Analysis on ‘Dover Beach’ and ‘The Voice →
Analysis on ‘Marrysong’
Posted on March 25, 2011
Essay 5: Explore the ways in which the poet vividly conveys the relationship between husband and wife in “Marrysong” by Dennis Scott.
An extended metaphor runs through the entire text, which compares the wife’s personality to a “territory”. The references to “geography”, “landscapes”, “country” and “roads” draw parallels between his wife’s mind and a physical, newly discovered land, which he must explore, as suggested by “charted” and “map”. In doing so, it evokes associations of mystery and bravery in facing the unknown – which seem entirely appropriate. However, there is quite a contrast between the images of a physical land, which we think of as being constant and natural, and the intellectual territory which “shifted under his eye”. This incongruity serves to make the description far more startling and surreal.
Not only does the lie of the land change, but the timescale on which thess shifts occurs also changes. In the first line, the poet states that the shifts occur “year after year”. Next, the time is shortened by a passing reference to “seasons”, then shrunk to “An hour”, becomes instantaneous – “suddenly she would change” – and then lengthens again to “each day”.
Overall, the poem is significantly lacking in fluency, an effect which is brought about by the repeated use of caesurae. Most lines are broken by pauses, denoted by commas, such as “that territory, without seasons, shifted” in line 2, and full stops, like “under his eye. An hour” in line 3. The sudden stutter of “All, all” is particularly effective in disrupting the flow built up in the previous line. The syntax is often awkward, in places like “learned her, quite” and “An hour he could be lost”. This slows down the reader and creates a sense of uncertainty, and thus the writing is made to mirror the subject matter.
Furthermore, the first five lines are heavily enjambed,... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2012, 04). Literature. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 04, 2012, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Literature-960832.html
"Literature" StudyMode.com. 04 2012. 04 2012 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Literature-960832.html>.
"Literature." StudyMode.com. 04, 2012. Accessed 04, 2012. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Literature-960832.html.