Critical Note: Ode to a Nightingale Essay

Critical Note: Ode to a Nightingale Essay.

The speaker responds to the beauty of the nightingale’s song with a both “happiness” and “ache. ” Though he seeks to fully identify with the bird — to “fade away into the forest dim” — he knows that his own human consciousness separates him from nature and precludes the kind of deathless happiness the nightingale enjoys. First the intoxication of wine and later the “viewless wings of Poesy” seem reliable ways of escaping the confines of the “dull brain,” but finally it is death itself that seems the only possible means of overcoming the fear of time.

The nightingale is “immortal” because it “wast not born for death” and cannot conceive of its own passing. Yet without consciousness, humans cannot experience beauty, and the speaker knows that if he were dead his perception of the nightingale’s call would not exist at all. This paradox shatters his vision, the nightingale flies off, and the speaker is left to wonder whether his experience has been a truthful “vision” or a false “dream.

” Referred to by critics of the time as “the longest and most personal of the odes,” the poem describes Keats’ journey into the state of Negative Capability.

John Keats coined the phrase ‘Negative Capability’ in a letter to his brothers and defined his new concept of writing: “that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason” Keats’ poems are full of contradictions in meaning (‘a drowsy numbness pains’) and emotion (‘both together, sane and mad’) and he accepts a double nature as a creative insight. In ‘Nightingale’ it is the apparent (or real) contradictions that allow Keats to create the sensual feeling of numbness that allows the reader to experience the half-swooning emotion Keats is trying to capture.

Keats would have us experience the emotion of the language and pass over the half-truths in silence, to live a life ‘of sensations rather than of Thoughts! ‘. Thus, ‘Ode to the Nightingale’ is more feeling than a thinking poem. Keats often deals in the sensations created by words rather than meaning. Even if the precise definition of words causes contradiction they can still be used together to create the right ambience. Negative Capability asks us to allow the atmosphere of Keats’ poems to surround us without picking out individual meanings and inconsistencies. That I might drink, and leave the world unseen” Hearing the song of the nightingale, the speaker longs to flee the human world and join the bird. His first thought is to reach the bird’s state through alcohol–in the second stanza, he longs for a “draught of vintage” to transport him out of himself.

But after his meditation in the third stanza on the transience of life, he rejects the idea of being “charioted by Bacchus and his pards” and chooses instead to embrace “the viewless wings of Poesy. The rapture of poetic inspiration matches the endless creative rapture of the nightingale’s music and lets the speaker, in stanzas five through seven, imagine himself with the bird in the darkened forest. The ecstatic music even encourages the speaker to embrace the idea of dying, of painlessly succumbing to death while enraptured by the nightingale’s music and never experiencing any further pain or disappointment. “Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget What thou among the leaves hast never known” The poet explores the themes of nature and mortality.

Here, the transience of life and the tragedy of old age is set against the eternal renewal of the nightingale’s fluid music. Man has many sorrows to escape from in the world, and these Keats recounts feelingly in the third stanza of his poem, a number of the references apparently being drawn from firsthand experience. The mention of the youth who “grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies,” for example, might well be an allusion to Tom Keats, the younger brother whom the poet nursed through his long, last struggle with consumption.

But the bitterest of all man’s sorrows, as it emerges from the catalogue of woes in the third stanza, is the terrible disease of time, the fact that ‘Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes’. It is the disease of time which the song of the nightingale particularly transcends, and the poet, yearning for the immortality of art, seeks another way to become one with the bird. Even death is terribly final; the artists die but what remains is the eternal music; the very song heard today was heard thousands of years ago.

The poet exclaims: “Forlorn! the very word is like a bell To toll me back from thee to my sole self! ” The reverie into which the poet falls carries him deep into where the bird is singing. But the meditative trance cannot last. With the very first word of the eighth stanza, the reverie is broken. The word “forlorn” occurs to the poet as the adjective describing the remote and magical world suggested by the nightingale’s song. But the poet suddenly realises that this word applies with greater precision to himself.

The effect is that of an abrupt stumbling. With the new and chilling meaning of “forlorn”, the song of the nightingale itself alters: it becomes a “plaintive anthem”. The song becomes fainter. What had before the power to make the sorrow in man fade away from a harsh and bitter world, now itself “fades” and the poet is left alone in the silence. As the nightingale flies away, the intensity of the speaker’s experience has left him shaken, unable to remember whether he is awake or asleep; thus “Adieu! he fancy cannot cheat so well”. The “art” of the nightingale is endlessly changeable and renewable; it is music without record, existing only in a perpetual present. As befits his celebration of music, the speaker’s language, sensually rich though it is, serves to suppress the sense of sight in favor of the other senses. In “Nightingale,” he has achieved creative expression and has placed his faith in it, but that expression–the nightingale’s song–is spontaneous and without physical manifestation.

