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In all poems there is a theme, whether the theme be obvious from the start or it
be one that is difficult to find. No matter how long or short a poem or how
complicated or simple every poem that you read will have a theme. In "Beale
Street Love" by Langston Hughes, the poem illustrates a theme that would be
along the lines of a dangerous love. Hughes demonstrates this quality over and
over again by depicting an abusive love with his powerful words. Even though the
poem is short in length, the words are so powerful that it completely takes you
aback to a dangerous love situation. For example, Hughes uses such words as
"crushing the lips, blackening the eyes, hit me again..." These words
lead one to believe that there is definitely a feeling of love, fear, and
embarrassment which in turn would lead to a potentially dangerous situation for
whomever was in this predicament. I believe the poet handles this theme very
well in the sense that it lets one in on something so common but yet so fearful.
Hughes keeps the poem short, simple and to the point and does not put on the
"rose colored glasses" so to speak. Elizabeth Bishop illustrates a
theme that seems to include of feeling or sense of loss. The author goes on to
describe the islands as if she were looking into a mirror of her past. She
states, "the islands haven't shifted since last summer, even if I like to
pretend they have..." It prepares the reader for the fact that she is about
to reminisce or come across some sort of fond memory. As she continues she
realizes how everything she is experiencing is just like the past. She continues
to recollect about a friend that she kept dear to her heart. Bishop remembers
previous conversations and fun times she experienced with this special friend.
Then she continues on to say, "you left North Haven, anchored in its rock,
afloat in mystic blue...And now-you've left for good. You can't derange or
re-arrange, your poems again. (But the sparrows can their song.) The words won't
change again. Sad friend, you cannot change." This implies that her good
friend left and now she is alone with only her memories and rejoicing in the
memories she will always have with her special friend. I think the author
handles the theme very well. She puts the feeling of loss into a special feeling
that only a memory that one may hold deep in one's heart. She sets the theme of
loss in a positive state verses dealing with the theme of loss in a depressing.
Robert Frost's theme in "Out, Out-" is one of loss. He demonstrates
this by starting his poem talking about wood being sawed off and it falling to
the ground, this is foreshadowing for the inevitable. He goes on to give
description of the saw, through it sounds and its actions. You can tell from the
begging of the poem that something tragic is going to happen with the saw
whether it be with the one that is operating it or some one who is close to it.
Frost depicts the boy as just that a boy doing a mans job and due to the fact
that it is a boy doing a mans job he is careless and gets distracted. The boys
sister comes outside and tells him that dinner is ready and carelessly the boy
looses control of the saw cutting off his hand. The boys first words are
"Don't let him cut my hand off-The doctor, when he comes. Don't let him,
sister!" This shows the boys fear and the trust that he has in his sister.
Frost at first leads you to believe that the boy is simply going to lose his
hand but with the line " They listened at his heart little-less-nothing!
And that ended it No more to build on there" You see that the boy lost his
life. Frost handled the theme of loss very well he first lead us to believe that
the thing that was going to be lost was the boys hand but Frost took it to
another level by taking the boys life. I have tried to demonstrate to you that
in every poem there is a theme. No matter the author or the length of the poem.
You must make sure that you read the poem carefully and with an open mind to see
really what the author has
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