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Rising Five

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Rising Five Norman Nicholson By Danish Jawaid 'Rising Five', the title, of the poem creates an atmosphere of confusion and haste. The word 'rising' signifies continuous movement and hence is symbolizing the upward movement of growth and advancement in the human life cycle. Thus through the title of his poem, Nicholson is trying to express his views on the vulgarity and haste of this movement. The innocent yet stubborn declaration of the boy that he is 'rising five, not four', shows how even a little boy is impatient to leave his childish body and grow up, hence denoting the impatience, quickness and urgent state of life. The use of the word 'coil', is describing the texture of his hair as being curly, hence implying on his childish nature. On the other hand 'coils' could be representing worry and anguish. This trouble having 'un-clicked' itself upon his 'head' shows that the boy, by wanting to grow up, is inviting trouble to pile itself upon his head and shoulders, and in fact this trouble has already started to unravel itself upon it's tiny mind and body. At the same time it could be expressing growth. His 'spectacles' is a synecdoche of an old man, whose shoulders have sagged down low due to the amount of burden hanging atop it, hence implying that the child is not welcoming adulthood but old age. ...read more.


The buds 'unbuttoned' implies that instead of the flowers blooming slowly and beautifully, they are erupting. The stem shaking out it's 'creases' suggests that the full splendour of the situation is lost by its urgency to finish the process. Every tree is then 'swilled' with 'green' denotes that in no time at all spring finishes it's job and all the trees and surroundings are drenched in greenery, hence another 'season' begins. That is the one after 'blossoming' and spring. This asserts on the poets anger with this fast pace of life, that he is not even able to enjoy the full content of spring, and it finishes. The use of the comma after blossoming acts as an enjambment, which the poet uses to link the next sentence so that his irony is made prominent. By saying that it is the season 'before' the 'forming' of the 'fruit', the poet is trying to sardonically emphasize, that now that spring has finished and summer has arrived, everyone is already waiting for autumn and harvest season to begin. The use of the colon again evaluates the meaning further by saying 'not May, But rising June', which is repeating the fact that the present state is not being enjoyed but a lookout is being organized for the next one. The 'sky' is a symbol of happiness, brightness and power. ...read more.


Concluding his poem by the words 'not living, but rising death', the poet is leaving a message, which is saying that by imagining about our future we have stopped living in the present and are now awaiting death. Overall the poem has been written with a mixture of tones, which sum up into anger, frustration, irony and sadness. The poet is irritated by the way people are living, and is angry that no one is looking and appreciating the beauty and magnificence of life, but are always in pursuit of the future. His irony is doubled by the use of parallel repetition, i.e. the continuous repetition of 'not .... but rising ...' Then the repetition of the word 'rising' six times, greatly stresses on the fast paces of life. Also the use of metaphors and symbolism in the poem, like the use of the words 'coil', 'spectacles' and 'toffee-buckled cheeks' clarifies not only the emerging meaning but also lends in establishing an imagery of nature and purity throughout the poem. This nature which had been very dear to Nicholson, establishes a melancholic atmosphere as it is not being appreciated and given importance to its fullest extent. Taken as a whole, Rising Five is a poem about our wrong ways in life, and how we are giving importance to the less vital things rather than those which are really significant. ****** ...read more.

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