This is an odd poem because it both conforms to and contradicts some of the ideas he expresses elsewhere, notably the famous concept of “Negative Capability,”. This can be taken several ways, but is often linked with the statement he made: “If a sparrow come before my Window I take part in its existence and pick about the Gravel. ” While Keats’s begins his poem with “a drowsy numbness pains” the poem that follows is anything but numb. But the opening ties in with the words that end the poem: “Fled is that music — Do I wake or sleep? Life is or may be a dream — a very Shakespearean image — but, dreaming or awake, perception and empathetic participation are rooted in Keats’s own consciousness. It is only in dreaming, Keats says, that we can become conscious of, and merged with, the life around us. Thus, Keats heads towards Negative Capability in the poem. Keats is not as great as Shakespeare but he has the same power of self-absorption, that wonderful sympathy and identification with all things, that “Negative Capability” which he saw as essential to the creation of great poetry and which Shakespeare possessed so abundantly.

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Critical Note: Ode to a Nightingale Essay

Importance of Poetry Essay

Importance of Poetry Essay.

“Poetry may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives is mostly a constant evasion of ourselves. ” ‘ T. S. Eliot. Poetry, just as in other literature contributes a major role in the development of many aspects of life. The utilization of poets and poetry can serve for many different positive purposes and effects on society. Thus, poetry is important to each of us.

A person is constantly involved in thinking a variety of things. Through poetry, one can lend voice to one’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Often, poetry is the resultant of misunderstandings that a person often undergoes. The anger, frustration and agony are revealed through penning down the different expressions one feels at that moment. Poetry allows you to visualize things from the eyes of the writer, thus marking the importance of writing poetry.

Ever Merrian sharing the same thought has said “Pick it up with your fingers and lick, the juice that may run down your chin” in his poem “How To Eat a Poem.

” He compares a poem to a fruit and the emotions behind it as its juice. Poetry has been in existence since ages. Poems from the ancient historical eras give us a glimpse of the previous generations, right from depicting historical events to the primeval lifestyles. The thoughts and feelings of the oldies are depicted to us. What was considered beautiful, important or even profound, is clearly stated to us through those poems.

Just as Maya Angelou has evidently expressed the same in her poem “I rise”, “You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt but still, like dust, I’ll rise. ” Therefore, poetry is an imperative section of literature that holds great importance in our lives, and cannot be eliminated or replaced. Succinctly, the importance of poetry is best revealed through a John Keats quote which states, “Poetry should… should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance. ”

Importance of Poetry Essay

Mid-Term Break Essay

Mid-Term Break Essay.

‘Mid-term Break’ was written in 1966 by Seamus Heaney. This poem is autobiographical as it was written about a real event of Heaney’s life. It is about him and his family grieving from the death of his four year old brother. When the tragedy struck he was only fourteen. This poem focuses on how people reacted to the death. The title of this poem is unusual as a mid-term break is normally thought of as a break off school that has been planned beforehand but in the poem it is unexpected.

I feel that Heaney is very honest when he writes about how people reacted to the death of his brother. The poem is set into eight stanzas, the first seven contain three lines and the last only contains one.

The first stanza is set in the sick bay of what we think is his boarding school. Heaney was waiting on his neighbours to pick him up and take him home.

We wonder why he was sitting in a sick bay and not at home with his family. Heaney seemed bored of waiting: “I sat all morning… counting bells knelling classes to a close.” This phrase ‘counting bells’ suggests that time was passing by slowly. The word ‘all’ is emphasised as if he is really bored and can’t wait to leave the sick bay.

The quote also includes alliteration on the letter ‘l’ showing the long chiming of the bells. The connotations of the word ‘knelling’ are it reminds us of funerals and church bells which also suggest something not so nice has happened. Throughout the stanza we wonder what he is waiting for and why the neighbours are picking him up and not his parents, which suggests that something has happened to them which leaves us with an uneasy feeling.

The second stanza is set outside the family home on the front porch. When Heaney arrives home he meets his father crying which is unusual for him as his father normally took ‘funerals in his stride.’ Heaney also meets ‘Big Jim Evans’ who is suggested to be a family friend or a farm worker. ‘Big Jim Evans’ makes a tactless comment by saying ‘it was a hard blow.’ On first reading you don’t realise how awkward the situation would be for Heaney after the tactless comment was made. Some people may react very harshly to the comment as it is a very upsetting time for families and friends, although we only realise the full extent of this gate at the end of the poem.

