• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Baxter's "Elegy for my Father's Father" :poetry analysis

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Elegy For My Father's Father: An analysis What does death hold for an eighty year old man who has never spoken his heart? And why is he not afraid of what the mouths of the dead say? These are only a few questions among a lot of questions that could be asked about the poem. The way the poem is arranged is strange and only the things laid out plainly can be interpreted as what they are. But the ambiguity is intentional and adds quite a lot to the poem. Though the term 'Elegy' means lament, the tone of the poem is mixed, with celebration, sorrow and possibly regret. One of them may be for a life lived without expression of feelings, but the feeling expressed might not even be regret as in the end, his heart was "unafraid". The poem refers twice to the fact that 'his heart had never spoken'. ...read more.

Middle

Maybe love wasn't expressed in words. Baxter writes the poem as a one-stanza poem and this adds to the effect of the poem: it is the visual representation of the images he tries to evoke with words. The narrowness of the poem describes the erectness of stature of the man being described. This image is further punctuated by images such as "cairn", "tall tower" and "aaronsrod". The lines "And a flowering cherry tree/.../On his walking shoulder held" also shows the tallness though in a more roundabout manner. The "flowering cherry tree" is probably a metaphor for his head, the white flowers standing for his hair, an image being presented of him holding his head up high also being presented. Even in the literal sense, though, an image of his strength is delivered, along with the sense of uprightness. ...read more.

Conclusion

He was said to have not spoken his heart's desires even "in song", which corresponds to joy, or in his "bridal bed", in his most intimate moments. Nevertheless, when the dead speak to him, his heart is unafraid, which possibly shows that, taking religion as a theme and as he was a Protestant, God had elected him to go to heaven. This is not laid in black and white out in any of the many layers of meanings derived from the text and is at best only a conjecture. Although Baxter does not us with many answers and forces us think of even more questions, the words indeed tell us much, describe to us much about a person's character. They force us to think about age, about the memories of youth, about the hardships of life valiantly pushed through, and ultimately, death and how in the end we are all subjected to it. And in the end another question is asked: where are we going to go then? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Poets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Poets essays

  1. Analysis of "Elegy for my father's father".

    He was quiet and observant. He scrutinized every detail but he kept all his observations to himself. He confined his feelings and wisdom. He was very mysterious. A lot of imagery is used in the lines describing this. The last eleven lines of the poem are all imagery.

  2. The Bay - James K Baxter

    The cliffs were carved at the beginning with names and still carved at the end showing that the memories did not fade over the years, he just remembers more now and understands what he did not before when he was younger.

  1. Poetry analysis of 'Country School' Allen Curnow

    Its through words like these that the audience is able to sense a hint of unpleasantness in the past as the persona fails to hold an optimistic approach to this walk down memory lane. Rather the tone seems to be somber and a bit died down.

  2. IMAGE OF EAGLE IN ALLAMA IQBALS POETRY

    Pity the eagle that does not act like one, And whose claws never caused hurt to a bird, An eagle that is nest-bound, abject, crestfallen, And does not flap its wings in the blue space!

  1. To what extent is Hardys poetry dominated by relationships?

    He replies that there is an, "...underlying sense Of the look of a room on returning thence" The absence is not physical but metaphysical. This poem demonstrates how the loss of a loved one can affect perception. This very Joycean theme is a recurrent one, especially in the 1912-1913 poems.

  2. Analysis on Michael Longley's Poetry - Its effect on me

    Longley tells us of a civil servant who was shot by someone who "walked into the kitchen and shot him" while he was "preparing an Ulster fry". The civil servant, a personal friend of longley's is shot infront of his family, while still in his dressing gown.

  1. Notes on "Elegy For My Father's Father".

    what's on the next slide ?On his walking shoulder held? ? Metaphor Carrying the load on his shoulders ? carrying the pressures of life along with him Being the man of the family ? having to stay strong as the masculine figure and carry more of the load.

  2. Convergence of the Twain Analysis

    These stanzas also happen to concern the creation of the ship, and the creation of the iceberg, which are meant to become one in the end?in their sexual meeting. Furthermore, the poem is written in rhyming triplets, along with a tidal rhythm, which manages to capture the feel and movement of the sea in the rhythm of the poem.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work