This is a carpe diem style sonnet, discussing fleeing time and opportunities that must be taken advantage of. The rose is a metaphor for the virgins, life from the earth but that is fleeting as all plants have short lives. The sun is also a metaphor for a new day, new opportunity, etc. The obvious message is simply to seize the day, but specifically to this, we must keep the title in mind. With the intended audience being the Virgins, the true message is for the virgins to seize the day in what that would mean to them. The virgins need to take advantage of their youth, physically being capable to bear child and their attractiveness, to be wed. It’s funny that I think of seizing the day as an unrestricted, liberating experience but this contradicts my ideas. This sonnet tells the women to participate in the 17th century repression. It is in an ABAB rhyme scheme which focuses the reader’s eye to the last word. While the previous part of each line was important, the last word sets the context or further explains the previous. For example, “The glorious lamp of heaven” is “the sun.” Carpe diem isn’t restricted to a definition just of seizing the day, so someone could take it to mean losing control, going crazy, if they have been an overly serious, focused person. But the message from this piece very clearly in the end stresses the spirituality, a promotion of marriage, and a suggested equivalence between it and being “merry.”
Poem 2 April 4, 2013
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow–
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
Is but a dream within a dream.I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand–
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep–while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
Lucid Dreams April 1, 2013
I usually don’t have very cohesive, comprehensible dreams but the other day, I had one that was definitely an idea from a dream but I think could be very effective in the real world. We had just watched a video in history on a nature preserve in South America that is above a massive amount of oil. A demonstration was done in New York City, where an oil rig was placed in the middle of a public park, and people were furious. They felt cheated, powerless, like justice had been upset. Similarly, I dreamed of walls put up that people were walking into and then getting trapped inside-kind of like a maze, kind of like a cage. The people within and outside of the enclosures were both upset, feeling similar injustices. In my dream this was an experiment and it exposed what animals who can’t express their thoughts and emotions go through. Cages are just one example of animal’s plight but they are an important one. The key to animal mistreatment is the extraction of them from their natural habitats. Whether it is extreme mistreatment such as being caged in zoos or just caged in a friendly home environment, both are unacceptable. I think if people can remember how they feel in a situation just like an animals, they’ll be more motivated to promote animal welfare in every way.
Sir Gawain March 31, 2013
I read the previous part to this excerpt and got a lot more out of this specific part. This poem is extremely ironic. Sir Gawain accepts his fate on Christmas, a time of joy and around the time of a new year. Also, Gawain’s green belt, originally the symbol of safety, comes to stand for his very human sin, and finally, a symbol of honor.
The Green knight/Bertilak seeks to teach a lesson, as he appears to know what the effects of his actions will be and how the future will play out. He reveals that he was the Lord from the castle in their final meeting. The way that he tests Gawain on his proposed death day are evidence. On the first swing of his axe, he reprimands Gawain for being weak when he flinches. Then he stops a second time, claiming he was testing to see if Gawain was ready-he later explains that the first two blows were a reward for Gawain’s following their earlier
game’s rules. And the third time, his swing doesn’t go through, only to leave a scar and lead Gawain to state that it is now his time to defend himself-the third blow was for Gawain’s failure to return the green girdle to him on the last day. But because Gawain’s failing was only because he wanted to save his life, and not because he’s just dishonorable, the Green Knight forgives him. He leaves Gawain with only with a scar and a belt as a reminder of his very human sin.
This tale is also appropriately known as the “beheading game.” It is written in bob and wheel stanzas, which are the lines forming the body of the stave being not rhyming, but alliterative. Originating from Welsh, Irish and English tradition, it highlights the importance of honor and chivalry. From the romance genre, it involves a hero who goes on a quest that tests his prowess. There is a great use of description, detailed without becoming overbearing.
The seasons, games and green are recurring, especially from beginning to end, to highlight the character’s transformation. In the beginning, Gawain is confident which he mistakes for chivalrous and noble. He receives his fate and faces it at the same times of year. In the beginning, he plays into a game that in the end makes him a better person but which he now knows are better to avoid. And finally, the green belt that he is left with will forever be a symbol of the Green Knight.
I think this poem tells many great truths of life. First, of a well matched marriage-stubbornness and arguments are normal, either way resulting in the couples undeniable love for one another. The man at first appears selfish and mean to his wife, forcing her to do a simple task that he claims he is too tired to do. The wife has had it. Understandably, she refuses to do this one thing because the woman is always expected to do domestic “chores.” In the end, the man’s love for his wife shines through and the wife, who in my opinion, had the better reason not to lock the door, wins. This situation is just a silly escalation like so many things in life. Something so meaningless and simple becomes this fixation of either side that they must win. These two even go as far as to risk their safety, with really no valuable effect to their strife.
This is a folk ballad which is characterized by being humorous and one subject focused. The subject is conveyed through the literal words written and also ones implied-the implied thoughts are emphasized using literary techniques such as symbolism, repetition, and rhyme. Like a typical ballad, it follows a four line stanza and ABCB rhyme scheme. The title is repeated and variated to suggest the urgency of shutting the door, the danger they subject themselves to by letting the darkness of the night into their house. There is little characterization and the few adjectives used, describe the man and wife as “stubborn.” Though humorous, the ballad has a serious theme.
Senior Year Elegy March 29, 2013
I’ve hated, I’ve loved
I’ve cried and I’ve laughed
I’ve felt so alone, to then gain genuine friends
I’ve lost confidence and strength and I’ve found and accepted new qualities
I’ve shed a great deal of who I was 4 years ago and I know a little more about who I am
I’ve tried to crumple you up and shoot for the trash can
I missed of course!
The Seafarer March 27, 2013
This poem uses a great deal of figurative language, but all readily understandable and evocative. The movement of the sea matches the ups and downs the seafarer experiences, swept back and forth just like his emotions shift from sorrow to fear to pain. The use of personification can sometimes be far fetched but in this case, each use is subtle because it is so well paired. For example, hailstorms flew, roaring sea, and storms beat on the rocky cliffs, are all easily imagined because the sea can be violent and embodies all of these life/human inferred verbs. All aspects of the sea are described because this is what the seafarer knows best. When you are only surrounded by water, the sky, and few animals, each one becomes an obsession, key in describing the environment. He uses the sea as a portal to his life and psyche. He uses cold, dark, and windy words which can all describe the sea, especially when one is stranded there and nostalgic. When I read this, I felt a need to read it slowly, not quite peacefully, but like the movement of a calm sea, a body/voice stiffened by the cold. As suggested in class, I agree with the second half being a whole different poem because it is completely opposes every aspect of the previous half. It is full of life, discussing growth and God/heaven. There are still hints of helplessness but the recurring theme of God holds a more optimistic tone and message. Overall, I think the seafarer is undergoing the classic confusion of thoughts and feelings. He feels an extra strong tie to the sea but can’t deny his longing for land as well. He begins with the harshness of sea life but then how it excites him-“my heart would begin to beat”, “there isn’t a man on earth so proud.” He also longs for the life that blooms on land, the idea of a town. The poem concludes sermon like, emphasizing the power of God and how to live-“death leaps at the fools who forget their God.” Everyone has regrets, second thoughts, fears, especially when you are stranded in the middle of the sea, but mostly, the seafarer has pride and I think his final transition to discussing God proves that he feels supported and finally confident that he is “rising to that eternal joy.”