Thomas Hardy The Ruined Maid
This poem is rather ironic and quite funny really. The subject, “Melia” is “ruined” but appears to be very rich. I’m supposing his definition of being ruined is different; he might mean that she’s ruined from country life and now a town girl. This reminds me of Great Expectations where Pip goes “uptown”. Everything in the poem is a list of contraries like in Blake’s poetry. Of course the whole aspect of gentility is ruined when Melia uses the word “aint” at the end. The rhyming of this poem is also odd especially with words like prosperity, company, and lady.
Are you digging my grave?
This is a very ironic poem which questions finding new love after the death of a loved one. He cannot essentially plant sorrow because the loved one is dead. That is the reaction in the frist stanza. The second raises another moral issue of caring for the dead, when, since they are dead and gone, they really don’t care if you care for their gravesite. They’re dead. The third moral issue is stealing a dead body. Since the person is dead and therefore doesn’t care anymore, it doesn’t care if you take him or her from one place to another. As I read the end of the poem I did laugh; such a good ending. Yes only a dog would be loyal to a loved one. I guess this is hardy’s satirical way of saying a dog loves me more than you do.
This is a very interesting poem since it equates modern warfare with the trumpet blast of Judgment day. Perhaps this was Hardy’s understanding that this particular war was the end of the world. This is also funny as the one before it and perhaps a bit sacrilegious since it makes God comical when he says go back to bed, the navy’s practicing their guns. Perhaps this was also a stab at the navy for having louder, more powerful, new-fangled guns. I don’t know. He also brings comedy in when he says that some are glad it’s not judgment day since they would be going to Hell.
William Butler Yeats Lake Isle of Innisfree
This poem is very somber and almost reminds me of the romantic poets in the way they used emotion and nature to stir up the soul. Yeats is remembering isle of Innisfree and the quiet beauty of the place. The structure of the poem is very odd since it has breaks or caesuras in the middle of the lines as well as stops at the end of the lines. It makes for a very odd sound but still very pretty. The last time I remember seeing caesuras in poetry was in Beowulf. The poem has very peaceful tone, a theme which is spoken of in the second stanza.
The Second Coming
This poem has an interesting philosophical and religious connotation to it. While the other lines may be easy to understand, the first line is perplexing. His theory of history is that it is a spiraling motion in the shape of a cone. Perhaps he’s thinking of the adages, nothing is new under the sun or what goes around comes around. Maybe he’s also thinking of the idea of the great chain of being, discussed in Pope. The imagery in the last part are from the Book of Revelation. I wonder what he means by lines 3-6. Is he saying that the middle of history, the life and death of Christ, is when anarchy happens? I would say justice and love are accomplished there not anarchy.
This is also a rather interesting poem. When I read the words the bishop said, I thought that he shouldn’t have said that, not at least in that way. The old woman shows better kindness and wisdom than he. The bishop basically said go and die! Her response is very much like Blake’s statements in Marriage of Heaven and Hell; there must be evil for there to be good. She also shows the bishop what true Christian humility is; something the bishop lacks. Her comment on love is also interesting. I guess love really can’t be love unless it is rent in some form or fashion.
T.S. Eliot love song of J. Alfred Prufrock
I’ve definitely read this poem before. It has some interesting elements in it. Why would you compare evening to someone being etherized on a table? That makes no sense. This poem’s structure is also very odd, as I‘ve noticed happens as poetry progresses into modernism. The imagery of yellow and time allude to decay. Another random thing in this poem is the fact that the women talk of Michelangelo; I don’t know any women who maybe even in those days would talk of him. I find it also interesting that he talks about his hair. Apparently that is a big concern to him.
The hollow men
This poem is interesting because the meter and rhyme are exactly written as if hollow dead men spoke them. They are monotonous. Some of the line ends themselves, without punctuation sound like they could have a stop. How is there shape without form and shade without color that seems impossible to me. Line 35 reminds me of a passage in the gospels where Jesus talks to Nicodemus and says that the Spirit is like the wind, it blows where it wishes. The final lines are very odd but solemn none the same. Does the world really go out with a whimper? I’m not sure I agree.