Exile and Pain In Three Elegiac Poems

There is a great similarity between the three elegiac poems, The Wanderer, The Wife of Lament, and The Seafarer. This similarity is the theme of exile. Exile means separation, or banishment from ones native country, region, or home. During the Anglo Saxon period, exile caused a great amount of pain and grief. The theme is shown to have put great sadness into literature of this time period. The majority of the world’s literature from the past contains the theme of exile.

The Wife of Lament is another perfect example of literature with exile, and was written by an unknown author. The most striking example of exile in this poem can be seen in the passage when she says, “A song I sing of sorrow unceasing, the tale of my trouble, the weight of my woe, woe of the present, and woe of the past, woe never-ending of exile, and grief, but never since girlhood greater then now. ” The woman’s husband left her in a life of exile, after he left. She is constantly looking for him, and finds a life that is quite similar to being locked away in prison.

She is locked up in a cave under a tree. Her joy comes from thinking that her husband is as miserable as her. In the first passage from the poem, The Wanderer, it speaks of exile by saying, “To the wanderer, weary of exile cometh Gods pity, compassionate love, though woefully toiling on wintry seas with churning oar in the icy wave, homeless and helpless he fled from fate. ” It can be easily seen, in this passage, how common exile was in the poem, but also what a great pain it must have been to deal with the trial.

The author continually describes how incredibly miserable he is living his life in exile, how awful it is to have to live without the guidance from a higher rank being a lord and king in this case, how there is no one to talk to and to share ones feelings with, and how there is no money or riches of any kind for a man who is living in exile. For the most part, the poem is sad and depressing and the reader easily sees what this man is going through and how terrible it must be for him to live without all the things many others take for granted everyday of their lives.

The author of this poem, who has obviously been exiled, does an exquisite job of showing, maybe even teaching, to the reader how important the things are that you lose in life when exiled, no matter how rich or poor you are. You take the greatest loss of all when you are exiled, you take the loss of losing everything that makes it seem purposeful for you to live out the day you just began. This is obviously the idea the author is trying to get across in this poem.

Throughout the poem The Seafarer, also composed by an unknown author, it is obvious that the man is not exiled directly in the ways people have been exiled in the other poems, however being stuck on a ship is in many ways quite similar to being exiled from your homeland. Numerous passages in this poem show this mans painful life at sea. The one that stands out most greatly to me is this passage; “No man sheltered on the quiet fairness of earth can feel how wretched I was, drifting through winter on an ice-cold sea, whirled in sorrow, alone in a world blown clear of love, hung with icicles.

This man may not have been exiled in the same way that the others had been, however his life was full of misery and nothing seemed right for him, as shown in the quote. The things everyone takes for granted, when living on land, he missed because all he knew was the wretched sea and all the misery it was causing him. Among the things he desperately missed were mead, a drink made of fermented honey, his lord, and his friends voices.

To some these things might seem amazingly simplistic, however anyone stuck at sea would start to miss the simplest things that they never even thought twice about getting, and begin to miss them more incredibly with each passing day. Obviously this mans life was drifting at sea. The only time he ever got to see any land was when he stopped shortly at ports. He drifted the sea only to live a miserable life which he could have done something about, but didn’t. There was no reason for a man like this to start a family, and he knew that. He would never have the chance to see them because he would always be at sea.

Unknowingly this man lived a life of exile, exile from land and all it’s wonders. Although these poems tell different stories, they all contain the main themes exile and pain. After reading each of these poems, it is obvious that stories of misery were very popular during this period. Authors wrote about pain and exile possibly to lighten the spirits of those fortunate to have the things that had been taken away from the people in the stories, or maybe people of this period just enjoyed reading depressing stories. These three poems did a great job of showing how exile really causes pain amongst the people suffering from it.

Lamentations, written by the prophet Jeremiah

Lamentations, written by the prophet Jeremiah, is a poem mourning the passing of Judah by the Babylonians in 586 B. C. E. (Bailey, 82) through siege and battle. Prior to the destruction, Jeremiah had warned or rather prophesized that Judah must change its ways or suffer the consequence of the Lords wrath. Before the Babylonians destroy the city of Jerusalem, Jeremiah warns the people to live by the laws of Babylon and even wrote the warning down to be presented to the people and even to the King. The King, who was placed on the throne by Egypt, in anger, burns the paper and has Jeremiah thrown in jail.

While in Jail, Jeremiah continues to spread his warning to the people (Book of Jeremiah, Holy Bible Authorized King James Version (KJV)) in hopes that they will change their ways, to no avail. The Babylonians come in and lay siege to the city of Jerusalem and after a time the inhabitants of the city succumb. The survivors are either exiled or go into hiding and leave the area into Egypt where they continue to think about what they have lost and to live without losing their cultural or religious ways.

The book of Lamentations is written in five chapters in an acrostic style poem based off of the Hebrew alphabet. Chapters one, two, four and five are written one long verse per letter of the alphabet leaving us with 22 verses, and chapter three is written with three short verses for each letter of the alphabet leaving us with 66 verses. The chapters one, two, four and five are written in a form that paints a picture of the utter destruction of Jerusalem, and the desolation of its inhabitants.

The author uses colorful speech and many analogies to impart upon the reader the full scope of damage done to the city. For example Lamentations 1:6 tells us that the daughter of Zion’s beauty has departed and her princes are become like harts that find no pasture and are with out strength before the enemy. To paraphrase or in layman terms, that after the destruction the men pined with sorrow and had no courage against the enemy (Geneva Study Bible, 1599). Another verse, Lamentations 1:17, Jeremiah compares Jerusalem to a menstrual woman among them.

Jeremiah is making a reference to Leviticus 15:19 when a woman is separated from her husband due to her pollution and abhorred for a time, he is actually telling us that after the destruction there was none to comfort Jerusalem. Jeremiah is continually referring to Jerusalem as the daughter of Zion, a nearby mountain or hill, and when he explains that Zion spread out her hands, he means that Jerusalem tried to get aid from nearby cities or perhaps prior allies, yet found none. The friends that she, Zion, thought she had were no more, as they shunned her as the woman in the passage mentioned above.

The language used in these poems is Hebrew; much is lost in the translation of the works into any language therefore no way to capture the essence of the words and the thoughts behind them. The chapters mentioned above, even in its translation, come across as a beautiful and yet mournful poem. It has many thought provoking verses that transcend through time to impress upon our minds the struggles of the siege and the subsequent downfall of this once majestic city. In verse 20, Jeremiah says ” Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long? Shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord? KJV).

Women eating their fruit is akin to eating their own young in an attempt to stay alive and not just their newborn, but children with some age. It clearly depicts that during the siege famine ran rampant through the city. The priest and prophet could not find solace or protection in a place of worship, is to add to the total blindness in which God took when the city came under attack. Verse 1:19, Jeremiah states that priests and elders have all given up the ghost in search of food in the city (The Geneva Study Bible sums this passage up as them dying of hunger), however if read another way, it could go more like this.

Based on the analogies of the rest of the book that Jeremiah wasn’t conveying to us that his elders and priests died from hunger, but rather that they gave up on the Holy Ghost in search of something more real that they could survive on. In the book of Jeremiah, his people are warned to stay away from idolatry, and based on the rest of the bible that when things get hard they want to make something tangible that they can worship to stay the hand of the enemy.

Since this is a poem and a lot is left up to the reader to decipher, it could be suggested that during the siege the priest’s and the elders gave into the will of others to produce some sort of idol or perform some sort of ritual with an idol (this being the analogy of food, as it was tangible and before them) to worship so that they may find a way out of the situation that they were in. And in doing so, they turned their back on God (or gave up the Ghost). These chapters are an eloquent description of what happened during the siege and afterwards, mostly lamenting the total destruction of what was once grandiose.

Chapter three as mentioned before is in short verse and 66 verses at that, however this is not the most interesting part! Chapter three is done in a different style when compared to the others to the other chapters of Lamentations. Where the others described what had happened and making comparisons what was and what is now, chapter three seems to take a stance of someone that was personally affronted or attacked. It seems that in this chapter Jeremiah feels that he alone was attacked and outcast by God. This makes up the first 17 verses of chapter three then it turns to thankfulness to the mercy of God that he allowed them to survive at all.

Jeremiah then brings up the rest of the chapter talking about how the people had imprisoned him and then cast stones upon him. He even went to say that the words and warnings that he gave the people in the name of the Lord were a joke to the people to whom he went to warn (Verse 3:14). His words were then to offer up that the Lord will one day redeem him and smite his enemies as stated in verses 64 through 66. It has been suggested that this book may have been written after Jeremiah had time to think of the events and to ponder certain aspects of the invasion of the Babylonians (Henry, 1712).

When continuing into chapter four, the general style of the verse reverts back into the meter of the first two chapters. The verses, which sum up the theme and flavor of the book, are Lamentations 2:13, 14: What thing shall I take to witness for thee? What thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? For thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee? Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee. And they have not revealed thy iniquity, to turn away thy captivity, but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment.

Holy Bible, Concordance Dictionary) In verse 2:13, Jeremiah sums up the total destruction of Jerusalem, which is the vein in which the rest of the book travels. Jeremiah expresses a wonder in his questions to repair the city that leaves the reader in awe of what the damage must have been. In the same verse Jeremiah compares the wound suffered to the city to the size of the sea, and who could staunch the sea? The second verse gives insight to why this calamity struck, and why it happened, and also blames the people for their turning to false prophets to steer them astray!

In the verse he basically tells the people of Jerusalem that they sought prophets who would tell them that they were doing good, and to ignore the wrongs that they were committing. He tells them in a blunt manner as one who had the authority to, which leaves one to believe that this man was not above lecturing and berating his people when they did wrong. Instead he let them have it sort of like a father who doesn’t just punish but teaches by pointing out the mistakes made. In this verse I saw Jeremiah as a stern father figure as well as a prophet.

Fire and Ice

If you had a choice on how the world would end, what would you choose? Would your choice to be go painfully but fast? Perhaps you would rather it be so slow and painless you do not even realize it is happening? Thats what I believe Robert Frosts poem Fire and Ice is meant to express. Although the poem is short, it holds a very interesting question to think about. The question is which way would you rather the world come to an end. There are two choices. The first two lines in Fire and Ice express the choices, “Some say the world will end in fire, / Some say in ice.

I feel that he uses the term fire not to hold the direct meaning of a burning flame, but to represent the punishment something can inflict upon an object. It presents the image of the intense pain in which a burn can inflict, along with the extraordinary speed in which it happens. Fire causes a tremendous amount of destruction to virtually anything within seconds. It could also represent just a violent ending. Either way, it would be nice to have things over with fast, but the intense pain might not make it worth it.

For the world to end in ice, seems to present the image of a slower, numbing effect. I feel he uses ice to represent a slow, almost unnoticeable change that eventually causes the destruction of mankind. Fire, instantaneous combustion of an object. Frost uses fire to represent an ending with incredible speed and unimaginable pain. The quote, “From what Ive tasted of desire” seems to represent the tendency of people to be impatient. The way many people of today are, they can not wait. They must have what they want, and they must have it now. That is one of the main purposes of a loan.

Someone wants a car, but does not want to take the time to save the money. They instead borrow the money and have to pay it back, of course at a higher cost with interest. I can honestly say that a huge majority of people are in debt. They could not wait. They had to have something now. I feel that the quote explains this by using the word “desire. ” It presents the fact that people are not willing to wait, if the world is going to end, let it happen. In my interpretation, the narrator agrees with this due to the line “I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,” shows that although the narrator would rather get it over fast, he believes there is another way that is not such a bad option. The alternative to fire, which is ice, also has its advantages. The line, “I think I know enough hate,” shows that the violence of fire is caused by hate and evil. “To say that for destruction ice / Is also great,” represents the fact that there is a calm, slow way to end things. For the world to end in ice, it would take a great deal of time.

Perhaps happening so slowly no person would even notice. It could be happening as you read this paper. Ice represents a numbing effect. Think of rubbing an ice cube across your arm for a few minutes. At first you can feel it, but as time goes on, you feel nothing. Soon, anything you do to that area of your arm is completely undetectable. You do not feel a thing. If people are exposed to the same thing for an extended period of time, a slight increase in intensity goes virtually unnoticed. Take language on television for example, or even in the movies.

When they first came out, many things were thought to be “unacceptable. ” If they were to air the cartoon “South Park” back in 1960, the station would probably lose their license. However, as time progressed, stations slowly introduced the “unacceptable” words, and people just adjusted. Since the change happened over such a long time, people barely even noticed the change. This is what I think Frost was trying to represent by the term ice. The last line in his poem, talking about the destruction of the world by way of ice is, “And would suffice.

I think this final comment expresses his view that although he favors a quick and painful ending, a slow, unnoticeable one would not be such a bad option. Robert Frosts poem Fire and Ice probably has many different interpretations. The one I have chosen I believe poses a very interesting and important question though. When something bad is going to happen, what is the better way? To have things happen fast but with intense pain or destruction. Or should things change slowly so the damage is not recognized? I would choose for the world to end in ice. How would you like the world to end?

The Beat In Allen Ginsbergs America

A half century ago, American poetics redefined itself when it made some organic changes. Traditional verse, as its force-fed rhyme and meter schemes often restricts any accurate report, was subdued and chastised in favor of a more-realistic, a more human-excretory approach to writing verse. Both the Projectivist and the Beat poets, led by Charles Olson and Allen Ginsberg respectively, were instrumental leaders in this mapping of future poetics. They felt communication to be a fine-tuned relationship between the mind and its environment, and as such, a writing tool naturally and necessarily void of abstraction.

In fact, they considered the fruits of their labors as real, and as definite, as the material which it emerged. Lets take a closer look at the organic form desired by the Projectivist poet as described by Charles Olson. Primarily, the poet must compose his poem by field. In other words, instead of trying to fit the near-best word into a pre-ordained line, stanza, or form, the Projectivist poet uses an inherently-less-restrictive, open, free-style verse which relies solely on the poets digestion of his environment, or field. Using such verse could only prove to enhance true communication.

Essentially, there are two interrelated parts to Projectivist verse, the what? and the how?. The what? can be split three ways: kinetics, principle, and process. Kinetics refers to the energy transfer from the field through the poets mind to his pen. The path the energy takes from field to pen is fixed and thus, as mentioned above, void of abstraction. The second part, principle, is simply a corollary to kinetics. This part of the what? has been best described by Robert Creeley who wrote, form is never more than an extension of content.

Finally, the process of composing by field can be easily defined with an understanding of the domino effect. We all know that tapping thus toppling the first of a group of dominos stacked in alignment with each other will swiftly lead to a further tapped thus toppled domino. The same idea can be understood with regards to Projectivist theory of verse; as told to Olson by Edward Dahlberg, one perception must immediately and directly lead to a further perception. The second part of the theory of Projectivist verse, the how, is basically the life force the energy picks up as it travels through the poets body.

Olson very eloquently referred to this union of field and life as the dance of the intellect. According to Olson, born from this joyous celebration are the syllable and the line. By way of the senses as the uterine tube, the mind as the womb, and the breath of the poet as the birth canal, Projectivist poetry is created. And it has life, boy does it have life! In fact, it is life, as it is a natural extension of content. At the time Olson was drafting his theory of projective poetics, Allen Ginsberg was just getting started on his own journey through the beautiful sludge of organic communication.

Ginsberg felt down deep the true rhythm of the Beat. This life-style of writing Ginsberg utilized was also called Beat, a usually drug-induced, politically-seeded organic poetic form in which the author writes quickly and avoids revision. Like the Projectivist poets, the Beat denounced generalization and abstraction. In addition, Ginsberg and his Beat pears rejected logic and preconceived restrictive semiotics in favor of free association and reflex-like rhythmic impulses. It is within this fruitful unrestricted Beat form that rhetorical protest wizardry excels. Allen Ginsberg criticized a masochistic culture.

A mankind suffering from the grip of its own hand. He did so by tapping into the sources of his own internal pain and suffering. Ginsberg was an outstanding spokesperson for outcasts and other victims of a brutish society. Some of the causes he addressed in his works include free speech, gay liberation, legalization of marijuana, and world peace. His deep-seated messages found form in essay, interview, poetry, speech, song, chant, and other performance mediums. As mentioned above, Ginsberg was an unreserved spokesperson for many causes. He put the Americas misunderstood and misrepresented upon his shoulders when he internalized their plight.

The pressure from carrying such a tremendous load was not without consequence, however. Ginsberg suffered from periodic bouts of depression and other forms of mental illness and frequently attended regular counseling sessions with his psychoanalyst for most of his adult life. Nevertheless, as Ginsberg was internalizing the tribulations of America, he was externalizing its effect by disbursing energies in tact. In his poem America, published in 1956, Ginsberg provides his audience with an autobiographical profile, a vivid sketch, if you will, of his inner-sanctuary suffering from the comprehensive ills of society.

He does so following his theory of organic form poetry. He cast to the wind any hint of preconceived rhyme or rhythmic patterns in his aggressive criticism of society. His only measure for syllable or line was his breath, his natural breath, the natural breath of the American citizen, worn, beaten, outraged and vocal. He blasts the atom bomb. He accuses America for his rebellion, his obsessions, and his illnesses. And finally, reproached the insane demands laid upon him; yet excused their occurrences when he put his queer shoulder to the wheel.

The epic poem Beowulf

The epic poem Beowulf describes the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. The hero, Beowulf, is a seemingly invincible person with all the extraordinary traits required of a hero. He is able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people before himself. He encounters hideous monsters and the most ferocious of beasts but he never fears the threat of death. His leadership skills are superb and he is even able to boast about all his achievements.

Beowulf is the ultimate epic hero who risks his life ountless times for immortal glory and for the good of others. Beowulf is a hero in the eyes of his fellow men through his amazing physical strength. He fought in numerous battles and returned victorious from all but his last. In his argument with Unferth, Beowulf explains the reason he “lost” a simple swimming match with his youthful opponent Brecca. Not only had Beowulf been swimming for seven nights, he had also stopped to kill nine sea creatures in the depths of the ocean.

Beowulf is also strong enough to kill the monster Grendel, who has been terrorizing the Danes for twelve years, with his bare hands by ripping off his arm. When Beowulf is fighting Grendel’s mother, who is seeking revenge on her son’s death, he is able to slay her by slashing the monster’s neck with a Giant’s sword that can only be lifted by a person as strong as Beowulf. When he chops off her head, he carries it from the ocean with ease, but it takes four men to lift and carry it back to Herot mead-hall.

This strength is a key Another heroic trait of Beowulf is his ability to put his peoples welfare before his own. Beowulf’s uncle is king of the Geats so he is sent as an emissary to help rid the Danes of the evil Grendel. Beowulf risks his own life for the Danes, asking help from no one. He realizes the dangers but fears nothing for his own life. After Beowulf had served his people as King of the Geats for fifty years, he goes to battle one last time to fight a horrible dragon who is frightening all of his people.

Beowulf is old and tired but he defeats the dragon in order to protect his people. Even in death he wished so secure safety for the Geats so a tall lighthouse is built in order to help the people find there way back from sea. The most heroic of traits within Beowulf is that he is not afraid to die. He always explains his death wishes before going into battle and requests to have any assets delivered to his people. “And if death does take me, send the hammered mail of my armor to Higlac, return the inheritance I had from Hrehtel, and from Wayland.

The Road Not Taken, Choices of Life

All people are travelers, all choosing their paths on a map of their life. The great thing about man for Frost is that he has the power of standing still where he is. There is never a straight road there are always curves and turns in which one must encounter and act upon. Readers can interpret the poem The Road Not Taken in many ways. It is a persons past, present and the way one see things, which determines their choices and paths they follow. This poem shows how Frost believes that it is the road that you choose that makes you the person you are. Decisions are always hard to make.

It is impossible not to wonder what would have happened before you made your decision and what could have happened after you made your decision. Frost shows this in the line And sorry I could not travel both Knowing one can not travel every path there is a realization that one is always missing out on something in life. When the traveler is about to make his decision he looks down one as far as I could. The road leads to the unknown, as do choices in life. When he looks at the paths he does not know where they lead, nor does he have any knowledge of what he will encounter.

He must choose which path he will take and which one he will leave behind, the same way you decide what to choose in any choice of life. Then took the other, just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim, There is a reason that the path he chooses had the better claim it was grassy and wanted wear; It was not a path for everyone because the other path was more worn and most people had traveled that one. He calls the path he chose the road less traveled by. The travelers choice reflects his personality. It shows that he is an individual and does not follow the crowd. He wants to do what is different.

And both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black. The leaves had covered the ground and since the time they had fallen no one has passed on the road. Frost does this because each time a person comes to the point where they have to make a choice, it is new to them, somewhere they have never been, and they feel like no one else has either. I kept the first for another day! The desire to travel both paths is not unusual, but knowing how way leads on to way, the speaker of this poem realizes that the decision is not a temporary one and he doubted if he should ever come back.

This shows how the traveler knows that his choice will affect every other choice he makes afterward. Once you make a choice there is no changing it or turning back. There are many equally valid meanings to this poem and Robert Frost intended this. The poem is simple but can make a reader think extremely deeply. He got a universal understanding. There is no moral in this poem; there is just a narrator who makes a decision in his life that changes it. Any reader can relate to this.

“Barbie Doll,” by Marge Piercy

The poem, “Barbie Doll,” written by Marge Piercy tells the story of a young girl growing up through the adolescence stage characterized by appearances and barbarity. The author uses imagery and fluctuating tone to describe the struggles the girl is experiencing during her teenage years, and the affects that can happen. The title of this poem is a good description of how most societies expect others, especially girls to look. Constantly, people are mocked for their appearance and expected to represent a “barbie-doll”-like figure. Few are “blessed” with this description.

The female gender is positioned into the stereotype that women should be thin and beautiful. With this girl, the effects were detrimental. The first stanza describes the influence that a child is placed into during early childhood. Girls are expected to play with “dolls” and “stoves and irons,” the usual toys that relate to the old-fashioned duties of women. A young girl begins to learn what she should be for society and not to deviate from the norm. The tone used in this stanza is quite silent and simplistic at first, then takes a turn towards a more bold statement.

The author uses the “magic” of puberty to describe the age where appearance comes into effect. Its ironic that this particular word is used because puberty is actually a stage of emotional crisis. A hurtful remark was made towards the child, and she was described as having a “big nose and fat legs. ” The second stanza also begins with the subdued tone mentioning the girls positive aspects, such as being “healthyintelligentstrong. ” These specific details are usually related to the male. Once again, the gender characteristics play as an underlying factor. These qualities were not good enough for a woman if they were not beautiful.

The stanza then takes a turn like the first turning away from the simplicity. The girl “went to and fro apologizing,” while everyone still saw “a fat nose on thick legs. ” Society places women into the mold where they begin to put on a facade and apologize for their “misfortunes. ” In the third stanza, the girl was “advised to play coy(and) smile. ” Women are once again pressured to act in a way that is unreal, like a “barbie doll. ” The “fan belt” mention in this stanza is used as imagery to describe how ones facade can wear out over time, as hers did. She “cut off her nose and her legs,” in response to this.

The character Nora in “A Dolls House,” is a perfect example of how women are like dolls and do what they are told or what society expects of them. It is only in the last stanza where the girl is dead and has “consummation at last. ” She is finally given a compliment when someone said, “doesnt she look pretty? ” The undertaker was able to use make-up to cover the pain and suffering this child went through, and placed her into the mold of “a barbie doll” with a putty nose and dressed in a “pink and white nightie. ” These two colors are associated with girls and Barbies. She finally was able to fit into the girl camouflage.

Through the teenage years, beauty seems to be a determinant for popularity and some success, which is important to young girls during middle school and high school. At an early age, remarks made about ones appearances can damage an adolescents personality and self-esteem. In this particular case, it was deathly for this child, as it is for some. The author was able to accomplish this theme through her tone and imagery, while using colors and items associated with girls. The societies within America usually describe someone as beautiful if they are thin and have the perfect body, such as a barbie doll in this poem.

Wilfred Owen Poems Analysis

I think that your production of a new book “Anthology for a Warred Youth”, the content it should include is of three sections. The three sections should consist of “Sending Men of to War,” “Horror within War” and “After effects of War”. The five poems you should include are “The Send-off,” “The Going of the Battery”, “Joining the Colours”, “Dulce Est Decorum Et” and “Disabled”. The first poem “The Send-off” is written by Wilfred Owen. The poem is about men going off to war. It expresses an intense and ominous atmosphere. It is described as being done furtively “down the close darkening lanes”.

The use of darkening by Owen suggests that it was done in the evening to obtain secrecy and privacy from any interference of a person. “And lined the train with faces grimly gay”, this third line and Owen has made use of the device oxymoron. The juxtaposition of the word ‘grimly’ against gay suggests that the men are happy to got to war. But one can assume that deep down inside the men are feeling miserable and are low in the level of confidence to proceed with going to the battle front. The usage of ‘gay’ has been applied to convey the device oxymoron, although the men are anxious about departure for war, they still try to show cheerfulness.

Owen progresses further ahead into the poem and introduces people watching the men departure. “A casual tramp, stood staring hard. “, the indication we get from this line is that other individuals who have not entered to fight in war are the ‘ones’ better off than the soldiers. The tramp is described “staring hard”, he must have been thinking at the back of his mind, I am lucky that I am not rising my life to go and fight for my country. The use of “hard” indicates that the tramp really focused, gazed, glared not taking his eyes off and foreseeing the large number of men one by one lining up.

Sorry to miss them,” feeling guilt inside himself. “I should be down there to offer my services on behalf of the entire Great Britain. Owen says “then, unmoved, signal nodded and a lamp winked to the guard. ” Here there is a usage of personification, meaning signals do not nod or wink, that is the action of a human being. As they went “so secretly, like wrongs hushed up,” Owen uses a simile here. The word “like” indicates this. There is a mention of mistakes “like wrongs ” when they departured. They were “stuck all white with wrath and spray” that could be assumed as preparation for death.

The sisters and mothers as the “women meant who gave them flowers. ” Assuming the young men would not return as they would result in being killed during war. The men will make their way “to the village wells,” many not to return alive and unable to identify their non-existent village due to war damage, travelling “up half known roads. ” The rhyming scheme is ABAAB which is regular as it repeated in all of the verses. The second poem “The Going of the battery” is written by Thomas Hardy. This is also a poem about war, it’s about the Boer War.

Gas glimmers drearily, blearily, eerily” is a section of this poem showing that this poem is highly rhythmic as it sounds like a song the whole of the poem. this speeds up the pace of the poem, when compared with Owen’s “The Send-off” it is more faster it is similar by having a regular rhyme scheme of ABCB while “the Send-off” ha a ABAAB rhyme scheme. This poem consists of seven quatrains while “Send-off” consists of a 3,2,5,3,2,5 line structure. It is also similar to the “Send-off” by showing these men as fully determined to go to war and fight on behalf of the entire United Kingdom.

The women are unfortunate “first to risk choosing, them leave alone losing them,” they are unable to convince their men not to go to war. They have been described as going “beyond the South Sea…,” the use of an eclipse here conveys that the distance travelled will be large. The soldiers can not expect to return safely as many would have battled as the “rain came down drenchingly:” has a symbol of a colon, in poetic terms this is called caesura, it is only made productive for a change in mood or expressionism.

It is similar by to Owen’s “Send-off” in aspects of women “choosing them”, their husbands and then as they proceed to prepare for war they are left to “leave alone losing them. ” Owen describes this as “women meant who gave them flowers,” they had affectionate and deep passionate feelings for their men and were concerned by how young the men were. Hardy’s view differs from Owen’s by “each woman prayed for them,” each individual needed as much positive thought and needed the help of god to succeed. nevermore will they come:,” who could die in agony, going unnoticed , piling upon existing rotting bodies, who “evermore are there now lost to us.

Not to return or maybe to develop physical and mental disabilities. In “The Send-off” Owen has used similar foundations upon the return of men but “may creep back, silent, to village wells,” they will feel mentally hanged and travel “up half known roads,” affected physically during war injury and also by the environmental surroundings not familiar with the men anymore. For weeks they have spent their lives in trenches, seeing so many lives lost. “The Going of the Battery” is more descriptive and goes more in-depth into the emotions of the soldiers hopes and how ‘each’ feel for one another.

