“The Woodspurge” is a sixteen-line poem divided into four-line stanzas that describe a grief-stricken narrator in an outdoor setting. In his depressed state, the narrator emotionally observes the details of the woodspurge, a species of weed that has a three-part blossom. The poem’s first stanza presents a countryside and begins to suggest the narrators’s state of mind. The narrator is not walking toward a specific destination; he moves in the direction the wind is blowing and once the wind ceases, he stops and sits in the grass. The fact that his walking and stopping are guided merely by the wind indicates aimlessness and passivity The narrator’s posture in the second stanza indicates that he feels exceedingly depressed. Sitting on the grass he is hunched over with his head between his knees. This shows that he is insecure. His depression is so severe that he cannot even groan aloud or speak a word of grief. His head is cast down, as is his soul – so much that his hair is touching the grass. He remains in this position for an unknown length of time but long enough that he “heard the day pass”. In the third stanza, “My eyes, wide open, had the run” let the readers know about the sudden changes in his attitude. He finally accepts what had happened and knows that he has to move on. From his seated position, he says there are “ten weeds” that his eyes can “fix upon”. This reflect that he sees his problem and becomes aware of it. He realises that the “weeds” (his problem) are in his way and the hardiness of the “weeds” tells that the problem that he faced are hard to be rid of. Out of that group, a flowering woodspurge captures his complete attention and he is dramatically impressed by the detail that it flowers as “three cups in one”. The narrator attributes his depressed state to “perfect grief” in the final stanza. He then comments that grief may not function to bring wisdom and may not even be remembered. He implies that he himself learned nothing from...
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