The next three stanzas are set in the living room with many grieving family members and friends paying their respects. These stanzas are joined by enjambment as the poem carries on after each stanza without full stops. As Heaney entered the living room his youngest sibling ‘cooed and laughed and rocked the pram’ in excitement, an activity that seemed out of place for such a sad event. He was also embarrassed by the older men shaking his hand as he walked through the door. He felt very awkward as it was an unusual thing to happen to him. The old me were telling him how sorry they were for his trouble.

Strangers where being informed that he was the eldest, away at school. Heaney noticed that they were whispering which would have meant the situation would have been awkward for him. Heaney’s mother took his hand in hers which wasn’t only to comfort him but to comfort her as well. As she held his hand she ‘coughed out angry tearless sighs.’ She was probably very distressed and angry, not only at herself but also the driver who had hit her son. At ten o’clock the ambulance arrived with his brother’s body. In the poem Heaney refers to his brother’s body as ‘the corpse’ which sounds very impersonal and a strange word to use describing a family member. I think Heaney wasn’t allowing himself to believe it was his brother. The body arrived ‘stanched and bandaged by the nurses.’

The next two stanzas are set the next morning upstairs in the bedroom. Throughout these two stanzas Heaney uses personal pronouns but before he had spoken about his brother as another body. Heaney sits alone next to his brother’s body. These two stanzas have a feel of a calm and soft atmosphere which contrasts with the first five stanzas. The first five stanzas have a more awkward, tense and sad atmosphere. In the room the unusual feeling is gone. The metaphor used at the start of stanza seven, ‘wearing a poppy bruise’ reminds us of death and unhappy times. The bruise placed upon his left temple, was probably the same size, shape and colour as a poppy. Heaney uses the word ‘wearing’ to describe his brother’s bruise. By using this word it makes it sound as if it was just there and could be taken off, not something that was permanent and part of his brother. Heaney described his brother as if he was lying in his cot not a coffin.

By doing this it conveys the feeling that he is just asleep, all well and peaceful a bit like a baby. He looks normal as he had ‘no gaudy scars’ on his body. We find out that Heaney hadn’t seen his brother for six weeks and seeing his brother just lying there with no expression of happiness at his arrival must has made him feel angry and extremely sad but still he never shows any personal emotions in the way he writes. The last line of stanza seven is where we find out what happened to the little bot. Heaney’s younger brother had been hit by a ‘bumper’-part of a car-which had ‘knocked him clear’ hence the lack of horrible cuts and scars. As the boy lay In his coffin he was ‘soothed’ by snowdrops and candles which helped to calm and create a peaceful environment for grieving family members.

The last stanza of the poem is structured with only one line making it standout and seem important. This stanza is very emotional not just for the family but also for the reader as you find out exactly how old the younger brother was when he was hit by the car. Heaney uses the word ‘box’ which sounds more homely, less threatening, not so much like a coffin. A box makes it sound very small unlike a coffin which is normally quite big. The alliteration on the letter ‘f’ in the last line helps Heaney emphasise the age of the little boy. The last line is placed on its own separated from the rest just like the little boy removed from the world alone by death: ‘A four foot box, a foot for every year.’

The simplicity of the poem’s structure emphasises the emotions that were carried out throughout the poem. During the poem you get the feeling that Heaney is grieving for his younger brother by holding back his emotions because it would be too painful and uncomfortable for him to express it openly. In the first few stanzas Heaney tries to distance himself from everyone and the fact that his brother has passed away by using the word ‘corpse.’

Heaney uses emotionless statements in his first few stanzas which to me shows that he had emotions but was trying really hard not to show them. I have enjoyed reading ‘Mid-term Break’ even though it is an emotional poem as it has given me a lot to think about. I have thought about Heaney must have felt knowing he wasn’t going to see his brother again. This poem was very interesting and emotional even though Heaney at times, tries to hold back his emotions and it is interesting to see how people coped in their own different ways with the death.

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Mid-Term Break Essay

Comparision/ Anthem for Doomed Youth and Dulce Et Decorum Est Essay

Comparision/ Anthem for Doomed Youth and Dulce Et Decorum Est Essay.

All three poems are about the First World War but Peace has a highly patriotic view and displays a positive feeling about war whereas Anthem and Dulce concentrate more on the fact that people were killed for no particular reason and they also look at the true horrors of war. I will mainly be looking at the content and form of the three poems and comparing them to each other.

Anthem and Dulce both portray Owen’s bitterness and anger towards the war and this is shown by the first few lines of both poems, in Dulce: “beggars”(L.

