first time posting and i would be very grateful if you could provide me with answers to the following questions. I am currently studying at GCSE level (UK) and I am aiming towards grades A and ***. Any information which you could provide me with in relation to the poem Little Boy Lost / Little Boy Found by William Blake (1789), would prove extremely valuable, and would be used to annotate the aforementioned poem, for future revision purposes. Here are the questions:

1. What specific liguistic devices does the poet use and how do these contribute towards the overall message, tone, and/or effect of the poem? For each could you specify a specific example.

2. What specific structural devices does the poet use and how do these contribute towards the overall message, tone, and/or effect of the poem? For each could you specify a specific example.

3. What presentational (form-related) devices does the poet use and how do these contribute towards the overall message, tone, and/or effect of the poem? For each could you specify a specific example.

4. Are there any underlying messages behind the poem? If so how are these revealed either through the language, structure, or presentation of the poem?

5. Finally what is the overall mood of the poem in question?

If you need a copy of the poem please visit http://www.emule.com/poetry and type in the search box 'the little boy lost', both the resultant poems are applicable to this question. Therefore when writing you answer could you answer the questions for each poem, they are short and therefore will not occupy too much time.

PS: Due to the absency of sufficiently qualified english teachers, I have run rapidly short of time. Therefore, if you could post a reply to this message in full asap, I would be extremely grateful.

Damian
1 2
Hello Damianosx, welcome to English Forums!

What are your answers to these questions so far?

(Feel free to post them up.)

MrP
I will post up my ideas as soon as possible.

However, on a side note, just out of interest, what types of guidance are you restricted to giving? Are you only allowed to expand on the ideas of others', or are you able to provide initial ideas which can then be expanded upon, by those requesting guidance?

E.g. Is it within your allowed field of assistance to provide me with examples of poetic devices used by the poet, which I can then analyse and determine the resultant effects? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide me some guidance of this form.

P.S. Thanks for responding to my query (<---- initial intended denotation)
- Just in case phraseology caused any misunderstanding.

Damian
Emotion: smile
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Hi Damien,

I have read your message, and note that Mr. P is waiting for your answers so far. If you have read his postings, you will see that he is definitely the one to ask about poetic structure etc.

It is my understanding that posters may offer suggestions generally, though for an A level essay you would obviously need some references to back up your ideas.

Can you let us know how much time you have, and what is your word limit? (please note, I don't think anyone will write your essay for you, but you will receive some sound advice) Emotion: smile

You won't always receive immediate replies, because sometimes it takes a little while to research the answers (it does for me anyway), but please be patient - it will come within a couple of days, depending upon the question.

I'll try to respond to you this evening, but now I must go and dig and delve in my garden.
Having viewed many of his previous postings, I have realised that Mr Pendantic is certainly fluent in the usage of poetic devices in poems, and hence i requested his advice. However, I have also noted that the postings you gave provided many with sound advice into the exploration and analysis of the poem's content and devices.

The questions in my initial post are not part of any specific assignment/essay issued to me, but rather, were created by me, as a means of breaking down the analysis of the poem into different sections, language, structure, presentation and the resultant tone/mood of the poem. The guidance I receive will be used purely for revision purposes to help me revise this particular poem for my GCSE english literature exam.

What I am looking for fundamentally, is a list of significant linguistic, structural and presentational devices used throughout the poem, an example of how they are used in the text, and if possible a short insight into each as to the effect of the device in conveying a message, creating a certain tone, or perhaps simply emphasising a certain aspect of the poem which is significant to the tone/theme of the poem.

I am currently in the process of analysing the poem myself, and I would really like it if you could help me along with some ideas, and examples of linguistic, structural and presentational devices which I can then build on and use to supplement my current research?

Ideally I would prefer some guidance sometime next week (monday (04) - sunday (10)). However, I am aware that you are often busy, and that this mightn't be possible.

P.S. As relatively recent member of English Forums, I have to say what you, alongside many other moderators and members do here, is fantastic.

Damian
Hi Damian,

I understand what you want to do, so how about a deal? You tell us what you think, and then we'll join in the debate.

For example, what are your own thoughts about the Poems of Innocence and Experience?

Do you think the poems you mention are purely descriptive, or is there an underlying meaning?

What do you know about Blake ?
Emotion: smile
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Hello Damian

Sorry, my last post was a little bald. I should have explained a little more.

If members are really stuck with a question or analysis, we can give them a few initial ideas to help them along. Usually, though, it's better to use members' own ideas as a starting point, as Abbie suggests. That way, we can make sure the response is pitched at the right level and isn't wildly inappropriate.

(Not that a few more 'wildly inappropriate' moments would go amiss, in a poetry forum.)

MrP
Ah, how I yearn for a wildly inappropriate moment! Emotion: rolleyes
Hello Damian

Here are a couple of thoughts to start you off. LBL = Little Boy Lost and LBF = Little Boy Found.

1. What specific liguistic devices does the poet use and how do these contribute towards the overall message, tone, and/or effect of the poem? For each could you specify a specific example.

Note the repetitions (speak, father) in LBL.

Note the alliteration on W in LBL.

2. What specific structural devices does the poet use and how do these contribute towards the overall message, tone, and/or effect of the poem? For each could you specify a specific example.

Note that in LBL, the structure is very simple: 1 stanza questions, 1 stanza replies.

LBF then serves as an answer to LBL as a whole.

(You may want to look at Little Girl Lost/Found in Songs of Experience, which in some respects serve as an answer to these 2 poems. The structure of Songs of I&E is complicated: you could almost say that the counterpart poems in Songs of E. complete the picture that Songs of I. only partially presents.)

3. What presentational (form-related) devices does the poet use and how do these contribute towards the overall message, tone, and/or effect of the poem? For each could you specify a specific example.

You might want to look at a few poems by each of these writers:

Ambrose Phillips
Isaac Watts

'Parody' would probably be too strong a word, in connection with Blake's choice of form (ballad metre); but there seems to be a relationship of some kind. This has some bearing on Blake's 'naive' tone, in Songs of I&E.

Percy's Reliques (which popularised border and Scottish ballads) is also worth looking into.

4. Are there any underlying messages behind the poem? If so how are these revealed either through the language, structure, or presentation of the poem?

Blake is quite easy to misinterpret. LBF, for instance, seems to express a fairly traditional religious sentiment. You have to look at the label, though: 'Songs of Innocence'. Then, if you read the poem in conjunction with Little Girl Lost, it becomes an altogether more baffling piece.

Generally, Blake's thought is quite unusual. For one thing, he was a painter as well as a poet, and presented his poems as texts superimposed on paintings. The paintings therefore often 'comment' tacitly on the poems, in ways which do not translate easily into standard critical terms: painting and poem form a whole.

For another, he was interested in some fairly remote byways of religion and philosophy: the works of Plotinus, Boehme, Law, and Swedenborg, for instance. Even where he refers to 'standard' authors such as Homer, Virgil, Milton, etc., his opinions can be idiosyncratic. A vast invisible mycelium of private mythology underlies all his work. (It provides work and tenure for an enormous number of academic commentators.)

As a rule of thumb, I'd say that wherever Blake seems straightforward and easy to understand, he's probably up to something.

MrP
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