Blank Verse Assignment

Posted: October 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

“Ode to Unrequited Love”

If I could write a song to make you mine,
I’d write a million just to be quite sure
That you’d be mine forever and for always
And I would be forever yours as well.
You’re on my each morning when I wake up;
I think of you before I fall asleep;
The sunshine of my life to melt my sadness
to pools of sorrow, untouchable to me.
I swear I’d do anything and more
to make you smile and relish in our love.
The setting sun and rising moon bear witness
to my eternal oath of love for you.
Alas, another girl has struck you more,
so all my loving efforts are in vain.

Close Read 6- Shiloh

Posted: October 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

“Shiloh”, by Herman Melville, is a beautiful poem about a Civil War battle in Shiloh, Tennessee.  The poem shows expert execution of poetic rhythm and rhyme.  The rhythm follows a general alteration between trochaic tetrameter and iambic trimeter, and Melville uses a variety of rhyme types throughout the poem, such as slant rhyme and end rhyme.  Melville also uses sensory images to describe the scene in the poem, images that appeal many of the senses.  Overall, the rhythm and rhyme of the poem are very lyrical and make the poem much more song-like and beautiful.

Close Read 5- Lady Lazarus

Posted: October 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

“Lady Lazarus”, by Sylvia Plath, is a chilling poem that alludes to the Bible character Lazarus’ rise from the dead.  The poem, to me, seems to be about Plath’s own personal suicide attempts.  The speaker states that “like the cat I have nine times to die” (21), which in my opinion seems to refer to Plath’s numerous failed attempts to take her own life.  The speaker refers to dying as an art, and claims to excel at it.  She also cites numerous incidents of the act of dying: “The first time is happened I was ten. It was an accident. The second time I meant/ To last it out and not come back at all” (35-38).  And in spite of these recurring incidents, the speaker mentions coming back “in broad day to the same place, the same face” (52-53).  In light of Plath’s own suicide attempts, the poem takes on a very eerie and haunting tone.

Close Read 4- We Real Cool

Posted: October 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

“We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks is a poem that is all about character.  The speaker in the poem speaks in casual slang.  However, the title of the poem is almost a paradox to the content.  The poem itself seems, to me, a satirical commentary on being “cool”.  Although short in length, the poem has a very poignant message.  The speaker, who claims to be cool because he or she “left school” and “lurks late” (2-3), claims that in spite of those who share the similar lifestyle being allegedly cool, they “die soon” (8).  That is to say that their lifestyle is dangerous, and thus they risk untimely ends.  The poem is the embodiment of the saying “Live fast, die young.”

“To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell is a classic poem.  It explores the relationship between the speaker and his lover, to whom the poem is directly addressed.  The poem starts off as a typical love poem, with the speaker citing that he will love this woman until the end of time.  The speaker embellishes this by speaking of specific body parts and the specific amount of time he will love each part for.  However, the poem takes a turn in the second stanza.  The tone shifts dramatically from that of admiration to that of seeming desperation.  The speaker talks about “time’s winged chariot” (22) and how the two don’t have all of eternity to consumate their love; how his love’s “long-preserved virginity” (28) will “turn to dust” (29) if they do not promptly consumate their love.  While the tone shifts, almost comically so, the images in the poem are very striking and beautiful.

Close Read 2- The Vine

Posted: October 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Vine, by Robert Herrick, is a poem about an erotic dream, put simply.  The speaker recounts a dream about a woman named Lucia, presumably his lover or a love interest, at the very least.  He dreams that his “mortal part” is transformed into a vine, and explores every inch of Lucia’s body and “enthralls”, or imprisons her in his hold. However, it is hard to distinguish throughout the poem whether or not the act is overpowering or consensual.  Herrick chooses words such as “enthralled”, “ravished”, and “prisoner”, which suggest a certain amount of violence and that Lucia does not want to accept the speaker’s advances.  However, he also describes his “ringlets” and “soft nervelets” as embracing and gently hanging over waist and head.  The reader is left the question the ambiguity, but finds themselves amused when the speaker describes his awakening to a morning “surprise” after his sensuous dream.

Original:
Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes, and see
That brave vibration, each way free,
O, how that glittering taketh me!

Decompostion:
When Julia wears fine silk clothes,
Then I think how nicely
her dress fluidly flows.

Next, When I look and see
That graceful movement, each way free,
O, how that beauty moves me!
_____________________________________

After decomposing the poem into more colloquial language, the poem is much easier to understand.  The speaker is so taken by the beauty of Julia and the dress she is wearing, that the dress seems to move on its own. The beauty of this sight just adds to the love the speaker seemingly feels for Julia.