Simply put, Blue Girls is about beauty. The poem focuses on the realization and truthfulness that beauty undoubtedly fades. The speaker appeals to young girls, warning them to not put all their hope in their beauty, but to still utilize it before it diminishes.
By John Crowe Ransom
Twirling your blue skirts, travelling the sward
Under the towers of your seminary,
Go listen to your teacher old and contrary
Without believing a word.
Tie the white fillets then about your hair
And think no more of what will come to pass
Than bluebirds that go walking on the grass
And chattering on the air.
Practise your beauty, blue girls, before it fail;
And I will cry with my loud lips and publish
Beauty which all our power shall never establish,
It is so frail.
For I could tell you a story which is true;
I know a lady with a terrible tongue,
Blear eyes fallen from blue,
All her perfections tarnished &endash; yet it is not long
Since she was lovelier than any of you.
The "your" in this poem signifies young adolescent girls attending school. While the moral of the poem could apply to anyone, he probably chose young girls as his audience because they are often the most aware and the most controlled by outward beauty. He also chose the color blue here, which can mean "intellectual" when speaking of a woman. So, "blue" could very well refer to the knowledge the girls hold, or it could just be the color of their skirts. I prefer the first meaning, especially since we find out that they are attending school in the next line. A sward is a grassy area of land, thus suggesting that the girls lead a carefree life of "twirling" and "travel...
... middle of paper ...
... his point across here: beauty does indeed fade away, so some other purpose in life is necessary.
In this poem, Ransom offers the girls three main lessons, which, although they seem contradictory, are really closely related:
(1) Beauty does fade.
(2) Use your beauty as much as you can before it fades.
(3) Have something in your life besides beauty, so that when it fades, you are not left with nothing.
He describes beauty as delicate and rare, unable to be established. He focuses on the lightheartedness of young girls, how they are caught up in beauty, and he warns them to be conscientious of the fact that their beauty will fade and that they cannot put all their hope on their beauty. At the same time, he encourages them to "practice" their beauty until it is gone, and he promises to celebrate that beauty as best he can, with all its value and frailty.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Poetry is a condensed form of language. It says very much in very few words. The ways that make possible this “linguistic economy” are many. Let us take John Crowe Ransom’s “Piazza Piece” for example and see the various ways in which the poet has managed to enrich his meaning. Here is the text of the poem: Piazza Piece --I am a gentleman in a dustcoat trying To make you hear. Your ears are soft and small And listen to an old man not at all; They want the young men’s whispering and sighing.... [tags: Poems, Poetry Analysis, John Crowe Ransom]
1558 words (4.5 pages)
- The Old South and John Crowe Ransom Most remember it as a time of dashing young heroes on horseback, fair damsels in distress, and majestic castles hidden from the vulgarity of daily life by the cool shade of fragrant magnolia and honeysuckle. It was a time and place so far removed from today’s fast moving, billboard covered world that one could easily imagine that this lost civilization existed on some far off continent, or perhaps not at all. However, the fact remains that once upon a time the old South did exist, and there are many people still who feel that the loss of this culture and its ideals is nothing short of a tragedy.... [tags: John Crowe Ransom Writers Poems Essays]
1728 words (4.9 pages)
- With the dawn of the new south immediately following the civil war, southern literature metamorphosed to reflect a sense of nostalgia for what had been and no longer was. The literary canon of the time contained thematic expressions of yearning over the “Lost South” and the tradition and stability most writers felt the old South had once embodied. However, different writers utilized contrasting literary styles to convey this message. For instance, Thomas Nelson Page utilizes a sentimentalist, romanticist style of writing, while John Crowe Ransom achieves aesthetic distance in his modernistic approach to writing.... [tags: compare, comparison, contrast]
1306 words (3.7 pages)
- Ransom Written by Lois Duncan Setting: The story takes place in New Mexico Time: The story occurs during the winter. Characters: Buck is one of the three people who are kidnapping the children. He is tempered easily. He doesn’t really care for others much. Rita is Buck’s wife. She is not very pretty and gets drug into schemes by Buck. She feels he will leave her if she doesn’t follow directions. Juan is the other kidnapper who does more of the dirty work. He is the one who calls the parents for the money.... [tags: Ransom Lois Duncan Essays]
1833 words (5.2 pages)
- A Rhetorical Analysis of Charles Bukowski's Ransom Charles Bukowski is a fascinating writer, skilled with a certain vernacular and vocabulary that he incorporates into his works. His speech and writing style have a lot to do with the way a reader is compelled to read on. Bukowski’s short stories are uniquely captivating, each in their own special way. His story, Ransom, was especially appealing. This story follows Marty and Kell in their attempt to kidnap a rich man’s kid for two million dollars.... [tags: Charles Bukowski Ransom]
682 words (1.9 pages)
- Cameron Crowe's Film Jerry Maguire In his movie Jerry Maguire, director Cameron Crowe illustrates how failures and successes are all part of life and if you have love and are happy with your life then you will surely succeed. It is part of life to experience failure which propels one forward to take risks and make changes to find the answers on how to succeed in lives little games. Jerry Maguire is an inspiring movie based on this theme, demonstrating success and failure with business endeavors, love relationships, friendships and self realization.... [tags: Crowe Movie Film Jerry Maguire Essays]
816 words (2.3 pages)
- Nature and Procreation in Blue Highways In the book of a rustic American journey, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon continually characterizes the land he travels with simple, natural references. Least Heat Moon repeatedly gives the nature he discovers on his journey very fertile, prolific qualities. The essays often contains vivid physical descriptions of the environment, particularly its natural beauty. Least Heat Moon ponders human existence and its interference with the environment.... [tags: Blue Highways]
562 words (1.6 pages)
- Forgotten People of the Blue Highways Journeying along the back roads of the blue highways of the road maps, William Least Heat Moon discovers the forgotten people of America in Blue Highways. In the beginning, his trip seems to be motivated by anger and disillusion. But when readers look deeper into the story, they see that Least Heat Moon focuses the attention on how to "climb out of a world which he realized was impersonal and materialistic" (Lyons 63). By avoiding the large cities, he focuses his attention on the forgotten civilizations.... [tags: Blue Highways]
639 words (1.8 pages)
- Heritage of Blue Highways In the country travelers' Bible, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon takes a journey into his Native American heritage as well as into the heart of American culture. As a person of mixed ancestry, Least Heat Moon wishes to seek the history and experiences of his past in his travels. He is especially interested in the Native American element of his heritage because he had no knowledge of his ancestry as he was growing up. At the point at which he begins his journey, after being a student and scholar of Renaissance literature, Least Heat Moon is able to identify more freely with his past ("Whispers..." 58-60).... [tags: Blue Highways]
811 words (2.3 pages)
- The Blue Hotel As a recently published book on the works of Stephen Crane, it is rather disappointing to see some of the key moments left out of Stanley Wertheim's criticism in A Stephen Crane Encyclopedia about the short story "The Blue Hotel." Wertheim leaves out a key point in the characterization of the Swede and the plot of the story. This occurs at the point where Patrick Scully, in the story, persuades the Swede to stay in his hotel despite his fears and inhibitions about the Wild West by getting him to drink and not to worry.... [tags: Blue Hotel Essays]
342 words (1 pages)