Poem Analysis

Break of Day in the Trenches Poem Analysis

Break of Day in the Trenches Poem Analysis

Break of Day in the Trenches Poem Analysis
Break of Day in the Trenches Poem Analysis

Break of Day in The Trenches Poem

Break-of-Day-in-the-Trenches-Poem
Break-of-Day-in-the-Trenches-Poem

Introduction

          “Break of day in the Trenches” is a poem, composed by ‘Isaac Rosenberg’, the great war poet during the modern age. This poem is an illustration of the futility of war and the folly of the persons who are engaged in the first world war (1914-1918). Rosenberg himself is fighting in the war as a soldier. Showing the futility of war Rosenberg says,

“Nothing Can Justify War.”

            This poem was written in 1916. It is a stream-of-consciousness narrative that takes the reader into the deepest, most desolate parts of World War I. Rosenberg wrote it in 1916. In this poem, he makes a subtle comparison between human beings and rats through the medium of the soldiers in the trenches. The War is between the German and the English.

            In the poem “Break of day in the Trenches”, Rosenberg makes a subtle comparison between human beings and rats through the medium of the soldiers in the Trenches. The rat which is o friendly towards the English poet will also cross no Man’s Land and make friends with the German enemy. The rat, that ubiquitous feature of World War I imagery, here acts as a reminder of the English and German’s common humanity, even in times of war.

About Isaac Rosenberg

            Issac Rosenberg is known as a great English trench Poet. His poem from the Trenches is recognized as some of the most outstanding poetry written during the First World War (1914-1918). He was only 28 when he died. He was killed while fighting in World War I. Among his world-famous war poems included – ‘Dead Man’s Dump’, On Receiving News of the War’,  ‘August 1914’, ‘Break of the Day in the Trenches’, ‘God’ and ‘The Jew’. He wrote, “I never joined the army for Patriotic reasons.”

Structure of the Poem

            The poem “Break Of Day In The Trenches” is written in a long stanza consisting of 26 lines. It does not follow a particular rhyme scheme or a specific rhythmic pattern. So the poem is written in “free verse”.

The theme of the Poem

  • The Horrors of War
  • The Irrationality of War
  • The Un-Idealizing of War
  • The Devastation of War

Summary of the Poem

            As the soldier was about to build the wall in the trenches, he was touched by the live rat whose cosmopolitan sympathies he appreciated. The rat touches the English hand and will even touch the hand of German Soldiers. It does not make discrimination between friends and enemies, this and that, mine and yours, and many others. Human beings are even inferior to rats in the sense that they make the discrimination. Human discrimination is a responsible factor behind the war. Human beings are so pervasive and hateful that they even shoot the rat if they knew abut its fair attitude. They transfer their mutual hatred for each other onto the rat.

            The speaker invites the rat to look at these eyes where the iron, flame, and aghast heart dominate. The human eye should be full of love, affection kindness, and benevolence. But unfortunately, those human virtues have been replaced by cruelty, hatred, a service of revenge, and the desire for mutual destruction. The speaker feels inferior to the rat for not being able to maintain universal sympathies like him.

            Next Speaker comments on human nature using the image of the flower poppies. Poppies have roots in human veins means to say it symbolically stands for humanity. The speaker further complains that “Poppies whose roots are in man’s veins” are dropping day by day. People are the flower standing for humanity. But the humanist flower has been gradually dropping flower. But the humanist flower has been gradually dropping flower. But the poem raises hope with the speaker’s claim that his poppy is safe for just a little while. Despite being a soldier, he is aware of human degeneration and this awareness is the source of hope.

            On the one hand, the Poppy is the symbol of hope in the poem. But on the next hand, it is the symbol of war, especially its redness stands for the blood of the dead bodies of the soldiers in the battle. The whitening of the dust on the poppy signifies the process of the dying of the poppy which metaphorically means the upcoming death of the poetic persona.

Conclusion

          Thus, we can say that “Break of the Day in Trenches” is recognized as the most admired poem of the First World War by ‘Issac Rosenberg’. The everyday horror of the war and the sentiments of the soldiers’ are expressed very well without any sentimentality.

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Let me not to the Marriage of True Minds

Let me not to the Marriage of True Minds | Sonnet 116

Let me not to the Marriage of True Minds
Let me not to the Marriage of True Minds

Introduction

            “Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds” by William Shakespeare is one of the most recognizable sonnets of all time. It explores the nature of love and what “True Love” is. William Shakespeare is credited to have written a total of 154 Sonnets.

Out of all the 154 sonnets he wrote, 126 are quite intimate in tone and are dedicated to a young male lover or friend ‘Mr. W. H.’ and rest to a woman known as the ‘Dark Lady’, but there is no documented historical evidence to suggest that people ever existed in Shakespeare’s Life. In this poem, he compares love to the star that is always seen and never changing. Even though the people in love may change as time passes, their love will not.

About William Shakespeare

            William Shakespeare was one of the greatest poets and dramatists of the English Language. Born at Stratford-upon-Avon, England. He went to London where his reputation as a dramatist and poet was established. During his literary career, he wrote a total of 154 sonnets, probably written between 1593 and 1598, which were published in 1602. The above-mentioned sonnet is sonnet number 116. He also wrote approximately 37 plays.

From and Structure of the Poem

          The poem, “Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds” as is consistent with the sonnet is 14 lines long. Shakespeare breaks from the traditional Petrarchan sonnet, which is usually broken up into an octave (8 lines) and a sestet (6 lines). Shakespeare, however, writes this sonnet as 3 quatrains (a stanza with 4 lines), with the rhyming couplet at the end. Later this form of sonnet writing was identified as the “Shakespearean Sonnet”.

