An Analysis of “Singing to Wolves”
The poem, “Singing to Wolves” is a modern poem, that tries to explain to the reader how wonderful solitude is, but also considers it’s negative side, with the example of a lonely girl. The poem starts off with a brief encounter into the history of Wales, and talks about the Llanthony monks, who the reader is told were unloved by the Welsh, and thus driven to a lonely life in the wilderness. By reading this poem, it seems as though being unloved is a popular reason for solitude. After this brief insight into Wales’ history the reader is then taken back to the realms of modern day living.
“Why should we stay here singing to wolves?”
This opening sentence seems to act as a kind of question, which is answered in the course of the poem. At first it sounds like a stupid thing to do, but eventually the reader realises that the wolves become very symbolic in the poem. Wolves are thought of as being ruthless hunters of the wilderness, and one could hardly imagine them being impressed by the singing of any person.
For the monks the Wolves were those that despised them (the Welsh), and by “singing” to them, they were actually trying to convince them of their belief etc. And seeing as no-one ever listened to them, they may as well sing to the wolves, as they take just as much notice of them.
However the wolves also have another interesting metaphorical meaning in the poem. These days they no longer roam Britain, and have all died out,&nb...
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Another interesting thing that the poet makes use of is semicolons. These are used throughout the three stanza’s. The point of these semicolons is to make the sentences seem longer, and bring a certain amount of continuity to it.
“…said Llanthony monks; and left for soft living…”
Once one has recognised the ideas behind the text, one realises that the poem tries to make the reader think about the world he lives in, and maybe even prompt him into looking more deeply into his way of life, and try not to simply follow the pattern that everybody else makes. The poet has don this by using the example of the monks in the past years, and the little girl in our modern world. Maybe he wants the reader to find a medium between becoming a statistic, and singing to wolves.
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