A Man I Am by Stevie Smith

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‘A man I am is a poem of transformation and redemption’. Discuss this quote with close reference to the poem.

A man I am was written by Stevie Smith, and like most of Stevie’s poems is unstructured and has individual verses which in this poems manner of subject may explore the transformation and it’s progression from wolf to an actual man.

The transformation in this poem is about how in order for a man to actually evolve into a man (through evolution) then he must accept God’s will, which this poem explores. A man I am begins with ‘I was consumed by so much hate I did not feel that I could wait.’ Already, this poem starts off with a single minded, primitive and pessimistic view and goes on to sound uncontrollable; for humanities sake and almost animalistic. The narrator goes on to describe themselves as ‘wild’, untamed, and therefore on a completely different level to the traits of a human being. ‘I seized a little new born child I tore his throat, I licked my fang, just like a wolf. A wolf I am.’ This ends the first stanza and contrasts the purity of innocence with an animalistic feature of a wolf, a killer with no guilt, and so the narrator represents themselves as a predator with no remorse and at such a position where hope would seem inevitable, and a cause of transformation would seem almost impossible.

Moreover, it is redemption that purifies this uncontrollable being with transformation that this being has through the cause of religion, but it is first depicted in the second stanza with the reference of weather change. In the partial beginning of the second stanza is ‘Sometimes I thought my heart would freeze, And never know a moment’s ease; But presently the spring broke in.’ So as the hopelessness continues there is sudden faith which is represented with spring and thus rebirth and joy. And so the transformation begins. ‘My poor heart bled like anything. The drops fell down, I knew remorse’ and so his humanity awakens, his redemption, his...
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