A Poetic Analysis Of Archibald Lampman

1561 words - 6 pages

Poet and philosopher Archibald Lampman (1861-1899)led not a life of his own, but an existance forced upon him by peers and anunfeeling and cold society. Dying far before his time, Lampman led a lifeof misery. He was supported only by a few close friends and his immortal poetry.This essay is founded around one particular of his works but I feel itnecessary to discuss the conditions in which he lived in order to fullyunderstand what he was trying to express and/or symbolize.Lampman really hated his day to day life, he lived only for his friends andhis works. Trapped in a city for which he had no love, he often reflectedhis loathing of it in his numerous works situated in cities. A lover ofnature, Lampmans poems often immediately assumed a tone of life, mirth,and a feeling of pleasure and warmth; the others formed a picture of death,hell, and hate all held together by the one problem that is always present,Man.With few close friends like Duncan Campell Scott, and other that were poeticallyinclinded, Lampman formed a group through-out collage that met frequentlyto write and discuss. Close friends like that influenced him to write suchpopular pieces as 'Heat' and 'A sunset at Les Eboulements' and yet in hisdarkest moments we get the main topic of this essay 'The City of The End of Things'.Like most great poets, Lampmans moods and feelings had a direct effect on thenature and topic of his poetry. Lampman chief poetry was done after a greatjoy in his life, or a great sadness. Sadly, Archibald was not a rich manand lived not a happy life, and most of his poetry reflects that.'The City of The End of Things' was written in a time of great sadness and hatefor the world. Published one year after his death many people fail to realizethe direct connection to themselves in the poem.Lampmans poetry was divided into two moods, saddness and joy, each primarlyinvoled with nature or cities. Let us discuss the tools used in 'The City of The End of Things'.Dubed 'The Apocalypic City' by Many experts, these mutations of theapocalypic city shows how much Lampmans visions shifted with his moods. Hewas passionatly committed to social change, but in extreme he identifiedredemption with paralyzed oblivion (N.G Guthrie)The infernal features of the City are so many inversions of the values thatLampmans saw in natural landscape. Its roaring furnaces, its 'ceaseless round'of mechanical action, and its 'inhuman music' are the demonic counterpartsof the sun imagery, the seasonal cycles and the hymm of nature in 'Heat'are gone, this poem focuses on the specters who preside over the dammed citiesdecline.But now of that prodigious race,Three only in an iron tower,Set like carved idols face to face,Remain the master of its power'And at the city gate a fourth,Gigantic and with dreadful eyes,Sits looking toward the lightless north,Beyond the reach of memories,Fast rooted to the lurid floorA bulk that never moves a jot,In his pale body dwells no moreOr mind or soul,--an idiot!I take...

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