A Song for Simeon

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  • A song for Simeon
    • Context
      • Simeon is a biblical story of a just and devout Jew who was promised by the Holy Ghost that he would not die before he has seen Christ , takes baby Jesus into his arms in the temple and can die happy.
    • Form
      • Simple rhyme scheme to give into the idea that this poem was written by a gentle old man waiting for his death
    • Meaning
      • The poem begins right off by bringing images of death/rebirth into it by mentioning "hyacinths are blooming in bowls"
        • Images of death are then brought in:"waiting for the death wind" "wait for the wind that chills towards the dead land". The speaker is wishing for death, maybe to escape religion, because of the struggle that comes with it.
      • In the second stanza, Simeon tells how he has been a good man, he has "kept faith and fast, provided for the poor," so he doesn't think his request for death is unreasonable
      • In the third stanza, he asks for death again. He begs: "grant us thy peace" before the hour of "sorrow".
      • In the final stanza, he thinks of the "derision" he may face, so he begs for his death and to not see God's "ultimate vision", though he has seen the birth of Christ.


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