The external rhyming scheme is similar to the “Send-off” but Thomas Hardy has gone one-step, further and added an internal rhyming scheme. The use of this is to reflect the atmosphere of the surroundings of the soldiers. The internal rhyming scheme gives it a jaunting beat, a livelier, regular beat to this poem “The Going of the Battery. Evidence of effective use of internal rhyming scheme is when described as “haunting us, daunting us, taunting us,” there is really powerful language and imagery used here there are many others like this in this poem.

Within the final lines of this production by Hardy, the soldiers are not frightened or afraid “gravier things” which could lead to an early death. A use of an eclipse here slow down the speed of the poem and also causes more anxiety and a pause. The soldiers have no fears of as they are true ‘British’ en, not wanting to surrender or be brought in to submission, “hold use to bravier things,” we are expected to win this battle. As the soldiers were ready to departure they “stood prest to ” their woman, “with a last request to them,” in fear of not being able see their woman again incase they die during battle.

It was a difficult task “hard their ways ,” but superstition and spiritualism “hand will guard their ways. The “hand” is being defines as the hand of god. Who is on their side, eventually guiding them safely to victory, which “time fulness shall show”. This poem has the reader interested all the way through it. There is always ‘tension’ in the background at all times,” but prophetic to sight. ” The internal rhyming scheme has a great effect on the mood of this poem. The highly descriptive rhyming words make it easier for the reader to understand.

The wide range of vocabulary Thomas hardy has used, along with caesuras does not bore the young reader or of my age. The third poem “Joining the Colours” has been written by an Irish female Katherine Tynan. The title given to this poem “Joining the Colours” is appealing as it can be referred to as the Union Jack flag. In 1914 Ireland was still part of the British Empire. This poem consists of optimistic and pessimistic descriptions. It mainly involves how much success and glory the young man will have in war.

They march in the streets singing and parading, completely focused and high in confidence with no fear on what is to come ahead. This poem also focuses on the soldiers not possibly returning from war. Just as “The Send-off” and “The Going of the Battery” whom both give descriptions on the feelings of the men. They are parading very happily “smooth cheeked and golden” which indicates that the men are positive, bright and full of happiness. When compared with “The-Send-off” there is a much livelier atmosphere and no so many intense emotions or tensions are rarely boldly existent.

The Going of the Battery” begins with an illustration of the sensibilities of the soldiers, “O it was sad enough, weak enough, mad enough”. There are two ideas being expressed within “food for shells and guns” There is imagery of two situations, the word ‘gun’ referring to food for guns almost bait. Then there is another impression we can get from “food for shells,” which is for the men to eat and survive on through war. As they parade the expressionism is “they go to a wedding day”. There is no mention of food in Hardy’s or Owen’s poems.

Tynan can be referred as ambiguous by “the mothers sons,” which connotes two ideas. One of them being that they are young “mothers” sons and the second that they may not return home as they might possibly be killed in war. As they march the “street stares to see them. ” forms the denotation of the device personification, Tynan is producing an image as though the street are ‘staring’ as a human being. These soldiers are producing carelessness optimism of the unexpected “too careless-gay for courage,” of the task which lies ahead of them.

In each of the four quatrains the fourth line is short and seeks one attention. As they proceed further there they go “into the dark,” diffusing as the preparation of progress one stage further. Stanza three corresponds very well with the with the structure of stanza one’s opening. In the opening lines of both of these stanza’s “pipe their way to glory” and “all in-step so gay” suggest realism. But after a happy start both stanza’s progress and begin to show the “foolish and young” whom will now not stand much of a chance as “love cannot save” them. Fate awaits them, not too far ahead in their paths.

It is different from “Send-off,” Owen focuses on the device of oxymoron. Thomas Hardy shows us the seriousness and the consequences faced in war such as when it rained “drenchingly but we unblenchingly turged on. ” This line shows the determination and how strong minded the soldiers are. Hardy does not really create any happiness. His poem “The Going of the Battery” consists of in-depth descriptions, as an example “glimmers dreamily, bearily, eerily. ” Hardy has focused on seeking the readers attention by using rhyming and highly descriptive language to really see and absorb the imagery faced by the soldiers.

The adrenaline of the men in “Joining the Colours” is expressed by the euphoria of these men. As they departured the “poor girls they kissed” was due to sensual pleasure and feeling terrified of not seeing their lovers for the last time incase they die. This case of kissing and sensual feelings for one another exists similarly in both “The Send-off” and by the “women meant who gave them flowers,” in this instance it is the essence and smell of the flowers which are affectionate towards the soldiers. Hardy, ha is on similar lines but rather straight forward, “our pale faces outstretched for one kiss.

He has described how much the men really need a physical passionate feeling for a memorable kiss as they may not return to see the wonders of deep passion after war. A possible reason for selecting this poem in your new book “Anthology for a Warred youth”, is that when war broke out in August 1914 many people thought the war would be battled and reached a successful conclusion. But many of them wrong to think that the matter would be finished before Christmas. The reason so many me so young wanted to join the military force was because it was an opportunity to go abroad.

Hardly anyone had travelled abroad in all the years they had lived for and it was a chance for a ‘break’. “Run with them:” a caesura has been put to use for a change in thought. It explains the sadness in as ” they shall kiss no more, alas! ,” the women will be forgotten whilst in war and not recognised when they return. Owen uses a similar term as they return, to “village wells,” it will be “up half known roads. ” The word golden is used twice, it forms the men as valuable, precious and perfect.

This exists in both stanza’s one, line two and stanza three, line three. It trying to value the qualities of the men as perfect, but it can be said no individual is perfect, each individual his or her strong abilities and also his or her weaknesses. In reality no one can be regarded as perfect. This will teach the audience an argumentative case to form a debate on. They faded “into the mist,” unable to be seen by the naked eye, due to the smoke of the train. The mist maybe fog, the unknown, the mist of the ‘garden’ of heaven and death.

Very slowly they fade away and almost disappeared “singing they pass,” from one life form to another ‘new’ life form. There is a regular rhyme scheme of AB AB through all of the poem. This regular rhyme scheme contributes to the marching of the men. All of these poems are similar when on the last line closing the poem. Owen used “Up half known roads. ” Suggesting the men will lose contact with relatives and family. Thomas hardy conveys this by “Time’s fulness shall show,” meaning only when war has ended we will receive the results and know who the successful survivors will be.

The fourth poem that you should consider on including is “Dulce Est Decorum Et” also written by Wilfred Owen. This poem shows the suffering and pain experienced in war. It declares in a way that it is sad and not honourable to die for your country. The poem consists of four stanza’s all different in length The poem is about a march, it is quiet, but suddenly it is interrupted by gas bombs. It shows us if you fail to wear a gas mask you will be in tortuous pain and eventually die. It also firmly conveys how death is not honourable or glorious using irony.

The imagery of dying of chlorine gas poisoning contributes to the realism, which produces it being more personal. “And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,” bring a sickly revolting image to mind. This poem is very saddening once fully explores and read carefully aloud. It is basically describing a painful, but slow agonising death. A mental picture of the horrible trench conditions is formed in stanza one. The men were “bent double, like old beggars under sacks,” due to the characteristics of the trenches, which were certain to be dug up again, several times to keep them in working order.

The soldiers used shovel, they would be bent over to remove the soil braking off and falling into the trench. The trench may have not have been deep enough for the soldiers to walk in with a straight back position. These conditions are presented as the soldiers “cursed through sludge” as the floor of the trenches turned to mud when heavy rain occurred. Still, “many had lost their boots but limped on, blood-shod. ” There was poor hygiene whilst in the trench. “Knock-kneed, coughing like hags” indicates the disease and sickness that the soldiers were forced to live n on a daily basis.

The bodies of the dead and wounded had started to pile up, they just got buried themselves in the trenches, there was not much time available to the soldiers to accomplish the task of properly handling the bodies. The soldiers fought not only the enemy, but also the natural urge to rest as the “men marched asleep” and were “drunk with fatigue. ” The men were suffering from exhaustion and stress so much that their brains were numbed as “all went lame, all blind. ” Owen’s very first few words in this stanza one portray the revolting surroundings of the trench but also to convey the deadliness of war.

Lines nine and ten exemplify a killer’s power as an “ecstasy of fumbling, which can only be avoided by “fitting the clumsy helmets just in time. The gas mask was the lungs only line of defence from the deadly gas. Without it , death would capture a victim who would be “yelling out and stumbling and floundering like a man in fire or lime. The simile is fire, that perfectly corresponds to the reader by telling them the unknown pain of breathing poisonous gas with the known pain of burning. Owen extends this describing the death as dreadful.

He outlines the setting, “through the misty panes and thick green light as under a green sea, I saw him drowning. The gas mask’s window must have made visibility unclear and blurry, once one had seen the green fumes it would be just a matter of time before he died. Owen develops this event further by making use of the metaphor of drowning . The poor scoundrel is obliviously not in over his head, but whether it be drowning in water or gas the feeling of impotence is the same. The reader ids made to think more evil when Owen continues with “in all my dreams, before my helpless sight, he plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

These lines make the reader imagine that he or she is at the battle front in the trench, infront of a dying man , helpless. He is helpless in that nothing can be done for him except to let him die. Owen uses these dreams to really make the audience ‘absorb’ his imagination. Owen referrers to the reader, as if he is directly speaking to him by saying, “if I am smothering dreams youth could pace behind that wagon that we flung him in. ” it can be assumed that he is telling us the audience that the dying man is no longer human, but a piece of meat.

Owen uses the senses to describe the agony of walking behind a man barely alive lying on a death cart to “his tangling face, like a devil’s sick of sin,” and to “hear at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs. ” The use of the words writhing, hanging and gargling make the reader aware of the senses of the sight and hearing. You should use this poem as it is essential. It is this relationship that will cause the reader to be silenced and made more respectful of anguish of war. This portrait is meant to be the view to, the reader towards the glory of war.

Owen alter describes that if a member of the audience had witnessed this event that he “would not tell with such high zest to the children ardent for some desperate glory. ” The line Dulce Est Decorum Et means it is sweet to die for one’s country. All of these lines are aimed towards who would glorify war. In this poem you can sense Owen’s argument that serving and dying for you country is not honourable and glory, but it is painful and horrifying. His main point of writing this poem must have been that war should be taken seriously and not passed off as a child’s play.

Ovid’s Metamorphoses Essay

Prima ab origine mundi, ad mea perpetuum tempora carmen, from the very beginning of the world, in an unbroken poem, to my own time (Metamorphoses 1. 3-4). Publius Ovidius Naso also known as Ovid wrote Metamorphoses, which combines hundreds of stories from Greek mythology and Roman traditions. He stitched many of them together in a very peculiar epic poem in fifteen books. The central theme of the book is transformation from the earliest beginnings of the world, down to my own times. Ovid sweeps down from the creation to the Augustan era.

Metamorphoses or Transformations refers to the change of shape and form of the characters of the poem. The theme is presented in the opening lines of the poem, where the poet invokes the gods who are responsible for the changes to look favorably on his efforts to compose. The main agent of transformation is love, represented by Venus and her youthful and mischievous son, Cupid. The changes are of many kinds: from human to animal, animal to human, thing to human, human to thing. Some changes are reversed: human to animal to human.

Sometimes the transformations are partial, and physical features and personal qualities of the earlier being are preserved in mutated form. All of Ovids tales involve metamorphoses, but some stories (Phaethon (Book 2), Pentheus (Book3), and Heracles (Book 9)) only have metamorphosis tacked on as a casual element, almost as an afterthought. Ovid seems to be more interested in metamorphosis as a universal principal which explains the nature of the world: Troy falls, Rome rises. Nothing is permanent. The chronological progression of the poem is also disorganized.

Ovid begins his poem with the story of creation and the flood, and ends in his own day with Augustus on the throne. However, chronology becomes unimportant in he middle section of the work, as seen by the many anachronisms throughout (Callisto (Book 2), Atlas (Book 4), and Cygnus (Book 11). The transitions of the books are very surprising. The reader never knows where the stories are going. Sometimes the reader follows the same character through different adventures (Perseus (Book 4), Hercules (Book10)). Then there are stories within a story. Ovid uses certain characters to act as an internal narrator (Mercury (Book1)).

The stories alternate from the story of one character to that of a relative or friend (Epahus and Phaethon (Book 1)). There are also variations in theme. For example in Books one and two there are five obvious variations of the virgin pursued by god. Thus, throughout the work Ovid creates a complex chain of interconnecting themes. Ovid also weaves a complex web of interrelationships throughout the entire book. There seems to be four major divisions in the book. The first is, gods in love, then gods taking revenge on humans, then the desolation of love, and finally, the history of Rome and the deification of Caesar.

There is a common transition from gods acting like humans, to humans suffering at the hands of gods, to humans suffering at the hands of humans, to humans becoming gods. It seems that each section prepares the reader for future sections. `The characters and the places are too numerous to list. But all of Ovids characters are so alive and have so much personalities. The settings, which have no names only descriptions) are poetic. For example in Book three he describes the stream so clear that its pebbles can be counted or the still pool hidden among the shady trees and, the beach where the sand is of just the right texture for walking.

These give the stories a very poetic appeal. The purpose of this poem is to take the reader through a long and winding journey, which starts with the universe and ends with the emperor Augustus. In between the reader experiences many short but exciting adventures with lively characters. Ovid demonstrates the importance of religion in the Roman culture. By giving all the gods and goddesses humanistic emotions and temperaments, he tells the readers that humans are the reflections of gods. This poem would be enjoyed by anyone who is interested in mythology, love, warfare, nature, animals, monsters, murder, rape, greed, lust, and everything else.

Ovid obviously knew what he was doing when he decided to gear this book towards everyone, not just the scholars. Children would enjoy these exciting tales at bedtime, adults can read it to gain knowledge about different cultural beliefs, or ancient widely held beliefs. Some modern scholars are even comparing some parts of the poem to the Bible and site many examples that make it within the realm of possibility. For example, in Book 1 when the floods came and destroyed the whole earth because the world was full of monsters and giants, but Deucalion and Pyrrha lived on to create a new race of man.

This story parallels the story of Noah and the ark, where his three sons and their wives reproduce the human race after a great flood destroys the earth. Others find it blasphemous to compare a fictional work to the Bible. But nonetheless this is a very entertaining and enjoyable book, fit for the whole family. After careful research one will discover that the reason Ovids Metamorphoses was popular for so many centuries after the ancient world, is his creative ability. The Romans taught children (boys) in the schools to find the most fitting examples to illustrate the points they wanted to make in their speeches.

This skill was known in Latin as inventio meaning discovery. This meant using existing tools to find the best examples. Ovid must have been an over achiever in this skill. At the end of the poem the reader is filled with a sense of awe. It is amazing how beautifully and masterfully Ovid weaves this tale together with so many elements connected by a single and simple themechange. He manages not only to captivate the audience at the beginning but also to keep them on their toes throughout the entire epic.

The strange twists and turns only add to the ever-present element of surprise. Ovid not only wins the favor of the readers, but writing the story of Caesar becoming a star at the end of the work, had won him the favor of the emperor Augustus. His work also provided a source from which the entire western European literatures have derived inspiration, among them, Shakespeare. The story ends with two very confident statements about the work and about Ovid himself. He writes, If there be any truth in poets prophecies, I shall live to all eternity, immortalized by fame.

How Poe Shows Woe

Edgar Allan Poes renowned poem The Raven shows the turbulent thoughts and feelings racing through the mind of a person who has lost a loved one. The narrator of the poem has recently lost his lover to deaths unyielding grasp. As a result, he is struck by the grief that accompanies such a death. Poe delineates the miserable, defeated state of the narrators mind through diction, a proper setting, and symbolism. One tool that Poe uses in order to show how the narrators mind dwells on the death of his lover is his masterful use of select words and phrases to construct a mood of death and darkness.

Near the very beginning of the poem, an early example of this word choice lies in line 8: And each dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. This is a clear example of how the narrator is immersed completely in his lovers deathhe sees death in many of the inanimate objects in his environment. However, Poe does not stop here. Another excellent example of Poes skillful application of diction appears in line 16: ‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door/Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.

Following these lines, the narrator of the poem opens the door and cries out Lenore, his lovers name. The word late has a double meaning in this context: it can be interpreted to mean either late at night or deceased. In this case, the narrator half-expects Lenore to be the one knocking at the door, and thus she is the late, or deceased, visitor. And finally, perhaps the most prominent and intriguing example of diction in The Raven is, surprisingly, not in English. Poe gave the name Lenore to the narrators lover for a clear reasonthe name is a near-perfect homophone of the words le noir in French, which means black.

Using this repeated reference to darkness, Poe creates a sense of gloom throughout the poem. Overall, the words and phrases Poe employs send constant messages to the readers minds, setting up an overall tone of darkness and despair that serves as an underlying foundation for the bleak storyline of and the history behind the poem. Also essential to the gloomy atmosphere of the poem is its setting, which symbolizes death, and further shows the turbulence in the narrators mind and heart.

Poe sets up his poem in the dreariness of some midnight in December, as is shown by the lines Once upon a midnight dreary and Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December (lines 1 and 6, respectively). The timeframe in which the poem takes its course represents the end of a regular, recurring cycle. Just as midnight suggests the end of one day, the month of December marks the end of a year. Similarly, Lenores death occurs at the end of yet another repeating cyclethe cycle of life. Poe also uses the narrators location in conjunction with the stormy weather to create an effect that matches the narrators emotions.

In The Raven, the narrator lives in a well-furnished, comfortable home submersed in a violent rainstorm. The room signifies the place in the narrators heart to which he retreats for shelter from the tempestuous reality of Lenores death. The storm can be labeled as pathetic fallacy, which, despite its unflattering name, is used exceptionally well in The Raven. In this instance of pathetic fallacy, the stormy weather indicates that the narrator of the poem is experiencing equally violent emotions.

The time and place of the poem reveal how the narrator attempts to escape the reality of his lovers death by locking himself up in the past, but also how he is tormented by the hostile truth. But by far the most powerful linguistic device that Poe employs is symbolism. In this poem, symbolism plays an extensive role in placing the readers in the narrators mind in order to allow them to experience his overwhelming feelings and share his emotions. The most obvious example of symbolism in The Raven is, of course, the raven itself.

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, ravens consume much carrion, especially in winter. This description of ravens is surprisingly fitting in the poem, since the raven represents death, and death has taken Lenore. Thus, it almost seems that the raven has stolen Lenore, who is now carrion, from the narrator during December, a winter month. Death, or the raven, has consumed Lenore. From this establishment, another symbol can be derived from line 101: Take thy beak from out my heart. Here, the narrator speaks to the raven, who can also be seen as death.

When we replace the raven with death, it suddenly becomes clear that the narrators hidden meaning is Death, stop stabbing at my heart. This shows just how the narrator feels at the momentthe aching in his heart is akin to that caused by a stabbing wound, revealing the magnitude of the blow his heart took when Lenore died. The bust of Pallas Athena, on which the raven is never flitting, still is sitting (line 103) is also symbolic. The word bust has a double meaning, since it can mean either a statue depicting someones upper chest and head, or it can mean a womans breasts.

Because of this alternate meaning, the bust of Pallas Athena represents the female component in the narrators lifeLenorein several ways. The first way in which the bust symbolizes Lenore is that the bust is described to be pallid, or pale. Therefore, it is probably a stone sculpture, which relates to Lenores corpse well. A cold block of pale, unmoving stone is similar to a cold lump of pale, unmoving flesh. The second way in which the bust signifies Lenore is that the raven happens to choose the bust as the place it perches onto. It also says that it will move from the bust nevermore.

The meaning here is that death has conquered Lenore, and nothing will ever change that fact. Yet another link between the bust and Lenore is that Pallas Athena is a goddess, showing how the narrator loved Lenore to the point of her becoming a goddess in his eyes. And finally, the fourth and last way that the bust works as a symbol for Lenore is its placement. The bust is situated above the door of his room, which makes it seem as if the bust is leaving the room via the door, which is comparable to how Lenore has left the narrators life.

The powerful and abundant symbolism in the poem engraves a strong impression into the readers minds of the intense love that once existed between the narrator and Lenore, and of the equally intense grief that has replaced that love. The theme presented in The Raven applies whenever a person is taken from loved ones by death. The poem can be viewed as a warning to the readers never to get caught in the vicious web of dwelling in the past, since the past can never return, and no amount of pleading will ever sway deaths verdicts.

Here, Poe presents a typical example of the effects of death on the survivor, and shows, mainly through his heavy use of symbolism, the grief that accompanies death. He also warns us against falling into the traps laid out by this often overpowering grief. In The Raven, Poe advises us against getting lost in the reflections of the mirrors of the pastfor when the hammers of reality strike, the mirrors can provide little protection from its blows.

A Dream Deferred

Born in Joplin, Missouri, James Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was born into an abolitionist family. As the grandson of James Mercer Langston, the first Black American to be elected to public office in 1855, Hughes attended Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio, but began writing poetry in the eighth grade, and was selected as Class Poet. His father didn’t think he would be able to make a living at writing, and encouraged him to pursue a more practical career. His father paid his tuition to Columbia University on the grounds he study engineering.

After a short time, Langston dropped out of the program with a B+ average, all the while he continued writing poetry. (Hughes) The poetry of Langston Hughes, the poet laureate of Harlem, is an effective commentary on the condition of blacks in America during the 20th Century. Hughes places particular emphasis on Harlem, a black area in New York that became a destination of many hopeful blacks in the first half of the 1900s. In much of Hughes’ poetry, a theme that runs throughout is that of a “dream deferred.

The recurrence of a “dream deferred” in several Hughes poems, especially this one, paint a clear picture of the disappointment and dismay that blacks in America faced in Harlem. Furthermore, as the poem develops, so does the feeling behind “A Dream Deferred,” growing more serious and angrier with each new line. To understand Hughes’ idea of the “dream deferred,” one must have an understanding of the history of Harlem, for each and every line in this poem has a figurative, not literal, meaning and relates precisely to his experience in New York.

First intended to be an upper class white community, Harlem was the home of many fancy brownstones that attracted wealthy whites. Between 1906 and 1910, when whites were forcing blacks out of their neighborhoods in uptown Manhattan, the blacks began to move into Harlem. Due to racial fears, the whites in the area moved out. Between 1910 and the early 1940’s, more blacks began flooding into the area from all over the world, fleeing from the racial intolerance of the South and the economic problems of the Caribbean and Latin America. Eventually Harlem became an entirely black area.

However, this town once filled with much potential soon became riddled with overpopulation, exploitation, and poverty. Thus, what awaited new arrivals was not a dream; rather, it was a “dream deferred” (Harlem Today). Hughes’ poem, “A Dream Deferred” in “a,b,c,d,c,e,e,g,g,g” rhyme scheme, clearly outlines his disappointment in the conditions of Harlem. The first line of this poem is, “What happens to a dream deferred? ” In the case of this poem, the dream is of the promise of Harlem, and what blacks hoped to find there: opportunity, better living conditions, and freedom from racial intolerance.

When blacks arrived in Harlem, though, their dream was deferred; instead of the opportunities they had envisioned, they were faced with overcrowding, exploitation, and poverty. At the beginning of this poem the mood that accompanies “a dream deferred” is a questioning one that begins a search for definition. This mood, which will develop as the poem progresses, induces the reader to reflect upon the meaning of “a dream deferred,” preparing them for its development.

The poem continues, listing the possible fates of a dream that never becomes reality. It suggests that maybe the dream will “Dry up like a raisin in the sun,” withering up and disappearing. Maybe it will “Stink like rotten meat,” becoming a sickening reminder of what will never be. Perhaps the dream will “Crust and sugar over. ” Hughes seems to be saying here that the dream deferred might be covered up by society with a veil of normalcy.

The most powerful line in “A Dream Deferred,” though, is the last line: “Or does it explode? This line, in italics for emphasis, makes obvious the severity of a postponed dream, especially the dream of the blacks in Harlem. For a people who have been oppressed for centuries, the denial of yet another dream is not taken lightly. With the final line, Hughes seems to be hinting at a revolution, alluding to the idea that blacks in Harlem are like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. Here, the mood of “A Dream Deferred” has increased in intensity. The possible fates listed previously are unpleasant, but the last one is somewhat ominous and almost threatening.

Langston Hughes’ poem, as depicted above, properly, but aggressively, transmits his thoughts of disappointment to his readers with each of his lines full of figurative language as described in the previous paragraph. Hughes communicates the dejection of blacks in Harlem with great clarity and precision. The feelings that accompany the theme range from foreboding to anger to gloom, creating a sense of each in the reader. Hughes’ poems are an effective commentary on the experiences of blacks in Harlem and the dream that they share: a dream that, though deferred, still exists.

Sonnet 149 by William Shakespeare

In William Shakespeare’s sonnet number one hundred and forty-nine there is a very clear case of unrequited love. In a somber tone he outlines the ways in which he selflessly served his beloved only to be cruelly rejected. His confusion about the relationship is apparent as he reflects upon his behavior and feelings towards her. This poem appears to be written to bring closure to the relationship, but it could be argued that this poem is one final effort to win her affection. The first twelve lines of the poem are a questions proposed by the poet to his beloved.

The theme of these questions all lead back to his absolute commitment to her. The questions show a pattern of pathetic and blind devotion that is both sad and disheartening to the poet. Canst thou, O cruel, say I love thee not, When I against myself with thee partake? In these two lines Shakespeare is asking is she can deny his love for her when she knows that aganist his better judgment, he always he takes her side. In doing this he gives her total control over him. On the other hand, he is calling her O cruel which indicates that he may now see through her uncaring ways.

Similarly he goes on to ask her:Do I not think on thee when I forgot Am of myself, all tyrant, for thy sake? This question can be paraphrased to mean: Am I not thinking of you when I forget myself for your sake, tyrant as you are? (Rowse 309) Here again he asks her if she can deny his devotion even though she has acted terribly. The fact that the poet can now see that she is treating him poorly and cruelly indicates progress from where he claims to have been in the past. The poets level of devotion increases with the next line of questioning which confronts is willingness to shun those whom she finds displeasing.

Who hateth thee that I do call my friend; On whom frown’st that I do fawn upon? From these questions it becomes evident that his actions are not just for the ladys sake, but also for his own satisfaction. He asks her: Who hates you that I call my friend? This is interesting because there is no indication that she has any interest in his friends at all. In spite of this he continues to judge people by their opinion of her. In addition to this he claims to give no favor to those whom she dislikes for that very reason.

From this it can be inferred that she is everything to him and that he has no will of his own. It is this very point which leads him into his next questions. Nay, if thou lourst on me, do I not spend Revenge upon myself with present moan? What merit do I in myself respectThat is so proud thy service to despise, When all my best doth worship thy defect,Commanded by the motion of thine eyes. These six lines sum up much of what he has been attempting to convey. He is asking her: Dont I show pain and grief when you frown at me? Is there any part of me that I wouldnt give up for you? Dont I worship your imperfections? (Rowse 309)

He is making an argument that he has never done anything to deserve the way that she has treated him, yet he loves her wholly and unconditionally. The poet finds himself in a depressing and desperate situation, and these questions convey his position perfectly. The last two lines of this poem are quite ambiguous. In one sense they suggest an acknowledgment that the relationship is finished, but on the other hand there is that possibility that they are a different kind of attempt to please and ultimately win that sloe affection of his beloved.

But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind; Those that can see thou lovst, I am blind. There is a great deal of irony in this statement because he is telling her to continue in her cruel ways because he now understands what she wants. He perceives her aspiration to be a man who will love her for thge person she is, not wholly and blindly as he had the poet has loved her. (Rowse 309) The irony in this is that if he now can see her faults and what she desires, then he is no longer blind. Thus this poem is arguably another attempt to win her affection.

Emily the Fallen Rose

Emily Dickinson was raised in a traditional New England home in the mid 1800’s. Her father along with the rest of the family had become Christians and she alone decided to rebel against that and reject the Church. She like many of her contemporaries had rejected the traditional views in life and adopted the new transcendental outlook.

Massachusetts, the state where Emily was born and raised in, before the transcendental period was the epicenter of religious practice. Founded by the puritans, the feeling of the avenging had never left the people. After all of the “Great Awakenings” and religious revivals the people of New England began to question the old ways. What used to be the focal point of all lives was now under speculation and often doubted. People began to search for new meanings in life. People like Emerson and Thoreau believed that answers lie in the individual. Emerson set the tone for the era when he said, “Whoso would be a [hu]man, must be a non-conformist.” Emily Dickinson believed and practiced this philosophy.

