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Poem "Before the Sun"

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Before the Sun The poem "Before the Sun" tells the story of a fourteen-year-old boy who works as a lumberjack. However, he does not seem to hate this job. On the contrary, he finds the chopping of the wood a very pleasant activity, almost like a ritual. At the end of the day's work, he offers his food to the Sun, somebody whom he admires and respects. The title of the story can have several interpretations, all very suggestive about the poem. Literally, it might refer to the time of the day when the Sun has not risen yet, his time to work; alternatively, it might mean that the boy "kneels down" before the Sun, as in praise, which he sees as a kind of god or protector. On a metaphorical level, it may mean that a new day is about to begin, but also the fact that the kid is on the limit ...read more.


It appears as if the boy enjoys the moment when the "bright chips fly from the sharp axe", because it is a symbol that the kid is strong enough to kill a tree. The proximity of the words "arc" and "eternities" give the sensation of a slow motion, giving the reader a pause to watch this process isolated from the rest. Another way in which the boy feels about his work seems to be like a challenge for him. This can be noticed when he says "when you are fourteen, big logs are what you want". This phrase gives the idea that the boy is prepared to do tough work for his own sake. Apparently he wants to show that chopping wood is no hard work for him; it may be so, but he prefers to consider it a challenge rather than a problem. ...read more.


In this case, the feast refers to the fact that the kid has been able to do his work. The relationship he establishes with the Sun is a really strange one; for moments it is described as superior, "the Sun just winks like a grown-up", but then he seems to consider it a friend and a partner: "I tell the Sun to come share with me the roasted maize". Nevertheless, at all times he expresses his respect for the Sun, like thanking him for all he has got. The boy's moment in life when he is neither a child nor an adult is very well written in this poem. The contrast between what he does and what he feels creates the line that divides these stages. While the kid works as a lumberjack, just like any adult, he behaves like a child, thinking of the Sun as a god to praise and respect. The fact that he appreciates every step of his work also suggests that he is still somehow a child. ...read more.

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