Person versus Poetry

963 Words4 Pages
“One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.” Said by Voltaire can describe the two poems, Seventeen by Andrew Hudgins and Traveling through the Dark by William Stafford. Both poems are written in a prose fashion but mean so much more than the written words. At a glance, the poems both seem to be about the tragic deaths of animals; however, the poems differ in their themes of growing up in Seventeen and the intermixing of technology with man and nature in Traveling through the Dark. Seventeen is called seventeen because it is about growing up and going against society. This interaction with society also shows growth in the narrator. Seventeen is the age where many people have to decide what they are going to do with the rest of their lives whether it be choosing a career or going to college. The growing up starts to happen once the narrator meets the man that caused the death of the dog. Before the boy meets the man he uses vague adjectives for the truck, the weeds, and the dog; “The rope/ snapped and the brown dog hurtled into the weeds, /I braked, still pounding on my horn. The truck /stopped too.” (6-9) the dog is described as brown, and the truck was simply described as a truck, where at the end of the poem, the narrator recalls specific information such as, “His truck was a blue Ford, /the dog was a Beagle. I was Seventeen.”(33-34) the more specific adjectives show that he has grown since the experience. In Seventeen, the man represents adult society. To a seventeen year old, adult society may seem crude and brash. He is encountering a man that would rather leave this injured, defenseless dog on the road than take care of it. After cursing at the man, the narrator says, “I’d never... ... middle of paper ... ... of nature is to get the theme of the intermixing of technology with man and nature across; “I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red; /around our group I could hear the wilderness listen” (15-16) in these lines we get more of a feeling than an image of the intermixing of technology and nature. These two poems may seem like very similar poems at first glance, but when they are picked apart line for line to find the true meaning, they are much different. The underlying themes of these poems aren’t even close to one another. One poem describes a moment that changed a teenager’s life, causing him to mature in the process. The other poem describes how nature, man, and technology can hurt and better each other. By saying these poems are the same simply because they are about animals dying would be merely scratching the surface of what these poems are about.
Open Document