Form and its Relationship to Meaning in Poetry
A review of the poems "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas and "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams, focusing on form and structure and its connection to meaning.
# 102605 | 1,544 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2006 |
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This paper examines two poems: Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas and "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams. The paper explains that both poems are dependant upon their form to transmit their meaning, mirroring and reflecting one another in the interplay of interpretive possibilities and authorial intentions. The paper points out that the strict formal structure of "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" reflects the inevitability of death while amplifying the speaker's emotional experience, transcending the particular and engaging the universally human. The paper then looks at how "The Red Wheelbarrow" draws its formal structure from its object, re-presenting a complex image constructed from an interaction and synthesis of its components which resonates within the reader. The writer concludes that viewed as such, these poems illustrate the manner in which form is able to insinuate meaning into the events of life.
From the Paper:"The four mentioned 'types' of men in the five middle stanzas of the poem, though they have unilaterally failed to 'lighten' the 'dark' with their brands of enlightenment, are exhorted to yet rage against death and not accept it inevitability. The words of 'wise men' could not spark understanding in the masses, the deeds of 'good' men could but 'dance' a moment upon the overwhelming waters of this dark world, and the 'wild' men embraced the light of the sun to merely 'grieve it on its way' ineffectually. The fifth stanza sees those 'grave men near death' whose perceptions are cleansed by their reality also being called upon to abandon their joyful acceptance of inevitable death ( a poignant reflection of the acceptance of natural cycles the traditional pastoral would embrace) and also rage against this diminishment of life. Such an imploration asks an inversion of the traditional associations of light and darkness in that it glorifies this 'rage' as the light which dispels the darkness of death, as opposed to the calm acceptance."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Lanham, Richard. "Tacit Persuasion Patterns." Literary Theory: An Anthology. Eds. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2004. pp.179-180.
- Thomas, Dylan. "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night". The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. Vol. 2; 3rd Edition. Eds. Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellman and Robert O'Clair.New York: Norton, 2003. p. 110.
- Thomas, Dylan. "Poetic Manifesto". The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. Vol. 2; 3rd Edition. Eds. Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellman and Robert O'Clair. New York:Norton, 2003. pp. 1062-1066.
- Olson, Charles. "Projective / Verse." The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. Vol. 2; 3rd Edition. Eds. Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellman and Robert O'Clair. New York: Norton, 2003. Pp1053-1061.
- Williams, William Carlos. "The Red Wheelbarrow." The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry.Vol. 1; 3rd Edition. Eds. Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellman and Robert O'Clair. NewYork: Norton, 2003. p. 294.
Cite this Poem Review:
Form and its Relationship to Meaning in Poetry (2008, March 30) Retrieved July 03, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/poem-review/form-and-its-relationship-to-meaning-in-poetry-102605/
"Form and its Relationship to Meaning in Poetry" 30 March 2008. Web. 03 July. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/poem-review/form-and-its-relationship-to-meaning-in-poetry-102605/>