Thursday, March 03, 2005

Mutability -- Percy Shelley

We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly!—yet soon
Night closes round, and they are lost for ever.

Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
Give various response to each varying blast,
To whose frail frame no second motion brings
One mood or modulation like the last.

We rest. – A dream has power to poison sleep;
We rise. –One wandering thought pollutes the day;
We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:

It is the same! –For, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free:
Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability.

6 Comments:

At 8:01 AM, Blogger TeairaLaw said...

Percy Bysshe Shelley

He was born August 4th, 1772 at Field Place; into an aristocratic family. He was an English Romantic poet. He held strong beliefs against English politics and conservative values. He died in 1827. He showed his political views through much of his work.

Structure
This is a lyric poem, which is a poem that expresses the thoughts and feelings of the poet, and every other word rhymes.
I.e.: moon and soon quiver and ever

Tone
The speaker has an indifferent tone through most of the poem except in the 3rd stanza when he has a very pessimistic tone.

Imagery
1st stanza- a lot of imagery through the use of the words clouds, darkness, midnight moon, and night.
2nd stanza-there is an illustration of music piece being played that dies out. The imagery here is not as beautiful it’s sad.
3rd stanza- there is not much imagery here except different emotions like laugh and weep.
4th stanza-there is also not much imagery again just emotions.

Analysis
1st stanza
We try to be ostentatious but in the end the human race is insignificant because we are easily forgotten. We think that we are more important than we are.
There is a lot of imagery like the clouds, darkness, midnight moon, night,
2nd stanza
People are like musical pieces being played where eventually the musician forgets their notes. People are forgotten is mentioned again just in a different metaphor.
3rd stanza
People are always corrupted. No matter what they do no good will come about.
4th stanza
Joy and sorrow are fleeting. Life changes everyday and there is nothing you can do about it.

 
At 8:02 AM, Blogger TeairaLaw said...

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At 1:15 AM, Blogger JTanag5 said...

In this poem, the main idea that is trying to be conveyed is "change," and that change is on going.

Shelley (1792-1822) was born into a rich Aristocratic family. He is known to be one of the best English romantic poets. He traveled alot during his 20s-30s.

In the first two stanzas, there is alot of imagery. References to clouds gleaming radiantly through the darkness, and dissonant strings varying in each note of its frail frame. These images bring in the reader closer to the poem, sparking interest and later, understanding of the concept of change.

The third stanza incorporates rhythm. Short, two word sentences preceeding a longer one, describing the outcome of the first sentence, creates a melodramatic feel to the poem. The preaching tone is within the whole poem, from the first images to the last stanza.

The last stanza brings it all together, making the poem come full cirle. The imagery and rhythm in the first three stanzas had an positive/negative placement in them. Take the first stanza: "We are clouds...speed, gleam and quiver...night closes round...lost for ever." These beautiful things are easily lost into the night. The third stanza's rhythm is also based on positive/negative: "We rest" (assuming that rest is a good natural thing we need) and then comes "dream has power to poison." This places a contradictory aspect of "rest", along with "rise" and "embrace fond woe," or "cast our cares away." It is unlikely for us to favor our misfortunes or disregard our personal needs.

The rhyming sceme is simple, ABAB for each stanza. The last light brings it all together, stating that change is inevitable, that it is a constant and will always come. Change being something that is the same is quite contradictory when you think about it, but when you see it through this poem, one can understand the dynamics of change and why Shelley decided to write this poem.

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger Huckleberry said...

Tone: The tone is very pessimistic and depressing, very hopeless. There is a shift in tone between the third and fourth stanza, because the last stanza sort of casts away all the cares that are brought up in the first stanzas. The speaker seems to be very wistful in how he describes mankind, but at the same time he sees life as very bleak and pointless, almost cyclical because humans come and go but rarely make an impact on the world that actually matters.

Structure: Lyric poem, four stanzas, every other line rhymes, but is not to be read in an upbeat manner. Is not very big on literary devices like alliteration or onamontapeia, but it is full of imagery...ex: "We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon..."

Theme: The theme of the poem is what the title explains, change. The world changes, people change, and when everything is said and done, an individual is not important enough to stop the sun from coming up in the morning or going down at night. Shelley portrays change as a negative for the first 3 stanzas of the poem, because he interprets it in the sense that humans make no difference, and our actions have no meaning because they will have been in vain in the end, because we all end up dead anyway, but the last stanza is a bit more hopeful. Because even if we are all doomed to the same ultimate fate, we have the power each and every day to rise and make a fresh new decision, and that is revitalizing. Every day is a new day, and we are free to travel the road we choose, and even if we choose the wrong path, another day will come with another choice and opportunity.

Stanzaic pattern: Not really relevant to this poem. There are no irregularities.

Poetic language: The entire poem is written poetically and figuratively. In the first stanza, Shelley compares humans to clouds, and describes eloquently how we speed and quiver and move about restlessly until night comes, and we are all overshadowed. Shelley is clearly making the connection that man is mortal in this first stanza.
In the second stanza, Shelley compares humans to instruments that have been cast aside, whose melodies were sweet in their own time but are now forgotten. He goes further to describe mankind as frail, and that once their "time to shine" is over, it will never come again.
The third stanza explores human emotion on an extremely deep level, claiming that dreams poison sleep and that wandering thoughts pollute the day, both very pessimistic conclusions, and Shelley then puts in what he feels to be the most common emotions humans feel: "We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep; Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:"
The fourth stanza ends with Shelley claiming that these emotions amount to nothing, because no matter how bad one day was, another one is always on the way for tomorrow, and each day is fresh with no decisions yet made in it. This tone shift comes perhaps from the realization that mankind can do nothing to stop the vicious cycle mankind creates, so what else to do besides embrace it?

 
At 4:05 AM, Blogger wainy said...

west

 
At 4:15 AM, Blogger wainy said...

west poem

 

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