Sunday, April 13, 2008

Close Reading
Robert Frost
"Fireflies in the Garden"

Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in their size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
Only, of course, they can't sustain the part.

The signifigance of this poem can be found in its tone, alliteration and ryhming. The tone of the poem is rather "matter of fact;" the speaker is assuming that the reader knows the fact that fireflies can only live three weeks before dying. The speaker's opinion on the theme of stars is that there is really only one type of actual star and those are the ones in the sky, the ones on earth seem to be cheap imitations to the speaker. Alliteration in the use of the "s" sound repeatedly keeps the image of a star in you mind but all the "s" sounds also begin to sound like a fly after a bit of reading. The comparison and relation to stars and fireflies is apparent even in the sounds of the words. The rhyming of the lines links the first three lines to how there are stars in the sky and on earth, but the next lines point out the distinct differences about how one can last and the other can not and the change in rhyming at that point is what signals the change in meaning. The rhyme is essential for understanding the poem's meaning and shift in meaning.

Kelly Gore 298

1 comment:

Kelly Flannery said...

You did a great close reading on this poem. I had to read it a few times before i picked up on the alliteration you pointed out. The "s" sound used repeatedly definitely keeps the image of the start in the reader's mind.