Monday, May 23, 2011
Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Two Rivers" is about the Concord, or Musketaquit, River, and also about a metaphorical river. In this poem, form is indeed function. I like how the rhythm and repetition give a sense of movement -- of a flowing river: through flood and sea, and firmament/ through light, through life, it forward flows The word "through" indeed carries us through.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
What does we usually think of when we come across a rose in literature? Beauty -- even a bit of glamor perhaps. In "Nobody Knows this Little Rose" Emily Dickinson humanizes the rose and makes it a vulnerable little thing, someone who could die without us ever noticing. What is the significance of it being a rose, and not some other living thing?
Some suggest that the rose stands for Emily herself -- someone who possesses some lovely qualities, but could die and simply be forgotten. It could well be, but what I get from the poem is a strong sense of empathy for another.
I am realizing that I now have several poems with personified flowers: by Robert Frost, Robert Service, Emily Dickinson. They could make an interesting text set!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
And what of the sound itself? The meter and rhyme scheme affect how we read -- yet that's not all there is. You can play with individual words quite a bit without destroying the effect of the rhyme scheme.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
The Austin referenced in "There is Another Sky" is Emily Dickinson's brother, one year her senior. The two were very close in youth, but grew apart (though he was at her deathbed). This poem has a wistful feel -- we get a sense of the speaker trying to pull her brother in and comfort him.