Poem and diction are the two words that have resulted in the formation of the term poetic diction. About poems, we all know that it is a work of art written in lyrical form.
On the other hand, the term diction signifies the kinds of words, phrases, and sentence structures as well as figurative language in certain cases, that form any work of literature. Essay services are very useful for students.
Diction, in simple terms, refers to the language used in the poetry. In the case of analysis of any piece of literary work, it becomes important to understand its diction because other than serving,
for all other purposes, it also tends to tell the reader about the intended audience of the writer. Therefore, its study becomes important in the literary field, and students going for the same may need assignment help in certain instances.
The understanding and analysis of a writer’s diction can be done under a great variety of categories, such as the extent to which the language used is concrete or abstract, formal or colloquial, Anglo-Saxon or Latin in origin, or even common or technical.
There have been certain poets since ages that have used a distinctive language or poetic diction, which includes words, phrasing, and figures that were not used in the general discourse of the era when the poet was writing. In contemporary times, the term poetic diction is used for poets who, like Edmund Spenser in the Elizabethan era and like G. M. Hopkins in the Victorian era, purposely employed a diction that deviated not only from the common speech but also from the writings of other poets of the era.
In the most frequent use, the term portions diction is applied to specify a special style developed by the Neoclassical writers of the eighteenth century. These writers were of the same opinion as Thomas Gray,
who, in his letter to Richard West, said that the language of the age is never the language of poetry. Since the Neo-Classical age was highly inspired by the classical writers, therefore, as suggested by several research paper writings on the topic,
the Neoclassical poetic diction too, was in large parts derived from the characteristic usefulness of the admired earlier poets like Edmund Spenser, Roman Virgil, as well as John Milton.
This poetry was primarily based on the reigning principle of decorum, according to which a poet must adapt the level and the type of his diction to the status and mode of the particular genre.
Irrespective of this fact, there were certain poems that required the use of everyday language in order to make the readers understand the intended purpose of the writer.
For instance, formal satires, especially by Alexander Pope, like the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, required the use of language spoken by urbane and cultivated people of the time, since it represented a poet’s direct commentary on matters of everyday affairs.
However, to qualify as a higher genre such as epic, tragedy, and ode, required a refined and elevated poetic diction in order to raise the style to the required form.
On the contrary, descriptive and pastoral poems, that involved references to lowly materials, used a special diction to invest such materials with the elegance and dignity that were considered apt for poetry.
Several research paper works have suggested that the prominent characteristics of the eighteenth-century poetic diction were its archaism as well as its use of recurrent epithets,
its preference for the resounding words derived from Latin; the frequent personification of an invocation to the abstractions as well as inanimate objects and above all the persistent use of a roundabout and elaborate way of saying something,
which is known as periphrasis, to avoid what was then regarded as the low, technical, or commonplace terms, by substituting them by a phrase that was thought to be of a higher decorum or dignity.
James Thompson’s The Seasons contains periphrasis like the bleating kind for sheep, the finny tribe for fish, and from the snowy leg…the inverted silk she drew used instead of she took off her still stocking.
Another prominent proponent of this technique was Thomas Gray, who manifested in his poems all the devices of poetic diction. The contemporary readers took pleasure in the ingenuity of phrases that Gray used, by which he tried to achieve the stylistic elevation appropriate to the anode. This technique is evident in his poem Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.
1798 was the year of publication of the lyrical ballads. William Wordsworth, in this work, attacked the neo-classical doctrine of the special language of poetry. Wordsworth was of the opinion that there lies no difference in the language of metrical composition as well as of prose.
In this way, he decried the poetic diction of all the Neoclassical writers as unnatural, artificial, and vicious. Thereafter he set up the criterion for a valid poetic diction saying that poetry is not a matter of artful contrivance but of spontaneous overflow of emotions that one recollects while in a peaceful situation.
The Romantic writers including Wordsworth were of the opinion that poetry must no more be just written for the upper classes, addressing their subjects but the actual speech of humble and rustic life.
Wordsworth’s poems thus focused on such subjects that address normal life, that is, the solitary reaper or the daffodils that one notices daily, or the rainbow. He addressed such easily found subjects in a language that the masses could understand.
The way he addressed these subjects gave the readers a different perspective. And that is how he brought a change in the perspective towards poetic diction.
Therefore, with each passing age in the history of English literature, the perspective towards poetic diction too changed and, in each period, gave the readers something new to read and understand. The points mentioned above are sufficient enough to offer assignment help to students working on the topic. The students can supplement the information by adding the required examples for each sub-topic.