The Idea of Searching Depicted in the Poems ‘For Once, Then, Something’ and ‘The Glory’

The Idea of Searching Depicted in the Poems ‘For Once, Then, Something’ and ‘The Glory’

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Both Robert Frost and Edward Thomas use the idea of searching as a main theme in their poems and this is shown in both ‘For Once, then, Something’ and ‘The Glory’.
In Frost’s poem, the main subject is about Frost or the narrator of the poem, looking down into a well, while others taunt him. He looks into the well, and sees his own reflection in the water below, but hopes to find something beyond his reflection, something, anything that could give him peace of mind, “I discerned as I thought beyond the picture… and then I lost it.” ‘The Glory’ however is about one man’s self doubt, and wondering about what ‘glory’ actually is. He looks into himself, and cannot find glory, and therefore looks to nature, “The glory of the beauty of the morning”.

‘For Once, then, Something’ is a sonnet, although it isn’t a sonnet in the usual sense. It contains fifteen lines as opposed to fourteen. It’s also written in iambic pentameter but consists of eleven syllables in each line, instead of ten. This irregularity in sentence and structure could possibly be connected with the fact that Frost is trying to emphasise the theme of seeing beyond everyday life and concentrating on the bigger picture, “As I discerned, as I thought, beyond the picture/Through the picture…”. ‘The Glory’ is written in one large stanza consisting of twenty-eight lines. This could possibly highlight the length of time it is taking the speaker to search for glory.

‘For Once, then, Something’ contains no rhyme scheme whatsoever, and this is possibly due to the fact that the speaker is unable to find ‘the bigger picture’ by peering into the well, “Others taunt me with having, knelt at well-curbs/Always wrong to the light.” This is unusual because Frost was a very lyrical ...


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Frost however includes the use of personification in the poem. He personifies the water droplet which falls into the well. The water droplet obscures the speaker’s view from seeing his reflection, and therefore the water droplet could be seen as a person who does not want him to see any further. (As well as personification, this area of the poem uses both alliteration and the three stages used to obscure the speaker’s view. “...and lo, a ripple/Shook whatever it was that lay there at bottom,/Blurred it, blotted it out”.)

Both poets use onomatopoeic words which sound like the words they are describing. Frost uses the phrase, “one drop fell from a fern” and Thomas’ uses the phrase “small dark drops”.

However the biggest similarity between the poems is that they both successfully communicate their feelings and the idea of searching to the reader.







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