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Analysis Rising Five By Norman Nicholson

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George Ingram 22/12/04 Analysis Rising Five By Norman Nicholson Rising Five by Norman Nicholson starts as a simple poem which becomes a lot deeper and more complicated. It begins with the innocent remark of a four year old to the poet. This comment about the boy's age makes the poet think about how everyone contemplates their future. The first verse describes an emphatic four year old boy who is indignant because someone called him four. He sees things differently, "I'm rising five', he said, 'not four". He has a chubby face with fat 'toffee-buckled cheeks' and 'little coils of hair un-clicked themselves upon his head' giving the impression of him stamping his foot and tossing his head. He is cross because he has been called four when he believes he can sound more important by being called 'rising five'. This is where the word 'rising' from the title begins to repeat at the end of every verse. This theme carries on through the poem although it becomes more complicated. ...read more.


At this point the poet realises that all people look ahead and anticipate what is going to happen to them next. The poet then makes a mockery of this saying, 'not day, But rising night; not now, But rising soon.' This shows the time of day is early evening. To simplify the quote he says that it is rising, rising-night or it will soon be rising night. Here he continues the repetition of the word rising and takes the theme of the poem on to the next step narrowing down its meaning. The poet thinks about spring leading into summer and children growing up and compares the two, the child being young and the bud being new with adult being old and the fruit being rotten. The last verse in Rising Five is the most important verse; it is the punch line of the poem. The first line explains 'the new buds pushing old leaves from the bough.' This is referring to children like buds being born and older generations like dead leaves. ...read more.


The poet writes 'We look for the marriage bed in the baby's cradle' People worry about a child's marriage when he cannot even walk. After this the poet says, 'we look for the grave in the bed; not living, But rising dead'. All three of the places mentioned in the last two quotes, the cradle, the marriage bed and death are resting places during different stages of life but people cannot rest in them because they are too worried about the next stage of their lives. Finally people's whole lives have been spent worrying for nothing because when they are dead there is no 'next stage' to their life. In conclusion to my analysis Norman Nicholson's poem Rising Five is about people rushing away their lives. It is an analogy of human life and its generations and the cycle of a bud growing into a flower then a fruit and then the fruit rotting. The poem starts off as a descriptive and simple poem but the further on you read the deeper and more depressing the poem becomes. Norman Nicholson makes the reader of Rising Five live in the present rather than worry about the future. ...read more.

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