Poetry Analysis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By alainarobbins
Words 1125
Pages 5
“Facing It”: A Poetry Analysis
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, D.C. is a unique setting for Yusef Komunyakaa's poem "Facing It". Not only does the wall display the names of the American military troops who died in the war, the wall is made of polished stone so those who look at it can see their own faces reflecting off the names of the dead. By facing "it", the Memorial, the speaker also finds himself in the face of other "its", including his past as a veteran and his mixed feelings about the present. In Komunyakaa’s poem, “Facing It”, he uses imagery and metaphor to shed light on the psychological impact of war and loss.
At the start of the poem, “Facing It”, Yusef Komunyakaa uses imagery to indicate his race in the first lines. He writes “My black face fades, / hiding inside the black granite" (lines 1-2). The word ‘black’ has been repeated twice in these lines, once to explain his skin color and the other in relation to the color of the war memorial. By Komunyakaa doing this he not only has made it known that he is an African American, but he also creates a connection between himself and the color of the memorial wall. He becomes one with the wall as he goes on to explain that his face “fades” and “hides inside” the granite. The outline of his face that allows him to be noticeable from the memorial vanishes, and he and the memorial have become one item. This coming together is not only on a general level, as his face goes "inside" the granite, but he is searching beyond the exterior into the inside of the rock. As a veteran soldier he associates him with the wall on a personal level. He knows these men despite the fact that he did not know them all. All the soldiers, deceased and surviving, are one.
The first time Komunyakaa uses a metaphor is towards the beginning of the poem. Komunyakaa writes, “I’m stone. I’m flesh” (line 5). This simple…...

Similar Documents

Poetry Analysis

...Confessional poetry emerged in the United States in the 1950’s. It was the first time a poet told his or her story through their poetry. It often explored ideas that were thought of as taboo in those times such as mental illness, sexuality, and suicide. Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton were two famous confessional poets. They both also suffered from mental illness which is often expressed in their poetry. Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus” and Anne Sexton’s “Her Kind” both use allusions and imagery to convey their emotions to the reader. In Sylvia Plath’s poem, there is an allusion in the title itself, “Lady Lazarus.” Lazarus refers to the biblical figure that was resurrected by Jesus Christ. It’s ironic that the speaker would choose a biblical reference when comparing it to her suicide attempt. Her ”resurrection” happened because she failed at taking her own life. Another allusion occurs at the end of the poem: “Out of the ash, I rise with my red hair, And I eat men like air.” She is referring to the phoenix found in Greek mythology. A phoenix is a long-lived bird that is frequently reborn. The speaker is obviously unhappy with life yet she uses allusions that represent a positive rebirth. The first lines of her poem state “I have done it again. One year in every ten I manage it—“ referring to the fact that she has attempted to commit suicide at least once per decade. “The second time I meant to last it out and not come back at all. I rocked shut as a......

Words: 890 - Pages: 4

Poetry Analysis

...The narrator uses visual imagery and personification to emphasize autumn’s progression towards winter. Each stanza is like a picture of words that captures the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells that establish autumn’s beauty and wonder. Personifying autumn as a woman and depicting her languishing after the harvest reminds the reader of everything autumn has to offer. Autumn is the beauty of the colors of the leaves on the trees and in the sky. Autumn is the bounty of life found on the vines, in the trees, and in the fields. Autumn is a quiet song playing in the air. Autumn is a time for living and dying. No other season is quite like that. Work Cited Keats, John. "To Autumn." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 6th Compact ed. Boston: Longman, 2010. 765-766. Print....

