Semiotic way of interpreting poetry/literature

Step 1
First look at the significant or important words in a page. Think of the meaning for each of the words.

Step 2:
Can the meanings of these words mean anything else? Are there similar words that can be used, but aren’t? What does choosing this word over all the other options do for the poem’s meaning? If a similar word were substituted, would the poem change? If so, what is the significance that this chosen word has?

Step 3:
Continue analyzing the poem through this method to come up with a definition per significant word throughout the poem. Keep in mind that the sounds of words don’t have any meaning and the only significant information is the meaning of the word by comparing to everything the word is not.

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  1. Kevin L. Ferguson Said,

    October 26, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    But how do you know what the significant words are? And–aren’t the significant words only significant because of their association with insignificant words?

  2. morgan92 Said,

    October 30, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

    I agree with you professor, I would be confused as to label and pick out only the significant word. I believe by adding a couple of steps before Step 1 would help clarify as to what should be done. If you add something like read throught the first line and grasp a mental image and do this for all the following lines it would make the process much easier.

  3. mchan Said,

    October 31, 2011 @ 4:07 am

    Thank you both!
    @Professor: I should have been a bit clearer. By significant words, I believe it would be the words that are most relevant–meaning without those words the poem would have an absolutely different meaning. The significant words should stand out to the reader most, and as Morgan said–these would be the words that cause us to form an image in our minds.

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