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James L Rosenberg.In the Wasps Nest, there are two wasps that have come to the poets mailbox to build their home. We know that this is the poets mailbox when he says my mailboxs metal hold in line 5.

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Introduction

THE WASPS' NEST In the Wasps' Nest, there are two wasps that have come to the poet's mailbox to build their home. We know that this is the poet's mailbox when he says "... my mailbox's metal hold" in line 5. These two wasps are busily building their nest with paper and mud. Even with the "displeasure of the US mail" (line 11) and "all my threats and warnings" (line 12), the wasps won't leave. The poet considers that the wasps know that he is their enemy and that he could kill them and destroy the nest easily. Yet, the poet doesn't kill them, rather in the last 6 lines; he turns the topic away from the wasp and begins to ponder about his relation to the wasps that are building their nests. This poem starts off talking about "Two aerial tigers/ striped in ebony and gold" he uses the word tigers to describe the wasp physically and characteristically. Wasps have yellow and black stripes on their body, similar to a tiger. Characteristically, wasps have an untamed and fierce nature just like tigers. "Striped in ebony and gold" describe the wasps' physical appearance. Ebony and gold are two materials that nature gives us. These are natural items. ...read more.

Middle

Not that the poet should crush them and not that the poet will crush them, once again, supporting the idea of the fragility of life. Also, emphasis is used when we read line 20 "And their nest". Not only can the poet kill the wasps but also their home and the hard work that the wasps' have committed themselves to. Yet, lines 21 to 23 "and yet they seem/too deeply and too fiercely/ to bother to attend" tells us that they are too committed to their work to actually acknowledge that death is already so imminent to them. This is significant to the meaning of this poem because the wasps' are fighting a constant battle, a constant struggle for life and death. Yet, the only danger they realize is winter and they do not see the poet as a threat to them. The most significant part of this poem is in the last 8 lines. The author will not attack the wasps anymore, as said in line 24 and 25 when he says "Perhaps they sense/ I'll never deal the blow." Yet rather, he takes to thought about the wasps' situation and how that relates to him now in line 26 and 27 "For, thought I am not in nor of them,/ Still I think I know." ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, in this poem, there is some onomatopoeia used throughout the poem with words such as resonantly, hummed, and a-hum. Throughout this poem, there is also a constant comparison between strength and weakness in this poem, showing the struggle within. With the strength of the poet and the weakness and helplessness of the wasps, the strength of the mailbox's metal hold and the weakness of their insubstantial home built with paper and mud and fragile citadels, once again emphasizing the constant struggle between life and death. The poet wants to tell us not about the fragility of life. We are so prone to danger. Like the wasps, it is a constant struggle between life and death. We might think that we are only striving to a goal that we block out everything else. Also, he is trying to tell us that people isolate you and alienate you in a place where you are of no use. - Are we really like the wasps' nests (fragile citadels built on the edge of danger), weak on the inside but putting a strong fa�ade on? - Are we really like the wasps, so obsessed about our own goals that we block everything else out? - Why do we want to build up a fake wall to separate us from others? Doe sit cause us to lose focus from our goal?? ...read more.

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