Poems On The Theme Of Death English Literature Essay

Posted on

The subject of decease and the deceasing have pervaded legion plants of art throughout the ages. “ Do non travel gentle into that good dark ” by Dylan Thomas, “ Remember ” by Christina Rosetti, and John Donne ‘s “ Death Be Not Proud ” are distinguished illustrations of verse forms where the affair of decease is being explored. These convey a temper of through the frequent usage of drawn-out metaphors ; mortality is recurrently personified, compared to the transition of the Sun, or even alluded to as a epicurean retreat. In add-on to these verse forms, Emily Dickinson ‘s “ Because I could non halt for Death ” , “ A Mother in a Refugee Camp ” by Chinua Achebe, and “ And Death Shall Have No Dominion ” by Dylan Thomas, employ a assortment of redolent imagination, nonliteral linguistic communication and descriptive metaphors to convey their several tempers and subjects of rebelliousness, loss, and above all, the certainty of decease.

Dylan Thomas ‘ “ Do non travel gentle into that good dark ” is a villanelle, a rigorous poetic signifier that consists of two jumping rime sounds and riming choruss. Thomas uses the verse form to turn to his deceasing male parent, keening at his deteriorating status and beseeching, beging him to fierily “ fury against the death of the visible radiation ” . The twentieth century Welsh poet compares decease with the “ close of twenty-four hours ” repeatedly throughout the stanzas, the metaphor organizing an built-in portion of the villanelle. Establishing the fable of decease and darkness, the talker urges the nameless hearer to “ Make non travel gentle into that good dark ” , imploring him non to assent to decease dispassionately throughout the initial stanza. Here, Thomas has created an drawn-out metaphor in which light and twenty-four hours represent life, and darkness and the dark typify going and loss. As the first line is a chorus in the villanelle, it is repeated a sum of four times, farther reenforcing the imagination. In add-on, the poet employs initial rhyme to stress the metaphor and to do the chorus more alluring ; “ travel ” and “ good ” along with “ non ” , “ dark ” and the ‘n ‘ sounds in “ soft ” and “ into ” bequeath a pleasing beat and sound.

An apostrophe to an unknown talker who is subsequently revealed to be Thomas ‘ male parent, the first stanza establishes the chief subject of the verse form: rebelliousness in the face of decease. Comparable to “ And Death Shall Have No Dominion ” , which likewise explores subjects of predominating over decease, Dylan Thomas uses the imperative signifier to leave a temper of rough despair and bitterness. The repeat of “ fury ” in line 3, the 2nd chorus, accentuates the ambiance of audacity and choler ; in add-on, clashing harmonic sounds and vowel rhyme in the words “ deceasing ” and “ light ” make a sense of decision. Another mention to the drawn-out metaphor of sundown and decease is fabricated in lines 10 to 11 where the Sun ‘s rapid “ flight ” across the sky is portrayed. The “ Sun in flight ” symbolizes the keen arresting beauty of life but besides highlights the much emphasized brevity and inevitableness. This construct of life being a beaming incandescent visible radiation is alluded to throughout the verse form ; bolts of lighting, blazing meteors, and other images of visible radiation and fire, which captivate readers with the thought of life with strength, are so contrasted against the suppression darkness and dark to convey the luster and impressiveness of life.

The metaphor of decease as darkness and dark is prevailing throughout “ Do non travel gentle into that good dark ” . In lines 4 to 6, 2nd stanza, decease is depicted as a certainty: “ wise work forces at their terminal know dark is right ” . However, Thomas continues by declaring that though decease ever comes to go through, “ wise work forces ” do non placidly profess. The work forces know “ their words had forked no illuming ” , a metaphor for how they have yet to consequence a great impact upon the universe, and so they struggle vehemently and cleaving to life for they have non achieved everything within their capablenesss.

Lines 13 to 14 in the penultimate stanza besides reinforce the impression of visible radiation and darkness. The simile, “ Blind eyes could blaze like meteors ” , implies that despite the fact that the work forces are frail and diminished, they still have power over the transition to decease and purpose to go forth a grade behind. Meteoroids flare overly bright for a brief minute, before they depart and darkness returns. These “ Grave work forces, near decease ” , intend to reflect and accomplish illustriousness before clip runs out as Thomas hopes his male parent will excessively. To stress the dramatic consequence of the metaphor, Dylan Thomas usage initial rhyme with “ blinding ” , “ blind ” , “ blazing ” , and “ be ” , the short consonant sounds giving it a declarative quality.

