INTERPRETING LITERARY WORKS
Meaning of Literary works
Literary works are the product of the creative and imaginative use of language, and discipline that studies literary works is termed as literature.
Literature is the work of art which is transmitted in either spoken or written form. Examples of literary works are novels, plays, short stories, and poetry.
In order to understand well different kinds of literary works, a student is supposed to understand the definition of different terminologies used in literary works.
Definition of Terms
• Author- Is a person who writes a book or a story.
• Plot- An arrangement of events.
• Character- Is a particular nature of an individual/ someone.
• Setting- Is an area or place where an event took place.
• Chapter- This is the main division in literary works.
• Style- This is the way/ techniques used in writing a work.
• Publisher- Is an authority or person who published a book.
• Theme- Is a central idea in a book.
• Message- Is a lesson you got from a story.
INTERPRETING A POEM
The poem is a piece of writing arranged in short lines, it tries to express thoughts and feelings with the help of sound and rhythm.
Poetry is a work of art which uses imaginative language to express feelings and thoughts of human experiences. Sometimes you can say It is an art of composing a poem.
The main purpose of the poems is to be sung. They comprise of the rhythmical sounds and musical features.
STRUCTURE OF THE POEM
A reader of the poem first need to understand the following terms before making an interpretation of a poem;
(i) What is a poem?
It is a piece of writing uses language imaginatively to express feelings and thoughts of human experience.
(ii) Who is a poet?
This is an artist who composes a poem/ poems.
(iii) What is a stanza?
It is the combination of verses in a poem.
(iv) What is a verse?
A verse is a single line contained in a poem.
(v) What is a simile?
This is a way of making a comparison of two things by using conjunctions, For example; Juma is like a lion.
(vi) What is a metaphor?
It is a figure of speech which makes a comparison of two dissimilar things without using a conjunction. For example; She is a lion.
Kichuya is a Ronaldo
(vii) What is an alliteration?
This implies the words with the same sound at the beginning of the word in a verse which foster meaning. For example; feel free friend focus.
(viii) What is a rhyme?
These are words which contain the same sounds at the end of the verses. For example; high, cry, shy, die.
(ix) What is imaginary?
This is the process of making mental pictures when you are reading a work of art.
It is a comparison of that picture with the reality of our life experience.
(x) What is symbolism?
It is the process of using a person or an object to represent something else.
Interpretation of the poem “EAT MORE”
Eat More Fruit, The slogan says,
More beef, more bread,!
But I'm on unemployment -pay,
My third year now and wed
And so I wonder when I’ll see the slogan when I pass,
The only one that would suit me,
Eat more bloody Grass
Analysis of the Poem “EAT MORE”
The poem is about insisting people to eat a balanced diet.
The persona in this poem is a common man who came from the lower class (poor man).
The poem has only two stanzas.
The poem employs different figures of speeches such as follows;
• Personification- This is the process of giving non-living things, the attributes of living things ( persons). For example,
*In a verse one “The slogan” has been given the ability to say (to speak) “Eat more fruits the slogan say….”
• Symbolism- The author uses different things to represent other things/ situations. For example, He uses bread, fish, and beef to represent people of high class who can afford to eat a balanced diet. He also uses “bloody grass” t represent people of lower the class (poor people).
• Alliteration- This is the similar sounds which are found in a single verse. For example, the writer uses alliteration when he says, “More fish….more beef…..more bread”.
• Rhythms- The use of similar sound patterns at the end of verses. For example; ”Say”, “pay”, “Bread”
These are a similar sound pattern in the words.
Generally, the main purpose of the poetry is to communicate its intended message to the society. A poet is inspired to write when she/he has noticed something that has made a deep impression on him and he want to share it in artistic ways.