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4.3 Analysis and interpretation

We have got to the point of recognising that this is a lyric poem, and of thinking that it is probably about a lovers’ meeting. But you cannot reach firmer conclusions about a text's meanings until you have looked at as many aspects of it as you can. I think we need to go back again to the detail of the poem, because the analysis is not full enough yet.

For one thing, there is something odd about the poem's syntax. If you look at the verbs in the first verse you'll see that they are a
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4.2 Meaning and ‘form’

The question remains, what is this poem ‘about’? Or, rather, we should ask, ‘what kind of poem is it?’ Poems (paintings, ideas, music, buildings, historical documents) are not all ‘one kind of thing’. As we become familiar with poetry we learn to distinguish between different kinds of poem, or between different poetic forms.

Epic poems, for example, are extremely long stories about the doings of a noble warrior, voyager, or similar ‘hero’. Other char
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4.1 Knowledge about context and author

After you had read the poem a few times, you no doubt pieced together that the ‘I’ of line 5 in the first verse, the speaker, is rowing in a boat at night. We probably realise that with the word ‘prow’. By the end of the first verse the boat is beached in a cove. The journey continues over the beach and fields to a farm (by foot, presumably, since we hear about no other means of transport). There the traveller meets someone. It appears that they exchange signals – the tap on the pan
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3.2 Carrying out an analysis

Here, then, is the two-verse poem we will focus on in the next few sections of the unit. As you see, I have left out the ends of the lines in the second verse. So it presents you with a kind of ‘puzzle’. (But I have included the punctuation, and added line numbers for ease of reference.)

  1. The grey sea and the long black land;

  2. And the yellow half-moon large and low;

  3. And the startled little waves that leap

  4. <
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3.1 Why analyse?

Whatever kind of text you study, one of your main tasks is to try to understand it ‘as it is in itself’. That means analysing it. You have to examine it in detail so that you can see what it is made up of and how it ‘works’.

Just as you read, view or listen to different kinds of text in different ways, so you approach your analysis of them differently. In each case, you ask particular types of question using a specialised analytical language. We have
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2.2 Listening and viewing

If you are studying music, a foreign language, plays-in-performance, film or the media, you have to do a lot of listening and viewing. Again, you need to be aware that there are different ways of doing this.

For example, when you listen through some music for the first few times just to get a ‘feel’ for the piece as a whole, you don't have to do it in a studious way. You can listen in the car, or at home as you do some chores. But when you come to study the music, you
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2.1 Reading

Before you begin your interrogation of a text, though, you have to get to know it in a general way. In a sense, you can ‘see’ visual texts (such as paintings, sculptures and buildings) all at once; there they are before you. You can move around them, looking at them from different angles. But with written, aural and moving image texts – in which words, sounds or images follow on from one another – you cannot become familiar with the whole thing until
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1.3.2 Texts

We can think of all the ‘objects’ that we study in the arts and humanities as, broadly speaking, texts. They may be literary, historical, legal or philosophical written texts; visual texts such as paintings, buildings, artefacts, plays-in-performance and films; aural texts, as in the performance of music and in spoken languages; or symbolic texts, for example religious ceremonies, maps, architectural plans and music scores. These things are all ‘texts
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1.1 Analysis, interpretation and evaluation

When you study a painting, for example, you take it apart to see how it ‘works’ as a painting. You analyse it ‘as it is in itself’, because this gives you many clues to what it might mean. But that analysis is complicated by the fact that the way we understand a painting itself changes over time. For instance, what a religious painting might have meant to the artist and his contemporaries in sixteenth-century Italy cannot be the same as it means to us now. We do n
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • understand aspects of human culture, past and present;

  • analyse various ‘objects’, interpret their meaning and evaluate them.


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Introduction

In this unit we turn to the nature of the arts and humanities themselves, and look at the main processes involved in studying them.

Broadly, when you study the arts and humanities you study aspects of culture. You explore people's ideas and beliefs, their cultural practices and the objects they have made. Human history is criss-crossed with the traces of people who did, said and made things and these people were to some extent aware of what they were doing. So all
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Acknowledgements

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Figures

Figure 2 Photograph published with permission of the International Tr
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2 Relationships

In reality, a message like the one just referred to above is just one of many which forms part of the ongoing relationships we have with the people we work with. How we get on with each other can have a huge impact on the interpretation of a given message, and the subsequent effects that might have on their motivation or morale.

The next idea we will introduce is a framework for assessing how relationships are established and evolve, based on the states of mind of those involved
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1 Communication

The basis of good communication seems very simple, it is speaking or writing clearly such that any message you (the sender) intend to send to someone else (the receiver) is exactly the one which they receive. This means that as well as the detailed content of the message, we have to give some thought to the language we use e.g. ask ourselves if the receiving person might misunderstand any words or phrases we use. We must also be aware of the way we deliver the message –
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • recognise the importance of interpersonal skills

  • describe how good communication with other can influence our working relationships

  • outline the roles we play in our work groups and teams


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Introduction

Much of what is most important about management is interpersonal, how we deal with others. Awareness of our own and others’ interpersonal skills can help us enormously in dealing with the work tasks we are responsible for.

This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Understanding management (Y159) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in
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All materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open University.


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9.8 Drawing ideas together

This key skill has used a three-stage framework for developing your skills. By developing a strategy, monitoring your progress and evaluating your overall approach, you take an active role in your own learning. But learning does not necessarily follow a path of steady improvement, it involves change: revisiting ideas, seeing things from different perspectives, tackling things in different ways.

You are unlikely to be able to complete your work by working through it from beginning to end
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9.7.3 Identify ways of further developing your skills in working with others

Use your assessment and reflective comments to suggest ways of improving your own performance in working with others. How do you intend to make these changes? Working in a group is a skill that you may need to go on developing throughout your course of study and in the workplace. All groups vary, and to enhance the performance of any group, as well as to help individual group members develop their skills, it is helpful to look at how the group has operated.

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