Course Work Example: Poems Analysis

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University of California, Santa Barbara
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Course work
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What are the angles in line 5? Why does this metaphor seem appropriate to the situation?

The angles are the laundry on the clothes line outside of the window. This metaphor seem appropriate to the situation because the laundry in the cloth line are animated by wind and the spectral motion of the laundry makes them look like angles and flapping just as angles do with their wings.

What is the punctual rape of every blessed day? Who is being raped? Who or what commits the rape? Why would Wilber choose this particular word with all this violent associations?

The punctual rape of every blessed day is the new encounter with the physical world every morning. Since the world seem uninspiring and dull place where Wilbers actions seems to be the punctual rape of every blessed day. Thus, the blessed day is being raped and Wilbers actions commit the rape. This particular word is chosen to show that the day would be much better off if left alone contrary to to the appearance of human consciousness.

Whom or what does the soul love in line 23 and why is that love bitter?

The soul, which has been the observer, is united with the body as it wakes up. The union between the body and soul is the bitter love-the begrudging alliance between the spiritual awareness and the physical world.

Is it merely obesity that makes the nuns balance difficult in the two final lines of the poem? What other balance does the poem suggest?

The nuns are heavy, emphasizing their physical presence, which makes their balance difficult. The "difficult balance" also shows that people from all walks of life must strive to survive.

The soul has two speeches in the poem. How do they differ in tone and imagery?

The two souls differ in tone and imagery due to the mock-astonishment or mock-seriousness described by the impersonality of language that takes laundry for angles and the fastidious eloquence of the subject or language.

The spiritual world is traditionally considered invisible. What concrete images does Wilbur use to express its special character?

Wilbur uses the angels in the laundry to express its spiritual character.

The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop

How many abstract words does the poem contain? What proportion of the poem is imagery?

The only abstract words in the poem are wisdom and victory. The imagery in the poem is overflowing and abundant to help visualize the action.

What is the speakers attitude towards the fish? Comment in particular in lines 61-64.

The speaker respects the fish and recognizes the toll the battles have taken on the vulnerable fish.

What attitude do the images of the rainbow of oil (line 69), the orange bailer (bailing bucket, line 71), and the sun-cracked thwarts line 72 convey? Does the poet expect us to feel mournful because the boat is in such a sorry condition?

The speaker has moved his focus from the fish to the boat and he sees victory as the rainbow continues to bulge. Thus, victory fills the boat.

What is meant by Rainbow, Rainbow, Rainbow?

This is the feeling of victory for both the speaker and the fish. The speaker let the fish go because catching the fish felt like enough or he had much respect for the fish. Thus, the struggle between the rainbow and the fish seem culminate with the rainbow.

How these images prepare us for the conclusion? Why does the speaker let the fish go?

These images show the images of revering life, particularly the life of the fish that had struggled to live and endure. The speaker is overcome with emotions considering how tough the fish had to fight. She respects the fish and let it go.


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