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The Temperature Of Poetry Essay

1577 words - 7 pages

The Temperature of Poetry
Poetry is one of the stranger parts of the literary world. A poem can be anything, from a three-lined poem known as a haiku to a giant epic poem like the “The Odyssey.” They can be rhyming or non-rhyming, long or short, sensible or nonsensical. Even lyrics in songs can be considered poetry, seeing as how they are rhyming and flow so well. The parameters for a poem are wide, the requirements few; but no matter what kind of poem you read, from Homer to Doctor Seuss to John Mayer, symbolism is the driving force behind it all. Symbolism is the basis for almost every piece of poetry written so far, barring some of the works of Doctor Seuss. One recurring piece of ...view middle of the document...

However, you realize that this is just a memory towards the end when Wordsworth states that “For oft, when on my couch I lie / in vacant or in pensive mood” (19-20). This encounter with the daffodils is not a current activity, but a memory upon which he thinks upon whenever he is dealing with the sadness and confusion of real life. The second poem, “Disabled,” is much darker than its counterpart. Owen speaks rather of a war veteran sitting alone in a hospital room, who “shivered in his ghastly suit of grey / Legless, sewn short at elbow” (2-3). In this poem the reverse tactic of Wordsworth is used, with the depression of life coming to the forefront while the comforting memory follows the cold introduction. The warmth in this poem is not so much directly stated as implied, as the disabled veteran talks of the old days in which he was the town’s pride and joy, very handsome, and a soccer player to boot. The light of glow-lamps, the warmth of happiness and life itself pervade the middle of the writing. This character is full of warm, joyous life, but once he makes the decision to go to war all this is soon taken from him as Owen writes “half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race / And leap of purple spurted from his thigh.” (19-20). at the end the poem returns to reality, the veteran alone once more in a cold, dark room. No more cheering at football games, no more warm looks from girls, no more of the love of the woman he joined the army to impress in the first place. In short, the warmth of life had literally been taken from him. Wilfred Owen fought in the First World War, and actually died in the final week of it. In writing this poem one can be sure that everything he had written, every thought and feeling that the narrator had, Owen had either known someone who felt the same or he himself had felt the same in his last moments of life. In this way, “Owen offers the poem as a personal statement on war and its effect on people” (Parrott).
The second function of temperature in poetry is its conveyance of comfort. In Judith Ortiz Cofer’s poem “The Latin Deli: An Ars Poetica” the main focus is a small Latin deli in New York City. Once again, warmth is implied rather than stated in this work, but the implied warmth is so apparent that it may as well be stated. The Latin deli is a place where people that immigrated from a multitude of places like Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans can come and they can all feel welcome and at home. There are products for sale only available in their homeland, the atmosphere is very similar to something you would find in any of these countries, and the woman that keeps the deli is a kindly older woman that acts almost like a mother to these people visiting her deli. Overall the deli is a sign of warmth and comfort because it represents something far more than just a small grocery store in the midst of the millions of New York City residents. It is a place of refuge for those who feel alone in their surroundings; a...

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