1) and “Hags”(L.2), he uses these words to describe the soldiers and in Anthem: “die”(L.1) and “anger”(L.2) are used. Brook however feels that in Peace the world is asleep and dirty without war and only war can cleanse us and wake our youth, which shows that he has a very different view towards war.

The fact that Dulce is written in a narrative form and is a real life encounter make it more convincing and persuasive.

It has much more informal language than the other two and the language is hard hitting and effective. Peace’s language is more formal and it seems to flow like a speech, with a build up to a dramatic end. Anthem has been written in a way in which you have to solve a riddle in order to find out what is being said.

Anthem has the same effect as Dulce in the way that both poems start. They both start of by describing the soldiers’ conditions. Anthem does this by using a simile and personification, comparing the dead soldiers to cattle: ” What passing bells for those who die as cattle?” this shows the reader that the soldiers are being thrown in one big grave like “cattle”.

In Anthem the word “holy”(L.11) suggests that there is some relationship to religion. There have also been more religious ideas brought up in the poem such as: “Prayers” (L.5) and “choirs”(L.6/7). This has been used to emphasise the fact that there has been no real funeral for the dead soldiers and despite that, they should still be remembered. Dulce and Peace do not have anything really connected to religion but in the first line of Peace there is a connection to religion when it says:” Now god be thanked who has matched us with his hour”.

Anthem and Peace are sonnets unlike Dulce. Anthems starts of with a quicker pace. It has like all sonnets 14 lines and is divided up into two verses one with 8 lines and the other 6, it has unusual rhyming pattern whereas Dulce and Peace both have rhyming words at the end of every other line.

Dulce is a poem about a company of men in the war. The men do not have human descriptions but seemed to be describes as though they have aged in this war: “bent double, like old beggars…”(L.1). Everyone seems to be in a trance: “Men marched asleep”(L.5), there is no conversation, just a slow silent march. When the gas attack occurs the men seem to spring back to life. But one man cannot get his mask on his face and runs through the green sea of gas, he was: “drowning”(L.14), which bring up a similarity between Dulce and Peace that they both have a use of water. In Dulce they are drowning but you cannot drown in gas, you suffocate, so the gas here is being described as a sea of gas. In Peace the water reference is: ” to turn, as swimmers into cleanliness leaping”(L.4), which gives you the idea of men diving into water and sighing a breath of relief as they feel their crimes and sins lifted.

Dulce and Anthem both portray the horrors of war by using different styles, whereas Peace looks at war in a different way from which people can benefit. Dulce and Anthem use different styles in portraying the horrors of war. I think that Dulce is more effective and dramatic because it shows the death of an innocent soldier, who was suffering to save others. The personal feel that is created in Dulce is that it is written in narrative form and using real-life encounter makes the reader understand the soldiers involved making it effective and persuades the reader to believe war is horrific. Anthem on the other hand concentrates more on the consequences of war and how soldiers are neglected when they are dead. Even though the poem is not set in a scene from the war and not much description of killings and violence is present, it is effective due to the use of real, physical objects such as ‘rifles’ and the heavily descriptive words used to describe the action in the poem.

Because of the fact that Dulce is written in narrative form allows the reader to visualise exactly what the conditions of the soldiers were like. In Anthem Owen has deliberately distanced himself from the poem, giving a descriptive account, not a narrative, but more of an unrealistic viewpoint. In Peace Brookes argues that war is a good thing, and needed for life to continue.

Overall all 3 poems try to give the reader an insight to war, Dulce and Anthem trying to convince the reader of the dreadfulness of war, whereas Peace is saying war is good. But Dulce is doing this in the most effective way; this may be because Owen has experience of war unlike Brookes.

Comparision/ Anthem for Doomed Youth and Dulce Et Decorum Est Essay

To His Coy Mistress Essay

To His Coy Mistress Essay.

“To his coy Mistress” is poem written by Andrew Marvell, and this is one of his best poems ever. Author used Carpe Diem, very interesting style of writing poetry. In this poem he describes his life and how he wanted a more time with special woman. “To his importunate Mistress” is poem which is written by Peter de Vries. He also in his poem used many things that are like in Marvell’s poem “To his coy Mistress. The first sentence is same in both poem, so many writers considered that his story is copy of the Marvell’s “To his coy Mistress”.

The first poem has three stanzas, and we can see that author in this poem want tell us that all he wants is more time to him and his love. The major role in this poem has woman, who is more or less young, and an old man. In the first stanza the old man describes how he would love her, but it is not enough time for everything he wants.

He also talks about how he could spend much time with her so that he can watch and admire each part of her body. His love is so big, so he says that her refusal would not affect on him because he is diligent in what he wants.

