Poem Analysis: The Villanelle

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The narrator wants to avoid death. They view death as fearful, yet later accept it. They want to live life to the fullest before they die.
The simile, “like the measles-pox” is important because during the time this was written vaccines were fairly new and so something like measles was inevitable without a vaccine similar to how death is inevitable.
The author means visited by not really living life to the fullest. Before they die they want to experience almost everything there is to experience and not just walk by life.
A lot of this poem has to do with the time period, it is from the 17th century and so people’s views about afterlife were different from they are now, and more people were religious and believed in an afterlife. That needs to be taken into notice when
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This includes: “bright”, “blaze like meteors”, “fierce tears”, “lightning”, and “Old age should burn and rave at close of day”. The speaker says “dying of the light” to keep with the theme of the range of words he is using that all deal with light. He might also believe in an afterlife and so “dying of the light” could mean dying in only one aspect of life, life on earth.
The effect of the villanelle form is for repetition. I think teachers should encourage the writing of villanelles, however the student also has to be motivated as well and wanted to write something so difficult. This is because if the student has no ambition to write poetry and try writing something difficult it won’t be very useful to them.
She is rejecting the fear because she talks about death not in a scary, intimidating way. She uses phrases like “He kindly stopped for me—,” and “We slowly drove—He knew no haste,” to describe death in a way that isn’t horrifying for some people and they will be more at peace. She describes Death as somebody who is taking them for a carriage ride to her grave. The second stanza is an acceptance of death
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