Analysis of Do not go gentle into that good night
The main theme in the poem “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas, is an argument to fight against the encroaching arms of death. While the word “fight” is never actually utilized despite its similarity to the meter of the poem, words such as rage, burn and rave are all utilized in such a way that it portrays a fight against death itself.
In order to better understanding the overall context of the poem, it is important to examine the last stanza which states “and you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray, Do not go gentle into that good night” (Thomas, 1).
From this, the entire context of the poem becomes clear wherein it appears that the author wrote the poem as an appeal to his father who is near the death in that he wanted his father to continue to live and to fight.
The author phrases his arguments to fight by mentioning various types of praiseworthy behavior by “wise mean”, “good men”, “grave men” and wild men” (Thomas, 1). This is one of the symbolisms of the poem wherein the author attempts to parallel the traits of such individuals and attributes them to his father in order to convince him to live on.
This is seen in the use of the phrase “Do not go gentle into that good night” and “Rage, rage against the dying of the light” after each description of each type of man as if to imply that men of such character and distinction would not allow themselves to die so easily (Thomas, 1). This is a particularly interesting motif that the author is using since it shows that he is not ready to let his father go just yet.
This may be due to unresolved issues, the love of a son for his father or an assortment of other factors that are not evident within the poem itself. Other interesting symbols utilized throughout the poem are references to day and night as well as lightning and meteors. This is particularly interesting to take a note of since such methods of symbolism imply that the author acknowledges that all life must end yet before it does it must do so in a spectacular fashion.
For example, a day does not transit into night without a bright sunset; lightning is a brief yet brilliant flash of light while a meteor is a blazing trail of fire that lights of the night sky. This seems to imply that the author wants to have one last talk with this father, that he wants him to go out blazing like the sun, like a meteor or like lightning.
The poem seemingly emphasizes that his father should go down blazing and fighting and not apparently bed stricken as derived from the phrase “there on the sad height” which seemingly implies being placed on a hospital bed (Thomas, 1). Overall, the poem is an excellent piece of literature that portrays a son’s love for this father and how he wanted to have more time with him.
Analysis of Let Evening Come
When reading the poem “Let Evening Come” by Jane Kenyon, at first glance, it seems to be a poem emphasizing her desire for night to come however after several readings it becomes apparent that the term “evening” is symbolic of the coming of death. This interpretation becomes apparent after examining the line “let the cricket take up chafing as a woman takes up her needles and her yarn” due to the fact that a woman taking up yarn is symbolic of a person entering old age and taking up knitting as a hobby (Kenyon, 1).
Not only that, the term “crickets take up chafing” can also be interpreted as the time in which crickets stop making noises with their legs which either happens at night or when they are dead (Kenyon, 1). Throughout the poem, it becomes apparent that the author is not afraid of death and the reason for this is based on the last stanza which states “God does not leave us comfortless” (Kenyon, 1).
When taking this particular phrase and combining it with references to “a bottle in a ditch, a scoop of oats or air in the lung”, these seemingly inconsequential aspects can actually be combined and interpreted as being symbolic of God’s all encompassing love (Kenyon, 1). In that, there is no person that God does not love and as such even if death should come we should not be afraid for God is with us.
This I believe is the main theme of the poem and the message that the author is trying to impart to readers. It must also be noted that unlike other poems which speak of the coming of death this poem does not have the same haunting feel of regret or dismay rather when reading it what becomes apparent is a feeling of acceptance of the coming of death that the author imparts in each stanza and phrase and as such shows how her belief in the love of God keeps the fear of death away.
Analysis of the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
When examining this particular work by T.S. Elliot, one cannot help but think that the author wrote it while he was drunk or not in his right state of mind. It is riddled with random musings, thoughts and ideas that apparently turn and tumble upon each other until they seemingly coalesce into a stanza that barely makes logical sense.
It is hard to determine whether the author is being literal in some aspects or symbolic in others with thoughts and ideas seemingly implying one thing in one interpretation yet meaning another in yet another interpretation. What is evident though is that the “voice” of the poem, J. Alfred Prufrock, is apparently trying to tell a woman that he has a distinct romantic interest in her yet it is hard to determine whether he is talking to her already or to himself and reveling in his own imaginary world.
One line in the poem “the taking of toast and tea” and the stanza it is in seemingly implies that the character of Prufrock is on his way to tea and is going to “talk” to the woman so to speak informing her of his interest (Eliot, 1).
Taking this particular method of interpretation into consideration, it can be assumed that the jumbled and at times chaotic method of writing throughout the poem may in fact be the author’s way of imitating the jumble of thoughts and words that goes through a man’s head as he is about to tell the woman he likes that he likes her.
If this is so, then the author has fully captured the chaos that would normally be in a man’s mind and as such the lucidity and sheer randomness of the way in which ideas are formed and stated starts to make sense. In fact, it might just be that the inspiration for this particular poem is derived from the author’s own experiences in telling the woman he loves that he likes her.
Analysis of Disillusionment of Ten O’clock
The poem “Disillusionment of Ten O’clock” by Wallace Stevens is actually full of various metaphors and symbolic interpretations that speak volumes more than what is apparent in the poem. The main message that the author is trying to convey in the poem is that many people live hollowed out lives that lack color and make them seem like the walking dead.
For example, the phrase “the houses are haunted by white night-gowns, none are green, or purple with green rings, or green with yellow rings, or yellow with blue rings” is meant to symbolize the fact that the people who live within the house are like the walking dead “cold, lifeless and utter devoid of life” (Stevens, 1).
This comparison is further emphasized by the statement that says that the white night gowns are totally devoid of color. In this case, the color white symbolizes the bleak empty existences that such people live while the colors (green, blue, or purple) represent what is missing in their life such as joy, happiness and adventure.
The author does end on a hopeful note in the end though when he mentions the sailor who dreams of baboons, periwinkles and catching tigers in red weather (Stevens, 1). This is emphasize that not all individuals in world today are bleak, empty and devoid of imagination but rather there still exists hope for those with imagination and a sense of adventure.
Analysis of Design
In the poem “Design” by Robert Frost, readers are treated to the musings of the author regarding the grand design of all things and an implied question as to whether or not a grand entity shapes our destiny or if we ourselves shape our future. This evident by the first lines of the poem “found a dimpled spider, fat and white, on a white heal-all, holding up a moth, like a white piece of rigid satin cloth” (Frost, 1).
From this, it can be seen that the author has created a scene where there is a white spider, on a white flower holding a white moth and spends the rest of the poem inquiring whether even in something so small there is a grand design that placed the spider in the right position to catch the right kind of prey.
From this, Frost implies that all of us may be part of some greater design with coincidences appearing that may not be coincidences at all but rather are part of a plan for our lives. In this, Frost questions whether we have any free will at all and in fact are nothing more than moving parts in some great machine, being moved at the whim of some all powerful entity.
Eliot, Thomas. “The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Bartleby. N.p., 1920. Web. 12 Dec 2011.
Frost, Robert. “Design.” Poem Hunter. N.p., 2003. Web. 12 Dec 2011.
Kenyon, Jane. “Let evening come.” American Poems. N.p., 2005. Web. 12 Dec 2011.
Stevens, Wallace. ” Disillusionment of Ten O’clock.” Poem Hunter. N.p., 2003. Web. 12 Dec 2011.
Thomas, Dylan. “Do not go gentle into that good night.” Poets.org. New Directions, N.I.. Web. 12 Dec 2011.