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Commentary - The Knight in the Wood

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Introduction

English commentary The Knight in the Wood In 1870 a poet named Lord de Tabley released a set of poems called Rehearsals one of which is the poem 'The knight in the Wood'. This poem is about the poet trying to convey to the reader his feelings towards art and his feelings about one sculpture in particular 'The Knight in the Wood'. The poet spends the first part of the poem contrasting this particular sculpture with the rest of the artistic artefacts displayed in the 'great Roman palace', the setting of this poem. It opens with Lord de Tabley taking a lot of care and detail in conveying to the reader just how imperfect this piece of art is and how it has been discarded due to its pore quality and imperfections. We are told this piece is a' rough' and 'crudely done' sculpture carved from a 'skill-less' hand, which helps the reader to immediately picture and acknowledge the sculptures poor quality. The phrase '.. spitefully placed aside As merest lumber, where the light was worst..' ...read more.

Middle

flawed features this one piece of badly done art can be identified with more than the meaningless and perfect paintings of saints and martyrs that fill the art world. The poet feels that this clumsily carved sculpture represents more of human life than a thousand picturesque paintings by Guidos and Dolces. The poet has captured this knight in such a way that although his actions are described as motionless the whole sculpture is a very good representation of our human condition. The way the horse is stumbling reflects how we plod our way through our lives, and the way in which he sounds the marsh could be seen as how we are always hesitant, testing to make sure things are the right thing to do. This poem can be interpreted in many different ways and I feel that this poem could also be looked at as almost autobiographical. It is possible that the art in this poem and the feelings the poet conveys about this one piece of art not being understood or valued, could quite easily be a metaphor or a mirror of his own poetry and how it wasn't understood or valued either. ...read more.

Conclusion

is particularly odd. Firstly its ' That's' is slang which wasn't commonly found in Victorian poetry and secondly with the exclamation mark it just strikes me as such a modern phrase. Throughout this poem Lord de Tabley has constantly used negative language, which creates a rather depressing mood. However I feel it is the theme of this poem combined with the negative descriptions that makes it ultimately depressing. If we do recognize the meaning behind this poem and fully accept what this poet is trying to say then what does that say about our lives. If what the poet is trying to say is that this shoddy, doomed sculpture identifies with and reflects human life so well, then it is a depressing thought to think that this 'doomed pair' stuck in this 'treacherous ground', 'feared to advance and feared to return' reflects our lives so well. Another meaning behind this poem could also be that human life is desolate. I think that it is because the meanings behind this poem are related to reality it makes this poem very. I thought what made this poem so effective were these meanings and how they were represented through the sculpture of the knight. ...read more.

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