This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

William Stafford's Traveling Through The Dark

1195 words - 5 pages

Profound Meaning in William Stafford's Traveling Through the Dark

The power of the poet is not only to convey an everyday scene into a literary portrait of words, but also to interweave this scene into an underlying theme. The only tool the poet has to wield is the word. Through a careful placement and selection of words, the poet can hopefully make his point clear, but not blatantly obvious. Common themes of poems are life, death, or the conflicting forces thereto. This theme could never possibly be overused because of the endless and limitless ways of portraying life or death through the use of different words.

In William Stafford's "Traveling Through the Dark", there are conflicting themes between birth and death, man and nature, and ultimately creation and destruction. It would take several years for a fully grown doe to develop, but it would only take a few seconds for that doe to be killed. Using the tools of the poet, Stafford vividly illustrates a scene in which man has completely destroyed and felt no remorse for a product of nature. This disrespect would only lead the driver to travel through the moral darkness of insensitivity and desecration towards nature.

There it lay. A dead doe in middle of the road. The previous driver obviously had not thought twice after hitting the deer and had no sincerity towards nature nor the decency to at least move the carcass off the narrow road. The deer lay in the road, unburied, uncared for, unmourned, and untended. Ironically, if the carcass had remained on the road, it might have meant the taking of the life of another driver as Stafford stated in line 4: "that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead".

The tone of this poem is one of sadness, but also blatantly graphic, yet honest. By giving detailed descriptions of the dead doe, Stafford almost creates a sickening feeling within the reader. In the second stanza, Stafford's diction conjures a graphic image of the carcass with words like "stiffened", "cold" and referring to the carcass as a "heap". The language itself conveys the carcass as though it had never lived before, but instead, always remained dead.

As mentioned in the title and the first line, "Traveling Through the Dark", the darkness creates a tense and disoriented setting, for the narrator is confused on what exactly to do with the carcass. The darkness can also symbolize the insensitivity of man towards nature, a moral darkness. The syntax of the first line is also interesting in that it is not told that the deer is dead until the beginning of the second line, so the poem may start off almost as a happy one until discovered that the deer is in fact dead. The word "dead" is used to kick off the second line, which creates a thud-like sound when read aloud.

The third stanza introduces the fawn within the doe, a sharp contrast between the scene of darkness and death with life and birth. However, this concept of birth and life is nothing to be celebrated,...

Find Another Essay On William Stafford's Traveling Through the Dark

A Comparison Between ?Traveling through the dark? and ?A Noiseless, Pa

1141 words - 5 pages A Comparison Between “Traveling through the dark” and “A Noiseless, Patient Spider”      William Stafford’s "Traveling through the dark" is beautifully written poem that expresses one of life’s most challenging aspects. It is the story of a man’s solitary struggle to deal with a tragic event that he encounters. Driving down a narrow mountain road, “Traveling through the dark,” the narrator of the poem

Travelling Through the Dark- Poetry Analysis Paper

948 words - 4 pages Travelling Through the DarkDarkness is the traditional symbol for the unknown, the feared. It also symbolizes evil, confusion, and uncertainty. In William Stafford's poem "Traveling Through the Dark," the poem's narrator finds himself in a dilemma, which is particularly timely. In the poem, the narrator describes an event which suddenly makes him aware of his connection to his environment while, at the same time, the narrator realizes that his

Victory over the Dark Wood (William Styron)

889 words - 4 pages Tiffany VentoENB 215 Paper #2April 6th, 2003Victory over the Dark WoodWilliam Styron's fall from grace is a captivating story of the horrors of living with unipolar disorder. After recognizing the symptoms of unipolar disorder, Styron takes us through a terrifying glimpse of his battle to overcome the dark wood.According to Comer, Unipolar disorder is depression without a history of mania. A major depressive episode consists of many symptoms

William Wordsworth and William Blake: The use of light and dark imagery to create memory

914 words - 4 pages In the poem's "Ode, Intimations of Immortality" by William Wordsworth and "The Tyger" and "The Chimney Sweeper" by William Blake from Songs of Experience, the poets use light and dark imagery to give the audience a picture of life and, ultimately, death. The poems all have the idea of death in common but most importantly, both poets are able to enhance the reader's experience by providing them with a real sense of place and emotion through their

The Dark Side of Human Nature Analyzed Through Poe and Hawthorne's Perspective

1630 words - 7 pages motivate evil, and how is it perceived differently? Evil is profoundly immoral and/or malevolent and occurs when someone knows what they are doing is wrong and continue to do so. Dark Romantic authors like Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne use gothic elements in order to portray the dark and gloomy undertones of the psyche of the stories’ characters, and through the characters, essentially the nature of all humans. Section 2: Hawthorne