In the second stanza he recalls how short human life is, and that we don’t have much time to do all things which we want. He thinks that everyone should enjoy in life, and do everything what they want. If we have opportunity for something we mustn’t miss it, because we could regret later. The last stanza talked about how he urges her to comply, claiming that in loving each other with passion they will make the most of the time they have to live. The second poem “To his importunate Mistress” is written by Peter de Vries.

Peter de Vries was an American editor and novelist known for his satiric wit. His poem “To his importunate Mistress” has two stanzas. On the beginning of the first stanza we can see that the first sentence is the same like in Marvell’s “To his Coy Mistress”. So we can say that Peter de Vries poem is meant to mock Andrew Marvell’s “To Coy His Mistress”. Peter’s poem talked about having a mistress. The author describes a man who has a wife but also he has a mistress. His wife accepts him as it is, because she loved him.

The material things are the most important thing in his life and he doesn’t see anything except that. All his time he devoted her mistress and forgets about his wife. He bought her many expensive things, and thoughts that he can with that things attract any woman. But on the end he realized that his wife is the only who was loved him all that time. On the end of this poem we can conclude that his wife beat his mistress and she was able to return to her husband. “To his coy Mistress” is a metaphysical poem, which is written in iambic tetrameter.

He also used metaphors, irony and in the first part of the poem the speaker appeals to the character, in the second part he expresses his emotions, and in the third part the speaker uses reason. The setting for this story is very important because in this poem we have two layers of setting, the setting which we imagine and setting which speaker imagines. In the second poem the speaker also used symbols, irony and metaphors. Both stories tell about mistress, and the first sentences are same in both poems.

So we can say that the Peter’s poem is a parody of Marvell’s “To his Coy Mistress”. De Vries’s used the same structure and metaphors like Marvell in his poem. There are a many similarities, but there are also differences. “To his importunate Mistress” shows stereotypical characteristics, the most important thing in life is money, while “To his coy Mistress” speaks of love and praise. In the first poem the author used carpe diem, which describes the passion of society.

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To His Coy Mistress Essay

Hathaway’s Poetry Essay

Hathaway’s Poetry Essay.

William Hathaway is a combat war veteran who has written many novels regarding war and men (Rommel). He usually takes mature and intimate subjects and topics. However, one of his poems entitled “Oh, Oh” catches none of these ideas. This is what makes the poem different. Instead of the usual subjects, Hathaway tackles a very childlike mirth in this poem. Although the use of words is quite complex and thought-provoking, the poem speaks of the young love blooming in the midst of a created world.

This passionate poem with its rich imagery is an elegant example of two figures of speech, namely, irony and onomatopoeia. The imagery constructed by Hathaway in the poem is evident in many of the descriptions he has used. In the poem, through the use of diction and tone, the poet expresses the loving emotion that he feels towards his girl. He tries to take hold of the precious moment where he and his girl are alone in a field of grass.

Furthermore, images of their dreams are also illustrated vividly. This was done by the use of the train and the railroad.

As the train nears them, the dream of him being president fills the moment. The connection between the man and the girl is also established by the girl’s agreement to the dream, even adding, “and me first lady” (Hathaway 574). The relationship thus exhibited by the pair seems to deepen more as the passing train travels farther. Another very good method of enriching the imagery of the poem is actually evident on the poem’s title. Analyzing the title, it gives an impression of a calm and yet emotional air during the moment.

Although the passing train is somewhat fast and the moment is short-lived, the poet effectively slows down the ticking of the clock due to the way he uses words that linger into the reader’s mind. For this reason, the author paints a nice image of the scene. One of the tools that made the poem’s imagery successfully depicted is the author’s use of different figures of speech. One of them is the onomatopoeia which is very obvious in most of the lines. In the first place, onomatopoeia is a figure of speech where imitation of natural sounds by words is employed (Microsoft Encarta).

As can be seen from the title, the poem is seemingly full of onomatopoeic words. One such instance is the line, “moocows chomping daisies” (Hathaway 574). The animals were described by the use of the sounds they make, thus, creating a more vivid image as if the reader hears the natural sounds at that moment himself. Another such example is exhibited by “the choo-choos light” where the poet tries to let the reader hear the coming of the train with that sound characteristic of the train (Hathaway 574). As can be observed, although the poet did not really used the word train, it was already understood as such.

What makes it different is that it gives a childlike touch to the poem. This effort is a good way of implying that the lovers are in their youthful years. The overall effect of the deliberate use of onomatopoeic verses thus gives the youthful spring to the poem. Besides the use of onomatopoeia, the author also uses the figure of speech known as irony. In this type, also known as paradox, the author tries to articulate contradicting ideas to drive a point or portray different images (Microsoft Encarta). Interestingly, the author does not actually use irony literally.

