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Moment Poetry Analysis

722 words - 3 pages

Vincent Guilliano’s poem “Moment” contrasts the dull insignificance of things that last forever with the lustrous power of things that burn bright for only moments, then are gone. However, he does not use these objects and events literally, but instead as metaphors for life, and in doing so he asserts the speaker’s opinion that life is better lived if it is short and meaningful than if it is long and empty.
The speaker believes that his life would be meaningless if he does not change or influence the world in some way, a view which is reinforced by Guilliano’s use of diction in reference to different things and how they affect the world they are a part of. He compares a meaningful life to things of great power such as “lightning,” “thunder” and “fire,” which are all short-lived but which change the very landscape of the world in the short time that they are present. He believes life is meaningless unless he similarly alters the metaphorical landscape of the world. He longs to “shake,” “pound,” “blow,” “clap and ring” himself into the memories of mankind, and if he must die in the process, then he welcomes that death because at least his memory will live on. Not only does he crave the “power” to influence the world, he fears that he will “live forever,” and not do anything meaningful. He feels that immortality would be a joyless and fruitless existence and that it would take any and all meaning out of life. He would sooner be a brief light that “expose[s] the world” in its darkness than be part of that darkness for eternity. Therefore, the speaker believes that life is an opportunity to make an impact on the world.
Not only does the speaker feel that life is best spent trying to influence the lives of others, he also feels that life is not worth living unless he is remembered by the world, a feeling which is supported by the imagery that Guilliano uses in his poem. As a result of this need to be remembered...

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