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Discuss how the poet develops the idea throughout the poem and makes the poem interesting for the reader in the poem "Night Sweat"?

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Introduction

Q: Discuss how the poet develops the idea throughout the poem and makes the poem interesting for the reader? The pain of aging, of slowly feeling the fire and passion flickering out is portrayed in "Night Sweat" by Robert Lowell. Simply put it is of a man with an illness and his disorganised thought and feelings but deeper, there is his fear and his agony as he feels his youth and its hopes and dreams burn away and how he cannot meet the standards expected of him to write. But also there is his joy as in his wife he finds new inspiration and hope. The beginning of the poem plays some significance in developing the idea as it gives an insight of what the state of mind the poet is in. ...read more.

Middle

He tells of how from his early youth he had wanted to write something great but failed; "always inside me is the child who died", the child referring to his dreams he had made for his future, however its will to live and give his life for poetry has not ended in him; "always in me is his will to die." He sees himself as that he is caught in a "black web"; invisible but inescapable, as the spider, which sucks the life out of its victim, sucks the life out of Lowell. Also he describes his body as an "urn" perhaps referring to the fact he feels like there is a great restriction in time as his death seems inevitable or also that he feels that inside of him, like the urn, there is but ashes and his spirit has already withered up. ...read more.

Conclusion

This maybe referring to the fact that he couldn't see properly. Not in physical sight but perhaps of the mind blinded by "gray skulled horses"; an image similar to that of the "Grim Reaper" showing his great fear of death or of failure as he describes himself as "the soot of night." Something perhaps meaning a flame that had burnt in the days of his youth which had now remains in but ashes in his closing years. Though his wife does nothing, she is "behind" him, through her presence "I see my flesh and bedding washed with light" he feels again that light of the morning, the same spirit and life. To conclude in the poem "Nights Sweat" by Robert Lowell, through careful choice of diction, symbolism and other language techniques his feelings of hopelessness and the lack of vigour and, oppositely, at the ending his new-found hope from his wife is portrayed. 716 words ...read more.

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