Words: 935 - Pages: 4

Poetry Analysis

...“The Chimney Sweeper” Fictional Poetry Analysis Stacy McGee Liberty University Eng 102 October 17, 2013 Thesis: The poem, “The Chimney Sweeper” by William Blake depicts the life of a young boy being sold to sweep chimneys. This paper will give insight into the misery, mood and tones of the poem through the eyes of a young child as a chimney sweeper. Outline: I. Theme A. What is the theme of poem 1. Unkindness 2. Faith II. Setting A. Literal Setting 1. Metaphorical 2. Literal III. Mood A. Elements Contributing 1. Misery 2. Hope and Faith IV. Significance A. Is the title significant to content B. Job/Daily living The Chimney Sweeper deals with life in London in the 18th century. As of today, one would look at the narrator’s story as cruelty, child neglect or even child abuse. As we read the poem, we are going to take a look and dissect certain aspects of poem, such as the theme, setting, mood and significance of the title. To begin with, when reading the poem written in 1789 entitled, “The Chimney Sweeper” by William Blake, the theme of the poem circulates around poverty, unkindness and faith. When looking at the poem from the poverty perspective, the narrator’s mother died when he was a young boy and his father sells him to be a chimney sweeper, when he was so young, he...

Words: 852 - Pages: 4

Poetry Analysis

...Jack Saindon English 201-046 Essay #2: Poetry Analysis In Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays” (154), he talks about his father whom he never appreciated as a child, but looks back now to understand the depth of his love. The story entails the author speaking of his past as a child, where his father would light all the fires in the house, early in the morning after a tough work week. He says, “then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather” (154). This went unappreciated by anyone in the family, including the author; “No one ever thanked him” (154). Once the rooms were warm, his father would call him, only for the author to return not the thanks he properly deserved. In his poem, Hayden uses contrast to illustrate the relationship between him and his father. The temperature of the house and outside, symbolize their relationship. His father goes out in the “blueback cold” to make the house warmer, to make “banked fires blaze” so that his child can wake up in a nice warm temperature. He says, “I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking”(154). Despite his effort, the author treats his father with just as much coldness as the climate they live in, even at the sight of his shoes cleaned. Hayden writes, “Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well.” (154). His father created literal warmth for him, but he did not warm up his father’s heart emotionally in return with love. In the last two......

Words: 1237 - Pages: 5

Emily Dickinson Poetry Analysis

...that the analysis on Emily Dickinson’s poetry is some of the most emotionally felt works of the nineteenth century. Miss Dickinson is often compared with other poets and writers, but unlike Shakespeare, Miss Dickinson is without opinions (Tate 86). Her verses and technical license often seem mysterious and can confuse critics, but after all is said, it is realized that like most poets Miss Dickinson is no more mysterious than a banker. It is said that Miss Dickinson’s life was starved and unfulfilled and yet all pity is misdirected. She lived one of the richest and deepest lives ever on this continent. It was her own conscious choice to deliberately withdraw from society into her upstairs room (Tate 83). She kept to only a few select friends and the storm, wind, wild March sky, sunsets, dawns, birds, bees, and butterflies were sufficient companionship for Miss Dickinson (Loomis 79). She dealt with a lot both physically and psychologically and in the end she still came out on the top. So as Allen Tate best said it is in her own historical setting Miss Dickinson is nevertheless remarkable and special (82). Thomas Higginson said that the main quality of her poems is that of extraordinary grasp and insight, which was all her own (78). The works and phrases she uses shows that she was unconcerned with the fact that no one else could understand her poetry, but instead, she was satisfied by using mere words in order to fit her own ear (Higginson 78). Miss Dickinson’s poetry was......

Words: 1254 - Pages: 6

Poetry Analysis: the River-Merchant’s Wife: a Letter

...patterns and rhyme, and writes the poem in free verse so that it feels more like a genuine letter to her husband. Doing so allows Pound to draw the reader directly into the solitude of the wife without having to overcome the barrier of an overly structured presentation. In the midst of long sentences, the two shorter ones draw significant attention to the emotional impact that nature has on the speaker. When speaking of the changing season, the falling leaves and the paired butterflies, the speaker remarks, “They hurt me. I grow older” (Pound 25). These sentences capture the attention of the reader as the poem reaches its climax in which the wife acknowledges her despair for the long absence of her husband. By abandoning the rigid form of poetry, Pound allows the reader to feel the sorrowful emotions of the wife. The sorrowful state of the wife also affects the way that she views the natural world. The early transition of autumn reflects her isolated mood while waiting for her husband. She notes that “the leaves fall early this autumn” and “[different] moss is grown [and is] too deep to clear away” (Pound 20-21). Instead of taking pleasure in the coloured mosaic of fallen leaves, the speaker sees them as a sign of decay and isolation, indicative of her loneliness. The moss illustrates the sorrow that she cannot clear away as it is growing deeply in her heart. In addition, the images of the living things mirror the sorrow of the wife. She tells her husband that “the monkeys......

