Selasa, 02 Agustus 2011

The poem: "What Are Years" - by Marianne Moore (an analysis)

What are years?
by Marianne Moore
What is our innocence,
what is our guilt? All are
naked, none is safe. And whence
is courage: the unanswered question,
the resolute doubt, -
dumbly calling, deafly listening-that
in misfortune, even death,
encourage others
and in it's defeat, stirs
the soul to be strong? He 
sees deep and is glad, who
accedes to mortality
and in his imprisonment rises
upon himself as 
the sea in a chasm, struggling to be
free and unable to be,
in its surrendering
finds its continuing.
So he who strongly feels,
behaves. The very bird,
grown taller as he sings, steels
his form straight up. Though he is captive,
his mighty singing
says, satisfaction is a lowly
thing, how pure a thing is joy.
This is mortality,
this is eternity.

Analyzed by Rudi Brata
Title : What are years?
The speaker in this poem is someone who confesses or admits that every human has his or her strengths and weaknesses. The speaker also tells that only the God Almighty who knows who we are and what we are. Because we as human have limitations.  
The central purpose of this poem is to tell the readers that we as human should realize that nobody is perfect. Every human is sometimes uncertain and has a limitation in the course of his or her life. However, we have to face and take gladly and thankfully for what the God has given to us even though we have some constraints. This poem gives a message to us that we are only as small as dust in the eyes of the God. We as human just do the best we can and enjoy the life. However our life, fate, luck are determined by the God. Therefore, we have to be wise, respectful, kind, humble to each other, we don’t have to be arrogant among us. For that reasons, we have to surrender ourselves to the God.  
There are four imageries in this poem. They are: auditory, visual, organic and kinesthetic. In the first stanza there are some words such as “guilt”, “innocence”, “courage”, “doubt” and the phrase “none is safe” are categorized as internal sensation or organic imagery. Because those words refer to the feeling from the heart of a person who feels that way. The words “death” and “naked” are considered as visual imagery because they give pictures of the state of someone’s condition. The phrase “dumbly calling” and the word “stirs” are a kind of movement or kinesthetic imagery because to call someone and to stir something need the movement from the parts of our body. However, the phrase “deafly listening” is categorized as sound or auditory imagery because someone can listen to something that produces sound. In the second stanza, the sentences “the soul to be strong”, “struggling to be free and unable to be” and the word “glad” are categorized as internal sensation or organic imagery. Because they reflect the feeling in someone’s heart. The sentences “He sees deep” and “the sea in a chasm” are categorized as visual imagery because the sentence “he sees deep” means that person uses his/her eyes to see something deeply. And the sentence “the sea in a chasm” depicts a kind of sea located in a long narrow opening on earth. However, the sentence “struggling to be free” is also categorized as kinesthetic imagery because it can also describe the activity that needs the movement of the person’s body. In the third stanza, the sentence “The very bird, grown taller as he sings” is a kind of visual imagery because it pictures something that is growing from small when it’s young to big when it’s old. The sentences “he who strongly feels”, “satisfaction is a lowly thing” and “how pure is joy” are categorized as internal sensation or organic imagery. Because they tell about someone’s feeling about his or her satisfaction and joy in his or her life. The phrases “grown taller as he sings”, “his mighty singing says” and “steels his form straight up” and the word “behaves”  are categorized as kinesthetic imagery. Because the activities of singing and growing need movement.
There are three symbols in this poem. They are metaphors, simile and allusions. The metaphor symbol refers to the statement, for example, “The very bird, grown taller as he sings, steels his form straight up. Though he is captive”. Because the statement implies that grown-up people face challenges when they live their own life. Then, the examples of simile symbol is from the sentence “The sea in a chasm”. This sentence implies that every human has his or her limitation because nobody’s perfect. And the last is the examples of allusion symbol are from the words such as “innocence”, “captive” and “imprisonment.” These words represents the experience of humans or people in their stages of life from childhood until adulthood. We as humans will experience and face those feelings in our life.

1 komentar: