For this assignment I chose “Death, Despair and Rebellion” as my theme. Finding eight poems that were relevant to this theme proved easier than I thought. This is probably due to the fact that I was allowed to use one poet as a source for more than one poem; therefore, all but one of my poems are by the same poet. That poet being Emily Brontï¿½, and the other being Konai Helu Thaman.
The titles of the poems were thus:Emily Brontï¿½ -“A Sudden Chasm Of Ghastly Light””I Am The Only Being Whose Doom””Strong I Stand””Sleep Brings No Joy””Death””I See Around Me Tombstones Grey””Shed No Tears O’er That Tomb”Konai Helu Thaman -“My Blood”I chose this theme because I had already read some of Emily Brontï¿½’s poems, and she seemed to have a disposition towards death, despair and rebellion (hence my theme). Not all of the poems, at a glance, are easy to relate to the theme; you have to search for the underlying meaning, this is common throughout many of Emily Brontï¿½’s poems. For example, Brontï¿½’s poem “Strong I Stand” would, at a glance, fit a theme of rebellion, especially with the following lines:”How mankind have fought with me”,”All the puny ways of men”and”Haughty men are nought to me”It is clear that she does not like living in a society where men have all the power, and women are oppressed. However, what is not clear about this poem is the despair she feels.
I think Brontï¿½ wrote this poem as way for her to free herself from a society in which she has no rights, no privileges; she wrote this poem to free herself from the despair she feels.Another of Brontï¿½’s poems that deals with despair is “I Am The Only Being Whose Doom”. The underlying message of this poem, however, is slightly easier to determine; it is one of death. I think this poem was written at a time when Brontï¿½ felt particularly lonely; she may have also felt suicidal – hence the following stanza:”In secret pleasure, secret tears,This changeful life has slipped away,As friendless after eighteen years,As lone as on my natal day.”Brontï¿½’s poem “A Sudden Chasm Of Ghastly Light” appears to have been written at a time of war, making it obvious that the poem is about death, however, there are certain lines that lead me to think that this poem can be related to rebellion, and despair as well. These lines are:”And a long thundering through the nightProclaimed our triumph – Tyndarum’s fall.”And”I felt the full load of despairReturning to my breast again.
“A poem which is similar to “I Am The Only Being Whose Doom” is “Sleep Brings No Joy”, and it relates mainly to death and despair. Although, I think this poem was written when Brontï¿½ actually wanted to die, whereas in “I Am The Only Being Whose Doom” it seemed as though she is expecting to die; this is shown in the last two lines of the poem:”My only wish is to forgetIn the sleep of death.”The next poem that I chose by Brontï¿½ was “Death”. Its title however, is contradictory, for it is not about death, in its literal meaning, but more about the death of Brontï¿½’s despair, hence I have used it as a poem of rebellion; Brontï¿½ is rebelling from her despair.The penultimate of Brontï¿½’s poems that I chose is titled “I See Around Me Tombstones Grey”. It too deals with death and despair; it is a snapshot of a point of great pain and grief in Brontï¿½’s life.
It depicts her walking through a graveyard where a person who meant a great deal to her is buried, it is also written as though the funeral has just passed.The last of Brontï¿½’s poems, “Shed No Tears O’er That Tomb”, appears to be one of rebellion, however, the last few stanzas made me feel as though she held great animosity towards some man. This was the hardest of Brontï¿½’s poems to interpret.Thaman’s poem, “My Blood”, is one that follows a strict theme; one of straight out rebellion; he is rebelling against his brother who has become “a fraud”.(Parts Two And Three)Attached to this assignment is a collection of newspaper articles on the American terrorist attack.
All the articles were copied from Internet news providers1. The articles appeared on the websites in a matter of hours after the attack and, subsequently, the journalist’s names were not included, probably due to hurriedness. I think they (the newspaper articles) relate to my theme very well. If you read between the lines you notice that the terrorists were rebelling against the idea of a world super-power (America). Obviously, there were many deaths, and of course, many people are in despair.There are many pictures throughout the included articles and they are all visual representations of Brontï¿½’s poem “A Sudden Chasm Of Ghastly Light”. In fact, most of the pictures can be related to the first stanza:”A sudden chasm of ghastly lightYawned in the city’s reeling wall;And a long thundering through the nightProclaimed our triumph – Tyndarum’s fall.
“The last line is quite powerful; Tyndarum can be equated to the American government; the terrorists might well have been trying to bring about the end of America as we know it.(Part Four)ESSAY ONE:I See Around Me Tombstones GreyI see around me tombstones greyStretching their shadows far away.Beneath the turf my footsteps treadLie low and lone the silent dead;Beneath the turf, beneath the mouldFor ever dark, for ever cold -And my eyes cannot hold the tearsThat memory hoards from vanished years;For Time and Death and Mortal painGive wounds that will not heal again.Let me remember half the woeI’ve seen and heard and felt below,And Heaven itself, so pure and blest,Could never give my spirit rest.Sweet land of light! thy children fairKnow nought akin to our despair;Nor have they felt, nor can they tellWhat tenants haunt each mortal cell,What gloomy guests we hold within -Torments and madness, tears and sin!Well, may they live in ecstasyTheir long eternity of joy;At least we would not bring them downWith us to weep, with us to groan.No – Earth would wish no other sphereTo taste her cup of sufferings drear;She turns from Heaven a careless eyeAnd only mourns that we must die!Ah mother, what shall comfort theeIn all this endless misery?To cheer our eager eyes a whileWe see thee smile; how fondly smile!But who reads not through that tender glowThy deep, unutterable woe?Indeed no dazzling land aboveCan cheat thee of thy children’s love.We all in life’s departing shineOur last dear longings blend with thine;And struggle still, and strive to traceWith clouded gaze thy darling face.
