Journey of Life to Heaven
“Uphill” by Christina Rossetti is about the journey of life, or death, to heaven. The poem is an exchange of a series of brief and succinct questions and answers between two speakers: an inquiring traveler who asks many questions about the journey of life or death in which she is heading to (heaven), and an ex-traveler or guide who has taken that path before answering with a assured, and perfectly calm tone. In the poem, the poet uses difference devices such as quatrain, common meter , and perhaps it is written in strict iambic meter with lines vary in length and in the number of feet. The poet uses imagery, and symbolism (allegory)to express emotion and picture a traveler who has to take the road “uphill”, and who hopes to find an inn at the end of her travel. The poem sends a message that though find life hard but there are always comfort, help, and generosity along the way.
This poem illustrates two ways in which line length is varied in a strict meter. The first variation is seen in the first line, which has nine syllables. This is still a five foot line because feet are constructed by iterative parenthesis insertion from right to left, the leftmost foot is the last constructed and can fall short.The second variation involves the number of feet in each line. As can be seen in “uphill” all odd-numbered lines are pentameters, whereas the even-numbered lines vary in length between three and five feet, there are 5 trimeter lines, 1 tetrameter and 3 pentameters. This difference in length reflects the fact that the poem has the forms of a dialogue where each odd-numbered (pentameter) line represents a question asked by one speaker, and the odd-numbered lines are answers given by her guide. The difference in length of line reflects the different styles of the two participants in the dialogue. In addition, the poem can be considered it is in common meter which is a close kin to the ballad stanza, with the stanza following a...
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