When she was young she was brought up by a stern and austere father. In her childhood she was shy and already different from the others. Like all the Dickinson children, male or female, Emily was sent for formal education in Amherst Academy. After attending Amherst Academy with conscientious thinkers such as Helen Hunt Jackson, and after reading many of Emerson’s essays, she began to develop into a free willed person. Many of her friends had converted to Christianity, her family was also putting enormous amount of pressure for her to convert. No longer the submissive youngster she would not bend her will on such issues as religion, literature and personal associations.

She maintained a correspondence with Rev. Charles Wadsworth over a substantial period of time. Even though she rejected the Church as a entity she never did reject or accept God. Wadsworth appealed to her because he had an incredibly powerful mind and deep emotions. When he left the East in 1861 Emily was scarred and expressed her deep sorrow in three successive poems in the following years. They were never romantically involved but their relationship was apparently so profound that Emily’s feelings for him she sealed herself from the outside world.

Her life became filled with gloom and despair until she met Judge Otis P. Lord late in her life. Realizing that they were well into their lives they never were married. When Lord passed away Emily’s health condition which has been hindered since childhood worsened.

In Emily’s life the most important things to her were love, religion, individuality and nature. When discussing these themes she followed her lifestyle and broke away from traditional forms of writing and wrote with an intense energy and complexity never seen before and rarely seen today. She was a rarity not only because of her poetry but because she was one of the first female pioneers into the field of poetry.

Emily often speaks of love in her poems, but she did it in such a way that would make people not want to fall in love. She writes of parting, separation and loss. This is supported by the experiences she felt with Wadsworth and Otis P. Lord. Not with a club the heart is broken, nor with a stone; A whip so small you could not see it, I’ve known

This seems to be an actual account of the emotions she experienced during her relationship with Otis Lord.

Individuality played a pervasive role in her life as a result of her bout with separation. Emily did not conform to society. She did not believe it was society’s place to dictate to her how she should lead her life. Her poems reflect this sense of rebellion and revolution against tradition. From all the jails the boys and girls Ecstatically leap,- Beloved, only afternoon That prison doesn’t keep.

In this poem Emily shows her feelings towards formalized schooling. Being a product of reputable college one would think that she would be in favor of this. But as her beliefs in transcendentalism grew so did her belief in individuality.

Emily also went against the Church which was an extreme rarity of the time. Similar to many other that shared her beliefs she too did not think that a set religion was the way for salvation. Some keep the Sabbath going to Church; I keep it staying at home, With a bobolike for a chorister, With an orchard for a dome.

According to this poem Emily clearly states that nature is her source of guidance and she has little need for the Church as an institution.

Like Thoreau, Emily believed that people need to understand nature before they could begin to comprehend humanity because humanity was just a part of nature. Unlike many other she felt that nature was beautiful and must be understood. Has it feet like water-lilies? Has it feathers like a bird? Is it brought from famous countries Of which I have never heard? (Will there really be a morning?)

Further on in the poem she goes on to ask if the scholar or “some wise man from the skies” knows where to find morning. It can be inferred that morning, something so common place and taken for granted, cannot be grasped by even the greatest so called minds.

Emily also saw the frightful part of nature, death was an extension of the natural order. Probably the most prominent theme in her writing is death. She took death in a relatively casual way when compared to the puritan beliefs that surrounded her life. Death to her is just the next logical step to life and compares it to a carriage ride, or many other common place happenings. Because I could not stop for Death- He kindly stopped for me- The Carriage held but just Ourselves- And Immortality.

Life according to Emily is brief and the people living out their lives have little control. In this short life That only lasts an hour, How much, how little, Is within out power!

However non-religious she may appear and however insignificant she believes life to be she does however show some signs in accepting life after death. This world is not conclusion; A sequel stands beyond, Invisible, as music, But positive as sound.

To Emily the most important things in her life were religion, individuality, nature and death. She may not have believed in God but He did have a profound impact throughout her childhood. Emily and Emerson alike felt the most important thing was to maintain ones individuality as she did. She was fascinated by both nature and death and she attempted to explain both in her writings.

I Started Early – Took My Dog

Suicide was not a widely discussed topic in the 1800’s although, it commonly appeared as a theme in many literary works of that time. The action of killing one’s self is not a classified psychological disorder, but there are many disorders where suicide is the end result. This is why suicide is a commonplace subject within the psychological field in present day society. The poem “I Started Early- Took My Dog,” by Emily Dickinson, can be interpreted as making strange reference to a suicide.

Freud says, “Suicide is a response to loss (real or symbolic), but one in which the person’s sorrow and rage in the face of that loss are not vented but remain unconscious, thus weakening the ego. “(Freud p. 246). Dickinson uses several elements in her poem to relate this theme such as tone, imagery and rhyme. It is told through the first person point of view of an unknown speaker. Dickinson begins the first line of her poem by writing in iambic tetrameter. In the second line she switches to iambic trimeter and proceeds to alternate between the two.

This rhyme scheme proves to be particularly effective in complimenting the subject of the poem– the ocean. When a reader looks at the poem it is easy to see the lines lengthening then shortening, almost in the same fashion that the tide of the ocean flows and ebbs. I started Early- Took my Dog And visited the sea- The Mermaids in the Basement Came out to look at me. (Dickinson 1-4) The waxing and waning action of the text might symbolize the constant cycles of life. The fact that the text recedes then elongates in rhythm make the reader think the speaker of the poem is not sure what steps to take in their life.

The speaker might not have convinced him or herself about the suicide attempt. Many suicidal thoughts are stopped short of action and then thought about later. Dickinson writes in this style to show the opposing forces of every situation. Suicide would likely be the most contemplated decision the narrator has ever had to make. Through metaphors, the speaker proclaims of her longing to be one with the sea. As she notices The mermaids in the basement,(3) and frigates- in the upper floor,(5) it seems as though she is associating these particular daydreams with her house.

She becomes entranced with these spectacles and starts to contemplate suicide. She reflects upon these ideas, with thoughts of leaving reality and theoretically part of the ocean. She is very mesmerized by the thought, that no man moved [her]- till the tide went past [her] simple shoe. (9,10) It is at this point that the speaker is drawn back into reality with time to see the tide go past [her] apron- and [her] belt and past [her] bodice. (11,12). This perhaps, is an attempt to show the narrator becoming one with the environment. The words might also symbolize someone drowning or possibly a ‘washing-away’ of the ego.

The fact that the water level is slowly rising around her can make the reader visualize a person with their feet stuck in the wet sand, not willing to move when the tide comes in. The speaker appears to have abandoned all thoughts of suicide. Her focus is now turned to the tide that made as he would eat [her] up,(13) as she seeks to find sanctuary on dry land. The poem takes a suspenseful twist as the speaker describes the ocean closing in on her. Suicide would likely be the most contemplated decision the narrator has ever had to make. This would describe her feeling of being suffocated by the sea.

Dickinson’s use of imagery is especially prevalent in the fifth stanza, when she uses words such as silver heel(18) and pearl(20), to describe a foamy surf. The speaker uses a reflective and whimsical tone in recounting her experience. This is a crucial factor in gaining the reader’s interest. It helps set the mood and it clearly expresses the speaker’s frame of mind. The tone, like the rhyme scheme, seems to lend itself leisurely thoughts of the ocean. With an ‘a-b-c-b’ rhyme scheme the reader , again, feels the constant push and pull of the tides on the beat of the poem.

The author uses a “sing-song” rhyme scheme in this poem for many reasons. One of these reasons seems to emphasize the yin and yang of life. Another reason for the rhyme is to comply with the tidal flow of the alternating line meter. The ‘ups and downs’ of this poem best describe the indecisiveness of a depressed individual. Psychologically speaking, the narrator of the poem is experiencing clinical depression. Freud says that, “depression was not a symptom of organic dysfunction but a massive defense mounted by the ego against intrapsychic conflict. “(Freud p. 255).

This means suicide, a most considered option of ‘relief’ of depression would be the only mentally cleansing decision. Many times the pain of depresion seems far worse than taking your own life; that is why many people try. Suicide would likely be the most contemplated decision the narrator has ever had to make. The theme and symbols of any given work are usually left to the interpretation and imagination of the reader. In order to fully appreciate and understand poetry, these elements must be identified. The symbols in Dickinson’s poem are so obscure, it is left to the individual to elicit what they can.

The Mirror by Sylvia Plath

There is a noticeable comparison between the poem “The Mirror” By Sylvia Plath & the article “Barbie” that appeared in the Newsday Tuesday November 18, 1997. The comparison is about how people look, and how society could reflect how you may feel about your looks. In the poem “The Mirror” it tells about a lady who dislikes the way she looks. She thinks of herself as being ugly. In the article it tells how Mattel (the makers of Barbie) want to change the looks & features of Barbie. The reason for wanting to change the looks is because the makers of Barbie made Barbie to pretty.

Compared to normal people. Now being pretty is not a bad thing. But for little girls growing up they may feel like they want to look like Barbie. Barbie is very skinny and has a great face. So little girls may stop eating or doing other things, so they could look like Barbie. But it wont happen, Barbie is a doll. People are real not Barbie dolls. In the poem it shows how the lady wants to be pretty. So the lady takes short cuts to make her self look better to her self. Such as being in a candle lit rooms.

But when the lady is in a regular lit room she becomes ugly to her self again. The reason Mattel is changing the appearance of Barbie is because little girls impact on the way society looks upon them. And this could hurt somones self esteem, and could damage the way someone looks upon ones self. In the poem the girl tries to make her self prettier, by creating artificial pretty ness. But in the end the mirror never lies. The poem & the article compare about how the way people look ad feel, and how society has a role on their lives.

Leaves Of Grass By Walt Whitman

In the twentieth century, the name Walt Whitman has been synonymous with poetry. Whitmans most celebrated work, Leaves of Grass, was the only book he ever wrote, and he took a lifetime to write it. A large assortment of poems, it is one of the most widely criticized works in literature, and one of the most loved works as well. Whitman was unmarried and childless, and it has been noted that Leaves of Grass consumed him greatly; James E. Miller Jr. writes: “… he guided his poetic offspring through an uncertain, hesitant childhood, a lusty young manhood, and a serene old age… it is difficult to write the life of

Whitman without writing instead of the life and times of his book… Whitman was the kind of parent who lives his life through his child. ” (Miller 15) The”poetic offspring” that Miller writes of is of course Leaves of Grass. Whitman poured his soul into the work, as he questioned himself and observed his demeanor through his writing. He “fathered” the tome, as after its initial publishing Whitman went on to release revision after revision as time progressed. Miller goes on to reflect on Whitmans methods, as he tells the reader of Whitmans curiosity towards life, particularly curious about his own eaning in the world in which he lived.

Like any individual of depth and complexity, Whitman was continuously curious about who he was… (he had) a lusty enthusiasm, a hearty relish for life lived at all times to its fullest intensity. ” (Miller 17) The life Whitman lived “to its fullest intensity” started in West Hills, Long Island, May 31, 1819. He was one of nine children to Walter and Louisa Whitman, his father a farmer and his mother a devout Quaker. Quakerism was the only religious inheritance the Perez 2 family passed on to Walt, and, as Miller notes, could also be seen later in his famous”sea-poem”.

Out of the cradle endlessly rocking, Out of the mocking-birds throat, the musical shuttle, Out of the Ninth-month midnight… Passage to more than India! Of secret of the earth and sky! Of you o waters of the sea! O winding creeks and rivers!… O day and night, passage to you! (Whitman 180-294) … His use of thee and thou in his poetry, his reference to the months by their sequential number (ninth month for September), and his instinctive adoption of the inner lightall of these Walt could trace back to his Quaker background. (Miller 17)

This Quakerism also ontributed to the style of Leaves, told with certain closeness and a certain emphasis paralleling that of a preacher. Miller comments on this style: “His was a day of evangelism and oratory. As a child he was no doubt frequently exposed to both. The passionate intimacy and pleading of many lines in Leaves of Grass could… have been used by an itinerant preacher… ” (Miller 43) Aside from his Quaker traces, Leaves of Grass has been criticized as being an extension of Whitmans life.

Just as Miller described the work as Whitmans child, John Kinnaird comments on the great level of importance at which Whitman eld his masterpiece: “… Leaves of Grass suggests so much of the original existential Whitman that criticism must continue to recover and understand, particularly since this is the first poet who ever insisted that his book was in reality no book. ” (Kinnaird 24) Kinnaird reinforces the criticism of Miller Jr. as he emphasizes the autobiographical and introspective nature of Leaves. It seems that Whitman used this work as a release, and Perez 3 had a marvelous interpretation of life in general.

He also had a unique estimation of poetry itself. In his introduction to Leaves of Grass he writes: “The power to estroy or remold, is freely used by him (the greatest poet) but never the power of attack. What is past is past. If he does not expose superior models and prove himself by every step he takes he is not what is wanted. ” (Whitman 8) The introduction from which the passage was taken is one of great length, with elaborative and expressive sections, in which Whitman further explains the muse behind his book, the “child” he conjured up at the time, as he was without any family of his own.

James A. Wright comments on the introduction and his poetic brilliance: “Whitmans poetry has delicacy of music, of diction, and f form… I mean it to suggest powers of restraint, clarity, and wholeness, all of which taken together embody that deep spiritual inwardness… which I take to be the most beautiful power of Whitmans poetry… He knows that the past exists, and he knows that, as a poet and a man, he has a right to live. His duty is precisely this: to have the courage to live and to create his own poetry. (Wright 88) The uncertainty that Wright speaks of is an oft-selected aspect of Whitmans work.

While it has been attributed to Whitmans childhood and general disposition towards life, John Kinnaird selects a different facet of Whitmans life, homosexuality. “Whitmans uncertainty… was always sexual. The biographical evidence, (Leaves of Grass), in itself inconclusive, does seem to confirm what anyone may intuit from the poems: that Whitman was predominantly homosexual in his elementary responses, but never… in overt conduct and perhaps never in private relations.

While Whitmans homosexuality has been recognized by various other critics, Kinnaird is unique in his explanation of its effect, the “uncertainty” to which he is referring. The Perez 4 homosexual undertone in Leaves has further been discussed by critics, as they ave searched for the “explanation” for its writing. Whitman wrote a series of “Calamus” poems, named after the Calamus plant. James Miller interprets this as blatantly phallic, and suggests that the amity from which Leaves stems was with another man. “the Calamus poems seemed like a different type of confession… uggesting that Whitmans central inspiration experience was not a romance but a close male comradeship… ardent, turbulent, and ambivalent… the calamus plant is clearly phallic in its obvious symbolism. ” (Miller 46)

Perhaps the most cherished single poem within Leaves is “Song of Myself”. It s the opening poem of the work, and is probably the most often recognized poem of Whitmans writings. It sets the tone as Whitman makes a profound reflective statement: “I celebrate myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me good belongs to you. (Whitman 25) With this opening proclamation of his own lifes study, Whitman encompassed the reader into his lifes observation as he answers the question “What is the grass? ” using long and descriptive stanzas to interject the feeling of wonder he had about his everyday life. James Miller comments on “Song of Myself”: “By far the est, as well as the longest poem… was the opening Song of Myself.

Like no other poem in American literatureindeed unlike any poem ever written before anywherethis long self-centered and prophetic chant… eemed designed to shock and startle, surprise and disturb. ” (Miller 47) As other critics have done, Miller describes Whitman and particularly Leaves of Grass as a prophetic work, visionary and predictive. However, critics have also taken the opposite Perez 5 viewpoint on the work. Some take the opinion that Whitman had a desire to be prophetic, but failed. Roy Harvey Pearce writes: “The hard factso its eems to meis that Whitman fails as prophetic poet, precisely because he was such a powerfully humane poet… when he tried to write prophetic poetry, he came eventually to sacrifice man… (Pearce 66)

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Leaves was Whitmans style of discourse, as the American people could easily and willingly relate to it. Ezra Pound has described Whitman as “the only one of the conventionally recognized American poets who is worth reading”. She goes on to articulate what seems to be the general sentiment among critics: “He (Whitman) is America… entirely free from the renaissance umanist ideal of the complete man of from the Greek idealism, he is content to be what he is, and he is his time and his people.

He is genius because he has a vision of what he is and of his function. He knows that he is a beginning and not a classically finished work. ” (Pound 8) In essence, Leaves of Grass was an extension of Whitmans soul. He used his work as a vehicle in which he could convey his opinion of life, and he succeeded. D. H. Lawrence writes: “Whitmans essential message was the open road. The leaving of the soul free unto herself, the leaving of his fate to her and to the loom of the open road. Which is the bravest doctrine man has ever proposed to himself. (Lawrence 20)

It is this “brave doctrine” that literary critics seem to be most attracted to, and they give high praise to Whitman for his courage in manufacturing this dogma. Literary criticism Perez 6 has been kind to Walt Whitman and Leaves of Grass, hailing his innovation and bravery in attempting to write such a book. Whatever the real reason behind Whitmans brilliance, the fact remains that he was indeed brilliant. That virtuosity has shone through brightly in his masterpiece, Leaves of Grass, making it a classic. “Not bad” for a Quaker from Long Island.

“I cannot live with You”, by Emily Dickinson

“I cannot live with You”, by Emily Dickinson, is an emotional poem in which she shares her experiences and thoughts on death and love. Some critics believe that she has written about her struggle with death and her desire to have a relationship with a man whose vocation was ministerial, Reverend Charles Wadsworth. She considers suicide as an option for relieving the pain she endures, but decides against it. The narrator, more than likely Emily herself, realizes that death will leave her even further away from the one that she loves. There is a possibility that they will never be together again.

“Arguing with herself, Dickinson considers three major resolutions for the frustrations she is seeking to define and to resolve. Each of these resolutions is expressed in negative form: living wither her lover, dying with him, and discovering a world beyond nature. Building on this series of negations, Dickinson advances a catalogue of reasons for her covenant with despair, which are both final and insufficient. Throughout, she excoriates the social and religious authorities that impede her union, but she remains emotionally unconvinced that she has correctly identified her antagonists.” (Pollack, 182)

Dickinson begins her poem by saying that she cannot live with her lover because their life together is an object that can only be opened with a key. The Sexton, or church officer in charge of the maintenance of church property, keeps the key. The reverend’s involvement with God and with a woman at the same time is like a porcelain cup that is easily broken. This is an example of Personification. Life is personified as this old cup which is valuable until a new, better one is available.

Sensory images are used to develop an interest for the reader and a way of showing what the author felt. An example is in the fifth stanza, “And see YoufreezeWithout my Right of Frost”. The sense of touch is used when she says that one who is dead is frozen. It tells the reader that the author knows that death isn’t a pleasant experience. The narrator exclaims that she cannot die with her lover either. It is possible that she doesn’t want to see him suffer in the “frost”, or maybe she wants him to shut her eyes when she has passed and mourn for her. She says that death’s privilege is not having to witness someone you love die since you are already in the afterlife.

It is ironic that she falls in love with someone whose faith is so strong when she herself changes her mind frequently about her beliefs. His piety contrasts with her disbelief. However, She contradicts her usual disbelief in God by saying that she could not rise with her lover if he will be punished by Jesus for his actions. She tends to believe in the promise of Christian salvation. The narrator mentions that this man is now her paradise and what she saw previously only sordid excellence. She doesn’t want to give up on the relationship and fears that because he serves heaven that she might be condemned and he saved. She could be saved and he condemned. Either way it would be hell to her if they were apart.

At the conclusion, she compares their separation to a door. It is slightly open, enough that there is a possibility they can overcome their differences. The two lovers are such opposites that they “meet apartWith just the Door ajar”. Then, she says that they are separated by the Oceans. Again, there is a possibility that they can be together if they cross the water barrier. Their only hope is through prayer that they will someday meet again in Heaven.

An end rhyme is used in some stanzas to make the rhythm flow more smoothly. An example is in the first stanza with the second and fourth lines. Life and Shelf rhyme because they end in the same sound. Up and Cup rhyme in the second stanza, Broke and Crack in the third, Face and Grace in the sixth, Eye and by in the seventh, Eyes and Paradise in the ninth, Name and fame in the tenth, be and Me in the eleventh, apart and ajar in the last, and here, Prayer, and Despair in the last.

Dickinson repeats the phrase or idea of “I cannotwith You” or “I could notwith You”. Each time she uses the statement, it is the beginning of a major resolution. One instance of alliteration used is in the ninth stanza with the words “saturated Sight” and a constant “s” sound. Assonance is also apparent in the eighth stanza with “How” and “know” because it is a partial rhyme made by vowel sounds.

Each stanza contains four lines except for the last one which has six. This is because it is the conclusion of her thoughts where she states that she will live in despair and depression. The stanza form did not help to develop the meaning. To correctly read and comprehend the poem, one must read it straight through without pauses, ignoring the numerous dashes.

“The Chimney Sweeper” By William Blake

Unlike the one in Songs of Innocence, “The Chimney Sweeper”, in Songs of Experience is very dark and pessimistic. This poem also seems to be very judgmental and gives motives for everything, but unlike Song of Innocence, the sweeper in this poem does not free himself from his misery. In the first two lines, Blake gives us an image of an anguished child in a state of agony or even in a state of corruption. The color black seems to be very important because it is used to represent sin against innocence, the color of the white snow.

Blake also shows the same child weeping, when he really means to say sweeping, because that is what has that child in such grief. This stanza ends by someone asking him about his parents, which later end up being responsible for this childs state. In the second stanza, the child is pictured in a very more happier and playful mood. This soon changes when he decides to tell the stranger more about his parents. They are showed to be punishing their child for being so happy by “clothing in clothes of death and teaching him to sing notes of woe.

It is very obvious the sweepers feels hate towards his parents for putting him in such sadness, but instead he chooses to hide it by making himself look happy and satisfied. It is clear in the last Stanza that Blakes criticizing the Church , especially, and the state for letting a lot of these things happen. During this time many children were dying from being, either, worked to death or from malnutrition. Neither the state or the church did anything to stop this and is obviously why Blake feels so much anger towards them. The sweepers parents are really no help towards their own child.

This makes the reader wonder, if they are worshipping god, the source of good doings, why do they chose to ignore their own child. They would rather turn their heads the other way and instead findlove at church. I think this is a very striking poem. It clearly shows Blakes anger towards society at this time. I also think that he used many of his poems to make people aware of the suffering of people at this time. I also think That he wrote two separate books to give a fuller effect. Songs of Innocence, I think was how people thought that everything was okay. Songs of Experience, in my opinion was to open every ones eyes.

Robert Frosts Poetry

Throughout much of Robert Frosts poetry, he as a writer uses much of natures aspects to allow his readers to get a better perception of life itself. He refers to nature as well to help explain the various levels of life. Much of Frosts poetry relates to the major concerns of life such as the fragility of life, the consequences of accepting or rejecting the conditions of ones life, the passion of inconsolable grief, and the difficulty of sustaining intimacy.

His subjects, as well, consist of the fear of loneliness and isolation, the inevitability of change, the tensions between the individual and society, as well as the place of tradition and custom (Frost 975). From the sounds of birds, the feel of ice cold snow, to the sounds of branches blowing and crackling in the wind Frost uses setting, characters, and situations to make up the subject matter to produce his poetry. In Robert Frosts poem, The Road Not Taken Frost uses simplicity and one of natures aspects, two grassy diverging worn roads, to symbolize lifes decisions and which path one may take throughout their journey of existence.

The Road Not Taken simply tells the story of life itself. We are all given a choice of life. Which direction we will take or go is a difficulty that many of us as individuals will face. Which one looks better, which one seems better, and which one is the right path to go upon are questions for all but can never be given a direct answer, because we are all granted two words: A CHOICE! Many may make the right decision in life that they may feel completely confident and satisfied with in the end, while others may have taken the path less fortunate.

In The Road Not Taken Frost uses symbolism in the sense that there are two diverging roads to symbolize lifes journey. Which one will you take? In the lines: And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth: Frost is allowing his readers to realize how hard it was for the traveler to make his decision on which road to take, and how he was carefully studying the two roads to help him make that final important decision.

Although the roads shared similar qualities both sharing a grassy appearance and little to no wear at all, in the line Oh, I kept the first for another day I now realize that the traveler chose the second of the two diverging roads. Because it was grassy and wanted wear this road seemed to be the right one to take. The lines, Yet not knowing how way leads on to way and I doubted if I should ever come back simply means that although the traveler knew not which direction the chosen path would have taken him, upon his travel he never doubted his final choice no matter what the consequences may have been.

In the following stanza: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- And that has made all the difference. This stanza provides us with the travelers outlook on the choice he made. He is completely satisfied that he chose this path, although it was the one less traveled by. Frost sums this story of life up by stating, And that has made all of the difference. In my interpretation of this ending line Frost is allowing us to realize that the decisions you make in life should be considered with much thought.

Act upon your instinct not what may be more persuading. The traveler now looks back and is still content with the decision he has made. The road he has chosen only made a positive impact on his life, and there is no doubt to have taken the other. The sigh within the last stanza signifies the final relief that the character truly believes he has made the right choice. In much of Frosts works nature is his subject matter used to symbolize our lives in general. He uses patterns of rhythm, idioms, and tone to set the theme for his poetry.

In the poem The Road Not Taken Frost uses a rhyme scheme of abaab which allows us, as his readers, to read and flow through the poem more smoothly. He uses forms of assonance as well, by using words like yellow/wood, diverged/traveled, and stood/wood. In my opinion this poem is simply more than just about a choice made in life. It about choosing the right choice. Although something may look or seem like the right thing to do it may not be. Before making a choice make sure you can live with it consequences as well as be proud and satisfied in the end with the choice you have made.

Everyone faces situations in life that may have a major impact upon ones life. From choosing a college, to getting married are all decisions. Everyone wants to make the right choice! We all face the many downfalls that life seems to kindly offer, as well as, the many positive aspects life can offer. Face it we all want the best. This poem is quiet inspirational in the sense that one traveler came across two paths. Which one should he choose which one will he take? By choosing that path less followed it has made his life that much better.

And after years have passed the speaker with in the poem is still satisfied. The truth is we all will make wrong decisions. Im sure all of us have. But, Frost in this poem somehow reminds us to look at one major right decision we have made. With lifes choices, good or bad, comes lessons we will learn that may better ourselves as individuals. We are all offered the many opportunities of life, whether good or bad. For the character in The Road Not Taken he has chosen the right path.

Poetry and the World of Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes enchanted the world as he threw the truth of the pain that the Negro society had endured into most of his works. He attempted to make it clear that society in America was still undeniably racist. For example, Conrad Kent Rivers declared, Oh if muse would let me travel through Harlem with you as the guide, I too, could sing of black America (Rampersad 297). From his creativity and passion for the subject matter, he has been described as one of the most penetrating and captivating writers in the history of humankind.

He also was described as quite possibly the most grossly misjudged poet of major importance in America (Jemie 187). He entrances you into his poetry, and at the same time, reveals the nitty-gritty truth in modern society. His works do not all contain the same attitude, but do have the same concepts of the lives of the common black folk (ALCU 313). The Negro Speaks of Rivers1 and Harlem (A Dream Deferred)2 are two examples of Langston Hughes artistry in poetic expression that can be dissimilar while still expressing the same views on the tribulations of African-Americans.

Harlem (A Dream Deferred) is short, to the point and opens up Langston Hughes world of symbolism. In writing this, Mr. Hughes used symbolism so extensively that when most individuals read it, they do not grasp the true intent of each word. The images that Hughes conveys in Harlem are sensory, domestic, earthly, like blues images (Jemie 78). It possesses an aggressive attitude and displays the harsh reality of the world in which colored people live. He uses five objects that almost deceive the reader: a raisin, a sore, meat, a sweet, and a load.

Each object is seen from the outside and not fully apprehended (Berry 132). Hughes uses personification on the raisin and the sore to force the reader into using an open mind. The raisin symbolizes the African-American in that he/she has fallen from a prosperous vine and has been used and ignored in the dominate white society with the inclination that he/she will rot and disappear. The raisin refuses its destiny and becomes an irritating sore that will not recede in the white culture. The sore begins to stink(or cause a burden for the white society).

This stink coincides to the stench of rotten meat sold to many black folks in ghetto groceries (Jemie 78). The sweet represents the kind of candy that is yearned for and satisfying. Ironically, the sweet turns out to be yet another disappointment. It leaves a thick taste as the good taste of the spoiled sweet goes away. The deferred dream consists of little things of no great effect individually. Once bound up together, they create an immense tension. The tension builds as time goes by and becomes overwhelming for anyone to handle for an extensive amount of time.

