Despair Works of dark prose

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You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting— over and over announcing your place in the family of things. It could mean something.

Selected Poems and Prose

It could mean everything. It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote, You must change your life. Is it, in fact, what Rilke meant? His poem treats an encounter with a work of art that is also, somehow, an encounter with a god—a headless figure that nonetheless seems to see him and challenge him. The words come like a thunderbolt at the end of the poem, without preparation or warning.


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In keeping with the American impulse toward self-improvement, the transformation Oliver seeks is both simpler and more explicit. Unlike Rilke, she offers a blueprint for how to go about it. Just pay attention, she says, to the natural world around you—the goldfinches, the swan, the wild geese. They will tell you what you need to know. Theirs is a gentler form of moral direction. More than half of them are from books published in the past twenty or so years. For one thing, her love poetry—almost always explicitly addressed to a female beloved—is largely absent.

The whistling is so unexpected that Oliver at first wonders if a stranger is in the house. Her delight turns melancholic as she reflects on the inability to completely possess the beloved:. I know her so well, I think. I thought. Elbow and ankle.

Darkness in literature: five great darknesses | Books | The Guardian

Mood and desire. Anguish and frolic. A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall. Knifing down the black ledges?

For America’s most beloved poet, paying attention to nature is a springboard to the sacred.

And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -. A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet.

Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river? And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything? And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?

2. Shakespeare

And have you changed your life? On a summer morning. I sat down. Near me, I saw.

How great was its energy,. Let us hope. Understand, I am always trying to figure out. Beside me. I looked but I couldn't see anything. I believe I will never quite know. Though I play at the edges of knowing,. Don't call this world adorable, or useful, that's not it. It's frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds. The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil. The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold. But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white.

Other Matters of Sound and Their Examples

Doesn't the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance? Who squats, legs crossed and arms folded, matching its look against the moon-face, the star-faces, of the West?


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  • Who are the Mississippi Valley ghosts, of copper foreheads, riding wiry ponies in the night? Why do they always come back when the silver foxes sit around the early moon, a silver papoose, in the Indian west? Next in the list of sound devices is consonance. Most often this repetition will be seen at the end of a line, however, it could also be seen at the start. Shall I Wasting in Despair by George Wither is an excellent example of proper use of consonance in poetry. By clicking "Log In", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

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