Why am I standing here, alone, When outside you are knocking, knocking? I cannot come to you- My feet are glued to the floor. Forgive me, but I feared you! Would that you could open the door, But I have locked it! Ah! What sorrow I have brought upon myself! How you shout, how you plead for entrance And how I want you to enter, But you have not the strenth to break the door. Well, come on then! Find another way in!
This monologue is quite similar to my post on the Spenserian Sonnet, in that it deals with a deep inner conflict within the speaker. In this instance, the conflict is how to get a visitor into the house. The way the speaker argues and talks with herself gives the impression that they don't really know what they want. He/she has locked the door and won't move to open it, yet tells the person knocking to find antoher way in. To me this seems that the person is weak and unable to make decisions for themself. The line, "Ah! What sorrow I have brought upon myself!" suggests a defeatist attitude, instead of attempting to rid themself of the sorrow the person simply wallows in self pity. The dramatic monologue is a great way to get a more in depth view of a character that may have previously been puzzling.
"I Can't Win" by Helga Ross I take a stand and I’m stubborn, you say. Okay, I am. So are you. What are we to do? When impasse comes to pass to our dismay forestalling allies-at-odds, (nothing new), whose blood see-through bond obliges breakthrough? The debate's a draw--not worth losing sleep— see, (S)He who can't be reasoned with, is YOU! Okay, my friend, you win, so I may keep my peace of mind, sow only as I’d reap. I have no choice but learn to get along— there is no trade—sometimes you make me weep. Still, our combination’s made me strong:
Thanks to you, Conscience, I can look at me: Some One I like, despite your victory.
The first thing I noticed about this poem is the personification of the speaker's conscience. Throughout the poem he/she is fighting with their conscience, as evidenced by the capitalization of "YOU!", which adds more emotion to the line. This inner battle is the main conflict of the poem and is an interesting clash between external and internal forces within the speaker.
The epitaph at the end (does that qualify?), drives the purpose of the sonnet home, saying that our conscience guides our thoughts and actions. We are better off for it in the end, even if it feels like we are fighting with ourselves at times. This is best evidenced by the speaker describing herself as "someone I like" at the very end.
Our lives avoided tragedy Simply by going on and on, Without end and with little apparent meaning. Oh, there were storms and small catastrophes.
Simply by going on and on We managed. No need for the heroic. Oh, there were storms and small catastrophes. I don't remember all the particulars.
We managed. No need for the heroic. There were the usual celebrations, the usual sorrows. I don't remember all the particulars. Across the fence, the neighbors were our chorus.
There were the usual celebrations, the usual sorrows Thank god no one said anything in verse. The neighbors were our only chorus, And if we suffered we kept quiet about it.
At no time did anyone say anything in verse. It was the ordinary pities and fears consumed us, And if we suffered we kept quiet about it. No audience would ever know our story.
It was the ordinary pities and fears consumed us. We gathered on porches; the moon rose; we were poor. What audience would ever know our story? Beyond our windows shone the actual world.
We gathered on porches; the moon rose; we were poor. And time went by, drawn by slow horses. Somewhere beyond our windows shone the actual world. The Great Depression had entered our souls like fog.
And time went by, drawn by slow horses. We did not ourselves know what the end was. The Great Depression had entered our souls like fog. We had our flaws, perhaps a few private virtues.
But we did not ourselves know what the end was. People like us simply go on. We had our flaws, perhaps a few private virtues, But it is by blind chance only that we escape tragedy.
"Pantoum poems are an ancient Indonesian verse form, which consist of four stanzas with lines set up as follows: 1-2-3-4, 2-5-4-6, 5-7-6-8, 1-7-8-3. Because the lines are repeated, the poem has a lovely flow. The trick to writing a good pantoum poem is writing lines that will nicely go both before and after adjacent lines".
The Pantoum is a style that I have never seen before but it is certainly very interesting. I think that this style's greatest effect is the emphasis it places on certain emotions through the repitition of lines. Known as anaphora, these lines being used more than once creates an even gloomier situation than if they had just been used once. Hearing "oh, there were storms and small catastrophes" multiple times has a great effect on the reader. It seems that there is absolutely no hope for anyone in the Great Depression. The final line sums it up best, "But it is by blind chance only that we escape tragedy". Nothing the people do can save them, they have lost all control over their own lives.
They are all gone away, The house is shut and still, There is nothing more to say.
Through broken walls and gray The winds blow bleak and shrill: They are all gone away.
Nor is there one today To speak them good or ill: There is nothing more to say.
Why is it then we stray Around the sunken sill? They are all gone away.
And our poor fancy-play For them is wasted skill: There is nothing more to say.
There is ruin and decay In the House on the Hill They are all gone away, There is nothing more to say.
"Villanelles have been around for at least three hundred years. Its name derives from the Italian villa, or country house, where noblemen went to refresh themselves, perhaps dally with the locals, and imagine that they were back to nature. It seems to have grown out of native songs, with their frequent refrains and complex rhyming"
This is a very straightforward example of a villanelle. The ABA rhyme scheme is repeated throughout five stanzas and is easy to understand. The tone is immediately understood to be very dark and gloomy. It is clear that whoever "they" are have left the house long ago and leave only a wooden skeleton of what the house formerly was. The use of anaphora emphasizes this point. Both there and they are used repeatedly at the start of many lines in the poem. "They are all gone away", if through nothing than repitition, it is known that the inhabitants of the house are definitely gone.