This is the load, or the accumulation of little things able to be handled when all combined. The load over time begins to drag the individual down or cause them to sag. If the little things cannot be contained, then the individual drops the load. Once dropped, the immense tension is able to explode from the harshness of the reality rolled up inside it. The Negro Speaks of Rivers is perhaps Langston Hughes most profound and most often quoted poem (Berry 29). The concept is of an individuals soul that has endured through the ages of time and has been able to see the role changes of African-Americans.

It uses repetitious statements throughout, and one of these statements also concludes it: My soul has grown deep like the rivers (McMahon, Day, and Funk 589). It is a sonorous evocation of transcedent essences so ancient as to appear timeless, predating human existence, longer than human memory (Jemie 103). This poem utilizes symbolism at great extent. For example, the rivers symbolize an extension of Gods body and contribute to His immortality. The rivers chosen for the poem are all famous rivers that are recognized as having mystery and a continuous flow (the Euphrates, the Congo, the Nile, and the Mississippi).

The rivers also appear in order of their role in black history. The soul in the poem belongs to an individual that has bonded with the rivers essences, thus giving him/her the immortality of the rivers (or Gods immortality). The turning point that leads to the prosperous future is the great Mississippi turning from muddy water into gold. This represents President Abraham Lincolns Proclamation. As time goes by, civilizations rise and fall while the rivers deepen. This in turn gives the soul more experience and as the rivers continuously flow, the soul will survive.

Survival is the basis for these two poems despite tragedy and tribulation. They are also both very intriguing in that they draw you into the circumstances of the poem while displaying for you the visual aspects of the environment in which they are set. It is easy to imagine the objects or scenery that Hughes describes and it allows the reader to almost literally “fall” into the poem. They both use symbolism of objects in great detail: The raisin, sore, meat, sweet, and load in Harlem (A dream Deferred),” and the famous rivers in The Negro Speaks of Rivers.

In addition, time is represented in both as well. For example, in order for the raisin to rot and disappear, the meat to become rotten, and the sweet to spoil in Harlem (A Dream Deferred), time must be active. Similarly, the ages of time pass in The Negro Speaks of Rivers as the soul ventures from before human existence to the promising future of African-Americans that is beyond our foresight. Soul searching is a hidden concept of these poems. The Negro Speaks of Rivers is primarily the beginning and unknown end of a soul belonging to an African-American.

Likewise, Harlem (A Dream Deferred) is of an African-American soul outlining certain tribulations he/she encounters on its journey to the unknown end. Nevertheless, these two poems are also quite different. As an illustration, The Negro Speaks of Rivers is uplifting, and has great spiritual meaning. It is a fictitious poem of optimism. Yet, Harlem (A Dream Deferred) embodies a negative, dark, and aggressive theme that carries the nitty-gritty truth to the livelihood of African-Americans. As the soul in The Negro Speaks of Rivers ventures through time, the ending insinuates the survival of African-Americans in this America.

This could easily be called a triumph over tribulation. Conversely, Harlem (A Dream Deferred) is tribulation but with uncertain triumph. The ending is never given, and the reader does not know if the dreamer has persevered over the tribulation. The general outline of The Negro Speaks of Rivers uses rivers repetitiously and contains very little rhyme and flowing rhythm, while Harlem (A Dream Deferred) does not contain a single word used repetitiously. Furthermore, Harlem (A Dream Deferred) uses rhyme throughout and contains definite repeating stress, which is rhythm.

In conclusion, Langston Hughes embraced the broad spectrum of African-American experiences in his poetry (Walker 75). He demonstrated the variances of different approaches and methods, while still concentrating on the his position concerning the lives of common black people. These two poems have great significance together for they contain similarities in purpose, while also containing vast differences in structure, format, and poetic devices used. These differences in structure, format, and poetic devices used compared to his emphasis on the lives of African-Americans, are black and white… which from him, really does not matter.

Frederic Ogden Nash

Have you ever heard adults talking about their spouses and all the troubles they have to put up with because they love them? In the poems “The Trouble With Women Is Men” and “What Almost Every Woman Knows Sooner or Later,” Ogden Nash talks about the troubles women go through daily with men and how frustrating it can be. In Nash’s poem “The Trouble With Women Is Men,” he goes through the daily routine of a woman and all she has to put up with from the man she loves.

At the very end he writes “…. st kick him fairly hard in the stomach, you will find it thoroughly enjoible. ” Sometimes, women feel the need to release their anger just as men do, and Nash seems to understand that. According to the University of Texas’ website, it stated that when Nash married and had two daughters, the family had a very close relationship with one another. In a family of all women, Nash understood what life with a house full of women was like. His marriage and his children proved to be a strong influence on his work.

In the second poem, “What Almost Every Woman Knows Sooner or Later,” Nash talks about how eventually women will know, or at least try to understand men, and why they do the things they do sometimes. Nash shows an understanding of how men, at times, can be forgetful, uncaring, inconsiderate and self-centered by his words, “Husbands are indeed an irritating form of life, And yet through some quirk of Providence most of them are really deeply ensconced in the affection of their wife. ” Even with all the troubles women have to put up with, in the end, all those troubles do not matter.

All that really matters is their love for their husbands. Encarta. com stated that, “Nash’s comic verse ranges from lighthearted to bitter and at times is completely and hilariously nonsensical. He used startling rhymes and puns, asymmetrical lines, and highly amusing parenthetical statements to create opportunities for surprising rhymes. ” In both of his poems, he writes about everyday life situations that make them even more interesting and enjoyable. Men play an important role in women’s day-to-day lives.

Even with all of the headaches they may cause at times, women could not live without them. If women were to delete men from their lives, that would leave women with no life at all, even though at times, women would like to delete them. It is nice to know that a man, Ogden Nash, took the time to understand what a woman goes through daily. Now if all men would follow in his steps, we might begin to have a more perfect world. Once the men have taken a good look at themselves, it is the woman’s turn to take a good look at herself.

PreIslamic Qasidas Essay

Throughout the years and to all different walks on the face of the earth, heroes exist with various meanings to each individual. It is extremely hard to put one definition to this word. What one may see as a hero, another may not. Some definitions include, a brave man, a superman, a champion, a conqueror, a victor, and a winner. This definition though varies through diverse people’s eyes. A serial killer may view Charles Manson as his/her hero, while others may view someone who has favorable traits as their hero (in a good sense). It is all relevant to who people are, their identities, and whom they relate to.

The topic of this essay deals with Pre-Islamic poetry (qasida’s), which were recited orally and had a strong social purpose. That purpose being the reinforcement of the poets identities and values. This Bedouin, nomadic society was dominated by poetry, for entertainment and social purposes, especially the latter. Therefore, the statement, “Poetry is the speech of heroes” is proven valid through several examples from various Qasida’s (whether literary or literal truth) portraying favorable traits or attributes from within the societies, reinforcing their identities, making poets regarded as heroes by their people.

Numerous themes that appear throughout all qasida’s in different forms and tones, include: the Nasib(memory of his lost beloved), the Rahil (the theme of survival in the desert), sections such as the wine section, the hikma section, proverbs, and the Gharad (where the performative purpose of the qasida is being told). Four qasida’s in which Poet’s came through as heroes were: Is What You Knew Kept Secret, The Mu ‘allaqa Labib, Bid Hurayra Farewell, and Shanfara-The Arabian Ode in L. Each qasida pretty much has the same format, with different and sometimes overlapping meanings.

A poet was the pride and ornament of his people, for he alone would perpetuate the fame of their noble deeds, dignify the memory of their dead, and trap their enemies in songs of mockery,” making him a hero (337text,68). The purpose here is to see how in each qasida, the poet is a hero. The first qasida, Is What You Knew Kept Secret, the poet in bayt 13 expresses at the end of the nasib the only image concerning the loss of his beloved, uttering the image of her clinging to him. This is quite ironic because this is the only reference he chooses to give her while he constantly talks of her loss.

It is of course a given that the audience at that time knew that in the nasib a loss of a beloved is remembered, so they become sympathetic with the poet because he expresses things that his audience feel but do not have the skill or courage to express. Then comes the description of the ostrich in the rahil (personification to stand for the poet),who quickly rushes home to protect his eggs (his babies). This is meant to portray the picture of love and security. One might ask, why an ostrich?

The ostrich in this specific qasida because it is not only a survivor of the desert, but also makes sure his family are attended to and protected, he is their hero. Here the personification is meant to mean that the poet is going to his kinship group and to be a protector. The poet then shifts from the rememberance of his beloved to his tribe (the ostrich eating the colocynth), symbolizing his return to his family. The hikma section comes next, (not mandatory) where the poet declares what should matter to a man, which is his respect, reputation(name),and his honor, saying that everything material can come to an end at any given time.

Therefore exclaiming that one should sacrafice all material things. He further expresses, that the only thing that lives is your name and what you are remembered for since all is immortal. He mentions that generousity is an important virtue, and reminds the audience of their societies values, reinforcing what they already know, it reminds the audience of what should be of importance to them. In the wine section of this qasida, the poet is just having a good time, living to enjoy live (cheerful passage). Similar to the hikma, he is stressing to the audience that enjoying life by drinking is good, internal enjoyment, not external (material).

Finally, we come to the gharad where the poet praises himself and his tribe. He says he is a warrior, protecting and serving the tribe, reinforcing their tribal identity and thus their hero. The second qasida, Labid, the poet expresses in the atlal the loss of his beloved and compares the site of departure and the wild. Once again, the poet is being brave by sharing his experience of loss with the audience which is a hard thing to do. Then he leaps into the Rahil, the journey desert undertaken by 2 camels, one male and one female.

One camel personifies himself, and the other (the female) what he is protecting. He is the heroic one here through the difficult desert journey, and overcomes it. A lot of personification and hidden meaning are present in this qasida. While in the desert, he gets into a fight, almost getting killed but heroically surivives, thus surviving the loss of his beloved. The female camel survives the loss of her fawns symbolizing the poet loosing his beloved (same intensity). His love experience was a traumatic one, portrayed in the nasib (directly) and in the rahil (indirectly).

To the poet, surviving the desert journey is nothing less than surviving the loss of his beloved, it is equal is great courage. Then comes the wine section, where the poet has fully recovered the loss of is beloved and has completely gotten over her and this is evident in the wine section as he drinks. Here I think that the poet is trying to send a message to the audience that loss of a beloved is tragic but to be overcome heroically. In the gharad of this qasida, it is centered around himself, then moves to gracefully boast of his tribe, bringing their spirits up surely.

This example is a strong one because the poet really does overcome the tragic loss of his beloved and moves on with his life, sending a powerful message to his kinship and also at the same time boosting their identities and values. Bid Hurayra Farewell, starts off with the nasib and the departure of the beloved saying that the loss of the beloved is a big deal and that it is a test of manhood. He describes the beloved with great detail and worth. The whole nabib revolves around her, which is not present in the above qasida’s and is ideal for him and his audience.

It is a very tragic love triangle, where he loves her, she loves another, whom loves another. In the Rahil a storm takes place which symobizes the water washing away his pain, cleansing him. He waits for the rainstorm and it washes and floods everything. Here he cannot drink and forgets his beloved but at the same time needs the storm to cleanse himself and his broken heart. Then comes the Fakhr section where he boasts of himself and his pride, says that if someone kills one of ours, we don’t have to kill that specific person, any uncle or relative of that person would do.

In the wine section, he says if you can’t drink, then don’t, but only tough people do (himself being tough). He is the ideal, tough guy who is waiting to get his wine first and drinks it. In the gharad, he is addressing another tribe, a trouble maker tribe (Abu Thubayt) provoking other people against his tribe. He is overly full of his tribe, which they presumably enjoy. The purpose here is to praise his tribe while at the same time lampoon another, at the end of the recital it is sure that he ( the poet) is their superman, and makes them feel powerful.

Arabian Ode in “L”, in my opinion shows a different hero than the above qasida’s. He was a su ‘luk- an outcast, the relationships within the qasida are different than the above seeing he has no tribe. The nasib starts off with the departure of his tribe, replacing the most common-departure or loss of the beloved theme of the nasib. Shanfara has a very bitter tone in his expressions, and feels betrayed by his tribe and kicked out. He constantly compares himself to animals, the camel and the wolf, saying that outcasts are like animals with no one or no where to turn to.

Shanfara sees himself as the camel being sacrificed in meysir, saying his tribe sacrificed him. In the gharad he becomes a wolf, saying that he raids alone without a tribe, how come it’s okay for groups of people to raid, but not one man alone? At the end Shanfara returns to his tribes the wolves. Although he may have been laughed at and mocked by his audience, he is a hero in my eyes reading this qasida, now. He was a form of entertainment and probably was rewarded by food for the recital of his poem, not because he was a hero to his audience.

The presumed heroism of the poet’s of the qasida’s above are all valid and looked upon differently in different people’s eyes. One thing is for sure though, that the first three discussed were most definitely viewed as heroes of their times, and the latter perceived as a hero by modern day man. Given a background on their lifestyle, environment, values, and society, it is for sure that the poets were seen as distinct from the others of their societies. They were able to express and share their feelings in a way that related to the audiences in such a manner that they were the heroes of their times.

Whats Going On In Kubla Khan

In 1798, a poet named Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote the poem called Kubla Khan. In his preface, he stated that he had dreamt the poem, and wrote it down just as it was preserved. The speaker also stated that the poem is merely a fragment, it is not complete. With the exception of about eight or ten scattered lines and images that had been lost in the transition between sleep and being awake. In the first stanza, it seemed that the speaker was talking of a far away land, Xanadu. Kubla Khan was the leader of this land. This land had a sacred river running through it.

It had many spots of greenery around it with forests that were almost ancient. In lines one and two it says, In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure dome decree. What could that mean? It could perhaps imply that Kubla Khan is a leader of some type, and he lives in a stately palace. The speaker used the word dome instead of palace. Perhaps in his dream he saw a dome as big or a stately as a palace, and that is where Kubla Khan lived. In the second stanza, the speaker goes on to describe the land of Xanadu. He says that there is a cedar forest that is haunted by a woman wailing for her demon-lover.

A mighty fountain momently was forced Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail It flung up momently the sacred river And mid this tumult Kubla heard from far It seems, in lines 17-31, that there could possibly be a war started. It is never said why the war was started or if there in fact is really a war, but after that sequence of lines the speaker goes into another rant. He said that there was a sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice. It is not understood what the voice is trying to get across to the reader in this line.

It is known that ice does not exist in the sun, at least not for long, so does this mean that there is not really a dome at all? After talking about the dome, the mask speaks of a damsel in the pleasure dome. The damsel was playing the dulcimer. The persona also says how the damsel could win his heart by playing the instrument. After those few off-set lines, the speaker goes on to say that he would build the dome in the sky, and that all that heard about it would see it there and yell beware, beware! To whom they would yell this is unclear. The last couple of lines seem to be talking about Kubla Khan.

His flashing eyes, his floating hair He must have been a sight to see. The voice also says that he drank the milk of paradise. That could potentially mean that he lived a life of luxury and was a very mighty leader. In research done with help of the World Wide Web, it was found that Samuel Coleridge was addicted to a drug much like todays Acid. Could that signify that Mr. Coleridge might have been on a trip when he wrote this poem, and that is why it remained unfinished and a fragment? Or quite possibly, it could be that Mr. Coleridge was just dreaming of the wonderful world of Kubla Khan.

“Celebration of the lizard” by James Douglas Morrison

“Celebration of the lizard” by James Douglas Morrison is a helpless labyrinth of insanity. The poem is a murder that results in insanity. The speaker is the murderously insane madman. In this outrageous maze, the poet is running from his chaotic problems. In the first three stanzas, it starts out as a bad dream that eventually causes the speaker to drive himself to a temporary insanity. During his state of temporary insanity, he murders a man out of jealousy that he cannot control. After the murder, he runs to a hideout on a hill far away.

He describes the hideout as a mansion to give you the picture in your mind of how appreciative he is to have a place to hide. The journey is a long and monotonous one but ends in the disappointment of having to turn back. In the last stanza he announces, “Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth, I want to be ready”. In this poem, James Morrison is taking you with him on a frantic, frightening roller coaster. The poet’s tone is dark and eerie. The dream in the beginning becomes a reality, which is an example of foreshadowing.

When he describes the mansion on the hill, it puts a picture in your mind, which is an excellent example of alliteration. This poem is interesting and frustrating at first because it makes you think about every phrase. To read it requires keeping an open mind because there are a lot of metaphors. I had to read it over 20 times just to get a vague understanding. Please do not let the length and metaphorical contents of this poem discourage you from reading this intriguing poem. This is definitely a poem that you will not find in a schoolbook. If you like this poem, I recommend that you read the work of other dark poets such as Edgar Allen Poe.

Emily Dickinson’s Poems

Emily Dickinson’s poems, “Because I Could Not Stop For Death” and “I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died,” are both about one of life’s few certainties, death. However, that is where the similarities end. Although Dickinson wrote both poems, their ideas about what lies after death differ. In one, there appears to be life after death, but in the other there is nothing. A number of clues in each piece help to determine which poem believes in what. The clues in “I heard a Fly buzz-when I died,” point to a disbelief in an afterlife.

In this oem, a woman is lying in bed with her family or friends standing all around waiting for her to die. While the family is waiting for her to pass on, she is waiting for “… the King… ” This symbolizes some sort of god that will take her away. As the woman dies, her eyes, or windows as they are referred to in the poem, fail and then she “… could not see to see-. ” As she died she saw”the light” but then her eyes, or windows, failed and she saw nothing. This is the suggestion of there being no afterlife. The woman’s soul drifted off into othingness because there was no afterlife for it to travel to.

This is the complete opposite belief about afterlife in Dickinson’s other poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death. ” In the piece, “Because I Could Not Stop For Death,” Dickinson tells the story of a woman who is being taken away by Death. The speaker in the poem clearly states that she will not stop for Death but that it will have to come and get her. This is illustrated in the second line of the poem “Because I could not stop for Death- He kindly stopped for me. ” “The Carriage held but just Ourselves-And Immortality.

The idea of immortality is the first indication that this poem believes in an afterlife. In many religions, where there is a grim reaper type spirit, this being will deliver a person’s soul to another place, usually heaven or hell. In the third stanza the speaker talks of how she and Death passed the school, the “Fields of Gazing Grain-We passed the Setting Sun. ” This stanza is referring to the woman looking bac on her own life as she is dying. This would not be possible without an afterlife because if the soul were to simply drift away into nothingness, it wouldnt be ble to reflect its lifetime.

After this Dickinson presents the idea of the coldness of death in saying “The Dews drew quivering and chill. ” This is when we know for sure that the woman is in fact dead. In the fifth stanza, Death and the woman pause before “… a House that seemed A Swelling of the Ground- The Roof was scarcely visible- The Cornice in the Ground-. ” Even though the poem does not come out and say it, it is likely that this grave is the woman’s own. If this is true, then her spirit or soul must be what is looking at the”house. In most religions, the idea of spirits and souls usually mean that there is an afterlife.

It is not until the sixth and final stanza where the audience gets solid evidence that this poem believes in an afterlife. The woman recalls how it has been “… Centuries- and yet feels shorter than the Day I first surmised the Horses’ Heads were toward Eternity-. ” To the soul, it has been at least a hundred years since Death visited her, but to the woman, it has felt like less than a day. Because a human body cant live for hundreds of ears, the soul is who has come to the realization that so much time has passed.

The final part with the horses refers to the horse drawn carriage the woman was riding in when she passed away. In those two final lines, the horses seem to be leading her into Eternity, or into an afterlife. Finally, these two poems deal with similar topics however they are entirely different in that on believes in life after death and the other does not. These two poems raise the question in whether or not there is anything after death, but that question is left to be answered until our final day on Earth.

Imagery Depicted Through T.S. Elliot’s The Hollow Men

The imagery depicted in T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men” evokes a sense of desolate hopelessness and lends to Eliot’s generally cynical view of civilization during this period in history. A reaction of deep and profound disappointment in mankind around him is made evident in this poem, first published in 1925. In this short piece, Eliot lists several deep faults he finds in his fellow human beings, including hypocrisy, insensability and indifference. Overall Elliot leaves the reader with a feeling of overwhelming emptiness.

An important feature of this poem is the fact that the narration of the poem is in first person. This establishes Eliot’s and the readers relationship to the images and ideas presented. When the poem begins “We are the hollow men” rather than “They are … ” or “You are… ” the reader is immediately included within this poem, along with Eliot himself. This type of narration creates a sense of common “hollowness” and by the end of the poem, therefore, a sense of common responsibility and guilt.

Early in the poem, Eliot creates a world of desolation. The idea of dryness is emphasized by the repeadted use of the word “dry” in the first stanza, where we read of “dried voices,” “dry grass” and “dry cellar. ” When he mentions the sound of “rats feet over broken glass” he subtly prods at our anxieties about disease and decay. Eliot then mentions the dead, calling them “Those who have crossed… to death’s other kingdom. ” These people are made real by Eliot’s repeated mention of their eyes.

He refers to them first as making their crossing into death with “direct eyes,” meaning that hey faced and surrendered to death, unable to turn away. Also he states they have “eyes I dare not meet in dreams,” indicating that this narrator fears addressing death, either his own or those who have “crossed. ” Later in the poem, in part IV, Eliot returns to the eyes imagery with “The eyes are not here/There are no eyes here. ” The absence of eyes, here, indicates Eliot’s condemnation of indifference among those still living to the fate of the dead.

Further into section IV he presents “The hope only/Of empty men” as being when and if “The eyes reappear/ As the perpetual star. Here Eliot calls for an opening of eyes and cessation of disregard and indifference to these deaths. The idea of being afraid to face death and feeling guilt over the deaths of others contributes to the full explanation of what Eliot means by “hollow men. ” Besides being afraid to face the eyes of the dead, just as the criminal cannot face the eyes of his victim, this narrator also expresses a desire to hide from death itself.

When he wishes to “also wear/Such deliberate disguises/Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves/In a field/Behaving as he wind behaves,” we realize that the hollowness is a disguise to fool death into going elsewhere. This particular section of the poem overlapes images of rats and crows, animals associated not only with death, but also with the scarecrow and it’s crossed support staves. Section V of the poem begins with a variation of a children’s rhyme, “Here we go round the mulberry bush” which replaces the mulberry with the cactus called a prickly pear.

This strange song comes somehow as a relief from the desolate tone of the poem previously. The presence of the cactus instead of the familiar mulberry keeps the reader in Eliot’s world of desolation, while bringing to mind the fact that innocent children still live and play in that world, and that someone must take responsibility for the world they are born The somewhat grim concluding stanza echoes the “mulberry bush” song from earlier, this time with an even darker tone. Again the reader is confronted with the image of children, their playfulness and hopefulness, paired with the image of the death of not only men but of the entire world.

Imagery Patterns In The Seafar

The Anglo-Saxon society was a combination of the Jutes, the Anglos, and the Saxons. It was through this combination that the values of this one culture evolved. Anglo-Saxons lived their lives according to values such as masculine orientation, transience of life, and love for glory. Contradictory to the belief that the Anglo-Saxons’ values are outdated, one will find when taking a closer look that most of the values are, in fact, still present in today’s society.

Most of the literature from that time period, lasting from 449-1066, is by unknown authors. The oral tradition practiced by the Anglo-Saxons made it possible for the pieces to be passed down and still be in existence today. When many of the pieces were finally written down the took on a poetic style. Through the examination of these poems, both universal and cultural themes become present.

In “The Seafarer” and “The Wanderer,” both being poems from the Anglo-Saxon time period, the anonymous authors portray the universal theme of the harshness of life through imagery patterns of the sea and winter, and in the conclusion of both poems it becomes evident to the subjects of the poems that the only way they will find contentment in life is if they accept the fact that the things that happen to them are all a part of God’s plan. In both poems the unknown authors use the imagery of the sea to represent the trials of life.

In both, the reader must understand that the theme presented, the harshness of life, has had a specific impact on the character in the poem. They have had a personal experience that has lead them to the conclusion that this theme is relevant in everyone’s life. The opening of “The Seafarer” proves this to be true as the very first line states “This tale is true and mine. ” This brings to the reader’s awareness that the “tale” of the poem is an experience of the poem’s character. Immediately after that, the writer uses the imagery of the sea to illustrate the theme of the harshness of life.

It tells/ How the sea took me swept me back/ And forth in sorrows and fear and pain. ” In reading this poem it becomes obvious that life is represented by the sea. In this line the person is saying that that he has been swept away by the trials of life. The author continues with the imagery of the sea throughout the entire piece. “Showed me suffering in a hundred ships,/ In a thousand ports and in me. It tells/ Of the smashing surf when I sweated in the cold/ Of an anxious watch, perched in the bow/ As it dashed under cliffs My feet were cast.

Through the next few lines the author shows the reader that man is scared of life and what it has in store for him in the same way that he is scared on a ship out at sea. The author uses the feeling of this person out at sea, “when I sweated in the cold/ Of anxious watch” as a parallel to the anxiousness and fear of what life will bring. In describing the man’s soul as being “sea weary,” the author is demonstrating man’s lack of control over his life. The waves of the sea, and the sea itself, are uncontrollable and this is how the person in the poem feels about his life and his soul.

The only sound was the roaring sea. ” This suggests that the hardships of life overpower other aspects of the person’s life. Roaring implies something being extremely loud and unavoidable, indicating that the harshness of life is always staring one in the face and cannot be escaped. The reference that the author to “the freezing waves” also represents the unavoidable difficult times in life. Here the word “freezing” brings to mind extreme coldness, being trapped, and even death. The next referral to the sea reinforces this theory, “To a soul left drowning in desolation.

The person in the lyric feels as though he is drowning, being pulled under because he can’t cope with the harshness of life. The hardships of his life diminish any of the good times he may experience. The word “desolation,” implies that the person in the poem feels like he will drown in his sorrows all alone in the same way that he has been left alone to deal with life itself. Continuing to express the theme, the writer uses the lines “And how my heart/ Would begin to beat, knowing once more/ The salt waves tossing and towering sea.

These lines create the image of this person being tossed about by the waves; being thrown from one difficulty to the next. He is unable to escape them. In “The Wanderer,” like “The Seafarer,” it is also necessary for the reader to understand the personal connection that the person in the poem has with the theme. In “The Wanderer,” the subject of the poem is seeing the harshness of life through the experience of losing someone, a comrade, who was close to him.

The narrator expresses how the subject feels in the following lines that state, “Though woefully toiling on wintry seas/ With the churning of the oar in the icy wave,/ Homeless and helpless he fled from fate. ” The subject is trying to escape a painful situation but is “rowing on an icy sea” making the escape slow and difficult. One cannot escape life’s pain and it is futile to try. “And I sailed away with sorrowful heart,/ Over wintry seas, seeking a gold lord. ” once again portrays a desperate and difficult attempt to flee from his sorrow.

The seeking of a gold lord implies that he wants to know what purpose his loss has served and what good, if any, can come from it. “The Wanderer” also exemplifies the theme by illustrating the fact that hard times have not only short term effects, but long term effects as well. “Beholding gray stretches of tossing sea,” illustrates that this person still feels the pain caused by the death of his friend, even after the passing of time. It becomes evident to the reader that one cannot control the things that happen in one’s life, and that life is seen as unfair and harsh.

The last sea imagery used by this writer portrays one fighting against being tossed about the sea, “Once more to the toil of the tossing sea. ” This tells the reader that life is full of difficult times and regardless of how one may try to avoid them, he cannot. Through the use of the imagery pattern of the sea, both of these writers are able to convey how harsh life can be. Both writers use the reference of winter to further illuminate the theme for their readers. It is the combination of the two images, winter and sea, that brings clarity to the theme.

Winter is a cold, dreary, and often depressing time. It is the time of the year when things of nature die and become dormant. Snow, ice, and frost can be damaging and often bring things to a halt causing one to become trapped. The winter of “The Seafarer” utilizes words like icy, frost, frozen, icicles, hailstorms, and snow to give the illusion of being trapped or coming to one’s ending. He is implying that the harshness of life is much like the harshness of winter, one feels trapped and depressed, wondering if good times will ever follow.

Specifically with such lines as, “In icy bands, bound with frost/ With the frozen chains, hardships groaned,” the writer illustrates one being held captive by his difficulties, unable to escape. These images imply once again that one cannot avoid the hardships of life and that they can make it impossible to enjoy life. The author of “The Wanderer” also effectively uses the imagery of winter in lines such as, “When friends are no more. His fortune is exile,/ Not gifts of fine gold; a heart that is frozen” to produce the feeling of being desolate.

