Friday, January 31, 2020

The Power of Illumination in Poetry Essay Example for Free

The Power of Illumination in Poetry Essay The stunning power of illumination found in poetry is a luxury for readers who love to read verses. Compared to other genres in Literature such as short stories or plays, poems offer insight in just one sitting, in a matter of minutes. In as few as four lines, the reader is offered an illumination about life, invaluable insight that would make him understand the events in his life and the world in general.   Such illuminations are found in the following poems: â€Å"London,† by William Blake offers us a tour of the London’s gloomy streets. â€Å"Traveling through the Dark,† penned by William Stafford, gives the readers a poignant account of death. â€Å"Ozymandias,† written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, introduces the concept of kings and royalty in a new way. â€Å"We Wear the Mask,† written by Paul Laurence Dunbar emphasizes the need for human falsities in society. â€Å"The Man He Killed,† by Thomas Hardy offers an alternate reality in respect to war. â€Å"The History of War,† by Billy Collins reveals the folly of cushioning the children from the spikes of the real world, of accurate history. â€Å"My Papa’s Waltz,† by Theodore Roethke offers the readers an endearing account of a father and son relationship. â€Å"Daystar,† written by Rita Dove characterizes one aspect of motherhood. â€Å"Spring and Fall,† penned by Gerard Manley Hopkins, renders the theme of mortality through a child named Margaret. The popular Robert Frost poem, â€Å"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,† documents the pull between responsibility and abandon. The wonderful poem, â€Å"Rain,† by Naomi Shihab Nye, describes safety through the eyes of a child. The witty poem, â€Å"Latin Women Pray,† by Judith Ortiz Cofer gives a criticism on religion. And finally, the last poem in the list, â€Å"Buffalo Bills/ defunct,† by e.e. cummings, mourns the death of popular cowboy, William Frederick Buffalo Bill Cody. In â€Å"London,† by William Blake, the persona characterizes London as a gloomy, oppressive place. The images portrayed in the poem are dark and disturbing. People’s faces are marked with woe and despair, and the only sound the reader ‘hears’ in the poem are cries. The tone of the persona is obviously dark and foreboding, warning the reader of despair and death.   William Stafford’s â€Å"Traveling through the Dark,† on the other hand, uses the issue of death to illustrate a lesson about life. The persona gives the reader an account of a dead deer, pregnant with a doe, lying on a narrow road. The persona is confronted with a dilemma of making a choice. To leave the deer and its doe on the road would cause accidents and therefore cause more deaths, so he decides to push the deer to fall onto the river. Rich in figurative language, the poem effectively uses the word, â€Å"swerve† to prove the point that big decisions in life might make a person radically change his convictions to get off the path he chose, so to speak. The popular poem, â€Å"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,† is rich with symbolism. The persona, who is making his way home, stops by the woods long enough to admire its beauty, but short enough to proceed to his destination. Here, the reader clearly sees the divide between the call of responsibility and the luxury of pure abandoned pleasure. The most unconventional style in poetry is revealed in the poem of e.e. cummings entitled, â€Å"Buffalo Bills/ defunct.† The verses are written in a different form and pattern, the lines are slashed to emphasize a point. The poem is an ode, or more appropriately, a eulogy for William Frederick Buffalo Bill Cody, a popular figure in America. These poems provide the reader a vicarious and enlightening experience about other places, about people, and about life’s big issues. The challenge for the reader is how to utilize this enlightenment, these points of illumination, for a better understanding of life.

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