Instead, the kind of irony used in the poem is that of situational irony, that means, there are two images that are depicted which complementarily contrast each other. This can be clearly explained by looking at the two circumstances that are represented in the poem. The first of the two images is that of nature. As can be seen from the opening verses of the poem, the author narrates the image of nature in grassland. He even tried to include grazing animals in his narration. Thus, the image is rendered as a natural environment where the living creatures such as “the moocows chomping daises” and the “grass stems” are thriving (Hathaway 574).

On the other hand, the other image is that of the created world. This man-made image includes that of the rail road, the train and even those “Hells Angels” mentioned in the poem (Hathaway 574). All these things are created in the mechanical world of man, thus setting an unnatural environment. This mechanical image is the opposite image of the natural surrounding describe earlier. Therefore, such mechanical image and natural surrounding is a utilization of irony. What makes it more interesting is that the young couple seems to bridge these two images.

The “arm waves to us from the black window” is a connection between these two contrasting images (Hathaway 574). The use of figures of speech in the poem makes its richer literary content. It gives an impression that the author played with appropriate words to create a youthful touch to the whole piece. The thing that sets the poem apart is its stillness in the midst of a fast-passing moment. The imagery was a masterpiece mainly contributed by the use of two figures of speech, specifically, onomatopoeia and irony. Using these classic tools of poetry, the author creates a poem full of emotion and passion.

Hathaway’s Poetry Essay

I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died and After the Apple PIcking: An Analysis Essay

I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died and After the Apple PIcking: An Analysis Essay.

A poet uses the elements of poetry to express his/her theme. This is particularly true in the poems I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died by Emily Dickinson and After the Apple Picking by Robert Frost. Both poets use metaphor and rhyme scheme to accentuate the themes of these two famous poems by two of America’s most beloved poets. Metaphors, comparing two unlike or unrelated things, are essential to poetry and the purpose of poetry is to evoke an emotional response.

Therefore, there must be a theme, or main point, to a poem and that point is what will awaken emotion in the reader.

I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died is a work that when the title or first line is read, sets a tone of uneasiness because it deals with death and flies. Most people do not want to dwell on their own mortality and no one can find tolerance for a fly. However, Dickinson portrays death in a way that it is only thought of as part of the natural process of life and she does this through the use of metaphors.

The most obvious metaphor is where death is compared to a fly. The fly is seen as an annoying insect that is drawn to putrid decaying things that were once alive.

The fly is insignificant where humans like to think that the whole world will be affected by their deaths, in reality, it will be as common as a house fly. The next metaphor is tied to the first in that the deathbed watchers are waiting for the King to make his presence known in the room. The King is obviously a metaphor for a royal personification of death. While they are anticipating some type of pageantry, death shows himself as a fly which heightens the theme of the commonality of death. After the Apple Picking is also rich with metaphors.

The most obvious metaphor is the comparison of death with sleep. The narrator has finished a hard day’s work picking apples and he is extremely tired. In fact, he has fought sleepiness all day. The setting is late fall to early winter which also points to the end of life. This sleep is something that the narrator can not fight just as a person can not fight death. When the time comes, there is nothing a person can do but give into it. Rhyme scheme is another way that Dickinson and Frost accentuate the theme. In After the Apple Picking, the rhyme scheme is varied and subtle just as death can be.

Death is certain like the rhyme scheme, but it is different for each person and it is not always earth shattering. Dickinson’s rhyme scheme in I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died does follow a pattern, but it is also subtle. Her use of subtly takes the form of slant rhyme so that there is not a harshness that would detract from the theme of the commonness of death. Theme is the major element of poetry and through the use of other poetic elements, it can be conveyed effectively. Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost knew this and made use of rhyme scheme and metaphors to enhance the meanings of their poems.

I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died and After the Apple PIcking: An Analysis Essay

A Biographical Approach to the Poem The Whipping by Robert Hayden Essay

A Biographical Approach to the Poem The Whipping by Robert Hayden Essay.

Robert Hayden is one of the best-known American poets of his time. However, he is also one of the most underrated poets of all time, arguably not as much accolades as other poets of the same era. His poems exude admirable sincerity and tremendous grasp of poetic devices. His beautiful poem “The Whipping” is regarded as one of his finest work. A biographical approach to the poem would reveal to us that Hayden transforms his bitter memories to a sumptuous work of art.

The poem is basically about a woman whipping a boy, for some reason that is not explicitly stated in the poem.