The subject is alone and caught in his sorrow, his heart is cold and hard and he is incapable of experiencing joy. The line that states, “While hailstorms darken, and driving snow” represents the continuing feelings of despair that the subject feels will never end. “Hailstorms darken” could also be symbolic of man’s emotions and how they are so easily darkened when challenged in life. “Old comrades remembered. But they melt into air/ With no word of greeting to gladden his heart” indicates that one can try to overcome his feelings of loss, but it is often ineffectual.

When first examining this line, one might conceive the word “melt” to mean that in the same way snow melts in the winter, one’s pain and sorrow will melt away. Contradicting this, one will find that they have perceived the word incorrectly and that in actuality it represents something quite different. Melting is referring to the idea that this person tried to overcome his feelings of loss for his friend, but that it did not work or bring him the comfort he desired.

This line illustrates that while they may think he is strong enough to handle whatever life brings, in reality he often is left feeling alone and helpless. There will be “no words of greeting to gladden” their hearts. Both writers found it to be extremely effective to use imagery patterns of the sea and winter together in order to illuminate their themes to their readers. The fact that the imagery patterns were adequate in helping these writers express their theme is true.

However, these specific imagery patterns slowly dwindle and no longer exist by the end of both poems. Instead there is a major transition, and the idea of putting one’s faith and trust in God comes into play. “But there isn’t a man on earth so proud,/ So born to greatness, so bold with his youth,/ Grown brave, or so graced by God,/ That he feels no fear as the sails unfurl” is a line from “The Seafarer” illustrating this. At this point in the poem, the narrator in it realizes that everyone faces trying times in life.

No one can avoid the trials of life and the feelings of fear and despair that accompany them. Another line that shows the narrator realizing and accepting the fact that there will always be hard times in life is this line: “The days are gone/ When the kingdoms of earth flourished in glory,/ Now there are no rulers, no emperors,/ No givers of gold, as once there were. ” While at one time on earth there might not have been pain and suffering, there is now, and it is unavoidable, so mankind must learn how to cope with it.

The weakest survives and the world continues” is letting the readers know that it is acceptable to fear the harshness of life, however, they can survive and go on from there. “Under his lord. Fate is stronger/ And God mightier than any man’s mind. ” The use of the word “fate” in this line means that all men will experience trials and hardships in life and that they cannot control life, it is in God’s hands. “And God mightier than any man’s mind” reveals the fact that man will not be able to explain why things happen; man can’t comprehend the reason he must suffer.

The last lines of this poem, “That life born in the love of God/ And the hope of Heaven. Praise the Holy/ Grace of Him who honored us,/ Eternal, unchanging creator of earth,” are indicating that every man must remember he was born out of God’s love. He must remember that God did not put him here, on earth, merely to suffer. The very last word of “The Seafarer” is “Amen,” suggesting that the entire poem was a prayer, asking God for courage and strength to face this difficult time and for an understanding of why it happened.

Overall, by the end of the poem it is apparent to the reader that he must face the trials that life brings as best he can and that things will be better when he dies and ascends into Heaven. “The Wanderer” also comes to the same conclusion, that man must make amends with God and accept His plan. However, “The Wanderer” presents it in a somewhat different way. “No man may know wisdom till many a winter. ” This indicates that a man cannot be truly wise until he has experienced life and all of its hardships.

The line, “Wretchedness fills the realm of earth” tells the reader that the earth is full of evil. The conclusion that “fate’s decree transform the world” indicates that it is the fate of man to suffer so that he may see evil and harshness in life and attempt to put an end to it. The final lines of the poem, “Good man is he who guardeth his faith,/ He must never too quickly unburden his breast/ Of its sorrow, but eagerly strive for redress” suggests that man should place his faith in God, trust that God knows best, and that he strive to learn the lesson that his difficulties might teach him.

The last line of the poem, “And happy the man who seeketh for mercy/ From his heavenly Father, our fortress and strength” indicates that God does not desert one during hardships, but that He offers him shelter and protection and will see him through his difficulties. Like “The Seafarer,” “The Wanderer” has a broad message that is made evident to the readers by the end of the poem. The overall message presented through “The Wanderer” is that in order for man to overcome his difficulties, he must go through the hard times, mourn for his past, fear what the future may hold, and finally trust that God is and always will take care of him.

The anonymous writers of these two poems use imagery to express a universal theme, concerning all mankind, however, neither of them leave man without hope. They both conclude with the fact that life holds much harshness and then show the reader that it is acceptable to be frightened and confused by life as long as he puts his faith and trust in God. If he does this, God will take care of him forever.

Walt Whitman

In my opinion the poet which best exemplifies modernism is Walt Whitman. Walt Whitmans stylistic preference is not exactly mine, but it is definitely a good example of modern poetry. He has broken down many walls of traditional poetry, using the style of long, free verse prose. In which he praises everything. It is impossible to talk about modern poetry without making any references to traditional poetry. It is not enough to say that Walt Whitman is a pioneer in modern poetry. We must explain what walls he and other poets have broken. When I speak of traditional poetry one name always comes to mind, that name is William Shakespeare.

When I study Shakespeares work, especially his sonnets I see exactly what traditional poetry is. It is exact and precise in its rhyme scheme, meter, and length. All of Shakespeares sonnets are fourteen lines long, with an ABAB (CDCD EFEF GG) rhyme scheme. The syllables in each verse of the poem are exact and in a pattern. Traditional poets thinks of life occurrences are dictated by fate, taking the control away from the people. Modern day poets try to break down these stylistic restrictions by using different types of rhyme, meter and length or sometimes none at all.

Walt Whitman has definitely cut the red tape in poetry. Every restriction I have mentioned he has changed and disregarded. For instance, Whitman does not believe in pre-destination or fate. In essence he believes that the world is what you make of it. He also finds good in everything. To him death is as good as life. Taking a shower is equally as good as smelling horribly. He saw nothing wrong with anything yet he celebrated everything around him. I myself am a fan of Shakespeare and Whitmans train of thought is bogus to me.

But these are the examples of how he has broken away from the styles of the old. To express his ideas he does not use the typical short-rhyme scheme but uses instead very lengthy verses that do not rhyme. A poem by Walt Whitman, which is a perfect example of this rebellion towards the traditional styles of poetry, is Song of Myself. Whitman lovers regard this poem as one of the best. It is also one of his most anthologized pieces. The reason for this is probably because it is a perfect example of modern poetry. It is a poem that spans over one thousand three hundred forty five lines of free-verse prose.

In the poem Whitman addresses many topics and confronts them with the same attitude, everything is all good. He speaks of life, death, religion, sex and himself. I personally dont understand how Walt Whitman found good in all things without finding anything bad. In my view of life, I cant find one without the other. In conclusion, by the reason stated, I believe that Walt Whitman is the epidemy of modern poetry. He is one of the founding fathers of this relatively new style of writing poetry and is one of the respecting leaders of the art form.

A Dream Deferred

The poetry of Langston Hughes, the poet laureate of Harlem, is an effective commentary on the condition of blacks in America during the 20th Century. Hughes places particular emphasis on Harlem, a black area in New York that became a destination of many hopeful blacks in the first half of the 1900is. In much of Hughes’ poetry, a theme that runs throughout is that of a “dream deferred. ” The recurrence of a”dream deferred” in several Hughes poems paints a clear picture of the disappointment and dismay that blacks in America faced in Harlem.

Furthermore, as each poem develops, so does the feeling behind a”dream deferred,” growing more serious and even angry with each new stanza. To understand Hughes’ idea of the”dream deferred,” one must have an understanding of the history of Harlem. First intended to be an upper class white community, Harlem was the home of many fancy brownstones that attracted wealthy whites. Between 1906 and 1910, when whites were forcing blacks out of their neighborhoods in uptown Manhattan, the blacks began to move into Harlem. Due to racial fears, the whites in the area moved out.

Between 1910 and the early 1940’s, more blacks began flooding into the area from all over the world, fleeing from the racial intolerance of the South and the economic problems of the Caribbean and Latin America. Eventually Harlem became an entirely black area. However, this town once filled with much potential soon became riddled with overpopulation, exploitation, and poverty. Thus, what awaited new arrivals was not a dream; rather, it was a”dream deferred” (Harlem Today). Hughes’ first poem”Harlem” clearly outlines the”dream deferred” theme, setting the pace for the poems to follow.

The first line of this poem is”What happens to a dream deferred? ” In the case of this poem, the dream is of the promise of Harlem, and what blacks hoped to find there: opportunity, better living conditions, and freedom from racial intolerance. When blacks arrived in Harlem, though, their dream was deferred; instead of the opportunities they had envisioned, they were faced with overcrowding, exploitation, and poverty. At the beginning of”Harlem,” the mood that accompanies “a dream deferred” is a questioning one that begins a search for definition.

This mood, which will develop as each poem progresses, induces the reader to reflect upon the meaning of “a dream deferred,” preparing them for its development. The poem continues, listing the possible fates of a dream that never becomes reality. It suggests that maybe the dream will “dry up / like a raisin in the sun,” withering up and disappearing. Maybe it will “stink like rotten meat,” becoming a sickening reminder of what will never be. Perhaps the dream will”crust and sugar over;” Hughes seems to be saying here that the dream deferred might be covered up by society with a veil of normalcy.

The most powerful line in”Harlem,” though, is the last line: “Or does it explode? ” This line, in italics for emphasis, makes obvious the severity of a postponed dream, especially the dream of the blacks in Harlem. For a people who have been oppressed for centuries, the denial of yet another dream is not taken lightly. With the final line, Hughes seems to be hinting at a revolution, alluding to the idea that blacks in Harlem are like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. Here, the mood of”a dream deferred” has increased in intensity.

The possible fates listed previously are unpleasant, but the last one is somewhat ominous and almost threatening. The theme continues in the poem”Good Morning,” emphasizing the rude awakening that awaited the blacks upon their arrival in Harlem with the use of details that paint a more realistic picture and create a more serious feeling about”a dream deferred” in the reader . “Good Morning, ” unlike”Harlem,” contains direct references to the city. These direct references help the reader to understand the reality that lies within the poem.

The speaker has”watched Harlem grow / until the colored folks spread. ” Hughes refers to Harlem as a”dusky sash across Manhattan:” he describes the masses of blacks flooding into Harlem from places such as Puerto Rico, Cuba, Georgia, and Louisiana. The poem changes moods with the lines”I’ve seen them come dark/ out of Penn Station – / but the trains are late. / The gates are open – / Yet there’re bars / at each gate. ” The people have not found what they expected and hoped for in Harlem. These last lines help the reader to understand the feelings that accompanied the harsh reality of Harlem.

The addition of the blunt question,”What happens / to a dream deferred? ” maintains this understanding: this is the”dream deferred,” and this is what the people were experiencing. The question is harsh and unyielding, and its position in….. the poem creates a feeling of seriousness. Another Hughes poem,”Same in Blues,” attempts to establish further the idea of a”dream deferred,” incorporating a type of dialogue between characters to explain the components of a”dream deferred,” adding an element of anger to the end.

The first stanza has a woman telling her man that she has to keep moving, followed by the lines,”There’s a certain / amount of traveling / in a dream deferred. ” This method continues through four stanzas, where peopl converse, and a new component is introduced:”a certain amount of nothing,””a certain amount of impotence. ” The last component the poem introduces is the most effective:”There’s liable / to be confusion / in a dream deferred. ” The poem continues to say that”there’s liable to be confusion / when a dream gets kicked around.

This last line seems to suggest the anger that many blacks feel – no longer is the dream”deferred. ” Now it is”kicked around,” creating a harsher image and angrier feeling than the former. The next poem, somewhat shorter than the previous three, is”Comment on Curb,” which also contains the more negative image of dreams being”kicked around” while hinting at the false illusion of hope that many had about Harlem. The poem, two stanzas long, states:”You talk like / they don’t kick / dreams around / downtown.

Unlike”Same in Blues,””Comment on the Curb” is entirely dialogue. The poem consists of one person speaking of how dreams are”kicked around” downtown, while the other suggests that such things do not happen in Harlem:”I’m talking about Harlem to you! ” This poem, continuing with the image of dreams being abused to a great extent, demonstrates the view of Harlem as a place where dreams thrive. The title suggests that this type of dialogue occurred often, a comment made in passing, alluding to the idea that this view was a widespread and highly accepted one.

Comment on Curb” is a remark on the disillusionment of many blacks; it portrays their image of Harlem in an almost sarcastic manner, commenting indirectly on their unfortunate lack of information. The use again of the”kicked around” expression conveys the same type of anger that”Same in Blues” conveys: anger with the situation, anger with the anger with the lack of information blacks possessed, and moreover, anger with society’s lack of respect for their dreams. The final poem that utilizes the”dream deferred” theme is”Island.

This poem describes an island located between two rivers, hence the title. The image of the island is negative and somber:”Like darker rivers / The streets are dark. ” The word”dark” can refer to either lack of light or the fact that the population is dark skinned; however, an expected first impression would be gloomy and foreboding, coming from the image of darkness. The poem continues, making reference to the many different colors that are in this”pie of a town:””Black and white, / Gold and brown. ” The reader might infer that people of many races reside on this island of many colors.

The use of the phrase”Chocolate-custard / Pie of a town” seems somewhat sarcastic, as did the lines in”Comment on Curb. ” The lines create the ironical illusion of a happy place without worries or problems, the irony being that the island is not completely trouble-free. The irony increases with the following stanza:”Dream within a dream, / Our dream deferred. ” Again, Hughes uses italics for emphasis, as this is a very crucial stanza. Moving from an angry mood to one that is rather melancholy and doleful, the poem now refers to another dream, this one inside the first.

Perhaps this new dream is of the “pie of a town” – perhaps, after the initial shock of the conditions of Harlem, the island of the poem’s title, the people living there have created a new illusion, one in which Harlem lives up to their original expectations. Hughes continues, saying that the”dream within a dream,” along with the original dream of Harlem, has been deferred. The satirical hope that the poem offers in the”pie of a town” reference disappears with the”dream within a dream” illusion. This final poem gives the sad impression that although it may appear as if things have improved in Harlem, nothing has changed.

It is all still a dream – a dream that is stilldeferred. Langston Hughes, in utilizing the continuing”dream deferred” theme in his poetry, creates a powerful image that develops with each poem and links one poem to the next. Hughes communicates the dejection of blacks in Harlem with great clarity and precision. The feelings that accompany the theme range from foreboding to anger to gloom, creating a sense of each in the reader. Hughes’ poems are an effective comment on the experiences of blacks in Harlem and the dream that they share: a dream that, though deferred, still exists.

The poetry of Sylvia Plath and Bruce Dawe

The poetry of Sylvia Plath and Bruce Dawe differ considerably in style, context and language, yet offer unique perceptions of the issues surrounding society and themselves. Born two years apart in different countries, both poets demonstrated great promise and talent at a very young age, especially Plath who regarded herself as, dangerously brainy. ‘

Their talent has been recognised with many awards and scholarships, yet both poet’s received international fame from their late poetry. Dawe’s reputation as an acclaimed Australian poet arrived 37 years after his was born, when he won the Ampol Arts Award for creative literature.

As with Dawe’s poetry, Plath found her true voice later in life when she decided to write at a much faster pace and more controlled rhythm. Although her writing was at its peak at his time, Plath’s marriage to British poet Ted Hughes was experiencing complications. Ted’s relationships with fashion models drove the marriage apart, and later made a depressed Plath to take her own life. The anger and betrayal that she felt at the hand of Hughes, were very strong and are apparent in Plath’s late poetry. Images of death and pain appear throughout many of these poems (Ostriker, p348).

Sylvia Plath explores the emotions and feelings of her own life experiences in her poetry. Like her marriage breakup affecting her late poetry, Plath’s work reflects the pivotal moments in her life where she releases the joy and anger that has build inside of her. In the poem, “The Arrival of the Beebox,” Plath expresses her feelings of betrayal towards her father’s death, by exercising power over him as a beekeeper. On the other hand, Bruce Dawe is a completely different poet, he writes about the matters of social, political and cultural interest that concern the typical Australian.

Dawe writes about all people who are vulnerable and easily hurt, and has an instinctive sympathy with them. The thirty years leading to his poetry’s success, Dawe had experienced nearly everything life had to offer, he had worked through over 20 jobs ranging from a salesman to a dairy farmer. In terms of the people he met, and colourful language her heard, it was a formative period, training his ear to the miances and cadences of the speech of ordinary Australians.

Through the point of view of a bystander, Dawe records the issues and tragedies concerning society and reveals there nature to others, without overstating or sentimentalising it. Dawe’s poem “Homecoming” looks at the casualties of the Vietnam War, a critical political issue surfacing at the time, with great debate and criticism. Dawe and Plath employ a range of poetic devices in their poems “Homecoming” and “The Arrival of the Beebox” respectively, that distinguish Dawe as the poet of people and Plath as an enigma to the reader.

Ghost House – Compared to 4 Other Poems

I think Robert Frost is a understandable, but yet an unconventional poet. Frost wrote in his own style, and as a result, he took quite a bit of heat from the critics of his period. Frost has an elegant style of writing descriptive and understandable poems. I am going to tell you about the five best pieces he has ever written. First off, “A Considerable Speck” is a unusual poem about Frost noticing a tiny speck on his paper. Upon further observation, Frost notices that the speck is actually a extremely tiny mite, struggling to avoid being crushed by Frosts pen.

Frost appreciates the insects battle to stay alive and leaves it on his paper. Frost allows the mite to sleep on his paper because he values any intelligence, even one that is small as a bugs. This poem is told directly from Robert Frosts mouth. It shows how much the poet appreciates the little things in life. Regardless of size Frost understands that a life is a life, and all lives are important. The imagery in this poem is very clear to me. I can picture an old man trying to blow a piece of dirt off the paper. Then the piece of dirt starts moving, as he sees what he believes to be a dot on the paper but really to be a mite.

The old man then starts to think about the value of life. The theme of the poem is that there is no such thing as an insignificant speck. Everything and everyone has a purpose for being here. This poem is filled with alliteration. Some examples I found are: cunning crept, tenderer-than-thou, and breathing blown (Silberner 98). Mind is repeated three times in the final stanza. Also there were two instances in which Frost used assonance room for and living mite. The rhyme scheme of the first stanza of “A Considerable Speck” is AABBCCDADEEFGFGHH, but there is no pattern throughout the poem (Silberner 99).

Next I would like to tell you about is “Ghost House”. It is an remarkably descriptive poem illustrating an aged, haunted house. The imagery in this poem is marvelous. This poem allows the reader to see the house as if he were standing on the front porch. You can picture an old decrepit house, covered with vines and wild raspberries. There is a dying tree in the front yard, with only one vital branch on it. Beneath the tree there are two gravestones so covered in moss that the names cannot be deciphered. Right next to the gravestones is a ghostly couple, standing stalk still and completely silent.

On the front porch the current owner stands frozen, half by fear and half by curiosity. The poem is told through the eyes of the current resident of the house. The owner somewhat scared of his unwanted company. However, the owners feeling toward the couple seems to turn towards the end of the poem. It almost sounds as if he feels sorry for them, when he mentions how they stand together quietly. The theme of “Ghost House” seems to be that love can survive anything, even when the body does not. Although the couple has passed away, they still remain together.

Another theme in this poem could be not to judge a book by its cover. At first the houses owner seems to fear the ghosts, but he eventually comes to respect the relationship that they still share. This poem is filled to the verge with alliteration. For example: small dim summer star, low-limbed tree, and mosses mar (Silberner 109). Summer is said in the second line of the poem with being repeated in the second to last stanza and also in the fourth stanza the word say is repeated three times within two lines (Silberner 109).

The rhyme scheme of “Ghost House” is AABBA CCDDC and that pattern continues for every stanza (Silberner 110). The alliteration and the rhyme scheme of this poem make it flow very smoothly. “Fire and Ice” is a poem about how the world will end. Frost is debating with himself as to whether or not the world will be destroyed by fire or ice. Frost seems as if he is deeply entrenched in thought about whether the earth will become a flaming ball or a gigantic ice cube. I see this poem being told directly by Robert Frost. It tells me that Frost analyzed every idea that popped into his head.

No wonder he graduated as co-valedictorian of his class. The imagery of this poem is in the destruction of the world. It takes a little imagination but I can picture the earth as a new sun. I can also picture the earth totally covered by a massive sheet of ice. The theme of “Fire and Ice” is that although nature can be gorgeous, it can also be quite destructive. Not only can it devastate a persons house and all his possessions but also it can destroy the whole world. Contrary to the previous two poems I can only find one alliteration in “Fire and Ice” is to favor fire (Gioia and Kennedy 85).

The rhyme scheme of the poem is ABAABCBCB. This poem is brief, but gets to the point (Silberner 78). This poem reminds me of the bud light commercial when the two groups of people say, “tastes great no less filling”. The reason why is because there are two sides to fire or ice. “The Oven Bird” shows that although Frost usually analyzes everything, he is capable of enjoying nature. Frost seems to have admired birds more than any other animal, for they are the topic of several of his poems. Frost not only appreciates birds ability to sing, but also their beauty when they remain silent.

The imagery of this poem is a small bird sitting peacefully on a branch on a hot summer day. There is a young bird watcher observing its every move. The poem is told by the bird watcher. The theme of “The Oven Bird” is that all objects should be accepted as what they are. Frost expresses his belief that nature deserves attention and gratitude. Yet again, this poem is full of alliteration. For example: has heard, for flowers, and be as other birds (Silberner 120). There are three examples of assonance: Diminished thing, name the fall, and for flowers (Silberner 120).

The words mid-summer, bird, and sing are repeated throughout the poem so, the rhyme scheme of “The Oven Bird” is AABCBDCDEEFCEF (Silberner 121). This poem reminds me of my father: every morning he will get up and watch the birds at the bird feeder in our backyard. Finally, “The Road Not Taken” is a poem about how Frost chose the road in writing that not many writers had dared to venture into. This poem is all about Frosts adventurous side and how he is a leader, not a follower. Obviously, Frost saw something he did not like about the poetry of his time. Basically, this poem is the story of Robert Frosts life.

The speaker in this poem takes the figure of a young traveler. The traveler seems young and adventurous, and to traditionalists somewhat of a rebel. However, he only wanted a change of scenery and, therefore, chose the path less traveled. The imagery is that of a young hiker standing at a fork in the road, debating whether to take the nice clear path or the wooded area. The young status seeker has no desire to follow the path of his predecessors and chooses the scenic route. The theme of “The Road Not Taken” is that it is always better to be a leader and not a follower.

Basically, Frost is telling the reader to follow his or her desire and do what one feels is right. Dont let anyone keep you from doing what you want to do. There is only one example of alliteration this poem, wanted wear (Gioia and Kennedy 260). I can also only find one instance where Frost uses assonance, ages hence. The word wood and travel are repeated in the first and the last stanzas so, the rhyme scheme is ABAAB CDCCD (Gioia and Kennedy 260). I feel this was a very touching poem to me because I was always taught to be my own person and I thank my parents for that.

Robert Frosts life started out quite different than most people. He never had any formal schooling until he was the age of twelve years old. This wasnt the way you would think a famous writer would start off his life. The even awkward part of this story is that he graduated Lawrence High School as co-valedictorian of his graduating class. When I saw that I was very struck. I realized that changing is all up to one person and that one person is you. Robert Frosts life took drastic changes and as a result of this his poetry varies quite a bit (Silberner 192).

At the time he was writing his more depressing poems, he was having trouble getting his poems published, and he was doing oddball jobs to make ends meet (Gioia and Kennedy 522). His more upbeat poems were not created until after magazines began printing his work. Robert Frost is a simple, yet powerful poet. He uses small, understandable words, which show very powerful meanings. The main reason why I appreciate Frosts work is because I can understand it, which is more than I can say for the majority of poetry that I have read.

“Desert Places” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

Robert Frost takes our imaginations to a journey through wintertime with his two poems “Desert Places” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. Frost comes from a New England background and these two poems reflect the beautiful scenery that is present in that part of the country. Even though these poems both have winter settings they contain very different tones. One has a feeling of depressing loneliness and the other a feeling of welcome solitude. They show how the same setting can have totally different impacts on a person depending on their mindset at the time.

These poems are both made up of simple stanzas and diction but they are not simple poems. In the poem “Desert Places” the speaker is a man who is traveling through the countryside on a beautiful winter evening. He is completely surrounded with feelings of loneliness. The speaker views a snow covered field as a deserted place. “A blanker whiteness of benighted snow/ With no expression, nothing to express”. Whiteness and blankness are two key ideas in this poem. The white symbolizes open and empty spaces. The snow is a white blanket that covers up everything living.

The blankness symbolizes the emptiness that the speaker feels. To him there is nothing else around except for the unfeeling snow and his lonely thoughts. The speaker in this poem is jealous of the woods. “The woods around it have it – it is theirs. ” The woods symbolizes people and society. They have something that belongs to them, something to feel a part of. The woods has its place in nature and it is also a part of a bigger picture. The speaker is so alone inside that he feels that he is not a part of anything. Nature has a way of bringing all of her parts together to act as one.

Even the animals are a part of this wintery scene. “All animals are smothered in their lairs,/ I am too absent-spirited to count”. The snow throws its blanket of whiteness over everything and to him it is a feeling of numbness. “The loneliness includes me unawares”. The speaker has lost his enthusiasm for life. He can not express his feelings easily because of this feeling of numbness. The speaker is also in denial about feeling alone. He is at a stage where he just does not care about too much and he is feeling a bit paranoid. “They cannot scare me with their empty space.

He is saying who cares how I feel, I do not need anyone else. “I have in me so much nearer home/ To scare myself with my own desert places”. The speaker was starting to realize that he had shut himself off to the world. He recognized that this winter place was like his life. He had let depression and loneliness creep into his life and totally take over like the snow had crept up on the plain and silently covered it. If he continues to let these feelings run his life, eventually everything would be snuffed out much like the snow does to nature.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is a much happier and more upbeat poem than “Desert Places”. This poem is about stopping to enjoy life or as the cliche goes, stopping to smell the roses. “But I have promises to keep,/ and miles to go before I sleep”. The speaker in this poem was a very busy man who always had obligations to fulfill and places to go. A feeling of regret is present. The man would like to stay and enjoy this private nature scene longer but he knows that he has other things to do. Again, Frost gives us a beautiful nature scene but this time we enjoy welcome solitude.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep”. This poem expresses the joy of nature. The speaker seems concerned about what the rest of society would think about him just stopping in the middle of nowhere for no apparent reason. His horse represents society. “My little horse must think it queer/ To stop without a farmhouse near”. He admits that just stopping does seem odd. He is also somewhat concerned about the man who owns the woods. The man almost feels guilty for looking so lovingly at this other man’s woods. “He will not see me stopping here/ To watch his woods fill up with snow”.

I think that the speakers life may be a little better off since he stopped to take a deep breath and enjoy all that really matters, the simple things. “Stopping by Woods an a Snowy Evening” is the opposite of “Desert Places”. The settings were exactly the same; calm, dark wintry evenings, but they express totally different feelings. “Desert Places” is a very depressing poem with a dark tone. The other is very happy and it makes you wish that winter was already here. These two poems are very different but they are also the same in some ways. They show two extremes of the same emotion.

Being alone can be positive or negative it just depends on the state of the mind. Loneliness can be very depressing or it can be a time to collect your thoughts without the pressures of the outside world crashing down. Winter is the perfect season to reflect upon when expressing solitude. Winter can make everything seem dead. It can be a very depressing time of year. Snow covers everything living and the cold seems to chill to the very soul at times. Winter can also be very uplifting. It can wipe the slate clean with its pureness and it can be a time of starting over.

Snow’s whiteness can, in a way, blind you with its beauty and make you forget about your troubles. Winter for me is a time of silent reflection. I could sit for hours and gaze at the blowing snow. Robert Frost creates two winter scenes with different outcomes. The first, “Desert Places” is a sad poem about loneliness and lost enthusiasm. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is a rather uplifting poem about enjoying simple things in life. Frost seems to draw upon his experiences from living in rural New England and converts those experiences into beautiful poetry.

