I thoroughly enjoyed reading David Berman’s poem “Self-Portrait at 28”. Reading this poem made me feel sad, pensive and nostalgic for the events in my life that I miss. I’m not twenty eight, but I feel like the events that the persona talked about in this poem were very universal. I also sympathize with the persona’s depression and feeling with loneliness. I can relate to feel like I am bothering someone while I am talking to them. I often get scared reaching out to people because I am always afraid I am bothering them. The voice is this poem were very strong. The uses of imagery, tone and symbolism help make this poem strong.
A self portrait is normally a painting of the painter itself. The painting is a tangible piece of art because it is …show more content…
One of the most repeated symbols in this poem is the image of the hill. It is repeated in four stanzas. In the first stanza of the poem, the hill is mentioned as “the ideal of Virginia brochured with goldenrod and loblolly” (2-3). This hill is specifically in Virginia and is the image looks like something that is on a brochure with beautiful nature. The hill is mentioned again in the second stanza: “It is a certain hill the one I imagine when I hear the word “hill”...and this hill would be still beautiful” (1-2, 5-7). There is an obvious image of a hill that the persona is depicting. Hills in general have a top and a bottom. I believe that the hill in this poem represents the ups and downs of the persona’s life and how the persona depicts the hill as beautiful lends to him being optimistic about life. Berman writes about the hill again in the fifth part of the poem: “The hill out my window is still looking beautiful suffused in a kind of gold national park light” (300-301). The last mention of the hill is in the twenty third stanza the first two lines read: “I walked out of the hill behind our house which looks positively Alaskan today”. The hill is now mostly covered with snow due to the Alaskan mention. You cannot tell what the hill looks like with the snow covering it, which represents how the persona feels about his life. Another symbol is the persona’s dogs. Dogs are normally symbolized as being kind and loving animals, a man’s best friend. The second stanza of part five is: “I’m watching my dog have nightmares, twitching and whining on the office floor and I try to imagine what beast has cornered him in the meadow where his dreams are set”. This stanza represents that the persona as a young person. The persona feels that he has not lived out his dreams yet, but he cannot achieve them because he is not happy. The dog is again mentioned: “but I was with our young dog and he was running through the tall grass like running
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The speaker’s rocky encounter with her ex-lover is captured through personification, diction, and tone. Overall, the poem recaps the inner conflicts that the speak endures while speaking to her ex-lover. She ponders through stages of the past and present. Memories of how they were together and the present and how she feels about him. Never once did she broadcast her emotions towards him, demonstrating the strong facade on the outside, but the crumbling structure on the inside.
The mention of the “one” Vermont poem is especially significant, as it implies that all of their poems are essentially the same, suggesting a uniformity of experiences among travelers, that the vast majority of travelers experience the same tranquility. Yet, the speaker’s experiences with nature are uniquely different, as her experience is tainted by racism that is inescapable even in the beauty of Vermont nature. Thus, because of her position in society, she isn’t allowed the same access to nature as every other traveler, making it impossible for her to write that “one Vermont poem” while still staying true to her
When our lives begin, we are innocent and life is beautiful, but as we grow older and time slowly and quickly passes we discover that not everything about life is quite so pleasing. Along with the joys and happiness we experience there is also pain, sadness and loneliness. Hemingway's "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," and Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" both tell us about older men who are experiencing these dreadful emotions.
The essay How You See Yourself by Nicholas Mirzoeff discusses the evolution of art. The author discusses the use of art to represent changing identities over the years including cultural practices and societal expectations. The selfie, according to Nicholas Mirzoeff’s essay, is the equivalent of a self-portrait in the previous centuries preceding the technological development required for the present day selfie. The essay explores the different periods and the significance of art, particularly self-portraits, the selfies of the time, and their development over time. The author focuses on different themes including heroism, gender definition, and the focus of an image. Mirzoeff effectively provides examples illustrating and reinforcing the themes he highlights in his essay.
trauma can have on someone, even in adulthood. The speaker of the poem invokes sadness and
The word ash is repeated multiple times and represents feelings such as depression and death. The valley is becoming more and more of a waste land, the ash is taking over the farms and land which expresses that life in the valley can only be dull. There is nothing that isn’t covered by ash.
During the process of growing up, we are taught to believe that life is relatively colorful and rich; however, if this view is right, how can we explain why literature illustrates the negative and painful feeling of life? Thus, sorrow is inescapable; as it increase one cannot hide it. From the moment we are born into the world, people suffer from different kinds of sorrow. Even though we believe there are so many happy things around us, these things are heartbreaking. The poems “Tips from My Father” by Carol Ann Davis, “Not Waving but Drowning” by Stevie Smith, and “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop convey the sorrow about growing up, about sorrowful pretending, and even about life itself.