In the morning the city Spreads its wings Making a song In stone that sings.
In the evening the city Goes to bed Hanging lights Above its head.
This is an example of imagist poetry because the poem paints a picture in the reader's mind. Although very short, Hughes provides enough detail to give the reader their own idea of what the city looks like. The employment of euphony gives the poem a pleasing effect when it is read and seems to have a positive mood as a result. The good vibes that the poem gives off are also supported by the image of the city spreading its wings. This symbolizes growth and progress. The city singing also makes it seem as though all is well in the world described to us by Hughes. These instances of personification greatly contribute to the positive tone.
This is a free verse poem marked by constant caesura, breaks in thoughts in the poem. The purpose of this is to show the wide variety of ways in which people both interact with and get in trouble as a result of their food. Each stanza is marked by a definite divide in thought process. It seems as though the author was trying to make many points all within the structure of one poem. This style reminds me of reading "Song of Myself in the summer. That was certainly far longer than this but was similar in regards to fitting so many ideas into one poem.
Yes, I just can't get enough of these shape poems."Here I Am" is interesting to me because it reminds me of the motto of the gym where I work out, "What is worse? The pain of hard work, or the pain of regret?". Many people feel that regret is the most painful of all human emotions. In the opinion of McGough, it most certainly is. He lists all the things that he's never done and comments on how dull his life was. Very cynical, but also true. I think that when you're in the moment it's hard to appreciate the oppurtunities that are available to you. It's only after they're gone that you are able to truly know what you had. Cliche, yes, but certainly applicable here. The shape of the poem was also quite interesting. After analyzing closely and reading the comments of others, I think the poem forms an hour glass. Regret after regret slowly build up to form what we are all working against in the end; time. It's easy for the author to reflect on times gone by now that he is "getting on for seventy".
"Joy Sonnet in a Random Universe" by Helen Chasin page 1035 in Norton
As I've stated earlier, I love unconventional poems. "Joy Sonnet in a Random Universe" can certainly be considered a little different. Although seemingly completely random, I think that there is more meaning than a few simple "la la"s. The words and sounds within the poem emphasize how random life can be. There is no real rhyme or reason to the words which make up the poem. Despite the lack of organization within the words, the poem as a whole forms a perfect square. I take this to show that although we can be random in our own worlds, all people are still confined to the universe in which we live. There is a limit to the true spontaneity of life. Of course, that is no reason not to just be happy sometimes.
Once again I really enjoy poems that take a different shape. I think that Frost and Cummings are my favorite poets at this point. The build up and breakdown in length of the poem makes me think that it represents life. In the beginning, there is just a name, and in the end there is death. After being given a name, a person builds up who they are through their actions and lifestyle. This is reflected in the poem when it talks about his riding a stallion and shooting pigeons. As life goes on it slowly deteriorates back into the abyss in which it started. In the poem the end has exactly as many words as the opening, two. Very existentialist poem in my opinion.
I love it when poets mix up their style from the norm. It really adds another dimension to the meaning of the poem. In this instance, at first glance, I notice that the poem is in the shape of a 1. So going in I expect the poem to have something to do with the "1" theme. I then read "leaf falls one", in my interpretation. One leaf falling makes me think of autumn, as the last leaves are falling off of the trees in dreary weather, just before winter. The "1" seems to indicate loneliness. Something about a single leaf falling seems dreary and alone to me, as if all the other leaves left together and only one was left behind. The shape indeed indicates the meaning of the poem before it is even read.
When our two souls stand up erect and strong,Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,Until the lengthening wings break into fire At either curvèd point,---what bitter wrong Can the earth do to us, that we should not long Be here contented? Think! In mounting higher, The angels would press on us and aspire To drop some golden orb of perfect song Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay Rather on earth, Belovèd,---where the unfit Contrarious moods of men recoil away And isolate pure spirits, and permit A place to stand and love in for a day, With darkness and the death-hour rounding it.
In this poem the rhyme scheme is used to signal the changing of purpose. In the first half of the poem there is an ABC AABCA patter. In the second half of the poem the rhymes shift to an DEDFDE pattern. This helps the reader shift from one thought to another. At first the reader is presented with the conditions of passion on earth. It is explained that the soul is free on Earth, but in the second section it is proclaimed that under Heaven's expectations of perfection, this is not the case. On Earth, "the unfit contrarious moods of men...permit a place to stand and love in for a day". These ideas are more clearly presented through the use of alternate rhyming patterns.
In "Nuns Fret Not" by William Wordsworth the external structure most visible in the poem is the rhyme scheme. In Italian Sonnet style, the poem is divided into two main thought patterns. One explains how people can be happy to where the are bound, ex. the nuns. The other ties that thought to the author's purpose, which he states is to convey his finding solace in the sonnet. The rhyme scheme divides these two thought patterns so that they can be understood separately and then put together to deliver the message of the poem.