The second line “is whipping the boy again” tells us that violent act is being carried on regularly. The reader immediately would assume that the woman is the mother of the boy, regardless if the woman is the boy’s biological or foster parent. The picture that Hayden had painted is vividly painful. The lines “she strikes and strikes the shrilly circling / boy till the stick breaks” suggests the level of anger of the woman and the fear and pain of the boy.

The woman stopped whipping the boy only when the stick was already broken.

Halfway through the poem, the author shifts from third to first person “words could bring the face that I / no longer knew or loved…” Those first person lines suggest to the readers that the speaking persona could have undergone the same kind of treatment. The line “well, it is over now, it is over” is a potent hint that the narrator is recalling his past. He is able to forgive the one that whipped him. However, he is unable to shake off the memories of being whipped as a boy. A peek to Hayden’s biography is likely to lead us to clues that had led him to conceive this poem.

Hayden was born and grew up in a Detroit ghetto which the people there called Paradise Valley. During that time, violence, in the form of corporal punishment, was not uncommon. Hayden also had an irregular family life as a child. His biological parents were separated even before his birth. A couple who also exhibited a volatile relationship took him in. As a child, Hayden had witnessed domestic violence from both his biological and foster parents (Greasely 251-252).

Hayden had shown us admirable honesty through his poem “The Whipping. Corporal punishment is not much talked about by adults, probably because they are now currently the ones guilty of whipping their children. Hayden had shared his memories to us to convey a message that would be vital for any community. He is suggesting to us that corporal punishment is more likely to generate childhood trauma than discipline. Moreover, he is also arguing that violence to a child is injustice. Parents blaming their child for their “lifelong hidings” are the primary reason why this vicious cycle of violence is still ongoing.

A Biographical Approach to the Poem The Whipping by Robert Hayden Essay

Kenneth Slessor Speech: Critical studies of Texts Essay

Kenneth Slessor Speech: Critical studies of Texts Essay.

”The gulls go down the body dies and rots, and time flows past them like the hundred yachts.” Kenneth Slessor, a renowned poet and journalist was born on the 27th of March 1901 in Orange, New South Wales. Throughout his eventful life, Slessor was able to compose an array of poems through which he was able to convey his experiences through life. But why exactly are his poems still considered so relevant and significant in this era? Firstly, Slessor’s poems were widely recognised for their ability to accurately depict his understanding of humanity, life, death and change.

Across his oeuvre he conveys a unique yet consistent view of the meaning of life and death. He presents this through the use of poetic techniques such as metaphors, repetition, similes and alliteration which are evident through all of his poems. Good morning/afternoon Mr Younes and Yr. 12.

The poems “Out of Time” and “Beach Burial” are both compositions of Slessor’s later work that are considered memorable and influential by many of his critics.

They are said to reveal his interaction with the environment and clearly depict his immediate emotions. I am sure that you will all agree that Slessor’s work is significant in today’s era because of his ability to cleverly and creatively use features to inter-relate the true essence of his poems. The poem ‘Out of time’ vividly initiates the essence of life and humanity as being primarily dominated and controlled by Time. Many critical analysis of Slessor’s work convey that his perception of time is that of a mystery, something that cannot be clearly defined and comprehended. His personal connection with time is deluded with the fact that it can be both a destructive force and a pleasure found in a moment.

The adamant and unstoppable nature of time; causes it to solely control and thus highlight the vulnerability of the human existence. As observed in the first sonnet the destructive nature of time is expressed through the lines “Or time, the bony knife, it runs me through…time takes me, drills me, drives through bone and vein.” Metaphorically, time is referred to as a knife which is usually related with the feelings of betrayal and deceit. Thus, Slessor finds that time is a masked identity victimising humanity the ‘faceless host’ and moving on without hesitation or remorse. Similarly, Slessor’s experience as a war correspondent in El Alamein observing “…Convoys of dead soldiers” rolling to shore led to the inspiration of composing the elegy ‘Beach Burial.’

He explores the nature of time and the unfortunate occurrence of war. The intense and futile nature of war educates Slessor to conclude that time is the conqueror that withholds the universal fate of death. Have you ever felt invisible in a crowded area? Well, this is precisely what Slessor conveys death to be like. Death is commonly interpreted as the termination of life, a force that has an eternal end. Once our time is up we have no link to this world but are rather taken up to the “Other front.” Slessor clearly states that once death has its grasp, humanity will lose its identity as they will eventually be lost in a memory taken by time. This is reinforced in “Beach Burial” in the lines “Unknown seaman- the ghostly pencil wavers and fades…the wet season has washed their inscriptions…”

The styles of Slessor’s poems are unique yet there is still a relative consistency evident throughout his oeuvre. In the poem “Out of Time” Slessor presents the poem in a cyclical pattern that imitates the nature of time. The last line of each sonnet is the beginning line of the next thus indicating a link throughout the poem. Slessor makes this style distinctive by beginning the poem with “I saw Time flowing like the hundred yachts” and ending with “And Time flows past them like a hundred Yachts.” Wouldn’t you agree that his use of repetition and personification of time clearly expresses the main value of this poem? Through these techniques Slessor cleverly portrays that time is a continuous force that will never come to an end but will always have its command over humanities life.

