Syntactic Foregrounding In Poetry Analysis

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Different types of syntactic foregrounding are examined in this essay when applied to poems. There are three poems that are analysed, ‘Child’ by Sylvia Plath, ‘Women and Children First’ by Ingrid de Kok and ‘Bitter-Berry Daybreak’ by Ingrid Jonker which are used to analyse the terms accentuation, creation of hierarchies, shifts of accent, ambiguity, semanticisation and the creation of hierarchical relationships and how they affect literature. Accentuation is evident in all three of the poems. Accentuation is used in order to draw attention to a specific emotion. In the poem ‘Child’ the last verse is primary in stressing a female’s feelings regarding her child which, in addition holds the name of this poem. There’s an impression of maternal…show more content…
The first line of the last verse deviates from conventional grammar when it begins with the negative expression ‘not’. It takes up again its pessimistic ways with a line break that goes into the following line. The ungrammatical ‘troublous’ highlights the animated human act of the twisting of hands which, more often than not, is brought out when conveying hopelessness or a sense of misery. ‘Women And Children First’ exhibits another type of accentuation. It presents the repetition of words and phrases. The title of the poem ‘Women and Children First’ is repeated two times at the end of the first and last verses. This is made to foreground the difficulty of women and their children in social groups, predominantly in the context of a “macho” social group. The repetition of these words is efficient in emphasising the irony of these phrases where in situations of a disaster, for instance a sinking ship or bomb threat to a building, it was standard for women and children to be permitted to get out of these situations before others – save for the elderly. Ironically, these lines are reinforced by verses two and three where it’s stated that although they’re supposed to be first in the occurrence of an emergency, the women and children are

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