Speaker: Is someone identified as the speaker? What assumptions can you make about the speaker? (e g., age, gender, class, emotional state, etc.) Speaker
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HOW soon hath time, the subtle thief of youth, Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year! My hasting days fly on with full career, But my late spring no bud or blossom sheweth.
S is for Speaker
Speaker: Is someone identified as the speaker? What assumptions can you make about the speaker? (e.g., age, gender, class, emotional state, etc.)
The speaker of the poem is a young man on his birthday (line 3 “my”).
Occasion: What is the rhetorical occasion of the poem? Is it a memory, a description, an observation, a valedictory, an argument, a diatribe, an elegy, a declaration, a critique, etc.?
The occasion is the 23rd birthday or close to it. He might be thinking about it approaching.
Audience: Does the speaker identify an audience? What assumptions can you make about the intended audience? Is the speaker clearly addressing one person or the world?
I think the speaker is talking or thinking to himself. If he is taking stock of his life he might be thinking about what he has or hasn’t done.
Purpose: What is the speaker's purpose? In what ways does the poet convey this message? What is the message? How does the speaker try to spark a reaction in the audience? How is the poem supposed to make the audience feel? What is its intended effect?
If the man is taking stock of his life at this turning point, he might be thinking about what he has left to do.
Subject: What is the subject of the piece? How do you know this? How does the poet present his/her subject? Does (s)he present it immediately or does (s)he delay its revelation?
Growing old, looking back, having regret, but having hope.
Tone: What is the author's attitude toward the subject? What emotional sense do you take from the piece? How does the diction point to tone?
In the first 8 lines the speaker seems a little sad about growing old because he never had kids and regrets it. He seems sad that his days are flying by, and lonely.
Stylistic and Linguistic Elements: syntax, language, literary devices, imagery, diction, detail. Use of accented language, metaphors, similes, alliteration, capitalization within the lines, repetition, etc.
Narrative Style: How does the poet tell the "story" of the poem? What does the poet reveal? What does he/she conceal? What does (s)he invert/subvert? Is the poem "dramatic," almost play-like in its use of dialogue or theatrical conventions like the soliloquy? How does the poet treat time?
Evidence: What kind of diction dominates the poem? What is the source of the images (for example: nature, weapons, law, science, theology, love, architecture, etc.). What do sound devices contribute to the poem? What was going on politically when the poem was written? (You will have to research the poem’s publishing date…)
“Written language, especially poetry, is inherently a flawed translation of lived life.”
Your next step in the research paper is to find reliable, credible research that agrees with your SOAPSTone findings, as well as biographical and historical information on the author and time period…
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