Hey everyone! So this post was supposed to come out yesterday and I have no excuse, I just simply forgot! So let’s get to it:
And the main points:
- Initial, no-pressure read-through
- Look at things that catch your eye, judge mood of the poem
- Look at form, meter, what kind of poem it is, rhyme scheme, etc.
- What’s the narrative strategy? Story? Argument?
- What do you think the poem is about?
1. Initial, no-pressure read-through
It happens to me but since I started reading poetry aloud I cannot do it in silence now, it loses so much when it’s only read by the mind and the sounds don’t come out of our mouths. I’m sure I’m not the only one, right?
2. Look at things that catch your eye, judge mood of the poem
I have not read Frost too long nor too much, but the first thing that popped to me was the fact that there are two people talking in the poem, which is quite different from what I came to expect after reading “To Earthward” or “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, etc. It’s also expressly a story with almost straight-forward dialogue, unlike usual poetry.
It’s also quite a sad poem, because not only does it deal with the death of a child but also how two people “that love” seem to be torn apart because of not understanding each other’s feelings.
I really like the double meaning of the birch fence:
“Three foggy mornings and one rainy day
Will rot the best birch fence a man can build.”
3. Look at form, meter, what kind of poem it is, rhyme scheme, etc.
According to shmoop it’s Blank verse, or “unrhymed iambic pentameter”
4. What’s the narrative strategy? Story? Argument?
Despite the fact that the majority of the poem is comprised of the dialogue, there’s still quite a bit of descriptions that makes you understand where you are and makes the whole thing more vivid. It also follows the “show, don’t tell” rule, where both of the people are quite distinct and you can read the emotions on their own dialogues, from the sometimes-calm-and-sometimes-agitated impotence he feels:
Don’t carry it to someone else this time.
Tell me about it if it’s something human.
Let me into your grief. I’m not so much
Unlike other folks as your standing there
Apart would make me out.
To what Amy feels, what to me feels like just raw pain and grief, and restlessness:
‘Not you! Oh, where’s my hat? Oh, I don’t need it!
I must get out of here. I must get air.
I don’t know rightly whether any man can.’
5. What do you think the poem is about?
While I definitely think that it’s about grief, to me it feels to be more about the consequences of grief, the different ways people deal with it and the rift it can create when there’s such a difference in how two people deal with pain, and how much pain can blind us from the pain of the other.
But of course, what do you think?
What do you think of the husband? Is he actually trying to reach the wife? What do you make of the last line?
What do you think of Amy?
Cheers! by DibujEx