An Analysis of Lisel Mueller’s “Hope”
When we are going through hardships in life, we feel like we are in a small wreck boat fighting the currents of a nasty sea storm. We start noticing we are miles and miles away from help; we realize we are alone. We cannot see beyond the situation we are currently experiencing. We are blind by the sea storm and it seems like there is no sign of hope anywhere. But just as we fall into despair, a luminous light squeezes from the dark grayish clouds. And even though we almost had let go of the only precious thing that gave us strength, this light is giving us an opportunity to preserve hope once more. In Lisel Mueller’s poem “Hope”, Mueller claims hope is difficult to see and maintain, but it lives everywhere even in herself. Mueller begins by illustrating hope is found in tragic moments by using metaphor to compare “in dark corners” to tragic moments and “before the lights are turned on” to clarity (Line 1-2). In other words, we don’t always see hope when are going through difficult situations, therefore, we don’t have the strength to maintain hope within ourselves before everything starts improving. Besides metaphor, Mueller also uses personification to make hope alive by using “it hovers”, “it shakes”, and “drops” (1-4). This poetic device helps the reader feel that hope exists and is much alive everywhere. Maybe next time we are going through a rough time, we can remember that Mueller says hope is very much alive in any situation we are going through. We just need to learn how to embrace it. As the poem progresses, Mueller describes hope is also present in nature. For instance, hope exist in “mushroom gills,” in the way it travels in the wind when “it explodes in the starry heads / of dandelions […]” (4-6). It lives from the “top of maples” to the “many-eyed potato” (8-10). Hope exists even in an insignificant potato, thus, giving the potato the strength to...
Cited: Mueller, Lisel. "Hope." Casa Poema. Judith Pordon, n.d. Web. 23 Mar 2015
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