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Analysis of Three Poems
Throughout Do not Go Gentle into that Good Night, the speaker enters into the darkness (a metaphor for death), observes nightfall and comprehends that only the last light of the evening reminds people of how inevitably and surprisingly easy life slips away from them. The speaker of Acquainted with the Night lives only in the night (a metaphor for depression) and cannot see the day, since he has got acquainted with the night. He gets no satisfaction from life, as all that he can see is an artificial light of the city. He subconsciously seeks for answers in the moon that reflects the light of the sun, the symbol of life. In A Dinking song, Yeats celebrates life as an ability to feel and fall in love, even unrequited. Even though these poems have little in common, all of them celebrate human love for living.
Dylan Thomas and Robert Frost use the metaphor of night in different ways. Thomas poem begins with a reference to this metaphor,
Do not go gentle into that good night (1).
The readers spend most of the poem observing one nightfall after another. The sun appears not for a long time; it rushes across the sky and disappears quite quickly. However, the speaker is preoccupied with the darkness, rather than with the light.
In the poem, the day is a representation of life, while night represents the emptiness of the afterlife. The moment in-between these two opposites is expressed through the image of sunset that now represents fading and the very moment of death. In contrast to many poets, the author does not view afterlife as an ideal form of being; in fact, he views it as non-existant. That is why he calls dying people on to resist death,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light (2-3).
The repetition of the first word of the third line, rage, serves as a tool in order to emphasize it scariness. The end of the line seems to be united by assonance due to the repeating sounds in the middle of the words dying and light. The first and the last lines of the first stanza are used as refrains in the poem. The speaker repeats them a couple of times in order to point out his point of view.
Dylan Thomas uses alliteration in order to strengthen the effect of the metaphor of night. For instance, the alliteration of n sounds at the beginning of such words as not and night and in the middle of into and gentle, as well as harsh g sounds in go and good in the first line of the poem serve for this purpose. Such a sound play ties the words together and makes the words work together.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way (10-11).
The fast flight across the sky of the sun serves also as a part of the extended metaphor, according to which, as it was mentioned earlier, day represents a cycle of life, however, the sun itself becomes a symbol of the beauty, heat and wonderfulness of the world, in contrast to the void of the night. Thus, the sun stands in for the most worth and amazing things that exist in the world, the things that are celebrated by artists and poets.
The author uses such images as lightning, meteor, and the number of other images of fire and light it order to captivate the readers attention and point out that life is lighted differently. Thus, Dylan Thomas states that life is not a brief candle that just steadily burns out; it is a firecracker and a blazing bonfire.
In Acquainted with the Night, the speaker walks in the furthest part of the city and away from its lights. There, he has an opportunity to interact with elements of nature such as rain, the sky and the moon. The poem presents a contrast between the darkness of the city outside the range of the lights and the moons brightness; the natural world shines in spite of the lights of civilization.
Similar to Thomas Do not Go Gentle into that Good Night, Robert Frosts poem entitled Acquainted with the Night also uses an imagery of night and darkness, however, Frosts metaphor differs from Thomas. Acquainted with the Night talks about light as well, however, about the lack of it for the most part. The metaphor for the night is used to express the darkness of depression and the emptiness of loneliness.
In the first line, when the speaker says,
I have been one acquainted with the night (1),
he means that he has been acquainted not with just literal night, but with depression, first of all. The speaker feels lonely, sad, and distant, however, nothing seems wrong at the same time. Every next line of the poem can be read as a metaphor for depression. For instance, the third line serves as one more metaphor for depression. The poet says,
I have walked out in rainand back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light (3-4).
These lines take the readers farther, as they get to know that the speaker is not only depressed, he deepens into his depression where he finds no light as well as happiness in life. At least cities and civilization could hardly bring him happiness.
The speaker compares the moon to a clock. The light of the moon, the one luminary clock against the sky remains visible beyond the city lights and humanity, and appears to be a symbol of hope. The moonlight serves as a symbol for the natural world and how it prevails over civilization. The moon gives the speaker light and a piece of an advice. The poet here uses personification,
One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right (12-13).
However, the moon cannot cure mans depression, leaving him unsatisfied. The final line turns into a refrain,
I have been one acquainted with the night (14),
and thus, suggests that the speaker is still cannot get out of depression.
The subject of W. B. Yeats poem A Drinking Song, is love. The poet invokes such two senses as sight and taste in order to heighten the readers involvement. Being alive is connected to what ones body feels, and thus mental feelings are supposed to be mixed with physical ones. Wine is used in the poem to make it a toast to an admired woman. As wine comes in at the mouth (1), the eyes are the one and only way love can enter, according to this poem. Thus, the author hints at that this sort of love is lie and is only a passionate affair; however, as it is A Drinking Song, it can mean that since the speaker is drunk, he cannot control his actions and that is why he falls in love. Probably, he may not love his beloved as he becomes sober.
The dramatic sigh at the end of the verse one can interpret as the romantic idea of that love is unreachable. On the other hand, this sigh can be viewed as the expectation full of hope that the beloved one will answer yes.
Despite the fact that these poems have little in common, they celebrate human love for life. The metaphors, images and other literal devices are appropriately integrated within these poems. Thus, each poem can have numerous interpretations because of their complexity.