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Textual Essay

By | October 2012
Page 1 of 3
Ryan Bradford
9/26/12
English Literature to 1700
O’Cambs

Textual Analysis Essay
Vision of the Cross

Does the poet, Ciaran Carson, in the “Vision of the Cross” makes the cross a disciple of Christ to bring the message of Christianity? Lines 28-32 states, “Years ago, I still remember it, /they hewed me from a forest. I cut off/from my roots and taken by determined foes/who made a laughingstock of me, a hoist/ for criminals. Men shouldered me on a hill.” Carson talks about the history of the cross starting as a tree and being cut from its roots. This could mean that it was taken from its history and its family to become something that the poem says a “laughingstock” (31) which alludes to this tree is made into something that is laughed at or the butt of a joke. Carson’s goes in deeper of what this tree will become and how the cross becomes who it is. It states that “Men shouldered me and set me on a hill,”(32) which the poet can bring awareness to the tree of what its purpose is essentially, which is a cross, where criminals in Biblical times were put on to die, but also humiliated by the public for their crimes. The poem “Vision of the Cross,” Ciaran Carson goes in further of what the cross is in lines 33-38, “That gang of foes secured me there. And then I saw the Lord/courageously approached to climb on high on me. / I dared not burst nor shiver into bits/ against his word, although I saw/ the earthquake. I could have felled all his foes/ but stood fast instead.” When the poet says, “And then I saw the Lord,” (33) he means the cross realized that it was more than a cross for criminals, but its purpose was something bigger. As Carson’s poem continues about the cross knowing that it is serving a bigger purpose and it states, “I dared not to burst nor shiver into bits” (35), could mean that the cross knew what it was here to do, but was fearful. The poem stated that the cross knew that Jesus was not a criminal, but was dying for the sins of...

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