The New House by Edward Thomas

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  • Created on: 06-01-13 18:17
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  • The New House by Edward Thomas
    • Context
      • Edward Thomas was an English poet who lived between 1878 - 1917. Many of his poems are based on the theme of nature.
    • Content
      • Moving into a new house and anticipating all the bad things to come. This suprises the reader and challenged conventions associated with moving as moving into a new house is usually seen in a positive light.
      • First thing he hears is the wind ‘and the wind began to moan’. The wind is personified which intensifies the feeling of loneliness, as the wind appears to be his only companion. Which suggests he is on his own.
      • The use of ‘suddenly old’ has a proleptic quality, and also depicts the way the voice is feeling.
      • ‘Suddenly old’ also illustrates, what will happen during the time of living in the house, and gives the poem a sense of haunting.
      • Poem is anticipating pain and suffering that has not happened, gived the poem a pessimistic feel.
      • Could also be suggesting, that optimism is pointless, as everything is inevitable (future perfect tense).
      • Lack of ‘we’ in poem again alludes to the idea of the poet being alone in his house, which may explain his pessimism.
    • Structure
      • Structure is simple
      • Seperated into 4 verses of 4 lines
      • Stressed syllables come in the following pattern: 3,2,3,2, other than the 3rd verse which adds an additional syllable onto the line… 4,3,4,3 to elaborate the meaning contained in the rhythm ‘days without end’, rhythm elongated to emphasize the ‘without end’.
      • Also variation on the last line of poem, which has 3 stressed syllables, to put emphasis on the conclusion.
      • Poem uses emjambment sometimes
      • Caesura is used during first verse in lines 1 and 3, draws emphasis to the shutting of the door, and the wind moaning, 3rd line also uses emjambment as well again to elaborate the point, and gives impression that voice can’t control feelings as he hears the wind.
      • Rhyme on every 2nd and 4th line, rhyme is subtle so not noticed unless looked at closely
      • The metre is indented every other line
      • Certain number of stressed syllables 3,2,3,2 in each line, where the others fall he doesn’t care ‘Gerald Manley Hopkins stated this’.
      • Uses end-stopped lines occasionally to further point made in poem. E.g. ‘As I shut the door’… gives the connotation of a door shutting.
      • Structure of lines = A, B, C, B throughout poem.
    • Language
      • Personification used e.g. ‘wind moaning’.
      • The use of ‘old’ and ‘new’ used to emphasize the new house, and the oldness he feels. In a way suggesting that everything new becomes old, and that everything no matter how new and optimistic, will witness some kind of suffering.
      • 1st person is used ‘I’ used in voice, allows reader to directly know what the reader is feeling. Also gives poem sense of loneliness when put with lack of ‘we’ poem feels lonely, and audience feel as though they are the only ones listening.
      • Perfect future tense is used, which adds to the pessimistic feel of poem, as voice has pre-empted all that is to come in their life.
      • Repetition of sibilence ‘sun, shone’ give a gentle, thoughtful feeling to the poem.
      • Words repeted such as ‘grief’ suggests griefs occur more than once.
      • Emotive language such as ‘vain’ again create negative picture.
    • Relevance to Home
      • The idea of moving into a new house and feeling a mass surge of pessimism about all of the sadness to come, rather than feeling optimism that you have a new beginning.
      • Note the use of the word house rather than home, suggests that house doesn’t have a good atmosphere.
    • Other themes present – how they are presented?
      • The theme of old and new is represented throughout the poem. E.g. use of future perfect tense and talking of a new house contrast. The future is presented throughout the poem.
      • Nature is also a recurring theme e.g. ‘wind moaning’, ‘nights of storm’ nature presented as omnipotent and recurring, suggesting everything, particularly dread is inevitable
      • Pessimism and isolation e.g. lack of we, and ‘sad days where the sun shone in vain’ etc.
    • Links to other poems… how
      • ‘The House’ – poem instead of suggesting how bad everything will be in the future, looks back into the past and into a delapidated house where suffering has occurred, but happiness has occurred from the suffering.  


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