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Elegy for drowned children.

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Introduction

Elegy for drowned children. (pg 60) An Elegy is a sad or sorrowful poem, reflection or song written for a deceased person and deceased people. An elegy laments a death; it praises the deceased and attempts to find consolation for those who are still alive. The poem Elegy for drowned children expresses sadness for the children who have passed in the water, but yet leaves some consolation for those left on earth and the ones who have actually survived "the net" of the King, and not drowned. King Neptune, who is the ruler of the sea, is seen to catch the kids "one by one" in his "sure" net. Dawe suggests that any child is vulnerable to this catch. The metaphor suggested is that humans cannot control the drowning of the children; they cannot control the sea, or water, so they cannot control the uncontrollable. ...read more.

Middle

"The voices of parents calling, calling like birds by the waters edge" The images provoke a thought in the reader that the worried parents are calling out for their missing child and "the little heaps of clothes, the futures carefully planned?" tells of the futures that the children will never know. However Dawe also deals with the children who have escaped the "net", there is no tragedy, no grief and this is a stark contrast to a poem that deals with death and sadness. This almost appears to be a dream of these children, maybe in reality they are home safe. The final images have great power: the inviting sound of the "whispering shore" which has a hidden tragedy, the invitingness of the water to lure kids into the "net". The earlier victims of the water were caught by this hidden power. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lead them to forget the world above, the aching air, birds, spring? Tender and solicitous must be his care for those whom he takes down into his kingdom one by one. -why else would they be taken out of the sweet sun, drowning towards him, water plaiting their hair. Unless he loved them deeply how could he withstand the voices of parents calling, calling like birds by the waters edge, by swimming pool, sandbar, river-bank, rocky ledge. The little heaps of clothes, the futures carefully planned? Yet even an old acquisitive king must feel remorse poisoning his joy. Since he allows particular boys each evening to arouse from leaden-lidded sleep, softly to steal away to the whispering shore, there to plunge in. And fluid as porpoises swim upward, upward through the dividing water until, soon, each back home is striding over thresholds of welcome dream with wet and moonlit skin. Megan Prescott Year 12 English ...read more.

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