Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Close Reading: "The Night-Wood" by Emily Bronte

"The Night-Wood" page 108
"I sat in silent musing,
The soft wind waved my hair:
It told me Heaven was gloriuos,
And sleeping Earth was fair" (5-8).

This section of poem may seem simple, however I believe that it has a deeper meaning. If you read the entire poem and then come back to this section it seems as if the speaker is contemplating suicide. When the speaker says that Heaven is glorious but Earth is only fair what else is the reader left to think? Throughout the poem the speaker argues with Nature on how he wishes to be left alone even though they have been constant companions for the speakers entire life.
There are some words in this poem which fall into the category of onomatopoeia such as waved and murmur. There are normally five feet in a line, and it falls into iambic pentameter. There is no constant rhyme shceme, however there are a some lines that rhyme.

Rebecca Z.


Melissa Kerrigan said...

I really like this poem, however, I don't really see the speaker contemplating suicide. When I read this I get more of the sense that the speaker wants to go wandering in the middle of the night [though this probably isn't the smartest idea.] It could be a poem about that, but I don't pick up on it. I also feel that if the speaker were to commit suicide that, depending on their religion, they would expect to go to heaven. I do like the section you selected; it's very simple and elegant, almost delicate in the way it is worded. It helps give the sense that Earth is only fair [which is how some view it, if not as cruel], and heaven as something far greater.

Rachael91087 said...

i enjoyed the poem, i suppose i understand why you may find suicide in your reading, however i do not see it myself. It is a bit dark, and walking around at night may not be the smartest or safest idea, but i dont think the speaker is looking for death. I believe this poem is more of a reflection on the meaing of life through earth, and then what heaven would be like. I agree more with melissa.

woodstl said...

From the lines that you quoted, I can understand how suicide could come to mind. Since the speaker does obviously hold the virtues of Heaven over Earth which is only achieved only through death. But like Melissa- if there is any religious tone to the poem, suicide would not lead to heaven.