A less dramatic but however dramatic illustration comparing decease to something in nature resides in stanza 3. Here, the poet depicts the recent coevals of work forces as the “ last moving ridge by ” . This image of an ocean moving ridge, a cohort of work forces, is about to crash against the shore, which is a metaphor for base on balls off. “ Crying how bright their frail workss might hold danced in a green bay ” as decease attacks, these work forces are regretfully reflecting on what they could hold done if they had held on to life for a piece longer. The usage of the adjectival “ frail ” could either intend themselves are frail or the fact that though they may hold great thoughts, they no longer have the energy to set them in action. The usage of the word “ bright ” links in with the drawn-out metaphor and the colour viridity used to depict “ green bay ” implies the sea is brimming with life in contrast to the waste shore.

By tie ining decease with the class of nature ; dawn and sundown, waves on the shore, and meteors ; Dylan Thomas had conveyed a sense of the inescapability and inevitableness of decease. Mortality is ineluctable and merely like the certainty of the Sun puting each twenty-four hours, everything will come to go through. However, the poet insists that “ good work forces ” do non see it with apathy but alternatively “ fury against the death of the visible radiation ” .

Using the class of a twenty-four hours as a metaphor for life and decease is non sole to Dylan Thomas ; Emily Dickinson, a nineteenth century poet, published “ Because I could non halt for Death ” in 1862, distilling a life rhythm into a metaphorical twenty-four hours. Taking a different stance in the position of decease from “ Do non travel gentle into that good dark ” , Dickinson personifies decease has a gentleman, a civil and polite passenger car proprietor, connoting that deceasing and decease itself is non so much of an ordeal. The verse form inside informations a rendezvous and carriage drive with “ Death ” that starts in the forenoon and returns throughout the twenty-four hours and into the eventide when it grows “ quaking and iciness ” .

Line 9 stanza 3, the talker and her comrade base on balls a “ scene Sun ” typifying life pulling to a stopping point, the initial rhyme underlining the significance. In the old line, “ the Fieldss of staring grain ” set the scene and temper, giving the reader a sense of repose as an image of a field of aureate wheat rocking to and fro from a soft zephyr is established. Dickinson uses an anaphora of “ we passed ” in those two lines to mime the baronial gait of the “ Passenger car ” . Alternatively of feeling as if the verse form is at a deadlock, the reader is cognizant it is traveling frontward and of the transition of clip.

As the pleasant twenty-four hours attacks flushing, there is a sudden passage in temper. The conditions grows “ quaking and iciness ” , puting a more drab and grave tone every bit good as foregrounding the presence of “ Death ” as he is frequently associated with the cold. Lines 15 and 16 reveal that the adult female is under-dressed: “ gossamer my gown, my tippet merely tule ” . Repeating the first stanza this reflects that she is under-prepared because this passenger car drive was non her determination and therefore had non planned for it. The first line of stanza 4 contemplates the nature of decease ; “ Or instead – He passed Us – “ , describes the sundown. Dickinson suggests that deceasing feels like the Sun, visible radiation, and its heat are abandoning one to the cold darkness that is decease. Likewise, Dylan Thomas uses this sentiment in the phrase “ the death of the visible radiation ” . Emily uses the accommodation, “ Or instead – “ , after the stanza to heighten the alteration in temper. The long intermission between stanza 3 and 4 allow the reader to detect the verse form is developing a displacement from a cheery warm twenty-four hours to a chilly baleful twilight.

As dark sets, the passenger car approaches a “ house ” which is the last halt and concluding resting topographic point. A metaphor for a grave, Dickinson stresses the thought that the talker accepts and is self-satisfied to the thought of deceasing, a crisp contrast to Dylan Thomas ‘ fierce protestation at decease, by using an image familiar to the readers as a topographic point of rest, farther foregrounding the calm of the talker. In the concluding stanza, it is revealed that the adult female has been deceased for “ centuries ” . Subsequently, the lines, 23 and 24, unwrap that she foremost “ surmised ” that she was on the way to decease after detecting the Equus caballuss ‘ caputs, which were directed “ toward infinity ” . A devout Christian poet, Emily Dickinson believes in the construct of life after decease and therefore the noun “ infinity ” is used to stand for hereafter. This is ab initio introduced in the first stanza where Dickinson describes the entities in the “ Passenger car ” : “ held merely Ourselves and Immortality ” . Here, the poet capitalizes “ Immortality ” to put accent on the importance of the word. The fact that Dickinson uses immortality in topographic point of mortality gives the reader the first intimation that the talker does non acknowledge decease as the terminal but a transition into ageless life.