            “Sonnets are largely written in ‘iambic pentameter’, which is also true for ‘sonnet 116’. The rhyme scheme followed by this sonnet is ABABCDCDEFEFGG – three quatrains and a couplet.

The theme of “Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds”

          “Love” is the main theme of the poem “Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds”, love versus time, the concept of true love, and love as a source of guidance also are themes that are discussed in this poem.

About The Poem

          In the first stanza of this poem, Shakespeare uses the metaphor of marriage to compare. It to true, real love. He is saying that there is no reason why two people who truly love should not be together, nothing should stand in their way. Perhaps he is speaking about his feelings for the unknown young man for whom the sonnet is written, Shakespeare says if love changes, it is not truly loved because nothing will change it.

            The second quatrain of the sonnet beings with some vivid and beautiful imagery. He can now tell us what love is – he says that love is something that does not shift, change, or move, it is constant and in the same place.

The speaker says that love is just like a lighthouse in the sea. It withstands the wear and tear of storms and remains unshaken in severe conditions. Just like the north stars shows the direction of the lost ship in the midst of storms, true love directs the wandering souls in the right direction. The worth of true love is also like the value of the North Star. The value of these two cannot be estimated even if we come to know their heights.

            In the third quatrain, the poet says that True Love is firm and constant. It never ends. Time has no effect on true love, love is not time’s slave. It does not change with the passage of time. Although time is a universal destroyer. It can destroy everything. It can cut down the physical beauty of a person. But true love does not come in the range of time’s sickle.

Time has no effect on true lovers. Here time is personified as a farmer harvesting the crops with a sickle. In other words,  physical beauty is temporary, seasonal, and immortal. He is simply stating here that love does not change over the course of time, instead, it continues on ever after the world has ended.

In the last two lines of the poem “Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds”, the poet says that if someone proves he is wrong about love, then he is never worth the following words, and no man ever loved. He is conveying here that if his words are untrue nothing else would exist. The words he just wrote would have never been written, and no man would have ever loved them before. He is adamant about this and his tough words are what strengthen the sonnet itself. The speaker and poet himself are convinced that love is real, true, and everlasting.

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Summary & Analysis | I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Poem Explanation

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Poem

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind   
and floats downstream   
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and   
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams   
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream   
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied   
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird  
sings of freedom.

Introduction

I know why the caged bird sings” is one of the most acclaimed poetic pieces which is written by prominent African American poet Maya Angelou. It was published in 1969 and after the publication of this book, she was respected as a spokesperson for Black people and women and her works have been considered a defense of Black Culture. In this poem, the poetess describes the experience of two different Birds one free and another caged.

It is the first of seven autobiographical works of the poetess. The poetess talks about Black authors and poets. She always felt that her literary works were not given too much importance because of the color of her skin. Although African-American people were free at that time still there were many restrictions on them in society and many black Americans didn’t feel free at all. Angelou also felt restricted from enjoying the freedom that had been her right as a human being.

About the Poetess

Maya Angela is one of the foremost 20th-century African American writers. She was a writer, poetess, activist, singer-composer, and actor. During her 50 years literary carrier, she published 7 autobiographies 3 books of essays and several books of poetry. She also received dozens of awards for her work.

Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies which focus on her childhood and early adult experience. Among her world-famous works include “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, On the Pulse of Morning, I shall not Be Moved and Shaker Why Don’t You Sing.” I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings tells about her life up to 17. Her works are widely used in schools and Universities worldwide, although her books have been banned from some U.S. libraries.

Major Theme

There are two major themes in the poem. The first major theme is Freedom. It is presented through the image of a free bird. The second theme is Captivity which cripples the birds in the cage. Another important themes are voices against Injustice and Racism.

Structure and Form of this Poem

The poem has 38 lines which are divided into six stanzas. There is no particular form of this poem, it is written in free verse. This means there are no single rhyme schemes for the metrical pattern that Unite all the lines.

Explanation of the Poem

In the first stanza of the poem spectacles a free bird, who is fearlessly souring with the winds through the sky. It is the time of sunset and the orange rays of the sun colour the sky in a beautiful shade. The stanza unfolds a bird flying carefree along the wind in the sky, enjoying nature’s beauty and claiming the sky to be her possession. The poet has alluded to the aura of Freedom as a delightful experience.

The second and third stanza shows a caged bird whose wings are clipped and whose feet are tied preventing him from flying away. The bird can seldom see from the bars of rage and he can hardly get a glimpse of the sky which makes him angry. He longs to be freed from his sorrowful life in the cage. He is helpless so only opens his mouth to sing the song of freedom. The bird is shown to be afraid but still, that fear doesn’t affect his singing and he continues to sing with a thrill. His cry for freedom to be free from the clutches of the cage is heard far and wide.

The fourth standard again takes us to the life of a free bird where he makes a flight with the breeze and fearlessly claims the entire sky to be his own. He can freely find his food in the garden. On the contrary, the fifth stanza depicts the sorrowful caged bird with his dead or suppress dreams. Being in utter restriction he cries out like someone who has had a Nightmare. Under the helplessness in the captivity of the cage, the bird only opens his throat to sing.

The final stanza is a repetition of the third stanza that again emphasizes the captive bird. His longing for freedom is so intense that is the reason his cries and heard far and wide. In other words, the poet seeks to draw the attention of the readers toward the downtrodden African-Americans and their experiences. The free bird stands as a metaphor for the white people and the caged bird stands for black Americans, who would continue to fight against discrimination and struggle for freedom which is their birthright.

Conclusion

Thus after reading and analyzing this poem we can say that ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings‘ by Maya Angelou has described the comparison of the life of a free bird (white American people) and a caged bird (black American people). Angelou wrote this poem about the contacts of struggle of African Americans at the time when they were forced into slavery. But at the end of this poem, the poetess has hope that this situation will change someday. 

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