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Commentry on Wilfred Noyce's - Breathless

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Commentary on 'Breathless' Wilfred Noyce's, "Breathless" is a heavy poem about a man encountering physical difficulty whilst climbing a mountain. The tall structure of the poem and the difficulty of reading the poem, help the reader identify with the relentlessness the climber is experiencing, leaving the reader somewhat exhausted and irritated. The reader cannot help but feel that in a time of severe difficulty pessimism extinguishes even the strong virtue of optimism, neglecting the splendors of ones surrounding hence enervating morale. The structure of the poem is narrow and tall resembling the steepness and shape of the mountain. ...read more.


The verticality and the short phrases can also represent conservation, the tall structure of the poem and the two-worded lines, attempt to conserve space just as the voice meticulously conserves the 'dry air'. The use of enjambment and the regular rhyme scheme ushers the reader to read the poem quickly. The anxiety that the reader feels to finish the poem corresponds to the way in which the voice fretfully wants his experience to be over. However, the repetition of the first four line at the beginning and end of the poem create a cycle. ...read more.


However, the hint of optimism is fleeting as the interminable relentlessness starts again with the counting of steps of the 'dragging feet', only to realize that the voice is a 'stone no nearer' to his destination. The poem revolves around the severe difficulty of climbing the steep mountain with no advantageous avail. The negative and pessimistic tone of the poem leaves me with a feeling of discomfort and frustration. The power that the 'dry air' so 'sorry, scant' has in overcoming the mind to the extent of neglecting the finer things of the experience, i.e. the scenery, nature...etc., parallels the way in which difficulty could cause us to discard the appreciation and beauty of our surroundings which will inevitably debilitate us. Janice Bae 19/9/01 ...read more.

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