What is a poetic counterpart? Or how do you write a poem that intertexts with an essay/short story?I need to write a poem that intertexts or is the poetic counterpart for this essay/short story...

What is a poetic counterpart? Or how do you write a poem that intertexts with an essay/short story?

I need to write a poem that intertexts or is the poetic counterpart for this essay/short story that I've already written.

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readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Here are few points to consider when it comes to intertextuality.

First, ask yourself how do you know if there is an intertextual reference. This needs to be proved. Below are a few level of intertextuality:

1. Direct quotation. Keep in mind that this could be a rare word.

2. Allusion.

3. Echo.

Second, ask yourself how the original quote, allusion or echo works within the original text.

Third, see how that quote, allusion or echo works in the new context. Is it similar? Is it completely new? What might the author want to get at?

If you follow these steps, then you will be well on your way to becoming a sensitive reader.

If you follow the link, I will some tips on how to interpret the New Testament's use of the Old Testament.

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mstultz72's profile pic

mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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A poetic counterpart is a poem that is based on or inspired by another work of literature or art.  A poetic counterpart to Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road is Alan Ginsberg's "Howl," for example, as as they both are descended from the same Beat generation.

A intertext is a modern re-telling of an older story, novel, or poem.  An example of this is James Joyce's Ulysses, a novel based on Homer's epic.  Richard Wilbur's "Beowulf" is another.  Tim O'Brien's short story "The Man I Killed" is an intertext with Thomas Hardy's "The Man He Killed."

Or, intertextuality is found within the same work.  For example, Beowulf has intertextuality within it.  The original author wrote a very pagan poem only to have it revised by monks who added Christian elements to it.

So, to write a poem simply base it on a short story in terms of major elements.  Keep it similar to the original, but you must make it more modern, spin it to your tastes, make it fit a new reader.  Texts need to be changed, revised, or added to over time.  Intertextuality is a way to overlay a new theme on top of an old story.

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