Don Juan as Byron Introspective

The works of George Gordon, Lord Byron have long been controversial, nearly as controversial as his lifestyle. Gordon Byron was born with a clubfoot and his sensitivity to it haunted his life and his works. Despite being a very handsome child, a fragile self-esteem made Byron extremely sensitive to criticism, of himself or of his poetry and he tended to make enemies rather quickly.

The young Byron was often unhappy and lonely any many of his works seem to be a sort of introspective therapy. Throughout his writings and life history there is much evidence to suggest that his poetry was greatly influenced by his mental instability. In many ways, Byron seems to use his work as an escape from a difficult reality. The lengthy poem Don Juan offers an especially intimate glimpse of Byron’s psyche.In order to understand the depth of Byron’s psychological troubles and their influence on his poetry, it is important to examine Byron’s heritage and his upbringing.

Young George Gordon inherited the title of Lord Byron at the age of six. This him a rank in society and a bit of wealth to go along with it. Byron’s heritage is a colorful one. His paternal line includes the “Wicked Lord”, “Mad Jack and “Foul Weather Jack (Grosskurth 6).” The family propensity for eccentric behavior was acerbated by young George Gordon’s upbringing.When Byron was just three his financially irresponsible father died, leaving the family with a heavy burden of debt.

Byron’s mother then proudly moved from the meager lodging in Aberdeen, Scotland to England. Young Byron fell in love with the ghostly halls and spacious grounds of Newstead Abbey, which had been presented to the Byron’s by Henry VIII, had received little care since. He and his mother lived in the run down estate for a while. While in England he was sent to a “public” school in Nottingham where he was doctored by a quack named Lavender who subjected the boy to a torturous and ineffective treatment for his clubfoot (Bloom 45). During this time, young Byron was left in the care of his nurse May Grey. He was subjected to her drunken tantrums, beatings, neglect, and sexual liberties (Grosskurth 28).

This abuse was not stopped early enough to protect the boy from psychological injury. Byron confesses to his sister that “My passions were developed very early- so early that few would believe me (Grosskurth 40).” Byron also suffered from constant exposure to his mother’s bad temper. Mrs. Byron alternately spoiled her son and abused him, often calling him a “lame brat (Crompton 82).”

Eventually John Hanson, Mrs. Byron’s attorney, rescued him from the unnatural affections of May Grey, the tortures of Lavender and uneven temper of his mother. The effects of his early experiences were to be felt by the poet for many years. “The consequences of these tortured episodes blend into his entire life in the anticipated melancholy that he always experience (Eisler 41).”At seventeen he entered Cambridge University. Determined to overcome his physical handicap, Byron became a good rider, swimmer, boxer, and marksman.

He enjoyed literature but cared little for other subjects. After graduation he embarked on a grand tour that supplied inspiration for many of his later works. Of the many poems in which Byron reveals details from his own experiences, Don Juan offers the most intimate look into the life of the artist.Canto I of Don Juan describes Juan’s mother, Donna Inez as being a woman who look’d a lecture, each eye a sermon (Longman 577).” Donna Inez watched carefully over every detail of her son’s education and Catherine Byron did the same for her son, attempting in her clumsy way to provide Byron with preparation for life as a member of the gentry. “Mrs. Byron became obsessed with making her son perfect and he in turn submitted stoically to various forms of torture (Grosskurth 29).”

Although the description of Donna Inez is often interpreted as being directed at Byron’s ex-wife, much of Inez’s personality is similar to Catherine’s. It is possible that Byron’s opinion of women was formed by his exposure to these two and many of his female characters would bear their mark.In stanza 61 of Canto I Donna Julia is described with a mixture of affection and sarcasm. Bright with intelligence, and fair and smoothher stature tall-I hate a dumpy woman (Longman 586).”

Byron begins with a fairly conventional description of a pretty girl but ends the stanza with what seems to be a truly backhanded compliment.Donna Julia follows the pattern of the idealized heroine. She is portrayed to be pretty, gentle, sweet, the perfect and passive wife. When she interacts with Don Juan, however Donna Julia breaks out of the traditional role by being the older woman who is eager to educate young Juan in the ways of love. Byron thus reverses gender roles and with a sexually mature woman who actively seducing a naive and innocent young man. “Don Juan at sixteen is a pious mamma’s boy, dedicated to heaven by a mother from hell (Eisler 612)”.

This relates directly to Byron as a youth who had been reared by a suffocating mother and prematurely initiated into sexuality by someone the family trusted. His mother unknowingly entrusted her son with a viper when she brought Donna Inez into the family home. While Donna Julia is not as vicious as May Grey, she took equal advantage of the family’s trust.Even more general attributes of this poem and it’s characters reflect details from the author’s own life. Juan is able to survive shipwreck because he could swim. Byron was also known as an exceptionally strong swimmer. Don Juan embarks on a grand adventure that includes travels very similar to Byron’s own. He has a number of sexual conquests during his journey, as did the randy author.

Even the naivete of young Juan is strikingly similar to the shy young George Gordon.In Don Juan, Byron says “I want a hero” and he adopts a one from the past. He alters the legend of Don Juan to fit his own needs because he cannot find a modern hero that fits the bill. Don Juan’s character a direct personification of the poet who has grown older and wiser that his young subject. The author is reflected instead in the many details of the epic drawn from the author’s own experiences. Although Don Juan’s narrator is not purely Byron’s voice, it does seem to speak for him.

The poet expresses himself through his interpretation of the story and by using the voice of the narrator to speak for him. Byron’s narrator is always present in the poem, commenting and showing off, making quite certain that the he is not being ignored. His voice permeates Don Juan and he appears to be reflecting much of his own life in his creation. Perhaps Byron used this enormous poem as a catharsis for his trouble emotions; perhaps this is the reason that Don Juan was never finished. It was extended throughout the remainder of the poet’s life. The poem, like Byron’s psychological healing was never finished.

The Nature Of Poetry

Poetry is one of the most ancient and widespread of the arts. Originally fused with music in song, poetry gained independent existence in ancient times-in the Western world, as early as the classical era (6th century to 4th century BC). Where poetry exists apart from music, it has substituted the lost musical rhythms with its own purely linguistic ones. It is this rhythmic use of language that most easily distinguishes poetry from imaginative prose, the other great division of literature, and that causes poetry to be referred to as metrical writings.

This interpretation does not, however, include cadenced poetry (as in the Bible) or free verse; both of these types of verse are rhythmic but not strictly metrical. Nor does it take into account the strictly oral songs of many past and present cultures. It is, however, a useful starting point for considering what is commonly meant by the word poetry. Poetry generally projects emotionally and sensuously charged human experience in metrical language.

Meter, the highly regular component of verse rhythm, depends basically on the relative strength and weakness of the stresses of adjacent syllables and monosyllabic words. Not all languages have marked differences in syllabic emphasis, however; nor do all poets choose to exploit these differences to create rhythmic patterns. In many languages, poetic rhythm depends more on line length than on differences between syllables.

The line length is traditionally determined by the total number of syllables in a line (syllabic verse), as in French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Welsh poetry; or by the number of stressed syllables in a line (accentual verse), as in Old English alliterative poetry; or by some combination of number and stress, as in the foot verse that became widely used in English poetry beginning in the time of medieval poet

Emily Dickinson’s Humor

While much of Emily Dickinson’s poetry has been described as sad or morose, the poetess did use humor and irony in many of her poems. This essay will address the humor and/ or irony found in five of Dickinson’s poems: “Faith” is a Fine Invention, I’m Nobody! Who are you? , Some keep the Sabbath Going to Church and Success Is Counted Sweetest. The attempt will be made to show how Dickinson used humor and / or irony for the dual purposes of comic relief and to stress an idea or conclusion about her life and environment expressed by the poetess in the respective poem.

The most humorous or ironic are some of the horter poems, such as the four lined stanzas of “Faith” is a Fine Invention and Success Is Counted Sweetest. In “Faith”… , Dickinson presents a witty and biting satirical look at Faith and its limitations. While it still amuses readers today, it must be mentioned that this short poem would have had a greater impact and seriousness to an audience from the period Dickinson lived in. Dickinson was raised in a strict Calvinist household and received most of her education in her youth at a boarding school that also followed the American Puritanical tradition she was raised in.

In this short, witty piece Dickinson addresses two of the main obsessions of her generation: The pursuit of empirical knowledge through science, faith in an all-knowing, all-powerful Christian god and the debate on which was the more powerful belief. In this poem Dickinson uses humor to ease her position in the debate on to the reader. Dickinson uses her ability to write humourously and ironically (as seen in her suggestion of the use of microscopes) to present a firm, controversial opinion into what could be dismissed as an irreverent, inconsequential piece of writing.

In Success… Dickinson’s emphasis is less on humor and more on expressing irony. This poem may be partially auto-biographical in nature. Dickinson made few attempts during her life to be taken as more than an armature poetess. On one occasion, she sent a collection of her poems to a correspondent who was also a published poet. His criticism of the poems devastated Dickinson, and she never made another attempt towards publishing her works. In Success… , Dickinson reflects on the nature of success and how, ironically, it can be best appreciated and understood by those who have not achieved it and have no taste of it.

As in “Faith”… , Dickinson powerfully presents her thoughts in a few lines. The poem deals only with one, ironic but universal, idea in its short length. It is the bitterness expressed at this irony (as found it Dickinson’s juxtaposition of the words sweetest and sorest, separated by two lines) that is most felt by the reader. While the previous poem expresses the poetess’ bitterness and sorrow with one aspect of her life, I’m Nobody! Who Are You? uses humor without irony to address another.

In this poem, Dickinson style appears almost child-like in its of descriptions including frogs and bogs, as ell as the lively energy expressed by the poem through its use of dashes and brief wording. Dickinson seems to be addressing her spinster, hermit-like existence (I’m Nobody) and her preference to it. The poetess seems to relate that her situation has not left her without a sense of humor, but in fact has allowed her to maintain a child-like outlook on life rather than adapting to the boring norms of her society ( How dreary – to be – Somebody! .

She mocks the conventional need for self-importance through publicity (How public – like a Frog – / To tell one’s name – the livelong June -), suggesting that the audience isn’t that interested ( / To an admiring Bog). She instead seems to idealize her solitude by creating the mysterious feeling of a secret society of social outcasts (Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know! ). In this poem, she effectively uses humor to soften a critique of certain members of her society.

While this poem is longer than the other poems discussed, it too is able to express the quality of brevity and lightness in that it’s composition is full of dashes, with even full sentences broken into short, quick actions that easily oll off of the tongue when spoken aloud (How dreary – to be – Somebody). The technical composition of this poem is two stanzas, however, Dickinson is able to refresh the form with her use of dashes and short words to give it energy and liveliness.

The poem Some Keep the Sabbat Going to Church, is the longest poem discussed in this essay, composed of three stanzas. When comparing her humorous poems to the other poems found in this collection, it is found that these poems are the shortest in length. They are also composed in stanzas, which is not found in all Dickinson’s poem. It might be that in the attempt to keep the nature (if not the subject matter) of the poems light-hearted, Dickinson purposely chose this traditional and un-challenging form.

In Some… Dickinson again turns to humor and irony to address issues she has with the conventions of religion common to her society, as seen in “Faith”…. Dickinson questions the sincerity of those who attend Church on Sunday on a regular basis. Through the use of comparing the conventions of Church (such as the Bell, the Sermon, Dome and Choir) with her own celebration of the Sabbat through the ppreciation of nature, Dickinson ironically suggests that those in attendance at Church may not be as sincere in their worship as she is.

The poetess’ mocks the congregations attendance as being merely for show and to gain status in the community by doing what is expected of them (God preaches, a noted Clergyman). As well, she argues with the assumption that attending church alone will lead towards salvation, suggesting that it is her own actions of finding God in Nature (And an Orchard, for a Dome) on a regular, constant basis (I’m going all along) which is the more true path towards salvation. The humor in the last poem is not as explicit as found in the other poems discussed, nor is the irony as directly expressed as in Success …

The irony is first suggested in the opening lines of “Some keep the Sabbat going to Church – / I keep it staying home” and reaches it most explicit form in the closing lines of “So instead of getting to Heaven, at last I’m going, all along. ” It might be that due to the fact this poem addresses social conventions more than actual spirituality and a belief in God that Dickinson chooses to keep the level of irony lower than found in “Faith”… The humor found in this poem is less explicit as well.

While the contrasts of a Bobolink for a Choirister and a Orchard for a Done is humourous, in these descriptions Dickinson appears to be confessing her own individual, private communion with God to the reader. Thus she does not accentuate the humor in the juxtaposition of the objects in order not to trivialize her own beliefs, but allows enough humor to enter the description to stamp the poem with the child-like free spiritedness found in … Nobody…. Again in this poem, the poetess’ desire for seclusion and nconventionality is expressed eloquently through a light-handed treatment of the subject matter.

In conclusion, it can be stated the examples of Emily Dickinson’s work discussed in this essay show the poetess to be highly skilled in the use of humor and irony. The use of these two tools in her poems is to stress a point or idea the poetess is trying to express, rather than being an end in themselves. These two tools allow her to present serious critiques of her society and the place she feels she has been allocated into by masking her concerns in a light-hearted, irreverent tone.

Case Study on Robert Frost

From the later 1800’s (1874) to the middle 1900’s (1963), Robert Frost gave the world a window to view the world through poetry. From ‘A Boy’s Will’; to ‘Mountain Interval,’; he has explored many different aspects of writing. Giving us poems that define hope and happiness to poems of pure morbid characteristics; all of Robert Frost’s poems explain the nature of living. But why does Frost take two totally different views in his poems? Is it because of his basic temperament or could it be that his attitude towards life changed in his later years?

Throughout the life of Robert Frost, many different kinds of struggles where manifested in his life that hampered his every thought. Some say that Frost went from a ‘bright and sunny day’; to ‘a dreary night. ‘; But even with all of the animosities that plagued his life, Robert Frost evolved to become one of America’s greatest poets. Frost’s poems were not respected in the United States at the time that he first began writing. But after a brief stay in England, Frost emerged as one of the most extraordinary writers in his time. Publishing A Boy’s Will and North Of Boston, Frost began his quest.

In the book A Boy’s Will, Frost writes poems of hope and beauty. ‘Love and a Question,’; illustrates the optimistic view of a bridegroom trying to help a poor man. He thinks that he should help him, but not knowing if he can. His heart shows compassion but his minds shows logic. The conclusion of this poem shows not true ending, but leaves the reader in a state of imagining what was to happen to the poor man. So much of the true Frost can be seen in his poem, ‘The Vantage Point’; (A Boy’s Will). In these verses, Frost reveals his basic interests – mankind and nature.

What’s more, he clearly exposes his strategy of immersing himself in nature until he begins to need social relations again; likewise, when he has his fill of mankind, he retreats back to the comfort and solitude of nature. ‘And if by noon I have too much of these (men), I have but to turn on my arm, and so, the sun-burned hillside sets my face aglow. ‘; Frost wants neither mankind nor nature to the exclusion of the other. Rather be prefers to spend time with each, satisfied that he will know when he’s had his fill. After his return to America, tragedy struck his family.

With the loss of his infant son, Frost found himself for the first time at a loss of words. Frost felt that his writing was therapeutic, so his journey continued. In this next book, North Of Boston, Frost for the first time shows evidence of his maturing by writing a short narrative essay called ‘Home Burial. ‘; Using his own life experiences, Frost writes this story about a father and mother who have lost their child. Using a descriptive and conversational writing style, Frost explores his every emotion. Anger, sadness, hatred, disappointment, and shock, were just a few of the emotions that were felt in reading this poem.

Truly this was a poem from his heart. Frost explores not only the enormous tragedy of losing a child, but he touches on the rippling effects that such a tragedy can have on family members. In these situations, the death of the infant signaled the onset of the deterioration of the marriage and of the ‘home’; itself. In my ways, the ‘home’; as well as the marriage were ‘buried’; with the dead child. Frost continues the evolution of his emotions and his examination of man in work such as ‘Mending Wall’; and ‘The Death of a Hired Man,’; both from North of Boston.

As they walk along mending the wall, Frost and his neighbor discuss the philosophy of walls. His neighbor repeats, ‘Good fences make good neighbor,’; and seems satiation with his simple premise; however, Frost insists upon looking more deeply into the maker of the rationale for wall building. ‘Before I built a wall I’d ask to know what I was walling in or walling out. ‘; Frost feels that if he and his neighbor must spend time each spring repairing the wall, there must be ‘something there is that doesn’t love a wall.

In other words, if it were truly meant to be, it would stay put and not have to be reconstructed each year. Perhaps for Frost, the wall for sees a unnatural restraint upon nature. In ‘The Death of the Hired Man,’; Frost’s tone is again casual and conversational. The conversation, again, is between a husband and wife and as in other writings, Frost defines differing opinions. This time, the husband and wife disagree as to the motives of one of the handy men they have hired off an on. Through the use of opposing new points and opinions Frost seems to be struggling with his seems positive and negative perspective.

Mary, the wife, insists that even this homeless, jobless man has feelings, needs people and his possibly come ‘home’; to die. The husband on the other hand prefers to keep him at arm’s length and question his motives. It requires too much emotion and energy to seems involved. In Mountain Interval, Frost’s works take on a more reflective tone as he seems to be reviewing and evaluating choices he has made in his life. In ‘The Road not Taken,’; he regrets not having had the opportunity to go another route, but is satisfied with taking the road less traveled. ‘I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

He seems content with charting out in a direction all his own regardless of the difficulties he has encountered. With all of theses different poems that I have put into consideration; the conclusion is obvious. Robert Frost, is poet of enormous talents. His far fetching spiracles of imaginative words, leaves the reader to his or her own imagination. It is there that the reader can come to a conclusion on how they want to interpret the writings. The change in his writings is only in the reader’s imagination, and not in the writers works; therefore, Frost’s works are interpretive.

The song ” Every Grain of Sand”

poem tells a story within its words, even if it is not directly stated. Nearly every word and phrase in a poem, and even its punctuation has a meaning and a message that the author is trying to send across to the reading or listening audience. Not always is it easy to immediately understand what the poet is trying to say, but within the words and punctuation, over time and with analysis, interpretation is possible. Poetry is a group of so many words that a poet carefully chooses to show certain meaning.

The song ” Every Grain of Sand” that is written by Bob Dylan deserves to be called poetry because of his careful use of tone, symbolism, allusion, simile and enjambments. Tone is an important part of poetry. It sets the mood of the piece and gives the audience a sense of what is going on and how the narrator feels. In ” Every Grain of Sand” the tone is one of sadness and depression. There is a certain desperate tone in the poem, as the narrator looks for help in “the hour of [their] deepest need.

This is evident in the first and second lines of the first stanza when it is written “In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need / When pool of tears beneath my feet flood every newborn seed. ” The “time of confession” sets a solemn tone, for when a person is confessing it is usually a quiet, personal, and regretful time. This sad emotion that the tone sets is further emphasized when the author uses words and phrases like “sorrow of Night,” “violence”, “chill”, “bitter”, “loneliness” and “broken mirror of innocence.

These all set a mood of sadness, anger, bitterness, hatred and darkness that the narrator feels in his hour of need, as they carry the burden, or the “chains,” of their past mistakes. Although most of the poem keeps with a sad tone, the tone shifts slightly. Line fifteen says ” Then onward on my journey I come to understand… ” This line shows that he is slowly on his way, realizing things he perhaps did not at first. Symbolism is another important poetic device that is used throughout this poem. One’s entire understanding of the poem relies upon their understanding of the symbols applied.

Bob Dylan uses symbolism on numerous occasions throughout his song ” Every Grain of Sand”. In the line ” When the pool of tears beneath my feet flood every newborn seed,”(1. 2) Dylan uses the flooding of the newborn seed to represent how the tears and sadness are drowning out the hope of a new start or of finding peace. The “dyin’ voice within me ” (1. 3) represents this drowning hope that this person still has for a better life, even though there remains a feeling of despair, as it is said in line four.

Dylan continues using nature in his symbolism in stanza 3, lines 9 and 10, ” Oh the flowers of indulgence and the weeds of yesteryear, / Like Criminals, they have choked the breath of conscience and good cheer. ” The flowers of indulgence represent the temptations in life – drawing people to their beauty, while the weeds of yesteryear choking the breath of conscience and good cheer represent the numbing effects of over indulgence. Things that once seemed to make life great have been used so much that, after a while, they are no longer fulfilling, leaving emptiness in a person.

Even as the narrator realizes this, temptation still draws them in. “I gaze into the doorway of temptation’s angry flame. / And every time I pass that way I always hear my name” (4. 13-14) shows this. The doorway represents an opportunity or a choice to follow a path that leads to an “angry flame,” which can represent evil and hell. The voices calling are the inner temptation that we all have for things that give us immediate satisfaction. Throughout the poem, Dylan uses symbols to represent God or a higher power.

He refers to the sun as it “beat down upon the steps of time to light the way to ease the pain of idleness and the memory of decay” (3. 11-12), representing a force that guides us through our pain and tries to make life more bearable. In the last stanza of the poem the narrator goes on to say, ” I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea. ” This once again is a representation of a higher force. It is evident from reading the poem, therefore, that Dylan uses symbolism in almost every line.

The symbolism is one reason why the song “Every Grain of Sand” can be considered poetry. Allusion is another important element of poetry that is evident in this song. Bob Dylan uses allusion is when he mentions Cain in line 6 of stanza 2. In the Old Testament of the Bible, Cain was the first son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother Abel. Another part that is an allusion is the mention of footsteps. The speaker says in the last stanza ” I hear the ancient footsteps/ Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there other times it’s only me.

These two lines can be considered allusions to the prayer “Footsteps in the Sand,” where when one is walking and there are only one set of foot steps this is when God is carrying the one in need, and when there are two sets of foot steps on is walking along side God. Without having the knowledge of the Bible or of this prayer, it would be difficult for one to understand the full meaning the narrator is trying to get across. Allusion in this song gives it the merit to be called a poem. Similes are other important aspects of poetry that give poems fuller meaning.

Throughout “Every Grain of Sand” there are several similes that give the song merit to be called poetry. For instance the simile in the lines “weeds of yesteryear / Like criminals.. “(3. 9-10) the weeds being compared to the criminals makes the reader think of them as something bad. The simile in the 21st line ” footsteps like the motion of the sea” this describes the footsteps to be in constant motion, coming closer and then getting further away, like tides on the shore of the sea. The last two lines of the song,” I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man / Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand,” (6. -24) uses a simile that compares man to a falling sparrow.

A sparrow is a bird that swoops and flies up and down almost hitting the ground, but then continues to fly forward. Like the sparrow, a person who almost hits the ground when times are tough, with guidance they stand right up and keep moving forward. The grains of sand are the millions of people out there needing guidance. The simile’s in ” Every Grain of Sand” are another indication as to why this song should be considered poetry. The enjambments in “Every Grain of Sand” create a feeling of searching for something, especially at the beginning.

The first enjambment is in the first three lines of the poem, where the speaker is just trying to explain how he feels, and continues talking, without taking any breaths. The second stanza also includes enjambment, showing that there was a little bit of a realization that is some one to help in times of need, or a thought going on. In the fifth stanza there are not any enjambments. This shows that the speaker is thinking about each thing that he has experienced, the punctuation shows him pausing after each thought.

Having enjambments in a poem gives a new feeling and possibly a new meaning. Bob Dylan’s use of effective tone, symbolism, allusion, similes, and enjambments in his song “Every Grain of Sand” is reason enough for it to be considered poetic. Although it is rhythmic, the piece flows for the many other reasons we’ve explored. It has deep and hidden meanings that are left to the audience’s interpretation, and it uses expressive language to tell its story. Songs, therefore, can be poetic if they include all the right elements.

Emily Dickinson’s Poem

Symbolically, the use of the hand in literature often represents varying concepts depending on what the author needs to portray. When depicting the aging process, the hands reveal the diminishing youthful appearance of the physical body and thus denote death’s approaching grip. Not to mention, time melts away as the hands of the proverbial clock tick ever so swiftly away. Also, when exploring male and female interactions, the male figure generally holds the “upper hand,” so to speak, or the control of the relationship, thus furthering the symbolic nature of the hand.

Emily Dickinson uses the hand throughout poem 511 to symbolically demonstrate the control to which her character feels trapped, to express the limits of said control, and to imply or suggest her character’s only saving grace. Emily Dickinson brilliantly employs the symbolic imagery of the hand as a clever way to illustrate the force of control throughout the poem. During the poem, she, the speaker, expresses her thoughts directly towards the man she loves, almost as if he where there in her presence or on the receiving end of a letter.

Almost begging, Emily’s character yearns for a specific time frame, an answer, as to when she will see him again. With each questionable length of time, she describes the actions by which the narrator would take to pass the time until her love is there beside her. Dickinson states in stanza one that, “I’d brush the summer by With half a smile, and half a spurn, As housewives do a fly” As each time frame grows ever longer, Emily Dickinson allows the speaker’s actions to approach an almost obsessive extreme.

She implements imagery that sequentially evolves into a neurotic state of self-destruction and self-denial. Emily’s character starts first by simple brushing aside the time as if it where only a nuisance, a slight bother. Then she describes how, if the time frame consisted of a year, she would, “wind the months in balls-/And put them each in separate drawers. ” Dickinson’s narrator progresses all the way to calling upon eternity as a possible alternative to earthly existence without her lover. She connects the action of choosing death with the insignificant chore of throwing away useless garbage.

Emily uses the word “rind” to illustrate how life without her love would lose its sweet, nurturing, luscious qualities and succumb to nothing more than worthless and pathetic rubble. Emily Dickinson uses the hand to represent control or lack of control throughout the poem. She calls upon the symbolic nature that the body part conjures up and uses this nature to further show the undesirable, but tolerable, control placed over her. However, throughout the duration of the poem, Dickinson never gives hint as to the possible identity of the speaker’s lover.

In keeping with her tradition of looking at the “circumference” of an idea, Dickinson never actually defines a conclusive love or lover at the end of her love poetry, instead concentrating on passion as a whole” (Morris, 99). Although this may add mystery and anonymity involved in the poem, she has other reasons for not even whispering the name of the secretive lover. Possibly, Emily chooses to keep the lover’s identity secret to further demonstrate her lack of control over the relationship in which she finds herself.

Along with unidentified loves, Dickinson speaker neither receives an answer nor a reprieve from the burdening question of when, thus further, illustrating the narrator’s lack of power and her seemingly subservient role in the relationship. She indirectly touches upon the secondary existence that women of her generation endured; the lack of a substantial grip in a male dominated society. “The woman’s existence is only contingent to the encircling power of the man” (Morris, 104).

Emily Dickinson also employs everyday activities such as, winding balls of yarn and finger counting, throughout her poetry giving an invigorating intensity to inherent ideas. She seems to use these activities to lesson the blow or emotional complexity to her writing. “Such an audacity has seldom invaded poetry with a desire to tell immortal truths through the medium of a deep sentiment for old habitual things” (Shackford, 6). On the other hand, Dickinson almost purposely undermines the complexity of the narrator’s life by linking her with commonplace activities.

She transforms the narrator into a regular “Jane” with everyday crushed dreams and disappointments. By doing this, Emily substantiates the notion of the submissive, meek female held down by the hand of a male dominated society. With each passing stanza, Emily Dickinson correlates actions that the hands make possible with a certain allotment of time. She ingeniously links the speaker’s lack of control over the relationship, which almost seems to exist only in her mind, with her control over passing the time through such actions expressed in the poem.

Emily’s character, in a slight way, gains control through the connection and tolerates her situation in a more fashionable manner better suited to her needs. In a situation of apparently no control, she, the narrator, grasps onto her only outlet and tightly clings to her only evident truth, uncertainty. Strikingly similar to the short, blurred lines on the palm of the hand, Emily Dickinson suggests, in the last stanza, that control does not necessarily equate certainty. She hints that the lines drawn by control diminish and fade into almost obscurity and uncertainty.

Emily states that all clarity has vanished for the narrator. “But, now, uncertain of the length/Of this that is between. ” She allows the poem to progress from hopeful fantasies to absolute impossibilities. By the beginning of the last stanza, Dickinson permits the narrator to lose all anticipation and expectation for accompanying her love, thus expressing the limits of the narrator’s control. Throughout the poem, Emily Dickinson eloquently elaborates on the limits of control that her narrator endures.

She follows the speaker down the spiral of unpredictability. However, at the end of the poem, Emily implies that the narrator has one outlet left, one viable expression that seems to ease the troubling situation. Without mentioning it directly, she discreetly suggests that the narrator still possesses the ability to write her way through the situation. Dickinson describes the nuisance as a, “Goblin Bee-/That will not state-its sting. ” She personifies the bee by granting it the ability to speak or to “state,” linking the bee to her love.

