On the surface, this poem seems to be about two people (a father and child) dancing a clumsy version of a waltz; however, upon closer inspection, it becomes apparent that the poem is actually an extended metaphor comparing domestic abuse to what is usually a beautifully graceful dance. The brilliance of this poem is in the irony that the metaphor presents: the horror of abuse to the beauty of the waltz. What makes this metaphor most apparent is the diction. While Roethke incorporates words like “waltzing” (l.4), “romped” (l.5), and “beat time” (l.13), all words associated with jubilant dancing, other words and phrases indicate quite the opposite of jubilance. For example, in the final stanza, Roethke writes, “You beat time on my head / With a palm caked hard by dirt, / Then waltzed me off to bed / Still clinging to your shirt.”
In the article, “Shitty First Drafts”, from the book “Bird by Bird”, the author, Anne Lamott, clarifies a common misconception that people have about good writers and their writing process. Good writers don’t just write fully formed passages when they first start writing; they develop their ideas by making imperfect first drafts, which she implies,”… I know some very great writers… Not one of them can writes elegant first drafts” (1). Lamott introduces her claim through her thesis statement, “Now, practically even better news than that of short assignments is the idea of shitty first drafts” and “All good writers write them”(1); this is introduced in the first paragraph.
Areas of thematic focus in of Rosamond Lehmann 's The Swan in the Evening include death and the power of writing (Séllei, 2009). Further, Séllei (2009) points out the ability for "the trauma of death" to act "as a source of writing" (p. 175). References: Séllei, N., (2009) The mother in mourning as the subject of autobiography in Rosamond Lehmann 's The swan in the evening: Fragments of an inner life.
Roethke’s My Papas Waltz Many literary scholars, researchers and readers in general, driven by intrigue, have tried to dissect, analyze, and interpret the ambiguous meaning of Theodore Roethke’s poem, “My Papa’s Waltz.” Their explications however, result in ambivalent, and sometimes controversial views. Some critics argue that “My Papas Waltz,” portrays the physical violence inflicted by a father to his child.
John Jeremiah Sullivan’s essay, “Feet in Smoke” is a poignant glimpse at life, the human experience, and its frailty. “Feet in Smoke” focuses on an experience that John Jeremiah Sullivan’s brother, Worth, endured. Touching death. The essay utilizes imagery through vivid descriptions and “Feet in Smoke” has a particularly powerful paragraph that uses robotic imagery foremost. This paragraph, and the paragraphs that follow shortly afterwards are the crux of “Feet in Smoke”.
Terry Tempest Williams wrote a strong and passionate essay, The Clan of One-Breasted Women, about her experience with finding out about nuclear testing in addition, what she believes was the cause of breast cancer that most of the women in her family were suffering from. Williams narrates her experience throughout the essay from the time she found out about the nuclear testing, through her being caught crossing into a testing site, illegally. The essay follows Williams throughout her experience and how it affected her family. Not only does Williams use diction, tone, and mood to get her point across. She also makes a strong argument through the use of ethos, pathos, and logos.
Mary Oliver’s poem “Crossing the Swamp” shows three different stages in the speaker's life, and uses personification, imagery and metaphor to show how their relationship with the swamp changed overtime. The swamp is personified, and imagery is used to show how frightening the swamp appears before transitioning to the struggle through the swamp and ending with the speaker feeling a sense of renewal after making it so far into the swamp. Finally, metaphor is used to compare the speaker, who has experienced many difficulties to an old tree who has finally begun to grow. Mary Oliver uses the literary element of personification to illustrate the speaker and the swamp’s relationship. She portrays the swamp as alive in lines 4-8 “ the nugget of dense sap, branching/ vines, the dark burred/ faintly belching/ bogs.”
The poet Ted Kooser illustrates the agonies which every 3 to 25-year-old must come toe to toe with. In this nine-lined poem he narrates the tormented journey of a young boy who 's faced with the overwhelming weight of liabilities that he must carry to his library. The uniqueness of this poem is derived from comparing a student to a turtle, which I will elaborate further on. The purpose of the poem is to use the melancholy of many students in order to reveal their hardships . Every apt pupil understands being immersed in stress and strain of academia in order to persevere into a brighter future.
The purpose of symbolism in literature is to represent the turmoil and struggles of the characters which cannot directly conveyed. Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel Speak relies on these as a subtle method of characterization and a way of expressing the themes of the novel. These symbols in the story are plentiful and make parallels to Melinda’s feelings, fears, and character development, such as mirrors, the settings of the closet and art room, and trees. The presence of mirrors in the story represent Melinda’s self-confidence (or lack thereof) and the level of acceptance she has reached with herself. Early in the story she decides to hide the mirrors in her bedroom and closet at school as a way of hiding from herself.
The first three stanzas as well as the first four lines of the fourth stanza constitute the lyrical voice’s complaint of his world, focusing on the desire to get away from such an oppressing reality (“Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget / What thou among the leaves hast never known,” (ll. 21-22)) by Imagination, by what is called here “the wings of Poetry”. However, from line 35 to 78 the speaker is no longer surrounded by that desolated world; he is now in another dimension, reality or place his own imagination led him to, this is why, at the end of the poem, he is uncertain about the veracity of this new reality: “Was it a vision, or a waking dream?/ Fled is that music – do I wake or sleep?” (ll. 79-80). He tells us he “cannot see”
In Theodore Roetheke’s Elegy for Jane, a teacher comes to terms with the tragic death of one of his students. He includes many of the traditional aspects of an elegy while ignoring others, however it is still classified as an elegy. This is a poem in remembrance of the dead written in free verse with five stanzas, consisting of 4-5 lines each. Its simple structure and lyrical verses allows us to create the image of Jane as a natural young beauty. His willingness to deviate from the norms of a typical elegy reflect the unusual relationship he had with Jane, and how because of this he feels he is unable to grieve properly.