In her poem entitled “The Poet with His Face in His Hands,” Mary Oliver utilizes the voice of her work’s speaker to dismiss and belittle those poets who focus on their own misery in their writings. Although the poem models itself a scolding, Oliver wrote the work as a poem with the purpose of delivering an argument against the usage of depressing, personal subject matters for poetry. Oliver’s intention is to dissuade her fellow poets from promoting misery and personal mistakes in their works, and she accomplishes this task through her speaker’s diction and tone, the imagery, setting, and mood created within the content of the poem itself, and the incorporation of such persuasive structures as enjambment and juxtaposition to bolster the poem’s
Allusion first helped describe the ironic aspects of the poem by focusing on the odd setting of the poem. Collins description of the speaker’s town shares many traits of a regular town, but also incorporates traits from a school environment. The following lines will help explain the setting and how it relates to a school environment. The first example of this is shown in lines four through six; “I can see it nestled in a paper landscape, chalk dust flurrying down in winter, nights dark as a blackboard” (Collins). In these lines Collins describes the physical setting outside. Paper landscape is being compared to actual grass landscape outside. Chalk dust is white and powdery, as is fresh snow falling from the sky. And black boards are dark and cold, as are dark nights when the sun goes down. Chalk, paper, and black boards are all found in a school environment, and each one of these aspects help bring the setting to life in the readers mind. The reader can relate to what they are picturing as they continue reading the poem. Th...
As one of America’s leading contemporary poet’s, Sharon Olds is known for the intense personal and emotional poetry that she writes. Her ability to intimately and graphically divulge details of her personal life allows readers to delve into the deepest parts of not only her mind, but of their own as well. Sharon Olds uses her writing to allow readers to experience the good and bad of life through her eyes, yet allows readers the interpretive freedom to define her works as they fit into their own lives. Olds’ ability to depict both wonderful and tragic events in stories such as “First Thanksgiving” and “Still Life in Landscape”with beautifully gruesome clarity allow readers a gritty real-life experience unlike any other.
In “The Mountain”, Robert Frost uses analogies to convey his message. The mountain is really the center of the town. Frost’s analogies are used in the themes of personification, nature, and metaphors. He also incorporates imagery along with the themes he uses. His comparisons allows the reader to observe how the mountain plays a tremendous role not only in the town but throughout the poem.
The poem contains the central idea that many of these children never understood what home really means. In Native American culture the people venerate earth and it is referred to as mother nature which we see in the poem. The rails cut right through their home but they don’t view them like the average person. They view the tracks as if they are scars across mother earths face and her face is the Native American’s homeland. She is scarred for eternity but she is perfect in their dreams. This symbolism is ironic because the children try to reach home using the railroad that ruined natural life for them and many other Native Americans. In the second stanza the speaker says “The worn-down welts of ancient punishments lead back and fourth” (15-16). Which can be talking about the marks on the children’s bodies after getting caught while running away. But the “word-down welts” can also symbolize the welts that were put on mother nature throughout history. The last five lines of the poem sums up the symbol of hope through their memories and dreams. The last line of the poem says, “the spines of names and leaves.” (20-24). The “spines” symbolize the physical strength of the children and their ability to maintain hope individually “names”, and for their tribe
The valley is described as a “desolate” place where “ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills into grotesque gardens”. (21) Ashes that dominate the area take the shape of natural greenery. The term “grotesque gardens” uses alliteration, with juxtaposition; to highlight the odd pairing of ashes and greenery. Ashes are associated with death while ridges and “gardens” represent the potential to flourish and grow in the promise and ideal of equality as in “the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams.” (143) The trees that once stood here were able to speak to man’s dreams, which allude to America, the land able to speak to man’s dreams and capacity for wonder. All this is replaced by grey ash that suffocates the inhabitants, restricting them to their social class. This presents a bleak image of hopelessness that surrounds the valley.
Walt Whitman used free verse in “Song of Myself” in order to connect with the common man and his American readers. In this first person narrative, Whitman deconstructs the “self” into many different sections that all are a part of the celebration of the individual. Some of the topics he breaks the “self” into are self- identity, and human exploration (including the human body and sexuality). In the poem, Whitman uses a speaker to exclaim that for individuals to grow they must discover themselves spiritually, physically, and mentally. The speaker in the poem