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The Lonely Land

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  • November 2011
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The poem “The Lonely Land” by A.J.M Smith can be compared with the poem by Marilyn Dumont called “Not Just a Platform for My Dance”. Smith’s poem, “The Lonely Land”, describes the land in detail. He says that even though the land is not perfect, it has its own beauty. “Not Just a Platform for My Dance” states that the land is not just considered as a place, but as something to learn from. Dumont also explains how the land teaches us everything we know. Even though both of the poems are about the land, one poem gives the land a human characteristic. To both writers, the land is considered as something special.

The two poems can be seen as being different but they also share some similar things. When looking at “The Lonely Land”, it forms a visual object. This object could be identified as the letter ‘i’. The letter ‘i’ stands alone, which could mean isolation. “The Lonely Land” has very lengthy stanzas to represent that the land is lonely for a long period. “Not Just a Platform for My Dance” also has its own visual effect to the poem. The poem looks something like a platform because of its wide look formed by the long lines. The short stanzas in this poem could represent steps to get on to the platform. “The Lonely Land” uses punctuation to help the readers get a clearer view. “Cedar and jagged fir/uplift sharp barbs/against the gray/and cloud-piled sky;” (1-4) helps visualize a tree with short, sharp needles. In Dumont’s poem, she uses no punctuation to keep the poem flowing smoothly as if it were a dance with no interruptions. When she states “this land is/my tongue my eyes my mouth” (6) it can be seen as a beat for steps while dancing. Even though these two poems contrast greatly, they share similar features. In both of the poems, they start out with short and choppy sentences. “this land is not” (1) and “Cedar and jagged fir” (1) are examples from the first stanza in each poem. Both poems use repetition, which gives similar...