“ Because I could non halt for Death ” likewise has a repeating motive of inevitableness ; by utilizing the rhythm of a twenty-four hours to stand for life and decease, much like “ Do non travel gentle into that good dark ” , the verse form feels as if each stanza passes more rapidly than the last with the terminal nearing fast. While the “ close of twenty-four hours ” Thomas refers to in his verse form is something to contend against, Dickson creates a temper of unagitated credence through making imagination of idyllic scenery throughout the ‘day ‘ and the calm of the talker. The usage of a sundown as an drawn-out metaphor for decease in their several verse forms high spots Dickinson ‘s, and possibly Thomas ‘ , beliefs in salvation or reawakening after decease: for every sundown must be followed finally by a dawn.

Death is personified as a benevolent suer in Emily Dickinson ‘s “ Because I could non halt for Death ” . In crisp contrast, decease in “ Death Be Not Proud ” , though still personified, is depicted as an narcissistic bully who claims he possesses the ability to carry through excessive workss when in fact he can non. Write in the 1600s by the metaphysical poet John Donne, the Petrarchan sonnet onslaughts “ Death ” , mortifying and dissing him every bit good as comparing him to thugs and low-lifers in an apostrophe. Right from the first line, the talker scolds Death, lodging him in his rightful topographic point and commanding him to “ be non proud ” ; or in some versions of the verse form without the initial comma after decease, the talker is saying that Death is non so great. Though a few may believe he is “ mighty and awful ” , this fact is beyond doubt a mere fiction.

John Donne characterizes decease as a egotistic, pretentious nuisance who most dainty with respect with the exclusion of the talker. The undermentioned lines stress this word picture ; Death assumes wrongly that the power to stop life is delegated to him. By using the word, “ overthrow ” , in topographic point of putting to death, Donne has farther developed the construct of decease being a mere bully, person who hustles people out of their rightful topographic points. Like Dickinson, Donne believed in Christian infinity. The resulting line, “ nor yet canst 1000 putting to death ” , indicate that decease is simply a stage people pass through to achieve a new ageless life. During the Volta, lines 9 to 10, an intensification of the ill will between talker and Death cultivates. John Donne likens decease to an undistinguished slave, proposing “ Death ” does non move on his ain free will but is manipulated by “ Fate, Chance, male monarchs and despairing work forces ” . By capitalising “ Fate ” and “ Chance ” , Donne personifies them as the Masterss of Death. The topic is so denounced as an castaway, whose lone comrades are detestable hoods: “ poyson, warre, and sicknesse ” .

The thought of decease, in “ Death Be Not Proud ” , is non merely personified ; Donne besides constructs a metaphor by tie ining it with slumber throughout the sonnet. Within line 5, “ remainder ” and “ sleepe ” are portrayed as “ images ” of decease, intending pale imitations. As slumber bequeaths profound pleasance, decease should allow even more as it is the echt article. This is farther explored in line 8 where Donne, like Dickinson in “ Because I could non halt for Death ” , implies decease is a wages of remainder, where the “ best work forces ” achieve ageless remainder for their weary organic structures. “ And poppie, or charmes can do us sleepe every bit good ” : here, the comparing emerges as an drawn-out metaphor. The talker farther declares that if one desired a gratifying slumber, decease is n’t even necessary ; diacetylmorphine and thaumaturgy or potions could administrate the same consequences. Line 13 of the verse form farther elaborates on the metaphor ; Donne distinguishes the interval between the talker ‘s decease and the ‘Day of Judgment ‘ as a “ short sleepe ” . When the talker awakes, he will populate in Eden with ageless life in front of him. In the line after, the poet rationalizes that sing there will be no decease as everyone has the benefit of ageless life, decease as an entity, will discontinue to be.

John Donne ingeniously manipulates the construct of decease in three different ways during the last line of “ Death Be Not Proud ” ; foremost is the physical decease ( “ decease shall be no more ” ) , so the personification of decease, and later, decease as a metaphor for simple non-existence ( “ Death, 1000 shalt dice ) . Comparable to Dylan Thomas ‘ “ And Death Shall Have No Dominion ” in which the rubric speaks for itself, through the usage of strategically placed metaphors and implicative descriptions, John Donne successfully conveys the subject of decease ‘s insignificance to the reader. “ Death Be Not Proud ” besides alludes to decease ‘s relentlessness ; by comparing it to kip, which is inevitable.

