16 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2016
    1. The smallest sprout shows there is really no death

      When the child first asks Whitman about what grass is, he does not know how to answer. However, he quickly finds underlying meaning in it, using the grass to question the possibility of death's existence and praising its universal qualities. This unique perspective that common objects can be divine or immortal is explored throughout the entire poem.

    1. Underneath

      In this stanza, Lowell's phrases become much shorter and more quickly paced than the longer, flowing phrases in the previous stanza. It seems like this is done on purpose to mimic the manner in which the speaker's passion has been abruptly interrupted by the cruelty and militance that killed her fiancee in war.

    1. dreams

      Although it seems as if the speaker has moved off of the battlefield, the scenes he subsequently describes in his nightmares are as vivid as those he experienced in reality. The clever writing technique that blurs the lines between dreams and actuality helps drive home the author's point that the death and atrocities experienced during war are never worth the glory, before or after the fact.

    1. Somebody

      Although Bishop has described griminess of the gas station in depth, the repetition in this stanza emphasizes another aspect of the place. She senses effort and love that someone put into making the station feel like home. The reiteration of this idea with the word "somebody" helps Bishop arrive at her final point: that, "somebody loves us all."

  2. Dec 2015
    1. bones

      The rhyme scheme in this stanza is abcdeee, while in the other stanzas it is ababccc. Interesting how the rhyme scheme becomes more regular as the poem continues, perhaps mimicking the increasing comfort and depth that the man and woman share during their relationship.

    1. He breathes here,   on his page.

      Interesting choice of stanza break here, seeing as it's the middle of a sentence. Perhaps this nonsensical, random split mimics the "impossible" and peculiar yet intriguing nature of Brian's drawing?

    1. trill

      Although there is sporadic rhyme throughout the poem, it is difficult to find a recurring pattern. Perhaps this is a stretch, but could this free form relate to the argument of the poem: that no physical confines (such as a cage or rhyme scheme) can dampen the expression of hope (the song of the bird or Angelou's fight for civil rights)?

  3. Nov 2015
    1. filament, filament, filament

      It seems to me that the effect of repetition here is to emphasize the spider's number of attempts to create its web, therefore emphasizing the effort and time required for the spider to establish a home. This allows Whitman to draw a parallel between the spider's web and the soul, which also wanders until "the gossamer thread" it throws catches somewhere.

    1. unless

      Throughout the poem, Shakespeare uses increasingly urgent questions and heavy/dark words (“this rage” “wrackful siege” “swift foot” “batt’ring days” “time decays") to ponder the fragility of life in comparison to the unyielding passage of time . The dark tone set by the insistent questions and expressions of concern ("O fearful meditation!”) are contrasted by the hopeful upturn at the volta here, where Shakespeare suddenly opens the possibility that beauty is a strong enough force to overcome time. Specifically for me, the word “unless” in line 13 triggers the new tone, since before this, there was no exception to what time could overcome and destroy.