Words: 729 - Pages: 3

Analysis Essay on Poetry

...Critical Analysis Essay on Poetry ENGL 102: Composition and Literature Fall 2010 Nathan Johnson APA Format Abstract (Thesis Statement) Thesis: William Blake uses several literary devices in “The Lamb” to portray spiritual truths about Christianity. I. Introduction A. The Characteristics of Lambs 1. In Literature 2. In the Bible B. Blake’s use of the lamb 1. As a symbol in the Poem II. Body A. The use of symbolism as a literary device 1. The Lamb as a symbol for Christ 2. The Lamb as a symbol for Christians B. The use of imagery as a literary device 1. Mental images of lines 3-4 in the poem 2. Images of lines 15-16 III. Conclusion A. Restatement of thesis B. Closing remarks Lambs are considered to be innocent and gentle animals. They are gentle creatures that are submissive and yet daring. Words that are often associated with lambs tend to evoke a sense of calmness and peace. In literature lambs are usually used to symbolize gentleness, meekness and even innocence. Even in the Bible the lamb is used to symbolize ultimate goodness and purity. Countless times in the Bible the lamb is used as a reference for Jesus Christ, and His people. Often Jesus is referred as a shepherd tending and looking for His sheep. Christ is also called the Lamb of God. William Blake uses the poem “The Lamb” to bring up life’s ultimate questions through the voice of a child. Questions that have plagued man......

Words: 959 - Pages: 4

Poetry Analysis

...Tetyana Shtefanitsa Humanities 205 Mrs. Schilla September 14, 2010 Poetry Analysis From the beginning of time, people were writing poetry, painting pictures, and telling stories about love. With this theme a lot of poets around the world wrote a huge amount of poems and stories. I chose to analyze a couple of Robert Browning’s poems and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s, his wife. Robert Browning was born on May 7, 1812 in Camberwell, England. He was the eldest child of Sarah Wiedemann and Robert Browning, a wealthy clerk who was also a collector of books; his gigantic library was a great source of study for young Robert. Both his parents encouraged him to study and write, and he did start to write poetry at the age of twelve. In 1846 Robert Browning married fellow English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861). They were devoted to each other, “for after their marriage they were never separated,” writes their son in his introduction to The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846. After they settled down in Italy and Elizabeth’s health began to get better she went on to write many highly acclaimed works. The few works Browning produced in the next fifteen years including Christmas Eve and Easter Day (1850), and Men and Women, which he dedicated to his wife Elizabeth (1855). (Merriman) I have selected two poems “Meeting at Night” and “Parting at Morning” by Robert Browning and one poem, “How Do I Love Thee?”......

Words: 1439 - Pages: 6

Poetry Analysis Shall I Comepare Thee (Sonnet 18) by William Shakespeare

...Poetry analysis Shall I Comepare Thee (Sonnet 18) By William Shakespeare Before William Shakespeare died, he managed to write 154 sonnets Out of all 154 sonnets the most famous and well-known is Sonnet 18, which this paper is going to be about. Because the sonnets written by William Shakespeare, was so beloved, all of Shakespeare’s sonnet-heritage is being called Shakespearean sonnets. There are different indicators that, helps to define a sonnet. First of all ‘Shall I Comepare Thee’ consists of fourteen lines, where the eight first lines called the octave presents which aspects the poem will regard. The last six lines called the sestet gives a personal view of what the poem really is about. ‘Shall I Comepare Thee’ is divided by three quatrains followed by a couplet and has the traditional characteristic rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean sonnet: abab cdcd efef gg. The metrical aspect of sonnet 18 is that the poem got written in iambic form with one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable. The sonnet has five feet in each line and therefore it is under pentameter. For example if the 2 first lines in Sonnet 18 should be divided into the rhythm of five in stressed and unstressed syllables it would look like this: The stressed syllables, is the ‘green’ ones and unstressed syllables is the ‘red’ ones. Shall I - compare - thee to - a sum - mer’s day? Thou art - more love - ly and - more tem - perate. Shakespeare starts the poem with the......