On the contrary, the style of the poem “Beach Burial” is that of an elegy. By presenting his poem in this style, Slessor conveys the empathy that he felt as a result of his experience in El Alamein. The use of onomatopoeic reference “…The sob and clubbing of gunfire…” accurately depicts the futility and harsh nature of war. He then primarily expresses that death has the last say because in the end all of humanity will ultimately be untied by death through fate. This is portrayed in the line “Whether as enemies they fought…the sand joins them together.” A common technique that I am sure you all are aware off is that of water imagery. Water like time is a vast force that is eternal in nature, its ability to be both rough and calm precisely reflects the nature of time and the gloominess of death. The imagery of water is commonly used throughout Slessor’s oeuvre.

It is reinforced in the stanzas of ‘Out of Time’ in the lines “So time, the wave, enfolds me in its bed….water bends…the tide goes over.” And in “Beach Burial” in the lines “…They sway and wander in the waters far under…” As you may have noticed, the structural integrity of Slessor’s work can be seen as a solid representation of the values that he so intricately portrays. Both “Out of Time” and “Beach Burial” are composed with completely different structures yet still effectively portray the values of each poem. Composed of an ensemble of three quatrains and a couplet forming a sonnet, “Out of Time” is characterised by three sonnets. In each of these sonnets Slessor expresses a different aspect of time, linking them together to form a poem that is similar to that of an anecdote.

However, the irregularity of the lines in “Beach Burial” mimics the movement of waves creating an atmosphere and mood that is both solemn and humble. Don’t you agree that this creative use of imagery precisely delineates the depth of Slessor’s emotions? Hopefully I have given you a thorough insight as to why Slessor’s poems are still relevant and significant today. It is evident to see that the themes and values that he expresses through his poems are off a universal significance and his ability to convey them through poetic devices accurately depicts the central notions of his poems. Thus, readers such as us and even critics are able to relate and recognise the articulate nature of his work and for this reason Slessor’s work will continue to be of a great significance.

Kenneth Slessor Speech: Critical studies of Texts Essay

Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longam by Ernest Dowson Essay

Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longam by Ernest Dowson Essay.

This poem is by Ernest Dowson (1867-1900). Merely discussing him is a sad matter, because Dowson was both a student at Oxford for a time and a severe alcoholic whose life ended far too early. We can extend the parallel further in he was a Roman Catholic by conversion. We should not be surprised that he titled his poem in Latin; this was in the days, after all, when a knowledge of Latin was considered indispensable to a good education. So that is why students of English poetry find themselves faced with these Latin words at the head of the poem:

Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longam It means, essentially, that the brief (brevis) sum (summa) of life (vitae) forbids/prevents (vetat) us (nos) beginning (incohare) a long (longam) hope (spem).

But we can think of it as meaning simply: The Shortness of Life Forbids Us Long Hopes

The phrase comes from lines in Ode 1.4, by the Roman poet Horace (65-8 b.


Dowson is speaking of the brevity of human emotions. Weeping and laughter, love and desire and hate, he says, do not last long, and he thinks they end with death (“passing the gate”).

In like manner, he tells us, the days of pleasure and happiness, which he poetically terms “the days of wine and roses,” are not long either. And as for our short life, it is like a path seen coming out of a mist, then disappearing into that same mist.

Dowson’s poem is undeniably beautiful. Happiness is brief, life is short and vague and a mystery, but in reading those lines by Dowson we must say that, as R. H. Blyth once remarked, put that way, it doesn’t sound too bad.

Dowson did have a sense for the poetic phrase. Many who have never read his poem know the words “the days of wine and roses,” which were used for the title of a movie about a descent into alcoholism. And it is from another poem by Dowson (Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae) that the words come which gave the title to Margaret Mitchell’s novel and the famous film of the Civil War, Gone With the Wind.

One writer calls Ernest Dowson “The incarnation of dissipation and decadence,” which combined with the sad beauty of today’s poem, brings to mind the rather indelicate expression that a rose may grow out of a manure pile — the “pile” in this case being Dowson’s decadent and deadly habits. For him, the combination of an excessive lifestyle and alcoholism with his tuberculosis proved quickly fatal. He died a few months beyond his 32nd year.

Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longam by Ernest Dowson Essay