We would not leave our native homeFor any world beyond the Tomb.No – rather on thy kindly breastLet us be laid in lasting restOr waken but to share with theeA mutual immortality.17 July 1841The above poem is one of Emily Brontï¿½’s.
It appears to have been written at a time when Brontï¿½ felt particularly grief-stricken, as it is a poem about death and despair…it shows Brontï¿½ walking through a graveyard; and as she walks, she begins to cry (“And my eyes cannot hold the tears”). Although this is a poem about death, Brontï¿½ has not delved into the mechanics of death; instead, she is describing the damage that the loss of a person does.
She is angry that “Earth” will not allow her to be comforted by the deceased; all she wants is to see the deceased one more time.Her aim in this poem seems to be to demonstrate how unfair life is, how unjust the death of a person is. The poem is written to make the reader reflect upon their own life, and to make them realise that one day it will all end.The choice of words used by Brontï¿½ are not entirely original on their own, however, I have not read enough poetry to comment on the style in which the poem is written. Although, I found that the words used were appropriate, and that they did communicate Brontï¿½’s feelings.The tone of the poem is hard to determine at first glance. Although, after reading it through several times, one can begin to realise that it has two tones, the first half of the poem is written in a sad tone; she is grieving the loss. The second half, however, is written in an angry tone; she is angry that this person has been taken from her life.
There are images throughout the poem, but the most evocative image lies within the first seven lines:”I see around me tombstones greyStretching their shadows far away.Beneath the turf my footsteps treadLie low and lone the silent dead;Beneath the turf, beneath the mouldFor ever dark, for ever cold -And my eyes cannot hold the tears”You can literally see her walking slowly through a graveyard, with tears streaming silently down her face.The poem leaves the reader reflecting on their own life, and (if applicable) the loss of any persons in their own lives. It leaves a feeling of understanding; Brontï¿½ was not understood in her own time, she did in fact became a recluse, but now, through her poetry, you can begin to understand some of the pain she went through.To some, the method in which Brontï¿½ has communicated her grief is simple, to others it might be quite hard to ascertain the meaning of the poem; it is dependent upon the reader. I think the method used is very effective, although you do have to look at the poem, like any other poem, more deeply to discern the underlying message(s).
My general impression of this poem’s success is a positive one, although some readers may find it hard to understand the full extent to which it must be understood.ESSAY TWO:Sleep Brings No JoySleep brings no joy to me,Remembrance never dies;My soul is given to miseryAnd lives in sighs.Sleep brings no rest to me;The shadows of the deadMy waking eyes may never seeSurround my bed.Sleep brings no hope to me;In soundest sleep they comeAnd with their doleful imageryDeepen the gloom.Sleep brings no strength to me,No power renewed to brave:I only sail a wilder sea,A darker wave.Sleep brings no friend to meTo soothe and aid to bear;They all gaze, oh, how scornfully,And I despair.
Sleep brings no wish to knitMy harassed heart beneathMy only wish is to forgetIn the sleep of death.November 1837This poem, also written by Emily Brontï¿½, is about death, and despair. Brontï¿½ is saying that she is so depressed and pained, that all she wants to do “is to forget in the sleep of death”.
It is a poem about her dreams, dreams which obviously haunt her…perhaps they are dreams of deceased people. This is shown in the third stanza:”Sleep brings no hope to me;In soundest sleep they come,And with their doleful imageryDeepen the gloom.
“Her aim appears to be to confess her distress caused by the dreams to the reader. She feels surrounded by death; it follows her everywhere, even in her dreams.Brontï¿½’s choice of words for this poem are, yet again, not entirely original. They do, however, make it clear what she wants the reader to understand – her despair and grief.The tone of this poem, like many of Brontï¿½’s others, is sad, but also thoughtful. This poem was a way for Brontï¿½ to express herself.
..it is conceivable that she wrote this poem as a way for her to overcome her feelings.Unlike “I See Around Me Tombstones Grey”, this poem does not produce evocative images.
You have to look at the words, and look for the hidden images, such as in the following stanza:”Sleep brings no rest to me;The shadows of the deadMy waking eyes may never seeSurround my bed.”The hidden image here being she can only see “The shadows of the dead” when she is asleep; hence the image of Brontï¿½ in a disturbed sleep.The poem causes the reader to look upon their own dreams, and search for any hidden images within their own subconscious. It leaves the reader with an understanding, yet again, of Brontï¿½’s life.This poem probably has more success with a wider demographic of poetry readers, simply because the words used allow for even the simplest of minds to understand Brontï¿½’s feelings.