Poetry Appreciation Of Earle Birney's "David"

819 words - 3 pages

Earle Birney's ballet, "David", is a very emotional piece of literature. The poem is narrative as told through the eyes of Bob, David's friend. The theme that follows throughout this poem is the onset of maturity and all the barriers that must be overcome as one moves through this period in their lives.Bob and David live a carefree life filled with adventures in the mountains until a tragedy strikes their very existence. Bob must make the most difficult decision of whether to end his friend's misery. He loses his innocence or as Bob says, "the last of my youth" through this experience. Bob makes the decision to do what his friend wants by pushing him over the cliff instead of doing what he first thought was right in trying to save his friend by going for help.The environment, character development and imagery play a key role in setting the cynical tone. The choice of descriptive words in this poem makes it easier for the reader to understand and accept the decisions that are made and which capture the reader's emotions on different levels."David," written by Earle Birney displays two distinct and different characters. The two characters are David and Bobbie. They are both avid climbers who love their jobs in the mountains. They seek the thrill of new adventures and challenges. Though, both characters are very unique. David is older and wiser. He is more mature and patient. He teaches new things to Bob and has the skills to survive in the mountains. It is David who saves Bob from falling and in doing so, slips and falls himself. Even then he accepts his fate by stating that he had not checked his footing well enough.David's attitude toward mercy killing is, he feels that when an animal or human is suffering because of an injury or illness it should be taken out of its misery. Bob does not feel that this is right in the beginning when he finds a robin and wants to tame it. David quickly took the robin and killed it because it could never fly. Later Bob has to make the same decision concerning his friend when he is lying on the ledge asking to be rolled over the side of the mountain.In the end, Bob realizes that it is right to end the suffering which is shown when he pushes his friend off the cliff to put an end to his pain. Bob is less experienced and younger than David....

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