Since he, her love, will not divulge a when, Emily feels that, since she cannot control the relationship, she can at least control her outlet, her relief. Therefore, she expresses her feeling through her other true love, writing. In poem 511, Emily Dickinson utilizes the hand to symbolically represent the existing grip of control over her life indirectly imposed by the man she loves, to express the limitations of the imposed grip, and to hint at the way in which she deals with the out of control situation.

She shows her finely tuned mastery through the commonplace correlations and unmentioned activities that lie at the root of her work, this poem being a vivid example of her skills. “Passionate fortitude was hers, and this is the greatest contribution her poetry makes to the reading world” (Shackford, 8). Through heart felt expressions and creative connects, Emily Dickinson divulges her inner most thoughts and secrets for the unintended pleasure of her adoring public.

An Analytical Essay on Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson was a woman who lived in times that are more traditional; her life experiences influence and help us to understand the dramatic and poetic lines in her writing. Although Dickinsons poetry can often be defined as sad and moody, we can find the use of humor and irony in many of her poems.

By looking at the humor and sarcasm found in three of Dickinsons poems, “Success Is Counted Sweetest”, “I am Nobody”, and “Some keep the Sabbath Going to Church”, one can examine each poem show how Dickinson used humor and irony for the dual purposes of comic relief and to stress an idea or conclusion about her life and the environment in the each poem. Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst Massachusetts; a small farming town that had a college and a hat factory. There, she was raised in a strict Calvinist household while receiving most of her education at a boarding school that followed the American Puritanical tradition.

She seldom left her hometown; virtually, her only contact with her friends came to be made through letters. As a young woman, Dickinson rejected comforting traditions, resisted male authority, and wrestled alone with her complex and often contrary emotions. Although she was claimed to be a high-spirited and active young woman, Dickinson began to withdraw from society in the 1850’s. The many losses she experienced throughout her life, the death of her father, mother, close neighbors, and friends influenced her life largely and led her to write about death to an enormous amount.

Dickinson made a few attempts during her life to be taken as more than an amateur poet; on one occasion, she sent a collection of her poems to a correspondent who was a published poet. His criticism of her poetry devastated Dickinson, and she never made another attempt towards publishing her works. Evident through her letters and poems, her poetry records intense devotion, sharp, skeptical independence, doubt, and what repeatedly reflects her happiness and despair. In the poem, “Success is Counted Sweetest”; Dickinsons emphasis is less on humor and more on expressing irony.

Here it is bitterness expressed towards the status or notion of success that is most felt by the reader as Dickinson reflects on the nature of success and how it can be best appreciated and understood by those who have not achieved it. While the previous poem expresses the poets bitterness and sorrow with one aspect of her life, “I am Nobody” uses humor without irony to address another. In this poem, Dickinson’s style appears almost child-like in its of descriptions including frogs and bogs.

Dickinson seems to be addressing her spinster, hermit-like existence, and her preference for it. The poet relates through her writing that her situation has not left her without a sense of humor, but in fact has allowed her to maintain a child-like outlook on life rather than adapting to the tedious norms of her society. She mocks the conventional need for self-importance through publicity suggesting that the audience is not that interested by creating the mysterious feeling of an arcane society of social outcasts.

In this poem, she effectively uses humor to soften a critique of elite members of her society. In addition, in the poem “Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church”, she questions the sincerity of those who attend church on Sunday on a customary basis. Through the use of comparing the formalities of church with her own celebration of the Sabbath through the appreciation of nature, Dickinson casually suggests that those in attendance at church may not be as sincere in their worship as she is.

Dickinson ridicules the congregation as she accuses them of attending merely for show and to gain status in the community. Also, she argues with the notion that attending church alone will lead towards salvation, suggesting that it is her own actions of finding God in nature that will lead to the path of redemption. The humor in this poem is not as explicit as in the other poems discussed, nor is the irony as directly expressed as in “Success is Counted Sweetest”.

The reader can sense Dickinson’s sarcasm in the opening lines of “Some Keep the Sabbath going to Church” – / I keep it staying home, and will react to its most definitive form in the closing lines of So instead of getting to Heaven, at last Im going, all along. While the descriptive are humorous, Dickinson appears to be confessing her own individual, private communion with God to the reader. Thus she does not emphasize the humor in the comparison of the objects in order not to trivialize her own beliefs, but instead allows enough humor to enter the description to emphasize the poem with the child-like free spiritedness.

Dickinson was a poet highly skilled in the use of humor and irony and she effectively used these tools in her poetry to stress a point or idea. However, her frustration, bitterness and independence are felt through the expressive lines of her poetry while at the same time concealing her concerns in a light-hearted and irreverent tone. Emily Dickens’s works contain deep emotion and her words will continue to amaze those that have the privilege of reading them.

Two Poems, Two Ideas, One Author

Two of Emily Dickinson’s poems, Because I Could Not Stop For Death and I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died, are both about one of life’s few certainties: death. However, that is where the similarities end. Although both poems were created less than a year apart by the same poet, their ideas about what lies after death differ. In one, there appears to be life after death, but in the other there is nothing. Only a number of clues in each piece help us determine which poem believes in what.

In the piece, Because I Could Not Stop For Death, we are being told he tale of a woman who is being taken away by Death. This is our first indication that this poem believes in an afterlife. In most religions, where there is a grim reaper like specter, this entity will deliver a person’s soul to another place, usually a heaven or a hell. In the fifth stanza, Death and the woman pause before … a House that seemed A Swelling of the Ground- The Roof was scarcely visible- The Cornice in the Ground- (913).

Although the poem does not directly say it, it is highly probable that this grave is the woman’s own. It is also possible the woman’s body already rests beneath the soil in a casket. If this is at all accurate, then her spirit or soul may be the one who is looking at the house. Spirits and souls usually mean there is an afterlife involved. It isn’t until the sixth and final stanza where the audience obtains conclusive evidence that Because I Could Not Stop For Death believes in an afterlife. The woman recalls how it has been …

Centuries- and yet feels shorter than the Day I first surmised the Horses’ Heads were oward Eternity- (913). To the woman, it has been a few hundred years since Death visited her, but to her, it has felt like less than 24 hours. Since the body cannot live on for hundreds of years, then it must be none other then the soul who has come to the realization that so much time has passed. The final part with the horses refers to the horse drawn carriage the woman was riding in when she passed away. In those two final lines, the horses seem to be leading her into Eternity, possibly into an afterlife.

It is just the exact opposite is Dickinson’s other poem, I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died, With this particular piece of literature, the clues which point to the disbelief in an afterlife are fewer and not as blatant, but are all still present. In this poem, a woman is lying in bed with her family standing all around waiting for her eventual death. While the family is waiting for her to pass on, she herself is waiting for … the King… (914). No, we’re not talking about Elvis, but instead this King is some sort of omnipotent being, a god.

Later as the oman dies, her eyes (or windows as they are referred to in the poem) fail, then she … could not see to see- (914). When she says this, what she seems to mean is she could not see any of the afterlife or Kings she expected to be there. The woman’s soul drifted off into nothingness with no afterlife to travel to. To conclude, the beliefs of the two Dickinson poems in regards to life after death differ significantly. In one, life does exist, in the other it does not. To determine which poem believes in what, one must dig through the clues in each.

Poetry – Claude McKay “If We Must Die”

One of the most influential writers of the Harlem Renaissance was Jamaican born Claude McKay, who was a political activist, a novelist, an essayist and a poet. Claude McKay was aware of how to keep his name consistently in mainstream culture by writing for that audience. Although in McKay’s arsenal he possessed powerful poems. The book that included such revolutionary poetry is Harlem Shadows. His 1922 book of poems, Harlem Shadows, Barros acknowledged that this poem was said by many to have inaugurated the Harlem Renaissance.

Throughout McKay’s writing career he used a lot of dialect and African American vernacular in his writing, which was rather controversial at the time. Writing in dialect wasn’t considered proper for writing formal literature. For this paper I chose the poem “If We Must Die”, one of his strongest political poem included in Harlem Shadows. The subject matter that McKay writes about is confrontational. Even if McKay used classical poetry techniques to write “If We Must Die”. McKay used the poetry technique of the sonnet by using the 13 lines and 1 last line in the end.

In “If We Must Die” McKay uses rhymes, and metaphors to associate and personify the poem. Using these techniques the audience can identify with the writer and the poem itself. The poem at first seems to have been written for a black audience but then it grew tremendously for a wider universal audience. This poem spoke to anyone and everyone who was being oppressed or in a situation that they weren’t in control of. This poem was for anyone who is or was put to death. This poem showed that everyone deserves a noble death, a death of honor and respect not to be beaten and treated like an animal but like a human being.

If We Must Die” was first published in the Liberator in 1919. Then in his compilation of poetry Harlem Shadows in 1922. Where already the world war had ended. It was one of the very first poems that initiated the tone, subject and matter of the Harlem Renaissance. The poem is revolutionary, it’s the type of poem that makes people think and take action. He made the reader feel important and recognized the value of a human life. McKay believed part of the poets job is to politically inform the minds of people. Leading to the influence of such people as Amiri Baraka, starting the Black Arts Movement.

The poem itself is a validation, recognition of the value of a human life. In the first line of the sonnet “If we must die, let it not be like hogs”. If we as humans die in whatever situation arises, let it not be like an animal, inhumane, without a name and unjust. “If we must die, O let us nobly die”, and eventhough the person might be by far outnumbered, beaten and maimed not to sit there and take the punishment. That there last breaths is one of victory because the person never stopped fighting back. Erasing the idea of passive resistance which made such people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. own for.

Although the poem had a universal appeal, McKay published this poem through one of the fiercest times for African Americans. There were severe racial problems with Blacks and Whites through out sparking violence. In 1919 they’re where countless race riots in Harlem and all over the United States. This poem could have even fanned the flame that the race riots started. This poem itself moved people to stand up for themselves and I don’t doubt that it did. This poem can easily be read today and appeal to today’s society.

It seems that there will always be an oppressed group, that is something we can’t escape from. If the poem “If We Must Die” were read today, I feel it would move countless people into action. Especially now where there are a lot of problems with the New York City police department. The Police department’s using tactics of racial profiling, countless shootings, and deaths of young African American and Latino men. No matter what decade we live in, same rules seem to apply. Their will always be senseless killings, and the job of the poet is to use what is going on in their environment and speak out against it.

I feel a poet is a revolutionary, just like McKay stated that “part of the poets job is to politically inform the minds of people. ” To make people think and even influence their actions. Both to motivate and change what is in society. To revolutionize their minds, and help people not be afraid to speak out. If We Must Die was also “popularized as a battle cry by Winston Churchill in the European fight against fascism. ”(Barros) Ironically, “If We Must Die” had been written as a militant response to a Harlem race riot some twenty years earlier.

During a period when “McKay himself wouldn’t have been caught dead supporting a war between capitalist, nationalist states. ” (Barros) “It was during those days that the sonnet, “If We Must Die”, exploded out of me. And for it the Negro people unanimously hailed me as a poet. Indeed, that one grand outburst is their sole standard of appraising my poetry. It was the only poem I ever read to the members of my crew. –Even the fourth waiter – who was the giddiest and most irresponsible of the lot, with all his motives and gestures colored by a strangely acute form of satyriasis – even he actually cried.

Eventhough Pearson’s Magazine had its offices in the same building as the Liberator. Frank Harris the editor of Pearson’s Magazine wanted to publish “If We Must Die” in his magazine but McKay had already shown it to the Liberator and was accepted, it was being included in the Liberator first. Although Frank Harris and Claude McKay were friends it seems McKay went to the Liberator first because the Liberator has an African American appeal and a wide reading audience.

Which seemed to be McKay’s first intention and target audience with “If We Must Die”. Claude McKay is one of my favorite poets and any reader could understand why. His poetry speaks to a multitude, and this poem “If We Must Die” made the reader, a human being feel important. Instead of seeing yourself as lower than dirt, adapting the mind of the oppressed and not fighting back. We must not sit around while horrendous things happen in our society. If we want a change we have to do it ourselves. “Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back. ”

Emily Dickinson’s Poem’s

Upon a first reading of Emily Dickinson’s poem’s I found them very difficult to understand due to her unique style of writing. Once I was able to comprehend the general theme of her poems, they became clearer with profound meaning. Dickinson’s writing style, leaving words absent and not completing sentences, allows the reader to fill in the gaps through reflection of their own life and experiences.

Dickinson writes from experiences that have occurred in and around her life, her writing technique requires the reader to delve deep into their soul to apply the meaning that will bring a feeling of peace and understanding. Poem #508 speaks to the heart of every woman who has endured the bittersweet challenges of entering adulthood. Dickinson employs a female speaker to describe the emotions a woman faces leaving her childhood behind to enter adulthood and deciding whether to marry. There is sadness and resignation in the tone of the speaker.

Aware she cannot remain under the security of her parents forever, she must decide to marry or become a spinster. Having limited opportunities as a woman in the nineteenth century, she is aware her most sensible choice is to marry. In the first stanza, the speaker’s sadness is evident when she states, I’m ceded- I’ve stopped being Theirs-” (1), implying that being given up to marriage, she is losing her identity she obtained through her parents. In order to become betrothed, she must exchange her family name for her husband’s name, thus severing the bond she shares with her parents.

The second stanza continues the sad tone as the speaker laminates, “And They can put it with my Dolls, My Childhood, and the string of spools, I’ve finished threading-too-” (5-7). Her sadness at this point is the result of leaving all of her childhood dreams and trifles behind and giving up her family name, to enter her new life, as a wife. As her new life will take her in another direction, she no longer has room for the things that brought her pleasure as a child. Spiritual faith is prominent in the third stanza.

It is apparent the speaker is to be married in a church before the eyes of God as she has chosen unlike when she was “Baptized, before, without the choice,” (8) as an infant. Having the knowledge of her faith and what is expected of her as she reaches maturity, she dons her “small Diadem” (13), which is the symbol of her transformation from child to married woman. Sadness and resignation seem to be the focus of the fourth and final stanza. The speaker A half unconscious Queen-” (16) does not see her life as a wife evolving beyond what her life as a child had.

Having been under the control of her parents, her decision to marry will result in her being under the control of her husband. Fully aware of her prospects if she were to chose the alternative, she resigns herself to her decision as she states, “And I choose, just a Crown. ” (19) Although this poem runs only nineteen lines, Dickinson has successfully and eloquently revealed the sadness women endure from having to resign themselves to the fact they have only one true option in life once maturity is attained, marriage.

Charles Baudelaire: Romantic, Parnassian, and Symbolist

Often compared to the American poet Edgar Allen Poe, the French poet Charles Baudelaire has become well-known for his fascination with death, melancholy, and evil and his otherwise eccentric yet contemplative style. These associations have deemed him as a patron saint of modernist poetry while at the same time closely tying his style in with the turbulent revolutionary movements in France and Europe during the 19th century (Haviland, screens 5-10).

By comparing three of his poems, Spleen, Elevation, and To One Who Is Too Gay, from his masterpiece The Flowers of Evil, three evident commonalities can be found throughout the works in the influence that the three 19th-century styles of Romanticism, Parnassianism, and Symbolism had on his poetry. Charles-Pierre Baudelaire was born on April 9, 1821 in Paris, France to the parents of Francois Baudelaire and Caroline Defayis (Christohersen, Biography).

It was his father, Francois, who taught Charles to appreciate the arts, because he was also a mildly talented poet and painter himself. In February 1827, Francois died when Charles was only six, after which Charles and his mother developed an extremely close relationship until she remarried in 1828 to Major Jacques Aupick (Veinotte; Christohersen, Biography). The family moved to wherever Aupick was posted for the military and Baudelaire began is education at the Collge Royal in Lyons, then transferred to the Lyce Louis-le-Grand in Paris.

It was at the latter that he began to write poetry and develop moods of depression, and in 1839 he was expelled for being unruly. Eventually he became a student of law at the Ecole de Droit but in reality lived a free life and it was here that he came into contact with the literary world for the first time. He also contracted VD, which was to be the cause of his death years later. Aupick, hoping to draw Baudelaire away from the lifestyle he was living, sent him on a ship for India in 1841.

Baudelaire jumped ship and returned to France almost a year later, but his travels came to be an enormous influence on his work. On his return, Baudelaire received a huge inheritance from his parents but spent it so rapidly on drugs, clothes, fine foods, fine wines, books, and paintings that he was later denied access to his inheritance and was made a legal minor. Another significant part of Baudelaires life was women.

Three women in particular are extremely significant in how they influenced his writing and what they represented in his philosophy of life. These three women were Jeanne Duval and Marie Daubrun, both actresses, and Apollonie Sabatier, a well-known French-hostess. On August 31, 1867, at the age of 46, Baudelaire ended up dying in his mothers arms of the VD he contracted earlier in his life (Christohersen, Biography). Although remembered most for his poetry, as a writer he was also an art and literary ritic, translator, and author (Veinotte).

One of his earliest passions had been art and literary criticism, partly due to his fathers influence on his interest of amateur art. He eventually came to be called the poet-critic, and a large number of his major criticisms appeared in the annual series of Le Salon for many years (Christohersen, The Critic). Other significant criticisms were found in his essay called The Painter of Modern Life and in a collection of his criticisms published posthumously called Romantic Art.

Other major works include La Fanfarlo, a short story and fictional autobiography; Poe translations in Extraordinary Stories, New Extraordinary Stories, and Grotesque and Serious Stories; collections of poetry in The Flowers of Evil and The Artificial Paradises; and prose in The Spleen of Paris (Christohersen, The Poet). During his lifetime The Flowers of Evil gained the most publicity, although the majority was not positive, it was even questioned under court and mandated to be revised due to its obscene and immoral content.

Influencing his work, the history of 19th-century France was overwhelmed by the aftermath of the Revolution, and breaking from the style of classicism grew Romanticism, Symbolism, and Parnassianism. Particularly, in The Flowers of Evil, from which the three chosen works for this paper originate, Baudelaire combines the passion of Romanticism with the Parnassian perfection of form, yet is also seen as the founder of symbolism (Harris 78; Haviland). It is in these three styles that three common elements can be found in the poems Elevation, Spleen, and To One Who is Too Gay.

To begin with, in Elevation, the romantic and the symbolic style tie in very closely through the appreciation of external nature associated with romanticism, but at the same time using nature symbolically to suggest the ideal, which is associated with symbolism (Merriam-Webster, Romanticism and Symbolism). He expresses that he is soaring above ponds, valleys, woods, mountains, clouds, and seas to connote that he is above earthly worries and above the material life of mortal men.

He goes on to say that he is farther than the sun, the distant breeze, and the spheres of outer space to describe a state even beyond these abstract objects which are usually associated with divine beings (Baudelaire, Elevation). In this poem, he uses symbolism by representing the earth as a metaphor for physical life and representing objects beyond the earth as a spiritual elevation of the soul. Baudelaires spiritual nostalgia for the ideal and his adherence to the standard Romantic connotation of soul and to the concept of elevation associates him with the Romantic poets (Nalbantian 128).

At the same time, his use of imagery in nature that describes the souls aspiration for the ideal and the implication of intuition into the language of flowers and mute things are greatly associated to the symbolist movement (Nalbantian 128; Jones 114). The next poem, Spleen, is the complete opposite of Elevation because instead of soaring high above the earth, Baudelaire is describing the earth as a lid which oppresses his spirit into misery (Auerbach 149-150). The spleen, an organ that removes disease-causing agents from the bloodstream, was traditionally associated with melancholy, fear, moral degradation, and agony.

This predilection for melancholy that Baudelaire outlined in most of his works was greatly associated with the romantic movement (Merriam-Webster, Romanticism). Yet, the immense misery described in Spleen is even said to be far more intense than the declamatory [sickness of age] of Baudelaires Romantic predecessors (Peyre). Particularly, this poem is replete with metaphors including the sky as a heavy lid over his spirit, Hope as a trapped bat banging against walls and ceilings, and pouring rain as prison bars (Auerbach 150).

These metaphors which associate his despair to the Romantic movement also make Spleen a significant work of Symbolist verse (Carter 61). To One Who Is Too Gay, is much harder to define than the other two poems because it changes the context of cheerful words like love, flowers, clear sky, and ecstasy and give them evil connotations in the conclusion for making him miserable and giving him the desire to destroy or harm them. The way he looked at and treated the torments of love was incomparable in the romantics, but the style he used to write the poem showed clear influences from the Romantic style regardless of its content (Auerbach 160).

When looking at the dictionary definition of romanticism and applying it to To One Who Is Too Gay it is almost valid to say that this poem is more Romantic than both the other poems mentioned earlier. It emphasizes imagination and emotions, presents an exaltation of the primitive and common man, appreciates external nature, forms an interest in the remote, and exalts his predilection for melancholy (Merriam-Webster). Undoubtedly though, this poem is a significant example of Symbolism.

Beginning the first stanza by comparing her head, gestures, and air to a landscape and her laugh to a fresh wind in a clear sky, Baudelaire continues to saturate every stanza in this poem with similes and metaphors (To One Who is Too Gay). This poem, in particular, was written about Apollonie Sabatier, who represented an ideal and a spleen throughout many of his poems because he came to view women as divine and sacred, yet describing love and sex with the attitude that lovers shall one day die and rot (Haviland).

The next style which is not analyzed above is the Parnassian school of poetry that influenced the remarkable form, number, and rhythm of [Baudelaires] verse (Every Saturday 80). For example, while examining the original, untranslated versions of the three poems, you notice the specific rhyme schemes in each. Elevation and To One Who Is Too Gay both use the rhyme scheme ABBA, CDDC, etc. , and both poems carry on consistent rhythms throughout each stanza. Spleen uses ABAB, CDCD, etc. , yet portrays even greater travail, labor and difficulty than the forms of the other two (Every Saturday 80).

Spleen uses the alexandrine meter which emphasizes that it is a serious poem, to be spoken slowly and gravely (Auerbach 150). It shows great structural control because the first and second stanza speak of the sky and earth, respectively, and the third connects these two stanzas by speaking of the rain. Each of the first three stanzas begin with Quand or When, and other notable literary devices he uses in this poem in particular include his alliteration, his use of nasal words, and his punctuation (Peyre).

In conclusion, it is the combination of Baudelaires eccentricity as well as the influence that his life and culture had on his writing that have made him such a significant figure in French 19-century literature. By selecting and analyzing Elevation, Spleen, and To One Who Is Too Gay, three significantly contrasting poems from The Flowers of Evil, his style acts as an mportant common element throughout all three.

Although an important figurehead in modern poetry, he is similarly dubbed as having an enormous influence on the Romantic movement, the Symbolist movement, and the Parnassian movement, as much as he was influenced by these movements himself. And because of the turbulence of this revolutionary period in France, it is fair to say that Baudelaires greatness could have only been derived from standing on the shoulders of giants (Newton).

Emily Dickinsons Poem

Emily Dickinsons poem entitled I felt a Funeral, in my Brain is directed towards a death in the speakers life. This death could have been a romantic love that had left him or her behind. It seems that they go through a type of struggle that is sort of bound to them. The first line of the poem is I felt a Funeral, in my Brain. This is the title of the piece because Dickinson did not title her work, so when it was published, the first line of each piece was used as the title. This line describes a complete mess in the speakers mind. This so-called funeral is just tearing them apart. This funeral seems to be racing over and over in their mind.

As the piece continues, there is talk about mourners going to and fro, who are treading and treading. It can be thought as these memories that are racing through their head. Mourners are those who express their grief or sorrow. So these mourners are the ones at the funeral. Not saying that Dickinson is the speaker in this piece, but who ever it is they have these thoughts pressed in their head. And because of them, their sorrow is showing. The next line states that the sense was breaking through. Therefore it is all coming back to the poet. This can allow the poet to know what is going on with them, and maybe comprehend it as well.

The next stanza begins with them all being seated at this service, like a drum. So now all these mourners are at the funeral sitting in sorrow for the loss of someone obviously close to them. This speaker describes the service to be like some kind of drum that keeps beating and beating until their mind goes numb. I am guessing that memories are going over his or her mind. Then the poet heard them lift a box. This would be the pallbearers lifting the casket at this funeral. The speaker says that it creaks across their soul. Maybe this might have made him or her feel uncomfortable in this kind of situation.

One can only tell how the feel with the loss of someone important in their life. With those same boots of lead, again, then space-began to toll, next says the poet. These boots being the ones of the pallbearers walking the casket away. Space would begin to toll between the poet and theyre lost love. It seems as though the poet does not want to distance himself or herself from this person, but fate is talking them away. Stanza four begins with all the Heavens were a bell Could this be a good place for his or her lost love to go, but still too distant from the speaker?

Only the speaker knows. And being, but an ear, they say. This means that the poet can only hear them now, instead of this person always being around and near to them, Heaven being a place too damn far away. This speaker can only begin to describe the pain going on inside of them. And the stanza ends with the speaker being in silence all alone. Feeling like they are the only one around now and things will just never be the same once again. And a Plank in Reason, broke, and I dropped down, and down, stated the poet. This would be a reality check.

It seems that the speaker kind of woke up from this depressing dream. It goes on to say that they hit the worldand finished knowing-then, knowing that this person will never be around again. Their love is out of his or her life forever, but not out of their mind and soul, because the memories that they once shared will live on. Emily Dickinson was a wonderful American poet and it was unfortunate that a lot of her work was not discovered until later on. This piece is a wonderful example of her work. I feel that this represents a kind of struggle that everyone goes through when they lose someone special.

Emily Dickinson and Death as a Theme in her Poetry

Although she lived a seemingly secluded life, Emily Dickinsons many encounters with death influenced many of her poems and letters. Perhaps one of the most ground breaking and inventive poets in American history, Dickinson has become as well known for her  bizarre and eccentric life as for her incredible poems and letters. Numbering over 1,700, her poems highlight the many moments in a 19th century New Englander womans life, including the deaths of some of her most beloved friends and family, most of which occurred in a short period of time (Benfey 6-25).

Several biographers of Dickinson point out her methods of exploring several topics in  circumference, as she says in her own words. Death is perhaps one of the best examples of this exploration and examination. Other than one trip to Washington and Philadelphia, several excursions to Boston to see a doctor, and a few short years in school, Emily never left her home town of Amherst, Massachusetts. In the latter part of her life she rarely left her  large brick house, and communicated even to her beloved sister through a door rarely left slightly ajar.

This seclusion gave her a reputation for eccentricity to the local towns people, and perhaps increased her interest in death (Whicher 26). Dressing in white every day Dickinson was know in Amherst as, the New England mystic, by some. Her only contact to her few friends and correspondents was through a series of letters, seen as some critics to be equal not only in number to her poetic works, but in literary genius as well (Sewall 98).

Explored thoroughly in her works, death seems to be a dominating theme through out Dickinsons life. Dickinson, although secluded and isolated had a few encounters with love, two perhaps serious  affairs  were documented in her letters and poems. But, since Emilys life was so self kept and private the exact identity of these people remains unsure. What is known, is during the Civil War , worried for her friends and families lives, death increased in frequency to be a dominant theme in her writings.

After 1878, the year of her influential fathers death, (a treasurer of Amherst college, and a member of the Congress),  this theme increased with each passing of friend or family,  peeking perhaps with the death of the two men she loved (Waugh 100). But, as documented by several critics, Dickinson viewed death, as she did  most ideas, in circumference. She was careful to high light and explore all the paradoxes and emotional extremes involved with death. One poem expresses her depression after discovering her two loves had passed away.

She wrote,  I never lost as much as twice, and that was in the sod; Twice I have stood a beggar, Before the door of God, (Porter 170). Some critics believe it was the suggestion of death which spawned Dickinsons greatest output of Poetry in 1862. After hearing from Charles Wadsworth, her mentor, and perhaps secret love, that he was ill, and would be leaving the land,  Dickinson made her withdrawal from society  more apparent and her writing more frequent and intense.

By then Dickinson was already in her mid thirties, and simply progressed from there to become more reserved and write more of death and loss, than of nature and love, as had been common in her earlier years (Whicher 39). In the poem, My life Had Stood- A Loaded Gun, (since most of Dickinsons poems were unnamed, many are known by the first line of the poem, as in this case) Dickinson writes in the last stanza,  Though I than He (the owner of the gun in the analogy) – may longer live- He longer must- than I- For I have but the power to kill, Without-the power to die-.

