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In The Eyes Of The Beholder

1203 words - 5 pages

In The Eyes of The Beholder The poems, "The Rose" by Antonio Vallone and "Song" by Edmund Waller are both symbolic poems, and they employ the rose as a poetic device to represent love and beauty. Poems that employ symbolism often need the reader to interpret the symbols in relation to the author's life and work. No doubt, one needn't do so, as poems are often meant to elicit a response from a reader, who projects his or her experiences and expectations on to the author's work. Therefore, a strict interpretation of a poem that employs extensive symbolism is not necessary. Nevertheless, when comparing the works of two poets, it is important to compare their work and look for common recurring themes. These themes give us clues regarding the meaning of certain symbols that a poet uses in his poems. The bulk of Waller's work reflects how worldly concerns had dominated his long career as a Poet. "Song" and "A Panegyric to My Lord Protector" are merely the most well known of his many poems praising beautiful women or powerful men. Towards the end of his career, Waller began to write sacred poetry, but over all his poems talk more about beauty and earthly love than about spirituality, etc. Vallone, like Waller, writes about topics that about a century ago were taboo. Vallone's poem "John Dillinger's Penis" is an example of such poetry. Other poems like "Mexican Switchblades" and "Why Poets Want to be Rock Stars" show the importance Vallone places on everyday experiences."Song" and "The Rose" are based on direct sensory experiences where the poet either describes his feelings (as in "Song") or the beauty he sees in front of him (as in "The Rose). The poem "Song" is dedicated to the poet's lover, wherein the poet tries to tell his object of affection/desire, that beauty is worthless without anyone to admire it. Furthermore, he adds that beauty like the rose is transitory and will perish soon. In other words, the poet wants the woman of his dreams to accept his advances and live life to the fullest while she is still alive. "The Rose" on the other hand, is a poem that is completely symbolic in nature, in the sense that, it talks about a rose plant and how the rose bud blooms and radiates its beauty. The rose plant, that was once full of thorns, begins to bask in the radiant beauty of the rose flower. Vallone describes the birth of the rose bud as a miracle, one that can only be understood by bumblebees and hummingbirds. Again, the poet uses symbolism to say that beauty and innocence are abstract ideas till one experiences them.The themes of the two above-mentioned poems are a bit different, but the poetic devices employed by the poets to deliver their messages are similar. While the poem "Song" concentrates on delivering a message of love, the poem "The Rose" symbolizes the birth of love. However, in both cases the poets ascribe a perishable quality to love. For example, Waller exclaims, "Then die!" in the last stanza of the poem. He says this with...

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