The Sunlight on the Garden Analysis(Scribd)

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CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF LOUIS MACNEICE'S
"THE SUNLIGHT ON THE GARDEN"
The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold;
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.
Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.
The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying
And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.
In this essay, I will try to analyze Louis Macneice's "The sunlight on the garden". This poem consists of four stanzas, and each stanza contains six poetic lines. Therefore, I will analyze each stanza and clarify sense imagery, figures of speech, rhyme and the musical tools used in it.

First, the title of the poem "The sunlight on the garden" shows that the poem will talk about the beauty of nature, but the repetition of the title at the beginning and at the end of the poem gives me an impression that the poet may have something else to convey to us behind this title. Anyway, as I continue analyzing the poem, the title will demonstrate its significance.

In the first stanza "The sunlight on the garden/ Hardens and grows cold,/ We

cannot cage the minute/ Within its nets of gold;/ When all is told/We cannot beg for pardon. "The second line casts the first doubt on the true meaning of the title; because the first line, as the title, shows a beautiful natural view; the sun spreads its rays and light on the garden. So this line is pleasant, but the second line "Hardens and grows cold" comes to decrease the beauty of this landscape, as the poet expresses that this sunlight is dim; it is not strong enough to spread warmth. So I think the poet wants to show that this sunlight is in its last stage before the night will come soon. So he uses "hardens" and"grows cold"to demonstrate that the sun is about to hide;i.e, the day light is about to vanish and the night will come soon.In fact, this line shows the poet's desperate mode,contrary to the superficial meaning of the first line.Here comes the question: why does the poet feel despair?Maybe as the poem proceeds, I can know the reason for the poet's despair.The poem continues to show his down mode in lines 3 and 4"We cannot cage the minute/Within its nets of gold;".In fact, I notice two things in these two lines:first,the plural pronoun "we";and second, the verb"cage".In the first stanza, there is only one character, the poet, who is speaking, so why does the poet use the pronoun"we"?Moreover, the pronoun"we"is also used in line 5 "We cannot beg for pardon."I think the poet uses the pronoun"we"to refer to a fact;we all sdmit that we can not restrict a unit of time;i.e, the minute. The poet's use of the verb"cage"is so accurate;as it reflects his desperate mode .In addition,the verb"cage"reflects the poet's suffering and inability.Hence I can detect that the poet is afraid of time.He gives an impression that he is restricted by time, and the verb"cage"and the word"nets"increase this impression.The negative in line six "cannot beg for pardon"shows the poet's inability as if he is enslaved.So maybe the poet is a prisoner , or at least something restricts him and makes him feel despair and sadness.The last two lines in the first stanza"When all is told/We cannot beg for pardon."also strengthen the poet's fear from time.He is afraid he cannot say all he wants in this short period of time before the sunlight vanishes, as if his life is related to the sunlight.The verb"beg"shows that the poet is restricted and maybe imprisoned, so he asks for pardon, but he cannot because the time is about to end.The last line in the first stanza gives an impression that the poet is about to die or even he is dying now.This...
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