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Commentary on Wilfred Noyces poem "Breathless".

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Commentary on the poem Breathless Wilfred Noyce?s poem, Breathless, recorded the physical difficulty and mental stress that one encountered while climbing up the mountain. Simply by looking at the title, it can be seen that the poem describes about one?s state of being breathless and physically tortured. However, the poem does not only focus on expressing the climbers physical tiredness, but more importantly, the mental struggle happening in his mind. The structure and form of the poem mainly emphasizes on the physical experience of the climber while the psychological conflict is presented through the changing tone of the poem. The structure of the entire poem provides readers a concrete image of the hiking experience that the climber is going through by having one continuous stanza with irregular shape.The shape of the poem portrayed the steep hiking trail that is being climbed and creates a vivid scene. The lengthen, vertical shape of the poem highlights the steepness and distance of the trail. This visualizing effect allows readers to feel more involved in the experience and can imagine themselves as the climber, climbing up a never-ending slope and emphasizes on the climber?s physical difficulties. ...read more.


This helps remain sentences short which emphasizes on the climbers difficulties in speaking a whole sentence due to being breathless and mimic the shortness of breath. At the same time, it reminds the readers of the psychological difficulties faced by the climber which leads to failure in forming complete sentence and ideas are presented phrase by phrase. Enjambment is found to be used in the poem for quite a few times, for example in line 11 to 12, ?a flat step is holiday?. By splitting the phrase into two lines, the pace of the poem is hastened and relates the readers to the rapid action of exhale and inhale of the breathless climber which prevented him from speaking out a full sentence. The hastened pace created when readers read quickly also promotes readers? feelings of anxiety about finishing the poem. Similar effects is also brought up by the rhyme scheme and the rhythm of the poem. The regular rhyme scheme of ?ABCB DEFE? and the strong rhythmic beat encourages readers to read the poem faster which provides the readers the auditorial experience of the pace in climbing and being breathless. ...read more.


gone through a cycle and will echoes back to line 35, feeling that the ?stone? is ?no nearer? than before and that the torturing journey is endless. Other than creating a lucid idea of the scene to the readers, a psychological conflict is seen from the tone of the poem. At first, the tone is rather defeatist as phrase like ?why at all?? can be found, expressing the desperation of the climber. However the tone slowly changed to a promising tone as the climber encourage himself. He tell himself ?don?t look up till journey's done? and to ?count steps done?. Finally, pessimism dominated over optimism as the tone become fatalistic again. He found that the ?stone(?s) no nearer? and he?s just far to tired. This continuous change in tone suggested us about the integral struggle that happened in the climber?s mind as he try to overcome the physical tiredness and reach the stone which is the endpoint. Ultimately, we can see that through the structure and form of the poem and change in tone, the physical and psychological difficulties gone through by the climber is presented visually in front of the readers by creating a solid scene with auditorial experiences. ...read more.

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