Words: 475 - Pages: 2

"A Study of Reading Habits" Poetry Analysis

...Whalin Malan English 1 Honors May 31, 2014 Poetry Analysis #1 An Analysis of “A Study of Reading Habits” by Philip Larkin “A Study of Reading Habits,” by Phillip Larkin is a short poem about a male character that goes through the three main stages of life and reads specific books during these times. The narrator experiences life first as a child, then a teenager, and finally an adult. The books he chooses to read express how he has changed during each stage. The author’s use of symbolism, irony, and imagery help to convey the theme that ignoring reality only makes life harder to deal with. “When getting my nose in a book/Cured most things short of school” (Larkin). In the first stanza Larkin describes a boy who uses books as a way to escape reality so that he does not have to face the harshness of life. In lines 5-6, the author uses symbolism. “deal out the old right hook/ to dirty dogs twice my size” (Larkin). It represents the speaker’s imagination while reading books. It shows that he is still a child. “The alliteration of ‘dirty dogs’ is symbolism of the persona’s bullies” (Sophtaytay). The speaker is using books to imagine beating those who bully him in the real world. “No man who was a professional librarian throughout his life… would make the statement that concludes the poem: "Books are a load of crap."” (Wood). It is ironic that an author would refer to books as “crap.” This shows that Larkin is not the speaker. It also shows how dramatically the......

Words: 541 - Pages: 3

We Real Cool Poetry Analysis

...future would not be so bright, as exemplified by the boys in the poem’ the end result would be devastating. To gain understanding of the poem, one would need to have great understanding of the many symbols used by Brooks, they work well along with her word choice to elaborate to readers what she believed would be the consequence of giving up on a brighter future. The lives of the youth are bright and precious like gold, however without hard work and perseverance it can be easily tarnished. Work Cited Brooks, Gwendolyn. "We Real Cool." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. . Dickson, L. L. "'Keep It in the Head': Jazz Elements in Modern Black American Poetry." Melus 10.1 (Spring 1983) 29-37. Brooks, Gwendolyn. "We Real Cool." The Norton Anthology of Poetry. Ed. Margaret Ferguson. Cummings, Allison. "Public Subjects: Race and the Critical Reception of Gwendolyn Brooks, Erica Hunt, and Harryette Mullen." Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 26.2 (2005): 3- 36....

Words: 1368 - Pages: 6

Percy Bysshe Shelley`S Poetry Analysis

...Percy Bysshe Shelley`s Poetry Analysis Shelley’s poetry covers a variety of themes from extreme joy and ecstasy to brooding despair. Themes such as restlessness, protestings against the power, an interesting relation with nature, ideal love, and a spirit seeking for freedom. I chose death as the theme to analyse because I like to read poems about death, it is interesting how death is interpreted and what the poet thinks about after-death and other death-related philosophical questions. Many of these poems are really depressing and sad such as “ A Dirge“ and “Adonais“ and while analyzing Shelley’s work, it also makes you understand what is going on in Britain and Europe during Shelley’s lifetime. Firstly, I am going to analyze Shelley`s poem “A Dirge“: A Dirge Rough wind, that moanest loud Grief too sad for song; Wild wind, when sullen cloud Knells all the night long; Sad storm whose tears are vain, Bare woods, whose branches strain, Deep caves and dreary main,-- Wail, for the world’s wrong! A dirge means a song that is sung at a funeral, so the title is already very depressing and creating a sad feeling or loneliness because someone is passing away. The two first lines create an image of a really bad day and I would even imagine the image at a funeral. The author describes one image of nature, the winds moaning, the sullen clouds, the sad storm, the vain tears, the bare woods, the branches straining, the deep caves, the dreary main, upon another to......