Death can besides be described as recompense, an interval of relaxation at the terminal of a long weary twenty-four hours. Akin to Donne ‘s “ Death Be Not Proud ” which compares decease to restful sleep, Rosetti illustrates decease as a retreat, a reposeful rest. A nineteenth century Victorian romantic poet, Christina Rosetti wrote “ Remember ” in 1862, a verse form about a adult female whose decease is at hand and therefore expresses her hankering to be remembered. The sonnet commences with a supplication to an nameless lover to mark the talker when she is “ gone off ” , a metaphor for deceased. This representation extends to the subsequent line where the poet conveys decease as traveling “ far off into the soundless land ” . Rosetti ‘s usage of the noun “ soundless land ” describes a soundless graveyard, connoting a hibernating province and an being that is neither happy nor sad.

The thought of separation is emphasized in the undermentioned line where the talker beseeches her lover to see her even when he no longer beholds her characteristics or takes her “ by the manus ” . Lines 5 and 6 imply that the two were cabaling to get married and when the adult male ‘s visits to her grave, stating her of the hereafter he had “ plann ‘d ” , cease, he should still ne’er bury. However, by line 9, the Volta of the sonnet, the talker suddenly has a alteration of bosom. She decides if merely “ darkness and corruptness leave ” an feeling, if her decease causes choler or her lover merely remembers the ambiguity of their love ( “ Nor I half turn to travel, yet turning stay. “ ) , she instead him “ forget and smiling ” than “ retrieve and be sad ” . Christina Rosetti presents a mixture of contentment and melancholy ; the two lovers ardently exhibit their fervent love for each other yet, necessarily, decease pushes them apart. Using simple enunciation and conversational conservational linguistic communication, the English poet establishes ocular images of an invalid rustle desperately to loved 1s on their decease bed.

Chinua Achebe ‘s “ A Mother in a Refugee Camp ” likewise touches on subjects of recollection and inevitableness. Written during a civil war in Biafra, the verse form is a alone representation of love between a female parent and kid. Inspired by the troubles and agony of his people, the modern-day poet describes the desolation from the eyes of a fatigued, yet fastidious, female parent. “ A Mother in a Refugee Camp ” begins with an allusion to the spiritual image of “ Madonna and Child ” . To state that “ no Madonna and Child could touch ” indicates to the strength of “ her tenderness for a boy ” . The undermentioned lines illustrate the harsh, bleak and corrupting conditions of the “ refugee cantonment ” where Achebe draws upon the understanding of the reader utilizing redolent imagination and descriptive linguistic communication.

Picturing the occupants of the cantonment, the phrase “ common kids with washed-out ribs ” establishes a temper of disregard and despondence. The paradox of “ common ” and “ washed-out ” stress the lacking nature of the conditions they are populating in ; “ common ” connoting the abandonment of the kids by their defenders and “ washed-out ” depicting their skeletal frame as all the flesh has been leeched off by hungriness. Much like the dull shadiness of an old fabric which has been washed often, the kernel and spirit of these kids are fade outing as their lives ebb off.

The poet of “ A Mother in a Refugee Camp ” farther highlights the devoted relationship between the topic and her boy by comparing her against the norm. “ Other female parents at that place had long ceased to care ” stress the marvelous nature of her sedulous attention. Achebe intentionally conveys the denial of the female parent, as she rejects the inevitableness sing the decease of her boy, through depicting in item the processs she goes through to fix her invalid boy for the twenty-four hours. The female parent fastidiously “ rubbed him, down with au naturel thenars ” , takes “ a broken comb ” and “ began to carefully portion his hair. Throughout her disposals Achebe allows glances of world conveyance that her boy ‘s decease is so at hand. His hair is “ rust-colored ” , a colour of wear and disregard, and his caput is described as a “ skull ” bespeaking to her boy ‘s skeletal characteristics carved by hungriness.

Mentioning a pleasant life these two characters one time had, the poet contrasts this with an baleful stoping: the simile, “ like seting flowers on a bantam grave ” , demonstrates the extroverted decease of the kid. Achebe places accent on the female parent ‘s longing to non bury, to retain the memory of loving a kid and through the usage of blunt descriptions of a rough environment in a refugee cantonment and elaborate portraitures of a female parent ‘s love, he has conveyed to the reader a temper of denial and the inevitableness of decease.