A quoi bon dire Flashcards Preview

AS/A Level English Literature > A quoi bon dire > Flashcards

Flashcards in A quoi bon dire Deck (8)
Loading flashcards...
1

Context

Modernist poem written in 1916

2

Structure

Dramatic monologue. 3 stanzas representing past,present and future. 1st and 2nd stanzas mirror. Steady rhyme scheme but not rhythm.

3

"A quoi bon dire"

Translates as what's the point of speaking?. Ironic as reader realises loved one has been dead for 17 years whilst speaker behaves as if they are alive.

4

"Seventeen years ago you said
Something that sounded like Good-bye;
And everybody thinks that you are dead,
But I."

Begins with simple language. The "you" may have died but remains alive in the speakers memory. "Goodbye" is capitalised indicating death or final parting. The world simply registers the physical death of the lover. Uneven metre. Lines of iambic tetrameter followed by a single iamb reinforces meaning and "but I" suggests speakers personal unique perception. Believes rest of the world is wrong. Mirrors last two lines of stanza two forming syntactic parallels. Closeness and harmony between speaker and addressee.

5

"So I, as I grow stiff and cold
To this and that say Good-bye too;
And everybody sees that I am old
But you."

"Grow stiff and cold" suggests old age or death. World sees her in present as aging woman but their ages remain as they were 17 years ago. Lovers memories are locked into the past.

6

"And one fine morning in a sunny lane
Some boy and girl will meet and kiss and swear
That nobody can love their way again"

New generation of lovers see them as unique. Older couple who have died observing younger versions of themselves. Scene presented positively and lyrically. Repeated "and" in second line form a polysyndetic list. Articulates wider truth of love. Idyllic romantic setting. Repetition of "will" creates a sense of certainty to experience described. Reflects feeling of any young couple.

6

"And one fine morning in a sunny lane
Some boy and girl will meet and kiss and swear
That nobody can love their way again"

New generation of lovers see them as unique. Older couple who have died

7

"While over there
You will have smiled, I shall have tossed your hair."

"Over there" means from the world of the dead. Use of future perfect tense suggests it will happen in the future. Love is alive despite growing old and dying. Dramatic long last line. Brings reader close in to to the lovers personal lives. First three lines of stanza three in iambic tetrameter. "While over there" is iambic dimeter which slows pace as mood shifts and focuses on older loves. Lines two, four and five in stanza three rhyme creating sense of finality.