Critics state that here Dickinson, (writing during the Civil War, 1863 specifically) speaks of the importance of mortality and death, and highlights the pure foolishness behind killing (Griffith 188). As stated above, Dickinson is known for encompassing  many perspectives on a single topic. In, I could not stop for Death,  also written in 1863, Dickinson writes of immortality and eternity, and although death does not come in haste, his eventual coming is inevitable since death in eternal,  Since then-tis Centuries-and yet, Feels shorter than the day, I first surmised the Horses Head, Were toward Eternity-.

Over all Dickinsons works can be seen as a study into the thoughts and emotions of people, especially in her exploration death. From its inevitable coming to its eternal existence, Dickinson explains her feelings and thoughts toward death in the full, circumference of  its philosophy. As she edged towards the end of her life, Dickinson gave the world new poetic perspectives into the human mind and its dealing and avoidance of death (Whicher 30).

Comparison of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73 and Sonnet 116

William Shakespeare, in his Sonnet 73 and Sonnet 116, sets forth his vision of the unchanging, persistent and immovable nature of true love. According to Shakespeare, love is truly “till death do us part,” and possibly beyond. Physical infirmity, the ravages of age, or even one’s partner’s inconstancy have no effect upon the affections of one who sincerely loves. His notion of love is not a romantic one in which an idealized vision of a lover is embraced. Instead he recognizes the weaknesses to which we, as humans, are subject, but still asserts that love conquers all.

Shakespeare uses an array of figurative language to convey his message, including metaphor and personification. Thus, in sonnet 73, he compares himself to a grove of trees in early winter, “When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,… ” These lines seem to refer to an aged, balding man, bundled unsuccessfully against the weather. Perhaps, in a larger sense, they refer to that time in our lives when our faculties are diminished and we can no longer easily withstand the normal blows of life.

He regards his body as a temple- a “Bare ruined choir[s]”- where sweet irds used to sing, but it is a body now going to ruin. In Sonnet 116, love is seen as the North Star, the fixed point of guidance to ships lost upon the endless sea of the world. It is the point of reference and repose in this stormy, troubled world, “an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken;… ” He personifies the coming of the end of his life as night, which is described as “Death’s second self” in sonnet 73.

However, in Sonnet 116 death appears in the guise of the grim reaper, Father Time, who mows down all of our youth, but still cannot conquer love- “Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips nd cheeks within his bending sickle’s compass come;… ” While both poems make use of figurative language, sonnet 73 uses far more imagery than sonnet 116. Sonnet 73 uses the image of the close of man’s life as a wintry grove with the few remaining leaves shivering in the cold. A person’s later years are the twilight of life, to which the night of death inevitably follows.

Further, the end of life is compared to the embers of a dying fire, “In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,…. ” All of these images express the fading light of a life in decline. The short, dark days of winter, the last rays at sunset and the glowing remnants beneath the ashes all evoke the beauty of a once vibrant life which is coming to a close. In contrast, sonnet 116 presents two images. The first is that of the exploring seafarer, out on stormy, uncertain seas with the North star of love as his only guide through them.

Even though the seafarer attempts to scientifically measure the worth of this love to him, it is immeasurable- “It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. ” The second image in sonnet 116 is that of Time mowing down our rosy- heeked youth. Even so, however, love is not ended by our brief time on this earth, but lasts until Judgment Day- “Love alters not with his [Time’s] brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. ” Finally, the tone of the two poems offers the greatest contrast between them.

Sonnet 73 has a narrator who is somewhat detached and accepting of his infirmities. The entire main body of the sonnet, lines one through twelve, is a physical description of the narrator’s decline, which is related in a soft and melancholy voice. It is only the concluding couplet which brings home the essage that the strength of true love is shown when it exists in the face of the narrator’s inevitable decline. On the other hand, sonnet 116 has a passionate, didactic narrator. He orders and exhorts the reader.

He does not address the object of his affections, as does the narrator of sonnet 73, but directly addresses his audience. – “Let no man to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. ” This narrator uses his concluding couplet almost as an ironic aside. You can almost see him speaking to his audience from behind the back of his hand- “If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ , nor no man ever loved. There seems little likelihood that Shakespeare thought that he had to worry about losing that bet.

In conclusion, while the two sonnets differ greatly in tone, differ somewhat in imagery, and have some similarity and some difference in their use of figurative language, both express the universal desire for unconditional, never ending love. Sonnet 73 seems to say that even such a love ends at the grave, though. – “To love that well which thou must leave ere long. ” Sonnet 116 bears it out even to the end of the world. Either poem offers a vision of love to which we can aspire.

A Poem and a Loaded Gun

The post civil war era was wrought with sexism and backwards thinking. Emily Dickinson was born in 1830, wrote 1800 poems in her lifetime. She has become known for unfolding the social boundaries surrounding women in this time period. Most of her life was shrouded in seclusion and mystery. In the realm of poetry, authors are creative with their usage of literary techniques in order to illustrate their point of view to the reader. Emily Dickinson is especially known for her precise diction, powerful imagery, and obscure timing or rhythm.

In her poem My life had stood A loaded Gun, she is heavily dependant on the use of images, eloquent diction and tone to convey both the literal and symbolic meaning or themes to the reader. The authors use of certain images is important to the theme of the poem because they define the setting and they set the mood for the different parts of the poem. The first image introduced to the reader is that of the loaded gun. This is one of the most powerful images throughout the poem as it is, as we find, out also the speaker. A the first thing that is brought to the readers mind is the aurora of potential.

The sheer potential for destruction and death that is associated with a loaded gun sets the mood for the rest of the poem to build from. The next image that is introduced is that of the Corners. This can be understood in multiple contexts. The first being a crossroads, a corner is an intersection between two walls or metaphorically two paths. The second interpretation is that of a dark and shadowy place for someone to lye in wait. Both of the interpretations are equally significant and the authors diction here was surely intentional.

This image is particularly important because it defines the opening setting of the speaker. The following images such as Sovereign Woods, Doe, and Mountains serve to change the setting. In the next stanza images such as cordial light, valley glow, and Vesuvian face serve to change the mood to an eerie almost frightening allusion to power. The next images Yellow Eye, and emphatic Thumb are incorporated into the poem to further the setting of this mood. The authors diction and tone in the second stanza move the poem thematically forward by building rhythm.

This change in rhythm indicates a change in the authors tone. The author builds this rhythm by the repetition of the word And and the repetition of the word now. This change in tone indicates a change in the speakers mood and a change in the speakers setting. The faster pace and constant beats provide for a significant change from the broken up stand still qualities of the first stanza. The mood portrayed here is that of eventfulness, even usefulness, it is apparent that the speaker feels more fulfilled or somehow more whole.

Also in the second stanza the author introduces the theme of unity between speaker and master by use of her diction. Albert Gelpi, anther notable critic of Dickinsons work, points out that already by the second stanza I and he have become wethe rhythm and repetition underscoring the momentous change of identity. By doing this the author introduces the theme of possession vs. possessed and the inherent contradiction of the concept, referencing the fact that one cannot be without the other.

The second notable use of interesting diction can be found in the speakers description of her smile. She compares her smile to the aftermath of a volcanic eruption. This notable according to Christine Miller, a notable commentator of Dickinsons work, because she does not compare it to an event but to a completed action. She says the past perfect verb is more chilling than the present tense would be. Miller notes this same technique later in the poem when the speaker describes guarding as more fulfilling than sharing her masters pillow.

Miller describes this technique as contrasting action with effect rather than action with action, and says the change in tense alerts the reader to the peculiarity and the importance of the comparisons. The literal meaning of the poem alludes to the deeper thematic significance, which breaks down to a metaphoric resolution to the authors inner struggle for identity in the midst of the overwhelming endeavor that is being a female artist in the nineteenth century. The literal meaning of this poem can be described as the interaction between a hunter and his gun, from the guns point of view.

The first indication of the authors thematic intentions involving identity can be found in the first stanza of the poem when she says The Owner passed identified And carried me away. This sets the stage for the author to build upon thematically. According to Adrienne Rich, this is a poem about possession by the daemon, about the dangers and risks of such possession if you are a woman, about the knowledge that power in a woman can seem destructive, and that you cannot live without the daemon once it has possessed you. The theme of possession shows up throughout the poem through the usage of words like master and owner.

The authors intentions here were most likely to reference the subservient position of women in her time period. Claudia Yukman comments that Already in the second verse the gun speaks for the master, which is to say she perceives her function as an extension of his power: his will and figuratively, his voice. The paradox here is that the speakers role is not feminine at all, it is almost the dominant figure serving as the protector and the one who does the killing, yet she is still the possessed or owned item in the relationship.

This conflict is resolved in the last stanza with the speakers final words. She declares her independence and singularity from her master with the realization that she has the power to die. She says for I have but the power to kill, without the power to die , or I would only have the power to kill, if I did not have the power to die. By this statement she affirms her own significance even though her only true act of autonomy is her own death.

Sonnet 18 Report

This sonnet is by far one of the most interesting poems in the book. Of Shakespeare’s sonnets in the text, this is one of the most moving lyric poems that I have ever read. There is great use of imagery within the sonnet. This is not to say that the rest of the poems in the book were not good, but this to me was the best, most interesting, and most beautiful of them. It is mainly due to the simplicity and loveliness of the poems praise of the beloved woman that it has guaranteed its place in my mind, and heart.

The speaker of the poem opens with a question that is addressed to the beloved, “Shall I compare thee to summer’s day? ” This question is comparing her to the summer time of the year. It is during this time when the flowers are blooming, trees are full of leaves, the weather is warm, and it is generally thought of as an enjoyable time during the year. The following eleven lines in the poem are also dedicated to similar comparisons between the beloved and summer days.

In lines 2 and 3, the speaker explains what mainly separates the young woman from the summer’s day: she is “more lovely and more temperate. (Line 2) Summer’s days tend toward extremes: they are sometimes shaken by “rough winds” (line3) hich happens and is not always as welcoming as the woman. However in line 4, the speaker gives the feeling again that the summer months are often to short by saying, “And summers lease hath too short a date. ” In the summer days, the sun, “the eye of heaven” (line 5), often shines “too hot,” or too dim, “his gold complexion dimmed” (line 6), that is there are many hot days during the summer but soon the sun begins to set earlier at night because autumn is approaching.

Summer is moving along too quickly for the speaker, its time here needs to be longer, and it also means that the hilling of autumn is coming upon us because the flowers will soon be withering, as “every fair from fair sometime declines. ” (Line 7) The final portion of the sonnet tells how the beloved differs from the summer in various respects. Her beauty will be one that lasts forever, “Thy eternal summer shall not fade. ” (Line 9), and never end or die. In the couplet at the bottom, the speaker explains how that the beloved’s beauty will accomplish this everlasting life unlike a summer.

And it is because her beauty is kept alive in this poem, which will last forever. It will live “as long as men can breathe or eyes can see. (Line 13)On the surface, the poem is on the surface simply a statement of praise about the beauty of the beloved woman and perhaps summer to the speaker is sometimes too unpleasant with the extremes of windiness and heat that go along with it. However, the beloved in the poem is always mild and temperate by her nature and nothing at all like the summer. It is incidentally brought to life as being described as the “eye of heaven” with its “gold complexion”.

The imagery throughout the sonnet is simple and attainable to the reader, which is a key factor in understanding the poem. Then the speaker begins to describe the summer again ith the “darling buds of May” giving way to the ” summers lease”, springtime moving into the warmth of the summer. The speaker then starts to promise to talk about this beloved, that is so great and awing that she is to live forever in this sonnet. The beloved is so great that the speaker will even go as far as to say that, “So long as men breathe, or eyes can see,” the woman will live.

The language is almost too simple when comparing it to the rest of Shakespeares sonnets; it is not heavy with alliteration or verse, and nearly every line is its own self-contained clause, almost every line ends with some punctuation that effects a pause. But it is this that makes Sonnet18 stand out for the rest in the book. It is much more attainable to understand and it allows for the reader to fully understand how great this beloved truly is because she may live forever in it.

An important theme of the sonnet, as it is an important theme throughout much of the poetry in general, is the power of the speaker’s poem to defy time and last forever. And so by doing this it is then carrying the beauty of the beloved down to future generations and eventually for al of eternity. The beloved’s “eternal summer” shall not fade precisely because it is embodied in the sonnet: “So long as en can breathe or eyes can see,” (line 13) the speaker writes in the couplet, “So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. (Line 14)

With this the speaker is able to accomplish what many have done in poetry and that is to give the gift of an eternal life to someone that they believe is special and outshines everyone else around them. Perhaps it is because of a physical beauty that the speaker see, but I believe that it is more because of the internal beauty as seen in line 2, “Thou art more lovely and more temperate”, that the beloved is deserving to live on forever.

Robert Frost and Wilfred Owen – symbols and imagery

Poetry is most commonly known as expressing oneself through the art of writing. There are many techniques poets use to make their poem a success. Two of these techniques are imagery and symbols. Comprehension of symbols when they are by themselves is not easy; when put with their poem they come alive. Symbols allow us, as readers, to expand the meaning of the poem much further than words can take us. Along with symbols, imagery creates a whole world that takes us on the journey the writer intended. Two poets who create this world wonderfully are Robert Frost and Wilfred Owen.

Robert Frosts poems are quite simple, dealing with everyday situations and emotions, yet taking them to another level of exploration. He looks at aspects of nature and then converts them into symbols to use in his poems, thus making them completely relevant to our everyday lives and easy to make sense of. If we look at Tree at My Window, the tree is symbolising a constant throughout the days. You can easily picture the leaves of the tree blowing gently just outside the window, offering some comfort at troubled times.

The tree could represent a lover, friend or relative who will always be there for him and a barrier will never form between them, But never let there be a curtain drawn Between you and me. Frost looks at the similarities between himself and the tree and views fate as a person or god or Mother Nature. Another poet who comes to mind with similar emotional poems, is William Blake. A good example of his emotional exploration is, A Poison Tree, where he studies his anger towards his enemy, and views that anger as a poison tree.

In After Apple-Picking, there is another symbol derived from nature. In the beginning of the poem, Frost tells of a barrel that I didnt fill Beside it, and there maybe two or three apples I didnt pick upon some bough.. This could be understood as a part of life that Frost missed out on, some experience that passed him by. Later he says, Magnified apples appear and disappear. perhaps telling us of opportunities that come and go, big or small. I find the image of a barrel not quite full fits perfectly. A life not quite complete, but not really missing anything either.

The Road Not Taken writes, two roads diverging in a yellow wood and shows how Frost considers his choices in life , choices that people face everyday. He studies these two choices he is given and make a decision according to all the knowledge he has gained about them. This is a good philosophy for life; to study choices that you make so that they are the best choice for yourself and the others around you. Wilfred Owen also deals with issues of life, but in a different way. War, morality and emotion play a big part in his poems.

The imagery in Owens poem Futility takes us from the battlefields of war, to a farm in France and to a place where Earth was created. A young soldier is trying to save his ally by moving him into the sun, and questions why the sun or greater being cant bring this young soldier back to life. If they cant bring the innocent back to life then why bother creating it in the beginning if all that happens is destruction. Symbols in this poem are an integral part. Fields unsown, show future opportunities and experiences that are still to be had , but which now lay at rest, along with the young man, because of the war.

Owen clearly shows his thoughts of the meaning of life and the necessity of war in the line, O what made fatuous sunbeams toil To break earths sleep at all? Another strong opinion of Owens opinion about war is heard in Anthem for the Doomed Youth. In the first line, Owen compares young men dying, to cattle when he writes .. for these who die as cattle? I find this comparison a good one and it brings to my mind pictures of hundreds of men droning on with low spirit and energy levels.

Just as you see cattle slowly moving across fields so too can you imagine these young men across the fields fighting for survival. I find that these two poets and their poems are easy to understand. Their symbols can be missed, but once you understand the whole poem, with every technique used, you gain so much from them. I feel that Robert Frost and Wilfred Owen are great examples on how to use symbolism and imagery. They both capture what poetry is all about, and as a result they create wonderful poems, which not only provide us with some insight into different lifestyles, but also on how to view our own.

Emily Dickinson: Death Takes Life In Poetry

Emily Dickinson is regarded as one of the greatest American poets that have ever existed. (Benfey 5) The unique qualities of her brief, but emotional, poems were so uncommon that they made her peerless in a sense that her writing could not be compared to. Her diverse poetic character could be directly connected to her tragic and unusual life. The poems that she wrote were often about death and things of that nature, and can be related to her distressed existence.

Dickinsons forthright examination of her philosophical and religious skepticism, her unorthodox attitude toward her sex and calling, nd her distinctive stylecharacterized by elliptical compressed expression, striking imagery and innovative poetic structurehave earned widespread acclaim, and her poems have become some of the best loved in American literature.

Although only seven of Dickinsons poems were published during her lifetime and her work drew harsh criticism when it first appeared, many of her short lyrics on the subjects of nature, love, death, and immortality are now considered among the most emotionally and intellectually profound in the English language. Biographers generally agree that, Emily Dickinson experienced an emotional risis of an undetermined nature in the early 1860s. (Cameron 26) Dickinsons antisocial behavior became excessive following 1869.

Her refusal to leave her home or to meet visitors, her gnomic sayings, and her habit of always wearing a white dress earned her a reputation of eccentricity among her neighbors. (Cameron 29) Her intellectual and social isolation further increased when her father died suddenly in 1874 and he was left to care for her invalid mother. The death of her mother in 1882 followed two years later by the death of Judge Otis P. Lord, a close family friend and her most satisfying romantic attachment, contributed o what Dickinson described as an attack of nerves. Cameron 29)

Emily Dickinsons distressed state of mind is believed to have inspired her to write more abundantly: in 1862 alone she is thought to have composed over 300 poems. Her absorption in the world of feeling found some relief in associations with nature; yet although she loved nature and wrote many nature lyrics, her interpretations are always more or less swayed by her own state of being. (Benfey 22) The quality of her writing is profoundly stirring, because it betrays, not the intellectual pioneer, but the acutely observant woman, whose capacity for feeling was profound. (Bennet 61)

All seven of the poems published during her lifetime were published anonymously and some were done without consent. The editors of the periodicals in which her lyrics appeared made significant alterations to them in attempt to regularize the meter and grammar, consequently discouraging Dickinson from seeking further publication. (Fuller 17) When her poetry was first published in a complete unedited edition after her death, Emily was acknowledged as a poet who was truly ahead of her time. However, there is no doubt that critics are justified in complaining that, Her work was often cryptic in thought and unmelodious in expression. Bennet 64)

Today, an increasing number of studies from diverse critical viewpoints are devoted to her life and works, thus securing Dickinsons status as a major poet. Theres a certain slant of light is a poem in which seasonal change becomes a symbol of inner change. The relationship of inner and outer change is contrasted. It begins with a moment of arrest that signals the nature and meaning of winter. It tells that summer passed but insists that the passing occurred so slowly that it did not seem like the betrayal that it really was. Bloom 122)

The comparison to the slow fading of grief also implies a failure of awareness on the speakers part. The second and third lines begin a description of a transitional period, and their claim that the speaker felt no betrayal shows that she had to struggle against this feeling. The next eight lines create, A personified scene of late summer or early autumn. The distilled quiet allows time for contemplation. (Eberwein 354) The twilight long begun suggests that the speaker is getting used to the coming season and is aware that change was occurring before she truly noticed it.

These lines reinforce the poems initial description of a slow lapse and also convey the idea that foreknowledge of decline is part of the human condition. Bloom 124) The personification of the polite but coldly determined guest, who insists on leaving no matter how earnestly she is asked to stay, is convincing on the realistic level. On the level of analogy, the courtesy probably corresponds to the restrained beauty of the season, and the cold determination corresponds to the inevitability of the years cycle. Bloom 122)

The movement from identification with sequestered nature to nature as a departing figure communicates the involvement of humans in the seasonal life cycle. The last four lines shift the metaphor and relax the tension. Summer leaves by secret eans. The missing wing & keel suggest a mysterious fluiditygreater than that of air or water. Summer escapes into the beautiful, which is a repository of creation that promises to send more beauty into the world. (Eberwein 355) The balanced picture of the departing guest has prepared us for this low-key conclusion.

A number of Emily Dickinsons poems about poetry relating the poet to an audience probably have their genesis in her own frustrations and uncertainties about the publication of her own work. This is my letter to the World, written about 1862, the year of Emily Dickinsons greatest productivity looks orward to the fate of her poems after her death. The world that never wrote to her is her whole potential audience who will not recognize her talent or aspirations. She gives nature credit for her heart and material in a half apologetic manner, as if she were merely the carrier of natures message. Bloom 297)

The fact that this message is committed to people who will come after her transfers the uncertainty of her achievement to its future observers, as if they were somehow responsible for its neglect while she was alive. The plea that she be judged tenderly for nature’s sake combines an insistence on imitation of ature as the basis of her art with a special plea for tenderness towards her own fragility or sensitivity; but poetry should be judged by how well the poet achieves his or her intention and not by the poem alone, as Emily Dickinson surely knew. Bloom 297)

This particular poems generalization about her isolationand its apologetic tonetends toward the sentimental, but one can detect some desperation underneath the softness. (Bloom 298) Her poem, Tell all the Truth, but tell it slant– immediately reminds us of all the indirection in Emily Dickinsons poems: her condensations, vague eferences, renowned puzzles, and perhaps even her slant rhymes. The idea of artistic success lying in circuitthat is, in confusion and symbolismgoes well with the stress on amazing sense and staggering paradoxes which we have seen her express elsewhere. Eberwein 171)

The notion that Truth is too much for our infirm delight is puzzling. On the very personal level for Emilys mind, infirm delight would correspond to her fear or experience and her preference for anticipation over fulfillment. For her, Truths surprise had to remain in the world of imagination. However, superb surprise sounds more delightful than frightening. Bloom 89) Lightning indeed is a threat because of its physical danger and its accompanying thunder is scary, but it is not clear how dazzling truth can blind usunless it is the deepest of spiritual truths.

These lines can be simplified to mean that raw experience needs artistic elaboration to give it depth and to enable us to contemplate it. The contemplation theme is reasonably convincing but, The poem coheres poorly and uses an awed and apologetic tone to cajole us into disregarding its faults. (Bloom 89) Success is counted sweetest, Dickinsons most famous poem about compensation is more complicated and less cheerful. It proceeds by inductive logic to show how painful situations create knowledge and experience not otherwise available. (Eberwein 18) The poem opens with a generalization about people who never succeed.

They treasure the idea of success more than others do. Next, the idea is given additional physical force by the declaration that only people in great thirst understand the nature of what they need. The use of comprehend about a physical substance creates a metaphor for spiritual satisfaction. Having briefly introduced people who are learning through deprivation, Emily goes onto the longer description of a person dying on a battlefield. The word host, referring to an armed troop, gives the scene an artificial elevation intensified by the royal color purple.

These seemingly victorious people understand the nature of victory much less than does a person who has been denied it and lies dying. His ear is forbidden because it must strain to hear and will soon not hear at all. (Eberwein 19) The bursting of strains near the moment of death emphasize the greatness of sacrifices. This is a harsh poem. It asks for agreement with an almost cruel doctrine, although its harshness is often overlooked because of its crisp illustrated quality and its pretended cheerfulness.

On the biographical level, it can be seen as a celebration of the virtues and rewards of Emily Dickinsons renunciatory way of life, and as an attack on those around her who achieved worldly success. (Bloom 158) I heard a fly buzzwhen I died is often seen as a representative of Emily Dickinsons style and attitude. The first line is as arresting an opening as one could imagine. By describing the moment of her death, the speaker lets you know she has already died. In the first stanza, the death rooms stillness contrasts with a flys buzz that the dying person hears, and the tension pervading the scene is likened to the pauses within a storm.

The second stanza focuses on the concerned onlookers, whose strained eyes and gathered breath emphasize their concentration in the face of a sacred event: the arrival of the King, who is death. In the third stanza, attention shifts back to the speaker, who has been observing her own death with all the strength of her remaining senses. (Eberwein 201) Her final willing of her keepsakes is a psychological event, not something she speaks. Already growing detached from her surroundings, she is no longer interested in material possessions; instead she leaves behind whatever people can treasure and remember.

She is getting ready to guide herself towards death. But the buzzing fly intervenes at the last instant; the phrase and then indicates that this is a casual event, as if the ordinary course of life were in no way being interrupted by her death. (Bloom 365) The flys blue buzz is one of the most famous pieces of synesthesia in Emily Dickinsons poems. This image represents the fusing of color and sound by the dying persons diminishing senses. The uncertainty of the flys darting motions parallels her state of mind.

Flying between the light and her, it seems to both signal the moment of death and represent the orld that she is leaving. (Bloom 365) The last two lines show the speakers confusion of her eyes that she does not want to admit. She is both distancing fear and revealing her detachment from life. Painhas an element of Blank deals with a self-contained and timeless suffering, mental rather than physical. The personification of pain makes it identical with the sufferers life. The blank quality serves to blot out the origin of the pain and the complications that pain brings.

The second stanza insists that such suffering is aware only of its continuation. Just as the sufferers life has become pain, so time has become pain. Its present is an infinity, which remains exactly like the past. This infinity, and the past, which it reaches back to, are aware only of an indefinite future of suffering. (Eberwein 76) The description of the suffering self as being enlightened is ironic because even though this enlightenment is the only light in the darkness, it is still characterized by suffering.

In This World is not Conclusion, Emily Dickinson dramatizes a conflict faith in immortality and severe doubt. (Bloom 55) Her earliest editors omitted the last eight lines of the poem distorting its meaning and creating a flat conclusion. The complete poem can be divided into two parts: the first twelve lines and the final eight lines. (Eberwein 89) It starts by emphatically affirming that there is a world beyond death which we cannot see but which we still can understand intuitively, as we do music. Lines four through eight introduce conflict.

Immortality is attractive but puzzling. Even wise people must pass through the riddle of death without knowing where they are going. (Bloom 55) The ungrammatical dont combined with the elevated diction of philosophy and sagacity suggests the irritability of a little girl. In the next four lines, the speaker struggles to assert faith. Her faith now appears in the form of a bird that is searching for reasons to believe. But available evidence proves as irrelevant as twigs and as indefinite as the directions shown by a spinning weathervane.

The desperation of a bird aimlessly looking for its way is analogous to the behavior of preachers whose gestures and hallelujahs cannot point the way to faith. (Bloom 56) These last two lines suggest that the narcotic which these preachers offer cannot still their own doubts, in addition to the doubts of others. Although the difficult This Consciousness that is aware deals with eath, it is at least equally concerned with discovery of personal identity through the suffering that accompanies dying.

The poem opens by dramatizing the sense of mortality which people often feel when they contrast their individual time bound lives to the world passing by them. (Eberwein 49) Word order in the second stanza is reversed. The speaker anticipates moving between experience and deaththat is, from experience into death by means of the experiment of dying. Dying is an experiment because it will test us, and allow us, and no one else, to know if our qualities are high enough to let us survive beyond death. Bloom 137) The last stanza offers a summary that makes the death experience an analogy for other means of gaining self-knowledge in life.

Neither boastful nor fearful, this poem accepts the necessity of painful testing. (Bloom 137) Even this modest selection of Emily Dickinsons poems reveal that death is her principal subject. In fact, because the topic is related to many of her other concerns, it is difficult to say how many of her poems concentrate on death, but over half of them, at least partly, and about third centrally, feature it. Most of these poems also touch on the subject of religionalthough he did write about religion without mentioning death.

Life in a small New England town in Dickinsons time contained a high mortality rate for young people. As a result, there were frequent death-scenes in homes. This factor contributed to her preoccupation with death, as well as her withdrawal from the world, her anguish over her lack of romantic love, and her doubts about fulfillment beyond the grave. (Cameron 114) Years ago, Emily Dickinsons interest in death was often criticized as being morbid, but in time, Readers tend to be impressed by her sensitive and imaginative handling of this painful ubject. Stonum 83)

Her poems concentrating on death can be divided into four categories: those focusing on death as possible extinction, those dramatizing the question of whether the soul survives death, those asserting a firm faith in immortality, and those directly treating Gods concern with peoples lives and destinies. If nothing else had come out of our life but this strange poetry we should feel that in the work of Emily Dickinson, America, or New England rather, had made a distinctive addition to the literature of the world, and could not be left out of any record of it. (Benfey 66)