I see myself on deck convinced his ships gone down o

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“I see myself on deck, convinced his ship’s gone down” o Metaphor for the idea that he will lose his father, almost into an “abyss”, because there will be no new worlds after death “He’s convinced I’ll see him standing on the dock and waving, shouting, Welcome back.” o “dock” connects to the idea of the ship in the previous line § Docks rise above water, symbolizing the father’s belief in life to come; contrasted with the sinking ship, symbolizing the speaker’s belief of eternal death Elegy o I find it hard to consider this poem an elegy. First and foremost, the poem is not commemorating someone who has died, but is in fact speaking of the speaker’s father who is still alive. Second, the tone is not so much mournfully contemplative as it is matter-of-fact. It is true that the speaker has contemplated the afterlife, but the way he presents his thoughts in the poem does not sound inquisitive. The poem can be regarded as an elegy, however, in the sense that the subject at least relates to death, and there is no fixed patter of lines and stanzas. “Form”- Elaine Mitchell Subject: form (in poetry) Theme: Do not try to force specific form onto a poem. Tone: light, mocking Discussion: Denotation of “corset”: tight-fitting undergarment that shapes and supports the body; Connotations: restricting, can’t breathe o “corset” is a metaphor for trying to force a poem to have form § Its connotations show how this can be harmful to the poem § Imagery of pain, tightening “Even endorse it to shape and deceive” o Some authors try to force the form of a poem in order to mask the fact that the poem itself is amateur
“Take if off. No remorse.”- do not feel guilty in having a poem with no form “It’s an ace up your sleeve” o Metaphor § Saying that giving a poem form is a tool that everyone has, so it need not be forced; if the “trick” is unnecessary, save it Ironically, the author chooses to pretend to not follow her own advice (she “forces” form on this poem) in order to prove how absurd it can make some poems look and sound. It should be realized, however, that this poem is simply mocking poems that actually force form; Mitchell carefully chose the words/structure of her poem to emphasize this point. o “Can you make a horse knit?”- a line having nothing to do with the poem, clearly used only to fit the rhyme scheme o The separation of “’s” from “It”- looks ridiculous to break up a contraction, but it is necessary to fit the form “make it behave” o Personification of form; relates back to the way corsets are restricting “Respect a good corset” o Let a poem come naturally I agree with the author’s message that form should not be forced upon a poem. A poem with form, such as a villanelle or sonnet, is at its best when the author has devised a clear plan in writing it. Forcing a poem to have form as the author goes along (as mimicked in “Form”), however, produces an amateur poem lacking quality and depth. Some of the best poems are ones that are free-flowing, without a distinct or restrictive form. In essence, authors should allow the structure of their poems to come naturally.

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