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Poem Analysis

Part I

  1. In the narrative poem Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson, the citizens who admire the main character’s arrival play the role of the speaker. The speaker dwells on the man, Richard Cory, who is “richer than a king” and, despite all his wealth, ends up committing suicide (Robinson). First, his life seems to be perfect and dreamlike, as “he was everything to make us wish that we were in his place” (Robinson). However, the author highlights that money is not the only value to wish. Having wealth does not always mean to be happy and satisfied with life. On the contrary, it can lead to loneliness and death, as the main character “put a bullet through his head” (Robinson). The action takes place “down town” on “one calm summer night” (Robinson). The name of the city is not mentioned in the poem. Thus, it is obvious that it is a poor country as the there is no light and population does not have any money to buy food. To summarize, the poem Richard Cory makes the readers rethink the life values. Sometimes it is better to be penniless but in love with life.
  2. The poem I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth belongs to the genre of the lyric as it fits into all features. First, the poetry is not long in size, four stanzas of 6 lines exactly. Moreover, the lines of the poem are very melodious and wonderfully rhymed so that they can be used as the words of the song. In addition, there is the only speaker presenting, “I wandered lonely as a cloud” (Wordsworth). Furthermore, the poem describes the feelings and emotions of the speaker while he admires the beauty of the spring flowers – daffodils. The main character does not focus on any problematic issues or true-life stories. On the contrary, he wants to show his inner world describing that his “ heart with pleasure fills” (Wordsworth). Undoubtedly, the poem I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud does not only fit in the lyric genre, but it is also one of the greatest samples of the lyric poetry the world has ever known.
  3. In the poem When I Consider How My Light Is Spent by John Milton the problem of being talented but helpless is represented. The speaker describes the important issues with a voice of reason as he really has one to complain about. The character has the infelicitous experience and he dwells on it, “and that one talent which is death to hide longed with my useless” (Milton). Undoubtedly, there is the voice of common sense heard in the poetry, as the character says, “God doth not need either man’s work or His own gift. Who best bear His mind yoke, they serve him best” (Milton). Even though the speaker is disappointed with life and injustice, his thoughts are clear and understandable. For sure, the speaker’s voice in the poem is rather moderate. It is hard to imagine the blind man not crying or blaming his fortune, but asking “fondly” for the explanation (Milton). During the whole poem, the voice of the speaker practically does not change. He is calm, prudent, and reasonable. Still, it seems that as the poetry progresses the voice turns to be a little strict, as the speaker dwells, “they also serve who only stand and wait” (Milton).
  4. The poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by Thomas Eliot dwells on the various themes, including the problem of life and death. There are many stylistic devices in the poem, which make the language delicate, playful, and enigmatic. Metaphor plays the most important roles among all the stylistic devices. The very interesting sample of metaphor opens the poem: “let us go then, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky like a patient etherized upon a table” (Eliot). In this case, the evening is compared with the patient who waits for the surgery to start. The evening itself brings darkness and uncertainty. As for the surgery, it is always connected with pain and fear. Together, these notions mean nothing but the fight between death and life.

The next metaphor that draws readers’ attention is “the yellow fog that rubs its back upon the windows-panes” (Eliot). This stylistic device compares fog with the live being. This time the comparison represents the line between life and death. This line, as well as fog, can be either thick or thin. One move forward and nobody knows what to wait for.

One more interesting metaphor found in the poem is “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons” (Eliot). This device parallelizes human life with coffee spoons. It is one more confirmation of the general idea of the poem. The author chose the coffee spoon as it is small. The same notion concerns life. It is not eternal and can come to the end whenever nobody expects. Furthermore, the spoon is full of coffee. This drink is of the black color connected with death and destruction (Eliot).

To sum it up, metaphors play a great role in the poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. On the one hand, they generalize the idea of the poetry. On the other hand, they give readers the right to have their vision of particular expectations. Finally, they make the imagination fly.

Part II

Robert Frost’s poetry is popular all over the world. People admire its beauty, melody, rhymes, and depictions. The speakers’ thoughts are interesting and original though sometimes they are controversial. Each poem of the author has its characteristic that differs from the other works. The greatest feature of Frost’s poetry is that it begins in delight and ends in wisdom.

To start with, the poem A Prayer in Spring fits these features perfectly. In the beginning, the lines of the poem make the readers fall in the atmosphere of springtime, as the author says, “keep us here in the springing of the year” (Frost, “A Prayer in Spring”). The nice pictures of nature returning to life reflect in our imagination “orchard white”, “happy bees”, “darting bird” (Frost, “A Prayer in Spring”). Thou, in the last stanza the speaker refers to the common sense of the audience. He gives us the lesson and explains how people should live on the God-made Earth. The last four lines are full of wisdom and moralities, which reconstruct the reality and make everybody rethink their lifetime (Frost, “A Prayer in Spring”).

Undoubtedly, the poem A Winter Eden also belongs to the Frost’s “wisdom and delight” poetry. The poem opens with the description of the beauty of the winter garden “as near a paradise as it can be and not melt snow or start a dormant tree” (Frost, “A Winter Eden”. Further, the speaker dwells on the shortness of the winter period, as “a feather hammer gives a double knock. This Eden day is two o’clock” (Frost, “A Winter Eden”). The author wants to highlight that life is “too short” and people do not realize that it will come to the end sometime (Frost, “A Winter Eden”).

One more sample characterized by both delight and wisdom is the poem Neither out Far nor in Deep. The first lines describe the people sitting on the beach and gazing at the sea for the whole day already. The following objects such as a ship that “keeps raising its hull” and “a standing gull” only broaden the flight of readers’ imagination (Frost, “Neither out Far nor in Deep”). Thou, the last stanza runs that people “cannot look out far” and “cannot look in deep” (Frost, “Neither out Far nor in Deep”). They just live in their world, cannot perceive the reality, and continue looking “at the sea” (Frost, “Neither out Far nor in Deep”).

To summarize, Robert Frost’s poetry is both wonderful and informative. The reader enjoys the charming pictures depicted in the poems and gets the experience from the author’s educative thoughts.