God knows how our neighbor managed to breed His great sow: Whatever his shrewd secret, he kept it hid
In the same way He kept the sow--impounded from public stare, Prize ribbon and pig show.
But one dusk our questions commended us to a tour Through his lantern-lit Maze of barns to the lintel of the sunk sty door
To gape at it: This was no rose-and-larkspurred china suckling With a penny slot
For thrift children, nor dolt pig ripe for heckling, About to be Glorified for prime flesh and golden crackling
In a parsley halo; Nor even one of the common barnyard sows, Mire-smirched, blowzy,
Maunching thistle and knotweed on her snout- cruise-- Bloat tun of milk On the move, hedged by a litter of feat-foot ninnies
Shrilling her hulk To halt for a swig at the pink teats. No. This vast Brobdingnag bulk
Of a sow lounged belly-bedded on that black compost, Fat-rutted eyes Dream-filmed. What a vision of ancient hoghood must
Thus wholly engross The great grandam!--our marvel blazoned a knight, Helmed, in cuirass,
Unhorsed and shredded in the grove of combat By a grisly-bristled Boar, fabulous enough to straddle that sow's heat.
But our farmer whistled, Then, with a jocular fist thwacked the barrel nape, And the green-copse-castled
Pig hove, letting legend like dried mud drop, Slowly, grunt On grunt, up in the flickering light to shape
A monument Prodigious in gluttonies as that hog whose want Made lean Lent
Of kitchen slops and, stomaching no constraint, Proceeded to swill The seven troughed seas and every earthquaking continent.
The stanzas in this poem i thought were very important. They were broken up so much that when you literally say the poem aloud, you're forced to pause. This i felt Plath did on purpose, to create a type of dialogue that a person would have to themselves, when sneaking up on a mysterious barn with a "sow" or female hog inside. Another interesting part of the poem is the title "Sow". The word has different meanings other than just female pig (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sow). "rows of molds in pigs bed" and "a kind of covered shed" relates to the setting of a barn with a "vision of ancient hoghood" hidden inside. The speaker of the poem is contemplating the image of the female hog inside the barn and inflating the image with fantasies of its grandness, "a monument, prodigious in gluttonies." The tone is wonderment from the mysteries of the symbolic "sow" around the corner of the barn doors. Plath chooses to change the typically "gluttonous and greedy pig" to a symbolic form of aspiration and interest to the speaker. Overall, i felt that this poem held many different interpretations and meanings in every stanza.
Free Verse: Poetry that does not rhyme or have regular rhythm
Imagism: A movement in early 20th-century English and American poetry which sought clarity of expression through the use of precise images
Sestina: Has thirty-nine lines in seven stanzas. The first six stanzas are six lines long with the seventh stanza having three lines. The last word of each line in the first stanza, is repeated in varying order in the next five stanzas, ending with a three line "envoi"/tornada involving all six repeated words.
Haiku: Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven and five
Spenserian Sonnet: Edmund Spenser employed an a-b-a-b, b-c-b-c, c-d-c-d, e-e rhyme scheme - as evidenced in his Amoretti sequence. This form has not been particularly popular.
Monologue: A long speech by one person/actor, Greek-monologos: "speaking alone"
Pantoum: A series of quatrains rhyming ABAB, with four-line stanzas in which lines 2 and 4 of one stanza are used in lines 1 and 3 of the next
Villanelle: A pastoral or lyrical poem of nineteen lines, with only two rhymes throughout, and some lines repeated
Ode: A poem expressing noble feelings, often addressed to a person or celebrating an event
Elegy: A mournful poem, typically a lament for the dead
External Form: Poems organized into stanzas-groups of lines divided from other groups by white space on the page
Internal Structure: "Proper words in proper places"- Jonathan Swift
Language: The poets word choice or diction of a poem
Setting: Specific time and place
Situation: What is happening? Where? To whom? Why?
Speaker: Express ideas or feelings very different from the poet's own
Tone: The attitude of the speaker towards the subject