Words: 837 - Pages: 4

An Analysis of Indian Ethos in Nissim Ezekiel's Poetry

...An Analysis of Indian Sensibility in Nissim Ezekiel’s Poetry (On the basis of the analysis of Night of the Scorpion, The Patriot, The Professor and Jewish Wedding in Bombay) Nissim Ezekiel is one of the most celebrated poets of the postcolonial Indian literary history. He has wielded great influence as a leading poet, editor and an occasional playwright. He’s applauded for his subtlety in exploring common mundane themes in a comic light. His poetry lacks the nationalistic fervor that was common to the poems released during that time. His poetry objectively analyses the Indian scenario without taking any political stance. He constantly ridicules the Indian sensibilities with hopes of bringing about a change through his words. Ezekiel has strived to create authentic Indian flavor by using ‘Indian English’ in all his poems. He stresses on the common mistakes committed by Indians, such as the usage of the present continuous tense in place of simple present. This is evident in this little excerpt from his poem, The Professor, “We are keeping up. Our progress is progressing. Old values are going, new values are coming. Everything is happening with leaps and bounds.” He ridicules the irony that a professor lacks the command over the language he uses to teach his subject. He also mocks the Indian habit of literal translation of the native language to English with the same structure and tone. This excerpt from “The Patriot” is clearly evident of the same, “How one...

Words: 912 - Pages: 4

Poetry Analysis

...Analysis of “The Human Seasons” by John Keats This sonnet is written in the Shakespearean form and consists of three quatrains and a volta in the final couplet. In the first quatrain, Keats introduces the topic of the four seasons and then elaborates on the “lusty spring.” He finds this to be a healthy time of year where humans can easily enjoy the beauty around them. The spring symbolizes youth and childhood. The poet considers spring to be the start of the year like a childhood is the beginning of a person’s life. Yeats then transitions to autumn after the subject has “chew[ed] the honied cud of fair spring thoughts.” These thoughts of honey and spring soon dissolve as the subject’s health begins to diminish. Autumn represents the part of a human’s life when he leaves the prime months of spring and summer; people start to be unable to complete activities and jobs that they once could. Early autumn is represented in the second quatrain, and then the poem shifts to late November/early December in the third quatrain. These two months represent the last years of a human’s ability to function for himself. They consist of retired days of “idleness” where people will hopefully be “content” to look upon their past achievements. The couplet shifts the poem from fall to winter, thus shifting the subject from a living man to a dead one. Death is the “mortal nature” of all humans and cannot be avoided. Some lines of this poem are written in iambic pentameter, but others include an......

Words: 366 - Pages: 2

Introduction to Poetry Analysis

...Victoria De Jesús ENC 1102 65431 Mr. Suderman November 9, 2009 Word Count: 914 “Introduction to Poetry” Analysis “Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins is a poem which uses an ample amount of imagery, words with connotations, and personification. Born in 1941, Billy Collins has since his time, been personified as the poet of poets, and has placed himself in the higher realm of fine poetry (“Billy Collins”). Collins’ poetry reaches beyond the common knowledge of poetry by stretching the general meanings of the English language and by forcing the mind to delve deeper to discover the true meanings of his works. Billy Collins undoubtedly withstands the title of a true poet. Above all, possibly being one of Collins’ most puzzling works of poetry to interpret is his “Introduction to Poetry”. Being one of his most recognized works, his poem is a perfect example of how he skillfully imbeds his feelings and meaning into his poems by painting numerable pictures and inserting small metaphors in which carry an unbearable amount of meaning. Upon initial reading, the meaning of this poem is unexplainable. What does Collins mean by his poem? Is it a teacher addressing his students on how to analyze a poem? By incorporating his use of imagery and other techniques, Collins guides the reader through the interpretation of his poem. There are many small messages in the poem, many of which Collins tells the reader what the poem means to......

Words: 931 - Pages: 4