Week 8 Blog

Do you share Robert Frost’s belief that “A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom…it runs a course of lucky events, and ends in a clarification of life.” “The Figure a Poem Makes” (250-251)? If possible try to explain in your own words what you understand by this statement. Can you give an example of poem you have read that does just this?


The above statement is extremely relevant towards attaining an understanding of the general meaning within poetry. A successful poem will attempt to draw its audience in using strong visualisation and provide the reader with a much stronger moral or perspective on the composers set agenda. Taken for example from Frost’s own “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, Frost with utilisation of the imagery of both visual and aural manners almost immerses the audience into the setting played out by Frost using the environment to represent the symbolism for the beginning and progression of life, and his stop being both a metaphorical and physical representation for his own choice to end his life. By the closing stanzas of the poem, the reader is completely aware of the personas intent to end his own life and represent the natural environment falling of the snow and his horse to be the internal conflict within his head in favour of the abrupt conclusion towards his life, addressing to his audience the significance of the landscape in portraying the ending of a life. Thus, Frost himself has portrayed the above idea of not only enticing his audience to further read the poem but also to leave them with a new vision of the life around them


Week 5 Blog

Take any one of the short sections where Mark Twain describes nature with such vividness and immediacy. Quote the passage and then discuss what it is, in the word choice, the use of images and the sentence structure that gives the language such amazing life.

This second night we run between seven and eight hours, with a
current that was making over four mile an hour. We catched fish and
talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It
was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, lay-ing on our
backs looking up at the stars, and we didn’t ever feel like talking loud,
and it warn’t often that we laughed—only a little kind of a low

chuckle. We had mighty good weather as a general thing, and noth-
ing ever happened to us at all—that night, nor the next, nor the next. 

Every night we passed towns, some of them away up on black hill-
sides, nothing but just a shiny bed of lights; not a house could you see.

Huckleberry Finn, ch. 12

It is evident through this passage that Twain utilised the childish naivety of “Huck” and his responses to the environment around him including the natural world, to demonstrate his favour towards the more simpler innocence of humanity which is often only possessed by a child when immersing themselves in their surroundings. The scene is a depiction of vastness that “Huck” has found himself in between the skies and the river itself. “Huck” has evidently disconnected from the institutionalised social values in favour of the more wild and untamed landscape of the Mississipi river, which is in particular expressed by the imagery used to depict the darkness from the “black hillsides” of the town which at night would evidently blend between the river and the sky. “Huck”’s narration of the moment the moment details lacking conversation possibly an insight into the awe he feels towards the vastness of his immersed surroundings. This alongside the quote “nothing ever happened to us at all” is a resemblance of the comfort “Huck” may hold in this new found environment alongside his emotion of awe. It is clear that Twain has utilised the perspective of the environment by a child to call towards his readers own spiritual innocence in order to coercee them to view the beauty within the natural landscape.

22/08 American Literature Blog

Using the following two images, describe what you see to be the essential differences in the nature of these two characters:


Whilst Emerson has a more neat and ideal aesthetic within his appearance, which conforms to the idealistic features of a 19th century individual, It is unquestionable that there is significant contrast towards this look when compared to the look of Thoreau. Much like his work, Thoreau’s own writing style and vivid imagery, there is an apparent inclination towards the more wild and untamed; which is effectively presented to be a reflection in his own appearance especially noting the untidy grooming within the facial hair and hair styling and more rugged appropriation of post-industrial fashion. Moreover, in direct contrast, Emerson who holds more structure in his works, is displayed as such presented as being much more orderly and formal in his own image unlike the above author. Hence, the differences between their two images are extremely reflective of their own writing style.