March 14, 2018
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William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)
This poem is obviously about rising above the pain and problems common and uncommon in life. Kipling is encouraging himself and others to see everything as Ecclesiastes states, it all has happened before and will happen again and none of us are better than those in the past or those that will come in the future, so our best can only be shown by being the best we can be, to not let life get us down. Ecclesiates 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (NIV). http://www.biblegateway.com
Ellen Degeneres, “It’s our challenges and obstacles that give us layers of depth and make us interesting. Are they fun when they happen? No. but they are what makes us unique. And that’s what I know for sure…I think.” She encourages us all to dance instead of losing it.
Mahatma Gandhi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
He’s sort of saying, it’s all about the choices we make and even so, when life gets at us, we can still choose to be the master of our fate, the captain of our soul. Of course, this is all seriously easier said than done.
This poem was incredible, it is short and to the point. It is direct in what it is saying while still including several allusions. The line that spoke to me the most was a line that accepts the fact that we do not know for sure what religion, if any are true.[I thank whatever gods may be] He not only acknowledges the existence of a god, but also the possible existence of many gods. Also notable from that quote is the lower case use of the word “god” showing it as a category more than a name of a particular divine being. All while still paying respect to the gods, by thanking them for the creation of his soul.
This seemed to me to be about death being inevitable and that the speaker of the poem is not scared to die or even face the awfulness of the world. As much as you run from the problems of the world, to “the shade”, “the menace of the years”, also known as death, will find you. However, the speaker of the poem seems a little uninterested in avoiding death. Rather the speaker is trying to say, as said in the next stanza, that “I am the master of my fate”, or that they aren’t giving into the scariness of the world and the harshness of life because it is up to them to live the life they want.
This stanza resonated with me because of the resilience displayed by the speaker. The phrases “fell clutch” (5) and “Under the bludgeonings” (7) create an undeniable feeling of being trapped or oppressed by negative experiences that have been thrown at the speaker. Despite all the pain that has been delivered by their circumstances, he continues on with his heady “bloody, but unbowed” (8), meaning that his soul cannot be dominated no matter the type of trauma that life has thrown his way.
This is a strong Victorian idea that made this poem infinitely famous. Life will rain struggles down upon all of us and the writers at this time encourage strength to get through these struggles. This poem embodies that idea in the title alone.
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March 19, 2018 at 5:10 pm
See in context
March 14, 2018 at 9:34 pm
March 14, 2018 at 8:52 pm
March 14, 2018 at 8:03 pm
March 14, 2018 at 7:58 pm
April 27, 2018 at 2:08 pm
This poem emphasizes the cyclical qualities of life. This stanza acknowledges the transition from the innocence of youth into a complicated older society. It demonstrates how happiness and youth are fleeting. In the previous stanza we are told about a carefree old man. He demonstrates how in our old age we might return to the same wonderous joy of youth. Although the elderly might posess this same happy disposition, the still carry wisdom and pain with the memories of a complicated life. Many reminisce about the simplicity of being a young girl or boy where everything is exciting and new. It takes a realist perspective where, “The sun does descend,/And our sports have an end.” This poem demonstrates how neither happiness nor sorrow are permanent afflictions. The cycle continues with no true end in sight.
April 27, 2018 at 1:58 pm
In the final stanza we see that, while the narrator doesn’t truly move to the Lake Isle of Innisfree, he takes the isle with him in his thoughts, memory, and temperament. He is expressing how he will take refuge in his memory of the isle in order to live amongst society while embracing a feeling of peace and connection with nature. Even, “While [he stands] on the roadway, or on the pavements grey”, he is able to connect with the Isle in his , “deep heart’s core” and in his soul. This is a form of escapism, while he still allows himself to be somewhat entrapped by a materialistic society. He gives in to most social conventions while holding on to romantic ideals.
April 27, 2018 at 1:48 pm
This poem reminds me of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. The narrator desires to escape from society by living alone in nature. This is likely in response to an increasingly industrialized society. He glorifies nature and it’s peaceful qualities by describing the Lake of Innisfree with a natural supernaturalist perspective. This sort of ideal is expressed often throughout the arts and can be described as a romantic perspective.
April 26, 2018 at 1:51 pm
The final stanza in Dover beach is provoking in that Arnold speaks to lover about a dark and unhappy world. His is a realists perspective, likely in light of a declining faith in humanity and religion. This is a time, “Where ignorant armies clash by night”. In the dawn of industrialization conflict seems prevalent as society becomes materialistic. At this time society was fighting unaware over materialistic, and capitalistic reasons. Arnold has lost faith in humanity and struggles to move past, “The eternal note of sadness”. His is a romantic perspective where he looks at war, materialism, industrialization, and capitalism, as a true decline in humanity with no end in sight.
April 24, 2018 at 11:45 am
This poem exemplifies the transcendent ideals of writers in this period. “I’m happiest when most away” followed by, “I can bear my soul from its home of clay” suggests that the author finds happiness in spirit. She desires a freedom that comes with escaping the physical world before her. The, “home of clay” she speaks of is likely her physical body. In some religions a deity creates humans with clay. This poem is likely demonstrating escapism where the author would enjoy escaping reality if only in spirit. This is likely a response to industrialization which tends to strengthen attachment to the physical/material aspects of society.
April 24, 2018 at 12:13 am
Yes, definitely hearing your lover tell you they love you while meaning it is beautiful to the soul. Sometimes, though, feeling it is more important. The passionate intensity throughout the whole poem shows that she does need to hear it more than feel it. It soothes the soul to hear your lover telling you how they love you.
April 24, 2018 at 12:02 am
The forbidden fruit is indeed strong throughout the whole of the poem, I wholeheartedly agree. It seems that Laura is full of curiosity, but is that on the whole wrong? I think Lizzie’s warnings are what made Laura curious; a lot like the parent telling the teenager not to do something which in tern makes the teenager even MORE inclined to do it.
April 23, 2018 at 10:54 pm
This whole poem brings to mind an ending, as in a changing of the season; possibly a spring straight into winter. There is a loss and isolation feel to it, especially at the mention of Danae. I do love winter and I know now everyone does, which is why to me this feels like he’s writing about an ending of a beautiful spring.
April 23, 2018 at 9:52 pm
There are two phrases that stand out to me in this: train-oil breath and petitionary growl. I have no idea why, but the first thing that came to my mind is world weariness. Carlyle is excellently descriptive about this Hyperborean Bear, this Russian Smuggler. Carlyle is trying to explain to him that he is absolutely not interested and who can blame him? It’s only after he shows the Russian his pistols that the Russian backs off. An everlasting no? If the pistols hadn’t dissuaded him, Carlyle might have been involved in a Duel, which is not something he wanted.
April 23, 2018 at 8:54 pm
I, too, thought war when I read this. The hope he shows until the stanza you mentioned was palpable, but so is his despair.
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