William Bartram and His Travels through the Southeastern United States

1432 words - 6 pages " ("Final Years," par 4). "Such physical conditions made a long trip out of the question" ("Final Years," par 4). No cause was documented of Bartram's death in 1823 at the age of 84 (McMichael 566).SummaryAfter many years of traveling with his father, William Bartram decided to take a journey of his own. In April of 1773, Bartram left Philadelphia and journeyed south to begin his four-year expedition (McMichael 567). He made this journey "at the

Family: Based on "A Visit to Grandmother" by William Melvin Kelley and "My Father Sits in the Dark" by Jerome Weidman

1178 words - 5 pages " by William Melvin Kelley and "My Father Sits in the Dark" by Jerome Weidman, the characters dealt with communication problems within their families. In the story, "A Visit to Grandmother," Chig and his father, Charles, decided to go back home to visit their family. When Chig and Charles arrived home, Charles' family was ecstatic to see him and they started reminiscing about the old times. During this visit, Charles realized how his lack of

William Golding´s Lord of the Flies: A Look at the Evil of Man through the Christian Lens

1366 words - 5 pages Woe Soyinka, a Nigerian writer, once said “Well, some people say I'm pessimistic because I recognize the eternal cycle of evil. All I say is, look at the history of mankind right up to this moment and what do you find?” Essentially, Soyinka is saying that it is mankind’s inevitable fate to repeat its past due to the endless existence of evil. Soyinka’s ideas are echoed in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. In the novel, a group of well

In the novel "Lord of the Flies", by William Golding, the author shows through characterization that man is inherently evil

1306 words - 5 pages , by William Golding, the author shows through characterization that man is inherently evil.The author shows that there is evil within everyone. In some it is more prominent then others, but it always there and the person usually has the ability to control whether or not to let it out. The author shows this through the use of Jack and the boys in his "tribe." When Jack first finds a pig on the island, while on an exploration with Simon and Ralph

"The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams. This essay analizes how theme is expressed through character

533 words - 2 pages "The Use of Force", a short story by William Carlos Williams published in 1938 depicts the story of two characters in confrontation. The narrative implies the severity of a situation when social roles and personal impulses intertwine. An analysis can be done by determining the correlation amongst characters and this theme. The man's behaviour towards the girl and this young patient's reaction emphasize the difficulties people have separating

"Antony and cleopatra", William shakespeare- Discuss Shakespeare's explanation of the reality behind outward appearances through his dramatization of change in the play

849 words - 3 pages these appearances is revealed. Swift Change suggests a play of outward appearance. William Shakespeare has explained the theme of reality behind appearances through his dramatization of change in the play " Antony and Cleopatra". The change in the play are the political situation, Enorbarbus's loyalty, Caesar's change, Antony's change- in his attitude toward Cleopatra and in his valiant nature.In the play, the political situation changes quickly

Similar Essays

Importance Of Control In Stafford's Traveling Through The Dark

729 words - 3 pages Importance of Control in Stafford's Traveling Through the Dark   In William Stafford's "Traveling Through the Dark," the narrator encounters a dead deer on the edge of the road. He knows that the safe and proper course of action is to push the deer into the canyon, but when he finds that the doe was near giving birth before she died, he hesitates to kill the unborn fawn. Stafford's central idea in the poem revolves around the

Traveling Through The Dark Essay

727 words - 3 pages "Traveling Through the Dark" by William Stafford was published in 1962. This poem has no consistent line length; there is also no specific rhyme scheme. One characteristic I found in this poem is the similarity between some of the words. Some of the words have the same sounds such as lines five and seven: "By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car.../she had stiffened already, almost cold" (Stafford 155), the words "car" and "cold

Saving Lives In "Traveling Through The Dark" By William Stafford

802 words - 3 pages observe the details. The poem "Traveling through the Dark" by William Stafford is about making the right decisions and saving lives. In this poem, the speaker will tell us the story of how he made the correct decision and saved the life of many people. "Traveling through the dark I found a deer dead on the edge of the Wilson River road. It is usually best to roll them into the canyon: that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead

Traveling Through The Dark Poetry Analysis

1145 words - 5 pages Untitled Travelling Through the Dark Darkness is the traditional symbol for the unknown, the feared. It also symbolizes evil, confusion, and uncertainty. In William Stafford's poem "Traveling Through the Dark," the poem's narrator finds himself in a dilemma, which is particularly timely.� In the poem, the narrator describes an�event which suddenly makes him aware of his connection to his environment while, at the