Edward Thomas poetry

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  • March
    • Edward Thomas
      • Old Man
        • Lots of  caesura reflects his thought process  and how it has been shattered throughout time, just like how the sentence has been shattered by the punctuation.
          • 'I have mislaid the key.'
          • Poem reflects the deterioration of his memory. Last line is significant because it shows that although his memory will end and he will die, time will carry on 'without end' to act on other peoples memory. Insignificant compared to time.
            • 'Only an avenue, dark, nameless, without end.'
            • There is also the loss of identity explored with the loss of memory. The multiple names at the beginning contrast with the nameless end of death.
              • 'Old man, or Lads-love, in the name...' 'nameless'
      • Tears
        • Hounds and war...going back to animal instincts, death of innocence and peer pressure and group psychology.
          • 'Like a great dragon.'
            • Quiet imagery is used to juxtapose the loud, violent nature of war. Emphasises the corruption and evil in war.
              • 'In blooming meadows that bend towards the sun.
      • But These Things Also
        • Lots of monosyllabic words and minutiae gives the effect that the little things can create a feeling of regret and disappointment.
          • 'The shell of a little snail bleached/In the grass; chip of flint, and mite'
          • Lots of white imagery shows he can not escape winter.
            • He looses hope throughout the poem but the sudden noise (only one mention of sound) is a symbol of hope that spring will come.
              • '...and starling flocks/By chattering on and on'
      • Melancholy
        • 2 lines short of a sonnet (otherwise follows the sonnet rules). this reflects that the love he is writing about is unconventional and less fulfilling as he is in love with solitude.
          • 'Far more I feared all company:too sharp, too rude.'
          • Paradoxical ideas 'Yet naught did my despair/But sweeten the strange sweetness.'
          • Freuds death drive? Draws  on Keats poem 'Ode to melancholy.' One of his most romantic poems.
      • The Glory
        • As he lists elements of nature in awe he starts to feel slowly more and more insignificant. Abstract nouns give it a more edenic description.
          • 'The glory of the beauty of the morning,/The cuckoo crying over the untouched dew'
          • Leads to rhetorical questions. He is unhappy with not knowing all and being able to experience all of nature. Negative Capability.
            • 'Or must I be content with discontent/ As larks and swallows are perhaps with wings.'
            • There is an abrupt ending because if he didn't stop he would deteriorate and carry on with his existentialism.
              • 'I cannot bite the day to the core.'
              • 'And shall I let all go'
      • Words
        • The poem shows the collapse of his confidence as a poet. Starts of claiming to be a poet but at the end he excludes himself from the bracket as he feels he is not worthy.
          • 'Out of us all/ That make rhymes'   'As poets do.'
          • He wants words to choose him as he is anxious to choose his own. HE begs them for their secrets and their approval. This is reflected in the use of similes. He is scared to use his own words so compares them to something else instead.
            • 'Choose me, / You english words?'    'As dearest faces'   'as lost homes are'
          • Lack of structure (lots on enjambment) shows he is scared to restrict language and not do them justice.'
      • Aspens
        • About Thomas' feelings of insignificance next to nature.
          • Lots of sibilance creates the whispering sound of the Aspen. IT shows that it is continual and ever lasting.The Aspens all have something to say and the continual element reflects the struggle to write down events as a poet.
            • Consistent rhyme scheme shows his feelings of insignificance. Even though he is trying to leave a mark the world will carry on nevertheless.
              • Silence throughout the poem shows his feelings for insignificance to the Aspens. They are able to silence humanity yet somehow they mourn its loss.
                • 'A silent smithy, a silent inn' 'No ceasing, calls their ghosts from their abode.'
      • This is no case of Petty right or wrong
        • There is more enjambment than punctuation which is odd considering the form of the poem; proposing his argument.Unconventional structure reflects how his opinion is unconventional in the governmental structure.
          • Sense of hope, negative poem is illustrated with positive imagery.
            • 'And like her mother who died yesterday.'
            • Ideas of war as a cycle and a natural instinct. Rebirth and renewed life.
              • 'The phoenix broods serene above their ken.'
      • Rain
        • Progression, rain to tempest. Shows his insignificance as one raindrop in the tempest.
          • Lots of parallelism; birth, death. Semantic fields of solitude and water.
            • 'Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff.'
            • Keats idea 'half in love with easeful death.' Drawn to the oblivion. Freud's idea of a death drive.
              • 'Has not dissolved except the love of death.'
                • Death is treated as a rebirth and renewal.
      • No one so much as you.
        • Feelings of regret and remorse.
          • 'All that I ever did/ For you seemed coarse.'
          • Lack of imagery reflects the honest, final metaphor emphasis the true emotion.
            • 'A pine in solitude/ Cradling a dove.'
            • Half rhymes reflect the imperfections. Of love and prove.
      • The Sun Used to Shine
        • Ideas of war contrast with the unity and peace presented between Thomas and Frost.
          • 'We never disagreed/ Which gate to rest on.'
            • Lots of Edenic imagery being corrupted by war. War ruins everything and is constantly on topic. Less punctuation surrounding war topics...they want to rush over it.
              • 'Or crocuses/ Pale purple as if they had their birth/ In sunless Hades fields.'
      • Teams Head Brass
        • War corrupts nature. Nature however will have a longer standing effect than war.
          • 'If he had stayed we should have moved the tree.'
            • Crisis of identity, he wants to find his place in the war. 'Have you been out?'
          • 'I watched the clods crumble and topple over.'
      • Gone, Gone Again
        • Civilisation has estranged us from nature.
          • 'Dark and untenanted,/ With grass growing instead/ Of the footsteps of life'
            • Nature will take the place of humanity and cover it, it is more significant and powerful.
              • He believes his purpose is to give forgotten things significance. Its a poets job.
                • 'Still breathing and interested.'
                  • He is still able to observe so there is hope but everything else is hopeless.
                    • 'Not one pane to reflect the sun'
      • Lights Out
        • No regular rhyme scheme or metre. Reflects the spontaneous nature of dreams and the subconscious.
        • Some critics think the poem is about death not sleep. Drawn to the oblivion...death drive?
          • 'Here love ends/ Despair and ambition ends.' Dreams can express emotion.
          • Everybody is equal in sleep/death.
            • 'Where all must loose.'
            • 'That I may lose my way/ And myself.'
    • Nature...Everything is a disappointment apart from the Thrushes. Thrushes =symbol of hope.
      • There is hope in the lack of metre and rhyme scheme. Enjambment makes the poem seem under organised and chaotic but when you study it closer there are structures within (assonance) which reflects hope in nature.
        • 'Saying that Spring returns, perhaps tomorrow'
      • 'What did the thrushes know?'---- Nature = didactic

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