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February 08, 2006

Three Poems

Poetry Selections -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

First of all, I'd like to give a round of applause to Lonigro who really nailed these poems. I have to admit, I feel a little stupid after reading Andy's in-depth blogs about these poems, and I wish I got as much out of them as he did. I did not, however, but am going to give it a shot at interrpreting them anyhow.

Because I Could Not Stop for Death
I had to read this one slowly over and over again until I got the jist of it.
I think this poem shows the Carriage as life after death. I pictured this Carriage picking up someone who died and riding along this road passing milestones and memories. The first time I read it, I portrayed Death as this evil character dressed in black with dark, dreary scenery surrounding their ride. As I reread it, however, my opinion about him changed dramatically. I now pictured Death as an ordinary man, picking someone up for a carriage ride to look back on their life. Many people seem to really fear death. I do not. After all, death is something as natural as birth and will eventually happen to everyone. Mitch Albom says in his book "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" that the point of afterlife is to have our lives here on earth explained.

I don't know if that is what I was supposed to get out of it, but I'm curious to see what others thought. I felt this poem had a positive feeling about it, did anyone feel it had a negative effect on them?

Spring and Fall
I found this one more difficult to understand.

It seems like this woman, Margaret, is grieving for Goldengrove leaving. Is Goldengrove a woman's name? I was thinking maybe it was like a plant or something.

I liked this line:

Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder

That was the one part that I could really relate to. I know I'm not old or anything, but when comparing my life now to when I was a young child, life is definitely crueler and unsugar-coated now. I can't imagine how different I will look at life twenty or thirty years from now.

At the end of the poem, the speaker tells Margaret it is actually herself that she mourns for, however, I did not understand why she was mourning for herself.

Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock
This one also confused me the first time I read it. I took a friend's advice, however, and read the poem by sentence, not by line, and it actually made a lot more sense to me.

I think what this poem is saying is that the house that is haunted by people in night gowns are all normal. They are not wealthy or high in class. They wear plain white night gowns and do not dream of great things such as "baboons and periwinkles". There is only the drunken sailor "asleep in his boots" who dreams of catching tigers in red weather. I'm not too sure about how to interpret this sailor guy.

Posted by AmandaNichols at February 8, 2006 04:19 PM

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Posted by: Andy LoNigro at February 9, 2006 12:28 AM

I think the "sailor guy" represents these mundane people's desire to get out there and have an adventure. He's dreaming of hunting tigers in red weather (which I gathered meant sunny weather, or possibly Africa)... he wants to get out of the day-to-day routine where he works, comes home and drinks, and falls asleep in his chair.

Posted by: Mike Rubino at February 9, 2006 08:28 PM

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