Rhapsody on a Windy Night

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  • Rhapsody on a Windy Night
    • Form
      • Speaker: The street lamp also takes the form of a speaker. It could be representative of revealing something, such as the awful "memories."
    • Context
      • Could link to Eliot's hate of modernism
    • Meaning
      • Stanza 1
        • In the night, the floors of memory are dissolved. Could mean that the night brings memories in which they would rather forget.
        • Every streetlamp that the speaker passes "beats like a fatalistic drum", urging the memories to come.
      • Stanza 2
        • Brings the "woman" into the poem. She is probably a prostitute and a victim of the awful memories also: "dress is torn and stained with sand."
        • "the corner of her eye Twists like a crooked pin'"
      • Stanza 3
        • Memories are coming back to her, like her eye, they are a "crowd of twisted things," which suggests unpleasant  memories
        • "As if the world gave up."
      • Stanza 4
        • The young boy here could be representative of himself when he was younger and about how he has always felt as empty as he does now- "I saw nothing behind that child's eye."
        • The **** could be a metaphor about how the man feels like he has control over his life, but he is old/damaged and is 'gripping' on to life as much as he can.
      • Stanza 5
        • The moon is revealed to be a woman. Maybe the woman from before? This makes sense, because night time brings all of the bad memories.
        • The woman makes a rose from paper, but it smells of "dust and eau de Cologne," which shows even the most beautiful things can become tainted. Maybe she used to be very beautiful too.
        • The woman is as alone as the moon is, or as that single rose is. "She is alone." Motif of single objects to support theme of isolation.
        • The last part of this stanza suggests at the woman's occupation as a prostitute again, with ideas such as "nocturnal smells" and "female smells in shuttered rooms."
      • Stanza 6
        • Sudden abrupt change in tone. The man has finally reached his home and this part of the poem describes some every day objects, maybe to express the mundane-ness of his life.
        • "Prepare for life, the last twist of the knife."


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