Uphill: Question and End

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Angela Wigger
Rosebrough
English Comp II
October 5, 2012
Explication Essay
“Uphill” written by Christina Rossetti, this poem is explaining life as a journey and life’s unavoidable death. This poem tells the reader that no matter what we face in life there is going to be hard times that we must endure. Life’s road will never be easy and no matter how we choose to live our life, death is the ultimate price we must pay. We must try to live life the best we know how so that in the end we will find comfort in our resting place.

Rossetti sets the tone of this poem as conversational. A question is asked by her and someone then answers her. This pattern is used throughout the entire poem. Four stanzas are used, two questions are asked and two answers are given. The rhythm of this poem gives the reader the feel as if they were climbing “uphill”. The rhythm used is ABAB. The meter used in this poem gives the reader a feeling of pacing steps as if they were climbing. There is an alternating pattern of five stresses per line (pentameter) then three stresses per line (trimester).

“Uphill” starts by asking a question “Does the road wind uphill all the way?” Rossetti is simply asking if life’s journey is uphill. Then in the second line someone answers her back saying, “Yes, to the very end.” This gives the reader a feeling of sadness, thinking that life will be a long journey with many challenges ahead. In line three and four there is another question with an answer. “Will the journey take the whole day long?”(3)/ “From morn to night, my friend.”(4) The words in these four lines continue to give the reader a feeling of uneasiness. They are telling the reader that life is difficult and will be long.

As we come to the second stanza Rossetti begins to ask questions about the challenges that may be faced as the journey is travelled. In line five “But is there for a night a resting place?” Then in line six is answered “A roof for when the slow dark...
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